Despite the doom and gloom about the global economy, the luxury travel industry still seems to be holding up well and luxury hotels and resorts continue to spring up around the world. Here we’ve picked out 5 to look out for in 2013, from a gourmet retreat in Fiji through to a high rise hotel opening in last year’s Olympic city of London.
Due to open in late Spring 2013, Fonab Castle Hotel in Pitlochry, Perthshire is set to become a favourite destination in the Scottish Highlands. The Scots Baronial mansion was originally built for the Sandeman family – port and sherry merchants who lived in the Perth area – and sits on the banks of Loch Faskally, amidst picture-book highland scenery.
The new five star hotel (grading pending) will have 13 rooms in the castle and an additional 18 in a modern annex. Among the 13 castle rooms is a bridal suite, featuring a high, vaulted ceiling, oversized bed and glass studded wallpaper. All modern rooms have direct access to the loch via French doors. To add to the experience, there will be private hot tubs in the grounds. Those looking for a more private stay have 36 Highland lodges to choose from. For dog lovers, heated and air conditioned kennels are also provided.
It doesn’t get much hotter than The Remote Resort, Fiji Islands, a gourmet retreat for beach lovers perched atop the Rainbow Reef in the Fiji archipelago. Opening this year, The Remote Resort has three oceanfront villas with private plunge pools and endless turquoise views. Guests can socialize or see noone – privacy here is paramount. Snorkel or scuba dive the soft coral capital of the world, kayak to the hidden beach for a private picnic or take a cruise on the resorts 25-foot twin hull catamaran, these are some of the big decisions you’ll need to make. Regardless of how much or little you do during the day, you’ll still be treated to a modern South Pacific gourmet experience every evening, starting with complimentary hor d’oeuvres from the wood-fired ovens at The Remote Bar.
Leave the cold behind and visit one of Barcelona’s newest boutique hotels, Hotel Indigo Barcelona Plaza Catalunya. Located in one of the world’s happiest cities, Hotel Indigo Barcelona serves as the ideal base for discovering the city, providing guests with easy access to Barcelona’s most famous tourist attractions including, Gaudi’s monuments such as the Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló. Situated just a few minutes’ walk from Plaza Catalunya metro and train station, the entire city is within easy reach.
After a busy day exploring the culturally rich city, guests to Hotel Indigo Barcelona will be able to relax in their bedrooms and make use of the free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel or enjoy a selection of films on a state of the art LCD TV. The free mini-bar is available to all hotel guests and is filled with a variety of snacks and drinks.
While not opening until Summer 2013, Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, London is by far one of the hottest new hotel openings of this year. It is the first property in the UK for this highly established and favoured brand. Situated in Western Europe’s tallest building, the 202-room Shangri-La Hotel will occupy floors 34 to 52 of The Shard providing guests with panoramic views of London. At the very top of the hotel, on the 52nd floor will be an incredible infinity pool with views across the river and the signature bar. The lower floors will house the bedrooms and suites plus a restaurant, spectacular lobby and events space – perfect for weddings.
The Shangri-La hospitality is understated, gracious and incredibly attentive, all in keeping with the brand’s Asian roots. While well known among travellers to Asia, Shangri-La at The Shard will be their third venture into Europe – Paris opened in 2010, Istanbul is due to open imminently – and will embrace Anglo-Asian culture, while also regenerating the London Bridge area.
W Bangkok is Thailand’s first urban W Hotel, following the 2010 opening of W Retreat & Spa Koh Samui and will fully open its doors in the Autumn of 2013. The hotel marks the 44th W Hotel globally and the eighth W Hotel in the Asia Pacific region.
The hotel combines a 31-floor contemporary glass tower with a century-old, European-inspired building that formerly housed the Russian Embassy. A team of local and international designers and architects have developed a striking design that captures the traditional and modern elements of Bangkok. The base of the new, modern hotel tower has been designed as a theatrical backdrop to the historic building, including vibrant illumination that changes from day to night. The interiors of the hotel evoke the colourful, sparkling glass tiles commonly found in Thai temples and palaces, while Thai-inspired installations add a layer of mystery and reveal throughout the hotel.
W Bangkok houses 407 guestrooms and suites in the two distinct buildings, including 10 Marvellous Suites, four Duplex Suites, a Wow Suite and the W brand’s signature Extreme Wow Suite. Guestrooms have been designed in gold, blue or magenta jewel tones by floor, with a high contrast of ambient and direct lighting, coloured glass panels and accessories to create mystique and illumination. Each guestroom has been fitted with custom designed chrome furniture, padded platform beds, and state-of-the-art in-room technology, including high-speed wired and wireless Internet access; flat-screen 40-inch LED televisions; and jack pack stations with a sound bar system and docking station for audio and video players.