ROOM SERVICE: Notable new hotel openings around the world
Written by Victoria Chase
CALIFORNIA | The Alia brand brings its model of sustainable tourism, innovative eco-design, and intimate destination experiences to Southern California with Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas. "Marrying the striking design and artisanal luxury experience that the Alila brand is globally known for, with the authentic warmth and vitality of San Diego, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is truly a destination not to be missed," said General Manager Benjamin Thiele. "Our team is honored to open our doors to the local community and travelers to experience our new luxury resort in this breathtaking location."
Located in an iconic seaside town along the coastal bluffs of San Diego, the 130-room Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is complete with an oceanfront pool, culinary experiences by award-winning Executive Chef Claudette Zepeda, expansive indoor-outdoor meeting and event spaces, serenity-invoking Spa Alila, and thoughtful, locally inspired and restorative programming. With the hotel's namesake, "Marea," meaning "tide" in Italian and Spanish, the resort features a distinctly Southern California feel, in harmony with the area's natural landscape throughout, as well as from the vibrant surf and beach culture that surrounds the property.
Room rates at Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas begin at $639. For more information and reservations, visit alilamareabeachresort.com.
CHICAGO | When it opened in March, the 223-room, seven-story Sable at Navy Pier, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, became the first hotel built "on top" of Lake Michigan. The $100 million build is a joint venture by James McHugh Construction Co. and Powers & Sons Construction Co. "A project like this comes around once in a lifetime, and it's the exact type of complex construction – from building over water to working around Navy Pier's 9 million annual visitors – that we excel at and like to execute," said John Sheridan, executive vice president of McHugh Construction.
Named after the USS Sable, a naval training ship that served as a Great Lakes luxury cruise ship prior to World War II, the Sable at Navy Pier is more than 800-feet long and affords each of the guest rooms a one-of-a-kind views of the Windy City skyline. Also re-opening this spring adjacent to the hotel is another McHugh/Powers build— Offshore—the world's largest rooftop bar (as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records) on top of Navy Pier's Shelter building.
Room rates at Sable at Navy Pier begin at $204. For more information and reservations, visit sablehotel.com.
NEW ORLEANS | Scheduled to open this summer in The Big Easy's up-and-coming Warehouse District, Virgin Hotels New Orleans will feature 225 guest rooms, the brand's flagship restaurant, bar and lounge Commons Club, a lush rooftop pool deck and lounge, state-of-the-art fitness center and dedicated meeting and event spaces.
The new-build property will combine colorful, tropical architectural motifs with Virgin Hotels' signature style. Designed by local interior design firm, Logan Killen Interiors, the design will incorporate a Southern residential feel with elements such as an enclosed sunlight-filled porch and the brand's unique, home-y Chambers layout with two distinct spaces separated by a barn- style sliding door.
For more information, visit virginhotels.com/coming-soon/.
MALDIVES | Unveiled earlier this year by the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand, Ithaafushi-The Private Island, is the largest Maldivian private island, a nearly 2.5-acre slice of heaven in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Its name, 'Ithaafushi', is translated to mean 'Pearl Island' in Dhivehi, the Maldives' local language, and represents the isle's beauty and distinction.
"Designed for the most discerning of travelers, Ithaafushi – The Private Island is the epitome of exclusivity, perfectly placed within one of the most inspirational destinations in the world where a dedicated team anticipates every need and delivers the brand's elegant and effortless service at every turn," said Nils-Arne Schroeder, vice president, Luxury & Lifestyle, Hilton, Asia Pacific.
Located close to Malé, guests reach the private retreat via a 40-minute ride on one of the resort's six luxury Ithaafushi Princess yachts or via a 15-minute seaplane flight. The sprawling estate accommodates 24 guests in a two-bedroom overwater villa, a three-bedroom villa set within a lush garden, and a beachfront four-bedroom residence.
The private island's dedicated culinary team promises to take guests on a diverse culinary journey, offering bespoke menus to be enjoyed in an array of extraordinary settings. Guests who want to explore the resort's various dining experiences can journey a short distance to the main island, where ten specialty dining venues await.
A dedicated Wellness Concierge is on hand at the overwater spa to provide customized therapies catering to each guest's needs. The meditation and yoga pavilion, along with a fully equipped gym, offer magnificent ocean views. Young visitors will be in a paradise of their own on the private island estate with a dedicated children's pool and a gaming area.
For information and reservations, email Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts MLEON.Hotel@waldorfastoria.com.
TEXAS | Forth Worth's Hotel Drover, an Autograph Collection Hotel that opened in late March, is nestled alongside Marine Creek in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Notable for its kitschy-glitzy style that aims to bring the spirit of the pioneering West to life, the 200-room property embodies a true sense of place as the anchor of the award-winning Mule Alley district. This $175-million redevelopment project is comprised of beautifully restored, 100-year-old horse and mule barns that are now home to a varied collection of restaurants, entertainment venues, retail heritage brands, and creative workplaces.
Greeting guests is a signature neon Cowboy installation by Austin's famed Evan Voyles. Global and local artists alike are showcased throughout public spaces and the no-two-are-alike guest rooms. Unique features include Hotel Drover-branded leather check-in booths, a two-story lobby library filled with Texas-inspired books, custom antler and blackened steel chandeliers, and cowhide lounge chairs. The property boasts a pair of "one-of-a-kind" retail shops — Lucchese Custom Collection, a truly bespoke experience offering custom and made-to-fit items, and Little White Lies, a beautiful, hand-curated artisan shop with a decidedly feminine yet rustic flare.
Featuring a hearty contemporary Texas fare menu, the hotel's signature eatery, 97 West Kitchen & Bar at the Fort Worth Stockyards, is led by Executive Chef Grant Morgan. Outside, The Backyard at Hotel Drover provides a unique space to enjoy live music along with a burger and a frosty adult beverage. The ranch-style heated pool and hot tub in this sprawling outdoor retreat are enveloped by a mix of towering mature oaks, cypress, maple, pines mixed with agave plants, and saguaro cacti. Further setting the scene are cabanas with hanging daybeds and crystal chandeliers, creekside bar seating, yard games, and firepits.
Room rates at Hotel Drover begin at $180 per night. For more information and reservations, visit hoteldrover.com.
NEW YORK | Bringing a Blackberry Farm-type experience to the Catskills, The Chatwal Lodge, which opened in April, is located at The Chapin Estate, a 2,500-acre gated residential community in Bethel, NY. Architect and designer Steve Dubrovsky specializes in 19th-century Adirondack style, and he is also a four-time circuit champion of the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association.
Accommodations include ten suites, with private patios overlooking the 1,000-acre Toronto Reservoir Lake; a 1,000-sq.ft. treehouse that rises 25 feet off the ground; and an 850-sq.ft. glam tent. Activities range from fly fishing in the on-property trout stream and kayaking with a to-go picnic, to private music classes at the Lodge and priority access to exhibitions at Bethel Center of Performing Arts.
Room rates at The Chatwal Lodge start at $1,200 per night. For more information and reservations, visit thechatwallodge.com.
ITALY | Scheduled to open in June in the heart of northern Italy's Piedmont region, just 1.5 hours from Milan, the 30-room boutique hotel Casa di Langa combines traditional Piedmontese design with a solid commitment to sustainable practices.
"From our first visit to Piedmont, my wife and I were struck by the grandeur of the landscape, the unforgettable food and wine, and, most of all, the generosity of the people," shares Kyle Krause, Chairman and CEO of the Krause Group, an American company that owns a diverse set of businesses in Italy including the Serie A Italian football club Parma Calcio 1913 and Vietti and Enrico Serafino vineyards in Piedmont. "With this hotel, I'm proud to have the opportunity to share the Piedmont we love so much with our friends and guests from all over the world," he added.
Head chef Manuel Bouchard, who worked at five Michelin- starred restaurants in Italy before turning 25, will guide the cuisine at Fàula Ristorante, the hotel's fine dining establishment. At Sorì Cocktail Bar, guests can indulge in wines from around the world and neighboring vineyards, including rare bottles from its sister wineries, Vietti and Enrico Serafino.
Guests will be privy to a thoughtful selection of authentic experiences. These encompass exploring historic vineyards via Vespa; a wine academy offering the opportunity to attain certification from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust; on-property truffle hunting with Lagotto dogs, and a dedicated truffle concierge; and, hands-on cooking classes using ingredients sourced from an on-site garden and greenhouse. An eco-luxe spa, heated infinity pool, and state-of-the-art fitness center round out the guest amenities.
Room rates at Casa di Langa begin at $526 per night. For more information and reservations, visit casadilanga.com.