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Earlier this year, TPG Special Contributor Eric Rosen shared the most exciting hotel openings planned for 2015. However, since that list of 15 properties barely scratched the surface of new hotels we’ll see open across the world this year, he’ll now share a list on a regular basis. This first installment covers openings from January through March, but look out for new entries in the coming months as more hotels come online.
With major chains and boutique hoteliers opening the doors to new properties this month (or having recently done so), there are plenty of new and novel accommodation options throughout the world—and here are some to get excited about, arranged in order of opening date:
Fairmont Jakarta, opened January 21
Fairmont’s first property in the Indonesian capital is in the Senayan Square area, with access to high-end shopping, entertainment, and the Senayan National Golf Club, Gelora Bung Karno sports arena and the Jakarta Convention Centre, making it a good choice for business travelers. The 380 Japanese-inspired rooms look stunning, with dark wooden furniture and purple accents in the regular guest rooms, and many offer views of the rapidly expanding Jakarta skyline.
The hotel has several dining outlets, including an Italian-style deli called Sapori, the casual K22 Bar and Restaurant, Spectrum for all-day dining, afternoon tea in the Peacock Lounge, and Mont Bar for contemporary cocktails and an extensive whiskey selection. The hotel features a 10,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa with 9 treatment rooms and an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a large fitness center. Rates in March start at $244 per night.
Hotel Covell Los Angeles, opened January
Los Angeles is having a veritable boutique hotel renaissance this winter and spring with the opening of this little gem on the eastside and the imminent opening of the French mini-chain Mama Shelter slated for later this spring. Hotel Covell is truly a boutique property, though, located in a 1930s apartment building above a popular wine bar of the same name (it’s owned by the restaurateurs behind LA hotspots like L&E Oyster Bar and El Condor).
Each of the five residential-style rooms is meant to represent a chapter in fictional character George Covell’s life (his checkered past is inspired by the real-life biographies of owner Dustin Lancaster and hotel interior designer Sally Breer), including a bachelor pad and a New York lover’s hideaway. All in all, the rooms look cool, with bohemian touches like psychedelic wallpaper, Old World-style tiled floors, mid-century lounge seating, basin-style sinks (stocked with Malin + Goetz products) and some pretty groovy desks, shelves and minibars. Rates in March start at $245 per night.
Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, opened January
Set in a historic 1903 building across from Mellon Square Park in downtown Pittsburgh, this Kimpton property (now part of IHG) has 248 guest rooms and 13 suites all done up in that signature quirky-but-classy Kimpton style. There’s a lot of color here—from bright green headboards to yellow accent pillows—with houndstooth curtains, lacquered desks and armoires, and whimsical bedside lamps shaped like birdcages. Hotel amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, in-room spa services, the usual Kimpton evening wine hour, morning coffee and tea services, loaner bikes and more. The hotel’s one restaurant, The Commoner, serves “modern American tavern fare and seasonal favorites.” Rates in March start at $200.
Ritz-Carlton Bali, opened February 2
Ritz-Carlton’s latest property is in Asia, the first of two hotels the chain has planned for Bali. This Nusa Dua beach resort’s 313 suites and villas include 34 cliff-top and oceanview villas, and rooms start at a whopping 1,065 square feet, with private balconies or terraces overlooking the Indian Ocean or the on-site gardens. The design aesthetic here is pure Balinese, with handcrafted local furnishings reflecting the property’s central theme of Kalpataru (Tree of Life), which represents wisdom and beauty. In terms of décor, that translates to a white-and-taupe palette with hand-stitched textiles, Frette linens, blond woods, and all-marble bathrooms.
Among the hotel’s six restaurants and lounges is the Indonesian-inspired Bejana, the casual Beach Grill serving seafood and other grilled specialties, and Raku, a Japanese lounge and bar. The soon-to-open Ritz-Carlton Spa will have just 14 treatment rooms with indoor-outdoor facilities in a lush jungle setting. There’s also a glass elevator to transport guests from the main resort down to the beach 70 meters below. Rates in March start at $350 per night or 50,000 points.
JW Marriott Austin, opened February 20
This new 34-story behemoth adds 1,012 guest rooms and suites to Austin’s room stock and is now the city’s largest hotel. A short walk from the convention center, this property certainly caters to big groups, but that doesn’t mean you can’t score a good room deal or use your points for free nights. Guest rooms will offer high-speed WiFi, Marriott’s Plug-In technology panel, and 48-inch HD LED Smart TVs, among other amenities.
For such a large hotel, there are just three restaurants, including Northern Italian Osteria Pronto, the Corner Restaurant serving regional Texan cuisine and tequila cocktails, and Burger Bar for…well, burgers. There will also be a Starbucks on the property. The hotel will offer guests a large fitness center and an outdoor pool with an expansive sun deck. Rates in March start at $249 per night (with some nights as high as $749!), or 40,000 points.
St. Regis Istanbul, opening March 1
Istanbul is getting a lot of luxury hotels recently, including a new Shangri-La and a Raffles, as well as this new top-tier Starwood hotel. This St. Regis will open in the central Nisantasi neighborhood (good for shopping and getting to central Taksim Square or strolling down to the Bosphorus) and was designed by Emre Arolat Architects.
The 118 rooms and 4 suites start at a spacious 430 square feet and feature some sophisticated, sexy design touches like recessed ceiling lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows, and all-marble bathrooms (with Remède amenities, of course, and glassed-in showers). The piece de resistance, however, is the Presidential Suite, which features its own custom-designed furniture, walnut floors and paneling with bronze details, blue marble walls, and a bathroom all in Asian black marble with a freestanding black bathtub. How could you not feel like an Ottoman sultan in that?
The restaurant also touts some name recognition: it will be the Istanbul outlet of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s famous Spago, though there will also be a more casual St. Regis Brasserie for all-day dining. Guests can also take advantage of the 9,000-square-foot Iridium Spa, which will have 7 treatment rooms as well as a hammam and pool. Rates in march start at 298 EUR ($340) or 30,000 Starpoints.
Baccarat New York, opening March 2
Rooms in New York are notoriously expensive, but $800 a night? That’s what you’ll have to pay to experience the city’s newest hotel, the Baccarat. A venture from the famous French crystal house, this West 53rd Street hotel is set in a 46-story tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architects. The guest rooms are on the lower floors, while luxury residences and a crystal museum occupy the upper floors. Paris design firm Gilles & Boissier oversaw the interior design, which will incorporate Baccarat chandeliers and lamps in the public spaces as well as the 114 rooms and suites.
The overall look is simple and yet jaw-dropping, with white and ivory-hued fabrics (the linens are custom-made Mascioni jacquard sheets), hand-painted wall panels, and all-white marble bathrooms stocked with Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris amenities. Guests control their room settings with in-room tablets (which are also connected to housekeeping, room service and the concierge), though if you just want a little nibble from the minibar, you’ll find treats from Fauchon.
The flagship restaurant, Chevalier, is from Executive Chef Shea Gallante (you might recognize him from Cru) and will offer a menu of reinvented French classics, while the stunning salon (note the 64-arm central Baccarat chandelier) will serve meals all day along with a daily 6 pm Champagne presentation. The adjacent 60-foot bar serves fine wines and craft cocktails in (what else?) Baccarat glassware. Guests can also relax in the subterranean spa, fitness center and pool area. Room rates in March start at $729.
Aria Hotel Budapest, opening March 15
Budapest is fast becoming one of Europe’s trendiest capitals, and will soon be home to one of the Continent’s hippest new hotels. Set on the Pest side of the river just around the corner from St. Stephen’s Basilica, this Aria property has renovated a historic 1870s Neoclassical limestone building, with a whimsical, music-inspired interior décor concept by Hungarian designer Zoltan Varro that includes tall, brightly-colored and tufted leather headboards, plush boho-chic chaise lounges, hanging portraits of musicians, and abstract patterns in the carpets resembling musical instruments, not to mention a piano keyboard design in the lobby music lounge’s floor tiling.
The hotel will have 49 guest rooms and four public parlors, each showcasing a musical genre: jazz, opera, classical music and contemporary. The hotel will also have an extensive music library that guests can access using in-room iPads and flatscreen TVs. Rooms will have balconies overlooking the city or the interior of the building above the glass-enclosed Music Garden. and the hotel itself will also have a year-round rooftop garden and bar called the High Note Skybar, a street-level bistro called Stradivari, and the more casual Satchmo’s Bar and Lounge. The hotel will also feature the small Harmony Spa with just three treatment rooms (one is for couples) as well as an indoor pool, sauna Turkish steam room and fitness center. Rates in March start at 195 EUR ($220 USD).
Grand Hyatt Taipei, finishing renovation in March
Marking its 25th anniversary in the Xinyi district, (it originally opened in 1990), the Grand Hyatt Taipei is finally set to finish its massive renovations later this month. It already debuted a new look for its 853 guest rooms and suites—in a staggering 14 room categories—and many of the spacious guest rooms have views of Taipei’s now-iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper. The new rooms look clean and elegant, with crisp, white linens, taupe walls, colorful accent pillows and dramatic floor lamps whose bodies consist of stacked metal circles. Guests will find June Jacobs amenities in the marble as well as walk-in showers, and since Taipei is such a tech hub, there are, of course, 47-inch HDTV’s standard as well as media hubs with various AV connections.
Guests will notice a new light-filled ambiance in the columned marble lobby, and refreshed room designs by Paris-based interior designer Didier Gomez. The hotel boasts nine restaurants, including Pearl Liang for dim sum and Cantonese banquets, Irodori for Japanese cuisine, the Bel Air Bar and Grill for steak and seafood, and Ziga Zaga with Mexican and Italian dishes. There’s also an outdoor pool and new fitness center. Rates in March start at $311 or 15,000 points.
AC Hotel Washington DC at National Harbor, opening end of March
The second of more than 50 AC hotels slated to open in the US over the coming years (the first opened in New Orleans in November), this D.C.-area property will probably open before the end of March. It will have just 192 rooms that look simple but nice—think blond wood furniture, crisp white sheets and large windows for lots of natural light. Public areas were designed with the brand’s European roots in mind including outdoor terraces with Potomac views, the AC Kitchen serving breakfast pastries and charcuterie plates, AC Lounge for cocktails and tapas, and the AC Library for a quiet guest lounge. WiFi is complimentary, and there will be a fitness center so that the millennials this brand is meant to attract can stay in shape while on their recruiting trips. Room reservations are not yet available, so stay tuned.
Sheraton Koh Samui, opening March 31
Thanks to the scheduled opening of Koh Samui’s new Sheraton, SPG members will soon have a new opportunity to use their points in one of Thailand’s premier beach destinations. Rather than a new build, Sheraton is redoing the existing 141-room Imperial Samui Beach Resort. Details are still a bit scant and rooms are not yet bookable, which makes me skeptical the hotel will actually hit its March 31 opening date, but travelers can expect the usual Sheraton amenities, including a Link business center, signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds and a Shine Spa by Sheraton. The resort will also offer a Kids’ Club, an all-day dining outlet called Feast, plus beach and pool restaurants. The resort has both freshwater and salt-water swimming pools and sits on the Gulf of Thailand. There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.