May 13, 2021

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It's time to think about Travel.

The Top New Hotels In Europe To Book Now For When We Can Travel (Part 1)

Like never before, we’re dreaming of the ‘big escape’. With the vaccination progress underway, it now seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel. What does this mean for travel? Well, for the first time in a long time, there is optimism growing around the possibility that – maybe, just maybe – we can get away this year. What’s more, this new-found, faintly positive attitude is being led by a flurry of new openings across Europe, just waiting for us to check in. Here, across two articles, are 12 of the best.

HOTEL CASTELLO DI RESCHIO, UMBRIA, ITALY 

What’s the buzz?

Reschio is a 3,700-acre, ancient country estate in the Umbrian hills, being brought back to life by three generations of the Bolza family. The latest development is the opening of a 1,000-year-old castle, with 36 rooms, restaurant and spa.

What are the highlights?

The design. The estate was originally bought by Count Antonio Bolza in 1994 and in the decades that followed, his architect son, Count Benedikt, and daughter-in-law, Donna Nencia Corsini, have set about transforming the crumbling farmhouses into one-of-a-kind private homes. The couple have embraced an organic approach to the design, championing local craftsmanship. Guests can expect terracotta-brick floors, sumptuous Italian fabrics and bespoke furniture, designed by Count Benedikt himself, mixed with original oil paintings, photographs and curiosities hand-picked by the family from local antique markets.

Anything to shout about?

The Bathhouse is home to a hammam, sauna, large, ethereal plunge-pool and two treatment rooms, found in the castle’s dramatic, stone cellar. The vaulted space is atmospherically lit by the shards of sunlight that come through the original narrow slits.

What’s on the menu?

Guests can choose to dine at Al Castello and Alle Scuderie, with much of the produce coming from the estate’s own organic kitchen garden, olive groves, vineyards and beehives, with a culinary offering that celebrates Italy’s rich heritage.

When is it opening?

1 April 2021

Book it: reschio.com

CA’ DI DIO, VENICE, ITALY

What’s the buzz?

Located at the entrance to the Arsenale area, known as the Contemporary Art District of Venice and home to the iconic La Biennale, new fie-star hotel Ca’ di Dio is the latest project led by Patricia Urquiola’s design and architectural studio. The aim was to recreate a typical Venetian house in a modern style, carved out of a building that dates back to 1272.

What are the highlights?

Unusual for Venice, the hotel is contemporary in style, but still retains many original features, such as travertine flooring and preserved frescoes. Decorative elements, such as Murano glass and boiserie panelling, architectural details and lighting have been selected using small local artisan companies to ensure a strong sense of place. The hotel has 57 suites and nine deluxe rooms, spread over three floors. Ten suites have views of the lagoon and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, while two have access to a large roof terrace overlooking the San Marco Basin.

Anything to shout about?

Ideal for a respite from the bustling city, Ca’ di Dio has a spacious reading room and there is also the Pura Spa for a choice of spoiling treatments.

What’s on the menu?

During the summer months, two internal courtyards are home to the hotel’s Alchemia Bar and Essentia Restaurant, meanwhile the indoor-outdoor VERO restaurant is open year-round with views over the lagoon. The cuisine is inspired by typical Venetian dishes, with ingredients sourced from the hotel’s vegetable garden in a third internal courtyard. 

When is it opening?

Spring 2021

Book it: lifestyle-voihotels.com

INIALA HARBOUR HOUSE & RESIDENCES, MALTA

What’s the buzz?

Carved out of four Maltese townhouses, and their ancient vaults, dating back to the 1600s, Iniala Harbour House & Residences is the latest project from philanthropist, Mark Weingard. Overlooking the famous Grand Harbour in Malta’s capital Valletta, it has 23 uniquely-designed rooms and suites, all with a sleek, urban aesthetic juxtaposed with historic details and local art. Created by three leading design studios – A-Cero from Spain, Autoban from Turkey and Malta’s DAAA Haus – each townhouse has its own unique identity.

What are the highlights?

The hotel has four signature suites, with butlers, a private balcony and plunge pool. The hidden gem is The Hideaway, the hotel’s bespoke guesthouse, which is spread over five floors with each room and suite set on its own level. Meanwhile, the Iniala Spa is found in the original vaults, and has a heated indoor pool, treatment rooms, steam room, sauna and relaxation area, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness suite, called The Works. One focus is the unique experiences on offer, such as underground private tours of Valletta, an underwater photography workshop and use of Iniala’s luxury boat – Spirit Of Iniala

Anything to shout about?

Philanthropy is at the heart of Iniala. The Iniala Group supports the Inspirasia Foundation, a grant-making foundation dedicated to funding and supporting projects in health and education for marginalised communities and persons with disabilities. In Malta, the foundation recently launched Malta Together, as a response to the outbreak of COVID-19, and also annually organises the Malta Social Impact Awards (MSIA). 

What’s on the menu?

ION – The Harbour is the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, which focuses on a fine-dining experience, overseen by executive chef Andrew Borg. The menu has a ‘surprise’ concept with each dish starting from the most unlikely ingredient, chosen on what produce is available each day. 

When is it opening?

April 2021

Book it: inialamalta.com

ANGSANA CORFU, GREECE

What’s the buzz?

As Banyan Tree’s first property in Europe, Angsana Corfu offers a blend of island lifestyle with top-end Asian hospitality and, of course, a focus on wellness. The hillside resort, near to the traditional fishing village of Benitses, has 159 rooms and 37 private pool villas, inspired by Venetian architecture, which typically influences traditional Corfu houses. 

What are the highlights?

It is home to the largest hotel spa on the island. Unusually for the seasonal island destination, the resort will open year-round to offer a haven for guests looking for winter wellness breaks, as well as summer holidays. The spa offers more than 50 treatments, wellness retreats and an outdoor yoga pavilion.

Anything to shout about?

Backed by the wooden decking of the Sunrise Pool Bar, Angsana Corfu’s infinity pool has sweeping views across the bay and is the largest of its kind in Corfu.

What’s on the menu?

There is a choice of gastronomic experiences, including signature fine-dining at Botrini’s, where the inventive Mediterranean-style cuisine has been developed by Michelin-starred chef Ettore Botrini. Corfu will serve Greek favourites, and Ruen Romsai has an international menu. A juice bar will serve fresh juices, fruit, Greek yogurt and energy smoothies. Guests also will be able to opt for ‘destination dining’ experiences, such as a mountain picnic or a romantic beach dinner for two, as well as cooking classes led by the property’s culinary team.

When is it opening?

March 2021

Book it: angsana.com

KALESMA MYKONOS, GREECE

What’s the buzz?

Kalesma Mykonos is the latest uber-stylish hotel to fling open its doors on the chic Greek island. With just 25 suites and two villas, it is inspired by a traditional Greek village, with a focus on making guests feel at home.  The whitewashed collection of houses have been created to resemble a charming Mykonian village, tumbling down a slope to Ornos Bay, just a short walk from the beach. Throughout, there is a ‘neighbourhood vibe’, enhanced by weekly intimate dinners and minimalist interiors using locally-sourced materials.

What are the highlights?

The architecture has been designed by Greek design company K-Studio, responsible for high-end Greek restaurant OPSO in London and the brand-new Mykonos Airport. The holistic design pays homage to the skill and craft of traditional Greek architecture, putting it into a contemporary context. Interiors are by Vangelis Bonios, behind Kalesma’s sister restaurants Athenian hotspots Pere Ubu and Sea Spice. Both the architecture and interiors of Kalesma Mykonos were inspired by the laid-back glamour of Mykonos. Guests can expect whitewashed walls, a neutral and earthy colour palette, traditional elements of a Greek villa and archways framed by tumbling bougainvillea.

Anything to shout about?

The hotel’s Private Experience Concierges are on hand to help guests discover the island’s hidden gems, including local eateries, exclusive boutiques and picture-perfect tiny churches. They can also arrange trips to some the island’s 25 beaches – from the hottest beach clubs to wide stretches of golden sand and secluded swimming caves.

What’s on the menu?

The hotel’s restaurant, PERE UBU, will focus on seasonal and local produce. Its wood fired oven means diners will be treated with a daily selection of freshly-baked, homemade bread and pies. Overlooking the hotel’s infinity pool, it will bring a laid-back atmosphere during the day with chilled summer music, small plates and light lunches. By night, it will transform into a sophisticated eatery, serving simple, elegant dishes, which showcase the local produce, alongside innovative cocktails.

When is it opening?

29 April 2021

Book it: kalesmamykonos.com

MARBELLA ELIX, GREECE

What’s the buzz?

The third hotel to join the MarBella Collection portfolio and the first from the brand outside of Corfu, MarBella Elix is found above Karavostasi Beach in the Parga region and is the perfect place for family holidays. The area is one of natural beauty, where the mountains meet the Ionian Sea and guests will be immersed in the surrounding nature, with hiking in the hills, cycling through the countryside or swimming in the azure waters along the Karavostasi coast all on tap. 

What are the highlights?

With 13 different room types, with some having private pools and swim-up entry, there is something for everyone. There is a focus on activities, with an infinity freshwater pool, a tennis court and tennis academy, volleyball, beach volley, badminton, and mini basketball, to name just a few of the sports on offer. 

Anything to shout about?

Elixir, the luxury wellness centre, offers natural spa therapies and a fitness studio. While getting out and about is a must, whether that is searching for hidden bays in a kayak or trekking the surrounding mountains.

What’s on the menu?

The three restaurants will focus on local cuisine and Mediterranean dining. Saffron has far-reaching sea views, while relaxed dining is at Indigo Beach Restaurant, plus there’s healthy bites on offer beside the pool.

When is it opening?

Spring 2021

Book it: marbella.gr

Watch out for Part 2, which will profile another six new hotel openings in Europe.