The Ten Best Hotels for Swingers
Here are 10 hotels from boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith, where you can indulge in the universal act of swinging.
June 18, 2013
Feeling adventurous? Boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have rounded up ten hotels for swingers (we’re talking hotels with swings...nothing more salacious).
What could be more innocent than that?
1. SHINTA MANI, CAMBODIA
What: Contemporary Angkorian
Where: Siem Reap’s tranquil French Quarter
You’ll be rethinking your kitchen chairs after a stay at Shinta Mani, whose streetside Kroya restaurant boasts dreamy swings on a breezy terrace. The idea of swings+food might sound messy, but you’ll soon get the hang of things (sorry), plus the gorgeous Cambodian options on offer will make practice a pleasure rather than a chore (perhaps only the steady-handed should order crab bouillabaisse). American architect and interiors whizz Bill Bensley styled the hotel: have a rum cocktail at smart grey Bensley’s Bar, dotted with squashy sofas (for when elevated lounging pales). Days here are spent being spoiled in the spa, lounging by the pool and occasionally venturing out to explore Angkor’s temples; nights are best spent in one of the Superior Poolside boudoirs, which have chill-out porches just steps from the lap pool.
2. THE GRAY, ITALY
What: Playful den for modern lovers
Where: Centralissimo Milan
The swinging scene at The Gray revolves around the lobby, where a giant fuchsia-upholstered swing with lipstick-red cords drops from the ceiling: a memorable first impression, regardless of whether you’re bold enough to go and sit on it (please do; it’s might comfy). If you take the swing as a promise of the unexpected, you won’t be let down: rooms have ivory-silk curtains which whoosh open at the touch of a button; there are Jacuzzis in bathrooms and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 on the in-room playlist; the restaurant has black-velvet chairs, grass-topped tables and spoons and forks suspended from light fittings. The Gray is precisely central, with the Duomo at the end of the street, La Scala and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele round the corner, and all the fun bits of town – Via Montenapoleone, La Brera, Porta Ticinese – a walk away: you’re perfectly positioned for playtime.
3. NALADHU, MALDIVES
What: Romantic beach retreat
Where: Reef-fringed Veligandu Huraa
Why doesn’t every hotel have beach hammocks and in-room swing chairs? Naladhu, set between a lagoon and the sea, boasts both. That’s not all it has, either: each of the 19 intimate beach houses comes with its own private pool, romantic semi-outdoor glass-sided bath (for cheeky views) and shower – don’t be surprised if you never make it to the main pool, flanked by inviting sun loungers and overlooking the lagoon. When you want to have both feet planted firmly on the ground, sit inside or out at the Living Room, a thatched-roof restaurant with an open-air hardwood deck, and feast on red snapper with macadamia-nut crust or grilled tiger prawns with goats’ cheese ravioli and asparagus.
4. FONTELUNGA HOTEL AND VILLAS, ITALY
What: Grand guesthouse
Where: Tempting Tuscan patch
To get into the swing of things at Fontelunga Hotel, you’ll have to wander through gorgeous gardens; gosh, life’s hard. The swing is more of a hanging bench, to be fair, with sweeping views of the manicured lawn and flowering pot plants. It’s a lovely perch, only worth hopping off for the hotel’s other lures: stately beds with oversized damasked headboards; modern Starck and Jacobsen furniture; terracotta-tiled floors and a sun-warmed saltwater outdoor pool amid the olive groves. The swing in the gardens hints at a sense of fun at play here, which stems from the gorgeous, sociable owners Paolo and Philip, who host twice-weekly four-course dinner parties – think prosecco, fried vegetables, crostini and highly gluggable local wine.
5. KANOPI HOUSE, JAMAICA
What: Sky-skimming treehouses
Where: Amid the burly banyans
If you’re feeling strong of arm and want to play Tarzan, you could swing from the thickly knotted vines that cling to Kanopi House’s banyan trees, while wannabe Janes watch admiringly from the window. The hotel’s tropical treehouses are cushioned, carpeted and curtained with greenery and come with equally green credentials: all the wood is sustainable, no trees were felled during construction, and local craftsmen and artists contributed to the design. Keen swingers staying here should head to Frenchman’s Cove, which was voted one of the world’s top five beaches and has soft white sand, a river with enormous climbing trees and tempting rope swings dangling above the glittering turquoise waters.
6. COQUI COQUI TULUM, MEXICO
What: Riffing on ruins
Where: Beachfront Boca Paila, Riviera Maya
Oh, Coqui Coqui Tulum, what we wouldn’t give to be lying in one of your hand-woven hammocks right now, with the jungle and sea beckoning before us, and a chilled (and alcoholic) coconut concoction beside us. This hotel has a male supermodel by the name of Nicolas Malleville for an owner, and his good looks have rubbed off: rooms come with white-linen-clad four-posters surveying the sea; bathrooms feature hand-molded bath tubs and sexy saltwater showers (keep your mouth clamped shut when showering or you’ll get a glug of seawater). After dark, rooms are lit with flickering candles. The spa will soothe you, and there’s even a little boutique selling perfumes, scented candles and lotions whipped up on the premises, so you can take a piece of Coqui Coqui back home with you.
7. RUSCHMEYER’S, UNITED STATES
What: Scenester's summer camp
Where: Hip Hamptons woods
Pretend you’re starring in a Wes Anderson flick at witty, whimsical Ruschmeyer’s, centred around a fictional voyager – Commodore Captain Ruschmeyer III. This grown-up, summer camp-style boutique hotel is his would-be home: part estate, part explorer’s clubhouse, part film set (don’t worry about heavy-handed kitsch; it’s all achieved with nifty aplomb). Unlike more stuffy Hamptons hideouts, Montauk attracts a cool crowd of hippies, hipsters and surfers, all of whom should have a soft spot for the deliciously retro art of swinging. They won’t be disappointed at Ruschmeyer’s: rooms feature suspended macramé swinging chairs and, if you stroll into the gardens, you’ll encounter two big beautiful trees, one with a swing hanging from it.
8. COCOA ISLAND BY COMO, MALDIVES
What: Faraway island fantasy
Where: The bluest lagoon
Just the words ‘cocoa island’ make us want to be lying horizontal in sunshine, rocking gently in a hammock with a sea breeze on our newly tanned skin. Better book a trip to Cocoa Island by Como, then, whose irreproachably beautiful beach features milk-white swinging chairs, perfect for holidaying lovebirds. To make getting out of your chair even harder, you can order food to the beach – Ufaa restaurant offers a daily-changing menu of fresh-from-the-sea, plucked-from-the-branch goodness, Malabar Coast and Thai-style dishes, as well as a raw-food spa menu. All the rooms here – Dhoni Suites, Dhoni Loft Suites, Loft Villas and Villas – are individual at-sea dwellings sited off a snake-like wooden pier, with private sun-decks, vintage-style ceiling fans, walk-in showers and roll-top bath tubs.
9. ANANTARA KIHAVAH VILLAS, MALDIVES
What: Breezy seaside retreat
Where: Blissful Baa Atoll
As if having your own private pool overlooking piercing-blue seas wasn’t treat enough, Anantara Kihavah Villas has thrown poolside swings into the mix, so you can rock back and forth chanting ‘I’m swinging in the best place in the world’, then go for a smug little paddle to cool down. This is a hotel that doesn’t stint on highlights: spacious, ultra-luxe villas with ocean-goggling beds; palm-dotted sands; pandering butlers – you get the gist. Did we mention the underwater wine cellar, the six-suite overwater spa or, at 49 metres, one of the Maldives’ longest pools? The food here alone is worth boarding a plane for: the Sea.Fire.Salt.Sky. signature dining cube offers a quartet of fine gourmet choices, each with its own style and unique perspectives over (and under) the cellophane-clear sea.
10. GAYANA ECO RESORT, MALAYSIA
What: Eco-luxe hideaway
Where: Graceful Gaya Island, Sabah
At Gayana Eco Resort, you can take swinging to whole new heights: this eco-luxe hideaway has jungle paths with a canopy walk and zip-line, so you can whoosh through the trees like an over-caffeinated monkey. For calmer moments, there’s also an excellent spa with horizon-view rooms, and a selection of Asian and western massages, scrubs, facial and beauty treatments. There’s even an onsite marine research centre: a hub devoted to giant-clam breeding and coral restoration programmes, where guests can feed man-sized groupers in floating pens, plant coral, or scoop up starfish and squishy sea cucumbers in the touch tanks? Having done your bit for the fishy community, indulge in a muscle-soothing bamboo massage at Solace Spa, or linger over spiced soft-shell crab at Alu Alu Seafood, reputed to be the area's best Chinese seafood restaurant.