Seven Downright Outrageous New Hotels To Book In 2020
Arctic Bath, Sweden. Render courtesy of Arctic Bath
The coming decade may be shrouded in geo-political uncertainty, but for those seeking an escape from the worries of modern life, it also promises a host of enticing new places to stay. From converted Indian palaces to floating Swedish spas and eco-conscious atriums in Arizona, many of the hotels arriving over the next year are redefining what luxury means while also tackling the all-important issue of sustainability in travel. Expect architecture that coexists rather than competes with the surrounding landscape. Here are seven inspiring hotels to book in 2020…
Aman New York, US
Spa pool at Aman, New York. Render courtesy of Aman
Luxury brand Aman is moving into New York’s Crown Building in 2020, a stately 1920s tower on Fifth Avenue with views of Central Park. Until recently, Aman was best known for its top-dollar hideaways in places such as Bodrum, Utah and Bhutan, but since opening a hotel in Tokyo five years ago, cities have also become its focus. Designed as an “urban sanctuary”, the Aman New York will feature a three-floor spa with an indoor lap pool flanked by fire pits, along with treatment rooms, hammams, saunas, a salon and juice bar. Designed by Mr Jean-Michel Gathy (of the firm Denniston, who also did the interiors for the Aman in Venice), the property will house 83 rooms and suites, plus 22 apartments. Meanwhile the “crown” itself will boast a five-floor penthouse condo, currently on the market for $180m. As well as two restaurants, a cigar bar and a piano bar, the Aman will have its own wine library, underground jazz club and alfresco terrace.
Six Senses Fort Barwara, India
Six Senses Fort Barwara, India. Photograph by Mr Amit Pasricha, courtesy of Six Senses
As contemporary travellers increasingly look to stay in spaces that have a deeper connection to their location, Six Senses has exceeded itself with its forthcoming property in India, just a three-hour drive from Jaipur. Here, on a 5.5-acre site, guests will reside in a transformed 14th-century fort, which was originally home to the Rajasthani royal family. The second “heritage” property for Six Senses (the first being the Six Senses Douro in Portugal), Fort Barwara is comprised of three original palaces and two temples, which are being restored along with an impressive perimeter wall. Inside will be just 48 suites, while the grounds will feature fountains and well-tended gardens. And, taking over what was once one of the palaces will be an Ayurvedic spa, with a wellness programme that includes meditation classes.
Arctic Bath, Sweden
Arctic Bath cabin, Sweden. Render courtesy of Arctic Bath
Not far from the famous Treehotel in Harads, this 12-room Arctic Bath hotel will begin welcoming visitors to Swedish Lapland in January 2020. Inspired by loggers’ traditional means of transporting felled trees by floating them down river, this nest-like timber property is actually built upon the Lule River, enabling the centrepiece to be a natural ice bath that guests plunge into directly from an inner deck. Set in miles of wooded wilderness, the Arctic Bath uses only organic and sustainable materials such as stone and wood in its construction. It also offers the option of staying in either onshore, elevated, glass-sided suites or in cabin-style floating rooms – during winter, the surrounding water will turn to thick ice. In addition to the chance to see the northern lights, the wellness-focused hotel also offers a spa and a restaurant serving healthy Nordic cuisine.
Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, France
The garden at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, France. Photograph courtesy of Airelles
In spring 2020, French hospitality company Airelles will be turning three historical buildings on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles into a hotel. While the opulent 17th-century, Unesco-protected monument has long attracted millions of tourists a year, it has remained unoccupied since 1789 – until now. Looking out on to the Orangery, the forthcoming hotel will have 14 rooms and apartments, as well as a restaurant from Michelin-decorated French chef Mr Alain Ducasse, a spa and indoor pool. It will occupy Le Grand Contrôle (once the ministry of finance), Le Petit Contrôle and the Pavillon des premières cent marches, all of which have been sensitively restored. Guests will also be given VIP access to the Palace of Versailles itself, and its famous Hall of Mirrors.
The Guardsman, UK
Residences lounge at The Guardsman Hotel, London. Render courtesy of The Guardsman
Also coming in the first half of 2020 will be The Guardsman, London, an elegant, upmarket boutique hotel on Buckingham Gate (near Buckingham Palace) with 53 rooms and six private residences on its top three floors. Inside, the purpose-built property, which was designed by Dexter Moren Associates (who also worked on the Shangri-La at The Shard), will have a stately, club-like feel with velvet armchairs, marble coffee tables, artwork in heavy gilded frames, curated bookshelves and herringbone parquet flooring. Tapping into the rising trend for personalised stays, guests will find their preferred drinks in the minibar and luxury grooming brands in the bathroom. As well as 24-hour room service, there will be a restaurant serving a menu focused on ingredients sourced from local markets and organic farms.
Ambiente Sedona, US
Guest atriums at Ambiente Sedona, Arizona. Render by Two Sister Bosses, courtesy of Ambiente
Bordered by state parks Red Rock and Slide Rock, the desert town of Sedona in Arizona is best known for its hiking trails and New Age healing. By the end of 2020, a new “landscape” hotel will set the agenda – the first of its kind in North America. The Ambient Sedona will not take the form of a single building but rather 40 “atriums” dotted across the land. These elevated cube-shaped units will have bronze-tinted, floor-to-ceiling windows designed to reflect the natural surrounds and to integrate – rather than compete with – the environment. Efforts are also being made to respect the local topography, with minimal tree-felling required to make space for the new destination. Those staying here will find rooftop gardens above their minimalist sleeping quarters, as well as a lagoon-shaped pool surrounded by cabanas.
Can Ferrereta, Spain
The restaurant at Can Ferrereta, Mallorca. Render courtesy of Can Ferrereta
One of Europe’s most desirable holiday destinations, Mallorca, is about to get even more attention this spring via the forthcoming opening of the Can Ferrereta – sister to the Sant Francesc Hotel Singular in Palma. A combined effort from local design house Bastidas Architecture and the Barcelona-based WIT estudio, the project will bring new life to a 17th-century mansion in the village of Santanyí, in the southeast region of Spain’s largest Balearic island. Heavy wooden doors open on to tranquil, sand-coloured inner spaces, with 31 monochrome rooms and suites (many boasting private terraces) complemented by textures such as pale wood, cotton upholstery and large, woven grass mats. There will also be a pool, two bars, a gym, hammam spa and Mediterranean restaurant.