The best new luxury hotel openings of 2014 include beautiful new properties in Beijing, Kyoto, Moscow, NYC, Orlando and Vienna. Some of these hotels are entering extremely crowded markets, while others are in the enviable position of having only a few luxury competitors, making them the go-to property for most luxury travelers to that destination.
The new Rosewood Beijing, which just opened in October 2014, is the brandís first hotel in Asia, but is already receiving rave reviews for its beautifully landscaped property, boasting the most green space of any luxury hotel in the heart of Beijing, spacious and refined rooms and suites, and welcoming, attentive staff. Serenity is ensured with great soundproofing, and room amenities include 600 thread count Frette sheets, Lorenzo Villoresi bath products custom-made for Rosewood, an in-room Nespresso coffee machine, and complimentary WiFi.
Orlando is a top destination for many families and even for couples who are Disney World fans. Itís been short on luxury hotels, however, which the new Four Seasons Orlando will no doubt capitalize on. The resort offers plenty for kids and families, including a complimentary Kids for All Seasons kidsí club for children ages 4-12 from 9am-5pm daily, a family pool, splash zone, lazy river, beach volleyball, basketball, and for older kids, video games at The Hideout.
But couples also have plenty to love, including an adults-only pool, couplesí spa treatments, a Tom Fazio golf course, and dinner at Capa, the resortís steakhouse, with a magical view of the nightly fireworks display.
While itís pricier, make sure to book a Park View Room on a high floor to enjoy a spectacular view of the fireworks from your private balcony each night.
Housed in the a historic former bank building, the new Park Hyatt Vienna is centrally located on Am Hof Square, steps from sights, boutique shops and restaurants. Entry level Park King Rooms start at 375 square feet and the neutral tones of wood and marble include some Art Deco touches, in keeping with the buildingís history. Windows open to let in fresh air, a rarity for many city hotels, and a fruit welcome amenity and complimentary high speed Internet are provided to all guests.
After a busy day of sightseeing, Arany Spa offers a welcome respite, with its swimming pool, sauna, aroma steam room, and vitality showers in addition to private spa suites for treatments. Donít miss a locally sourced breakfast in The Bank, the hotelís beautiful restaurant in the historic cashierís hall.
Moscow is no stranger to luxury hotels, where brands include Lotte Hotel Moscow, the Ritz-Carlton Moscow, Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow, and the St. Regis Moscow. But the Four Seasons often sets the service standard for the city markets it operates in, and the Four Seasons Moscow is on the site of the former Hotel Moskva, right on Red Square, so all eyes have been on this opening, the brandís second foray into Russia after opening the Four Seasons St. Petersburg in 2013.
The hotel is so new that the 32,292 square foot Amnis Spa isnít yet openóit will open in early 2015, and offer a fitness center, lap pool, and 14 spa treatment rooms, including 3 couplesí suites.
Iíd recommend booking at least a Grand Premier Room, a spacious 688-775 square feet, requesting a higher floor and views of the Red Square and the Kremlin. All rooms come with an iPad for use during your stay, from setting a wake up call to ordering room service.
New York is a competitive hotel market, but it hasnít seen a new build luxury hotel in quite some time, so the Park Hyatt New York is an exciting addition. Forget Central Park Views, as youíll only get some views from the hotelís fitness center, due to the hotel occupying the lower floors of a high rise, with the better views the purview of the pricey condos above it.
But thereís still plenty to love about even standard Park King Rooms, which are among the cityís largest at 484 square feet, and come with a walk-in shower and separate soaking tub, Le Labo Tuberose bath products, floor to ceiling windows and an in-room Nespresso coffee maker. The hotelís indoor lap pool on the 25th floor gets great natural light and makes this hotel a favorite of my clients with children, since only a few NYC luxury hotels offer indoor pools.
The Ritz-Carlton brand has lost some of its luster over the years, and rarely has the best luxury hotel in a given market. But the new Ritz-Carlton Kyoto could change that, helped by the fact that Kyoto is a much smaller, less international market than Tokyo and that so far, based on guest reviews, service standards are high.
The hotel itself is an unassuming low-rise building that has been well appointed to reflect a Japanese aesthetic and sense of place. I’d recommend booking at least a Kamogawa Room, to have views of the river and the Higashiyama Mountains in the distance, as well as 559-602 square feet of space, complimentary WiFi, locally handmade soap, and Nespresso coffee machine in the room. All guests also have access to the indoor swimming pool, although note that children under 4 years old are not permitted.
One thing that moves this hotel to the bottom of my list: combined bathtubs/showers in the rooms and even in the suites, instead of a separate walk-in shower and soaking tub.
What do you think are the best luxury hotel openings of 2014?
Hilary Stockton is the CEO at†TravelSort.