Summer 2015 Hotel Openings Worldwide
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Another season means another slew of exciting hotel openings around the world. TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen takes us inside 10 of the hottest new hotels opening (or just opened) around the world this summer.
The world economy seems stable, the dollar is strong compared to foreign currencies, and US airlines expect to fly 222 million passengers this year — all of which make this summer the perfect time to get out and explore the world’s newest hotels. While you can earn and redeem points at many of these properties, there are also several that are one-off or boutique hotels. Even at those, however, you can still earn travel or hotel category spending bonuses by using a credit card like the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus, or by redeeming Arrival Plus miles with a 10% travel-category refund.
Here’s are a few hotels you should check out by checking in this summer:
Reverie Saigon — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
This new Leading Hotels of the World member has been undergoing a dramatic construction process for a few years in the hopes of opening as Vietnam’s most opulent luxury hotel … and it looks like that plan has worked.
We’re talking multi-colored marble everything, from the floors to the walls to the pillars in the lobby. Furnishings in both the public spaces and the 286 guest rooms convey an over-the-top whimsy, with hallmarks like purple tufted-leather armchairs and Louis XV-inspired bathroom vanities, mosaics tiled with classic Asian motifs and gilt frames pretty much everywhere. Some of the other perks guests have access to: chauffeured Bentley and Rolls-Royce rides, private butlers and private chefs to cater your meals.
The in-house restaurant is called R&J (for Romeo & Juliet) and serves traditional Italian cuisine, while the Royal Pavilion is a Cantonese restaurant that looks like a Chinese Emperor’s fever dream. On the more casual side, the Long @ Times Square serves small bites and hand-mixed cocktails at a bar that is 48 meters long. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and a spa and fitness center, as well as a helicopter if you need to beat the HCMC traffic. At the Reverie Saigon, rates this summer start at $263, but will generally run a bit higher, around $450.
Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba — Sacred Valley, Peru
Peru is hot at the moment. Well, not literally hot since it’s heading into winter there, but in Cusco and Machu Picchu this means weather that’s dry and fairly warm. Inkaterra — a small Peruvian luxury hotel chain with other properties in Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Amazon — actually opened up part of this new hotel in the Sacred Valley in May, and at present, there are just 12 rooms available.
However, the hotel expects to open a further 24 casitas on the property over the course of the summer. All are constructed with local materials and draw upon traditional design elements like native textiles and indigenous wooden beams. Rooms have panoramic windows and terraces with stunning valley views, plush beds with down duvets (it gets cold here at night!), separate living/dining areas, flatscreen TVs, free Wi-Fi, iPads for guest use and spacious bathrooms with Pima cotton towels and biodegradable toiletries. Oh, and housekeeping services the rooms three times a day, keeping things fresh.
Guests can enjoy daily buffet breakfast, picnics and boxed lunches to take out on excursions with them, and menus devised from ingredients harvested right there on the hotel property (in fact, you can help out on the hotel’s farm, driving oxen and using traditional Incan farm tools). You can also book excursions, some of which are included, like hikes and bird-watching, while others are not, such as visits to archaeological sites and nature photography sessions. At the Inkaterra, rates this June start at $538.
The New York Edition — New York, New York
Following the Editions in Istanbul, Miami Beach and London, Ian Schrager and Marriott opened their fourth installment of this mini-chain in the Big Apple on May 12. Set in Madison Avenue’s 1909 Clocktower Building in the Flatiron District —the tallest building in the world until 1913, and modeled after the Campanile di San Marco in Venice — the hotel takes the Gilded Age as its aesthetic inspiration. Guests enter the hotel through a wood-paneled foyer reminiscent of an apartment from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s day.
The hotel’s 273 guest rooms and suites were designed by hotel-design guru David Rockwell to feel residential, and are decorated with Jean-Michel Frank-inspired white oak desks, oversize dark walnut headboards and the faux-fur throws you’ll also find in the London Edition. The hotel has a fitness center and spa on the 39th floor, while the Lobby Bar pays homage to the original architecture with Venetian-plaster walls, contemporary Christian Liagre floor lamps, a 30-foot hand-forged steel fireplace and a spiral staircase that winds up to the second floor. Walking down it should make you feel a little like J. Pierpont Morgan.
The restaurant is overseen by London-based Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton (he also helms the restaurant at the London Edition), and includes two bars, a billiard room, a main dining room overlooking Madison Square Park and touches of splendor like herringbone oak floors, original mahogany walls, a restored Venetian-plaster ceiling and jewel-toned velvet chairs and banquettes. At the New York Edition, rates in June start at $675 or 70,000 points per night.
Les Bains — Paris, France
In French, the name of this new Paris hotel means “the baths,” a nod to its origins as a 19th-century bathhouse — and author Marcel Proust’s favorite one, at that. Don’t get the wrong idea, though: Back before widespread indoor plumbing, everyone in Paris went to bathhouses, from intellectuals to manual laborers. The property went on to become one of the city’s longest-reigning nightclubs, and was among Philippe Starck’s first major projects when it launched back in 1978. Now it’s a hotel, a restaurant and a club, and for the most part, it looks pretty magnifique.
However, the 39 rooms and suites (designed by Mick Jagger’s interior designer, Tristan Auer) are, shall we say, stark, with gunmetal-gray carpeting and bed stands, white linens and walls; the ones behind the bed are marble.
French architect Denis Montel designed the more dramatic public spaces, including the ground-floor restaurant (with trippy red ceilings and a black-and-white tile floor from its nightclub days) and a “salon” that incorporates street-art installations, a pop-up theater and a small basement events space for impromptu concerts and events. At Les Bains, rates in June start at 392 euros ($440) per night.
JW Marriott Bodrum — Bodrum, Turkey
Just in time for summer yachting season, JW Marriott opened a luxe new property along the Turkish Riviera on May 15. The chain is consciously upscaling its new European properties, so unlike some behemoths here in the US, you’ll find just 107 guest rooms and suites plus seven villas (with their own pools) here — all with views of the Aegean. For its size, the hotel has a pretty kitted-out spa with 24 treatment rooms and a hammam, of course.
The resort also offers guests the choice of three pools (two outdoors and one inside), a private beach and private dock — in case you sail here yourself.
Rooms start at a spacious 592 square feet and offer separate living/sitting areas with sea-blue sofas reflecting the Aegean, blond-wood work desks and floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto balconies. The hotel will also eventually have seven, yes seven, restaurants and bars, and a kids’ club to keep the little ones occupied. The property is a bit of a steal at the moment, so there might be some bumps in the opening days. At the JW Marriott Bodrum, rates in June start at 225 euros ($250) or 15,000 points.
Mama Shelter Los Angeles – Los Angeles, California
Originally intended to open in February … then April … then May … and now by June 15, Mama Shelter Los Angeles will at least hopefully open its doors by the end of summer! The hotel, the first stateside location of this hip French mini-chain will be in a six-story 1923 building in Hollywood on the corner of Wilcox and Selma, just steps from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So prepare for the tourists. Though the other Mama Shelters were designed by uber-architect Philippe Starck, this one has a bit more of a Cali-French laid-back sensibility conceived by Thierry Gaugin.
The ground-floor and public spaces will be an open-plan kind of reception area with the main lobby, sitting areas, a bar, and a restaurant overseen by French import Benjamin Bailly (you might remember him from Los Angeles restaurants Petrossian and Fraiche).
The 70 rooms are compact but cozy, with touches similar to the other Mama Shelters including white-on-white beds, funky nightstands, lamps shaped like character masks (think Darth Vader and Batman) and iMacs that double as TVs. Bathrooms are likewise small, but tiled in white with glassed-in, walk-in showers. In a truly LA touch, the hotel will have a rooftop outdoor gym that, consciously or not, pays homage to Muscle beach in Venice. At Mama Shelter Los Angeles, rates in June start at $149.
Hyatt Centric South Beach — Miami, Florida
Miami’s swinging hotel scene is getting another points-worthy property this summer with the Hyatt Centric South Beach. The hotel was originally slated to open in April, but that got pushed back to June. It was probably worth the wait, though, since this new hotel takes pride of place right in the heart of all the action at 16th and Collins.
Hyatt Centric is Hyatt’s new millennial-focused brand (think Andaz but at a more moderate price point), and its first property on Chicago’s Loop opened back in April. This one is in a 10-story, boxy steel-and-glass kind of structure and has just 103 rooms and two suites featuring Hyatt Grand beds, 47-inch flatscreen HDTVs, coffeemakers, work desks with ergonomic chairs and Hyatt Plugpanels for the A/V geeks, plus free Wi-Fi. The whole aesthetic here is sleek and streamlined — think white linens, silver-gray walls and floors, colorful wall art … and peek-a-boo bathrooms.
Chef William Milian is helming the hotel’s main restaurant, DECK sixteen, and of course there will be a low-key party scene at the third-floor rooftop pool deck. The hotel will also offer a fitness studio and beach access with full service including food and beverage, umbrellas, towels and lounge chairs. Rates in June start at $199 or 25,000 Gold Passport points.
The Cape, a Thompson Hotel — Los Cabos, Mexico
The doors are set to open mid-June at Thompson Hotels’ first Mexico property in Cabo San Lucas. The hotel is located on Monuments Beach (it’s a popular surf spot), one of the rare areas where you can go swimming in the ocean in those parts. It also boasts the views of the El Arco rock formation that most Cabo visitors crave.
The room has 161 rooms (guestrooms are one-, two- and three-bedroom), so this isn’t your average mega-resort, and all have private terraces, with some bi-level suites offering private rooftop decks of their own and plunge pools. The rooms look beachy but cool, with washed-out patterned tile floors, handmade Mexican furniture, regional art, freestanding copper bathtubs and separate rain showers, as well as unique amenities like cotton kimonos, gourmet minibars and cocktail kits — as well as free Wi-Fi.
The resort also has two pools, one of which was built within a natural rock formation, while the other has an infinity-edge and a swim-up bar. The hotel’s spa has just five treatment rooms plus an outdoor cabana and a fitness center. Food and beverage outlets include a fine-dining signature restaurant, a poolside bar/grill, an outdoor rooftop lounge and a lobby bar, all serving upscale Mexican cuisine. At The Cape in Los Cabos, rates start at $589 per night plus resort fees of over $100 — so start saving your pesos now.
Hoxton Amsterdam — Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is one of the world’s hottest hotel cities at the moment, and it’s adding a new property to its roster in July (just a few months before the city’s new W hotel opens), the Hoxton.
The hotel is on the smaller side, with just 111 rooms, and has taken over the space of the former Rembrandt Classic Hotel in a lovely canal-side setting on the Herengracht. The rooms look a bit … brown … for some tastes, with dark hardwood herringbone floors, slightly lighter brown linens, curtains and rugs, and still more brown wooden desks and chairs. But some rooms, notably the smallest Shoebox category, are brighter, and there’s something undeniably cool about the mid-century modern trappings, and those wood-beamed ceilings, not to mention fireplaces in five of the rooms (but no, you can’t have a fire!). Bathrooms are typically European … in that they’re small, with single freestanding sinks and semi-glassed-in walk-in showers, but they look nice with glazed white and black tiling.
The hotel will also feature an Italian restaurant called Lotti’s in partnership with the Soho House Group, so it should be good. Or at least sceney. At the Hoxton Amsterdam, rates start at 69 euros ($77) – a steal in July!
Patina Singapore – Singapore
Opening September 1 (as far as I can tell, based on when reservations are available), this hotel looks to inject a bit of culture and style back into Singapore’s sometimes staid hotel scene. The property will be part of the Leading Hotels of the World association, so it will participate in the Leaders Club.
The hotel is actually the restoration and joining of two historic buildings, the Capitol Building and the Stamford House, by Pritzker Prize laureate and starchitect Richard Meier. The 157 rooms and suites come with tech-rific touches like two iPads (yes, two per room!), Apple TVs and and Nespresso machines for your morning jolt, not to mention classy amenities like Assouline art books and high-end bath products by Aesop. The décor is on the uninspired side, with a taupe-brown combo that nonetheless includes some Chinese-style wooden screens, and some groovy mirrored bed headboards.
The hotel will also feature Singapore’s first freshwater relaxation pool, a fitness center, a club lounge called the Library, a signature Peruvian-Japanese restaurant and bar called ERU and an art collection, as well as cultural offerings like calligraphy classes and other one-off experiences tailored to specific guests’ preferences. At the Patina Singapore, summer rates start at $353 per night.