VIP arrivals: hottest hotel openings in March 2023

This months VIP arrivals of hotels that are making a strong opening statement all seem to be blurring the lines between in and outdoors and letting the light shine in. Writer Pauline Brettell explores the parasols and sun loungers that are tempting us over to the light side…

pool and parasols at Soho House Bangkok

Throwing things open to let circadian lighting work its magic is becoming an increasingly interesting discussion within the realm of hotel design and in this month’s offering of hot new hotel openings there is a strong focus on design that harnesses natural light while softening the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. Whether in the form of planted rooftops or pools with a view, the designer windows and doors have been flung open to ensure that we all get a healthy dose of Vitamin D.


R48 hotel guestroom with glass wall overlooking the garden and architectural elements

Image credit: R48

Slated to open in March, R48 Hotel and Garden is an 11-suite hotel housed in a meticulously restored 1930’s Bauhaus style building on Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv’s most prestigious address. The property has been preserved and renovated by architecture firm AN+ and features interior design by Studio Liaigre, with landscape and garden design by Piet Oudolf, the visionary landscape architect behind New York City’s High Line. Features include a garden rimmed rooftop pool overlooking the city, two exceptional restaurants, along with a carefully curated art collection of leading Israeli artists.

Mondrian Singapore Duxton

rooftop pool cabanas at Mondrian Singapore Duxton

Image credit: Ennismore

Mondrian is preparing to inject its signature blend of art, glamour and culinary flair into Singapore’s most vibrant neighbourhood with the new Mondrian Singapore Duxton. With its bold design and electric energy, the scene is set from its cinematic rooftop pool through to the eclectic collection of bars and restaurants. The hotel’s 302 guestrooms have been designed by Studio Carter and take inspiration from the traditional Singaporean architecture while being executed with contemporary flair. The stylish spaces all offer converging views of the historic shophouses and modern skyline through its floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne

spa pool on the 64th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Melbourne

Image credit: Marriott International

Through a meaningful and inspired focus on place, The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne will be providing guests with an authentic Australian experience that celebrates ancient stories and vibrant cultures through a distinctly Melbourne lens. Guests are encouraged to connect with the pulse and creativity of the city and be inspired by the unique and diverse rituals of the place and its people. Resident in Australia’s tallest hotel, where sweeping views provide the backdrop for an experience that’s singularly Melbourne, guests will not only be surrounded by luxury but grounded in the unique story of the city, which informs everything from the guest room décor to the hyper-local dining, beverage and spa experiences. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, on level 64 of the statement building delivers spectacular views along with the six treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, vitality pools and tranquil yoga space, all underscored by the heated infinity pool with floor-to-ceiling views across the city, providing the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Six Senses Rome

Image credit: Six Senses

Six Senses Rome is the first Six Senses property to open in Italy. The hotel will shelter 95 distinct guestrooms and suites, a spa, restaurant, events terrace, outdoor courtyard garden and rooftop terrace with a 360-degree view of the city and its monuments. Located in the Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini, originally built in the 18th century, the interior design is by Patricia Urquiola, who, mindful of the building’s authentic heritage, has created a design that sensitively fuses a contemporary vision of hospitality behind the UNESCO listed façade. The crowning glory of the property is the large rooftop terrace with panoramic views, complete with an organic fruit, vegetable and herb garden, creating a secret garden escape unlike any other in the heart of Rome. The rooftop terrace and restaurant caters to all-day tastes from Ashtanga at sunrise to an Italian aperitivo at sundown, all while having the historical centre of Rome at your feet.

The St. Regis Chicago

view over Chicago from St Regis The Residences sky lounge

Image credit: HBA / Angie McMonigal

Located within the architectural statement by Studio Gang and rising over Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighbourhood, the St Regis Chicago combines innovative architectural marvel with timeless tradition and is an architecturally prominent addition to the exquisite St. Regis brand. With interiors by HBA, the waterfront hotel’s luxurious guestrooms and suites tower over some of the city’s most notable downtown landmarks, including the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, and Grant and Millennium Parks. Notably, The St. Regis Spa is an urban oasis of calming sensory experiences while the indoor pool and outdoor sundeck invite guests to channel the city’s energy at their own pace.

Soho House Bangkok

parasols and striped sunloungers around the pool at Soho House Bangkok

Image credit: Soho House

The first Soho House in Southeast Asia, Soho House Bangkok, has opened in the city’s vibrant district of Sukhumvit in what was the former Eugenia Hotel. Created with the local creative community in mind, it will fuse Soho House’s signature design with the influences of the city’s bourgeoning art and cultural scenes. Set over three floors, there will be an in-house restaurant, a dining area, an outdoor pool framed by palm trees, and social spaces for members. With the interiors completed by the in-house interior design team, Soho House Bangkok has also partnered with local artists and designers. Custom made furniture, silk textiles from Jim Thompson and art from Thai artists all come together seamlessly in a Soho House that reflects its location while remaining intrinsically global.

Main image credit: Soho House