Be the first of your friends to stay at these luxurious, new hotel openings; whether you're looking for long-haul indulgence or a British boutique.
Opening in time for tulip season, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is a creamily elegant reworking of six historic canal houses on Herengracht. With the city’s largest walled garden and a beautiful indoor pool, it’ll be an oasis of calm in the city – perfect for a special escape for two.
By Jane Hayward, Travel Writer
Hide away in the Euganean Hills, near the medieval town of Padua. Once the summer retreat of 16th-century bishops, Villa dei Vescovi has been beautifully restored by The Landmark Trust and now contains two top-floor apartments, each sleeping four. Lucky guests get to sip wine on its frescoed loggia and stroll through its orchards after the day’s visitors have departed. Venice and Treviso airports are both handy.
About to open on Costa Rica’s dramatic Papagayo Peninsula, the Andaz Papagayo is the design chain’s first in Latin America and marks an increasing sophistication in a country known for its seafront eco-hotels. Its curvy accommodation is intended to reflect the shapes of scattered shells and cocoons while three themed restaurants each tell a story about Costa Rican culture via super-fresh menus.
A trio of newbies from the super-luxurious Four Seasons hotel chain have opened across China in the last few months – perfect for a self-guided tour of the world’s most dynamic country. The first two are in Shanghai and Beijing. The third – and most spectacular – is in Guangzhou, south China’s largest city and the centre of Cantonese cuisine, where 344 contemporary, Oriental-accented rooms snake up to the 98th floor of the Guangzhou IFC Tower. Views of the Pearl River Delta are utterly stunning.
New York’s hottest district, Brooklyn, has its first design hotel. Converted from a 1901 textile factory on the Williamsburg waterfront, The Wythe is all about industrial chic and fantastic Manhattan skyline views. It also has that latest New York essential – a restaurant that’s a local’s hangout, so you’ll really feel part of the Brooklyn scene.
Photo Credit: Adrian Gaut
A £24 million revamp has turned the The Caledonian Hotel, the Scottish capital’s ‘grande dame’, into a fresh-faced beauty. Its grand staircase and wall frescoes are all present and very correct. And 241 bedrooms are now softly coloured in blues and green-greys to complement the city skyline (aim for a view of Edinburgh Castle). Don’t dither over dinner reservations: two Michelin stars make the hotel’s The Pompadour by Galvin a no-brainer.
Set on the golden sands of Natai beach, Inilia Beach House can either be booked as three individual villas or as a whole private residence. It’s a temple to design: contemporary furnishings have been sourced from all over the world and there’s even a swish children’s ‘hotel’ with fairytale-themed rooms. Expect full-on luxury – each villa has its own personal butler, driver, chef and spa therapist.
Et voila, the results of a two-year revamp at Vanessa Branson’s Marrakech boutique hotel. A beautifully architected conversion of seven medina courtyard houses, El Fenn has long been the place to stay for smart creatives visiting Morocco’s most flamboyant city. And one of the new bedrooms is already a favourite: Private Pool Suite (above), a 700ft space with private terrace and glass-bottomed plunge pool.
Details about the imminently opening Shangri-La London are slipping out, much to the excitement of the capital’s glitterati, who are anticipating sipping cocktails in the GONG bar and taking a dip in the sleek infinity pool – both to level 52’s astonishing cityscape views.
Central Vietnam now has a knockout beach resort: the Banyan Tree Lang Co. Perfect for a chill-out at the end of a cultural tour, it’s an all-pool villa place that trails along 3km of sand, using ancient Vietnamese design in its architecture and the Truong Son mountains as a spectacular backdrop. As you’d expect from a Banyan Tree, the spa is impeccable and a Nick Faldo golf course is the icing on the cake.