Hotel openings, developments and pipelines continue unabated with sights firmly set in 2023, on driving the hospitality industry forward in full blown creative mode by designing projects to capture our imagination. Writer Pauline Brettell starts the year off by referencing a few of the hottest hotel openings for Q1 and Q2 that we are preparing to check in to…
Starting a year off with positivity and plans seems to be appropriate. With this in mind, the first post for 2023 on Hotel Designs is all about the projects that will be opening their collective doors during the first half of what is going to be a bright and shiny year for the hotel industry.
While each project referenced below very much has its own personality – all amplified months before officially opening – there is one theme that unconsciously binds them all together. And that is each building and brand’s connection with nature. Although embracing the outdoors in is not a new concept in hotel design, designers, architects and hotel brands are going further than ever to inject nature into wellness spaces by using the elements to design a strong and purposeful sense of place.
Naviva, Punta Mita, Mexico – opening in January 2023
Designed as a nature retreat featuring luxury tents nestled amid 48 forested acres (19 hectares) on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, the unrivalled and unconventional Naviva experience is focussed on creating an environment that fosters community, personal growth and knowledge enhancement. With only 15 tented accommodations that were designed by Luxury Frontiers – all with private plunge pools – Naviva is one of the smallest Four Seasons resorts in the world.
The resort’s transformative approach and certified guides come together to create a high-touch, yet unassuming adult-only experience inspired by biophilia, a love of life and living things. Each stand-alone luxury tent features spacious indoor and outdoor areas that seamlessly blend together, allowing guests to take in the sun and smell the ocean breeze along with indirect connections to nature with textures and fabrics that mimic natural patterns found in the surrounding environment. Luxury Frontiers designed the spaces of each tent to engage humans’ natural desire to seek prospect, refuge, mystery and thrill with an open-air living room and separate bedroom flowing to a private plunge pool and expansive deck with a hammock and outdoor shower.
The Anam Mui Ne – opening in January 2023
Situated in southern Vietnam’s popular beach town Mui Ne, the independently owned and operated five-star resort, The Anam Mui Ne, will be the second Anam property to open, following the successful 2017 debut of The Anam Cam Ranh.
The hotel, sheltering 127 guestrooms and suites, has a design DNA inspired by Vietnam’s Indochine era, and architecture guided by Hanoi’s grand old French villas. Evoking a romantic atmosphere, with glowing lanterns, customised encaustic mosaic tiles, big-bellied clay water vases, statues on plinths, imperial style roofs, cornice detailing and intricate woodwork have been crafted by artisans from across Vietnam whose trades have been handed down the generations. Giving way to an infinity pool and the ocean beyond, the lobby makes for a striking first impression, replete with a grand piano and a sloping roof fashioned with glass panels that water gently flows over, casting faint shadows underneath.
Oliverea Valley – opening January 2023
Building on the success of Eastwind Hotel’s established properties, Eastwind Windham and Eastwind Lake Placid, the brand will debut Eastwind Oliverea Valley, bringing its signature Scandinavian-inspired accommodations to a new corner of the Catskills. Eastwind Oliverea Valley delves deeper into the natural splendour of the region and offers an enhanced guest experience including an on-site restaurant and bar, Dandelion, pool, and new room category.
The third property from the portfolio’s founders Bjorn Boyer, Julija Stoliarova, and Dan Cipriani is the brand’s first ground-up build, offering intentionally styled accommodations featuring designer-curated Mid-Century vintage furnishings. Nestled amidst three 900-metre peaks and framed by lush trees and the calming sounds of Esopus Creek which runs alongside the property, Eastwind Oliverea Valley has been purposefully designed to offer secluded, elemental escapes that don’t sacrifice style.
Caravan Dakhla by Habitas – opening Q1 2023
The rapidly growing global eco-hospitality group Habitas is set to open its second property in Morocco, Caravan Dakhla, which will be set on the shores of Dakhla lagoon. The news follows the success of the newly opened Caravan Agafay, located just 45 minutes from downtown Marrakech, which has already proved popular with those seeking a thoughtful, desert retreat.
Known as one of the world’s top kitesurfing locations for its unique lagoon, crystal blue waters and consistent winds, Dakhla is renowned as a world-class destination for kiteboarders, windsurfers, surfers and other explorers looking to discover a place where nature takes centre stage. Caravan Dakhla will be an immersive experience focused on reconnecting with nature through the pursuit of adventure. Habitas’ newest Home will embrace its locality offering guests immersive experiences both in and out of the water, bringing a unique vibe to the region through its key pillars of adventure, music, wellness, food, art & culture and learning. Highlights of Caravan Dakhla will include a locally-inspired restaurant and bar, swimming pool, yoga and wellness centre, outdoor cinema, barrel sauna, cold plunge and Habitas’ signature agora communal gathering spaces.
Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai – opening in February 2023
Slated to open in February 2023, Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai will be located between the ancient city of Chiang Mai and the famous Vipassana meditation centre, the Wat (temple) Umong Forest, surrounded by vast and awe-inspiringly beautiful natural countryside.
Home to an intimate 44 guestrooms and suites, a swimming pool, bar and lounge area, restaurant, spa and wellness centre, Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai tastefully combines traditional Thai design with modern facilities, with each villa being crafted from traditional teak wood, manifesting a sustainable design concept whilst celebrating the essence of rejuvenation. With innovative holistic wellness at its core, Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai will offer the discerning traveller an extensive menu of wellness retreats with tailormade programs to help guests reach their individual health goals. The in-house doctor, nurse and ‘master healer’ at Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai will be on-hand to assist guests in achieving optimum wellness and balance in life, through holistic approaches encompassing diet and nutrition, mental wellbeing, physical fitness and medical guidance
Ngorongoro Lodge, a Meliá Collection Hotel – opening in June 2023
The most recent brand addition to the Meliá hotel group, The Meliá Collection, is opening a new property, its fourth luxury hotel in Tanzania, and its first within the in Ngorongoro Crater – Ngorongoro Lodge.
Opening in June 2023, the five-star lodge will complete the brand’s safari circuit, boasting the largest – yet still modest – hotel room offering in the Crater, and heighten Meliá’s commitment to sustainability and respectful exploration of the destination with Ngorongoro Conservation Area being a protected area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a rare site where wildlife coexists with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists.
The Wayfinder Waikiki – opening April 2023
The Wayfinder Waikiki will be the second Wayfinder hotel under Dovetail + Co – an owner and creator of hotels, bars, and restaurants that promote exploration and discovery. The company has created a uniquely hidden oasis with thoughtfully transformative design, public spaces, authentic food & beverage programming, and guest experiences steeped in culture distinctive to Hawaii and the Waikiki region.
Designed by The Vanguard Theory, the property offers a fresh hospitality space merging the building’s Brutalist architecture with tropical touches, electrifying colours, and patterns, alongside lush foliage specific to the island. The hotel will shelter 228 guestrooms that are inspired by the sites, stories, and heritage of Hawaii by utilising colour tones that represent the land, sky, and water, geometric and floral prints, and natural fibre furniture with decorative art and design elements incorporated throughout by local artisans.
Isla Brown Chania – opening in May 2023
Isla Brown Chania will be the second property to launch under Brown Hotels’ ‘Isla Brown’ line of luxury design resorts, following the opening of Isla Brown Corinthia in summer 2022. Ideally located just a 15 minute drive from Chania town, situated on the coastline with panoramic views that stretch across the Mediterranean Sea, Isla Brown Chania will present a fresh and contemporary five-star resort on the popular island of Crete just in time for the summer season.
Designed by Greek architectural firm Liakos Associates Architects, the property boasts a clean and organic design concept, championing the use of natural materials with a refined interior decor decorated in earthy tones. Opening with 148 spacious rooms and suites, many with the addition of private pools, the hotel has plans to introduce a further 29 guestrooms next year as the resort expands its offering.
R48 Hotel and Garden – opening in Q2 2023
Located on Rothschild Boulevard, in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel, and the latest project by Mati and Ruti Broudo, R48 Hotel and Garden is all about style, design, and white-glove hospitality, slated to open in Spring 2023.
Sheltered inside in a 1933 Bauhaus building, a testament to the extensive architectural heritage, R48 will house just 11 bespoke guestrooms and suites, framed by the landscape architecture of Piet Oudolf, mastermind of the green spaces and foliage in Manhattan’s High Line park, interior design, and furnishings by Liaigre, preservation by AN+, two restaurants, including a location of the brand’s ‘Brasserie’ establishment, and a distinguished chef’s restaurant with a daily changing menu and U-shaped bar, VIP entrance, and capped with a zen-like rooftop pool, bar and lounge spaces. Created and managed by R2M, the founders of Hotel Montefiore, Brasserie, Herzl 16 and CoffeeBar – R48 will offer guests a boutique city hotel with the ability to transcend and inspire its guests.
No.42 by GuestHouse – opening in Q2 2023
Following the arrival of No.1 York by GuestHouse, the Boutique hotel group recently unveiled the design for its uniquely English seaside property, No.42 by GuestHouse, in Margate. No42 by GuestHouse, originally named ‘The Terrace Hotel’, was constructed in 1888, and will take over the former Sands Hotel. The elegant, arcaded frontage was built as part of the seafront development at the time and is strongly reminiscent of the era. True to brand, the iconic building has been both restored and reimagined.
From Summer 2023, guests stepping inside the elegant, seafront property will find 21 bedrooms, a restaurant, a rooftop bar, a beachfront café serving healthy and organic food throughout the day, a lounge space and a spa. All these spaces have been designed by GuestHouse’s in-house interior design team, drawing inspiration from the colourful and unfading seaside character of the town, while collaborating with some of Margate’s many creative forces for the interior. Where next? Brighton perhaps…
Later this month, Hotel Designs will be unveiling its Editor’s pick of the hottest hotels that are slated to open in Q3 and Q4.
Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts