1. Hotel hopping
700,000 Heures, a newly launched hotel group, will pop-up in different locations this year, moving every few months. The first will be located in Puglia’s Gagliano del Capo (opening September), in a traditional palace. Activities will include fishing trips for urchins, outings to hidden beaches and pasta making, while staff will be employed from hospitality school Institut Paul Bocuse. The hotel will then close and reopen near Angkor Wat in November, followed by Tonlé Sap lake and Battambang. Meanwhile in Bhutan, five individually designed lodges by Six Senses (pictured) will open across the country from August, creating a seamless hotel hopping experience.
Vipp Hotel, a concept designed by the kitchen brand of the same name, has a similar concept: imagine a hotel whose rooms are not only all uniquely designed, but scattered across different locations. They already have two properties: a glass-fronted box on Sweden’s Lake Immeln and a loft in Copenhagen, while more – including an old water pumping station in Copenhagen – will follow this year.
2. March of the slashy
We’ve already had the café/hotel and the hotel/gallery – 2018 welcomes the hotel/perfumery. French perfumier Lola James Harperwill open a hotel in Paris, which will embody (and sell) the brand’s ethos: public spaces will bring to life the inspirations behind the candles, many of which are based on places, such as a bomboneria in Barcelona or a rainy day in the Lake Distrct. Over in Bora Bora, Coqui Coqui – a boutique offering fragrances inspired by French Polynesia – will open an attached hotel in November, followed by properties in Ventimiglia and Grimaldi.
The Lola James Harper pop-up shop at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, which will serve as inspiration for the upcoming hotel opening later in 2018
Sounds are just as important as smells for just-opened The Line DC, set in a neoclassical church in Washington DC. Alongside a rooftop with Washington Monument views and a restaurant based on a Japanese tachinomiya (a standing-only speakeasy), there will also be a live radio station broadcast straight from the hotel, which will cover everything from politics to music, art and food – and will be live-streamed to each room.
In New York, The Mark Hotel will soon launch online ‘Le Shop’, selling hotel-branded products, such cashmere jumpers. This month also sees the first ever Muji Hotel in Shenzhen open above its store; while in Beijing, the hotly anticipated Guardian Art Centre, the new headquarters of China’s oldest art auction house, should open this year next to the Forbidden City, with a hotel on-site. And over in Tokyo, three-storey Hotel Koe will house a bakery, clothing store and bedrooms on each floor, from February.
3. Welcome to the club
Hotels which engender the feeling of a social club, but don’t have a strict door policy, are set to be all the rage – expect to hear buzzwords such as ‘global community and ‘social architecture’. One such group is Habitas, a new collective of lifestyle hotels which opened its first ‘home’ in Tulum this winter. It features a central ‘Clubhouse’ populated with long communal tables and a bar located in the sand. Activities encourage coming together: a jungle courtyard cinema, a storyteller series, acrobatic yoga (in pairs), group massage, concerts and DJ-accompanied sunset parties. Properties in Malibu and Namibia are coming soon.
Back in the UK, Another Place, a new hotel group ‘designed to bring people together’, launched last year on Ullswater in the Lake District, with more openings across the UK to be announced for 2018 imminently.
4. Landmarks old and new
Hotel openings in landmark buildings pepper 2018’s calendar. The Lutetia in Paris, opened originally in 1910 by the Boucicaut family opposite their Bon Marché department store, reopens in spring as the only grand dame on the Left Bank; while The Langley in Buckinghamshire, the former hunting lodge of the Duke of Malborough, returns as a 41-room hotel in summer.
It’s all about new landmarks, too: ME Dubai opens at the end of the year in the futuristic Opus building, one of Zaha Hadid’s remaining legacies. It’s the only hotel project where she personally designed all of the interiors and exteriors. In the United States, the cool NoMad Los Angeles will look to Italy for its decorative inspiration as it’s located in the city’s former Bank of Italy; while on the east side The Hoxton Williamsburg will call Brooklyn’s former water-tower factory home. In Detroit, The Siren Hotel will be housed in the Wurlitzer Building, which once housed the makers of organs, pianos, jukeboxes and radios.
5. Surfing goes luxe
With surfing debuting in the 2020 Olympics, the sport is on the worldwide radar. Hotel and surf school World of the Waves in Taghazout is working with the London Girls Surf Club to offer trips to ‘help landlocked ladies get more time in the ocean’ – trips to hotels in the UK and Portugal are also planned this year. COMO Uma Canggu in Bali (opening February), meanwhile, is located next to some of Canggu’s best surf breaks, and will have a Tropicsurf centre on site which will cater to both beginners and veterans. You can then head to the spa for a post-surf rub down.
Until then, you can catch waves at the likes of boutique Berber-style Amouage in Taghazout, Cali-cool The Surfrider in Malibu, or ever-elegant The Sandhya in Sri Lanka’s Ahangama, which all opened last year.
6. Motel life
Motels have usually been the preserve of those on road trips with no other choice but to book in and bed down. Texan hotelier Liz Lambert, known for renovating motels in Austin into the coolest places to stay in the city, has now turned her sights to San Francisco, where this spring she’ll unveil the renovation of The Phoenix. The 1956 icon, which hosted the likes of David Bowie and Neil Young, features in-room record players, a pool with a Francis Forlenza mural and a Californian-Japanese restaurant.
Other states have caught on too – The Drifter, a mid-century meets tropical motel, has just opened in New Orleans, while the new Sound View on Long Island is a classic Americana beach resort. Even Australia has followed suit with The Bower in Byron Bay, which errs more on the side of chic than kitsch.
7. Epicurean weekends
This summer, gourmands can enjoy Luciole, a Cognac bar with five rooms opening on the river Charente from Tony Conigliaro, the alchemist-like drinks expert. In Paris, Experimental Cocktail Club unveils their third cocktail bar with rooms, Hotel Grands Boulevards, in January, while London welcomes back Soho stalwart Kettner’s Townhouse this month. Purists won’t be disappointed – the French bistro remains, alongside many original features including the mosaic tiled floor in the champagne bar and the spiral staircase leading to the 33 bedrooms. Meanwhile, Devon’s Lympstone Manor will begin its new project in April, a vineyard, further adding to its gastronomic credentials.
8. Global nomads do business
Bid adieu to the faceless business centre of yore – the new trend looks to the ever-growing group of ‘global nomads’, who want to pitch up around the world to work, but want more than just good Wi-Fi. Rosewood’s newest brand KHOS is aimed squarely at this group, ‘for whom the conventional boundaries of work and play no longer exist, and who is no longer willing to sacrifice style… for functionality’.
The Yotel group has also announced its new brand YOTELPAD, with apartment-like hotel rooms, aimed at everything ‘from business to pleasure and everything in between.’ Rooms will have not only all the expected digital mod-cons, but also access to a club lounge (for co-working and play’), a 24/7 gym, chef’s kitchen, mini cinema, rooftop spaces and games rooms. The first will open in Park City (Utah), Dubai and Miami, each reflecting the local environment in style. Expect more co-working spaces to feature in hotels too – London’s The Curtainopens a new space at the end of the month.
- The re-defined ski lodge
A few new properties are challenging the status quo of traditional ski hotels. The just-opened HO36 Les Ménuires, which ‘bridges the hotel/chalet gap’, has private (from €109/£96) or shared bedrooms (€25/£22) and loft apartments (€250/£222) available to book for as little as one or two nights; ski-in/ski-out facilities; and a thumping après scene. There’s also been a hip addition to the Swiss scene, in the form of Valsana. Expect forward-thinking design, a mountain-facing pool and, most importantly, a commitment to remaining eco-friendly – it’s heated by geothermal probes and uses an ‘ice battery’, which draws waste heat energy from the spa and kitchen to be reused in other areas.
The Josie, in British Columbia’s Red Mountain Resort, follows in April. It’s the area’s first ski-in/ski-out boutique hotel, located at the foot of the mountain, with stylish bedrooms, a bar serving hot toddies, a spa, slope-side pool and a ski concierge.
10. Literary legends
Yorkshire’s Rockliffe Hall will open its much-anticipated Mischmasch gardens this spring, named after a periodical written and illustrated by Lewis Carroll for his family, who spent some of his childhood in nearby Croft. The parkland, dubbed ‘A Wonderland of Curiosities’ will include an Alice in Wonderland-inspired nature trail, an adventure playground, ‘interactive’ water features and a beautiful new glasshouse hosting tea parties. Spring also sees the reopening of the historic Monkey Island Estate in Bray-on-Thames, which hosted – alongside monarchs and aristocrats – authors including H.G Wells and Rebecca West.
Two more cultural openings also take place in Tbilisi and Helsinki later this year: the former, Stamba Hotel, brings Georgia’s most prominent publishing house back to life in boutique form (complete with rooftop glass-bottomed pool), while the latter, Hotel St George, was home to both the Finnish Literary Society and the printing house for the first Finnish national newspaper.
11. Island hotels get (even) better
You’d be forgiven for thinking there’d be no unclaimed islands left after last year’s launches – from two stellar openings in Indonesia, Cempedak and Bawah, to the world’s first Four Seasons exclusive-use private island in the Maldives. Four Seasons continues in the same vein with their Desroches Island opening in the Seychelles in spring – expect rustic accommodation, an anti-gravity yoga pavilion and an animal sanctuary. Belize (and the world) waits with bated breath for the opening of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Blackadore Caye. The eco-paradise is located on a 104-acre island (more than half of which is a protected area), with 36 bungalows, a research station on climate change and a commitment to increasing the biological health of the local species.
Even existing island hotels are upping their game. Burgh Island, an Art Deco resort off Devon’s south coast, opens a new suite this year. It has been envisaged by architects Carmody Groarke as an ‘inhabited bridge,’ as the structure – a series of interconnected rooms with dramatic sea views – has been designed to close a gap between two cliffs.
12. Transplant hotels
2017 saw Michael Achenbaum bring SoHo New York cool to London’s Shoreditch with the opening of The Curtain, while Firmdale brought a very British floral fantasia to the Big Apple with The Whitby. But this year’s upcoming openings are in much more unexpected places. Hard Rock Hotel – she of palm trees and parties in locations such as Ibiza and Las Vegas – will open in Davos in the Swiss Alps in August. The ‘music-inspired alpine escape’ will, like the rest of the brands, feature memorabilia (such as a sequin jumper owned by Michael Jackson), in-room electric guitars and the only rooftop bar in the area.
The Maldives can also expect a dose of la dolce vita in the form of their first luxury Italian resort, the Baglioni, while the EDITION group has some firsts, namely Spain (Barcelona), Turkey (Bodrum), Thailand (Bangkok) and the UAE (Abu Dhabi). And there’ll hopefully be more news on the Aman (opening 2020) and Six Senses (2019) both opening in New York, perhaps the most incongruous transplant hotels on the radar to date.