As we get closer to a new era of safe travel, I have never been more excited to order room service; to enjoy a hotel breakfast; to not clean my own room—and to connect with communities, the people who live and work in each new hotel, each neighborhood. The best hotels become part of your travel story, as the backdrop to the experiences you’ll have.
Jack Ezon, whose travel company, Embark Beyond, compiled its own comprehensive list of hotel openings, said that the openings have brought them a burst of optimism and excitement. “Despite the tribulation of 2020, our world is set to be blessed with some incredible, game-changing hospitality experiences,” he says. Of course, as he says, there is a bit of déjà vu as many hotels opening this year were slated to open last year.
A few notes: These are the hotels I’m personally looking forward to the most, whittled down from a huge list of exciting arrivals. I’m based in London, so I’m focusing on places I can practically visit across Europe and the U.S. (and will save London openings for their own story). Many opening dates are in flux, so I’m only listing seasons.
Hotel Openings in the U.S.
Aman New York
New York, NY
Aman New York will join Midtown’s ultra-luxury hotel scene, bringing Aman’s personalized service and ethos to Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in the Crown Building. And get this: The smallest of Aman New York’s 83 rooms will be 750 square feet, about twice the size of the average NYC hotel room and a major perk for a city stay, each with its own working fireplace.
The main dining options—sure to become business lunch favorites, when we’re all having business lunches again—will be sushi-focused Nama and all-day Italian at Arva. The highlight of the 24,000-square-foot Aman Spa will be the two Spa Houses, each with its own outdoor terrace and hot and cold plunge pools.
What I’m looking forward to the most is the jazz club—no word yet on what that will look like in a post-COVID world, but it’s an unexpected touch from Aman. Opening Spring 2021.
Six Senses New York
New York, NY
Six Senses New York will bring a whole new level of wellness—a hallmark of the brand—to New York City. Set in Chelsea on the Hudson River, it will be part of the Xi, a pair of twisty buildings that will also house condos and retail. The hotel will introduce its new concept Six Senses Place, a 45,000-square-foot health club and spa, but the surrounding area is just as appealing to explore the nearby High Line and Meatpacking District, and shopping at Chelsea Market. Opening Fall 2021.
The Chatwal Lodge
The Chatwal in Midtown has always been a beloved NYC hotel, with a sense of serenity close to Times Square and a perfect-for-any-occasion restaurant, the Lambs Club. Now, adding to the ever-growing chicness of the Catskills, the owner will open Chatwal Lodge in Bethel, New York.
There will be 10 suites with private patios overlooking Toronto Reservoir Lake, but it’s the 1,000-square-foot tree house that will likely garner most of the press. Outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and kayaking abound, but the hotel will also focus on giving guests access to arts and culture through private music classes and local art exhibits. Opening Spring 2021.
The Langham Boston
The Langham brand is at a very exciting point right now, with its villa, Langham Nymphenburg Residence, Munich, opening last year during the pandemic; the urban high-rise Langham Jakarta as a significant opening in Asia this year; the Langham Venice forthcoming in 2023; and more hotels in the pipeline in Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, and San Francisco.
This year, the Langham Boston will re-enter the luxury hotel landscape in the city, reopening this spring after a multi-million-dollar renovation, keeping the charm of the historic property (the former Federal Reserve Bank of Boston) while renovating all the guest rooms and public spaces in a New England–inspired color scheme, with blue and gray shades evoking the Atlantic Ocean. All of the art will honor the history of Boston. Opening Spring 2021.
Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
Oh, to be enjoying live jazz, beignets, and muffulettas in New Orleans again! Now the 341-room, 34-story Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans will offer a beautiful sanctuary (and great air-conditioning in August) along the Mississippi River with flower-filled private gardens, an indoor/outdoor observation deck with river views, and—a rarity in NOLA—an outdoor pool.
Food is of utmost importance in New Orleans, and award-winning Israeli American chef Alon Shaya, who owns the popular Saba locally, will lead the main restaurant. I’d love to try his version of a muffuletta. Celebrated chef Donald Link—known for local hotspots Cochon, Herbsaint, and more—will run the fifth-floor restaurant overlooking the infinity pool. Opening Spring 2021.
Santa Fe, NM
As an Arizona native, I think the Southwest landscape makes you feel simultaneously powerful and insignificant. This is especially true in artsy Santa Fe, where I always feel transformed by something. And the 100-room Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection will be a game-changer for the city, with interiors by HKS, the Turquesa Healing Arts studio, horse stables, and a 12-bedroom house perfect for domestic multi-gen trips. I love the historic main building, with a luxurious, adobe-style exterior that could only be in New Mexico—and it has a long history, once as the Pulitzer family’s private residence. Opening Spring 2021.
Hotel Openings in Europe
Ca’ di Dio
OK, I admit it’s hard to tear myself away from Belmond’s Hotel Cipriani in Venice, but Ca’ di Dio in Venice is a great contender, especially if you want to attend the Venice Biennale—it’s a 15-minute walk from the grounds of the famous art fair and close to many of Venice’s contemporary art galleries. Like Six Senses in Rome, this 66-room hotel (56 of which are suites and many with lagoon views) will have interiors designed by Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, who also worked on the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, Das Stue in Berlin, and Il Sereno in Lake Como. Opening Spring 2021.
Casa di Langa
Italy’s Piedmont region
In northern Italy’s Piedmont region, Casa di Langa is a new 39-room sustainable boutique hotel, owned by Americans with Italian roots and businesses in Italy. How will sustainability actually play out? Among the carbon-neutral initiatives: solar panels, geothermal heating, and no single-use plastics. Owner Kyle J. Krause says he wants the hotel, which overlooks 100 acres of vineyards, to reflect the “warm spirit of the region in a way that is elegant and accessible.” Think hazelnut orchards, vegetable gardens, and other highlights of the Piedmontese landscape. Opening Spring 2021.
The Hoxton Rome
The Hoxton Rome will open this spring in the tree-lined residential neighborhood of Salario, close to the city’s beloved Villa Borghese gardens. It will have a big coffee bar (it is Italy, after all) with a to-go counter (bringing in America’s pastime of coffee on the run), a view of an open kitchen in the lobby area, and a fireplace for cozying up in Rome’s colder months.
The 192 rooms will be outfitted in a midcentury design—think geometric prints and bright, bold color, some with Murano glass chandeliers. As with its other properties in London, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the Hoxton Rome is likely to be a big draw for local residents, too—and a great place to meet for coffee. Opening Spring 2021.
Kempinski Palace Engelberg
Under new Kempinski management, the redo of the Hotel Titlis Palace stands out. The grand hotel from the early 1900s will now have tasteful contemporary design, a rooftop infinity pool, and a focus on local gastronomy. Meanwhile, its location in Engelberg, a town close to Lucerne, remains relatively undiscovered by Americans.
Like the much more famous Zermatt, the ski area of Engelberg is in its own valley, with one way in and one way out—but has primarily been a mountain paradise for the Swiss themselves. The Benedictine Engelberg Monastery has been a draw for centuries, and last year’s 900-year anniversary celebration has been postponed to this year, adding another reason to visit Engelberg this year. Opening Spring 2021.
In the aftermath of U.K. tour operator Thomas Cook collapsing in 2019, opportunities arose for companies with capital to take over some of the assets, like hotels. One of those forthcoming brands is OKU Hotels, launching this summer with two former Cook properties in Ibiza and Kos and plans to expand across the Mediterranean.
The brand is leaning into “realistic luxury,” with rates starting at 180 euros per night. OKU Kos will be an adult-only 100-room property, including suite options with private pools and two-bedroom villas in Kos, a small island that will only continue to grow more popular. Opening Summer 2021.
For art lovers and those who appreciate the beautiful things in life, the 32-room Can Ferrereta will debut on the island of Mallorca, in the village of Santanyi. (For context: The Belmond La Residencia is a bit more than an hour’s drive to the northwest.)
A Mallorcan-based architecture firm has redone this former 17th-century mansion and will showcase an exciting collection of contemporary art. Some pieces will come from the Soldevila-Ferrers, the family who owns the hotel and has a long history of hospitality with hotels in Spain.
They also own the boutique Hotel Sant Francesc (also housed in a historic mansion) in Palma, the capital of Mallorca, so guests can have a dual city-country break when Can Ferretera opens. Opening Spring 2021.
I’m not proud of the fact that I had to look at a map to pinpoint exactly where Montenegro is located (just north of Albania, which borders Greece), but with a splashy hotel opening like the 113-room One&Only Portonovi, more high-end travelers will seek out this tiny country, often visited in tandem with neighboring Croatia. (In-the-know travelers also visit Aman Sveti Stefan, 90 minutes south of the new One&Only.)
Located at the entrance of Boka Bay on the Adriatic Coast in Portonovi, a luxury development with condos and retail, the brand’s first property in Europe will have a Chenot Espace spa devoted to holistic wellness and a restaurant by Michelin-starred Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli, who runs the very successful Locanda Locatelli in London. Opening Spring 2021.
More Hotels to Watch
- Airelles Château de Versailles, France
- Cheval Blanc Paris, owned by LVMH
- Fairmont Rio de Janeiro Copacabana, Brazil
- The Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley, Arizona
- 100 Princes Street in Edinburgh, Scotland, from Red Carnation Hotels
- Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte hotel, Palermo, Sicily
- Pendry Chicago
- Stanly Ranch, Napa Valley, Auberge Resorts Collection
- The Woodward Geneva, the newest Oetker Collection property
- Mandarin Oriental, Lucerne, Switzerland
- Kalesma, Mykonos, Greece
- Edition Reykjavík, Iceland
- Rosewood Le Guanahani, St. Bart’s
- San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel, Taormina, Sicily
Exciting brand extensions
- Gleneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh
- The five-bedroom Villa Sainte-Anne at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, France
- The adults-only Green O at Paws Up
- Tthe Farmyard at the Newt in Somerset
>> Next: The Best Luxury Hotels That Actually Opened in 2020