New hotels for 2013

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Are you sleeping comfortably? Next year promises a bumper crop of exciting openings.  Chris Leadbeater selects 13 imminent arrivals

London’s high life

As yet, western Europe’s tallest building (at 1,016ft) is still a shell, but its 72nd-floor observation deck will open to the public on 1 February, and a hotel will follow in early summer. The Shangri-La group’s first UK property will also be the first new-build five-star in London in over a decade. It will take up floors 34 to 52 of this architectural giant, offering 202 rooms and suites. Epic views of the capital will, of course, come as standard.

0800 028 3337; shangri-la.com

Oslo’s ‘criminal’ hideaway

As hotel names go, “The Thief” is decidedly ear-catching. This new boutique option in the Norwegian capital – which opens on 9 January – is so-christened because it sits in Tjuvholmen, a fjord-side district where criminals were once executed. But times change, and The Thief – equipped with 119 rooms – is the latest element in the gentrification of a waterfront that is rapidly shedding its warehouses for cafés, shops and the drama of Norway’s national opera house.

00 47 24 00 40 00; thethief.com

Hong Kong’s fairytale fantasy

Mira Moon, a 91-room boutique hotel will appear in early summer in the Wan Chai district of Hong Kong Island as a mix of Far East tradition and contemporary flair. Its decor will be themed around the Moon Festival and its legend of a woman who drinks an elixir and soars to the Moon to become a goddess. Expect this left-field vision – created by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders – to mean light, art and space.

00 852 2315 5618;  miramoonhotel.com

Nicaragua’s  beachside surprise

Usually viewed as a destination only for the intrepid, Nicaragua will dip its toe into the warm waters of the luxury accommodation market in February, with the unveiling of the Mukul Resort. This splendid possibility will dig itself into the white sands of the Central American country’s Emerald Coast, on its Pacific flank – proffering 37 beach villas. The focus will be on the quiet life, delivered via massages and treatments at the in-house spa. But those averse to full-time relaxation can also pit themselves against an 18-hole golf course.

00 505 852 99 829; mukulresort.com

Lima’s arty upstart

Often dismissed as little more than a stop-off on the road to Machu Picchu,  the Peruvian capital is an underrated city whose Spanish colonial heritage  (not least the 17th-century Convento de San Francisco) is arguably as  spectacular as any “lost” Inca treasure. And its appeal will be boosted in February by the arrival – in the bohemian, oceanside district of Barranco – of Hotel B (El Hotel de Barranco), which claims to be “the first arts-boutique hotel in Lima”. Here, 17 suites have been fitted into a 19th-century mansion – where the ambience will be assisted by El Comedor, a bar that sells a range of potent Peruvian piscos.

00 51 17005100; andean-experience.com; facebook.com/HotelBLima

New York’s hat trick

The Big Apple scarcely needs another boutique retreat, but The Refinery will still be a welcome arrival. Pitched in the Garment District on West 38th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), the hotel makes use of the Colony Arcade Building – a former hat factory. The soul of the neo-Gothic structure has been preserved – 12 floors and 197 rooms will retain period fittings. A lobby tea lounge will also greet guests when the hotel opens in March.

001 646 664 0310; refineryhotelnewyork.com

St Petersburg’s  royal retreat

At times, it is easy to believe that St Petersburg entirely ignored the Russian Revolution, so regal is much of the gracious architecture on show in the city. This is certainly the case with the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace, a 19th-century aristocratic home which is due to find a fresh purpose this spring as a five-star hideaway. Some of the nips and tucks to the building – such as a top-floor pool under a glass roof, plus a sizeable spa – will introduce lavish modernity. But the retention of the original sweeping staircase in the entrance hall will ensure the spirit of 1820s is kept alive.

0800 6488 6488; fourseasons.com/stpetersburg

Hampshire’s country pile

Tucked amid 400 acres of gardens and woodland 10 miles south of Reading, Heckfield Place will be a celebration of Englishness when it opens in March. The transformation of this 18th-century manor into a weekend retreat has been slow going, but the process will bear fruit in the form of 60 large rooms (as well as a 65-seat underground cinema). Guests can stroll in the grounds and dine on produce sourced from the estate’s farm. B&B doubles from £400 per night.

0118 932 6868;  heckfieldplace.com

Oman’s mountain marvel

Most hotels on the Arabian Peninsula tend to gaze out over the water, but the latest offering from the Asian luxury resort specialist, Alila, will opt for the more remote territory of Oman’s Hajar Mountains. The Alila Jabal Akhdar is scheduled to launch in autumn. It is tucked 2,000m above sea level, a two-hour drive west of Muscat. The accent will be on escape, in a retreat that’s beyond the reach of even the desert heat and has 78 rooms and cliffside restaurant.

00 65 6735 8300;  alilahotels.com

Sri Lanka’s chic escape

India’s near-neighbour will take another small step away from the grim spectre of its former civil war on 14 February, with the opening of the Beach House Pasikudah. This 34-suite resort will bring a five-star presence to Pasikudah Bay, midway along Sri Lanka’s eastern coastline – a portion of this often idyllic Indian Ocean island that was largely cut off in the government’s war on the Tamil Tigers from 1983 to 2009. That said, the resort is close enough to the key sights of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya for easy insight into the country’s Unesco-acknowledged cultural heritage. Double rooms start at US$198 (£122), including breakfast.

00 94 11 473 6263; beachhousecollection.com

Marrakech’s  spacious statement

Morocco’s most fabled city trades on an image of giddy chaos and clutter. But the Baglioni Marrakech, destined to open at a still unspecified moment in 2013, will cling to a contradictory ethos. The Italian hotel group’s first foray into Africa will spread its arms inside 34 acres of parkland. Here, a luxury 80-room hotel will compete with a Six Senses spa. Marrakech will rarely have seemed so peaceful.

00 212 524 390 930; baglionihotels.com

Zambia’s wonderful wildlife

March 2013 will see the launch of Chinzombo Safari Lodge, the sixth camp to be opened by the Zambia specialist, Norman Carr Safaris. This top-end option will have six “wildly luxurious villas” – each with private pool – standing next to the Luangwa River. The South Luangwa National Park has a firm reputation for big-cat sightings.

0845 468 2177; normancarrsafaris.com

Santa Barbara’s coastal classic

Strictly speaking, there is nothing new about El Encanto, 100 miles north-west of Los Angeles in the seafront enclave of Santa Barbara. However, a hotel that has hosted endless Hollywood stars has been closed for renovation since 2006, under the careful eye of new owner Orient Express. March 2013 brings its long overdue return with 92 luxury bungalows in seven acres of landscaped gardens.

001 805 8455800; elencanto.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor