Now that Spring is here, I’ve been thinking a lot about traveling to new destinations, trying new restaurants and visiting some of the hot, new hotels I keep hearing about. New hotels always have such an air of excitement generated by the staff eager to please. This Spring, I am hearing about new openings much more than usual. Although I wish I could visit each and every new property, I love getting reports from friends, clients and colleagues about their experiences. Here are a few properties that I believe are getting the biggest buzz.
The Island House, Lyford Cay, Bahamas. This boutique property is set to open in April, 2015. It’s goal is to be different from all the more mainstream resorts by embodying the spirit of the island, a place of celebrated food, esteemed art and overall well-being. It hopes to merge local culture and residents with visitors. For example, there will be a 48-seat cinema featuring both blockbuster and independent Caribbean productions to captivate both guests and local culture enthusiasts. The space will also host live music.
The hotel features 30 guestrooms, two poolside cottages and six 2-3 bedroom apartments. All accommodations are beautifully decorated in a modern and understated style. The Bamford Spa offers an extensive range of treatments. The fitness center includes squash courts, 25 meter lap pool, and an AntiGravity Yoga program, an innovative fitness regime that combines yoga with aerial art, Pilates and dance using an aerial hammock. My favorite offering of The Island House is a day set off to the Exuma Cays, discovering the remote, natural beauty of Highbourne Cay, a private island. The word is getting out about the beauty of the Exuma Cays, so get there while it is still pristine.
Check out their website at www.the-island-house.com to discover more about this boutique property that wants to offer a welcoming space that captures the local spirit.
The Gates Hotel Key West. This boutique hotel with 245 rooms will open in Key West, Florida in April, 2015. I think this hotel will be a breath of fresh air in Key West. It’s goal is to recreate the lifestyle of Hemingway’s “old school Key West” with its Cuban-themed dining and drinking, splashy pool deck scene, residential style interiors that combine refined luxury and modern design.
The large pool will be the center of attention with lazy afternoons and festive evenings of live entertainment. Poolside cabanas and daybeds may be rented in the day and evening for VIP service and fun. The hotel will offer just two room categories: The View and The Standard. Adjacent to the pool, the hotel’s Rum Row will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rum Row will celebrate the romance of the Prohibition era’s love of rum and cigars...maybe soon, Cuban cigars will be a common siting.
A bit removed from Duval Street and Mallory Square, The Gates will offer visitors of Key West a throwback experience to the good old days on Key West. www.gateshotelkeywest.com.
Hotel Wailea. I can’t wait to visit Hotel Wailea! Located in Maui in a former Japanese private members club unknown to leisure travelers, this boutique hotel is for the new generation of luxury guests seeking romance and tranquility of ultra-private suites, coupled with gracious island service. It is set 300 feet above sea level and boasts a relaxed beach house design in its 72 one-bedroom suites. This romantic sanctuary offers privacy, relaxation and stunning views of its lush gardens, the Maui coastline and three neighboring Hawaiian islands. You cannot find this luxurious experience anywhere else on Maui. Similar to The Gates, the poolside lounge named The Cabanas, offers a day to night experience where guests gather to drink, dine and relax. The apothecary-style bar offers custom cocktails with fresh-pressed juices, organic hydrosols and tropical infusions. The pool deck features oversized cabanas, circular daybeds and a fire pit that sits center stage for evening socializing, while hanging lights, tiki torches and lanterns evoke a romantic mood under the Hawaiian moonlight.
Hotel Wailea will bring excitement to Wailea, Hawaii’s top luxury destination! Explore their offerings at www.hotelwailea.com.
There are so many more recent openings, including Baha Mar in Nassau, Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth Isle de France in St. Barth’s, the reinvention of famed Eden Roc in Miami Beach as Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, The Edition, also located on Miami Beach and the reopening of Malliouhana Hotel & Spa in Anguilla. I will continue to keep you posted on these exciting new properties. Hopefully, I will get to offer personal insight into many of these properties!
Happy Spring Everyone!