Alpina Gstaad, opened 1 December, is the first five-star hotel to
open in the posh Swiss village in 100 years. The chalet-style building houses
56 luxurious rooms and apartments, a MEGU
sushi restaurant and a Six Senses
Spa, and is surrounded by five acres of private gardens, just five minutes
from the centre of Gstaad.
On the other side of the world, the Macalister
Mansion opened on 26 November in Penang, Malaysia. A
century-old colonial mansion (named for the 19th-century British
governor) has been renovated into a boutique hotel with eight elegant rooms,
along with a club-like den and lobby, and an outdoor pool set in a luxuriant
On 26 November, Ampersand Travel launched Unknown Kashmir Ski, guided
ski trips to Kashmir. Spend a week skiing the Himalayas on ungroomed slopes near
the town of Gulmarg. Heli-skiing took off just last year in the region, and
experienced skiers can take a chopper to the top of the peaks for a serious
For those who prefer sun to snow, the Gale and Regent South Beach
opens 4 December on upper Collins Avenue, one of Miami Beach’s main drags (and
across the street from the Delano
South Beach). Much of the original 1941 Art Deco structure has been
preserved, and modern additions, such as a sleek rooftop pool, are perquisites
of 21st-century hotel life. The 87 rooms are decorated in oceanic
tones of blue and white.
Royal Hotel opens 5 December on London’s Regent Street near
Piccadilly Circus. This legendary gathering place that once saw everyone from
Oscar Wilde to Winston Churchill pass through its doors has been renovated into
a luxury hotel with 159 rooms and suites. It also houses several restaurants,
including the famous Grill Room, plus
a spa and wellbeing centre.
Also in London, the Wellesley
opens 14 December in the Knightsbridge neighbourhood with 39 plush rooms and
suites done up in Art Deco style. The hotel features a well-stocked cigar bar
with a heated outdoor terrace, and the Crystal Bar has a special
wall of whiskies and cognac.
The futuristic W Bangkok opens 7 December on
Embassy Row near the city’s Central Business District. The 407 colourful
guestrooms are housed in a modern 31-storey tower, along with a Thai
restaurant, multiple bars and restaurants, and a spa and fitness centre.