The 25 best new hotels for 2014
The stars for the new year range from a chic lodge on the edge of an extinct volcano to suites on stilts in the Indian Ocean
1 The Marly, Cape Town
On Camps Bay, overlooked by the Twelve Apostles mountain range, the Marly will have 11 boutique rooms with bold modern art, Louis XIV-style French antiques, chandeliers and gilded mirrors. Bright paintings of models and film stars will adorn the walls throughout and a cosy terrace will have sun loungers and plunge pools. Rooms will offer either sea or mountain views. The centrepiece downstairs will be a cool 200-seat Japanese restaurant, plus a bar.
Details: B&B doubles from £167; opens December 20 (themarly.co.za)
2 Maalifushi by COMO, Maldives
This 68-room hotel will be the only one in the southern Thaa Atoll in the Maldives, surrounded by uninhabited islands. The look will be whitewashed and minimalist, with pale wood interiors, designer lights and low-slung furniture. Splashes of colour will come from rugs with oriental patterns and the occasional piece of modern art. Roughly half will be on stilts above water. The pool will be huge (44m), and there will be a sunken sushi bar, a separate Japanese restaurant, a spa, a diving centre and a resident marine biologist.
Details: doubles from £430 B&B; opens in March (comohotels.com/maalifushi)
3 W Bogota, Colombia
The colour scheme of this latest W Hotel will be golden — tying in with Colombia’s legendary El Dorado, the Lost City of Gold. Situated a short walk from boutique fashion shops and some of the city’s top restaurants it will have 168 rooms as well as a lavish Extreme Wow Suite for heads of state and music stars visiting for concerts.
Details: Rates are not set yet; opening in the autumn (whotels.com)
4 Delano, Las Vegas
The French interior designer Philippe Starck is behind the look of this slick new Delano. It will be massive — with more than 1,100 rooms — and built to replace THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, in a prominent spot next to the pyramid-shaped Luxor Hotel. This is the second Delano in America, after the fashionable haunt on Miami’s South Beach, and the owners hope to attract a cool new crowd to Sin City.
Details: Rates not yet set; opens in the autumn (morganshotelgroup.com)
5 Four Seasons, Orlando
The full title of this hotel does not exactly trip off the tongue — Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort — but it’s bound to go down well with families visiting the theme parks in Florida who want something a little plusher than usual. It will have a magnolia and pale-blue colour scheme, a rooftop restaurant with views of Magic Kingdom Park, a massive spa and three pools with a “lazy river” running between. Also opening in Orlando is Cabana Bay Beach Resort at Universal (universalorlando.com), with a theme inspired by American beach resorts of the 1950s and 1960s. Introductory rates are from $97 (£60) a night at Cabana Bay for up to six people, based on a minimum seven-night stay.
Details: Rates not set yet; opening in the summer (fourseasons.com/orlando)
6 Aro Hā, Queenstown, New Zealand
Expect “Zen inspired luxury” at this new hotel that pitches itself as a “wellness centre with rooms”, overlooking Lake Wakatipu. The cube-shaped wooden structures making up the hotel have tall windows taking in the mountainous scenery, while the eight bedrooms have a pared-down style with whitewashed walls and retro Seventies chairs. Yoga, hiking, strength-training courses, massage and meditation are among the activities. The hotel aims to be energy self-sufficent, offering an off-the-grid experience.
Details: From £1,162pp for a three-day “Jump Start” retreat including food, yoga, hiking, spa treatments and strength training; opening next month (aro-ha.com)
7 Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos
Perched on the crater of an extinct volcano, 450m above sea level, Pikaia will be a carbon-neutral hotel with 14 rooms in villas on the island of Santa Cruz. The idea is to bring eco-friendly luxury to the heart of the Galapagos, with a spa, infinity pool and gourmet restaurant — so guests can relax in style after a day hitting the nature trail. The lodge will have a giant tortoise reserve, and the owners will arrange tours on a private yacht to neighbouring islands.
Details: From £1,197 full board for two people sharing; opens in late spring (slh.com, pikaialodgegalapagos.com). Rainbow Tours (rainbowtours.co.uk) can arrange 12-night packages with four nights at Pikaia and international flights from £5,665pp
8 Anantara Doha Island, Qatar
Enjoy an Indian Ocean island-style break without leaving the Persian Gulf at this new children-friendly Anantara, which comes with swanky villas on stilts, palm trees and a speedboat transfer from the mainland. Rooms will be in muted colours with a contemporary look. As well as an over-water spa, there will be a beach dedicated to families, a nine-hole putting green, a kids’ club, diving centre, “surf pool” with a wave machine, and a cinema.
Details: Rates not yet set; opens in April (anantara.com/doha)
9 Vana, Malsi, Uttarakhand, India
Tibetan healing techniques, ayurveda, yoga and aqua therapies will be among the offerings at Vana, in the little-visited northern state of Uttarakhand, near the state’s capital city, Dehradun. There will be 90 rooms with muted colour schemes and ceiling-to-floor windows looking out into a surrounding forest filled with bamboo thickets. The hotel aims to address the “wellness objectives” of guests — and it has a minimum three-night stay, designed so guests have a proper opportunity to improve their health.
Details: Full-board doubles from £350 per night, including one treatment a day, “wellness activities”, arrival consultation and transfer from Dehradrun; opens next month (vanaretreats.com)
10 Awasi Patagonia, Chile
Tucked away in a private reserve on the edge of Torres del Paine National Park, Awasi consists of a dozen cube-shaped villas with slanting roofs and contemporary interiors. They’ve been designed to blend into the rugged landscape while offering a five-star yet “real” hideaway. Walls are made of bare wood planks and there are plentiful windows with superb mountain views. Guests are provided with a private guide in a four-wheel drive vehicle for excursions throughout their stay (included in the price).
Details: A three-day all-inclusive stay is from £1,400pp; opens next month (rainbowtours.co.uk, awasipatagonia.cl)
11 ME Ibiza, Spain
DJs will play from the roof terrace cocktail bar and restaurant at this 200-room hotel for party people who also enjoy a laid-back break. ME Ibiza — sister hotel to the popular ME London that opened this year — is in Santa Eulalia, quieter than many parts of Ibiza, on its eastern coast. The super-minimalist hotel will be connected to the Nikki Beach Club and also have a rooftop spa. It’s a big year for new Ibiza hotels, with a giant, 485-room Hard Rock Hotel opening farther down the east coast in time for the summer. The Hard Rock sounds as though it will be lively: music acts will play to audiences of up to 2,500 people (hardrockhotels.com, rates not set).
Details: Doubles at ME Ibiza from £253; opens in June (melia.com)
12 Iconic Santorini, Greece
Clinging to the mountain-side at the top of Santorini, this 22-room boutique hotel has breathtaking views and a terrace with a wonderful infinity pool. The mainly whitewashed walls are mixed with panels of pale blue and the overall look is a bit like being on a cruise ship that’s somehow landed on top of the old volcanic crater. The tastefully decorated rooms are spread over five levels; beds are large and bathrooms are stocked with Aesop products.
Details: B&B doubles from £421; opens in April (mantiscollection.com)
13 Stracta Hotel Hella, Iceland
David James, the former England goalkeeper, and Hermann Hreidarsson, the Icelandic footballer, are behind this new hotel, which is intended to be the first in a chain of nine hotels opening in Iceland during the next three years. The idea is to create affordable places to stay outside Reykjavik, the capital, with an emphasis on simplicity: blond wood interiors and a mixture of en suite rooms sleeping two, and chalets sleeping six. All rooms are connected to the main building by glass walkways, to keep out the cold — and each has access to an outdoor hot tub. Hella is in the south of Iceland, surrounded by volcanoes.
Details: B&B doubles from about £110; opens in May (stractahotels.is)
14 Hotel SP34, Copenhagen, Denmark
The arty Hotel Fox in the Danish capital is closing in April, when it will be reconstructed and expanded into two buildings, creating a new boutique hotel. Its new incarnation — due to open in the autumn — will have a more subdued, grown-up style, with retro chairs, designer lamps and clean lines. There will be 118 rooms (including a cool penthouse suite), a rooftop terrace with a bar and views across the Latin Quarter.
Details: B&B doubles from £168; opens in the autumn (brochner-hotels.dk)
15 Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, Turkey
With swish Aman, D-Hotel and Kempinski opening on the coast in recent years — and a Ritz-Carlton and Grand Hyatt in Istanbul — it’s possible to have a very posh break in Turkey. Now Bodrum is going even more upmarket, with a Mandarin Oriental. There will be 102 rooms including 20 suites, a sumptuous spa on a hillside ridge overlooking the sea, and six restaurants. It will be set on a 60-hectare waterfront site on the north of the peninsula. The rooms don’t come cheap . . .
Details: Doubles from £750; opens in the spring (mandarinoriental.com)
16 Portrait Firenze, Florence
The renowned Florentine architect Michele Bonan is behind the design for this 34-suite hotel, bang in the centre of Florence with views over the River Arno and Ponte Vecchio from some rooms. He’s gone back to the early days of Italian haute couture for his inspiration, fitting rooms with retro armchairs and lamps, decorating walls with black and white shots of period stars and decking bathroms with carrara marble. The hotel is part of the Lungarno Collection, owned by the Ferragamo family of shoe-making fame.
Details: B&B doubles from £415 (lungarnocollection.com)
17 The King’s Head, Cirencester
This hotel, closed since 2007, has been quietly undergoing a total revamp at the hands of the people behind the Vineyard at Stockcross in Berkshire. It will effectively be a completely new hotel — albeit with the old name — with 45 elegant rooms and the Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche at the helm in the kitchen; expect an extensive wine list. During an excavation of the King’s Head’s cellar, a mosaic estimated to be 1,800 years old was uncovered. There are plans for a subterranean spa.
Details: Doubles from £125; opens in March (kingshead-hotel.co.uk)
18 The Pig, near Bath
Robin Hutson, the founder of the Hotel du Vin group (which he has long since sold on), continues the next phase of his British hotel empire with the third in his chain of Pig hotels. It opens in March in the Mendip Hills, seven miles west of Bath and 12 miles from Bristol. The 30-room property will be in the former building of the Hunstrete House Hotel, and has been re-created in the Pig’s signature shabby chic style. There will be a walled kitchen garden and a spa. The fourth Pig will open in the spring above Studland Bay in Dorset.
Details: Doubles from £139; opens in March (thepighotel.com)
19 The Gainsborough, Bath
Just round the corner from Bath Abbey, the Gainsborough will be the only hotel in the country with a natural thermal spa, set in a distinguished Georgian Grade II listed building. The spa will stretch over two levels and cover 1,300sq m, with thermal pools, saunas, steam rooms, treatment rooms and an “ice chamber”. Ionic columns and mosaics will surround the main pool. The 99 rooms are by Champalimaud Design, cleverly adding a contemporary look to the traditional layout of the rooms, using muted pastel colours.
Details: Doubles from £289, including access to the thermal waters; opens in the spring (www.thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk)
20 Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London
The opening of the Shangri-La has been delayed, but taking up the 34th to 52nd floors of the Shard, it will offer some of the best views in the country from any hotel. The sleek marble reception will be on the 35th floor, where guests will be greeted with a cup of Chinese tea. As well as smart rooms with a contemporary minimalist look, there will be a Singaporean signature restaurant and GONG, a cocktail bar on the 52nd floor.
Details: “Room with a View” B&B doubles including two tickets to “The View” platform at the top of the Shard from £480; opens in the summer (shangri-la.com)
21 Nobu Hotel, London
There are already Nobu hotels in Las Vegas and Riyadh, and now one is planned on Willow Street in Shoreditch, East London. It will be designed by Ron Arad Associates and will, of course, include a restaurant by Nobu Matsuhisa, the master sushi chef. This will be in a striking room in the basement with a 5m ceiling. Rooms are expected to be lavish and flamboyant, in keeping with the OTT style of the Las Vegas hotel.
Details: Rates and opening date yet to be set (nobuhospitality.com)
22 Cromlix, near Dunblane, Perthshire
Andy Murray is behind the overhaul of this hotel, which will open after an almost compelete transformation near his home town in the spring. The 15-room Victorian mansion property will have modern decor, smart bathrooms with claw-foot baths and views across the peaceful 34-acre grounds — and each room will be named after a famous Scot including Robert Burns, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sean Connery and Alex Ferguson (Murray chose the names). The menu at the Chez Roux restaurant will be overseen by Albert Roux, owner of La Gavroche in London.
Details: B&B doubles from £200; opens on April 1 (cromlix.com)