Self-proclaimed hotel junkie Ianthe Butt gives the low-down on this month’s sleekest launches
August sees a duo of heavyweight European spa properties, London’s first mindfulness hotel and a revamped Asian grande dame throw open its doors.
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Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti, Pinzolo, Italy
Touching down in ski hotspot Pinzolo in the Italian Dolomites is the second property from wellness wizards Lefay Resorts. It’s ideally placed for hiking and biking during summer and skiing during winter (the area has 150km of slopes and four snowboard parks) but the property’s year-round draw is a whopping 5,000sq m spa, offering high-tech treatments rooted in traditional Chinese therapies.
Four levels include a family spa, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness studio and the rather GOT-sounding World of Water and Fire, which has nine saunas at various temperature and humidity levels. Guests are recommended specific routes to achieve rebalance – taking in saunas, tailored tea drinking, steam baths, salt-water lake bathing and mud therapies. As for sleeping, the 100 rooms and residences channel contemporary Alpine charm with plenty of Italian wood and stone, freestanding baths and woodland, valley or pool views. The ritziest suites have private treatment spaces and alfresco Jacuzzis too.
Doubles from £235, B&B, including spa access
Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel, Alvor, Portugal
Second up is another much-anticipated wellness opening – a 70-room adults-only affair housed inside a striking wave-shaped Vitor Vilhena-designed building in the western Algarve. The property’s two-floor techie wellness centre and medical spa offers everything from general relaxation programmes through to tailored detox retreats, hyperbaric treatments, osteopathy sessions, Himalayan salt and spirulina body scrubs, and sleep-better therapies. There’s also a chromotherapy hammam and multiple pools – including one salt water and one on the rooftop which has wonderful views of the Bay of Alvor.
Rooms, designed by Sofia Andrez Interiors, complement the ocean scenery, decorated in sandy, blue and green hues. At ground-floor Mediterrânico Restaurant by Longevity, tasty yet functional foods (anti-inflammatory, chemical-free) are served, plus there’s a tea lounge to relax in.
Doubles from £170, B&B
Inhabit Hotel, Paddington, London
At a time when people are travelling in an ever-more considered manner and thinking more about the impact of where they choose to bed down, the opening of Inhabit – calling itself London’s first mindfulness boutique hotel – feels timely. The passion project of third-generation hotelier Nadira Lalji and co-founder Rahim Lalji (the family business is the Montcalm brand), this 89-room hotel in Paddington is not only Scandi-stylish but places community, environmental responsibility and health-enhancing at its core. That translates to tables produced by social enterprise Goldfinger Factory, refillable glass Belu bottles, a meditation pod in reception and a Peleton indoor cycling studio and yoga atrium.
Light and bright Scandi-look bedrooms have all-natural Casper mattresses and Studio 306 cushions sourced from ethical homewares brand Aerende, made by people in the UK recovering from and living with mental illness. Plus there’s a noise-free library stacked with psychology and art books and a dairy-free, sugar-free, mostly vegan Yeotown cafe which will partner with food-wastage apps such as Karma for a “happy hour”, where edible bargains which would have ended up in the bin will be sold.
Doubles from £180, room only
Experimental Menorca, Menorca, Spain
While Mallorca might be getting all the Balearics attention due to its starring role in Love Island, hotel aficionados are turning their heads towards less-developed Menorca. It’s here on the breezy western coast that hip hospitality outfit the Experimental Group (behind Covent Garden’s Henrietta Hotel and Paris’ Hotel des Grandes Boulevards) opens its latest outpost. A 19th-century finca has been transformed into a whitewashed country haven with 34 rooms and nine villas (with private plunge pools) ringed by fragrant pine groves and wildflower-strewn gardens.
Interiors guru Dorothée Meilichzon has worked with local craftspeople to create spaces which feature rustic drystone, waxed concrete, rough-hewn wood and hand-glazed terracotta tiles. It adds up to a natural look in keeping with the bucolic setting. There’s an infinity pool to sip killer cocktails by, a chapel with sea views for weddings, tucked-away spaces to dine in (or a 30-person table for sociable types) and activities galore – everything from horse riding to pottery classes can be arranged.
Doubles from £180, room only
Raffles Singapore, Singapore
The expression grande dame gets bandied around a lot, but Raffles Singapore is a true hotel icon. After opening in 1887, it became a go-to crashpad for the great and the good (everyone from Rudyard Kipling to Queen Elizabeth II has stayed), renowned for its next-level service and historic Long Bar, birthplace of the Singapore Sling. After a two-year closure and a multimillion pound revamp (the exact figure remains undisclosed), the hotel is back open for business: guests can sip their Slings in a smartened-up Long Bar (but can still follow the tradition of throwing their peanut shells straight onto the floor), check out a new spa and Raffles Boutique, then check in to one of 115 glossied-up suites.
Grand – of course – is the design watchword here, so expect high ceilings, polished teakwood floors, curated antiques and 24/7 butler service. Foodies are spoilt for choice. There’s the familiar – North Indian plates at the Tiffin Room, afternoon tea in the Grand Lobby – and a trio of new celebrity chef-helmed restaurants: Mediterranean grill spot BBR by Alain Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic’s Asian debut, La Dame de Pic, and classic Cantonese fare at yì by Jereme Leung.
Doubles from £510, room only
Labotessa, Cape Town, South Africa
Of late, Cape Town’s been having a moment. Thomas Heatherwick transformed a grain store into design wonder The Silo; leafy Gigi Rooftop at boutique newbie Gorgeous George is the hottest drinks spot around; and now comes Labotessa. A 17th-century church in historic Church Square, it’s been reimagined as a seven-room property by first-time hoteliers Jan Fourie and Johan du Plessis. Each of the six plush lead-in suites has a 17th-century chic vibe, a balcony with sweeping Table Mountain views, living and sleeping areas cleverly divided by glass panels, and calacatta marble bathrooms. Bright Persian rugs create colour pops against a vibrant petrol blue and burnt orange backdrop, and minibars are hidden inside custom-made French armoires. For families, there’s a top-floor, three-room Governor Suite which has fun touches including a floating staircase and a private plunge pool. The place to brunch is at a new branch of beloved local cafe Starlings and there are covetable candles on sale at South Africa’s first Diptyque boutique as well.
Doubles from £270, room only