luxe - The Crazy Bear, England

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It took a great deal to restore the oldest documented building in Beaconsfield, England – which itself dates from the late 12th century – but in the end, that old building in this old town became a tribute to flamboyance and extravagance; a boutique hotel known as The Crazy Bear.

There are no exterior signs to greet you, and the windows are blacked out, a beast retracting its claws, as it were, so as not to overrun this small, proper market town. But the animal awakens with a visit to the rollicking rock ’n’ roll bar set amid dark mirrors, fine Italian marble, dazzling 1930s crystal chandeliers, and a fabulous 17m Swarovski-studded black-leather chesterfield. Teddy comfort blends with grizzly stylistic aggressiveness in this 10-room masterpiece. Room No. 10 is the most talked about and hardest to book, with its night-black faux crocodile skin walls, and black leather floor lit by gilded Moroccan lanterns rendering it unique. All rooms (except 9) are lusciously dark from floor to ceiling, while all (save 4) have a free-standing brass bathtub.

Two restaurants – one offering modern-British brilliance, the other Thai specialties – promise sumptuous culinary delights that may be followed by a retreat to sensuous rooms adorned in textured leather, hand-carved wood, and gold leaf or a dip – in either the infinity pool or jacuzzi – to cap off the evening.

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