Best for… contemporary eco-luxury
Salt of Palmar
Londoners will be familiar with the work of French artist Camille Walala. Even if they couldn’t name her, they will no doubt have passed one of her distinctive graphic prints on a Shoreditch skyscraper. However, over on the beautiful island of Mauritius, Walala had an entire hotel at her disposal in the form of the award-winning Salt of Palmar. This boutique hotel, which opened in 2018, is set in a Moorish-style building designed by local architecture practice JFA. Walala’s bold graphic prints are balanced with a more neutral colour palette inspired by the island’s natural beauty. The interiors may be ideal for the ’gram, but another benefit of staying at Salt of Palmar is the hotel’s impressive and award-winning sustainability credentials. It works with local craftspeople and suppliers to minimise waste, uses plenty of eco-friendly products and even has a zero single-use plastic policy.
Best for… art lovers
Hotel Aristide, Greece
Launching this spring is a boutique new hotel on the Greek island of Syros – the capital of the Cyclades and one of the country’s lesser-known gems. Hotel Aristide has just nine bedrooms and focuses on elegant design, art and sustainability. Located in one of Greece’s last neoclassical mansions, the hotel is owned by sisters Jasmin and Oana Aristide, who fell in love with both the island and the house. Expert care has been taken to restore the building’s unique period character and architectural details with traditional materials – including nine different types of Greek marble – contrasted with contemporary finishes. It may be small, but the accommodation doesn’t scrimp on luxury, with three of the suites including private terraces and plunge pools and a penthouse suite with one of the finest views of the island. As well as looking like a wing of the V&A museum in itself, Hotel Aristide also has a permanent art gallery and a newly launched artist residence programme, which will see seven international artists taking part on a rolling basis and hosting weekly workshops and talks.
Best for… Belle Époque elegance
Anantara New York Palace
Another newcomer this year – albeit one that has technically stood in the Hungarian capital since 1894 – is the opulent Anantara New York Palace in Budapest. The first Hungarian outpost of the luxury hotel group is a heady mix of Italian Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau influences, and was originally designed by prolific Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann. In keeping with the five-star Anantara brand, the New York Palace evokes Belle Époque glamour in spades, with the addition of a new lobby, all-day dining restaurant and, later in the year, a lavish spa with 15m swimming pool.
Best for… music aficionados
Chateau Denmark, London
London has a rich music history, but few addresses scream rock ’n’ roll quite like Denmark Street. Wall-to-wall guitar stores, record shops and studios, Denmark Street is now also home to the newly opened Chateau Denmark. This independent hotel is actually set across 16 buildings with 55 “session room” bedrooms and plush apartments in Grade-listed townhouses – as well as recording studios and a performance space. The interior design, masterminded by award-winning local studio Taylor Howes, is unapologetically rock ’n’ roll, inspired by its environment and the hedonism of nearby Soho. Luxury gothic flourishes in gold, red and black balance the more obvious punk tartan and graffiti elements. It’s fun yet high-end, and certainly not your average central-London stay.
Best for… unbeatable views
You’ll need a head for heights when staying at the sprawling Bürgenstock Hotel in Switzerland. Perched high above Lake Lucerne, the death-defying architecture of this luxury hotel – where it appears to dangle over the cliff edge – means that all 102 bedrooms, the spa, restaurants and roof terrace overlook the water. The Asian-inspired restaurant Spices Kitchen & Terrace even sits directly over the edge in a protruding glass box. Not only that, but there’s the option of taking the historic Bürgenstock Funicular 400m directly to your destination. The five-star hotel is part of the wider Bürgenstock Hotels & Resort, a veritable town in itself with four hotels, 10 restaurants, 69 residences, a golf course, an ice-skating rink and even its own medical centre.