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Who’d have thought it? Boring* old** Brussels is fast becoming a new hotspot for boutique hotels. What’s Flemish for “schweet”?
The latest to open is the Hotel des Galeries, which is pretty special, as it’s actually in the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert – the shopping arcade behind the medieval Grand Place, and once of Brussels’ must see spots. To enter, you take the side door to the Galeries, on the Rue des Bouchers (the pedestrianized cobbled street with all the tourist restaurants that you should definitely stay away from).
Owned by French hotelier Nadine Flammarion, whose husband (from a famous French publishing family) owns the bookshop downstairs, there are just 20 rooms (simple but modern), with views of the inside of the Galerie du Roi (the main mall), the cathedral, and the rooftops of central Brussels. Rates start from €160 ($201) per night.
Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / London Hotels / South Kensington Hotels / Preferred Hotel Group / Flash Sales / → All Tags
Well this isn’t very true to character. The Exhibitionist Hotel in South Kensington, which we told you about last month, is opening earlier than its scheduled 1 December date – rooms are available to book from 10 November.
An early opening is weird in itself, but what’s weirder is that the hotel’s own website, which was imminent last time we checked in, is still not up and running - there’s just a placeholder page with email addresses to contact. Less than two weeks to go and no website? That’s brave.
You can, of course, still book through the Preferred Hotel Group, which is showing rooms from £368 on opening night. But if you’re planning to book, you should do it through flash sale site Secret Escapes, which has it for £199 – good value for the location.
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Добро пожаловать!* We may have got a little sidetracked by the insane suites of St Petersburg yesterday, but today our eyes are pointed back towards Moscow, where the Four Seasons finally opens in a recreation of the legendary Hotel Moskva which featured on the Stolichnaya vodka label and which was bulldozed 10 years ago. (In fact, it ‘opened’ two days ago with a big party, but is only available for bookings for normal folk from today.)
As we said before, the location is spectacular, on Ploshchad Revolyutsii, which filters into Red Square. It has five food and drink venues including Italian and Russian restaurants, a 24-hour fitness center, a glass-roofed lap pool and a whopping 32,292 square feet spa, which will open early next year.
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One of the coolest and "greenest" new boutique hotels to surface in the Caribbean is on the popular island destination of Vieques, Puerto Rico. El Blok, located in the town of Esparanza, at the southern end of Vieques, is putting on its final touches and will be fully open by this weekend.
El Blok, designed by San Juan based Fuster+ Architects, goes for the softer side of modern minimalism, with a curvalineal shape that compliments the natural coastline and Esparanza's beachfront promenade. The hotel offers just 22 rooms, thus keeping its footprint small both literally (the hotel occupies the site of a former home) and environmentally (El Blok is LEED Gold Certified.) Virturally every aspect of the hotel's design has an environmental benefit.
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Is it Robinson Crusoe’s island? A previously undiscovered atoll in some warm ocean we just found on Google Earth?
No, it’s better than either of those. It’s the brand new Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa. Just that island. Just that hotel.
The hotel and its 1km-long, 300m wide private island form part of the Quirimbas archipelago off Mozambique. That’s a 45 minute flight from Pemba for you and the inhabitants of the other 11 thatched villas on the island. (And if you’re wondering, there are 32 islands in the archipelago, along with coral reefs and an aquatic national park (think dolphins and turtles as well as neon fish.)
The villas have private hammocks and pools, even though they’re bang on the beach. The design is posh rustic – nicely understated. You won’t want to move from your private space, of course, but if you do, there’s also a main pool, bar, lounge bar, spa and restaurant.
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After what feels like years of waiting, you can now officially book a room for November 10 at the Edition Miami Beach. And if you use corporate/promotional code ISS, you can stay on opening night for $250 a night, compared to the regular rate of $430 a night.
There is a $25 resort fee, per day, that includes beach chair service, beach towels, Internet access, bike rental and "more." A resort fee is never fun but it is actually very common for South Beach hotels
Nevertheless, after we fell head over heels in love with Edition London, we've been anxiously awaiting its Miami Beach sister. The 294-room hotel from hotelier Ian Schrager and Marriott Hotels was designed by architects George Yabu and Glenn Pushelber, along with landscape designer Madison Cox. While the guest rooms will be luxurious in an understated, frill-free way, the rest of the resort will be very turnt up.
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One can never have too many hotels on Phuket, and for Accor, nine just isn’t enough. Hence the arrival of Novotel Phuket Karon Beach, which opened three days ago on Karon Beach (not exactly an exclusive location, but good if you want the feel of a resort).
The fourth Novotel on Phuket, it’s newly built with 224 rooms, which look rather nice, if not groundbreakingly original. There are three restaurants, two bars, a fitness center and sauna, and an outdoor pool (this rendering on the Facebook page looks nice, though we’re a little suspicious there’s no photo on the website yet).
There’s even a “video games area” (shudder) and a kids club.
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Just over a year ago, we dished on the details behind The Brando, Marlon Brando's posthumous hotel on Tetiaroa, a 12-islet atoll 30 miles northeast of Tahiti. Photos and guest-experience insight were limited at the time, but now that the hotel officially opened this summer - on July 1st, the 10th anniversary of Brando's death - it's time to take an inside look.
We guess we'll start with the bad news: This is one hotel that none of us will ever see the inside of. Rates start at $3,800/night for a one-bedroom villa (2 guests), and there is a three-night minimum stay. From here on out, we can consider this an eye-candy post, but just for fun, here's what's included in your daily rate at the Brando:
Accommodations; all meals in all dining venues; bottled water, soft drinks, beer, and select wines, Champagne, and spirits; 24-hour dining in the privacy of your villa; 1 excursion per person per day from a select list of options; 1 spa treatment (50 minutes) per day; Internet access; 1 bicycle per guest; access to an outrigger canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and snorkeling equipment.
A brand new boutique hotel in a 15th century building in the middle of Seville – sounds good? Here’s what sounds better: it’s so new, it’s not even on TripAdvisor yet.
Palacio Pinello opened in September in the Santa Cruz neighborhood of Seville, near the cathedral (you can see the Giralda from the hotel). It’s in a 15th century building, the Palacio de los Pinello, which was built by Pedro Pinello, a Genoese immigrant who was mates with Christopher Columbus. It’s either part of the same building, or is next door to, this historic one mentioned on TripAdvisor – but that’s the nearest you’ll come to it on there.
It’s also so new that there is no English version on the website, but from what we can gather, the rooms mix old and new with terracotta floors, feature wallpaper and slick marble bathrooms fitting in with coffered ceilings and a traditional scarlet exterior.
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Does it sound rude if we say this is not the kind of style we’d have thought Miranda Lambert would go for?
Welcome to The Ladysmith, the country singer’s new inn in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. It’s an old building from 1901; Lambert and Blake Shelton bought it last year as a bed and breakfast and events center (bridal parties rather than sell-out country shows).
It’s had a year-long renovation thanks to Lambert, and has emerged – well, as you can see. The clashing colors and pattern-on-patterns won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s definitely to ours – distressed wooden paneling with patterned wallpaper, yes please! Exposed brick walls with velvet chairs – book us in now! It’s like a shabby chic version of a Kit Kemp property, and we love it.
Lambert has been playing it coy, so far. "I have no idea what I’m doing," she told Taste of Country. "I don’t know how to run a bed and breakfast or anything about it. But it’s too beautiful of a building not to restore." It's ok, Miranda - you've done it proud.
The eight rooms all have names like the Knaughty Pine or Curtain Call (The Judge (up top) is probably our favorite with those exposed brick walls and modern chandelier above the bed). In fact, the only thing we don’t like are the plastic-looking cushions on the Knaughty Pine bed. Speaking of the beds, they’re Comforpedic IQ by Beauty Rest, a brand we don’t know personally, but one that sounds promising.
The only real downside is the price - $200 tonight for a room with shared bathroom, while the cheapest with an ensute is $280. We’d need a private performance for that price, Miranda.
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Finding a hotel room is easy. Simply go on the Internet or use your smartphone and voila! You're booked. But if you are only interested in new hotels, then that's a different story. Luckily, you have us. And we're obsessed with new hotels. Here's a list of hotels that have opened or are opening this month (and a few that aren't going to make it.) Got a new hotel to add? Send it to us!
OPENING THIS MONTH
· Rosewood Beijing: We've been eying this property for quite some time and now we're excited to see it will open on October 23. The first Rosewood for China, the Rosewood Beijing will have 283 rooms opposite the twisting CCTV Tower by Rem Koolhaas. There's a Sense Spa on site (complete with Spa Suites that you can book) and six restaurants and bars to choose from. Rates start at 2,050 CNY a night for a deluxe room with a king bed. That's about $334 USD.
· AC HOTELS BY MARRIOTT NEW ORLEANS : The first stateside AC Hotels by Marriott is promising to open in the Big Easy this month. But for now, no reservations are being accepted on the website. We plugged in dates in October and November and the dreaded "unsuccessful sell" came up. However, we do know that the hotel will be opening by November 12. So it's just a matter of getting the reservations system done.
NOT GONNA MAKE IT
· W BEIJING: We've been skeptical of the W Beijing's opening date for a really long time. Last we heard, they would open in September but now the hotel is saying it will open on November 1 instead. We're already starting to lose interest.
· HOTEL ZOO BERLIN: The reopening of the historic Hotel Zoo in Berlin will not happen this month. Instead, the new look will be unveiled on November 3 with rates start at 121 euros a night. We've been kept in the dark on the design details of the renovation but these rooms pics are showing off some pretty luxe spaces. We likey.
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Based right on the promenade in Camps Bay, with the Twelve Apostles mountains behind it, it has 11 rooms – or, technically, suites. The hotel is named after the French Chateau de Marly (a 17th-century palace for Louis XIV), which is slightly random, given its location and all, but does at least give you an idea of its lux factor.
Because these are seriously swish rooms. We’re talking huge, marble-clad bathrooms with rolltop tubs and walk-in showers. Floor-to-ceiling windows opening out onto balconies overlooking either the mountains or the sea. Ceiling height coffered headboards and modern chandeliers overhead.