Where the New Builds Are


It seems a day doesn’t go by without a hotel opening somewhere in Europe. As you are likely well aware, it’s a hot hotel market, particularly in places like London and Rome, but without space for new construction in these tourist hotspots, hoteliers are looking to break ground elsewhere. Here is a rundown of some of the latest projects you should keep an eye on.

On December 15, just in time for ski season, the All Seasons Club Bansko (rendering pictured) is opening in Bulgaria. The hotel is positioning itself as the premier luxury hotel there, offering 108 suites that provide views of either the surrounding ski slopes or the Pirin River Valley. Amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center, spa, Jacuzzi, outdoor barbeque, children’s playground, café and ski shop. Commissionable rates for the hotel’s first ski season start at 125 euros for a deluxe room with a valley view and 220 euros for a two-bedroom suite with ski views. Thomas Meyer helms the All Seasons Club Bansko as general manager; expect to find a phone number and web site specific to the hotel at www.rockarch.co.uk this week. The hotel can be booked via all global distribution systems, as well as through www.kerryhotels.net and www.allseasonsclub.com.

A few slopes over in Lienz, Austria, the groundbreaking for the new Grand Hotel Lienz by Heinz Simonitsch took place late last month. Simonitsch, of Half Moon Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica fame, is building the hotel along with fellow hotelier Hugo Westreicher. Grand Hotel Lienz is slated to open May 1, 2009, along the River Isel near the Austrian border of Italy. The property will include 80 suites and a spa, which will prove to be a focal point of the hotel, offering Western, acupuncture and homeopathic health and fitness options for guests. Wellness holds such a strong presence at the property that a local plastic surgeon has permission to use the facilities for patient recuperation. For more information, call 876-953-9562.

Never has the saying “good things are worth waiting for” been more true than with Conrad Hotels & Resorts’ first European property, opening in Portugal’s Algarve in 2010. The property’s 158 guest rooms and suites, designed in a contemporary Portuguese style, will be set on a seven-hectare, mixed development site, not far from Faro International Airport and, perhaps more importantly, several golf courses. (Also available for guests’ entertainment will be swimming pools, lakes and a 1,500-square-meter spa and health club.)

This is the first European property for Hilton Hotel’s Conrad brand, though Hilton currently operates five hotels on the Iberian Peninsula, most recently the Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas golf Resort & Spa, which opened this summer in Algarve as well. Visit www.conradhotels.com.