I have a recurring nightmare, I’m sat at home unable to leave the house, not able to see friends, to go to restaurants or on holiday. Oh, yeah, wait…

2020 was a total write-off. Anyone who wanted to go to Torquay last year was lucky to make it there and back without being slapped with a fortnight’s quarantine. But rather than commiserate the first year of my adult life where I haven’t stepped on a passenger jet (which, as a travel journalist, is somewhat bizarre) I’m going to do the only natural thing and look forward to this year, and in particular the hotels and resorts slated to open in what can only be a bumper year for travel.

And looking through, I’m starting to think that the wait might actually be worth it…

NoMad, London

NoMad has played host to some of the world’s most famous celebrities, and it’s not even opened yet. With guests including Dr Crippen, the Kray twins, William Joyce and Abu Hamza, it all becomes clear when you realise that London’s most luxurious new opening is in a revamped Bow Street Magistrates Court.

Slated to open in February, the hotel explores the artistic and cultural links between New York and London, as the American hotel opens its first overseas outpost.

Six Senses, Galápagos Islands

Get up and Galapa-GO to this unique 2021 opening! Si Senses are on a streak of openings right now and they are bringing their special brand of super-top-end luxury to one of the world’s most unique habitats.

Only three percent of the ecosystem that inspired Charles Darwin’s ecological discoveries and theories of evolution is allowed to be developed, so it’s extraordinary that the hotel has been given the thumbs up, clearly a testament to the resort’s sustainable credentials.

One&Only Kéa Island, Greece

Set on the shore of the Aegean, in the Cyclades archipelago, sits a new Greek legend. Thankfully no minotaurs or Gorgons but rather day beds, fine dining, relaxation and heavenly views.

With an array of rooms and villas overlooking the sea, One&Only’s latest resort is just a short ferry ride from Athens and covers 65 hectares of serenity.

The Mayfair Townhouse, London

Technically it’s not a 2021 opening, but given The Mayfair Townhouse managed a grand total of twelve days open in 2020 after an ambitious December opening was derailed by covid (multiple times) we feel The Mayfair Townhouse deserves our support just for their bloody minded determination. And there’s plenty more to it.

A rather gruesome former Hilton close to Green Park has been utterly transformed into something completely special; oozing luxury and sophistication from every leather wingback chair, this is the hotel Mayfair has been waiting for. And the pedigree is impeccable, it’s part of the Iconic Luxury Hotels group (see also Cliveden, 11 Cadogan Gardens and Chewton Glen).

Ace Hotel, Sydney

In a classic reverse-Crocodile Dundee, New York goes down under with the arrival of the Ace Hotel in Sydney’s Surry Hills (not  a typo, they spell Surrey like that).

The iconic NYC hotel transposes to its new antipodean habitat remarkably well, the 18-storey hotel promises to be yet another reason to escape to the southern hemisphere in 2021…

Website: www.acehotel.com (note that they’ve not gotten round to updating their website yet)

Cheval Blanc, Paris

If the White Horse makes you yearn for Parson’s Green then you need to raise your expectations. Chavel Blanc, sits on the Seine very close to the Louvre and the Marais, facing the famous Left Bank.

The grandeur of the former department store made for a natural choice when LVMH picked it up and transformed it into what’s sure to be one of Paris’s hottest hotels when it opens this year.

The Pig, South Downs

The litter of Pig hotels grows by the minute, and 2021 should see the opening of two more Pigs, one in Cornwall and the other in the South Downs, close to Arundel in West Sussex.

Within striking distance of London and boasting its own vineyard, the hotel promises to enter our Country House Hotels wish list the moment the doors open. And yours, too.

Rosewood, São Paolo

A new tower is looming over downtown São Paolo. The Brazilian capital has already embraced the three hundred foot Torre Rosewood as a local landmark due to its highly distinctive foliage covered design from French architect Jean Nouvel.

From June 2021 guests will be able to experience the inside of the iconic building too. Sprawling across the tower and a neighbouring former maternity hospital, the 265 room hotel boasts six bars and restaurants with interiors designed by none other than  Philippe Starck.

King’s Mansion, Goa

Bollywood star turned hotelier Sachiin Joshi has teamed up with Gauri Khan, variously a film producer, interior designer and wife of Shah Rukh Khan to create a 17 suite boutique retreat.

The Goan hotel is built in a colonial style and promises to be the last word in luxury, particularly when it comes to its wellness treatments.


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