From transformed ranches in Napa Valley to cliff-hanging hotels on the Amalfi Coast, and properties setting new standards in hotel and hospitality, the hotels opening in April are to be ignored at your peril. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…
Welcome to spring, a time for rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth – and we are all about fresh starts given the current state of affairs. With each hotel opening, there is the opportunity for travel trends to emerge. From the research we have undertaken here on the editorial desk, despite the rise of technology, all trends are leading towards human-centric design and hospitality.
According to Forbes, there will be 77 hotels opening this season. In April alone, which feels like a turning point for the travel industry on a global scale, we have identified just a handful of the hotels that we believe will be making the most noise on the travel and hotel scene.
Umiltà 36 – Rome, Italy
Set in the heart of Rome, the Umiltà 36 features just 29 guestrooms and suites and 18 apartments, which are all inspired by luxurious residences of the ’50s with an accent on architecture and design. Monumental marble staircase and opulent wide wooden doors compass the modern motives rooms and public spaces. Architecture and design curated by Caberlon Caroppi stands out for the atmosphere, enhanced with elegant tones of blue and graceful high ceilings. In addition to the hotel sheltering a contemporary retrò design, inspired by the Golden Age, it is equally rooted in the principles of edited simplicity, freshness and cultured refinement, creating a tailored and understated timelessness.
Stanly Ranch – Napa California, USA
Setting the scene in the Southern Napa Valley region, in an original working ranch, Stanly Ranch is set in more than 700 acres of vineyards and farmland. The hotel is driven by active and bold experiences while also making nods to the property’s past.
Designed to bring the outside in and to celebrate agrarian home life, the resort has been created with the comfort of home in mind. The resort features lounge seating areas, fire pits and outdoor showers, which make the 78 standalone cottages and suites feel intimate and personal.
The Standard Ibiza, Spain
Fronting the island’s main plaza, Vara de Rey, and only a stone’s throw away from the marina, The Standard Ibiza will be a year-round adult playground. Embracing what The Standard loves about the island’s bohemian history, the hotel is set in a stark-white building that forms the backdrop for a bright, eclectic décor and lush landscaping throughout the property. The hotel was originally conceived by acclaimed Spanish creator Lázaro Rosa-Violán, with interiors designed by The Standard’s in-house design team with participation from Oskar Kohnen. The design celebrates the resurgence of the energy that originally attracted so many to Ibiza and the rejuvenation of Flower Power with a chic new 60’s vibe that only The Standard can create, but all can enjoy, simple, yet immersive.
Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Dangled on a cliff edge (90 metres above the sea), Borgo Santandrea is the first major hotel opening in the Amalfi Coast since 2005, if our numbers are correct. And it doesn’t disappoint, with a uniquely personal, chic and inviting design scheme that feels distinctly residential. Overlooking historic fishing village of Conca dei Marini, the boutique hotel, which actually completed last year but due to the pandemic has waited until now for its anticipated grand opening, is the ‘passion project’ of two Italian families, drawing on several generations of hospitality experience.
The design has been curated to celebrate local artistry and craftsmanship of Italy’s Campania region. White Italian marble was selected from Puglia, Veneto and Tuscany for the interiors, along with artisanal details such as hand-blown Venetian glass lamps. No less than six Italian furniture manufacturers were specified throughout the hotel. A blue and white colour scheme is evident throughout the property, alongside 31 different types of geometric handmade and hand-painted tiles, which are inspired by regional traditions.
The Georgian, Coppa Club, England
Stirring up the Surrey hospitality scene in England, The Georgian, Coppa Club has been designed to cleverly reflect the building’s history and architectural element, whilst setting news trends in the leafy streets of Haslemere, near the idyllic Surrey Hills.
Interior design is the heart of the 13-key boutique property. Expect Georgian-inspired patterned floor and strong deep green of the Georgian panelling in the Entrance Bar, ‘Bonbon’ lanterns in the restaurant that create an atmospheric glow, a snug with terracotta floor tiles and panelling to match and an encaustic tiled fireplace in the cosy Bar Lounge.
YOTEL London Shoreditch, England
Putting a clean emphasis on British development, YOTEL is opening its fifth hotel in the UK this April. The 161-key hotel, conveniently located in the heart of vibrant East London, on Cambridge Heath Road, already incorporates some of YOTEL’s minimalistic design features and facilities. As part of the conversion, the property will receive a light refurbishment to incorporate YOTEL’s signature design and technology features. Guests will be able to check-in in under a minute on self-service stations at Mission Control and will be able to use their mobile devices as SmartKeys.
Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain, Paris, France
Set across three traditional buildings, and brought to life by interior designer Didier Benderli, Pavillon Faubourg Sain-Germain is the latest opening from boutique group, Chevalier Paris, featuring just 47 individually appointed guestrooms and suites.
Interior designer Didier Benderli has reimagined the hotel with a contemporary flare that remains true to the quirks of the historic buildings. Each room features a unique design that complements the contemporary and sophisticated style of the spa, restaurant and public spaces. Solid oak herringbone parquet flooring creates a timeless aesthetic, while discretion and efficiency are prioritised with details such as in-room televisions concealed by decorative mirrors.
Mpala Jena Camp, Zambezi National Park, Zimbabwe
Mpala Jena Camp, Great Plains’ latest property that sits within the Zambezi National Park near Victoria Falls, is an intimate safari camp positioned along the beautiful tree-lined banks of the mighty Zambezi River. A haven that epitomises barefoot luxury in its most refined form, the architecture team of Craig Hayman and Hannah Charlton, with the assistance of interior designer Tracy Kelly combined the elements of the pristine location by using thatched roofs in the main areas and flowing canvas luxury tents for the bedrooms.
The camp is, by design, sensitive to the environment of the Zambezi National Park. This is achieved by using canvas and local thatch in its construction and ensuring all the camp’s electricity needs come from its solar farm.
Hotel La Tour, Milton Keynes, England
Hotel La Tour is finally gearing up to opening its doors. Conveniently located in the heart of Milton Keynes Central, the impressive mirror steel clad property, designed by PHP Architects, will feature 261 guestrooms, more than 1,000 square metres of flexible events space, a gym and a 14th floor restaurant and sky bar offering the highest viewpoint in the county. Hotel La Tour Milton Keynes will also boast a glass lift providing a unique visual experience of Campbell Park and beyond, as guests travel to the top floor. A 30m high, LED-lit stainless steel sun design circle, created to align with the sun on the longest day of the year, will dominate the east-facing façade whilst a large sculpture, entitled Cycloidal Form by the artist Keith McCarter, will be placed adjacent to the canopy entrance.
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Main image credit: Borgo Santandrea