The wish list

Best new hotels opening in Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2021

Once travel starts again there will be some very luxurious places to stay in

Some of the world’s most stylish hotels and resorts are opening in 2021 - they’re just waiting for guests to come and experience the plush surroundings. 

From a grand palace in France to a quirky boutique hotel inside a refurbished 1950s steam train in South Africa, we pick out the most luxurious new places you can stay in this year in Europe and Africa. 

1

France 

Airelles Chateau de Versailles © Airelles

© Airelles

Airelles Château de Versailles

“For the first time the third estate can stay at France’s grandest palace, Versailles – or at least in the château’s former, equally lavish finance ministry in the grounds,” says Susan d’Arcy in The Times. Guests can explore the 2,500-acre site out of hours with the aid of electric boats and golf carts, as well as join palace tours to see Louis XVI’s dressing room and Marie Antoinette’s private library. The hotel’s 14 bedrooms are so excessive “they’d bring a smile to Louis XVI’s face – four-posters, antique furniture, authentic chandeliers”. Chef Alain Ducasse is producing “suitably OTT menus” for when the Airelles Château de Versailles opens later this year, “including a Marie Antoinette afternoon tea with plenty of you know what”. Rates start from £1,525.

2

France

Kimpton St Honoré Paris

Kimpton St Honoré Paris

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, IHG’s boutique luxury brand, will open its first property in France this spring. Located on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris’s Opéra district, the hotel will feature 149 stylish guest rooms (including 24 suites), an indoor swimming pool, gym and a spa with luxury treatment rooms. On the tenth-floor rooftop, a terrace bar with 360-degree views of the city will welcome guests for unique cocktails and bites.

3

Greece

OKU Kos

OKU Kos

Opening on 5 April 2021, OKU Kos will feature 100 spacious rooms, including suites with private and semi-private pools and a handful of private two-bedroom villas. The secluded adult-only resort has a main pool and direct access to a private beach boasting unrivalled views of the Aegean Sea. Guests can also enjoy the spa, hammam, sauna and fitness studio with daily complimentary yoga classes at the beach pavilion or yoga terrace.

4

Italy 

Il Palazzo at Villa Làrio, Lake Como, Italy 

Il Palazzo at Villa Làrio, Lake Como

Located on the shores of Lake Como, the Italian boutique property Villa Làrio will reopen in spring and feature some luxurious additions. Il Palazzo, a classical 19th century villa and one of the four different buildings at Villa Làrio, has been newly renovated and will be home to eight brand new suites. Each suite will have direct access to the property’s private jetty and Riva boats and will take the total number of suites at Villa Làrio to 18. Prices for the suites at Il Palazzo start from €490 (£425) in low season with breakfast included and a minimum stay of two nights. 

5

Italy 

Vico Milano

Vico Milano, Milan

The Italian city of Milan, one of the world’s fashion capitals, will welcome a new ultra-chic seven-bedroom boutique guesthouse this spring. Located in Corso Genova 11, one of the city’s most sought-after locations, Vico Milano is just a short walk to the Duomo and the fashionable district of Via Tortona. Owner Neri Baccheschi-Berti has overseen every aspect of the property’s design and sourced antiques from across Italy and the world, including from Iran and Morocco. Guests will have exclusive access to a curated library, comfortable sitting room and a speakeasy-style bar, serving family-owned wine and curated cocktails alongside classic Italian snacks. Prices will start from €280 (£250) inclusive of breakfast.

6

Montenegro

One&Only Portonovi

One&Only Portonovi

The One&Only Portonovi in Montenegro is the first One&Only resort in Europe. Located at the entrance of Boka Bay, a Unesco World Heritage Site, the property will welcome guests from 1 May and feature a collection of rooms and suites. It will also be home to two villas: the three-bedroom Villa One and the two-bedroom Villa Two. Both villas have a 25-metre pool, outdoor shower, hydrotherapy massage station and views of the Adriatic Sea. 

7

Portugal

Palácio de Canavezes, near Porto

Palácio de Canavezes, near Porto

Palácio de Canavezes, a former palace hotel visited by the Portuguese royal family and renowned for its thermal waters, is to become the newest property from Campbell Gray Hotels. Opening in spring, it will have 52 rooms and suites all overlooking the beautiful River Tâmega on the edge of the Douro Valley. In addition there will be a restaurant and terrace with views of the river, a health and wellness facility, an indoor swimming pool, as well as a sauna and steam room. From €290 (£257) per room, per night. 

8

Portugal 

Wyndham Grand Algarve Residences 

Wyndham Grand Algarve Residences 

If you don’t want to book a short stay, then why not live at a hotel on a permanent basis? Launching this year, the new Wyndham Grand Algarve Residences at Wyndham Grand Algarve feature 132 one-, two- and three-bedroom private apartments. Located on the luxurious Quinta do Lago resort, residents can enjoy award-winning golf, leisure and lifestyle in the heart of the Algarve. Prices range from €532,000 (£471,900) to €856,000 (£759,300). 

9

Spain

OKU Ibiza

OKU Ibiza

Opening on 30 April 2021, this new OKU property in Ibiza will have 184 boho-chic guestrooms, suites and ocean-view penthouses as well as a 140m2 OKU Signature Suite and a standalone four-bedroom villa with private pool. Leisure facilities include two hotel pools, one which is the largest on the island, and a semi-private pool serving the six swim-up rooms. 

10

Spain 

Can Ferrereta hotel in Mallorca, Spain

Can Ferrereta, Santanyí, Mallorca

Located in the Mallorcan coastal town of Santanyí, the Can Ferrereta boutique hotel will welcome guests for the first time from 1 April. Open to adults and children over the age of 14, the property will feature 32 rooms, most of which are suites with private patios and terraces, overlooking the lush gardens. Guests will be able to enjoy lazy afternoons by the 25m swimming pool or relax at the Sa Calma Spa. For foodies, seasonal Mediterranean fare will be served at the signature restaurant OCRE. Rates will start from €315 (£278) inclusive of breakfast. 

11

Qatar 

Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som Qatar

Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som

Described as the Middle East’s first “full-immersion wellness resort”, this new property by Chiva-Som will open in Qatar in April this year. The Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som is a centre for Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM) and it will have a 360-degree approach to healing sourced from Islamic medicinal historians and herbalists, and mind-body therapy. The resort is located an hour-and-a-half drive from Qatar’s capital city Doha.

12

Botswana

Xigera Safari Lodge Botswana

Xigera Safari Lodge, Okavango Delta

Xigera Safari Lodge has opened in Botswana’s wildlife-rich Okavango Delta. Hidden amid a canopy of indigenous trees, Xigera features 12 spacious suites; each individually designed to offer a unique experience of the Okavango. The lodge is a unique celebration of African art, culture and creativity: a living gallery of African talent. Experiences include glass-bottom mokoro excursions gliding across the delta’s waterways and a unique sleepout experience in a baobab treehouse. Rates at Xigera Safari Lodge start from $2,320 (£1,700) per adult per night sharing. This includes accommodation on a fully-inclusive basis, park fees and all activities.

13

South Africa

Kruger Shalati © Africa Photographic/Kyle Lewin

© Africa Photographic/Kyle Lewin

Kruger Shalati, Kruger National Park

“Trainspotters and wildlife enthusiasts alike will adore Kruger Shalati, a quirky boutique hotel inside a refurbished 1950s steam train,” says Ianthe Butt for The Independent. The hotel is parked atop the Selati Bridge, above the Sabie River inside Kruger National Park in South Africa, where, in the 1920s, trains would stop overnight. The hotel’s 24 glass-walled carriage rooms are set to open this month. “Bedrooms will be filled with local arts and crafts and, alongside expert-led game drives, guests will be able spot crocodiles, hippos and elephants from their bedrooms” or from the pool on the bridge. A further seven rooms are scheduled to open later in the year. From £795, all inclusive including two game drives daily.

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