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Why Five-Star Hotels are Our Secret Source for Garden Inspiration

See these luxury hotels from around the globe surrounded by the most beautiful, flourishing gardens

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By Kimberley Schoeman  | April 26, 2024 | Gardens

Think back to the last time you walked through the dazzling gardens of a luxurious hotel where blossoming blooms not only reflected the season, but the lay of the land. As seasoned travellers, we can’t wait to see what flowers, shrubs, and trees decorate the grounds of the world’s finest hotels. Of course with dedicated teams of grounds keepers, you’d be hard pressed to find a hotel garden that is less than pristine.

Not only do hotel gardens reflect local garden trends and styles through indigenous shrubs, but they offer up a generous selection of out-of-the-box landscaping ideas to bring home from your travels, a sort of souvenir tailored to your green thumb. As we in South Africa transition through an Atlantic autumn, (and plan for our spring gardens) we look up North to some of the world’s most decadent hotels that show as much care for their gardens as they do for their guests.

Create Romance with Rose-Covered Archways

Whether you simply want to wander the grounds, seek a shady spot, or absorb the scent of divine flowers the gardens of Villa Cora in Italy offers all of the above in its romantic sanctuary.

Villa Cora. Photography by Alessandro Moggi.

When experiencing the the grounds of a hotel is just as important as its amenities and offerings, flowers that evoke a mood are key, as seen in the blushing rose-covered archways along the exterior of Villa Cora.

It’s Time to Establish that Bombastic Bougainvillea

What more could you ask for from an indulgent hotel stay than warm sunshine, cool water, and feeling completely at ease among colour-bursting gardens and delicious fruit trees and herb gardens?

The Parker Palm Springs understands this brief. Known for their estate garden tours, where among soaring Californian palm and citrus trees, you are sure to stop in your steps to marvel at the boldly-coloured Bougainvillea. South African gardens are no strangers to established Bougainvilleas, which climb walls and creep throughout terraces and balconies. Seeing plants that we would normally see in our own gardens in other countries often serve as a reminder to pick up those flowers, shrubs, and trees we’ve put off planting and start sowing!

A blossoming bougainvillea on the grounds of the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs. Image: Supplied.

Create the Courtyard of Your Dreams With Fragrant Herb Planters

Perched in a former Belgian monastery is a botanic courtyard filled with deliciously scented herb bushes. Creating an oasis of vibrant blooms and giving inspiration to the hotel’s culinary team, this courtyard garden at Botanic Sanctuary in Antwerp is a wonderful inspiration for small homes in big cities. The laid back, which calls on you to wander through and sniff proves the power of a garden in an urban city.

The Oasis Garden at Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp. Image: Supplied.

When in Doubt, Grow Lavender

At Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons, a Belmond Hotel, English heritage through the hotel’s building, meets French style through reams and reams of lavender punctuated by wispy grasses. The verdant grounds of the hotel where purple lavender reigns supreme also features a water garden, a mushroom valley walk, and delicious orchards.

Growing lavender like this English-meets-French is easy and rewarding. Lavender is luckily a perennial plant, which that will last for several years under the right conditions. Since it has Mediterranean origins, lavender is sure to flourish in your South African garden in the summer due to its love for hot sun and dry soil.

Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons, a Belmond Hotel Exteriors House. Photography by Paul Wilkinson.