Hg2 is proud to present The Hedonist Hot List 2011, the first in a new annual feature that lists the most exciting hotel openings fresh for 2011. As something of an authority on global travel, we’ve got the inside scoop on what hotels will be hip and happening for the year ahead. Check in and check them out.
Kempinski Hotel Bayterek, Almaty, Kazakhstan
If it hadn’t been for Borat, Kazakhstan wouldn’t have happened. Fact. Fortunately it did, and luxury hotels have been opening in the city ever since. Next in line is the Kempinski Hotel Bayterek, a 218-room property housed inside a mixed-use complex in the exclusive Bostandik district. Amenities will also include 195 serviced apartments, several restaurants, conference centre, ballroom, spa and gym. Topping things off – quite literally – will be a restaurant, cocktail bar and nightclub on the roof, complete with panoramic views of the mountains and city.
Buy Hg2 Almaty & Astana here
Canal House, Amsterdam, Netherlands
This city of sin is classier, artier and eminently more sophisticated than most people realise, which is why boutique beauties are seemingly opening up by the day. Case in point is Canal House, set to throw open its doors 1st January 2011; inside is a striking colour scheme of black, purple, grey and copper, with glamorous furniture to match. 23 bedrooms, a restaurant, bar and extensive gardens will ensure the reservations book is fit-to-bursting from day one, while the unique artworks that flanking the walls of public spaces are sure to attract a creative clientele more into paintings than prostitutes.
Buy Hg2 Amsterdam here
Fairmont Baku, Baku, Azerbaijan
We predicted Baku would be big in 2011, and proving us right is the opening of a 347-room Fairmont property inside the mixed-use Flame Towers complex. Built next to the parliament buildings and overlooking the glittering Caspian Sea, Fairmont Baku will cater to the city’s increasing number of business travellers. Full details of the hotel’s amenities haven’t yet been released, but expect nothing less than fabulous from Fairmont. Thomas W. Storey, President at Fairmont, said; “With the acceleration of Baku’s oil and natural gas-rich economy and the growing demand for business and leisure hospitality, we feel Azerbaijan is an ideal fit for the Fairmont portfolio of distinctive properties.” We couldn’t agree more.
Buy Hg2 Baku here
W Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
While it may have opened this year, W Barcelona – arguably the most anticipated hotel to have opened in the city – will continue to grab headlines well into 2011. With more than a little Burj Al Arab about it, the sail-shaped building is courtesy of Spanish starchitect Ricardo Bofill and its design is described as “where Miró meets the Mediterranean.” But it’s not all poetic press spiel and glass-fronted glossiness; inside are 473 rooms and 67 suites, two hedonistic playgrounds in the form of the W Lounge and Eclipse bar, as well as restaurant, pool and spa. And with everything decked out in marvellous modernist style, even the most discerning aesthetes will feel right at home.
Buy Hg2 Barcelona here
EAST, Beijing, China
Swire Hotels – the same brand behind Beijing’s much-loved Opposite House – will open its second hotel in the city early 2012. To be called EAST, the hotel will be built inside the multi-purpose INDIGO building, together with office and retail spaces. The hotel itself will comprise 369 rooms with park views, with three restaurants, an executive club and series of indoor pools also in the pipeline. Designed specifically for business travellers, guests can expect clean, contemporary interiors and every creature comfort conceivable.
Buy Hg2 Beijing here
Waldorf Astoria Berlin, Berlin, Germany
When you think of Waldorf Astoria, you think of the mothership in New York. Not so from next year, when Waldorf Astoria throws open the doors of a mammoth 242-room property in western Berlin. Housed inside a 31-floor glass-fronted tower in Kurfuerstendamm, the hotly-anticipated hotel will also feature 1,100-square-metres of conference and meeting facilities, as well as a restaurant, bar, spa and wellness centre. Not to be confused with Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria Collection – which comprises a portfolio of historic buildings – Waldorf Astoria hotels are always new-builds with clean, contemporary interiors. Perfect for the corporate crowd.
Buy Hg2 Berlin here
The Queen Victoria, Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town will welcome a new boutique beauty in March 2011 when The Queen Victoria comes to town. Peerutin Architects is hard at work transforming an existing building in the Victoria & Albert Waterfront into a sumptuous, five-star stay fit for discerning guests. Views abound in all directions, with a spectacular triple-volume atrium featuring a spiral staircase and glass elevator making for an impressive entrance; 35 rooms are tucked inside, including a plush penthouse suite complete with al fresco terrace. The interiors are inspiring, to say the least, with marble floors underfoot, chandeliers overhead and muted shades of oyster, taupe, grey and silver throughout.
Buy Hg2 Cape Town here
Palazzo Versace, Dubai, UAE
Good old Donatella; not content with ruling the world of Euro-trash fashion, she’s gone into the hotel biz. Following in the fabulous footsteps of her plush property on Australia’s Gold Coast is a Dubai outpost; enter the £400-million Palazzo Versace Dubai, currently being built in Culture Village on Dubai Creek. Inside will be 213 suites and 169 private residences, all lavishly decked out with furnishings by Versace; also included will be an on-site spa, health club, ballroom, restaurants, bars and a Versace boutique in which Donatella can flog her flamboyant wares. The best bit about the hotel, however (or worst bit – depending on your stance), is the ‘refrigerated’ beach; keeping tourists cool will be a system of heat-absorbing pipes under the ground and wind blowers scattered across the sand. So very Dubai.
Buy Hg2 Dubai here
Le Meridien Istanbul Etiler, Istanbul, Turkey
Sweet dreams are made of this – Istanbul’s hotly-anticipated Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler. Open for business in autumn 2011, the 260-room wonder – the brand’s fourth property in the city – is being built by the Bosphorus (where else?), and will come complete with signature restaurant destination bar and rooftop lounge. Add to that conference facilities and a super spa with both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and you’ve got one slick stay indeed.
Buy Hg2 Istanbul here
LX Boutique Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal
While its soft launch took place towards the end of 2010, the LX Boutique Hotel in Lisbon will be wowing guests well into 2011. Interestingly, each of its five floors is styled on a different part of the city – Tejo, Bairro Alto, 7 Colinas, Pessoa Fado – enabling guests to explore Lisbon without ever needing to leave the hotel. Its rooms are open for business now, but new for 2011 will be its restaurant – which will undoubtedly served fabulous fabulous food in sumptuous surroundings.
Buy Hg2 Lisbon here
W London, London, UK
Someone forgot to tell Starwood, the giga-chain behind W hotels, about the recession. Going for pre-bust bling, with, for example, a 600-piece disco-ball ‘cloud’, is a £300 million, 194-bedroom, five-star blockbuster (literally, having taken out the block where the Swiss Centre once stood). Seemingly modelled on a colossal ice cube, the entire building is covered in a curved glass veil that by night glows according to the mood of the ‘light DJ’ (appropriate given the hotel is more like a nightclub). As well as the usual W treats – the Wyld Bar/club, lounge bar, restaurant, spa/gym and the W store (selling, predictably, skimpy party dresses), plus – phew – calmly designed rooms with feather-top mattresses, 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose-down duvets – it also promises insidery access to London Fashion Week and film previews in its own 48-seat cinema. Opens 14th February 2011.
Buy Hg2 London here
The Viceroy Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, USA
We know what L’Ermitage Beverly Hills is getting for Christmas – a new name and a whole new look. 2010 has seen intensive refurbishments take place at the property in time for its 2011 relaunch, with its 119 rooms having been given a much-needed lick of paint and a number of new amenities added to an already impressive list. While details are being kept hush-hush until its unveiling, we’re certain it won’t disappoint.
Buy Hg2 Los Angeles here
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Jnan Rahma, Marrakech, Morocco
We’re always a little bit nervous when a hotel chain decides to open an outpost in somewhere steeped in tradition, which is what happened when Mandarin Oriental announced plans for a luxury property in Marrakech. Fortunately, it has decided to go all-out Moroccan with the design of the hotel – scheduled for 2011 – complete with authentic Moorish architecture and interiors to match. There are 161 rooms and suites in total, an Ottoman-styled spa, Mughal-inspired pool, a host of restaurants and bars, and courtyards galore. Fans of Sex & the City 2 will have already enjoyed a sneak-peak inside the hotel, as this is where it was filmed.
Buy Hg2 Marrakech here
JW Marriott Marquis Miami, Miami, USA
While January 2011 will herald the opening of the Breakwater (a boutique beauty on Ocean Drive), we still can’t get over the opening of the JW Marriot Marquis Miami back in October. It is this properly that will still be making an impression well into next year, with an innovative ‘hotel-within-a-hotel’ concept marking it out from the downtown crowd; aimed at rockstars and royalty, the 44-room ’boutique hotel’ is spread across the 69th floor of the larger hotel and offers private check-in and a personal escort. And even if you can’t quite stretch to that, the main hotel ain’t half bad, either; expect 313 rooms, a restaurant by superstar chef Daniel Boulud and an fitness complex that comprises a 10,000-square-foot basketball court, full-size tennis court, golf school, spa and gym. One word; wow.
Buy Hg2 Miami here
l’Hotel Milano Scala, Milan, Italy
While most culture vultures would head to Rome instead, those who appreciate a side-portion of shopping with their sightseeing could do worse than to jet to Milan. Case in point is l’Hotel Milano Scala, with its 61 rooms, restaurant and fitness centre themed entirely around music and culture. For being seen on the scene head downstairs to the bar, which is set to become a destination in itself with 360-degree views of the city. It only opened late 2010, but this hot hotel has already made a deep impression on Milan. And the Milanese are a famously fickle bunch, to say the least.
Buy Hg2 Milan here
Ritz-Carlton Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Formerly one of the city’s grand dames at 1228 Sherbrooke Street, the Ritz-Carlon Montreal has been shut for refurbishment since 2008. But autumn 2011 will signal its rebirth with a high-profile opening to celebrate a range of incredible improvements; more than $150-million has been poured into the project to restore the façade, lobby, Palm Court, Grand Ballroom and Ritz Garden to their former splendour. The crowning glory of the all-new hotel, however, will be 46 private residences – all decked out to superstar standards. Calling this home sweet home would be hedonistic indeed.
Read about Hg2 Montreal here
The Mandarin Oriental Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Turning Moscow on its head – quite literally – is the Mandarin Oriental Moscow, scheduled to open mid-2011. Guests will need to check in via the Fabergé Egg-inspired sky lobby; they then work their way down to uncover the hotel’s other amenities, such as a restaurant overlooking Red Square on the ninth floor, listed rooms on the first and ground floors, and underground parking for 270 cars at the very bottom. Housed inside a 19th century manor house, the hotel will also offer its well-heeled guests two ballrooms, health spa, indoor swimming pool and selection of bars (no doubt stocked with plenty of vodka).
Buy Hg2 Moscow here
Mondrian New York, New York, USA
With a prime position in trendy Soho, Mondrian New York will be the brand’s downtown debut when it opens in February 2011. And what a decadent debut it will be, with 270 outrageously-appointed rooms, enchanting manicured gardens and a destination restaurant headed up by Sam Talbot. The interiors are courtesy of famed designer Benjamin Noriega Ortiz, who will channel Jean Cocteau and his film ‘La Belle et La Bette’ to seduce guests through sumptuous, Alice in Wonderland-esque surroundings. Other than that, details are being kept top-secret.
Buy Hg2 New York here
Shangri-La Hotel Paris, Paris, France
With designer-clad lovers flocking to Paris for dirty weekends, you’d expect the French capital to offer beautiful beds in which to indulge. And it does, especially now the Shangri-La Paris has opened. Providing a posh place to get up to no good in 2011, the hotel is Shangri-La’s first property in Europe and is housed in the former home of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte. The building is regal to say the least, with 81 extremely well-appointed rooms designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon (40 per cent of which offer unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower and Seine), three restaurants (two of which will open early 2011), a pool, fitness centre and 900-square-metre event space. From Paris with love, as they say.
Buy Hg2 Paris here
Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden
Time is ticking for the Reizidor Hotel Group, with the opening of its Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel in Stockholm set for early 2011. 418 rooms will cater to a predominantly business crowd, along with a state-of-the-art business centre complete with 3,000-person auditorium and banqueting area. Other amenities include the usual restaurant, bar and fitness suite, with everything wrapped up in chic corporate style.
Buy Hg2 Stockholm here
Star City Hotel & Casino, Sydney, Australia
All eyes are on the Star City Hotel & Casino in Sydney, currently undergoing a £480-million renovation. Opening mid-2011 will be the city’s first five-star stay since the Olympics, which will boast 171 rooms and two destination restaurants (one of which will be headed up by David Chang from Momofuku). The building itself is impressive, with a steel and glass façade courtesy of Fitzpatrick & Partners. A casino will folllow shortly after, making this the place to sleep, eat and play for next year.
Read about Hg2 Sydney here