VIP arrivals: hottest hotel openings expected in 2024 (Q1 & Q2)

Jumping straight into a year that promises to be a rollercoaster of hotel design and development, writer Pauline Brettell kicks off 2024 with an edit of the hottest hotel openings scheduled for Q1 and Q2…

Hilton Yala Resort

While the hospitality design arena is usually all about pushing boundaries, on the flipside some traditions are worth keeping and our annual quarterly listing of hotel openings is definitely one of those! With nature-first designs leading the way along with a generous helping of sunshine and sandy beaches, there is also no shortage of urban retreats in this pipeline, ensuring that all travel trends and destinations are covered.

Hilton Yala Resort, Sri Lanka: opening January 2024

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

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

Located just outside Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park, Hilton Yala Resort provides an elevated escape for guests seeking adventure and relaxation. The resort’s distinct, nature-first design encompasses 42 stylish rooms, suites and villas influenced by the surrounding nature and wildlife that lay beyond, with elevated, environmentally sound safari experiences offering sightings of elephants, leopards and the elusive sloth bear. Two restaurants offer contemporary Sri Lankan cuisine and western favourites, or guests can enjoy a bespoke outdoor dining experience between the lush jungle and the lapping waves of the Indian Ocean.

AlmaLusa Alfama : opening January 2024

guestroom AlmaLusa Alfama

Image credit: AlmaLusa

This new 25-key property will sit in the heart of Lisbon in the charming and historic Campo das Cebolas square, with unparalleled views of the majestic Tagus River. Less than a 10-minute walk from their original boutique hotel, AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado, it will pay tribute to the rich history and vibrant culture of Lisbon, with a dose of Mediterranean charm. The architectural design is rooted in the Pombaline style, while each room features the finest local and national brands. The traditional and contemporary elements create a cosy atmosphere with soft and warm tones, elegant furniture, and charming details. The hotel’s 24/7 Concierge service can arrange a myriad of activities and experiences to make the most of the city, whilst a complimentary 4G smartphone equipped with the ‘AlmaLusa Hotels’ app will serve as a personal compass, guiding guests through the hidden gems and curated activities on offer.

Gran Meliá, Palazzo Cordusio: opening January 2024

Gran Meliá Palazzo Cordusio facade lit up at dusk

Image credit: Meliá Hotels International

Located in the historic Palazzo Generali, Gran Meliá has ushered in a new era with the opening of Palazzo Cordusio. After undergoing an extensive renovation led by ASAH Architects in collaboration with Studio Piva, the building now stands as the epitome of timeless architectural elegance, showcasing a harmonious fusion of historical grandeur and contemporary design.Following the transformation of the building’s internal spaces 84 rooms and suites have been created, each of which preserves protected elements, whilst elevating the areas for their new intended use. The luxury accommodations are characterized by imposing windows and in some cases, private balconies which provide abundant natural lighting and unique views of Piazza Cordusio, via Orefici, via dei Mercanti and the Duomo.

Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island: opening Q1 2024

pitched roof of villa and swimming pool with palm trees at the Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island

Image credit: Hilton Hotels and Resorts

Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, Hilton’s signature luxury hotel brand, is set to open the highly anticipated Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island – signalling the debut of the brand in the Seychelles. Creating a new benchmark for luxury in the Indian Ocean, the resort lies just over 130 kilometres south of Mahé, in a pristine atoll fringed by palm forests and migratory seabirds and turtles protected by its own lagoon and coral reef.

The resort will be home to a collection of 50 seafront villas, featuring up to five-bedroom villas for unique vacation experiences, all equipped with their own private pool and personal concierge. Home to native Hawksbill turtles, eagle rays, manta rays and whale sharks, much of Platte Island’s surrounding scenery remains beautifully untouched, promising a plethora of firsts and an unrivalled sense of magic for guests.

Chablé Sea of Cortez: opening Q1 2024

Chable Sea of Cortez

Image credit: Chablé Hotels & Resorts

Designed as a series of luxury, clamshell-shaped pods, this property from Chablé Hotels & Resorts, a boutique Mexican-owned luxury hotel company, will seamlessly blend luxury hospitality with the natural desert environment of Baja California Sur. Spanning nearly 700,000 square feet of desert with 50 suites, each suite will boast its own garden, terrace space and plunge pool. Resort amenities include a large spa facility, a deluxe event space, a private beach with an ocean-front pool and three different restaurants for guests.

The Store, Oxford: opening Q1 2024

comfortable brown leather seats and green velvet couches next to the art deco style bar in The Store

Image credit: The Store

Boswells, one of the world’s oldest department stores, has been reimagined as a hotel, restaurant, rooftop bar, co-working bar and spa. The Store, Oxford, delivered by Reef Group and EQ Group, will present a labyrinth of spaces to discover and explore. The 101 guestrooms are spread across the two interconnected buildings, with six district design typologies, some with plush velvet headboards, panelled walls and bold art deco features, others with leafy courtyard views, a muted palette and textures that comfort and cocoon. Bringing the rich tapestry of Oxford into the space, bespoke patterns and furniture echo the tiles and patterns of the rooftops or follow the line of the city’s ‘dreaming spires’ to offer uninterrupted views.

Cardo Roma, Autograph Collection: Q1 2024

render of entrance area with seating and windows onto garden at Cardo Roma

Image credit: Marriott International

Set to open in early 2024, Cardo Roma, Autograph Collection is the debut property from Cardo Hotels, a new lifestyle brand that merges business with pleasure. Originally designed by famed architect Lucio Passarelli, the extensively renovated hotel will feature 324 guestrooms and suites, offering inventive business and leisure facilities. The result is a creative hub for travellers seeking individual, inspiring workspaces as well as meaningful experiences that connect them to the culture of their destination city. The hotel’s interiors have been brought to life by award-winning Amsterdam-based designer, Saar Zafrir, who drew inspiration from ancient history, featuring rich olive green, warm terracotta, and subtly sophisticated off-white. The inviting, spacious lobby fosters a sense of community, with playful geometry, dramatic arches, and distinct 3D wall textures enhancing its visual appeal.

Domes Novos Santorini: opening Q2 2024

Domes Tholos Santorini

Image credit: Domes

Set to open in spring 2024, Domes Novos Santorini will arrive as the brand’s inaugural hotel on the island, comprising 50 suites and two villas, all with private pools, for a calm retreat near the island’s north-western coastline. Signature Makris restaurant and cocktail menu will sit atop a rooftop garden designed to soak up the renowned sunsets, accompanied by a pool bar and lobby bar. Fusing Cycladic luxury with a sustainable approach, Kiros Pagkalidis Architects has used local materials including volcanic stone and blonde oak to curate a sophisticated and neutral palette punctuated with dark accents and indoor/outdoor spaces. Enhancing the boutique’s holistic environment, Domes’ signature SOMA Spa will feature an indoor pool and state-of-the-art gym, plus ‘Ef Zeen’ living, the Greek concept of ‘the art of living well’.

Ocean Drive Seville – April 2024

HOTEL Ocean Drive Seville

Image credit: OD Hotels

The 49-guestroom Ocean Drive Seville is in the historic centre of Seville, in the Encarnación neighborhood next to the square with Las Setas – a wooden structure designed by the Berlin architect Jürgen Mayer, which houses a rooftop terrace, a traditional market, restaurants, a performance square, and an archaeological museum. Unusually for a city centre hotel, all of the guestrooms have the option of a balcony or terrace and the suites have very large terraces of up to 27square metres. All rooms feature full-height windows with hidden, sliding blinds and carefully chosen design classics like the Eames LCW chair to create a stylish yet comfortable atmosphere.

The interiors have been designed by OD Hotels own design team, and the local tradition of Sevillian architecture, its colour palette and its Mudejar style are combined with Mediterranean elements, creating a fresh and elegant space. Guests will find local craftsmanship, natural materials including wood, stone and ceramics, as well as vegetation and Andalusian patios for a cooling effect from the city’s high temperatures.

Hotel Mousai Cancun: May 2024

Hotel Mousai Cancun

Image credit: Hotel Mousai Cancun

Located along the stunning and serene white sand beach of Costa Mujeres, this elevated adults-only property is slated to become Cancun’s most coveted refuge, complete with exceptional hospitality, chic modern design, a dreamy rooftop infinity pool, spacious accommodations, countless gourmet dining options and access to the world-renowned, Spa Imagine. With a bold, contemporary design throughout its 88 suites, Hotel Mousai Cancun will offer multi-bedroom suites equipped with large terraces and private jacuzzies that overlook the breathtaking waters below.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels