VIP arrivals: hottest hotels opening in September 2023

Editor Hamish Kilburn digs deep to identify what will be the hottest hotels opening in September 2023. This month’s round-up of hotel openings includes arrivals in Munich, Bhutan, Macau, London, Japan and Sri Lanka…

Exterior of &BEYOND Punakha lodge

The hottest hotel openings in September 2023 – Hotel Designs‘ VIP arrivals, as we crown them – have come in from all angles. Each hotel that the editorial team have identified – whether it’s well-known luxury hotel brand making its debut in Munich, a new riverside retreat in Bhutan, a luxury hotel in London that has been teasing us for eight years or a fashion-led, disruptive brand making an obnoxious scene in Macau – is a game-changing hotel development.

So, make sure you are seated as we update you on just some of the new hotels we and the rest of the world will be talking about and celebrating in September and beyond.

&BEYOND Punakha River Lodge 

beyond-bhutan guestroom accomodation

Image credit: &BEYOND

Tucked deep in the Punakha Valley, and situated on the banks of the Mo Chu River in Bhutan, &BEYOND’s Punakha River Lodge is a spectacular lodge, offering six intimate luxury tents, a one-bedroom suite (the River House) and a two-bedroom suite (the Family Suite). The opening of the Punakha River Lodge marks &BEYOND’s first lodge in the magnificent kingdom of Bhutan.

Intricately built, the lodge has been created in the traditional Bhutanese architectural style and is in ‘perfect harmony’ with the surrounding terrain – the site is enveloped by vast expanses of verdant paddy fields and dense clusters of forested hills.

One Sloane, London 

checked floor, antique furniture and period lighting in lobby and library area of hotel

Image credit: One Sloane

Nestled at 1 Sloane Gardens, One Sloane is a ‘home away from home’ – it exudes an air of timeless elegance where Chelsea charm meets Parisian chic. Comprising 30 bedrooms and suites, the hotel will house a top floor restaurant, lobby and a downstairs bar.

Originally crafted in 1889 by architect Edwin Thomas Hall, One Sloane comes following an extensive six-year building project, a collaboration between the world-renowned hotelier Costes, revered designer Francois-Joseph Graf and the 300-year-old Cadogan Estate. The historic façade has been retained whilst the interior was completely remodelled, and an additional sixth floor with its own cupola added. Graf and his select circle of trusted craftsmen have transformed the hotel, bringing an elegant Victorian mansion into the 21st century.

Shisui, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nara, Japan

A junior suite in the middle of greenery outside

Image credit: Marriott International

Camouflaged within the grounds of a historic temple garden, Nara Park, Shisui, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nara, is a vivid showcase of traditional Japanese architecture, culture and history.

As one of Japan’s most famous scenic spots, the Yoshikien area where the hotel is located is surrounded by World Heritage Sites, such as Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Kofukuji Temple and Todaiji Temple – it has been protected by efforts to maintain the area’s lush greenery and serene environment. The name of the hotel derives from the ‘purple trunk and green leaves (Shikan Suiyou)’, which are scenic vistas that have been cherished in Nara since ancient times.

W Macau – Studio City

render of bar inside W Macau - Studio City

Image credit: Marriott International

Macau’s vibrant city of entertainment and rich history is, for many reasons, the perfect destination for the upcoming W Macau – Studio City. The mixed-use development, comprising of indoor and outdoor water parks, cineplex, and a modern MICE space, is set to become a landmark in the city.

The 557-key hotel, meanwhile, will include 128 contemporary suites and two dynamic dining venues – one with international cuisine with an Asian twist, and another featuring the finest Chinese and Portuguese dishes. In addition, the WOOBAR is expected to become a destination bar in its own right.

Hilton Yala Resort, Sri Lanka

aerial view of exterior of Hilton Yala Resort looking over the pool towards the hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

Considerately built around an active elephant corridor, guests at Hilton Yala Resort will experience the real definition of luxury; the one-off experience of being up-close to wildlife encounters safely from a collection of design-led rooms, suites and villas.

This latest resort from Hilton will be home to a collection of restaurants, including contemporary Sri Lankan and Asian-inspired Dhira, grilled meat and seafood-focused Sandali and versatile bar and coffee lounge Vanya.

Rosewood Munich

columns opposite windows with seating in the lobby of Rosewood Munich

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Rosewood Munich, the first German property for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, is slated to open at the end of September, bringing with it a combination of magnificent architecture, state-of-the-art design that evokes a unique sense of place and unparalleled hospitality experiences at every turn. The opening will mark the group’s seventh property in Europe and the 32nd in the portfolio, worldwide.

Munich-based architectural firm, Hilmer Sattler and London-based interior architectural design studio Tara Bernerd & Partners have worked in close collaboration to bring the spirit of Rosewood into the Bavarian metropolis. The property will feature an array of luxurious guestrooms, suites and spacious houses, each adorned with bespoke furnishings and will offer breathtaking views of the city skyline or into the courtyards.

The Peninsula London

white linen bed dark wood details and panoramic view over central London park from The Peninsula London Park room

Image credit: Peninsula London

And finally, the wait is over. Eight years after first hearing whispers of Peninsula Hotels making its debut in London, the monumental project, which some would argue casts a shadow over its neighbours, is complete. The doors to the 190-key luxury hotel are about to swing open for the first time.

The newly-built hotel, designed and appointed to embody the finest British craftsmanship, is situated at one of the city’s grandest junctures – where Hyde Park Corner meets Wellington Arch. With architecture conceived by Hopkins Architects to gracefully harmonise with the heritage buildings of Belgravia, the property shelters a sleek, spacious aesthetic that floods its exquisite interiors with natural light.

The design scheme is the inspired work of designer Peter Marino, who, in addition to ongoing architectural commissions for Chanel, has more than a few landmark hotel interiors in his portfolio. And yet we can’t help but feel that this latest jewel will feel like a milestone hit following its complex and captivating design narrative that has kept us on the edge of our seats for almost a decade.

VIP Arrivals is a dedicated editorial series brought to you by Hotel Designs, which drops monthly, to explore the hottest hotels opening around the globe. Please contact the editorial desk if there is a hotel that you think should be on our radar for future features.

Main image credit: &BEYOND