It is customary at this time of year to look ahead, and who are we to break with tradition. So here, in no particular order, are some of the places we’ve been rather over-excited to add to our 2022 travel planner; a combination of just-launched gems and soon-to-arrive scene-stealers. Suitcases at the ready…
Reinvention is London’s stock-in-trade, and there’ll be plenty of it about in 2022. For one, its most rock ‘n’ roll backstreet, the guitar-shop haven of Denmark Street, is adding another string to its, um, bow this spring when Chateau Denmark opens its (many) doors – it’s more of a creatives encampment than a castle (this is definitely no prissy palace) and, trust us, it needs to be seen to be believed. Later in the year, the corner of Soho’s Broadwick Street is getting some of Martin Brudnizki’s signature spritz at The Broadwick. The name might be sensible but its promise of Seventies disco hedonism at an eccentric godmother’s townhouse is anything but. Talking of townhouses, storied Surrey stay, Beaverbrook, has spawned a little pied-à-terre – in Chelsea, naturally – which doffs its finely crafted cap to the city’s theatrical past.
Where better to reignite a love affair than in the city that pretty much invented amour? Paris resets the mood with a ménage à trois of haute hideaways. Hôtel Madame Rêve resides in the far-too-fit-for-its-purpose La Poste du Louvre building. You can still send postcards back home – part of the opulent address remains a community hub – but otherwise you’ll be enveloped in luxury, waking to iconic views and clinking champagne flutes in the wraparound roof garden. Château Voltaire is more discreet than its name suggests. It’s cool and clubby (as you’d expect when the owner of Zadig & Voltaire spruces up a former gentlemens’ retreat) yet beckoning as an embrace. At Hôtel Les Deux Gares in the shady yet spirited 10th, is an attitude embodied in designer Luke Edward Hall’s to-the-max styling. It’s perfectly placed for experiencing early-doors trendsetting at Canal St Martin’s natural wine bars and globetrotting eateries, and for simmering in SoPi’s sauce.
We’re swapping carb-guzzling and vino-swigging for Celtic yoga (called ‘wyda’ didn’t you know?), druid-led meditation and cocktails laced with health-inspiring spruce and stone pine amid the dizzying heights of the Dolomites. ‘What?’, we hear you say – well, a stay at Forestis will enlighten you, likely with a tree-circle ceremony or a spell of forest bathing. Yes, there’ll be lungfuls of fresh air, psyche rummaging and geomantic goings-on, but this is still Italy, so that pinch of salt you might need to take will come with a side of fonduta-drizzled pasta and swigs of muddled spirits (at the world’s highest bar, no less).
And just like that, the Big Apple is back with a new cast of head-turning hotels. Like ModernHaus: a uniquely condo-like SoHo stay, albeit one with museum-worthy artwork by the likes of Kaws, Alexander Calder, and Harland Miller and a skyline surveying rooftop pool. Or, if you’ve ever fancied the Bowling Green bull as a neighbour, a stay at the Wall Street Hotel would seem a sound investment – slated to open in Q1, to use local parlance, it’s set to inject a bit of creativity to south Manhattan’s famed financial district. All being well, Aman New York will finally take residence in the iconic Crown Building on 57th and Fifth this year too, promising 26 storeys of unrivalled luxury including a three-floor spa, two restaurants and an underground jazz bar.
Tetiaroa atoll was once the pleasure gardens for tribal kings of old, and years later its charms won over Hollywood royalty, when Marlon Brando made it his sanctum. Now gazing in awe at the stars of the Southern Cross, lounging in the aquamarine lagoon, tropical safaris and more otherworldly magic can be enjoyed by a rarefied handful of guests at the Brando. This resort honours the star by name and in deed, implementing radical sustainability measures that Marlon obsessed over in his latter years – a legacy that maybe even outstrips his cinematic achievements, and a hotel that somehow improves on paradise.
Pharrell Williams has produced hits for Britney, Kelis, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and now…you. Yes, welcome everyone to his Goodtime Hotel, conceived with Miami nightlife mogul David Grutman (with Pharrell presumably asking Can I Have It Like That until he was Happy) as a full-tilt-boogie ode to enjoyment where DJs set the mood and beautiful people cavort on the 25,000 square foot (!) pool deck, Purple Reign cocktails in hand. If you prefer the dial cranked a little less towards ‘maximalist’ then Hotel Greystone, wearer of one of Miami Beach’s finest art deco facades, woos with a little more subtlety – a Franco-Japanese restaurant, moody basement speakeasy, Thirties-style rooftop pool, even the occasional cabaret night.
Culture, colour and cuisine are in no short supply in India’s largest state, but all three co-exist in concentrated form at Six Senses’ new fairytale Fort Barwara, a jalebi-tinted confection of time-worn domes and passages, dream-inducing suites and a hat trick of impressively sustainable restaurants. The jewel in Rajasthan’s crown, however, may well be Ranthambore National Park (30 minutes away) and its troupe of Royal Bengal tigers. And when better to visit than 2022: the Year of the Tiger…
When it comes to a Greek getaway in 2022, turn your sights inland, then to the left and down a bit… The hard to spell, yet easy to love Peloponnese is more rugged than the country’s honeymoon islands, yet no less romantic, and to experience it like one of its most fascinating denizens, then check into the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor House. ‘Paddy’ was a travel writer, woo-er of Romanian princesses, war hero and party host extraordinaire, and he and his wife had the house to accomodate all his character. An antique-stuffed redbrick with a manicured garden that leads straight to the sea, it’s a stay that’ll leave you with plenty of stories to tell, made all the more special by the fact it’s only available for a few months a year according to stipulations in Paddy’s will. Or, maybe you just want to get a little buzzed – hey, 2021 was hard on all of us. Dexamenes Seaside Hotel wears its beachy Brutalism well, and the working winery has rooms made from former fermentation tanks and dining spaces in converted silos.
There’s plenty to reignite our love for the Golden State, not least a good roadtrip. Thankfully there are three madeover motels making our route-planning a lot easier. Just off the highway near Los Padres national forest, Cuyama Buckhorn is a roadside refuge of vintage-dressed rooms, served with bloody marys and leisurely games of bocce. Pioneertown Motel is in a movie-set town in the high desert, these days favoured for its proximity to music venue Pappy & Harriet’s and Joshua Tree national park. Hotel June Malibu (formerly the Native) brings a laid-back SoCal vibe, access to incredible beaches and proximity to town that warrant more than a stopover at its restored 1950s motel rooms. Back in Los Angeles, wind down at Downtown LA Proper: modernist-Mexican suites in a glorious Renaissance Revival building, crowned by a roof terrace and pool.
Much like a Boxing Day sandwich, Scotland is a well put together ‘best of’ collection (in this case, of hikes, beaches, wildlife and whisky). Risk-takers and peace-seekers alike will warm to the Highlands lack of signal, impressive mountains, sinuous roads (and their steep drops) and steady supply of distilleries. Stay at Newhall Mains for that pin-drop silence, lunchtime flights to the Isle of Skye and dolphin spotting (for, as we’ve said before, the Black Isle is more than just a bookend); or hunker down at the storied Rusacks St Andrews – the richly-furnished rooms are within putting distance of the world’s best golf course (oh, and castles, cathedrals and bracing beaches, too).
All roads lead to Rome, so they say, and those that don’t arguably should. Where better to usher in the roaring twenties 2.0 than the decadent cradle of the Eternal City, where hedonistic fervour and carbonara-induced stupors go mano nella mano amidst the crumbling beauty of this grand seductress. Newcomer Rhinoceros Roma has just the ticket for such baroque diversions, albeit with a razor-sharp edge of concrete and chrome. Sandwiched between the seethingly cool neighbourhood of Monti and the ancient ruins of the forum, its stark, historically stratified pads have all the drama you’d expect from owner Alda Fendi, Italian fashion heiress and self-confessed banality-dodger. Oh, and a fine-dining rooftop spot with views so exceedingly cinematic they’d make Fellini weep.
The Centennial State might feel like a well-worn path, but bear with us: all the way over Vail Pass in its south-western wilds (or a short hop from Montrose airport), Madeline Hotel & Residences is a grand-dame resort offering all the mountain adventures, wellness and top-notch dining you could wish for in Telluride’s Mountain Village. A world away on the Colorado prairies, pull on your cowboy boots and stay at storied conservation outpost, Zapata Ranch, whiling away days in Great Sand Dunes national park or helping to herd the ranch’s thousand-strong bison herd – on horseback, we should add.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Tanzania, and two of them are Kantabile Afrika’s eco-friendly Serengeti dwellings: Cherero Camp and Aurari Camp. Leave a lighter safari footprint with a stay in these canvas tents – they’re built entirely from locally sourced materials, furnishings are designed by local artisans, and the all-Tanzanian team act as custodians of the land. Both camps are well-positioned for the annual great wildebeest migration (frequently touted as one of the most spectacular natural events on the planet), and for plentiful sightings of the big five, often with no other camps or Cruisers in sight.
Well away from some of the island’s less reputable, cocktails-served-in-watermelons resorts, classical Crete has some far more high-brow hideaways – namely, Acro Suites, the vision of some stylish sisters from a hospitable family of hoteliers. The ‘Acro’ in question means ‘edge’ and you’ll be close to both the cliff and cutting variety, especially in the suites that have their own pool in a cave. Crete is also home to the Island Concept: its suites feel more like entire private villas and the restaurant serves up that famously life-extending fare with lashings of aquamarine Aegean views.
The Iberian underdog’s two major cities – Lisbon and Porto – just so happen to be home to two particularly inviting new additions. Valverde is a hideout for the hustle-haters – its townhouse façade masking a warren of tucked-away spaces and sultry corners (although aesthetes will certainly want to see – and be seen by – the marble-clad pool). Just south of Porto centre is Vila Foz, a palatial oceanside pad where intimate conversations are encouraged over – you guessed it – a bottle of port. Its location means you can dip into Porto’s museums, the Atlantic ocean and a decadent seafood lunch, all within the space of one sun-kissed day.
Shock! We’re not about to pitch the Maldives as a honeymoon destination. In fact, one of the country’s most exciting new openings, Joali Being, focuses solely on you. Tailored wellbeing programs encourage deep connections to your mind, body and environment – so come alone, with a partner, or with friends. Residing in the Raa Atoll, this sustainability-minded island is a villa-only affair (all with private infinity pools, mind). The hardest decision to make? Whether to bed down above the ocean or on the beach. Let the nutritionists, herbalists, hydrotherapy experts, personal trainers, sound-healing gurus, anti-gravity yoga teachers, and personal butlers take care of the rest (yes, really). Launching here sooner than you can say ‘self-love’.
Those visiting Havana in 2022 will have the luxury of, well, luxury. Ever-loosening trade embargoes have brought boutique lodgings to the city, where before there were Habanero homesteads to crash in or less-inspiring big-brand stays. A|S Boutique Residence is one such sign of the times, a spectacular shabby-chic (with emphasis on the ‘chic’) homestay owned by a dancer and an artist whose work hangs throughout. On the rooftop happy-hour mojitos are handed round and, at ground level, cultural happenings (art shows, gigs, dance recitals) let you mingle with locals more freely than you might have once. Whether you’ve come for a deep dive into the revolución, to down lashings of rum, salsa along the Malecon or road trip to the beach, a base like this imbues your stay with Cuban spirit.
In Segovia, a little over an hour’s drive north of Madrid, we’ve found Hotel Caserío Aldeallana: a fabulously fashionable finca run by a stylish Spanish clan – the daughter now commanding its convivial kitchen used to work for Vogue. They enlisted the help of their in-demand interiors-queen friend Isabel López-Quesada to remaster their farmhouse for well-heeled, weekending Madrileños in the know. Down in Menorca, Cristine Bedfor is a charming inn, with furnishings sourced from Europe’s finest brocantes, and Zannier is set to expand its collection of stellar stays to the Balearics with shoreside estate Finca Bellavista, also on Menorca.
In need of a trip that’ll set your spirits soaring? Try Sri Lanka, a country capable of curing the most entrenched ennui. Tropical, colourful and laden with spice, the teardrop-shaped nation is inherently uplifting – and that’s without the aid of its famous cuppa. For the full effect, we prescribe a stay at newcomer Malabar Hill, overlooking the jungle-fringed beach at Weligama. Stood astride the spine of a hill, the hotel has a regal perch and interiors that draw on Indo-Islamic artistry, including intricate woodwork and furniture befitting a Moorish palace. You’ll bed down in one of the standalone villas, commanding views across protected wetlands or the Indian Ocean. Ain’t that a tonic for the last two years?
Compiled by Hannah Dace, Martin Dickie, Stephanie Gavan, Caroline Lewis, Richard MacKichan, Kate Pettifer, Hamish Roy and Kate Weir