You don’t need an intrepid disposition and a brain bursting with survival tactics to call yourself an explorer – just-opened hotels offer every chance to discover something new. You won’t be unearthing an unusual species of starfish or making fire out of thin air, but at these chic hotels that have recently opened their doors, you could be discovering Greece’s newest interior design trends or supporting a not-for-profit pop-up while it fleetingly resides in Amsterdam (even Bear Grylls would be jealous). We look back on the most blissful new hotels of 2015 – all featured on Secret Escapes over the last year.
Racconto Boutique Design Hotel epitomises soulful minimalism, all thanks to the efforts of renowned interior designer Panos Petridis. The palette here is decidedly simple – white – with comfort and style proven through soft lighting, plush fabrics and luxury amenities. Uninterrupted calm is the order of the day throughout the entire hotel – whether in the 11 guest rooms, by the tempting outdoor pool, or in the dedicated meditation area set amidst fragrant olive trees – ensuring that this pint-size addition to Parga’s boutique hotel scene packs a big punch.
Set within Port Lympne Reserve’s 100 acres of parkland, the Treehouse Hotel commands an impressive panorama from its lofty location above the rhino enclosure, and the view stretches across Kent’s grassy plains all the way to the Channel beyond. Opened in 2015, these accommodations are the latest addition to the reserve’s safari-stay options – and their most luxurious, with elegant interiors designed by Tara Bernerd and upscale amenities. The best bit? It’s all in support of the Aspinall Foundation – a conservation organisation that breeds endangered species and reintroduces them into the wild.
This gleaming, five-star gem occupies a particularly prime spot in Marrakech’s Hivernage quarter, affording it enviable views over the nearby Atlas Mountains. Grand by name and grand by nature, the expansive complex is home to a huge free-form outdoor pool, spacious guest rooms, three restaurants, four bars and a seriously serene spa, with two indoor pools, saunas and hammams, which are all low-lit to perfection. You’ll find buckets of traditional Moroccan charm throughout, thoughtfully fused with contemporary conveniences.
The Good Hotel Amsterdam is a not-for-profit hotel, reinvesting into education to encourage future entrepreneurs. This intriguing organisation is popping up for one year only in its home town of Amsterdam, before moving the concept to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil later in 2016. The interior design here is effortlessly bold, with Dutch designs by Lensvelt and Moooi working alongside both the bespoke and the everyday for a relaxed yet on-point aesthetic. When it comes to food, Good are just as pedantic, offering seasonal and local produce over breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Opened earlier in 2015, you can forget the cosy log cabin vibe with this French Alps hotel, which takes the warming world of New Mexico as inspiration for its interior design. Rich wools, luxe woods and a calming colour palette of neutral hues make the grade here, and work harmoniously with the mid-century-style furniture and feather-print feature walls. The on-site spa provides ample excuse to unwind, with an indoor pool and fairtrade, organic products incorporated into the treatments. The restaurant is an equally as stylish and eco-concious, with considerately sourced beef in the spotlight.
Soft-launched just this month, this set of suites combine stylish elegance with a rustic vibe, creating sophisticated interiors that are in tune with their natural surrounds. There are four outdoor pools here, as well as a spa which boasts its own, indoor heated pool. Set on the hillside in the postcard-perfect village of Oia, the hotel overlooks the Aegean Sea, making it an excellent spot to experience those world-renowned Santorini sunsets. The blissful suites come complete with their own private verandas, which boast a Jacuzzi and sunbeds.
Azores is an experience in itself, with natural hot springs, tranquil lagoons and tumbling waterfalls peppering the island, and both whale-watching and swimming with wild dolphins counted amongst its many attractions. Furnas Boutique Hotel opened in March 2015 and makes the most of its healing surroundings, with a sleek spa that boasts both indoor and outdoor thermal pools of earth-warmed spring water. The restaurant puts nature at its core too, with local vegetables and herbs gracing the menu, as well as wood oven-baked bread and hearty-but-healthy recipes.
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