Openings: Mexico, Beijing, Jerusalem, Bali
Bali’s Alila Ubud resort is opening four luxury Terrace Tree Villas that overlook the Ayang valley. (Alila Hotels and Resorts)
A monthly round-up of new hotels and hideaways, treks and tours.
The PopUp Ashram opened on 15 September and closes on 5 November at the Papaya Playa Project in Tulum, Mexico, which itself started out last year as a temporary resort with 85 beachfront cabanas. The ashram claims to create a spiritual journey of “conscious exploration”, from kundalini yoga classes to sounding Tibetan bowls in a cenote to its spiritual concierge who will help determine the correct path for you. The ashram heads to resorts in Mangiss and Ubud, Bali and Abruzzo, Italy in March and June 2013.
On 18 October, the Four Seasons Beijing opens in Chaoyang, the largest district in the city, continuing the brand’s expansion into China with its seventh property in the country. The 313 rooms and suites are arranged around a glass atrium, and the Tea Garden at the base provides a spot of tranquility.
In Jerusalem, a tour of the city’s famous Machane Yehuda food market , known as the Shuk launched on 6 September. The Shuk Bites tour, which is self-guided via a map and printed instructions, lets travellers try organic fruits, fresh-baked breads, kosher cheeses and spices and coffee at the various stalls. It ends with sweets, ice cream and halva, a dense Middle Eastern pastry.
On 17 September, the QT Sydney hotel opened in two historic buildings on Market Street in the city’s central business district. The 200 rooms have either original wood floors or Rothko-inspired rugs, and are decorated with quirky elements like bowler hat lamps. Guests book blocks of time at its SpaQ instead of treatments, which they choose upon arrival.
The 86-room J House Greenwich hotel opened on 23 September in Connecticut, less than an hour from New York City. Originally a Howard Johnson motel that was stripped and refurbished, many of the demolition materials were used in the stylish reconstruction, from recycling the metal to grinding up the asphalt and reusing it on the surrounding drive.
The House of Wolf, an experimental dining, drinking and live entertainment venue, opens in London’s Islington neighbourhood on 5 October. Its first month-long guest chef, food artist Caroline Hobkinson, collaborated with the professor-in-residence, Charles Spence, an Oxford University professor of experimental psychology, on its sensory menu called Look, Listen, Smell, Touch, Eat.
In Bali, the Alila Ubud resort will unveil four Terrace Tree Villas on 15 October. Standing at treetop height on stilts, the 120sqm luxury villas are constructed from recycled teak. The deep soaking tub in each villa has serene views of the jungle canopy and the Ayang valley.