Founder of a new travel app, PK’s List, which was launched in May 2018, travel expert Philippe Kjellgren (or PK, as he is most commonly known), has been hailed as the Michelin Guide equivalent for the luxury hotel world.
Author of seven travel books, and founder of the Kiwi Collection, Philippe has over 20 years experience in the travel industry and set up his PK’s List Travel Club a few years ago, with the aim of creating one of the world’s most trusted resources when it comes to luxury travel. Royal families, dignitaries, VIPs and celebrities are included among its ‘Elite Membership’ – an invitation only tier – and now the club for discerning travellers has further expanded with the launch of the smart phone app. As well as travel intelligence into the world’s best hotels, with hotel contact details to hand and a ‘quick book’ option, the app also offers benefits, including upgrades, spa credits, gift vouchers and late check-out at selected hotels.
From independent boutique hotels to grand-dame boltholes, there’s a whole range of properties which have been selected by PK. Furthermore, Philippe has undertaken an 800-day-trip around the world (a twist on Jules Verne’s famous ‘Around the World in 80 Days’) so he can personally vet each hotel which appears on PK’s List and to determine the ‘money can’t buy’ services that he can offer his members. Populating the app as he travels and documenting the trip on Instagram (@pkslist), followers have been able to ‘view’ his journey as he moves around the globe.
As well as being able to tap into PK’s ‘little black book’ of the best hotels, PK Club members can also tap into a team of travel advisors, who are located in several major cities around the world. Each member is assigned an advisor who can help organise all facets of trip planning, whether it’s a business trip to Hong Kong, a marriage proposal on the South African plains, or to eat the finest steak in Argentina.
“I’m fortunate enough to call this my job,” PK comments, “and having visited 139 countries, and the world’s most stunning hotels, this has allowed me to really hone in on what makes a truly exceptional place to stay. Sometimes it can be the heritage and architecture of a hotel, other times the service and experiences they offer, while another could simply be the barefoot luxury elements.”
Here, PK reveals his top ten hotels:
- Eden Roc St Barths, Caribbean– The most iconic of hotels situated on an isolated rock on the best beach in St Barths. This is a star-studded resort with impeccable taste.
Laucala, Fiji– A private island resort in Fiji where no expense has been spared. The tropical hideaway offers 25 Fijian-styled villas set beside blissful beaches. The resort is positioned atop the island’s volcanic mountains overlooking fertile coral reefs and endless jungle.
North Island, Seychelles– The most exclusive island getaway in the Seychelles, this resort is the epitome of freedom and privacy in a luxurious yet barefoot-luxury retreat. From £6,138 per room per night.
Miavana, Madagascar– This private-island-resort offers an exclusive ‘castaway’ experience and is only accessible by helicopter. Expect 14 mid-century inspired, hand-crafted villas designed by leading architects.
Post Ranch Inn, California, USA– The cliff-side cabins and cottages overlooking the Big Sur, offer stunning panoramic views, paired with really unique design.
Bisate Lodge, Rwanda– The newest and definitely the coolest deign of any of the lodges in Rwanda – this is the ultimate place for Gorilla watching.
Singita Lebombo, South Africa– This cutting-edge safari lodge is bold and contemporary in design and is found in the heart of the African wilderness.Each of the 15 rooms have open fireplaces, indoor and outdoor showers and game-viewing decks overlooking the N’wanetsi River.
Ett Hem, Stockholm, Sweden– Built in a private residence dating back to 1910, with interiors by Ilse Crawford, this offers one of the very best boutique hotel experiences anywhere in the world. Aiming to be a home-from-home – guests can use the hotel as they see fit – from helping themselves to wine from the fridge to borrowing a book from the library.
Nihi Sumba, Indonesia– A tropical idyll meets surfer’s paradise at this jewel based on a deserted beach, on the island of Sumba, near Bali. Expect private villas, with thatched roofs and local art, complete with butlers.
Aman Tokyo, Japan – Aman hotels are renowned for their understated style, and this is no exception. It feels like a luxurious ryokan with spanning views of Tokyo and the Imperial Garden. Ultra luxurious.