Don't let the summer's end get you down. Fall is right around the corner, and with it some of the most exciting hotel openings of the year--just in time to book those holiday travel plans.
By Lindsey Olander
From The Hoxton to the Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam's best hotels are beginning to embrace a more updated kind of luxury--and landmarks are following suit. The Pulitzer, an icon for centuries, is the latest to refresh. Each of the 225 rooms, spread across 25 historic canal houses, have been individually redesigned as artful combinations of past and present Dutch aesthetics. For inspiration, Creative Director Jacu Strauss (whose previous work includes the Mondrian London under Tom Dixon) drew heavily from the dark, moody work of Old Masters (oil paintings and gold-framed mirrors sourced from city markets; Delft tiles and stucco ceilings), but also included modern pieces such as Maarten Baas furniture and Persian rugs by Piet Hein Eek.
Il Sereno Lago di Como, Italy
Europe's most anticipated new stay, built on a cliff in the quiet Lake Como town of Torno, lives up to the hype. Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola designed all 30 suites and villas with the open-plan style of sister property Le Sereno in St. Barts in mind: interiors are done up in stone and copper as well as a smattering of local artisan artwork, geometric armchairs, and sculpted wood tables, all of which lends a contemporary, more relaxed vibe than traditional hotels like Villa d'Este. Our favorite perks: the terrace overlooking Lake Como, with two vertical gardens designed by botanist Patrick Blanc, and the two wooden motorboats on hand to whisk guests north to Bellagio for a romantic dinner.
Chablé Resort, Mexico
This Yucatán Peninsula newcomer, debuting this October, is proof the luxury circuit isn't only limited to Cancún. And jungle living never looked so good: 38 pool villas, two presidential suites, and a 19th-century restored hacienda are scattered across 750 acres of Mayan forest, complete with a Maya garden (cultivated using century-old harvesting methods) that provides ingredients for the main restaurant as well as a cellar that reportedly stocks the world's largest private tequila collection. The hotel's best asset, however, is the destination spa, built within a natural cenote (cave), which uses ancient Mayan healing techniques to help transport you even further back in time.
The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, New York
It's been an agonizing three years since we heard NYC's landmark 5 Beekman Street building would reopen--and the wait is finally over. The glorious 1881, red-brick Beekman has debuted with 287 rooms including two duplex "Turret" suites with roof access; destination restaurants from Tom Colicchio and Keith McNally; and, in the restored nine-story atrium, an atmospheric lobby bar with layer upon layer of Persian rugs, velvet armchairs and hanging portraits of Edgar Allen Poe, who once wrote in this very space.
Helena Bay, New Zealand
This coastal retreat on New Zealand's North Island, which debuts just in time for summer in the Southern Hemisphere, is giving nearby Huka Lodge a run for its money. With just five villa suites that fit up to 10 guests, the residential retreat is a luxurious study in exclusivity, where balconies overlook the bay and a main house has communal areas for socializing--be it in the library, around the outdoor fire pit, at the gym, or by the heated courtyard swimming pool. At the hotel's restaurant, executive chef Michele Martino and chef Ernesto Iaccarino (of Italy's two-Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890) dish up elevated Italian cuisine using ingredients sourced from the estate's own farm. JS Tip: It's a two-hour scenic drive from Auckland, but a 45-minute helicopter flight is available for those looking to make an entrance.
Le Barthélemy, St. Bart's
Welcome to St. Bart's next destination hideaway. Opening in October, this glamorous hotel has 46 elegant, understated rooms set along 600 feet of beachfront. The sun-filled interiors feature natural materials, terraces with drop-down screens (for extra privacy), and pops of turquoise and lime green that echo the sea and swaying palm leaves just a stone's throw away. Spend your afternoons paddle boarding or sunfish sailing out on the still waters of the Grand Cul-de-Sac, then head to Le Spa for a body scrub or massage.
RELATED: Your Ultimate Guide to St. Barts
Read the rest of Fall's Most Exciting Hotel Openings by Lindsey Olander, a regular contributor to Jetsetter
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