Where to sleep soundly in 2011

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

From the restoration of landmark buildings to new upmarket beach resorts, the hotel industry is raising its game.

Twelve months from today, London will wake up with Olympic fever. While the finishing touches are being put to stadia and transport links, hotels will be ready and waiting for a bumper summer. So in the run-up to 2012, we'll see a crop of enticing new hotels opening in the capital, starting with the St John Hotel (020-3301 8069;
stjohnhotellondon.com). Part of the Leicester Square regeneration project, the first overnight foray from the St John restaurant group inhabits the old Manzi's seafood restaurant site. After various construction setbacks, it is due to open later this month with no-nonsense "rooms", "post-supper rooms" and one suite.

Across the road, the proliferation of Starwood's W chain continues with its first British outpost. W London (020-7851 3228; wlondon.co.uk) opens on Valentine's Day with its signature razzle-dazzle style and glitterballs galore. Shortly afterwards, Avo Hotel is set to open in Dalston (handy for the Olympic village), with six "boutique chic" rooms, a penthouse and café.

In Mayfair, Four Seasons celebrates its 50th anniversary with the reopening of Four Seasons London at Park Lane (020-7499 0888; fourseasons.com/London) at the end of the month. A complete renovation has added a rooftop spa with views across Hyde Park. But the big news on this thoroughbred thoroughfare will be 45 Park Lane (020-7629 4848; 45parklane.com), a new sibling for The Dorchester. Just steps from the art deco grande dame, the new venture resides in the former Playboy Club and will have 50 rooms with contemporary styling and an American steak restaurant overseen by the celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. The soft opening is scheduled for this summer.

More than three years after the £800m refurbishment of St Pancras Station was finished, Sir George Gilbert Scott's Victorian-Gothic masterpiece will be completed with the opening of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel (020-7841 3540; marriott.co.uk) in May. The Grade I-listed building's elegant design has been renovated in partnership with English Heritage, with a restaurant operated by Marcus Wareing and direct access to the Eurostar terminal concourse.

Other grand restoration projects include the Victorian-era Metropole Hotel, which re-opens on Whitehall Place in April as Corinthia London (020-7930 8181; corinthia.com), complete with a bar designed by David Collins, and the Waldorf Astoria Syon Park (020-7870 7777; waldorfastoria.com) on the Duke of Northumerland's estate. Completion has been put back to next month after a Roman settlement was discovered within the grounds.

We will also see Clerkenwell's The Zetter expand across St John's Square with The Zetter Townhouse (020-7324 4444; thezetter.com) in a Georgian edifice in March, and New York favourite Thompson Hotels coming to Britain with Belgraves ( thompsonhotels.com) in the old Sheraton Belgravia later this spring.

Further afield, after the financial storm that shook the foundations of Dubai, it appears the emirate is ready to pick up where it left off. Ian Scott, director of Dubai Tourism in the UK, says: "In spite of the difficult global economic climate, Dubai has reported good growth and the launch of countless new projects in 2010 will be followed by many more this year. New hotels and a continuously improving infrastructure give us a lot to look forward to."

Hoping to bolster these claims will be the Palazzo Versace resort ( palazzoversace.ae) at Dubai Creek, every bit as dazzling as the name suggests; while joining Atlantis and One&Only on The Palm are the Asian-themed The Royal Amwaj beach resort (00 971 4 444 0222; moevenpick-hotels.com) and the Jumeirah Al Fattan Palm Resort (jumeirah.com), with a private marina and beach club. Further north in the Gulf, the resplendent Hotel Missoni group is set to follow the success of its first hotel (in Edinburgh) with Hotel Missoni in Kuwait in early spring (00 965 9999 1357; hotelmissoni.com).

Could there be any more room for development in the Maldives? It certainly looks that way, with at least half-a-dozen openings scheduled for this year. Jumeirah will open two resorts: Vittaveli in the South Male Atoll and Dhevanfushi on the virgin island of Meradhoo. Both are due to open before spring. The first Viceroy resort ( viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/maldives) to open outside of the Americas will be in the Shaviyani Atoll this summer, boasting villas that will be "among the largest of the Maldives resorts", all with plunge pools.

Six Senses is adding to its "eco-friendly" portfolio with its third Maldivian resort in the south of the archipelago with Six Senses Laamu (00 960 680 0800; sixsenses.com) in April, while Mandarin Oriental ( mandarinoriental.com) arrives at the end of the year, with 114 villas, underwater dining and a spa. Finally, Anantara opens its fourth Maldivian resort on Kihavah Huravalhi island (00 960 660 1020; kihavah-maldives.anantara.com) at the end of this month with underwater dining as standard.

The Indian Ocean excitement continues on Mauritius, where luxury resorts continue to germinate around the coast. The most interesting will be Long Beach (00 230 401 1919; longbeachmauritius.com), which will bring Californian beach chic to the classically upscale east coast. A more traditional option will be St Regis Mauritius (00 230 403 7280; starwoodhotels.com) opening in June in the quieter, south coast resort of Le Morne.

Due north in the Seychelles, Raffles is opening on Praslin in February (00 248 296 000; raffles.com). The Indian Ocean's waves of development are also lapping on Zanzibar's shores, with Kempinski's Zamani hotel reopening as the Zamani Retreat (00 255 744 444 477; kempinski.com) at the end of the month with a new focus on holistic wellbeing. In April, The Residence is opening a resort on the south coast with a Carita spa and 65 villas set amid tropical gardens and pristine beach (01300 320 865; theresidence.com). On the mainland, the Saadani River Lodge ( saadaniriverlodge.com) is a new safari lodge opening on the banks of the Wami River in Saadani National Park on the coast of Tanzania later this month.

Notable news on the African continent is the Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma in Marrakech (00 212 5 24 32 77 77; mandarinoriental.com/marrakech), which featured in the latest Sex And The City movie and is set to open in summer; Sanctuary Zebra Plains (020 7190 7728; sanctuaryretreats.com), a luxury walking safari camp opening in June in Zambia; and The Queen Victoria on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town will be a reworking of an existing art deco hotel, to open in March (newmarkhotels.com).

Finally, the big news elsewhere. After selling his interests in New York's Gramercy Park Hotel, Ian Schrager expands his partnership with Marriott with The Istanbul Edition (00 90 216 570 0000; editionhotels.com) in Istanbul's Levent business district in the spring. The lifestyle hotel comes complete with a Cipriani restaurant and Billionaire Club. The founder of Morgans Hotel Group also plans to launch a new company – Schrager Hotels – in Chicago in September.

Asian expansion continues in Paris with Mandarin Oriental ( mandarinoriental.com) in June; and in Montenegro with Aman Resorts' Sveti Stefan (00 382 33 420 000; amanresorts.com), a sensitive restoration of what was once a 15th-century fortified coastal village. Throwing economic caution to the wind in Ireland, Ballyfin (00 353 5787 55866; ballyfin.com) is a lavish Regency mansion opening in May at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains.

New York saw impressive expansion last year, and the pace looks set to slow a little in 2011. However, two openings in February include Mondrian SoHo (001 212 554 6120; mondriansoho.com) from Morgans Hotel Group, just down the street from the Crosby Street Hotel, and The Nolitan (00 212 925 2555; nolitanhotel.com), which stands for "North of Little Italy" and looks like a hybrid of the Hotel on Rivington and The Ace hotel.

In the Caribbean, the high-street confectioner Hotel Chocolat is making its first foray into the hotels business with Hotel Chocolat ( thehotelchocolat.com) on its cocoa plantation, the Rabot Estate in St Lucia. The 18th-century estate will offer sleek rooms from February.

Finally, in northern Australia the Wildman Wilderness Lodge (00 61 2 9922 4443; wildmanwildernesslodge.com.au) will introduce luxury living in the Mary River Wetlands just outside Kakadu National Park when the dry season begins in April.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
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
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment