International hospitality from Iceland to Bosnia
A bi-weekly round-up of new hotels and hideaways, treks and tours.
In Paris, a very fashionable reveal came this month when the La Maison Champs-Elysées reopened after a redesign from Maison Martin Margiela. The designer decorated 17 rooms in his inimitable style, along with the lobby, restaurant and bar.
Across the English Channel, Blakes Hotel, the swanky redoubt in London’s South Kensington, just put the finishing touches on a refurbishment by Anouska Hempel (now Lady Weinburg), who originally designed the hotel in 1978. The 47 rooms have been revamped and the new courtyard is a calm and relaxing space to have your full English breakfast or complimentary welcome cocktail.
A much older London hotel has also gotten a new lease on life. The St Ermin’s Hotel, a Grade-II listed building had its elaborate Victorian lobby and delightful Art Nouveau touches lovingly restored, and all 331 rooms have been decorated in fresh tones of grape and apple. Just across the street from New Scotland Yard and near the Houses of Parliament, the hotel recently reinstalled their House of Commons Division Bell, which rings minutes before a vote, alerting members to head back to Parliament. The final floor can be booked starting 25 July and a new section will be completed in November.
On 15 July, the Rosewood Hotel Georgia reopened in Vancouver. The city’s grande dame since 1927, the hotel has 155 rooms and two penthouse suites, along with a new spa and one of the largest private collections of Canadian art.
The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts will open a Corbu spa this summer. Named for Le Corbusier who designed the nearby Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (his only building in North America), the 4,000-sq-ft spa has seven treatment rooms and will use fresh and locally-sourced ingredients in its scrubs, lotions and wraps.
Fresh and local are certainly the words to use for the Pig, a “restaurant with rooms” opening 25 July in the New Forest area of southern England. Chef James Golding is working with his forager and kitchen gardener to create a menu where 95% of the ingredients come from within a 15-mile radius. The 26 rooms look out on the forest or the garden.
For something more urban, the Nolitan is finally opening on the border of New York’s Nolita and Chinatown on 1 August. After many delays, the 55 bijou rooms and Ellabess restaurant are online, ready to serve a downtown crowd, however, the rooftop space won’t be open until 5 September.