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8 Hotels for an Urban Chlorophyll Fix

  • The Saint James Paris

    The Saint James, Paris

  • Gran Meliá Rome

    Gran Meliá, Rome

  • The Bowery Hotel

    The Bowery Hotel, New York

  • The Upper House

    The Upper House, Hong Kong

  • Number Sixteen

    Number Sixteen, London

  • Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa

    Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa, Venice

  • Crosby Street Hotel

    Crosby Street Hotel, New York

  • The Royal Crescent Hotel

    The Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath

October, 2012

The word “oasis” used to imply a certain lushness of flora, but these days an appreciable amount of greenery in the heart of a city is a fleetingly rare luxury. Here are eight urban oases that truly live up to the name.

1. The Saint James
Paris, France — It’s hard enough to find a decent-size room in Paris, but a freestanding house surrounded by a walled garden, almost a country château in the city, is like a dream of an earlier time.
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2. The Bowery
New York, New York — The leafy little courtyard bar at the back of The Bowery is something of a secret — a bastion of quiet, sophisticated calm in a neighborhood where open-air drinking rarely comes with so much elbow room.
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3. Number Sixteen
London, England — If ever there was a courtyard garden that compelled one to forgo the compulsory cultural activity, it would be the walled garden at Number 16. Breakfast, high tea and snacks served throughout the day make it all the easier to stick around.
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4. The Upper House
Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong — If views of Hong Kong’s harbor from the 49th-floor bar give you vertigo, go down 43 stories to the expansive, open-air lawn — a welcome bit of greenery amidst the cluster of skyscrapers.
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5. Gran Meliá
Rome, Italy — With the Pope’s place just around the corner, the Gran Meliá’s sprawling lawns occupy some prime Roman real estate. Views of the botanical gardens are especially good — and private — from the whirlpool on the Eternal City Suite’s enormous terrace.
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6. Crosby Street Hotel
New York, New York — Leave it to a Brit to come up with one of New York’s most enchanting secret gardens. Fortunately this Brit is hotel design maven Kit Kemp, whose colorful interior eye extends to lush gardens off the Meadow Suite and a vegetable patch on the rooftop.
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7. The Royal Crescent Hotel
Bath, England — Occupying two historic houses in Bath’s grand Georgian crescent, the Royal Crescent is pure architectural perfection on the exterior. There’s not even a sign, but behind the building lies a splendid private garden filled with fragrant lavender.
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8. Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa
Venice, Italy — Located across the canal from San Marco Square, on the small island of Giudecca, the Bauer Palladio is already a retreat from the city’s crowds. Yet it’s the backyard garden that really separates it from all the Venetian competition.
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