Where to stay: the spring/summer edit 2024


Where to stay: the spring/summer edit 2024

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes – and with it a hot new batch of spring- and summer-holiday hotels

Team Smith

BY Team Smith16 April 2024

Sunshine isn’t all that will dazzle you as we move from spring to summer this year – we know where to stay in 2024 for waterside partying, meals fresh from the farm, shipwreck dives and more. So let us brighten your holidays with new-to-Smith stays from Bali to the Balearics and Somerset to Singapore.


Janu Tokyo

There are two reasons Japan is in our sights this spring. The first is the arrival of Aman’s sister brand, Janu, whose flagship opening is the much anticipated Janu Tokyo, aimed at a new generation of Aman junkies. Where Aman hotels foreground privacy, seclusion and serenity, Janu is a much livelier affair, with eight eating and drinking options, city-skyline views and a huge spa, all set in the city’s high-end Azabudai Hills.

Meanwhile in Kyoto, Six Senses is gearing up for the launch of its first Japanese hotel. Six Senses Kyoto, set to slide back its shoji doors in late April, is a no-brainer for the eco-conscious brand, whose devotion to service and wellbeing chimes neatly with Kyoto’s own concept of ichi-go ichi-e, or heightened mindfulness. We can hear the distant tinkle of shinto bells already…


Vocabolo Moscatelli

There are people who do well in the cold, thrive on order, and conduct their lives at a moderate volume. For everyone else, there’s Italy; the land of pizza, pasta and wild gesticulations. Summer on the boot is a sizzling affair, and this one will be no different – if not for the Speedo-clad ragazzi, then for a fiery quintetto of hot-to-trot hotels making their Smith debut. Up north, lesser-known Liguria is making its mark with two seaside stays.

In Genoa, Palazzo Durazzo inspires with palatial bedrooms, handpicked antiques and Domenico Parodi murals; while in handsome hamlet Laigueglia, Hotel Windsor pairs cool, contemporary rooms with exteriors that recall the riviera’s heyday through pistachio-hued loungers and scalloped parasols.

Shuffle over to Piedmont, and La Foleia looks like it’s been plucked straight out of an impressionist painting, with its floral frescoes, pastel palette and a lily-dappled lake that would make Monet weep. Heading south to the boot’s green heartlands, Orvieto’s Palazzo Petrvs is a must for design lovers, with vintage Hans-Agne Jakobsson lamps illuminating the sleek plaster finishes and beamed ceilings of this 16th-century hideaway. For something classically Umbrian, Vocabolo Moscatelli is an Elysian estate populated by bell towers, lavender fields, olive trees, and a cellar’s worth of Trebbiano for good measure.


Rebello Hotel & Spa

Azulejo-tiled buildings and winding streets; vine-filled terraces and tree-lined boulevards; striking mountainscapes and winding streets – the Unesco-favoured Ribeira district has a lot to shout about. And this summer, there are two more reasons to rave, as a double act of muito bonitos boltholes make their way onto our books. First up, the Rebello Hotel & Spa, which overlooks the Douro as it snakes its way through the valley below.

Formerly a factory, the hotel is named after Porto’s barrel-bearing rabelo boats, and pays homage to its industrial past through polished concrete floors and loft-style suites. An additional nod to the city’s nautical history is incorporated through aquatic-themed artworks and a maritime palette of blue and white.

Inland, Porto’s antiquated São Bento area is home to (arguably) the most beautiful train station in the world. It’s also home to GA Palace, a made-over mansion giving the elegant estação a run for its money with its glamorous interiors and dolce vita extras – think Bulgari-stocked bathrooms, polished Italian marble, and homemade pasta to keep you going between dips in the indoor-outdoor pool.


Rosewood Kona Village

A luxurious Rosewood retelling of an in-the-know 1960s retreat, Kona Village embodies the breeziest of Big Island living: thatched hale homesteads, mai tais and margaritas slung from a shipwrecked sailboat turned bar, lomi-lomi massages, sand-dusted scenes… But this sustainable-to-the-core stay also treats the responsibility due Hawaiian tourism with the sternness of its dramatic black-lava coast.

The land is leased from Kamehameha Schools (who provide education for natives of all ages), the Marine Life Advisory Committee and Nature Conservancy are on call for consultation, and stewards tend the archaeological sites in the grounds. Meanwhile, invasive species are curbed in creative ways (say, lakes filled with tilapia to fish) and the team of locals running it are such a part of the fabric, they may be recognised by frequent guests from the resort’s pre-Rosewood life. Talk about ohana.


Vestige Son Vell

Menorca has often hidden in the shadows of its big-sister Balearic Mallorca, but it’s just as alluring as its sibling – especially now it has the help of the increasingly buzzy hotel scene on the island. Back for its first full season, Vestige Son Vell has an expansive acreage with palms and pine trees, assorted former farm buildings, its own cala (or cove) and an 18th-century manor house in the middle. Historians were drafted in to approve the refurb, as were various artists and craftspeople. New for this year are signature facials with super-clean skincare brand Rowse.

Making its debut on the island in 2024 is Cap Menorca, transforming an old army base into some seriously luxurious cliff-edge lodgings in the south. Or go urban (relatively speaking): charming boutique hotel Cristine Bedfor has an owner with an almighty knack for the brocante find and a fixation with the classic Cotswolds aesthetic. Her Mahón casa has a glorious garden, among other treasures.


Fifth Avenue Hotel

The city that never sleeps has certainly earned its moniker: you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bar that stops pouring ahead of sunrise, a restaurant that retires its pots and pans before the early hours, and streets that fully settle down for the night. But for those who require a little downtime with their dancing, check in at Martin Brudnizki’s latest maximalist masterpiece, the Fifth Avenue Hotel. Set at the edge of NYC’s legendary shopping locus, its richly hued rooms are filled with curious collectables from the owner’s travels, a portrait-hung bar pays homage to the Gilded Age, and noted chef Andrew Carmellini cooks up a storm in the theatrical restaurant.

If you’re on the quest for something quieter – in NYC terms, at least – Untitled at 3 Freeman Alley has the Lower East Side cooing, courtesy of Scandi-style interiors and a scene-stealing rooftop terrace.


Le Dune Piscinas

This one is for the peace-seekers. Resort-dotted Costa Smeralda in Sardinia’s north-east reigns ever-popular in the Italian outpost; but Sardinia is brilliant in both blue and green: the Costa Verde, in the south-west, is a wild swathe of dunes and Mediterranean scrub, lapped by glass-clear waters.

It’s here, where centuries-old junipers slope down to the Mediterranean, that you’ll find Smith-approved hotel Le Dune Piscinas. A former warehouse for storing minerals mined in the Sardinian hinterland en route to sea, it has been reimagined as a stellar retreat of 28 rooms and suites, thoughtfully appointed with natural materials and locally sourced furnishings; bolstered by top-notch drinking and dining, and secured in your affections by its immersed-in-nature, seafront setting.


One&Only Aesthesis

Another summer season, another slew of heavenly Greek hotels opening just in time. This year we’re pointing our prow in the direction of Folegandros, a tiny speck of land adrift in the Aegean between Milos and Ios (and lesser-known Sikinos), north of Santorini. The island is just eight miles long, with one main road. The main town (or chora) has all the whitewashed buildings, bougainvillea-draped tavernas and grey flagstones to make your Cycladic dreams come true.

And arriving at Folegandros this June is Gundari, clinging to the cliffs (literally) in the south coast, and with all of the neutral-toned suites, dazzling white buildings and endless Aegean views you’d hope for.

On the mainland, the Athenian Riviera is revisiting its Fifties heyday, helped along by the arrival of One&Only Aesthesis to these especially glamorous shores. The hotel is a short drive out of Athens, near the town of Glyfada, and within easy reach of major port Piraeus, ready for your next island adventure.


Esiweni Lodge

Named after the Zulu translation for ‘cliff edge’, Esiweni Lodge takes pride in its scenic on-high position and the surveying powers that come with it. This safari retreat perches panoramically in the private Nambiti Game Reserve, where the Big Five roam alongside cheetahs, below hundreds of bird species.

Two daily game drives are included in your stay (plus all meals), so your chances of spotting these bucket-list beasts are strong. And the safari never truly ends – back at the ranch, indoor-outdoor lodges blend with the bushveld backdrop, suites are inspired by the colourings of roaming fauna, and the elevated infinity pool is primed for after-hours wildlife watching.


Boath House

The weather in the UK changes as wildly as a fish-and-chip-shop menu by region; but, in spring or summer, you’ll eventually strike it lucky sunshine-wise. Country gardens bloom, Highland contours go green and farm stores fatten with fresh produce – add baby animals and punnets of plump strawberries, and it’s prime time to stay.  Go to Somerset and you’ll find sublime seasonal sustenance at Holm, chef Nicholas Balfe’s restaurant with alluringly modern rooms.

Or, head north to the scenic wilds of Scotland’s Nairn, where Georgian manor Boath House lets artists live-in till the muse is summoned, giving guests a potent-as-whisky slug of creativity alongside dining with a rich brogue, poetically pared-back rooms and the odd house party…


Como Metropolitan Singapore

Singapore is slick and shiny, and all-the-bells-and-whistles stay Como Metropolitan Singapore fits right in – its arrival marks the brand’s homecoming, after all. It’s pulled out all the stops: a stand-out spa, Cédric Grolet-helmed pâtisserie, glass-walled rooftop pool and barbecue restaurant. This tech-savvy stay keeps one step ahead: digital artwork adorns the walls and robot baristas whip up all-day brews.

Forward thinking also takes a starring role at hybrid heritage hotel 21 Carpenter, where a modern metallic extension rises above a restored 1930s remittance house. Community is at the core of this sustainable stay: there’s an appreciation for social spaces (we’re eyeing the plant-framed terrace), the extensive art collection is as locally sourced as the snacks in your minibar, and lengthy green-minded credentials ensure a healthy future.


Faraway Martha’s Vineyard

Across New England, summer’s churning up with the fervour of the coast’s ice-cream parlours; it’s time for bike rides though dunes and long grasses, lingering seafood dinners and staring wistfully at lighthouses. In Rhode Island, Newport is hitting the right notes with its folk and jazz festivals; drift off with a ditty in your head at modernised Victorian manor the Cliffside Inn, or nautical-leaning den the Attwater.

In Maine, there are trolleys to jaunt about in, lobster hauls and schooners to skipper – experience it all authentically, bunking up in the historic sea-farer homes of Kennebunkport Captains Collection. And yet more clapboard residences have been reclaimed at Faraway Martha’s Vineyard (close to the Edgartown action).


Mathis Lodge Amed

Bali is so devoted to near mystical spirituality, it’s no wonder sturdier ideals such as aesthetics sometimes fall by the wayside. Not so at riad-inspired residence the Turiya, whose curving staircases, sunken seating areas and polished-concrete pool are evidence of serious architectural credentials.

Nor so at Mathis Lodge Amed, whose thatched roofs peep out over jungle canopy in the island’s lesser-trodden east. Its design nous is expressed by a wondrous peanut-shaped pool and that near-impossible, valley-set vantage over the Lombok Strait. And, actually, the 30-minute off-road ascent to arrive here in the hotel’s buggy is a spiritual journey worth taking.


Hotel Revival

B’more’s nickname ‘Charm City’ may have come about by a committee trying to improve its rep, but it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy. When ‘pope of trash’ John Waters and drug-addled drama The Wire are among your claims to fame, we’d understand going on the offensive; but here’s Hotel Revival and the Sagamore Pendry to let you see the city at its best. The first is clad in cool, colourful artwork, with a tucked-away bar and a trio of karaoke rooms; and its central location is reflected within, where small businesses and community partners are given the spotlight.

Sagamore holds a prime waterfront position, with a historic 1912 frontage, a pool with a party feel, whiskey bar with drams from the hotel developer’s distillery and even some rescued 17th-century cannons; plus, sculptures as grand in scale as the original ironwork and a champagne vending machine. Consider us charmed. And, should you get the urge to road trip for an hour to Washington DC, the Viceroy is another handsome hang-out, rich in local colour, while Lyle Washington DC has deco detailing.


The Wilfrid

Warmer weather in Ontario calls for a windows-rolled-down road trip to the Wilfrid, an intimate bed and breakfast (or, more accurately, bed and multi-course brunch, followed by caviar and oysters) in Prince Edward County. Served with your farm-to-table feast are forest-fringed views and personal touches from the owners Frank and Nancy, like curated playlists and handmade ceramics.

Three cosy rooms are filled with art and antiques, outdoor trails wander off into maple woodland, a sauna and hot tub make things steamy, sunset wine tastings are held under fairylights in the vineyard… But, at heart, this is a passionate love letter to local produce and home-like hospitality.

Eager to get dates in the diary? Plan ahead with our guide to where to stay throughout 2024.