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Hotels We’re Most Excited For in 2015

Where will we be laying our heads in 2015? Perhaps a nouveau Dubai palace designed by Versace? Or a tented suite in the Kenyan savannah? There’s a lot to look forward to in hotel land this year as fashion designers and even airlines get into the hotel game. From luxe brands in up-and-coming destinations to over-the-top urban openings, Valaer Murray uncovers the best and brightest new digs for 2015

See recent posts by Valaer Murray

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Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay Morocco, Summer 2015

Marrakech has some of the world’s most glamorous hotels, and now Morocco’s coastline is getting the haute treatment with the opening of Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay. The zen property, set to open summer 2015, will occupy a prime location on the Mediterranean coast near Tangiers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Rif Mountains. As Banyan Tree’s first African outpost, the all-villa property raises the luxury stakes on the continent’s northern coast. Some villas will have their own spa treatment rooms while the waterfront villas will have outdoor living rooms featuring a fireplace alongside a private pool that meanders beneath Moroccan arches. Interiors draw inspiration from traditional riads, giving guests a sense of place, but signature restaurant Saffron will serve Thai food.

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Viceroy Bodrum Turkey, Late 2015

The Turkish Riviera, a mix of glitzy resorts and sleepy fishing villages along the stunning Aegean coast, is finally getting the attention of U.S. travelers. Especially now that one of the most design-centric hotel chains is opening a 32-acre beach resort in the picturesque east-meets-west town of Bodrum. The Viceroy Bodrum's 84 minimalist-chic guestrooms will be joined by 166 residences that include seaside villas, along with a beach club, spa, multiple restaurants and an infinity pool overlooking the Koyunbaba Bay. And Viceroy isn’t the only brand serving up Turkish delights: Mandarin Oriental opened up in spring 2014 in Bodrum and Swissôtel will be revealing their new digs in nearby Turgutreis this year.

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The Lanesborough London, Spring 2015

London has been pining for its iconic Lanesborough hotel since it closed for renovations back in 2013. But this year, the stunning Regency building will finally throw open the doors on its multi-million dollar renovation. Former guests will recognize its famous restaurant, Apsleys, in name only, as the interiors have been given an overhaul by the legendary Alberto Pinto Studio, known for their fantastical designs on properties like The Grand Hotel Park in Gstaad. Also opening in 2015? The Hospital Club, a Covent Garden hotel and cultural hub with a recording studio, performance space and restaurant. On January 15, the club will be opening 15 groovy guestrooms designed by Russell Sage, who also had a hand in the ongoing renovation of another London institution, The Goring Hotel.

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Hotel Sant Francesc Mallorca Spain, Spring 2015

From the family that has owned Barcelona’s venerable Majestic Hotel since 1918, Hotel Sant Francesc represents the younger generation’s step into the bright future of boutique hotels. The 42-room hotel may be set in an 1800s manor house, but the design mixes in sleek modernity in muted palettes that allow the restored ceiling murals to shine, and the amenities, including a sleek rooftop pool and bar. The restaurant, set beside the garden in the manor’s former stables, will serve contemporary Mediterranean fare by Michelin-starred Chef Paco Pérez alongside vintages from the island’s small-production wineries. Located within the ancient walls of Palma de Mallorca, guests get the best of both worlds: the rich history of the Balearic island’s capital and stunning views of the sea.

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Angama Mara Kenya, June 2015

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Meryl Streep’s star turn in Out of Africa and you can live out those adventures on the very spot that the movie was filmed with the opening of Kenya’s Angama Mara by luxe safari outfitters &Beyond. “Camp”, of course, doesn’t do it justice, as the tented suites put most hotel rooms to shame with a lounge area, Rift Valley views through glass fronts, polished parquet floors and decks jutting out over the Ololoolo Escarpment. The dual camps of 15 tents also occupy guests’ time with a lodge, swimming pool, in-room massages and a fitness center. But with jeep, walking and even nighttime safaris just 20 minutes down the mountain, are you really going to want to get on the treadmill?

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Villa Stephanie Germany, Winter 2015

Baden-Baden, Germany, is a classic European spa town, where generations after generations have come to “take the waters” at places like Brenner’s, the Black Forest behemoth at the top of the hotel food chain. We thought the five-star property couldn’t get any cushier, but in 2015 it’s opening Villa Stephanie, an even more deluxe spa within a spa. The 15 bright and cheerful rooms and suites give guests access to holistic spa experiences focused on beauty enhancement, detoxing, emotional and medical care using Skinceuticals, Sisley and Anika Organic Luxury products. The restored villa will draw inspiration from Brenner’s classic glamour but will have a more contemporary edge.

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Palazzo Versace Dubai United Arab Emirates, March 2015

In a city of architectural excess, it’s hard to imagine anyone topping a palm tree-shaped island or the world’s tallest hotel. But if anyone is up to the task, it’s Versace. Hotel haute couture has long been beloved in over-the-top Dubai, with the Armani Hotel within the Burj Khalifa and the Bulgari Hotel opening on Jumeirah Bay in 2018. Seven years in the making, the Dubai Creek-side Palazzo Versace will be a study in excess with singular touches like Rosenthal cutlery and Fantini Mosaici tile-work. Other 2015 Dubai launches? The Address the BLVD, a new St. Regis outpost and Paramount Studio’s anticipated hotel.

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AltaGracia Costa Rica, January 2015

AltaGracia sits high among the hills of Perez Zeledon, a mountainous region of Costa Rica billed as the last unexplored territory in a country known for its adventure tourism. Guests have free roam of the hotel’s 350 acres for hiking, horseback riding or simply enjoying the view. But the accommodations are far from crunchy—in fact, AltaGracia’s 50 well-appointed casitas are big on (human) creature comforts. The “boutique hacienda” has plenty to entertain guests, including the large spa, Roman pool and hot tubs, meditation trail, screening room, botanical garden and various dining experiences like a fire-pit barbecue. Plus, the private helipad means that you won’t have to be chauffeured through the scenic mountain pass. Unless you want to, that is.

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Nobu Hotel at Eden Roc Miami Beach Miami, Fall 2015

Miami Beach’s legendary Eden Roc is about to make a comeback, this time orchestrated by the Robert DeNiro-backed Nobu Hospitality. If the recently opened Nobu Hotel at Caesar’s in Las Vegas is any indication, the hotel within the hotel will create the travel equivalent of a VIP room, with a litany of luxury amenities. The multi-million-dollar upgrade will include Nobu Hotel’s 210 rooms, a revitalized spa and public spaces and two restaurants, including the largest Nobu, like, ever. Miami will be an embarrassment of hotel riches in 2015, with the swank eco-conscious 1 Hotel, the Faena, the funky Washington Park Hotel and Marriott's new AC Hotel Miami following hot on the heels of 2014's buzzy Edition and Thompson hotels.

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Finest Playa Mujeres Mexico, February 2015

Finest enters the Cancun market with a novel idea—an upscale all-inclusive hotel for the whole damn family—to complement Excellence’s adults-only resorts. The plan is to carve up the giant beach resort into separate areas for all types of clientele, like indoor pavilions for infants through age 15. Then there’s a club level for the 18 and up crowd, which means a private beach area and designated hot tubs among other upgrades. Plus, even junior suites have their own plunge pool in case the 12 other pools aren’t to your liking. Nine dining options and 17 bars are available for the all-inclusive services, but you’ll have to pay extra for the spa’s large hydrotherapy room which includes a bubble massage lounger, ice treatment room, and not just a Cuban shower, but also a Scottish shower. (We had to look that up too.)

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Rosewood Baha Mar Bahamas, Spring 2015

The giant new resort complex in Baha Mar seeks to make the Bahamas hot again by opening five hotels with some serious amenities, including an ESPA spa and multiple casinos. But Rosewood will take that and raise you pool butlers, a Jack Nicklaus golf course, a Rum Room and regulation croquet courts. As the purveyors of three of the Caribbean’s most baller resorts—Jumby Bay, Little Dix Bay and Tucker’s Point—Rosewood is synonymous with unique five-star resorts in the region. The hotel plans to celebrate Bahamanian culture in various ways, from the menu at the farm-to-table restaurant, Commonwealth, to the decor in the 185 beach-view guestrooms, which meld funky modern furnishings with local art and British Colonial flourishes. The creme de la creme of accommodations, the five beachfront villas, will have access to the resort’s private Cable Beach.

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Inn at Rancho Santana Nicaragua, March 2015

The quiet 2,700 acre resort hamlet of Rancho Santana on Nicaragua’s southwestern shores will get some slick boutique digs in 2015. Centered around the sweeping Las Cinco Playas, the resort area formerly only offered casitas, villas and privately-owned homes, but the 17-room Inn at Rancho Santana will offer a more accessible way to visit this protected coastal area. Expect high-end amenities like spa bathrooms with hand-painted tiles, textiles by artist Peter Fasano and in-room iPads for ordering cafe items cooked up with ingredients from the ranch’s organic farm. Much of the custom décor was produced at the ranch’s own wood shop and ironworks.

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Virgin Hotel Chicago Chicago, Winter 2015

One of our favorite airlines is getting into the city hotel game with the opening of the Virgin Hotel Chicago (with Nashville and NYC to follow). Expect Virgin’s signature cheeky style as well as a carefully considered layout in which guest “chambers” are split into a sleeping area and a dressing room. Located in the Loop, the hotel will house a diner, Miss Ricky’s, with a late-night menu; a rooftop bar; a cafe/wine bar; and the Commons Room, a clubby restaurant and lounge. Also blowing into the Windy City? The second outpost of Miami’s funky Freehand hotel. Expect high design for a seriously wallet friendly price and a buzzy bar scene courtesy of the Broken Shaker.

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The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel New York, Fall 2015

At long last, the gorgeous Temple Court building at 5 Beekman Street no longer sits vacant in disrepair. The historic Financial District landmark is being whipped into shape by Thompson Hotels and will have over 250 guestrooms. Mega-restauranteurs Keith McNally and Tom Colicchio will both open eateries, with designs that will make use of the building’s nine-story glass atrium. Guests will also have access to a media room, rooftop terrace and fitness center.

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Mandapa Bali, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve Bali, Summer 2015

The luxury gurus at Ritz-Carlton seem to know what you want before you even have to ask for it. And that’s the case in Bali, where the chain has created the perfect new combo of hotels. The just-opened beachside location in Nusa Dua will be perfecty complemented by the much more intimate Mandapa Bali among the rice paddies in Ubud. The experiential resort comprises 60 massive villas, maxing out at over 20,000 square feet, and will have multiple dining options, from Mediterranean in a bamboo hut overlooking the river to a less formal Balinese-style open-air restaurant. There will likely be an emphasis on wellness in keeping with Ubud’s spiritual renown, and the state-of-the-art spa will be the heart center—and main attraction—of the resort.



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