10 sizzling new European hotels we’re booking into this summer
Dreaming of your next holiday? If you’re planning a Grand Tour of Europe, read on. From a bijoux hotel in Paris and a Viennese grand dame to a revitalised palazzo on the shores of Lake Como and a design-forward retreat in Mykonos, these new ultra-luxe launches promise cool and quirky at every turn. Before you book, here’s our guide to the most dazzling new hotels in Europe opening this summer.
Pavillon Faubourg Saint Germain, Paris, France
Opened late April
Paris speaks romance in summer, with days spent picnicking in manicured parks while balmy evenings are for walks along the Seine before dinner in small, intimate bistros. Stay in the City of Light’s newest boutique hotel – the 47-room Pavillon Faubourg Saint Germain, which brings added charm to the neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. While the exterior is classic 17th-century Paris, inside has been given a contemporary spin by interior designer Didier Benderli. Handpicked furnishings, sleek furniture, the accents of colour… tres chic. While the spa is certainly noteworthy (it’s so zen you will forget you’re in the middle of a metropolis), the restaurant – Les Parisiens – is a highlight. A neo-brasserie conceptualised by chef Thibault Sombardier, the menu is informal-meets-innovative. Dine on the likes of mustard-browned Brittany lobster and frites followed by pistachio soufflé with raspberry and orange blossom sorbet, washed down with a glass or two of biodynamic wine. Both the restaurant and the equally seductive James Joyce Bar pay homage to the Irish novelist who finished his seminal novel Ulysses while staying at the property 100 years ago. Surely worth raising a glass to.
Nobu Santorini, Greece
Opening 29 June
Santorini, with its whitewashed villages, pink bougainvillaea and fiery sunsets, has long been a destination for luxury holidaying. Now more than ever with the arrival of Nobu, which is set to be one of the most talked about new hotels in Europe this summer. The lifestyle brand has opened a hotel on the northeast coast of the island with 25 rooms and suites including five villas perched high above sea level, with as-far-as-the-eye-can-see views across the Aegean. Huge private terraces, king-size beds, Natura Bisse products in the bathrooms and Nespresso machines come as standard. As you’d expect, the restaurant is a highlight, serving classic Greek dishes alongside all the Nobu favourites. Work it off in the state-of-the-art fitness centre or along the famous Oia-Thira hiking route which passes the hotel. If that sounds too energetic, the dual-level infinity pool beckons.
The Hoxton Barcelona, Spain
Opened late May
The Hoxton has always prided itself on being a hotel brand that taps into culture and community, their originality, eclecticism and buzzing lobby culture all too welcome in an often greige corporate hotelscape. The Hoxton Barcelona doesn’t let the side down. Set in the hip neighbourhood of El Poblenou, within walking distance of the beach, the 240-room hotel has a warm Mediterranean feel – think terracotta floors, bold murals, natural fabrics and huge windows allowing the sunshine to pour in. The rooftop, with views across to the Sagrada Família, is home to a pool and Tope, a bar and taqueria (try the sea bass aguachile and pulled pork carnitas with pico de gallo and habanero). On the ground floor, Four Corners is a laid-back pizza restaurant with a slice shop and bodega, while the basement – La Cave – is a multifunctional space that hosts local cultural and community events.
Hotel La Palma, Capri, Italy
Opening 16 August
Hotel La Palma, which dates back to 1822, has long attracted visitors to Capri. So it’s something of a big deal that it’s set to reopen in August following a glittering transformation by Oetker Collection and the hotel’s owners the Reuben Brothers. Conceived as an “elegant Mediterranean retreat for the modern traveller”, attention to detail is sublime. The 50 rooms – 18 of them suites – have been given the Francis Sultana touch with a chic palette, bespoke furniture and marble and bronze-lined ensuites. Elsewhere, the interior designer pays homage to the island’s dolce vita lifestyle with splashes of colour, bold artworks and huge potted palms. Gennaro’s restaurant, bar and terrace are under the helm of Neopolitan chef and Michelin star Gennaro Esposito – so too the rooftop hangout Bianca, no doubt set to become a magnet for the cool sundowner crowd. There’s a spa and beach club, though you’ll mostly find us ordering Italian spritzes on the new pool deck.
Anantara Budapest Hotel, Hungary
Anantara has added to its not inconsiderable portfolio with Anantara New York Palace Hotel Budapest. Though the hotel existed in a former life, this month the luxury hotel brand has completed most of its upgrades – and we’re talking lavish on a lavish scale. It’s set in an exquisite Belle Epoque building in the heart of the city, on Erzsébet Krt boulevard on the Pest side of the Danube River. While the Alajos Hauszmann-designed facade remains intact, inside has seen a no-expense-spared renovation. The entrance sets the scene, with its marble floor and huge domed ceiling; everywhere you look, there’s a glittering Venetian chandelier, a frescoed ceiling or a gilded balustrade. For a night to remember, book a table at New York Café where chef András Wolf works his culinary finesse while classical musicians play. Upstairs, the 185 rooms and suites are a little more pared back, with the exception of the two Presidential Suites, which are deliciously decadent. With a new spa, and the White Salon and Poet Bar due for completion later this summer, this is set to be Budapest’s bright star.
Passalacqua, Lake Como, Italy
Opened on 3 June
You only have to look at Passalacqua’s website to want to jump straight onto a flight to Milan. It’s everything you’d imagine from an 18th century palazzo-turned stylish Lake Como retreat. The owners, the De Santis family, have personally overseen every detail of the restoration using small, generations-old Italian companies to do the work. And so you have hand blown Murano glass chandeliers, bathrooms clad in more than 20 different types of marble, exquisitely-crafted furniture, restored frescoes…. You get the idea. The main villa features 12 suites, then there’s the Palazz comprising eight suites and Casa Al Lago, down by the lake, which has a further four suites. The seven acres of terraced gardens are equally extraordinary, abundant with magnolias, fruit trees and fountains. Two Winter Gardens house a 20-metre swimming pool and alfresco gym respectively, there’s a clay tennis court and a couple of vintage boats for pootling around on the lake. Guests are invited to feast on the authentic Italian home cooking wherever they choose – whether that be on pretty terraces, in the Rose Garden or by the lake.
Cap St Georges, Cyprus, Greece
Opened 1 June
Though brand new, Cap St Georges blends seamlessly into the Cypriot landscape. The 202-room-and-suite beachfront hotel – which sits in Akamas National Park, overlooking the Mediterranean – has been sympathetically built using natural local stone, its grounds dotted with gnarled olive trees and local plants. There’s a private 130-metre beach cove that’s made for snorkelling, no less than three swimming pools for those who want sprawl in the sun (including a vast Olympic outdoor pool and sundeck) and a sizable spa with everything from cold plunge pools to signature Rasul mud treatment chambers. The more active can play tennis, head out on the hotel’s yacht or cycle in the national park. Restaurants cater to every taste from authentic Greek to Japanese teppanyaki, while the bar has 180-degree sea views. For the ultimate Grecian escape, stay in the seven-bedroom Akamas Presidential Villa Suite with its own infinity pool, wraparound sun terrace and jacuzzi.
7 Pines Resort Sardinia, Italy
Opening on 16 July
Sardinia – halfway between Africa and Europe in the Mediterranean – has long been a playground for sunseekers, with its white sand shoreline and emerald waters. Leading luxury hotel brand Hyatt arrives on the isle in July with the opening of 7 Pines Resort Sardinia, which is part of their luxury Destination by Hyatt offshoot. Overlooking the archipelago of La Maddalena, this 76-room property has a private beach and four secluded coves. But leave time for the fully kitted out Pure Seven Spa (which even comes with an emotional shower and outdoor areas for Kneipp therapy – a detox method based on hydrotherapy treatments). The hotel promises great things food-wise. Chef Pasquale D’Ambrosio oversees the trio of restaurants which run from fine dining (we’re liking the sound of red mullet with aubergine and almond pesto or Fettuccia pasta with marinated oyster, caviar and wild herbs) through to more laid-back, while the Cone beach club offers chilled beats and cocktails created by award-winning mixologist Philip Bischoff.
Cali Mykonos, Greece
Opening 1 July
Cali Mykonos sits on the southernmost edge of the island between two mountains, which makes its private beach all the more secluded. The resort looks traditionally Cycladic, its architects cleverly blending local stone with natural features of the landscape. Everywhere is calm, light and neutral, ensuring the hotel feels deliciously airy despite the scorching temperatures outside. Each of the 40 suites and villas has been designed to offer maximum privacy, with cool marble and native wood interiors, huge patios, private pools and flat roofs planted with local vegetation, flowers and herbs. For wow factor and wonderful views, book the three-level Cali Villa comprising five bedrooms, a private elevator and stunning wraparound terraces. Greece’s Michelin-starred chef Lefteris Lazarou helms the kitchen (expect plenty of fresh-from-the-water seafood). Plus, there’s a Pilates studio, guided sunrise salutations and a flotilla of yachts ready to take you on a tour of the Cyclades, though it’s our betting you won’t leave the seawater infinity pool.
Rosewood Vienna, Austria
From Bermuda to Beijing, British Virgin Islands to Bangkok, Rosewood hotels are always highly individual and ultra-luxe. This summer, it’s Austria’s turn to welcome the brand with the opening of Rosewood Vienna (incidentally, this is the first international luxury hotel brand to open in the city for a decade). As ever, location is key and the property is on Petersplatz, one of the most famous squares set in the Old Town. Hence all the best shopping, restaurants and cultural highlights – St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Hofburg Imperial Palace included – are moments away. Behind the 19th century facade, there are 72 guest rooms and 27 suites, with the Presidential Suite taking the crown as the largest in Vienna. Dine in the Garden Room with its secret terrace or the intimate Salon Aurelie (the hand-painted wallpaper will give you decor envy), plus there’s a rooftop bar for cocktails. Sense, A Rosewood Spa features five treatment rooms, a fitness centre, hair salon and hydrotherapy room.