VIP arrivals: hottest hotel openings in May 2022

With Greece continuing to lead the pack when it comes to hotel openings this month, May sees the full range of hospitality offerings; from bijoux island resorts to boutique city getaways, along with an impressive Frank Gehry designed multi functional development in Los Angeles…

view at night across the pool to guestrooms at Lesante Cape

As summer feels tantalisingly close, it is difficult not to be distracted and focus entirely on sun loungers and sand, but looking beyond that particular horizon, there remains a lot of movement on the boards with new openings, seasonal openings and re-openings. Having identified some key trends in the industry earlier this month when discussing the changing shape of public areas, the importance of making an independent and unique design statement, even within an umbrella brand identity, is clearly born out in this months offerings.

Lesante Cape – Zante, Greece

exterior view of Lesante Cape

Image credit: Lesante Cape

Shining a luxurious spotlight on the isle of Zakynthos, Lesante Cape is located within the historic Akrotiri village, yet uniquely with access to a private beach. The village-style resort will comprise 55 suites and 10 villas inspired by the traditional architecture of yesteryear, whilst neutral colours, natural fibres and local art will be at the heart of the soothing interiors. Sheltering three restaurants headed by Greek culinary marvel Aggelos Bakopoulos, the resort promises to be a culinary destination as much as an island retreat. For those who are seeking complete tranquillity during their holiday, Armonia wellness centre will provide a relaxing refuge for treatments and therapies harking back to ancient Mediterranean healing practices, whilst a dedicated Agora is the heart of the village with its artisanal shops, taverna and cultural museum.

WunderLocke – Sendling, Munich

WunderLocke: A render of contemporary F&B space, with dark greens and a distinct '70s design scheme

Image credit: Locke Hotels

Opening with the aim to disrupt the Bavarian capital with a hospitality concept unlike any other in the city, WunderLocke  will feature 360 spacious studio apartments, a large co-working area, meeting and event spaces, workout studio and outdoor heated swimming pool. In addition, the hotel will shelter four food and drink destinations conceived by the founders of revered local Michelin-starred restaurant, Mural. The new concept – Mural Farmhouse – will include an urban farm that will supply fresh herbs and vegetables to a farm-to-table concept, and rooftop cocktail bar with panoramic views of the Bavarian Alps.

WunderLocke will be a destination for locals, holidaymakers, and business travellers alike, providing a new creative hub in South-West Munich for the city’s burgeoning undercurrent of artists, creatives, and tech entrepreneurs. The hotel has been designed by acclaimed studio Holloway Li, which also completed Bermonds Locke in London, in September 2020.

Conrad Los Angeles – Los Angeles, California, USA

Gehry designed multi functional space in Los Angeles to shelter new Conrad Los Angeles

Image credit: Conrad Hotels & Resorts

The new Conrad Los Angeles will be part of Related Companies’ mixed-use development, The Grand LA, designed by Frank Gehry, and located in downtown Los Angeles. Expanding the Conrad portfolio in America, The Conrad Los Angeles will be stamping its designer footprint within The Grand LA – located in the heart of Grand Ave. Arts, this multi-functional mixed use development is set to become a paradigm-shifting place to live, stay and visit.

The Grand LA will include more than 5,000 square metres of retail and dining space, more than 400 residences and a large, vibrant public plaza with a series of landscaped, open terraces that will host free arts programming throughout the year, including live concerts. The 28-storey hotel will shelter 305 contemporary guestrooms with bold design, as well as a spa, elevated indoor/outdoor lobby with sweeping views of the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, and a 16,000 square foot rooftop terrace complete with a private pool deck overlooking downtown LA.

Aman New York – New York, USA

Bar & Terrace

Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, Aman New York celebrates Aman’s philosophy of creating sanctuaries beyond commonplace notions of luxury, whilst paying homage to the building’s striking architecture and significant history.The hotel will shelter 83 guestrooms, as well as restaurants, a garden terrace and bar with 7000 square feet of outdoor dining space, private members club, three-floor Aman Spa, Jazz Club and Wine Room.

Housed in The Crown Building, a landmark in Manhatten since 1921 – and formerly the first home of Museum of Modern Art – the building has undergone a monumental transformation, which has seen it fully restored to its original splendour and imbued with the spirit of Aman.

Nous, Santorini – Santorini, Greece

opening in May 2022, guestroom at Nous Santorina i

Nous Santorini is a luxury resort hotel with unique character which is expressed through both the interior design and exterior landscape, which blends the island’s history with contemporary flair. It aims to be a move away from mass and speed, towards space, experiences, connections and slowness. It also marks the first move out of the city and onto the islands for YES! Hotels, and will showcase what has become the brands trademark boundary pushing design in which art plays a pivotal role. While the design is in a large part inspired by the local landscape and ancient culture, it will include bespoke art from contemporary artists. At Nous Santorini, design and luxury is about creating a contextual experience for guests by embracing and presenting the local topography, produce, arts and culture. The design draws on local architectural genres with the suites built in a characteristic staggered style which fits seamlessly into the local landscape.

ON Residence Hotel – Thessaloniki, Greece

art deco inspired interior of Olympos Naoussa Restaurant at ON Residence

The lights at the historic Olympos Naoussa have been turned back on as Thessaloniki welcomes, not only a legendary restaurant that brings back the glamour of a bygone era, but also a unique hotel that aims to redefine luxury hospitality in Greece’s co-capital. A true seafront jewel in the heart of the city, with unobstructed views of Thermaikos bay, ON Residence marks a new chapter for the TOR Hotel Group, one of Greece’s most established hospitality firms, operating since 1925. The iconic restaurant, Olympos Naoussa, was the heart of Thessaloniki’s jet-setting society for decades, acting as a favourite hangout for celebrities and politicians such as former prime ministers George Papandreou and Constantine Karamanlis, Giscard d’Estaing and many more, until its closure in the mid-90s.

“Now, Olympos Naoussa returns to the city of Thessaloniki. Our vision to revive the historic restaurant, and together with the Tornivoukas family, to create a hotel destination of unparalleled beauty and a high level of service is close to completion,” said George Chryssikos, CEO of Grivalia. “We are certain that all visitors will love and embrace it, as we did from the first moment.”

Six Senses Loire Valley, France

chateau style design at Six Senses Loire Valley

Image credit: Six Senses Hotels & Resorts

Just more than a 90-minute drive south of Paris is the breathtaking Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage region renowned for historic chateaux, medieval towns, fine wines, great food and unspoiled landscape. At the heart of the region sits the village of Saint-Laurent-Nouan, which will be home to Six Senses Loire Valley. Made up of 88 guest suites and villas, accommodations are clustered as enclaves in the woodland landscape and built alongside streams and waterways. In addition, provision is being made for 70 residential villas, which will be offered for private ownership.

With both food and wellness being key to the brand, a Six Senses Spa will be an integral part of the resort and in addition to the menu of signature specialties, this is also the setting for a medicinal garden where plants and herbs will be grown for inclusion in locally-inspired treatments and Alchemy Bar workshops. Adjoining this will be the main organic kitchen garden and Earth Lab, the centre for guests to learn about the resort’s conservation initiatives.

Jumeirah Bali

luxurious details and finishes in the guestroom in Jumeirah Bali

Image credit: Jumeirah Bali

The Jumeirah Group has announced the opening of this all-villa luxury resort, Jumeirah Bali, located in the stunning Pecatu region at the south-west of Bali. The resort sits gracefully on the beach area of Uluwatu – one of the most coveted locations on the island. Inspired by Hindu-Javanese culture, the spacious villas perch on the limestone cliffs, all overlooking a private beach framed by the natural landscape. The resort shelters 123 villas in one- and two-bedroom configurations, as well as a four-bedroom Royal Water Palace, all featuring inspired tropical views of the Indian Ocean and the mesmerising lush green natural beauty of Bali. Each villa features a private pool and outdoor living area with an open pavilion overlooking the sunset horizon or a landscaped tropical garden.

Reminiscent of Geoffrey Bawa’s ‘tropical modernism’ style, Jumeirah Bali’s indoor-outdoor architecture is designed to create a seamless flow between the architecture, interior, and landscape, blending indigenous building materials with contemporary and luxurious comfort, to transport guests to an authentic Balinese haven of understated elegance with an opulent touch.

The Twenty Two

a corner in the restaurant in The Twenty Two in shades of blue with reflective mirror

Image credit: The Twenty Two

Sitting on the corner of North Audley Street and Grosvenor Square, the hotel is located in one of London’s most central spots, effortlessly becoming a half-way meeting point for East and West London. With an all-day restaurant and private members’ club being part of the destination on Grosvenor Square, speaking to the brand’s core ethos, the hotel aims to become London’s living room for both local residents and international guests alike.

Drawn to the Parisian feel of the building’s exterior, proprietor Navid Mirtorabi’s realisation of the project began six years prior to opening and has been the driving force for the creative vision from the outset. Mirtorabi chose to partner with Natalia Miyar Atelier to bring his vision to life, on what will be her first hotel. They looked to 18th century classical French design to inspire the property’s interior, reinterpreted for the modern-day through rich, playful textures and custom upholstered pieces.In addition to the public restaurant and private club spaces, the beautifully designed and reimagined Edwardian Manor shelters 31 guestrooms and suites, including a Mews house. With its design for the creative and the curious, and inventive mix of public and private spaces, The Twenty Two looks set to make its mark on the burgeoning boutique scene in London as it opens its doors as a new luxury lifestyle destination.

And finally for the month of May, having started this list in Greece it feels appropriate to head back there with the final offering on our list of VIP openings…

Casa Cook Samos, Greece

natural colours and textures at Casa Cook Samos

Image credit: Casa Cook Samos

Casa Cook Samos is the newest hotel to join the Casa Cook collection. This 128 guestroom adults-only retreat, will offer the Casa Cook trademark laid-back luxury in one of the Mediterranean’s most historically-rich surroundings. Inspired by traditional Greek houses, or Kamares, found in Samian villages, the architecture is down-to-earth and inclusive. The historic concept of a Grecian village has been embodied in the modern space, where the hotel’s infinite swimming pools act as the town centre of each small ‘neighbourhood’ within the hotel.

The earthy textures and colours that make up the space are inspired by the local land and its organic elements: the abundant greenery echoes the island’s fertile vegetation with palms, pines, agave and wild olive trees; while the endless pools of water throughout mimic the landscape’s countless waterfalls, rivers and shores. Natural, unrefined tones from local leather, wood and stone melt into more contemporary elements like smooth terrazzo to create a modern-luxe space that is still an ode to the land’s roots.

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Main image credit: Lesante Cape