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10 Hot Hotels for 2023

Following an unsurprisingly restrained couple of years, a superlative crop of hotels are making up for lost time. Blossom Green reveals the openings truly worth waiting for


If you're anything like us, your 2023 hit list is growing by the second but there's always room for one more, right? Leading the charge in Cape Town is the art-filled finery of Future Found Sanctuary on the slopes of Table Mountain. The brainchild of Time + Tide – known for their luxury lodges and camps across the continent – the sustainable build comprises two villas (one five-bed, one four) that can be booked exclusively or by room. Modern, homely interiors speak to local and global design trends, a private chef is on hand to whip up feasts from the organic garden and the winelands are on your doorstep. Enveloped by fynbos, pines and ferns bordering the national park, the 2.8ha estate includes a yoga studio, cinema, multiple pools and spa, with a team at the ready for adventuring further afield.

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Combining island heritage with contemporary edge, Ibiza’s Montesol Experimental resides in a landmark hotel (the island's first, est.1933) close to the port and Unesco-listed Dalt Vila area. Think 33 breezy boutique rooms channelling the White Isle’s free-spirited aesthetic, plus a rooftop bar and restaurant. Look out for three further launches across France and the UK this year.

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From humble origins as a weatherboard lodge to design marvel, Flockhill's sheep-station homestead took its first guests last month. Amid 14,500 hectares of wild New Zealand terrain in the South Island's Craigieburn Valley, it's the work of local designers and architects. The low-lying glass-timber-and-limestone sanctuary is for exclusive use, offering four bedrooms, a cosy living area, pool and spa, chef, entertainment room and wine cellar. The surrounding nature flows into details – lambswool blankets, a dining table of reclaimed black pine, manuka honey from the farm. Fly fishing, caving, hiking, skiing and lake paddleboarding add to the adventure. Additional chalets and a restaurant are said to be in the works.

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In keeping with the trend for revitalising heritage buildings into hotbeds of modern hospitality, Capella is opening its much-anticipated Sydney outpost this month. Sprawling an entire block in a quiet clutch of the CBD area, the sandstone structure once housed the Department of Education. Architectural touchpoints include soaring ceilings, the grand marble-clad lobby and objets d'art uncovered during works – balanced out by contemporary art and luxe furnishings. Expect rich walnut, muted stonework and soft textiles across 192 rooms, while copper-lined lanterns unearthed during construction line the sixth-floor spa. At Brasserie 1930, chef Brent Savage highlights small-batch farmers, local growers and age-old techniques.

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There's something about New York in springtime. And this year is no exception: after seven years in the making, The Fifth Avenue Hotel will sleep its first guests this month. Sitting proud on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 28th street– with Madison Square Park a stone’s throw away – it marries a historic mansion (the Gilded Age residence of Charlotte Goodridge, renowned for her society events) with a 24-storey glass tower to architectural aplomb. A case of looking back to look forward, old-world glamour meets cutting-edge design courtesy of Martin Brudnizki within. Gorgeous interiors pay homage to the legacy of the 19th century with rich colourways, eclectic patterns, antiqued mirrors and chinoiserie accents. Many of the 153 rooms feature terraces and there’s an English garden, signature restaurant, wine vault and intimate bar space.

The Studio Suite

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Italy’s first Six Senses is poised to launch in the capital this month. Set within a revamped palazzo close to the Pantheon, and channelling all the timeless dolce vita vibes you'd expect of the brand, 96 low-key luxury rooms provide haven from the bustle beyond. Grounded in Roman tradition, convivial epicurean offerings include a panoramic rooftop aperitivo spot and verdant, circular dining room Bivium, heroing local ingredients and modern Italian fare. An inviting marble-laced spa draws the history of the bathhouse into the 21st century.

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Last month brought forth a burst of mid-century modernism to the sleepy Austrian spa town of Bad Gastein. Offering year-round appeal, The Cōmodo’s philosophy is one of Alpine nostalgia seeped in the wellness traditions at the bedrock – literally – of the region. Part of the Design Hotels stable, it’s born from the bones of the old Habsburgerhof health clinic, nestled amid forested cliffs and low-lying valleys. Designed by Piotr Wisniewski, floor-toceiling windows frame the scene, with the view as much a part of the space as the vintage furniture and natural materials that bedeck it. Across 70 rooms curves and colour pops are emblematic, with modern art a bonus. The spa and indoor pool are fed by thermal waters, while the no-frills, all-flavour menu is driven by a local farm-to-table approach.

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On home turf, lifestyle group Birch have announced the arrival of their second property – a revitalised 19th-century mansion amid 80 hectares of a rewilding site on the edge of south London. Checking in guests this spring, Birch Selsdon’s modus operandi is to offer fun and respite from all the brouhaha. Enter 181 calm bedrooms, an art deco lido, two restaurants using foraged ingredients, three bars, a wellness space, tennis courts, an arcade, screening room, pottery studio and library.

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Not one, but two new properties from One&Only are poised to land on Grecian ground this summer. They’re united by a sense of enduring style, quiet glamour and beachfront appeal, with Aesthesis – set on the Athenian Riviera – offering proximity to cultural and historical gems, and Keá Island – on the unsung Cycladic isle – a doozy for active travellers with ancient cycling trails, forests for hiking and shipwrecks for diving. Private bungalows and monolithic villas are in the offing – both with pools, so if it’s just R&R you’re after, you’re covered too. For the ultimate short-haul, dual-centre trip, look no further.

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Mallorca's known for its gorgeous abodes, and there are two more reasons to visit this year. First up is the glorious Son Net estate (circa 1672) in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains, which has been taken over by the team behind Finca Cortesin. Opening this spring, a stylish, art-filled affair of 31 suites resides on sweeping grounds, with pools, an olive press, herb garden and vineyard. Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal has teamed up with Meliá to launch new brand Zel. Its inaugural property pitches up on the Spanish isle this year, focusing on an easy Mediterranean lifestyle ethos, great food and the joys of connecting with nature. Watch this space.

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Flagship Dubai hotelier Jumeirah is coming in hot with the launch of ultra-luxe Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab later this year. Futuristically designed in the style of superyacht, it sits sympatico to the sailboat-shaped Burj Al Arab and wave-like sprawl of Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, it will offer 390 bedrooms with tall ceilings and warm, contemporary design notes. Four pools, a signature spa and ten restaurants are to follow.

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Flinging open its sun-kissed doors this month in a plum spot on Tel Aviv's iconic Rothschild Boulevard, R48 Hotel and Gardens is the latest addition to the R2M portfolio, whose other ventures include Hotel Montefiore and Herzl16. Set in a Thirties building, it’s a chic architectural oasis of 11 elegant rooms and suites and an intimate rooftop pool, with landscaped gardens designed by Piet Oudolf, known for New York's High Line. An upscale restaurant and all-day brasserie complete the offering.

R48 Hotel Bedroom Suite

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