If travel was rocky over the last two years, it hasn’t stopped established hotel brands and developers from designing for the future. This year we can look forward to a host of highly anticipated hotel openings created by design luminaries such as Jean-Michel Gathy, Patricia Urquiola and Francis Sultana …
room2 Chiswick, London
Positioning itself as the world’s first fully net zero hotel, this green retreat offers a relaxed combination of home and hotel while encouraging guests to embrace a sustainable lifestyle. room2 Chiswick declares it uses 89 per cent less energy compared to other UK hotels, and is the first hotel in the world to fully account for its entire carbon footprint. Possibly even more important, it proves that sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing style, convenience or comfort. Snug rooms start from £129stg per night for two people sharing and there is a special 25 per cent discount on all reservations until February 28; www.room2.com/chiswick/.
xenodocheio Milos, Athens
If you were lucky enough to bag some cheap tickets to Athens in the current Ryanair flash sale, then one place to book is the new xenodocheio Milos in downtown Athens – opposite Old Parliament House and overlooking the Lycabettus Hill. It’s bound to be a hit with gourmets familiar with the world-renowned restaurant estiatorio Milos, whose chef Costas Spiliadis provides a unique take on Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on seafood specialities. As for the accommodation – the boutique hotel’s 43 rooms and suites are elegant and refined with rates starting from €371 for a classic room; www.xenodocheiomilos.com.
The Other House, London
Neither a serviced apartment nor private rental, The Other House, launching in South Kensington, London this spring calls itself a “residents club” and “second home”. Guests can stay for as long as they please and select the services they want at the touch of an app (from ordering food to summoning the lift or even monitoring the property’s energy output). On offer are Club Flats, a private members club, wellness and dining facilities all designed stylishly by Bergman Interiors; www.otherhouse.com.
Aman New York
At the crossroads of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street and located in the former Crown Building, Aman New York designed by Jean-Michel Gathy is in its final stages of renovation. This significant central Manhattan project will include 83 large guest rooms and suites (each with their own functioning fireplace!). In addition, Aman New York will house 22 private residences and a vast open air terrace on the 10th floor. Residents and guests will have access to the three dining venues and a jazz club while the hotel will be home to an Aman Club for members. The Aman brand, of course, is synonymous with wellness and the spa facilities – spread across three floors – sound stunning. There are consultation, examination and therapy rooms in addition to spa treatment suites and two Banya and Hammam spa houses for half- and full-day experiences. Not forgetting the hot and cold plunge pools, an indoor swimming pool lined with daybeds and fire pits and and an impressive fitness studio; www.aman.com.
Raffles London at OWO
This is one of the most hyped “grand hotel” openings of the year, due in no small measure to its location in the Grade II listed former Old War Office on Whitehall. The building once inhabited by famous statesmen and spies, from Winston Churchill to Ian Fleming, will be open to the public for the first time, having undergone a monumental and meticulous transformation. The completed hotel will comprise 120 rooms and suites alongside 85 branded residences, eleven restaurants and bars including a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic views across Whitehall, The Mall and on to Buckingham Palace as well as an extensive wellness space, spa and gym; www.theowo.london.
Keen to reduce your carbon footprint? Edinburgh is only a hop, skip and a boat ride away and boasts two hotel opening this year. In March, the Scottish sporting and country estate Gleneagles is launching its first city outpost at 37-39 St Andrews Square, originally home to the British Linen Company, which later became the Bank of Scotland. This iconic building is being reimagined as the “Gleneagles Townhouse” featuring 33 bedrooms, a vibrant all-day restaurant and two bars, including a rooftop terrace with superb views over the city; www.gleneaglestownhouse.com.
100 Princes Street, Edinburgh
If you’ve stayed at a Red Carnation Hotel – the portfolio includes Ashford Castle, The Milestone and Hotel 41 in London to name a few – you’ll know the group ethos is very much on service with an “anything, anytime” approach (the staff to guest ratio is apparently 2:1). Reimagining and restoring the former Overseas League building on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, the design team were inspired by Alexander McQueen, to create bespoke pieces including custom-made tartan designed by Araminta Campbell, and a central staircase which features a hand-painted mural by Croxford & Saunders, honouring the adventures of several Scottish explorers. The boutique hotel will have 30 guest rooms and suites, many with views looking up towards Edinburgh Castle. Standout features will include a residents-only “Explorers’ Club”, a wine wall with over 200 wines from the family-owned vineyard Bouchard Finlayson, and an impressive collection of Scottish whiskies adorning another wall. Opening in April, rates will be from £295stg; www.100princes-street.com.
Hotel La Palma, Capri
The dolce vita doesn’t get more dolce than Hotel La Palma – the first and oldest hotel on Capri which has hosted the who’s who of artists, poets, writers and musicians since it opened 200 years ago. Led by interior designer, Francis Sultana, who is creating his first hotel project working with the most acclaimed Italian craftsmen and local artisans, Capri’s original hotel is being transformed by Oetker Collection and its owners, the Reuben Brothers, into an elegant and exclusive 50-room and suite property. Located just steps from the famous Piazzetta, Hotel La Palma will comprise a rooftop restaurant and bar, a pool deck, a spa and fashion boutiques. Sultana is also putting the finishing touches to La Palma Beach Club in the Marina Piccola, which is likely to be a hot spot in the summer, while food will also be a talking point. Creating the menus will be the celebrated chef Gennaro Esposito; www.oetkercollection.com/hotels/hotel-la-palma.
Six Senses Rome
Opening in the autumn, Six Senses Rome, is located in a palazzo building beside the Fontana di Trevi, Pantheon and shopping streets of Via Condotti, Frattina and Borgognona. The hotel will feature 95 guest rooms and suites, a spa, restaurant, events terrace, outdoor courtyard garden and rooftop terrace. Protected by the Roman municipality and UNESCO listed, the main façade is being restored to its grand origins, while the central staircase will also be preserved. Mindful of the building’s authentic heritage, the design gently fuses a contemporary vision of hospitality, with interior design being overseen by Patricia Urquiola; www.sixsenses.com.
The Dean Galway
This month sees the opening of The Dean Galway with bookings available from January 14. Expect 101 design-led bedrooms and suites created especially “to make guests smile”. Details include fully-stocked Smeg fridges, Netflix-enabled TVs, Irish Munchie boxes filled with goodies, luxe Brooks & Co toiletries, Marshall Amps for tunes plus record players and vinyls. The hotel will also house Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace, while on the ground floor guests will find Dime Coffee, Elephant & Castle restaurant and Peg’s Bar. Most striking is a bespoke light fixture by Irish artist Domino Whisker. Rates will be from €130 per night; www.thedean.ie.
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