The luxury travel item travelers will pay more for to get the very best quality is, above all others, hotel / resort accommodation. So say more than half of respondents in MMGY Global’s 2016-2017 Portrait of American Travelers. And as more high-end properties come on the market and competition increases, they may find luxury to be more affordable than anticipated. At the very least they will have more options to choose from. Here is a sampling of upscale digs on the horizon, some that will open quite soon and others to look forward to as your clients make their future travel plans.
After months of low-key preparation behind the scenes, London’s The Mandrake Hotel is scheduled to open at the end of July. The independently owned and managed hotel is in the Fitzrovia neighborhood near SoHo and Regents Park. Designed to replicate the gardens of Babylon, 20 percent of the hotel is open-air space with a courtyard and hanging gardens. The walls are adorned with original artworks from artists such as Chagall, Dali and Koons.
There are 30 guestrooms in six different styles. Guests in the high-end penthouse can take advantage of any weather condition and time of day with the retractable roof over the Jacuzzi. In the Mandrake kitchen, Michelin-starred Chef Frederic Peneau will cook for the in-house restaurant as well as room service. The hotel also has a pizza shack located on the terrace.
The Mandrake also houses a theater meant to fit 26 people. Here, the hotel plans to host themed movie nights throughout each month where attendees can watch and discuss the film as well as participate in a Q&A with folks who were behind the scenes.
Accor Hotels’ Raffles brand will open a London luxury hotel inside the Old War Office. Originally built in 1906 with 1,100 rooms on seven floors and two miles of hallways, the edifice is now a Grade II listed landmark — not far from 10 Downing Street, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. The transformation project is expected to take three years and will result in 125 hotel rooms (40 percent will be suites), 88 private residences, restaurants and more.
Sir Winston Churchill’s Old War Office in London will soon become a Raffles hotel.
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to open its sixth hotel in Switzerland in 2019. The new 264-room Mövenpick Hotel Basel will be in the city center, next to the SBB railway station, allowing for easy access from several European cities. Accommodations will include 50 Mövenpick Sleep rooms with individually adjustable beds. In the upscale brasserie restaurant, a show kitchen will serve modern dishes with a twist from the border triangle region of Switzerland, France and Germany. On the ground floor, the Mövenpick Wine & Coffee Lounge will include an outside seating area. The new hotel will become the Swiss group’s flagship hotel in Europe.
Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has set a 2020 debut for Six Senses Ibiza. Tucked away on the northern tip of Spain, the full-service resort will house 134 accommodations across its 25-acre site, including fully appointed townhouse suites, deluxe pool suites with private decks, beach cave suites, and a pair of six-bedroom mansions. It will also offer yacht access, a spa, restaurants and a spiritual learning center devoted to optimizing health fitness, nutrition, education, yoga, sleep, mindfulness and more. The property will also offer local, organic, unmodified and unprocessed food. The organic offering continues with the cotton sheets and towels as well as the amenities kits and apparel.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by Erste Group Bank AG to manage Rosewood Vienna, which will open in 2021 as the brand’s fifth property in Europe. The hotel will be housed in the historic 18th-century building that was the former headquarters for the bank at Petersplatz in Vienna’s Old Town, a short walk from the city’s shopping, dining and famous historical sites. Earlier this month, Rosewood reopened the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris and the company plans to launch the Rosewood Edinburgh in 2020.
Asia and the Indian Ocean
Set to open in Kazakhstan on August 1, The St. Regis Astana has 120 guestrooms, each with a private balcony and views of the neighboring river. Among 23 suites are 14 Ambassador Suites, six St. Regis Suites and two Royal Suites. The nearly 5,500-square-foot Presidential Suite has custom furniture, a drawing room, study, dining room for 10 guests, wine vault, bathroom with sauna and a 420-square-foot outdoor terrace with a dining table for eight guests. St. Regis Butler Service is also available.
The St. Regis Astana, scheduled to open in Kazakhstan on August 1, has 120 guestrooms, each with a private balcony and views of the neighboring river.
The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, is now accepting reservations for arrivals beginning on October 1. Architecturally, the oceanfront resort on Langkawi, the largest island in the Malaysian archipelago of the same name, was inspired by a traditional kampong village and designed in a contemporary style to blend in with its surroundings, and decorated with ample indigenous art. There are 90 guestrooms and suites, plus 29 pool villas, some situated to optimize rainforest views (and watching wildlife) while others afford panoramic views of the sea.
Three dining outlets will serve Malay, Chinese, Indian and western cuisine. Amenities include three swimming pools, a Ritz Kids Club, tennis courts, private beach and a spa housed in cocoon-shaped pavilions — complete with a hammam and vitality pools. For adventurers, a resident naturalist will lead excursions to discover geological sites, explore the Pulau Payar marine national park, and learn about rainforest flora and fauna. Other outdoor activities on Langkawi include water sports, horseback riding, waterfall hikes and cable-car rides.
Nanjing, capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, is expected to welcome two new hotels later this year: Dusit Thani Wetland Park Resort and Jumeirah Nanjing. The former will have 110 villas and rooms, a Thai-inspired spa with a full range of wellness programs, a rooftop garden restaurant and more. The latter, a 250-room, Zaha Hadid-designed property in the Hexi new business district, will include a Talise Spa, an indoor swimming pool and a tea lounge. Slated to debut in 2018 is the Nanjing Green Towers, described as Asia’s first vertical forest. The two towers are characterized by alternating levels of live greenery and balconies, with approximately 3,600 trees and plants in total. One of the towers will include a 247-room Hyatt hotel with a rooftop swimming pool, along with shopping, dining and exhibition space on the lower levels.
Four Seasons is planning to open another resort in the Seychelles. The existing tropical resort — complete with tree-house villas perched on stilts overlooking the azure Indian Ocean —will be getting a sister property in early 2018. The new Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island will be the only hotel on a secluded island in the outer edge of the archipelago, a 35-minute flight southwest of Mahé. This remote island has nearly nine miles of white-sand beaches fringed by coconut groves and abundant coral reefs just offshore to beckon scuba divers. With 40 beach suites and 11 private villas, this new Four Seasons will be one of the brand’s smallest properties. There will be two restaurants, a lounge bar, a six-suite spa, water sports, a Marine Conservation Discovery Center and a tortoise sanctuary.
InterContinental Washington D.C. – The Wharf, is slated to open this October in the District’s highly anticipated new mixed-use waterfront community. Nestled along a one-mile stretch along the Potomac River, the new hotel will have 278 guestrooms, including 33 executive suites blending contemporary style, sophistication and sustainable design. There will also be a fitness center, a rooftop pool with views of the D.C. skyline, a spa and multiple dining concepts.
Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach is getting a new-look hotel. The vast Sofitel hotel recently closed for a major renovation project that is expected to be completed sometime next summer. At the conclusion of the makeover, which will touch all 400 guestrooms and the convention hall, the hotel will be reflagged as the Fairmont Copacabana. The renovation will add a new pool area dotted with private lounges for taking in views of the beach. Another new addition will be a luxury spa complete with its own VIP suite.