These Remarkable Hotels Boast Royal-Worthy Gardens in Their Backyards
Le Bristol Paris is the latest storied destination to revamp its green space into a romantic, sculptural oasis
Travelers often choose their accommodations for their luxurious amenities and proximity to desirable destinations, but many revered hotels are creating remarkable settings right on site. By installing sculptural works of outdoor art, crafting topiaries or manicured English gardens, and cultivating magnificent floral fields or abundant vegetable plots that are harvested for gourmet farm-to-table restaurants, resorts offer dreamy landscapes in their own backyards.
Le Bristol Paris
Most recently, Le Bristol Paris, a historic hotel on the city’s prestigious rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, underwent a major overhaul of its courtyard garden by esteemed landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. “I wanted to bring a little of the countryside feeling into the space by combining formal and country-cottage elements, then introduce the needed formality of topiary and hedges for winter interest, and contrast with the loose planting and flowing grasses,” Lennox-Boyd tells Galerie.
The revamped courtyard combines the refinement of French symmetry with the elegance of an English meadow. Butterflies, dragonflies, and ladybugs flutter around bespoke trellis pillars of pale pink New Dawn climbing roses, large planters of Plumbago auriculata ‘Dark Blue,’ and beds of lobelia ‘Hadspen Purple’ and agapanthus ‘Navy Blue.’ Carpinus betulus trees and stepped-topiary Euonymus japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ add structure and interest throughout winter. The space provides an idyllic setting for teatime treats by Le Jardin Français pastry chef Julien Alvarez or a remarkable vista from the hotel’s newly updated suites.
However, Le Bristol Paris isn’t alone in creating a manicured setting designed to offer guests room to roam. Many properties around the world have cultivated unique landscapes of native plants and flowers that gifted designers have curated into majestic allées, secluded nooks, and moments of delightful discovery. Here, a look at other notable resorts enhanced with glorious gardens perfect for exploration.
This 200-year-old mansion in Georgia was created by one of the South’s richest men, Godfrey Barnsley, who built the manor house and formal gardens for his wife, Julia. Inspired by the gardens of Andrew Jackson Downing, who is considered to be the founder of American landscape design, the estate grounds now feature over 200 varieties of roses.
This grand Lake Como resort can trace its history centuries back and has hosted a rarefied list of guests ranging from royalty to a veritable Who’s Who of Hollywood. One of the site’s most picturesque settings is the Mosaic House and Nymphaeum; also a private villa, the structure leads into the ten-acre park, where groundskeepers plant approximately 80,000 new blooms each year.
Belmond Cadogan Hotel
The neighboring 93-acre Cadogan Estate Gardens is one of the largest green spaces in Chelsea; hotel guests can access the private acreage to take in 300-year-old mulberry trees or an award-winning Chelsea Flower Show planting designed to celebrate the 17th-century naturalist Sir Hans Sloane. Stroll past black bamboo, maples, magnolias, and palms; visit the pollinator meadow; or explore the Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanical garden, which includes approximately 5,000 different medicinal, herbal, and edible plants.
Having at several points in its more than 500 years of history fallen into disrepair only to be rescued and restored, this castle resort in County Clare, Ireland, captures all the magic and mystery of beloved children’s novel The Secret Garden. Today, the 450 acres have nooks for falconry and a plethora of fauna, lily ponds, walled gardens, and a yew tree gallery dating back to the 1700s. Head gardener Dorothea Madden leads tours of the property, which include details on the estate’s very own Dromoland rose.
Villa La Massa
Nestled on the bank of the Arno River near Florence, Italy, this 13th-century nobleman’s house is situated on 25 bucolic acres. Villa La Massa’s guests are welcome to join the head chef to pick vegetables and herbs in the Chef’s Garden, then use their harvest in a cooking class. Stroll among the lemon, olive, and cypress trees; meander through the Iris Garden, a celebration of the flower symbol of Florence and Tuscany; or follow the path of peonies and blue agapanthuses to the river bank.
Park Hyatt Kyoto
This architecturally significant hotel brings together modern design and ancient tradition. The Garden Eishintei, a tranquil Japanese Zen garden, features illuminated pathways that wind past sculptural structures and specimen trees directly to the hotel’s famed traditional ryotei, Kyoyamato, which includes the historic Soyotei teahouse.
Not all gardens are manicured and meticulous—the tropical jungle landscape at Strawberry Hill in Jamaica adds to its secret-hideaway allure. Situated 3,000 feet up in the Blue Mountains on the site of a former coffee farm, the hotel is peppered with avocado, mango, orange, lime, and other indigenous fruit trees and more than 350 plant species that attract the island’s exotic birds.