VIP arrivals: hottest hotels opening in August 2023

From the jungles of the Mexican Caribbean to the reimagining of a brutalist French building, to the perfect stopover for your Californian road trip, this months VIP hotel openings span the globe as well as the design language being used to inspire these new properties…

outdoor terraced seating overlooking the sea at Mandarin Oriental costa Navarino

This months rush of hotel openings could not be more diverse, making it clear that while their are broad brushstrokes of trends within the hospitality design world, these remain to be coloured and nuanced by the characters of the locations and the nature of the experiences on offer. The thread running through this list of openings and offerings is simply that – each hotel delivers a clear message of intent and location through design.

1 Hotel Mayfair

natural colours and surfaces, plants on the table and elements of nature as art on the walls in the guestroom at 1Hotel Mayfair

Image credit: SH Hotels & Resorts

1 Hotel Mayfair, located on Berkeley Street overlooking Green Park, has opened its doors as London’s very first mission-driven sustainable luxury hotel, setting the standard for a new kind of luxury experience that positively impacts the planet. The hotel has been designed by G.A Group in partnership with SH Hotels & Resorts internal design team and consciously creates an unexpected fusion of sustainability and luxury in the fashionable heart of London’s most exclusive hospitality district.

Nature is intertwined into everything and celebrating sustainability is intrinsic to the design, layout, creativity, culture, storytelling and service. Opening its doors as the UK and European brand flagship, the hotel shelters 181 guest rooms and suites, Dovetale restaurant by two Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers and a neighbourhood coffee shop and signature bar. Under the helm of General Manager Francois-Xavier Schoeffer, the property will also feature a bespoke fitness centre and Bamford Wellness Spa. Sustainably sourced and recycled materials have been used throughout, including the use of reclaimed metal floor tiles, solar panels and large areas of green living walls to complete one of the most sustainable reuse developments in Mayfair.


hotel lobby with thatched pitched room wooden furniture and natural surfaces and doors leading through to garden

Image credit: Belmond

Nestled between 200 acres of lush tropical jungle and the secluded white sands of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, the legendary Maroma has been completely reimagined, with Mayan culture at its core and is the first, extensive transformation within Belmond’s North America portfolio, under LVMH ownership. This new chapter of the hotel includes ten new waterfront suites, a nature-focussed wellness experience in partnership with Guerlain, ground-breaking sustainability initiatives and a new gastronomic era under Mexican-born Executive Chef Daniel Camacho.

Designer Tara Bernerd, has been at the helm of the comprehensive restoration, working hand-in-hand with local artisans to honour Mexican heritage. Blending contemporary craft with the careful sourcing of indigenous materials, the team has created timeless spaces that are authentic to their roots and channel the healing energy of the locale. The original design and architecture of the property has been preserved, including the white stucco buildings, aligned to the Sacred Geometry of Mayan masonry. Curved lines and organic forms inspired by the property’s wild surrounds inform the harmonious indoor-outdoor flow of rooms, suites and villas.

Mama Shelter Dijon

pitched roof in shades of terracotta pink with a black and white patterned carpet and a wooden chair in Mama Shelter Dijon guestroom

Image credit: Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter has launched its latest hotel in the capital city of the historical Burgundy region in eastern France, Dijon. This property is the brand’s tenth hotel in France and the 18th worldwide. It is located in the former and very much reimagined, health insurance offices, a brutalist building from the 1960s, which is listed as a historic French building. “A large, luminous glass box, six minutes’ walk from the station, in the heart of the city,” explained Benjamin El Doghaïli, lead architect of the Mama Shelter design studio, reflecting on his latest playground. “The atmosphere of Dijon is uplifting, inspiring, light and playful.”

“My aim was to capture the Burgundian landscape and invite it into the walls of Mama,” continued El Doghaïli. “To be inspired by the undulating vineyards, the geometric patterns of the polychrome glazed roof tiles, known as ‘toits vernissés’ – or glazed roofs – which are the hallmark of this region. Tasting the wine, caressing the bottles to transcribe my emotions born of a terroir shaped by generations of craftsmen, growers, to humbly add my stone, that’s how I thought of this Mama with the help of revered artists and craftsmen.”

Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino

view of private villa with stone finishes from across pool in mandarin oriental costa navarino

Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

The group’s first property in Greece, Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino, is located on the southwest coast of the Peloponnese, in one of the most unspoiled and breath-taking landscapes in the Mediterranean. The beachfront resort is a part of Costa Navarino, a well-established tourism destination. The Costa Navarino project is owned and developed by TEMES, a leading developer and operator of high-end tourism and real estate destinations in Greece.

Finally ready to open its doors, the hotel has a total of 99 guestrooms, including 48 pool villas, all with outdoor terraces and sea views, along with five restaurants and bars. In addition, there is a 1,500 sqm wellness facility with an impressive 25m indoor-outdoor pool that has magnificent bay views, along with the signature Mandarin Oriental wellness therapies with both indoor treatment rooms and outdoor pavilions. The guest experience will be further enhanced by its proximity to the destination’s leisure activities, water sports, biking and rock-climbing, as well as four signature golf courses designed by Bernhard Langer, Robert Trent Jones II and José María Olazábal.

Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

exterior of retro inspired bungalow motel style guestrooms of Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Inspired by California’s fruitful and spirited wine region with design by New York-based design firm AvroKo, Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa breathes new life into the classic roadside motel experience, evoking a spirit of exploration that’s powered by adventure and steeped in nostalgia. Framed by bucolic vineyards, natural hot springs and bike trails, the property is a hidden gem just 50 miles north of San Francisco, making it an ideal getaway for road trip warriors and backyard explorers alike.

The retro-inspired property shelters 97 guestrooms and suites and has joined the JdV by Hyatt portfolio. Perfectly placed at the head of the Silverado Trail in the heart of California’s wine country, Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa marks the first Independent Collection hotel in Napa Valley.

The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka

soft grey and white with wood surfaces in the guestroom of The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka with views over the city

Image credit: Marriott International

The Ritz-Carlton, Fukuoka is located on the island of Kyushu in Southern Japan, occupying the nine topmost floors in a 25-story glass tower designed by Kume Sekkei of Tokyo. Overseen by Melbourne-based Layan Architects + Designers, the hotel’s interior design and art take inspiration from Fukuoka’s traditional yarn-dyed silk and kimono weaving craft, called ‘Hakata-ori’. Throughout the spaces, folding screens, sculptures, paintings and woven textiles by local artisans are intermingled into the overall design narrative.

Rising above the city, the luxury hotel is situated within the 111-meter main tower of Fukuoka Daimyo Garden City, the tallest urban lifestyle complex in the city’s core commercial district. The hotel brings the brand’s unparalleled service and contemporary aesthetic to one of Japan’s fastest growing cities famous for its thriving start-up scene as well as for its enduring history, traditions and outstanding culinary culture. From the hotel, expansive views overlooking the Genkai Sea and surrounding hills form a backdrop that create an exceptional sense of place.


Main image credit: Mandarin Oriental