Stay up to speed with the latest hotel openings around the globe, reports Katie McGonagle
We’re told not to have favourites, but sell a destination for long enough and you find yourself gravitating towards the same reliable resorts.
While it’s great to have hotels you know and love, you could be missing out on some of the most exciting new properties around.
From boutique boltholes to big-brand resorts, barely a week goes by without another new opening.
That’s why we’ve compiled a run-down of key openings and ones to watch out for in 2013 to help you stay ahead of the game – and perhaps find a few new favourites.
CARIBBEAN AND THE AMERICAS
The US has no shortage of hotel product, but there’s still room for a few additions. Andaz, Hyatt’s boutique-style collection, opened a 141-room property in Napa, northern California, in September, while in San Diego County, the all-suite 45-acre Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa re-opened last month after a $30 million refurbishment (rates from £440 per night).
Heritage will be the key selling point for the Gale South Beach & Regent Hotel in Miami (pictured below) and Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. The former has undergone a $35 million renovation but will retain its original 1940s style when it reopens in December (from $199 per night), while the latter has just opened in the historic Lafayette building, overlooking Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
New hotel product is blossoming in Latin America too, including Secrets The Vine, a 495-room hotel near Cancun. The adult-only five-star property is Secrets’ first venture into Cancun and AMResorts’ 21st in the region. Riu is also opening its second Costa Rican property this week, the five-star Riu Palace Costa Rica, boasting 538 rooms, four pools and a swim-up bar. The Sofitel Montevideo in Uruguay opens in January in a National Heritage Site building.
In Jamaica, next month will see two new luxury boutiques open, Trident Castle and Trident Hotel, in Port Antonio, with just a handful of rooms and villas in each.
From city break boltholes to sprawling beach resorts, Europe has another wave of openings to report. Alpina Gstaad in Switzerland opens its doors to luxury-seeking skiers from December; it is said to be the region’s first five-star property in a century, with 56 rooms and suites, cutting-edge Japanese cuisine and a Cuban cigar room. W Hotels is also moving into Switzerland with a 142-room W Verbier Retreat debuting in September 2013, just in time for ski season.
City centre highlights include recently-opened Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, in the city’s former public library (from €325 per night), and Ayre Hoteles’ new boutique townhouse in Madrid in early 2013. Also worth watching out for in spring are The Luxury Collection’s Prince de Galles in Paris and Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice, both reopening after major renovations, and the new Four Seasons St Petersburg, a 19th-century palace built for a Russian princess and converted into a 176-room hotel.
Summer will see Raffles Istanbul open up in the new Zorlu Centre overlooking the Bosphorus, home to a theatre and one of the city’s largest spas, while November will mark Starwood’s first foray into Kiev with the Sheraton Kiev Olympiysky Hotel in Troitskaya Square.
For family-friendly beach breaks, Kos and Majorca will be home to two new Holiday Villages in summer. The former has a high ropes course and children’s splash park and the latter, six swimming pools and kids’ stage academies (Kos starts at £915 per adult, first child free and second child from £455 for a week all-inclusive with flights in June). Sister brand Sensatori is also introducing a resort in Side, Turkey, with adult-only and family zones and swim-up rooms.
Mark Warner unveils its four-star beach resort in Lemnos, Greece, next summer, featuring 144 villa-style rooms including interconnecting rooms, watersports and sailing tuition. Seven nights’ full-board with flights starts at £814.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
Dubai’s Royal Ascot Hotel is being renovated and rebranded as Doubletree by Hilton, with work to be completed by January 2015. Neighbouring Abu Dhabi has already seen the Centro Capital Centre open in October, with the St Regis Abu Dhabi to be unveiled on December 15. Anantara is also investing heavily in the area, with new properties this year plus luxury villas Al Sahel Lodges and Al Yamm Lodges, both on Sir Bani Yas Island, to open in 2013.
Fancy sipping cocktails in a rooftop bar with panoramic views of Marrakech? Head to the new Delano Marrakech and you’ll find just that, along with a vast spa and private hammam. Cityscapes will also be the big draw to the Sofitel Casablanca opening next month. Mövenpick is expanding its offering across Egypt too, including a resort in Soma Bay from May 2013.
Safari’s star is on the rise if the number of new lodges is anything to go by. Four Seasons makes its first foray into Tanzania with Safari Lodge Serengeti in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in January. It’s large by safari standards, with 60 rooms and 17 suites and villas plus a spa complex.
For a smaller feel, Norman Carr Safari is opening Chinzombo in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley in March, with six villas each boasting its own plunge pool. Botswana, meanwhile, will gain three new luxury camps in the Kgalagadi courtesy of Ta Shebube, all in the Nossob River Valley.
Sun International is expanding its portfolio from December with The Maven, a 276-room property in Sandton, Johannesburg, which has undergone a £20 million refurbishment.
INDIAN OCEAN AND ASIA
A new St Regis property opens this month on Le Morne beach in Mauritius, and Thai chains Centara and Anantara are making their
mark on the island with Centara Poste Lafayette Resort & Spa opening on the northeastern coast in mid-December, and the latter’s La Chaland Resort & Spa due in 2014.
Pasikuda on Sri Lanka’s east coast – once a no-go area because of the civil war – is home to some of the island’s most exciting developments. Centara opens a four-star property next month including family-friendly suites, while The Beach House launches a five-star boutique in February and with 32 suites and two pavilions, it promises pure luxury.
Vivanta by Taj has also spied an opportunity for an eco-friendly resort in the rugged landscapes of Madikeri in Coorg, India, opening this month (from £170 per room).
Asia’s frenetic cities show no sign of slowing down with a host of urban hotels springing up. W Singapore Sentosa Cove opened on Sentosa Island in September, with W Bangkok coming next month and W Guangzhou on January 31.
Raffles is also adding properties in Makati City in the Philippines next month, and in Jakarta in 2013. In Macau, the Sheraton opened a vast complex on the Cotai Strip in September; the 3,863-room property is the largest in Macau and in Starwood’s 1,100-strong portfolio.
Four Seasons strengthened its presence in China this year, with a 103-storey property including 99th floor Cloud Bar in Guangzhou in July, plus new hotels in Shanghai and Beijing. Banyan Tree also chose Shanghai as the place to introduce its urban retreat concept into mainland China, with Banyan Tree Shanghai On the Bund, which has river views from its 130 rooms.
Beach resorts are also growing apace; Koh Samui will see Vana Belle, a Luxury Collection Resort, arrive in January, and will be home to the first resort property from new no-frills brand Ozo in late 2013. Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort is firming up its family appeal with a new water slide, adventure playground and more family-friendly cabanas added in a renovation this month.
Over in Bali, Ristia Resort will be rebranded to Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran from January 31, while two new resorts – Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort and Centara Grand Nusa Dua Resort & Villas – open by the end of the year.
Look out too for beachfront properties in China; Hainan Island has already gained the luxurious Anantara Sanya Resort & Spa (one of several Anantara properties to open in 2013 and 2014), with the 380-room Mövenpick resort in Sanya and a Raffles resort at Clearwater Bay to come in early 2013.
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