From glasshouses in Chilean wine country to The Pig’s latest swanky outpost
May has a slew of exciting hotel launches, from the homegrown – in the form of The Pig’s latest outpost and The Stratford Hotel – to the far-flung, including an eco-lodge deep in the Colombian forest.
Here are six of the best.
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Puro Vik, Chile
This month Vik Retreats, known for its surreal, set-in-the-vineyards Vik Chile hotel in the rolling Millahue Valley, celebrates another opening: Puro Vik. The collection of 19 striking glasshouses, which hang from the steep hills below the original property, have unrivalled views of the dramatic, vine-covered scenery.
Each room has an arty theme and features work from the likes of Japan’s Utagawa Hiroshige and glasswork maestro Dale Chihuly, as well as pop, neon, holographic and site-specific pieces. Marble bathrooms and bedrooms with glass closets open onto private terraces with tubs for outdoor soaks. As well as wine tastings, dinners at Vik Chile’s Milla Milla restaurant, yoga, mountain biking, horse-riding through the valleys and cooking classes can also be arranged.
Rooms from £840 a night full-board, including activities; vikretreats.com
The Wild Hotel, Mykonos
Greek island favourite Mykonos gets an added touch of luxe with the arrival of the Wild Hotel from Interni Group. It’s the first hotel venture from the founders of swish Greek furniture company Moda Bagno, which also runs the Paola-Navone-designed Interni restaurant in Mykonos town. Set atop a cliff on the island’s southeastern coast, The Wild Hotel has stunning views of Kalafati Beach, an infinity pool with killer views across the Aegean Sea and its own dinky private stretch of sand. Forty white-walled rooms and villas go heavy on the zen vibe, with plenty of wicker touches and blonde-wood ceiling beams; many have private pools. At the taverna, there’s classic Greek fare – moussaka, vine leaves, stuffed tomatoes and the like – and in the summer a spa showcasing traditional Greek treatments will open.
Rooms from £311 per night, B&B; thewildhotel.com
The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent
When it comes to British countryside boltholes, not many other brands have as cult a following as the The Pig. The brand’s sixth property – already heavily booked up – is The Pig at Bridge Place, opening in the Nailbourne Valley just outside of Canterbury. A 17th-century red-brick manor house, formerly a gig venue and party house frequented by rock’n’roll legends such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin in the Seventies, has been transformed into a 31-room hotel by husband-and-wife hoteliers Robin and Judy Hutson. In the main building, which houses seven rooms, many of the original Jacobean period features, such as grand fireplaces and secret stairways, have been retained.
A further 12 rooms and a greenhouse restaurant sit in a new Coach House building, alongside a clutch of Hop Pickers huts. Made from reclaimed materials and set along a Miami-style wooden boardwalk, each cosy hut has a freestanding iron bath and wood burning stoves. Diners at the restaurant can expect all things local, with produce either plucked straight from the leafy kitchen garden or sourced from within a 25-mile radius of the property. Plus there’s a spa with two treatment rooms.
Rooms from £130, room only; thepighotel.com
The latest opening from Wilderness Safaris is a luxe six-tented eco-camp in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, which overlooks Lake Rwanyakazinga in the northeastern part of the park. Decor is by safari interiors guru Caline Williams-Wynn of Artichoke Design, who also worked on Wilderness’s popular Bisate and Mombo lodges, and takes inspiration from Rwandan culture. The bar has hand-painted ceramic tiles made with local Imigongo patterns and a chandelier inspired by cow horns, a nod to the culturally important, long-horned Ankole cattle. Swish tented guest rooms are decorated with traditional textiles, and cushions featuring X-rayed local flora.
Days can be filled with savannah drives, walks and boating trips to spot leopards, elephants, lions and around 500 bird species, including the fascinating shoebill. Budding photographers can hone their skills, as a partnership with Olympus means that high-tech cameras and lenses are available to practise with at no extra cost. A stay helps contribute to the conservation of the park and an educational programme, Children in the Wilderness, for children in communities close by.
Rooms from £362pp per night, full-board; wilderness-safaris.com
This new 18-room eco-lodge, deep in 27 acres of protected forest in Antioquia in Colombia’s Central Andes, is 90 minutes from the country’s second-largest city, Medellín – but the atmosphere couldn’t be more different. In 2014, a trio of friends – Santiago Giraldo Diaz, Nathan Rodgers and Brian Schon – met in the city and dreamt up a back-to-nature retreat with permaculture, green building and sustainable principles at its heart. Slowly, after the country’s peace agreement was signed in November 2016, the newly formed Caimo Collection’s first property began to take shape.
Now a reality, the hillside hotel is built in sustainably sourced bamboo and compressed earth bricks, and its 10 rooms and eight cabanas have astonishing panoramic views of the surrounding valley. There are private gardens to lounge in and the plushest cabanas have canopy beds and outdoor hot tubs. There are guided hikes around pre-Hispanic trails and birdwatching expeditions (or opt to simply chill out with a facial or massage in the forest).
Rooms from £150 a night, room only; cannua.com
The Stratford Hotel, London
Design buffs are champing at the bit to check into the newbie double-cantilevered skyscraper, close to east London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The 42-storey building is the brainchild of Harry Handelsman, the man behind Chiltern Firehouse and St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, with architecture by SOM (behind the Burj Khalifa) and interiors by acclaimed Danish duo Space Copenhagen (responsible for Noma).
The hotel’s 145 rooms occupy the first six floors and channel old-world opulence with a contemporary Scandi twist. On the higher levels are the Stratford Lofts: 248 smart long-stay apartments. There’s a ground-floor brasserie and lounge bar where DJs take to the decks at nighttime, and at the seventh-floor restaurant Allegra chef Patrick Powell serves up seasonal cuisine, such as suckling pig with swede cake and pot-roasted cabbage with potato and baked cheese, in a wildflower meadow.
Rooms from £199, B&B; thestratford.com