From inner-city onsens to blow-your-bikini-off beach retreats, we’ve bedded down in a slew of swish new stays this year and these ten top our list as 2016’s best openings.
Nick Jones’ latest is an education in Iberian-meets-industrial style with brick ceiling vaults, local ceramic tiles, mosaic floors and trad floral textiles. Individually-styled commodes are accented with vintage furny and wood panelling; the private members’ house (open to all guests) wows with a rooftop lapper and alfresco diner, Euro all-dayer House Kitchen, Square Bar, and Cowshed Spa with a nifty indoor pool. All on the edge of the Gothic Quarter ¡Sí!
Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli, 4, Barcelona. +34 932 20 46 00. sohohousebarcelona.com
A hotel in central Rome with a full-sized outdoor pool? Praise the Pope, miracles do happen! Set in a turn-of-the-century villa and surrounded by olive tree-dotted gardens, the dashing Palazzo Dama also reps 12 monochrome, deco-styled rooms and suites, chandelier-strung L’Autre Dame restaurant, a darkly dapper cocktail bar and swish private club Raspoutine. Damn-a!
Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia, 2, Piazza del Popolo, Rome. +39 06 8956 5272. palazzodama.com
We've long been fans of hoteliers Alila for their aesthetic reflection of each local environment, and their latest Bali bower is no different. Drawing on Seminyak's bold, bright, relaxed beachfront ambi, the resort boasts three edgy infinity pools (including one that’s adults only… bliss), minimalist sleepers outfitted in crisp stone and sleek wood walls, an all-day Indo-western diner, chilled beach bar for pic-perfect sundowners and a swoonsome spa. It's a thoroughly modern interpretation of Balinese hospitality.
Jalan Taman Ganesha 9, Petitenget, Kerobokan, Bali. +62 361 302 1888. alilahotels.com
Finally Melbourne’s CBD gets an exciting new accom option! Sassy, styley n' theatrical inner city playpen QT Melbourne flaunts costumed, cocksure guest greeters, interactive elevators and avant installations aplenty. Her industri-chic pads come with commodious black slate bathrooms and cheeky amenities kits, plus there's fired-up Gallic gastrodome Pascale, Jap-pening mod-izakaya Hot Sauce and a ripper rooftop drinker. Party on!
133 Russell St, Melbourne. +61 3 8636 8800. qthotelsandresorts.com
A heritage glass-roofed atrium wrapped in nine-storeys of cast iron bannisters; a dapper bookshelf-lined Bar Room that’s already the sip spot of choice for Downtown style setters; two impeccably outfitted restos with luminary chefs; and prim rooms with period features – she has only been open a few months but this gilded grand dame already feels like a Manhattan icon.
123 Nassau St, New York. +1 212 233 2300. thompsonhotels.com
Perf perched in the city’s swish Barrio Salamanca, this colourful character adds some fresh pep to Madrid’s somewhat stale hotel scene. Public spaces are splashed with local photography and and peacock hues, while luxurious rooms hold on to the building’s heritage via crisp panelled walls, parquet floors and breezy balconettes. The same blend of old and new is on show in the lobby drink n’ diner, Hermosas y Malditos, where humble Mediterranean fare gets some big city mod-gastro flair.
Hermosilla, 23, Madrid.+34 914 260 035. totem-madrid.com
A real-deal ryokan experience slap-bang in the buzzing Chiyoda business district. Urban escape Hoshinoya Tokyo takes the best bits of traditional omotenashi hospitality – serene decor, exquisitely considered service, a sense of ceremony – and imbues it with a thoroughly contempo design aesthetic. Secreted behind a lattice exterior are 17 self-contained floors each replete with tranquil tatami walkways, artful bent-wood floor-furnishings, shoji sliding doors and individual open-air hot spring baths. Toothsome Franco-Nippon fusion cuisine from Noriyuki Hamada ensure you need never leave. So on-zen.
1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. +81 50 3786 1144. hoshinoyatokyo.com
The Asia-based brand’s first foray stateside is a wired up, mod-imalist marvel with artful interiors, balconied chambers (with Downtown or Biscayne Bay vistas) and biz-smart extras like in-room content streaming. But EAST Maimi’s crowning glory is undoubtedly the viewtastic 20th-floor deck with lap pool, spa, cold plunge and hot tubs, plus Miami's hottest rooftop bar, verdant Balinese-inspired oasis Sugar.
788 Brickell Plaza, Brickell. +1 305 712 7000. east-miami.com
So she isn’t exactly new, but The Ritz did reopen in June following a four year, $450 million restoration/renovation. Now the suites – where the likes of Marcel, Cole, F.Scott, Coco and Di once bedded down – are back to their sumptuous best, and iconic elements such as Bar Hemingway are joined by new indulgences like the brand-designed and maintained Chanel Spa.
15 Place Vendôme, 1st, Paris. +33 1 43 16 30 30. ritzparis.com
This achingly hip, tropical-retro beach bunker reps Balinese artisanry via bold artworks, contempo batik pieces, Mid-Century furny and collectables hand-picked by owner Robert Akili. It being a Potato Head joint, you're treated to a generous inroom bar with every gadget and infused mixer imaginable. Once you do manage to stagger outside, there's Dre Masso's Akademi bar for yet more tipples, and Melbourne import MoVida for tapas bites. Just lush.
Jl Petitenget 51, Kerobokan, Bali. +62 361 302 9999, katamama.com
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Having spent the better part of her 'study years' flitting from Sri Lanka and South Africa to Iceland and Italy, Eleani joined LUXE fresh from freelancing for TimeOut Melbourne and Fairfax media.