Amanda Morison
Amanda Morison


HOTELS • November 2017

Seven hot hotels for 2018

From modern urban masterpieces to dreamy beachside escapes, here travel writer Amanda Morison reveals the new hotels to check out (and check into) next year

01 Proper Hotel Downtown LA

Proper Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles

This redbrick tower – which dates back to 1926 – has been a private club and a YMCA in previous lives. The building’s exterior, including the barley-twist columns and arched windows on the third floor, will remain largely the same, though a rooftop neon ‘PROPER’ sign will put the hotel’s name in bright lights. Inside, designer Kelly Wearstler has stripped aesthetics back to basics while preserving important original features, including parquet floors and an elaborate Art Nouveau ceiling in the fourth-floor restaurant. Fun touches include a basketball court on the sixth floor with a 20-foot-high ceiling, and a rooftop pool with lounge.
Check in: Spring 2018

02 Bulgari Resort Dubai

Bulgari Resort, Dubai

The United Arab Emirates isn’t exactly short on glamorous hotels, with more stars than anyone thought possible in the hospitality galaxy, but the Bulgari Dubai is set to be the Emirate’s most expensive. Located in the middle of man-made Jumeirah Bay Island, the hotel’s scale is unprecedented: 1.7 million square feet (the spa alone is more than 18,000 square feet), housing a private marina and six restaurants (including one dedicated to sushi that seats only six diners). The most striking feature, though, is the shimmering, golden, lace-like brise soleil structure that deflects light and heat.
Check in: December 2017

03 LUX* North Malé

LUX* North Malé, Maldives

If a six-hectare desert island dedicated to picnics sounds good, imagine it souped up as an innovative resort informed by superyacht design and Miami South Beach culture. Instead of the thatched villas so often seen in this island nation, LUX* North Malé comprises 60 vast two-floor penthouse residences with white curved walls and private pools with fuchsia-and-turquoise tiles. Each also has its own ‘reef terrace’, a five-metre-high deck with a Big Green Egg barbecue (it grills, smokes and does everything except catch your lobster), bar, cinema, Sonos sound system, yoga plinth and starlight Jacuzzi.
Check in: January 2018

04 Hastings Belfast

Grand Central Hotel, Belfast

The opening of Grand Central, by Hastings Hotels, marks the third time the city has been home to a hotel of this name. The first hosted everyone from royalty to the Rolling Stones, and was demolished to make way for a shopping centre. The latest incarnation is housed in the tallest commercial building in Ireland, and will be the country’s largest hotel when it opens next year. According to Hastings’ founder, Sir William Hastings, “The intention is to make it look not like an office block.” To achieve this, the verticals will be emphasised with uninterrupted lines of glass to make the building appear even taller and create vast guest-room windows.
Check in: May/June 2018

05 Manhattan Loft Gardens, London

Manhattan Loft Gardens Design Hotel, London

Following the success of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and André Balazs’ conversion of a Victorian fire station into the Chiltern Firehouse, news that the Manhattan Loft Corporation was working on a London hotel was always going to create a buzz. The 150-room hotel occupies the seven lower levels of a 42-floor, double-cantilevered tower with three sky gardens, located in London’s Stratford City. Hotel guests share communal spaces with residents and office workers, including a spa, meeting spaces and external roof garden overlooking the Olympic Park.
Check in: By the end of 2018

06 Zadun, Mexico

Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Mexico

More tranquil seaside town than hotel, Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Mexico will be its fourth in this exclusive portfolio here. Each resort is set in a remarkable location – in this case an unspoilt part of the Baja Peninsula where giant dunes undulate towards the sea. The resort comprises 115 suites and villas, plus 125 private residences known as The Enclaves. All are built in honey-coloured stone to blend into the botanical park fringing the otherwise arid desert landscape along the Sea of Cortez. Expect glass walls that open to allow sea breezes and uninterrupted views, an art garden, marina with berths for yachts up to 300 feet, and two signature golf courses by Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.
Check in: Early 2018

07 Nobis, Copenhagen

Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Although its 77 rooms are as pared down as anything you’d find in Denmark, the exterior of the Nobis Hotel Copenhagen is another matter. The hotel is a gloriously grand landmark building, with a symmetric, doll’s-house style, that was built to house the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Architect Gert Wingårdh’s new ‘pared-down Le Corbusier’ look teams impressive original features (including decorative cornices and a wrought-iron staircase) with contemporary design. Expect minimalist steel four-poster beds, abstract patterned rugs, and a playful glass-ball light installation cascading through the staircase’s central well.
Check in: Already open

This article has been tagged Destination, Hotels