From a cool new French château in Languedoc to a hip hotel in Manhattan and a slick boutique hotel in the Cotswolds
1. The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa
This one is due to open next December — but the wait will be worth it. The Silo is built within an old grain elevator by the V&A Waterfront, which is being transformed into the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa on the lower floors (zeitzfoundation.org), with the top floors being converted into 28 stylish rooms, including a massive penthouse. It will be expensive but a stay can include a visit to an exhibition below as well as a drink in the rooftop champagne bar (next to its rooftop pool). The views should be great: at 57m high, the building was the tallest in sub-Saharan Africa when it was completed in 1924.
Details Doubles from about £570 (theroyalportfolio.com/thesilo, book through aardvarksafaris.co.uk)
2. Leeu House, Franschhoek, South Africa
With the feel of a little country guest house, Leeu House is a stylish 12-room hideaway that opened this month in the centre of Franschhoek, close to many high-quality restaurants, art galleries and boutiques. It’s owned by Analjit Singh, an entrepreneur who is also a partner in Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines; house wines are included in the price of stays and a wine-tasting is arranged. There’s also a complimentary laundry and pressing service. Rooms are tastefully decorated in neutral colours and have french doors opening on to the pretty garden.
Details B&B doubles are from £120 (leeucollection.com)
3. Dhawa Cayo Las Brujas, Cuba
With Cuba increasingly opening up to the outside world, the spa group Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has decided to move in, with a vast 516-room property on the north coast island of Cayo Las Brujas. Rooms have slick red, black and white decor with contemporary furniture and spotlighting. Each floor of the hotel will have a lounge with complimentary hot drinks, sodas, snacks and ice cream. The hotel is part of Banyan Tree’s new Dhawa brand, which is pitched at “design-savvy travellers” and will, of course, come with a spa (to be called the “Chill Chill Spa”) — plus a kids’ club.
Details Room rates are yet to be set (dhawa.com)
4. Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
On an escarpment by the Simien Mountains — considered by some to be Africa’s answer to the Grand Canyon — Limalimo Lodge is one for adventurous nature-lovers. The 14-room lodge opens early in the new year, with a down-to-earth yet contemporary style: wood walls, thatched roofs, designer sofas by coffee tables made of old logs, fireplaces (the temperature can drop considerably at night), and bedrooms with tall windows facing across the mountains. As well as being a brilliant base for birdwatching, the lodge is close to a colony of gelada monkeys. Some tour operators, including Scott Dunn, are already including Limalimo in packages.
Details All-inclusive doubles are from about £150 (limalimolodge.com)
5. The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Sunrise yoga sessions (and sunset drinks) are to be a regular feature of the rooftop pool terrace of this new hotel. The Old Clare Hotel is in the vibrant Chippendale neighbourhood of Sydney in a pub/hotel that was first run by Carlton & United Breweries. Its old administration building was next door and is now part of this 62-room boutique hotel, connected by a glass linkway. The smart rooms have exposed brick walls, wood panels and parquet floors, with a fresh, modern look. There are to be three restaurants, including Kensington Street Social, with a menu created by Jason Atherton of London’s Pollen Street Social restaurant. The hotel opens fully next month.
Details Doubles are from £160 (theoldclarehotel.com.au)
6. The Beekman, New York City, United States
This is in an iconic office building dating from 1883 on the site of a long-demolished theatre where Hamlet is said to have been first performed in New York (in 1761). The highlight is a nine-storey atrium with a lounge-bar — waiters will bring drinks on cocktail carts — and elaborate balustrades with filigree decorations. The Beekman is due to open in February in the middle of lower Manhattan. It’s one of a clutch of New York hotels opening next year that includes 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, with superb view across the iconic structure (1hotels.com/brooklyn-bridge).
Details Room rates are yet to be set (thebeekman.com)
7. Chena Huts, near Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka
Chena Huts has just opened as the latest Uga Escape, a growing group of chic hotels in Sri Lanka. It’s set in jungle by a beach near Tissamaharama on the southern tip of the Indian Ocean country — convenient for Yala National Park (with its elephants and leopards). There are 14 romantic wooden cabins with palm frond roofs, giant beds, and a “posh log cabin” look. Each also comes with a private plunge pool on a deck. Sea turtles lay eggs on the white sand beach and elephants can sometimes be spotted playing in the surf. The hotel has a cocktail bar and a restaurant serving local cuisine.
Details Cabins are from £650 a night (ugaescapes.com/chenahuts)
8. Faena Hotel, Miami Beach, United States
The Faena is the latest swish hotel to open on Miami Beach, based on the designs of the Australian film director Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge!) and his wife, Catherine Martin, an Academy Award-winning costume designer. They have transformed the art deco former Saxony Hotel into a minimalist-yet-colourful palace of cool. Rooms are decorated in cherry red with retro furniture and eye-catching abstract art. The best rooms have curving balconies overlooking the sea. As well as a giant spa, there are two bars and an Asian and a South American restaurant.
Details Doubles are from about £560 (faena.com)
9. Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Félicité Island, Seychelles
Luxury lovers will have a new place to stay in the Indian Ocean from June at Six Senses Zil Pasyon. On the private island of Félicité, about 35 miles northeast of Mahé, the capital of the Seychelles, the hotel will be made up of 30 secluded villas with private pools, spread out amid lush tropical vegetation near a white sand beach. The highlight of the resort will be the spa on a rocky hill overlooking the sea, with terraces with infinity pools and massage suites. The Six Senses brand is known for its “barefoot luxury” approach, so despite all the five-star touches, the owners hope to create a laid-back feel.
Details B&B doubles are from £621 (sixsenses.com)
10. Masseria Trapana, Puglia, Italy
Just outside Lecce, Masseria Trapana is a 16th-century farmhouse that has been painstakingly restored and converted into a minimalist (but pricey) nine-suite hotel, inspired by southeast Asia. It’s the brainchild of Rob Potter-Sanders, an Australian hotelier with a love of Italy, who was won over by the simplicity of the decor he came across while travelling in Thailand and Bali. When he returned from Asia, he purchased the old building, set in 60 acres of gardens with a variety of trees including lemon, pomegranate, mandarin and walnut. There’s a gorgeous infinity pool in a walled garden with a lawn. An informal restaurant will serve local cucina povera dishes. The hotel is due to open in the spring.
Details B&B doubles cost from £524 a night (www.trapana.com)
11. Pulitzer Amsterdam, the Netherlands
This historic Amsterdam hotel — made up of a warren of 25 canal houses dating from the 17th century — is undergoing an overhaul and is due to relaunch in February. The result is, effectively, a new hotel with a hip, canalside cocktail bar and restaurant. In a city where cutting-edge design has become de rigueur in most new hotels, the joy of the Pulitzer is that the owners try to strike a balance between traditional features such as original beams, old brick walls, antique furniture and sash windows and modern art, sleek bathrooms and designer furniture. The makeover is being overseen by Jacu Strauss, formerly of Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio.
Details Doubles cost from £235 (pulitzeramsterdam.com)
12. San Luis Hotel, South Tyrol, Italy
Just opened in Italy’s most northerly province, the San Luis consists of a series of 26 wooden chalets and 16 treehouses in a lakeside forest. They are based around a clubhouse with a bar, restaurants, cinema room and a spa with indoor and outdoor pools. The highlight is a “hot tub in the middle of the lake”, which is, in truth, at the end of a jetty. Despite being in Italy, the restaurant serves traditional German cuisine. Breakfast can be delivered to chalets and treehouses, which are ultra-modern with fireplaces and neutral colour schemes. The treehouses sleep up to six. For another 2016 opening by a lake in Italy, look out for Il Sereno, a five-star hotel by Lake Como designed by Patricia Urquiola, recently named “designer of the year” by Wallpaper magazine; this is due to open next summer.
Details Doubles are from £236 for a one-bedroom chalet or treehouse (sanluis-hotel.com)
13. Marktgasse Hotel, Zürich, Switzerland
In one of the oldest buildings in Zürich, dating from the late 13th century, Marktgasse is on the site of an old inn. Over the past two years the owners have poured millions of Swiss francs into creating a 39-room boutique hotel with a paired-down, Manhattan loft-style with whitewashed walls, low-slung charcoal grey chaises longues, racks on which to hang clothes, and designer floor lamps. It’s just opened and there’s already a buzz at the dimly lit bar and the open-plan restaurant, Baltho Küche. Guests have free access to a hammam and hot tubs at the nearby Fitness Hamam Münstergasse. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Dadaism, the avant-garde art movement that began in Zürich’s Cabaret Voltaire.
Details Doubles are from £168 (marktgassehotel.ch)
14. Barcelo Emperatriz, Madrid, Spain
Opening on January 11, the Emperatriz is to be the flagship five-star hotel of the lively (and usually good value) Barcelo hotel group, which has popular properties in Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Barcelona. It’s in a 19th-century former palace in the central Salamanca neighbourhood, handy for the Paseo de la Castellana promenade and near the Museo Lazaro Galdiano (with its masterpieces by Goya and Bosch). The rooms are lightly decorated with pastel pinks and soft greys. There’s a top-floor cocktail bar with good city views and a restaurant serving haute cuisine. The nightly room rate is a steep £199, but look out for special opening rates, which were as low as £110 when we checked.
Details Doubles are from £199 (barcelo.com)
15. Generator Stockholm, Sweden
Generator hostels/budget hotels are spreading across Europe and proving a cheap but stylish and fun choice for those watching their euros on city breaks. There are Generators in Venice, Barcelona, Dublin, Paris and Berlin, and 2016 will see more opening in Rome, Amsterdam and Stockholm. The Swedish one, due to open in June, sounds especially interesting, with “Nordic nuances” in the design of the dorms and private rooms as well as plenty of contemporary art. The downstairs café/breakfast room will double as a work space with free wi-fi, and there will also be a restaurant and “chill-out zone”.
Details Dorm berths are from about £13, private rooms from about £50 (generatorhostels.com)
16. Château St Pierre de Serjac, Languedoc, France
The eagerly awaited sister hotel of Château Les Carrasses (lescarrasses.com), Château St Pierre, is due to open in February after an investment of more than £18 million. The 19th-century château is in a beautiful 200-acre vineyard with views across rolling hills with vines and olive groves. The hotel will have eight rooms as well as a bar and a restaurant, though there will also be 36 plush self-catering properties dotted around the grounds. As well as a large heated pool, there will be a Cinq Mondes spa, a clay tennis court, a boules area and a kids’ club — plus wine-tasting evenings, naturally.
Details Doubles are from £155 (serjac.com)
17. Bristol Harbour Hotel, Bristol
Due to open in August, this hotel will be in two former bank buildings on Corn Street in the centre of Bristol: the old headquarters of Lloyds Bank and the adjacent old Midland Bank. The Lloyds Bank building, which dates from 1854, is an ornate affair partially inspired by the library in St Mark’s Square in Venice, designed by the renowned architect William Bruce Gingell. Original features will be maintained, while 42 bedrooms will be decorated in a paired-down style with pastel colours. There’s to be a spa and a seafood restaurant. It’s a big year for the Harbour Hotels group, which will also be opening properties in Brighton and Southampton.
Details B&B doubles are from £145 (harbourhotels.co.uk)
18. The Nadler, Victoria, London
Not far from Buckingham Palace, the Nadler — named after the hotel entrepreneur Robert Nadler — is a design-led hotel opening on January 1 and pitched at cost-conscious visitors. Rooms have kitchenettes with Nespresso machines, free wi-fi and access to a nearby gym. In London, also check out the trendy Curtain hotel opening in Shoreditch from the New York hotel company behind the Ganesvoort (thecurtain.com); opens in September.
Details Doubles are from £120 (thenadler.com/victoria)
19. King Street Townhouse, Manchester
In a grade II listed building that used to be the Manchester Salford Trustees Bank, the newly opened King Street Townhouse is in a convenient city centre location, to the north of Chinatown and close to Albert Square and the Royal Exchange Theatre; its distinguished Victorian structure is built in an Italian Renaissance style. King Street is from the same people behind the popular Great John Street, Didsbury House and Disbury Park hotels, also in Manchester. Rooms have patterned wallpaper, modern art, digital bedside radios and smart bathrooms. There’s to be a heated outdoor rooftop pool (for guests only) and a relaxation floor with a steam room and two treatment rooms.
Details Doubles are from £220 (eclectichotels.co.uk/king-street-townhouse)
20. Pullman, Liverpool
The slick, design-orientated Pullman chain (run by the French hotel group Accor) is opening its second British hotel, in Liverpool — its first is next to St Pancras Station in London. Opening in the spring, this one will be on King’s Dock, a short walk from Albert Dock and Tate Liverpool. Rooms will be in a minimalist style with ceiling-to-floor windows (some looking out across the Mersey) and a whitewashed and oatmeal colour scheme. There’s to be a restaurant and bar. Expect a good wine list as well as La Vinoteca — a fun machine that allows you to sample different wines by the glass.
Details B&B doubles from £121 (pullmanhotels.com)
21. The Painswick, Painswick, Gloucestershire
The people behind the successful (celeb-haunt) Calcot Manor and Barnsley House hotels in Gloucestershire — and the excellent Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland, Co Durham — are to open a slick 16-room hotel in the picturesque Cotswolds town of Painswick in the spring. The Calcot Collection hotel group has taken over the former Cotswolds88 (a slightly eccentric, OTT hotel) and are re-doing the interior to create a bold but more restrained look, with a restaurant headed by Michael Bedford, formerly of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. There are to be two beauty treatment rooms with Elemis products.
Details Doubles are from £119 (thepainswick.co.uk)
22. Twr y Felin Hotel, St Davids, Wales
The locally raised architect Keith Griffiths is opening a second hip hotel in the small cathedral city of St Davids in Pembrokeshire (he also owns the splendid Roch Castle, ten miles from St Davids in Haverfordwest). After the success of his seven-room Penrhiw hotel, on a hill behind the cathedral, Griffiths has invested in a 21-room property — just opened — in what was an 1806 windmill; there’s a massive “upper tower suite” covering three floors of the main structure. Griffiths is a modern art collector and more than a hundred pieces will be displayed throughout the hotel. Rooms have a smart, art gallery style. The fine dining restaurant will serve local produce.
Details B&B doubles are from £180 (twryfelinhotel.com)
23. The Pig at Combe, Devon
The Pig hotel chain has gone from strength to strength — and for good reason. Its bright, eclectic-but-comfortable rooms and laid-back brasserie-style restaurants have proved a winning combination. The latest, opening in June in the Otter Valley, looks particularly special. Set in a honey-coloured Elizabethan mansion, the Pig at Coombe is in 3,500 acres of countryside and is eight miles from the coast. In the West Country, look out also for Combe Grove in Bath, a 42-room boutique hotel in a Georgian mansion opening in April, created by Rebecca Whittingham, the woman behind Cornwall’s successful Scarlet hotel (combegrove.com).
Details Doubles are from £145 (thepighotel.com)
24. The Dog & Badger, Medmenham, Buckinghamshire
Rooms at the Hand and Flowers pub/restaurant run by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge in nearby Marlow are usually fully booked (thehandandflowers.co.uk), but there’s an alternative near by in the rooms at the Dog & Badger, which will be available from April. The D&G is in the pretty village of Medmenham, halfway between Marlow and Henley-on-Thames. The rooms are being converted in a lovely old cottage dating from 1550 and will be decorated smartly and come with Nespresso machines and air-conditioning. The pub has more than 40 wines by the glass and a restaurant serving oysters, monkfish curry, Lyme Bay gurnard, lobster thermidor and steaks (as well as Iranian beluga caviar at an eyewatering £375 a go) — so foodies should be happy.
Details B&B doubles are from £155 (thedogandbadger.com)
25. The El Patron Tequila Hotel, Newport, Isle of Wight
And finally: the owners of El Patron, a “tapas, tequila and cocktails” joint in Putney, southwest London, have decided to branch out with . . . the El Patron Tequila Hotel, due to open next summer with six rooms in a grade II listed building in the centre of Newport on the Isle of Wight. It’s to be decorated colourfully with Latino-inspired art and a corrugated iron bar. The restaurant will serve quesadillas, pork burritos, tacos and salsas — and a DJ will play Latin-inspired tunes. The rooms are to have heavy curtains to keep out light (should any guests suffer from sore heads in the morning).
Details Room rates are yet to be set (no hotel website,elpatronlondon.com)