The best new hotel openings this year
At Hg2 Content Lab we love nothing more than discovering a new hotel – the feel of crisp, straight-from-the shop linens; the excitement of being the first ones in the pool; and, yes, the idea that we’re among the earliest to find out about the next big thing. Here are some of our favourite openings of 2023, some of which we’ve checked into and others which are next on our lists.
Birch, Greater London
The Hertfordshire branch of this hotel and members club proved popular enough to spark a second opening on the other side of London this spring. Set in the unlikely location of Croydon, this one’s taken over the former Selsdon Park Hotel with grand ambitions: to rewild the golf course, support British artists (there’s already a house installation from Richard Woods by the restaurant terrace) and embrace the trend for outdoor swimming with its very own lido, slated to open in June or July.
Hotel Vermelho, Portugal
The designer Christian Louboutin has been a fan of the quietly cool region of Alentejo (just south of Lisbon) since he discovered the hip holiday village of Comporta decades ago. Opened in Spring 2023, his fairytale five-star is a reworking of an old building in the village of Melides that reads like a love letter to the area: Alentejo tiles decorate the walls, there’s a heated natural pool in the grounds and the restaurant serves up traditional Portuguese dishes. Meanwhile, fans of his famous shoes should love the trademark red accents that mirror their soles.
The Peninsula, Istanbul
The Peninsula is known for taking its time to find the right site (and building) in pursuit of hotel perfection and this Bosphorus-side outpost is no exception: years were spent sourcing this location with its incredible views of most of the city’s major landmarks as well as the water. Take it all in from the outdoor pool at its edge from July. Inside, three turn-of-the-century buildings have been meticulously renovated and another new structure has been added to make what is possibly the city’s most luxurious hotel.
COMO Le Montrachet, France
The first French opening for this understated high-end chain comes with vineyard views in one of the most prestigious wine-growing areas in the country, Puligny-Montrachet. One for serious drinkers, it’s a revamp of a 19th-century inn with gallic-inspired interiors, a restaurant serving intricate dishes made from local produce, and one of the world’s most enviable wine lists, sourced from some of France’s most prestigious estates. The ultimate destination for oenophiles.
Son Bunyola, Mallorca
Richard Branson famously loves this Balearic island and Virgin Limited Edition’s vast new estate is a paean to its charms. The entrepreneur has owned the estate before but sold it when he failed to get permission to open a hotel on its vast land. All that’s changed and now twenty six rooms will be available in a 16th-century finca, with views over Mallorca’s forested countryside towards the Med. Meanwhile, three private villas hide away across the estate. This one opens in June 2023, just in time for Mallorca’s busy summer season.
Ikos Odisia, Corfu
Ikos revolutionised the all-inclusive concept, bringing tasteful interiors and a chic, boutique feel to its European offerings (don’t be entirely fooled though – the hotels are bigger than you think). The latest outpost opens in Corfu in June, set in 60 acres of olive groves and pine forest close to another of the brand’s properties, Ikos Dassia. The latter is always booked up in school holidays and frequently out of them, so this opening will be excellent news for loyal customers. Expect tastefully muted interiors, the best all-inclusive hotel rooms out there and myriad bars and restaurants alongside a thoughtful programme of experiences that encourages guests to get out and explore the island.
Janu Tokyo, Japan
A new concept from the people behind Aman Resorts (a brand so successful that it spawned a crowd of ‘Aman junkies’ who would only travel to its properties), Janu is billed as a younger offshoot with similar values. Two hotels are slated for Saudi Arabia in the near future, but the Tokyo branch will be Janu’s first: set in Azabudai Hills, a new district in Central Tokyo, it will be spread across 13 floors with views of Tokyo Tower from the bedroom balconies. Each room will offer the ultimate luxury in Tokyo – space – while there will even be a vast 4,000 metre Wellness Centre for fitness and relaxation. Meanwhile, Janu will draw on its Aman heritage to offer the unique cultural experiences that the brand is perhaps best known for, from ikebana flower arranging to expert-led sake tastings.
Nobu Hotel Roma, Italy
This chic chain has a record 19 hotels slated for the near future, from Tel Aviv to Tulum, but the Rome outpost will be among the first to open. A revamp of the Grand Hotel Via Veneto in collaboration with its chairman, it will bring Nobu’s brand of louche, laid-back living to the heart of the city. Expect a loungey rooftop terrace and a signature spa too.
Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab, Dubai
Our client Jumeirah will open this much-anticipated new property by the end of 2023, bringing an entirely new concept to the Emirate. Designed to complement the two Jumeirah properties already on this stretch of beach (that much-loved signature of the Dubai skyline, Burj Al Arab, as well as the firm family favourite Jumeirah Beach Hotel), the hotel will be flooded with light, space and floor-to-ceiling views while it also comes with its own superyacht marina.