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Chic new hotels in 2015: From Britain's first football-themed property to a Facebook millionaire's debut desert resort

You won't be short of new and unusual options next year, says Sophie Lam

Sophie Lam
Friday 26 December 2014 01:01 GMT
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice

If the last 18 months have been about major US players making their mark on London (Mondrian, Rosewood, Ace, Chiltern Firehouse), then 2015 will be about smaller, singular, home-grown creations. The Zetter group, which has two eclectically handsome hotels in Clerkenwell, will move into a 24-bedroom Georgian townhouse in the spring ( Around the same time, The Laslett will add flair to Notting Hill's curiously lacking boutique hotel scene. Its 51 bedrooms are being designed to look like a "stylish friend's townhouse" (

Just down the road in Holland Park, Safestay – which rejuvenated the London hostel concept and the former Labour Party HQ in Elephant and Castle – will open its second London property in a Grade I-listed Jacobean building with a 1950s extension (

Of the capital's razzle-dazzle five-stars, The Lanesborough will grab attention when it reopens in April as part of the Oetker Collection (Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, Le Bristol Paris), with new interiors by Alberto Pinto (

Things are looking no less interesting in Manchester, where the Hotel Gotham is slated to open in a seven-storey Lutyens-designed bank on King Street in April. Expect Art Deco-inspired interiors, as well as a restaurant and club ( In complete contrast, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs's Hotel Football will score a hat trick – hotel, restaurant and football – opposite Old Trafford on 2 March. Its crowning glory will be a rooftop football pitch ( Back in the city centre, Spain's Melia group is putting the finishing touches to its portion of the £25m First Street Development – Innside will open in May, offering sleek design at accessible prices (

Two stallers this year were the Gainsborough Bath Spa ( and Heckfield Place in Hampshire (, both now due to open their doors in 2015. The former will be the only hotel in Bath with access to the city's thermal waters, while Heckfield will focus on gourmet treats from its grand, Georgian country house perch.

It looks a busy year for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly too. Padstow, the traditional domain of Rick Stein, finds room for a new hotel from Michelin starred-chef Paul Ainsworth. The former Tregea Hotel reopens as the Padstow Townhouse, with six rooms, in spring ( Further south-west in St Ives, Una will marry the freedom of stylish self-catering properties with hotel facilities – restaurant, spa, concierge – on Carbis Bay, though an opening date has yet to be confirmed ( On St Martin's in the Isles of Scilly, the five-star Karma resort opens just after Easter from a group with properties in Bali, Lombok and Rajasthan, so expect Asian-inspired spa treatments as well as rooms designed to look like a hamlet of cottages (

Across the Channel in France, La Grande Maison has just opened in Bordeaux – the latest project of wine magnate Bernard Magrez with a restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Joel Robuchon (

More affordable delights will be on offer in Copenhagen, where Urban House, which can't quite make up its mind whether it's a hotel or a hostel, opens in Vesterbro in March. The rooms are almost an aside – guests will find a library, bar, restaurant, bike hire shop, tattoo parlour, cinema and lounge inside ( Similarly youth-focused is Room Mate, the Spanish chain moving in on Istanbul's Beyoglu district. Room Mate Kerem has been lavished with cheerful and considered design details ( Indicative of the locale, one of its contemporaries will be Soho House, opening in the next couple of months in a 19th-century building that was formerly the US embassy (

Another British chain with its eyes on the continent is Hoxton Hotels. Following the success of its expansion into central London (Holborn), it will open in Amsterdam in a series of five canal houses overlooking the Herengracht and Singel canals (

Greece will be home to several new hotels by next summer – the upmarket all-inclusive Ikos Olivia resort on Halkidiki (; and Caramel and the White Palace from Grecotel in Rethymno, Crete (

Set on the corduroy contours of Portugal's vine-laced Douro Valley, the former Aquapura resort, which closed several years ago, reopens by summer refreshed by the spa-focused Six Senses brand ( And on a private island in La Serenissima, Marriott will open an elegant resort with views of Venice through floor-to-ceiling windows, an outdoor pool, spa and cookery school in March (

Long-haul travellers will have plenty of new options, too. In spite of its limited landmass, Manhattan keeps packing them in. The Knickerbocker is a 1906 hotel on Times Square that will be reborn for the 21st century in February ( Giving New York a run for its money, Chicago will welcome the first Virgin Hotel ( in the next few weeks, and a luxury Loews property soon after ( – both offering views of the Windy City's fabled skyline. A Freehand high-end hostel will open in River North, too (

What do Facebook millionaires do next? If they're Ezra Callahan, the company's sixth employee, they open a Generation Y-focused hotel in the Californian desert. The 32-room hi-tech hotel, Arrive, will land in Palm Springs by the summer ( Aimed at a younger generation, the Legoland Resort in Florida will open a hotel in time for the summer holidays (

Two distinctive properties opening their doors in the Caribbean include cottages on the organic Belle Mont Farm on St Kitts, where the focus will be on nature and local culture (; and Paradise Beach on neighbouring Nevis. This will be a small-scale, high-end resort of just seven villas with three-four bedrooms in each (; both are due to open in January.

South America's highlights are set to include the Hacienda Hotel Vira Viva Pucón in Chile's Lake District, surrounded by volcanoes, forests and gushing rivers ( and the MY Passion – a new high-end sailing vessel that will ply the pristine waters of the Galápagos islands (

The Seychelles will welcome two new resorts: a Six Senses on the private island of Felicite, a short boat ride from La Digue ( and luxury fishing retreat Astove Island Lodge (; while the Philippines will offer its own tropical fantasy in the shape of Aqua Boracay, an upmarket diving base slated for the end of the year (

A trio of highlights in India comprises the Moonriver Resort and Spa in Munnar; the Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur, and Raas Kangra in the Himalayas. Moonriver ( will offer wellness treatments from its perch amid the lush terraces of Kerala, while the Rajmahal Palace is the contemporary redevelopment of an 18th-century maharaja's palace in the Rajasthani capital, from the same company as the Serai in Jaisalmer, Jawai Leopard Camp and Sher Bagh tiger camp ( Raas is an outpost of the modern Jodhpur original, this time transplanted to the lower Himalayas near Dharamsala; an opening date has yet to be announced.

Phuket forges ahead with its high-end renaissance in the shape of Keemala (, which will harbour 38 pool villas whose design was inspired by the architecture of early settlers to the popular Thai island, kitted out with all conceivable mod-cons.

Another island opening is Zaya Retreats on the under-the-radar Nurai Island, an upmarket development off Abu Dhabi's shores that's currently home to multi-million pound private residences. It will feature beachfront pool villas with access to a "farm-to-table" restaurant, spa, pool, dive centre, bike hire and kids' club ( But of most interest to children will be the world's first Toy Story hotel, opening next winter as part of the new Shanghai Disney Resort (

So there you have it. A host of hotels to take you to infinity and beyond!

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