While we’ve been stuck at home, new hotels around the world have waited patiently to welcome their first guests.
Here we showcase some of the most hotly anticipated destinations for 2021, with hosts very much at the ready to indulge us, finally, with a much needed break.
If you crave a glamorous city break, look no further than Madrid, where you can stay at its new Four Seasons Hotel, pictured
The Cheval Blanc in Paris, which is due to open in the spring. It will boast a Dior spa, a restaurant helmed by a three-Michelin-starred chef and 72 ultra-luxurious rooms and suites
The sun, the mellow temperatures of the Mediterranean, immersing ourselves into other cultures and food, finding that perfect cove or grove – these simple wishes should start to be within our reach as Covid-19 vaccines do their stuff.
Or you may crave a glamorous city break with blue skies as your backdrop. Look no further than Madrid, which will be spoilt with both a Four Seasons Hotel and Mandarin Oriental’s reinvention of the Ritz.
In Paris, luxury hounds will be desperate to dive into the Cheval Blanc. Owned by LVMH, which is behind some of the world’s most famous high-end brands, including Louis Vuitton and Dom Perignon, it opens in the spring. Housed in the Art Deco La Samaritaine building, there will be a Dior spa, a restaurant helmed by a three-Michelin-starred chef and 72 ultra-luxurious rooms and suites (chevalblanc.com/en/maison/paris)*.
Inside one of the 25 rooms at Majorca’s LJs Ratxo Eco Retreat, which is set inside the Puig de Galatzo nature reserve in Tramuntana
One of the rooms at the nine-suite Aristide, which is housed inside a 19th Century mansion on the Greek island of Syros
For something more low-key, the beautiful islands of the Mediterranean have truly choice openings. In Majorca, LJs Ratxo Eco Luxury Retreat has an extraordinary setting in the nature reserve of Puig de Galatzo in Tramuntana. There are 25 rooms in a light and airy farmhouse-style building with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. Room-only from £220 a night (ratxo.com)
On the pretty and non-touristy Greek island of Syros in the Cyclades, the nine-suite Aristide is in a 19th Century mansion that mixes contemporary art, a garden cocktail bar, beach-side location and the chance to explore the historic nearby town of Hermoupolis. B&B from £163 a night (hotelaristide.com).
If it’s a beach resort you’re looking for, Crete has the Cayo Resort at Elounda, with 74 villas and suites which will open fully in April with a swimming pool, privacy for honeymooners and a handful of family suites amid restaurants and beach bar. B&B from £310 a night (cayoresort.com).
The Ikos Andalusia promises to bring some cool to the Costa del Sol in April – a top-end, all-inclusive hotel with 411 rooms and suites and seven restaurants. Rates start at £348 per night (ikosresorts.com/resorts/ikos-andalusia).
The Cayo Resort, pictured, in the small town of Elounda on Crete will open fully in April. It has 74 villas and suites
Reschio is a 3,700-acre estate of Umbrian gorgeousness, and in April a hotel will open within its 11th Century castle, pictured
At Bethlen Estates in the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, guests can choose between staying in the restored self-catering houses or the Corner Barn
The 411-room Ikos Andalusia, pictured, will open on the Costa del Sol in April and promises to be a top-end hotel
Italy has some belters, too. Reschio is a 3,700-acre estate of Umbrian gorgeousness, and in April a hotel will open within its 11th Century castle. It will be a 36-room portal to truffle-hunting, relaxing in olive groves, swimming and riding, while the cellar has become a hammam with a pool. B&B from £618 per night (reschio.com).
The Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania are known as the last great wilderness in Europe, but you’ll be able to immerse yourself in comfort at Bethlen Estates. Guests can choose between restored self-catering houses and the Corner Barn, all mixing wood-burning stoves with traditional kilim rugs and contemporary furniture. B&B from £227 a night (bethlenestates.com).
There are some superb new hotels to experience in Japan in 2021, including Kyoto’s groovy Ace hotel, pictured
One of the hillside villas with its own private pool at Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho resort in Vietnam. It has 71 villas, made using the country’s traditional building methods
Nobody yet knows if the Olympics can take place in Japan next summer, but it’ll be worth the wait as no other country mixes tradition and innovation so well.
In Asia, Vietnam has a particularly special opening. Zannier Hotels Bai San Ho has its own private coral reef on the Phu Yen coast, and there are just 71 villas, made using the country’s traditional building methods, all alongside a dreamy beach. The food explores Vietnam’s heritage too, with dishes that the chefs learned from their grandmothers. B&B from £257 a night (zannierhotels.com/baisanho).
Ocean escape: Richard Branson’s Moskito Island, which is in the Caribbean’s British Virgin Islands
Rosewood’s Little Dix Bay will provide stylish relaxation amid the British Virgin Islands’ sugar-soft sands
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Maldives has both overwater and beach villas
The Khao Yai region is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets. And the Unesco World Heritage Site, made up of national parks and vineyards, is now set to get its first luxury hotel. The Intercontinental Khao Yai is being created by Bill Bensley, the man responsible for the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Chiang Rai and the Capella Ubud in Bali. With his latest hotel, he has turned vintage train carriages into luxury accommodation. Due to open in mid-2021, room-only rates start at £225 a night (bensley.com).
In the Caribbean’s British Virgin Islands, hang out at Richard Branson’s Necker Island or his new Moskito Island (virginlimitededition.com).
Rosewood’s Little Dix Bay will also provide stylish relaxation amid the islands’ sugar-soft sands, palm trees and a sense of real escape (rosewoodhotels.com).
Patina in the Maldives, pictured, will have a Scandi-style take on Indian Ocean escapism. Prices start from £1,175 a night, including breakfast
The Xigera safari lodge in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, which is set to open in the New Year
In June, the North Male area of the Maldives – accessed from the airport by speedboat rather than seaplane – will see two new hotels in the Fari Islands. The Ritz-Carlton Reserve has both overwater and beach villas (ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/maldives-fari-islands). At the same time, Patina will open on a neighbouring island with a Scandi-style take on Indian Ocean escapism. From £1,175 a night including breakfast (patinahotels.com/maldives-fari-islands).
The New Year sees Xigera open in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Animals will always take centre stage at this safari lodge, but as well as traditional game drives, guests can explore by canoe, glass-bottom boat and speedboat. The water also brings birdlife, including owls, egrets, marabou and pelicans. From £1,847 per adult per night, including all food and activities (xigera.com).
Australia is already known for some superb places to stay, but now one of the most eye-catching is the Oval Hotel in Adelaide. Just opened, it’s wrapped around one side of the city’s famous cricket stadium, with views on to the pitch from its restaurants while the rooms overlook the surrounding parkland. When we can check in and hear the roar of England beating the Aussies in front of a capacity crowd, it’ll be a price worth waiting for. Room-only from £139 a night (ovalhotel.com.au).
The eye-catching Oval Hotel in Adelaide is wrapped around one side of the city’s famous cricket stadium, with views on to the pitch from its restaurants
Aman’s New York outpost all lit-up. It will have a spa that covers three floors, a 20-metre swimming pool and a wraparound terrace overlooking Central Park
In January, all eyes will be on Washington for the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden, and there is a new hotel ready to welcome the incoming administration. The Zena mixes arts and social awareness from £169 a night, in a cool downtown location on 14th Street (hotelzena.com).
After a particularly torrid time, two spa and serenity-based hotel chains will be on hand to provide New York with some zen next year: Six Senses (sixsenses.com)* and Aman New York (aman.com)*. The latter, in the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue, will have a spa that covers three floors, a 20-metre swimming pool and a wraparound terrace overlooking Central Park.
Meanwhile, Miami will want to carry on doing what it does best – having fun. It’s not easy to find an affordable, good hotel in South Beach, but the Moxy should deliver at £120 a night (marriott.com) and musician Pharrell Williams should be made happy by the opening of his Goodtime Hotel on Washington Avenue (thegoodtimehotel.com)*.
London is almost bursting with new places to stay.
Recently opened Page 8 has an incredible location next to Trafalgar Square on St Martin’s Place opposite the National Portrait Gallery. It’s a real winner for families with older children and for a theatre or shopping date. The 138 rooms are very city spiffy (Marshall bluetooth speakers and a complimentary soft-drinks minibar), but you get the real magic when you head to the top floor, with cinematic views across London and Japanese-focused bar and restaurant Bisushima, plus that current must-have, an outdoor terrace. Rooms start at £165 a night (pagehotels.com).
On nearby Leicester Square, the superflash and super-fun Londoner will open in April with 350 rooms and a 16th-floor restaurant with outdoor fire pit. It will also host a music venue and private cinema. Rooms cost £419 a night room-only, or £448 B&B (thelondoner.com).
The glorious atrium at the NoMad London hotel in Covent Garden, which will open in what was once Bow Street Magistrates’ Court
Rakish Soho is seeing a new boutique hotel too. The Broadwick will open in September and aims to be charmingly louche, tapping into Soho’s history with an Italian restaurant and cocktail bar, and decor from Martin Brudnizki, the designer of Mayfair’s Wolseley restaurant and celebrity favourite Annabel’s nightclub. Although there isn’t yet a website to book a room, they will start at £350 a night.
Cross over to Covent Garden and NoMad will open in what was once Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, where the suffragette Pankhursts, Chilean dictator Pinochet, the Kray Twins and Oscar Wilde all came to face the force of the law. When it opens in the summer, it’ll have bedrooms in former cells, a sense of playfulness in the Common Decency cocktail bar and transatlantic flair in restaurants. Doubles from £455, room-only (thenomadhotel.com).
Lined with guitar shops and recording studios that have seen David Bowie, Elton John and Jimi Hendrix hang out, Denmark Street near Soho is London’s Tin Pan Alley. The 55 rooms of Chateau Denmark are housed in some of its most famous buildings and will have access to recording studios, concert spaces, punkish fun and very, very good soundproofing (chateaudenmark.com)*.
One of the 55 rooms at Chateau Denmark, London. Guests here will have access to recording studios and concert spaces
There’s some serious luxury opening up in the capital, too. First up is art-filled The Mayfair Townhouse from the same livery that runs stately home hotel Cliveden and country house Chewton Glen. Spread across a series of townhouses, The Mayfair Townhouse has just opened with a cocktail-minded Dandy Bar, dining rooms and 172 bedrooms, some with secret patios. From £312, room-only (themayfairtownhouse.com).
Beaverbrook Townhouse should be able to welcome guests to Chelsea just before the RHS Flower Show in May. A sister hotel to the glamorous 1920s-accented country house hotel in Surrey, there will be just 14 suites with decor inspired by the 19th Century Japanese artist Hokusai and, like its sibling, there’s a Japanese restaurant and bar. From £500 a night room-only (beaverbrook.co.uk).
In January, Kingsland Locke will open in Dalston as a hub to some of London’s most exciting restaurants and designers. The hotel has its own on-site microbrewery, gin distillery and all-day restaurant. Rooms will start at £115 per night (lockeliving.com).
In Edinburgh, the renovated 100 Princes Street, once the stately home of the Royal Over-Seas League, will be ready to pile on the treats with a champagne trolley when you check in, cream teas and canapes, and expect lush, fun rooms – just 30 of them. There’s also an executive lounge with views across to the castle and the nightly fireworks of the Tattoo, come festival time (redcarnationhotels.com)*.
Graduate Hotels, which has a handful of cool hotels in US college towns, has crossed the Atlantic to put its stamp on the UK’s most famous university towns. In Oxford it is reinventing the venerable Randolph hotel and in Cambridge has frontage on the banks of the River Cam. The mid-century decor won’t scare parents or horrify their kids – hopefully the prices won’t either. Room-only from £189 (graduatehotels.com).
The Graduate Cambridge, pictured, is due to open in Spring 2021 on the banks of the River Cam
Coventry becomes the UK’s City of Culture in May. As soon as restrictions are lifted, there’s all sorts of fun planned, and the Telegraph Hotel will be there for the Instagram crowd (and the rest of us). Housed in the former headquarters of the city’s daily newspaper, there’s 1950s glamour in spades, from cod cheek scampi with chips alongside cocktails at the all-day restaurant Forme & Chase plus 88 clean, crisp bedrooms and a rooftop bar. Prices are reasonable too, starting at £59 for a double room per night (telegraph-hotel.com). The Telegraph Hotel shows how old buildings can adapt beautifully into the 21st Century and, similarly, at Knutsford in Cheshire, the Courthouse will open bedrooms in this 200-year-old building (flatcaphotels.com)*.
Those partial to a hotel with a story to tell may already be aware of Bodmin Jail Hotel in Cornwall, which is set to open in February. Its 300-year history will be softened with walk-in showers and luxurious bedding. Rooms start at £130 a night (bodminjailhotel.com).
Checking in to one of Britain’s village pubs usually drops you into deep countryside with great food and walks, and you’ll also help sustain local communities.
The new opening to be most excited about? It has to be The Star in the absurdly pretty East Sussex village of Alfriston. Pilgrims started bedding down here in 1345 but this year sees it open as the latest project of TV’s Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi and her mother, famed hotelier Olga Polizzi. There will be 30 rooms, bars and a restaurant but, above all, a distinct sense of style. And there’s plenty to explore, including England’s smallest church, walking in the South Downs and vineyards, such as Rathfinny. The Star is set to open in March and is taking bookings from January. B&B from £190 (thepolizzicollection.com).
Lancashire is getting serious attention from food-minded travellers these days. Ye Horns will open in April, an 18th Century coaching inn in the village of Goosnargh. The accommodation, including four lodges, is decidedly smart, and its setting, near the Forest of Bowland and the Lake District, allows for foodie incursions into the countryside, including to the Michelin-starred Northcote. B&B from £120 a night (ye-hornsinn.co.uk).
Old but new: The Star in Alfriston, which is set to open in March after a refurbishment. It is the latest project of TV’s Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi and her mother, famed hotelier Olga Polizzi
Near Hay-on-Wye, The Swan Inn at Letton mixes innovation (there’s currently a pop-up kitchen until its own restaurant starts in March) with tradition; there’s a regular meet for local farmers every Wednesday evening, with guests welcome to join. The four bedrooms have considerable charm and a good starting price of £75 including breakfast (swaninnletton.co.uk).
In Northamptonshire, the newly opened 16th Century Falcon Hotel in Castle Ashby has 22 rooms. Guests can join locals at morning yoga in the barn next door or dive in for a spot of wild swimming in the glorious Capability Brown-designed lake. Doubles from £200 per night (thefalcon-castleashby.com).
In June, Callow Hall Hotel will open in the Peak District. Guests will be able to stay in either the original mansion or the 13 cabins and treehouses hidden in the estate’s ancient woodlands. There’s enough space for a spa shack there too. Room-only from £150 per night (wildhivecollection.co.uk).
The wonderfully named Crumplebury on the border of Herefordshire and Worcestershire is a highly popular restaurant that uses food from its own farm and has now added a handful of calm, centred rooms. B&B from £155 a night (crumplebury.co.uk).
SEAS, SPAS AND SPORT
London’s Savoy Hotel gets a country cousin when Fairmont Windsor Park opens in early 2021. Alongside the high thread counts and fine dining, there is a huge spa and wellness area with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, plus a hammam and Japanese-style foot spa. Room-only from £375 per night (fairmont-windsorpark.com).
Enticingly close to the Royals at Sandringham and the Norfolk coast, The Harper, a former glass factory in the village of Langham, opens on March 5. Guests can expect four-poster beds and mini-bars stocked with home-made cocktails. There are also yoga classes, a spa and swimming pool and room for two restaurants – Stanley and Ivy. B&B from £175 a night (theharper.co.uk).
To Scotland’s west coast, where Troon’s venerable Marine hotel will be thoroughly reinvented for summer. The 89 rooms will reflect Scotland’s golf history but there will also be an indoor swimming pool, squash courts, sauna and hammam, with views on to the Old Course and the sea beyond. Room-only £129 (marineandlawn.com).
Inside the Fairmont Windsor Park, which opens in early 2021. There is a huge spa and wellness area with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, plus a hammam and Japanese-style foot spa
Majestic Cameron House, which is set to open in 2021 on the banks of Loch Lomond
On the banks of Loch Lomond, Cameron House will fully reopen this spring with 140 bedrooms including 24 suites, enriched by an award-winning spa, championship golf, lochside dining and resort activities (cameronhouse.co.uk)*.
Tucked away from the dunes on Three Mile Beach near St Ives in Cornwall is a collection of 15 beach houses in Caribbean-bright colours designed with low-key luxury. All are self-catering but food trucks will visit and concierges can rustle up private chefs between arranging surf lessons. It opens at Easter, with prices from £1,150 per week for a three-bedroom house sleeping six to seven guests (threemilebeach.co.uk).
Lack of coastline hasn’t stopped Adventure Parc Snowdonia having a man-made surf break, along with ziplines, a skater bowl and gorge-walking. This all-action resort opens its first hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn, in time for Easter. It will be perfect for teens and active types, while also packing in a spa to help unknot muscles afterwards and a restaurant and bar to relax in. Doubles from £89, room only (adventureparcsnowdonia.com/stay).
*Prices not yet available.