The wish list

New hotels opening in Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2021

From a grand palace in Budapest to a quirky boutique inside a refurbished 1950s steam train in South Africa



Matild Palace Budapest

Matild Palace Budapest

Located in one of Budapest’s most iconic buildings, the Matild Palace hotel opened its doors to guests in June after undergoing an extensive five-year design transformation led by interior designer Maria Vafiadis of MKV Design. Part of The Luxury Collection’s global portfolio, the hotel features 111 rooms and 19 suites, including a three-floor Crown Tower Suite and a Maria Klotild Royal Suite, as well as the Swan Spa and The Duchess, a secret liqueur library located on the rooftop. For foodies, there’s the choice of the Matild Café or Spago, a restaurant by world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck. Spago, the long-awaited European debut of Puck’s Beverly Hills restaurant, will showcase New Hungarian cuisine. Rooms start from €430 (£367) per night. 



Kimpton St Honoré Paris

Kimpton St Honoré Paris

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, IHG’s boutique luxury brand, has opened its first property in France. Located on the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris’s Opéra district, the hotel features 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.



The Baro hotel, Finland

The Baro

The Baro, southern Finland

Having opened on 1 June, The Baro in southern Finland is the ideal destination for those seeking a gentle reintroduction to post pandemic travel. In a secluded part of a country that has managed to keep a lid on Covid cases, this collection of luxury cabins entices guests with the promise of “pure nature, the sea, old trees and local stories dating back to the Viking Age”. The rooms are unmistakably Nordic, fashioned from stained timber and glass and furnished with soft fabrics. So too is the setting, a wonderfully atmospheric pine forest on the Gulf of Finland, about an hour west of Helsinki. Visitors can enjoy hiking, canoeing, foraging, riding, golf, yoga - and of course a traditional sauna.



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.



OKU Hotel Kos

Georg Roske


Having opened on 13 May, OKU Kos features 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.



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. 



Vico Milan hotel

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 in September. 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.



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. 



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. 



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). 



OKU Hotel Ibiza

OKU Ibiza

Having opened in May, this new OKU property in Ibiza has 184 boho-chic guestrooms, suites and ocean-view penthouses as well as a 140-square-metre 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. 



Can Ferrereta Hotel

Can Ferrereta, Santanyí, Mallorca

Located in the Mallorcan coastal town of Santanyí, the Can Ferrereta boutique hotel welcomed guests for the first time in May. Open to adults and children over the age of 14, the property features 32 rooms, most of which are suites with private patios and terraces, overlooking the lush gardens. Guests can 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. 



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.



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.


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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