Five city breaks to book now
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Now for Naumi
That New Zealand has a corner on luxury-lodge experiences is virtually an axiom of travel. City hotels, on the other hand, have not historically been the country’s strong suit. The Singapore-based Naumi brand helped shift that perception when it opened its first international property in Auckland in 2018. A very groovy new address on Cuba Street in the heart of Wellington opened in November.
“Flamboyant” barely begins to cover it – wallpapers are black and white striped courtesy of Icon Radford, contrasting with multicoloured carpets. But there’s joy in the mix, and Lola Rouge, the bar and restaurant, has earned kudos nationally for its innovative cocktails. naumihotels.com, from NZ$599 (about £314)
Palisociety comes to West Hollywood
Palisociety founder Avi Brosh has been operating the space between a cool California hotel and a cool California bungalow since opening his first Palihouse hotel in 2008. In the ensuing years (and 10 further properties), it has continued to win him fans of laidback environments with rooms that don’t cost the earth. Palihouse West Hollywood has just welcomed its first guests to West 3rd Street, a block or two off La Cienega (surrounded by upscale taquerias, organic bakeries, natural wine bars and SoulCycle studios).
The signature design – eclectic and vintage-leaning with lots of natural light – is in evidence, along with two restaurants and a lovely courtyard garden and pool with its own dedicated café. palisociety.com, from $295
The Marais’ new maison
The French micro-brand Maisons Pariente has made a name for itself with a clutch of just three hotels. Each is totally unique, but all are quintessentially French, from Lou Pinet in St Tropez (run by the Pariente as of 2017) to Le Coucou, the Trois Vallées stunner with interiors by Pierre Yovanovitch, via the elegant Crillon Le Brave resort, a forever Provence favourite. Now the Parientes are taking on Paris: Le Grand Mazarin, their fourth property, will open on the Rue des Archives, in the heart of the Marais, in April. It aspires to be an “oasis of calm” close to the Seine; but our money, and the buzz, is on Le Grand Mazarin being anything but quiet. Martin Brudnizki has overseen the decor in the 50 rooms and 11 suites and throughout the property, which features an all-day restaurant, two bars and an indoor pool. Think lots of colour, texture and passementerie details. maisonspariente.com, from €680
Park Lane’s grande dame, reborn
In 2023, though, it seems most of the action will be in London. Beyond Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotels opening its long-awaited Belgravia address this year, Mandarin Oriental expanding to a second location in Hanover Square and Raffles commandeering the Old War Office (the branded residences and hotel will both open in spring), there is a whole new Dorchester to be enjoyed. The grande dame of Park Lane (c1931) never closed during its rolling renovation; for months Pierre-Yves Rochon was working his magic in the rooms, suites and throughout the all-new Promenade (afternoon tea still served, amid a new contemporary art collection).
Martin Brudnizki has lent a hand here too, overhauling the original bar, whose terrace overlooks Hyde Park and whose walls are hung with gorgeous Beatons. The magic trifecta – Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, China Tang and the hotel’s own Grill – are still around, and still fabulous. dorchestercollection.com, from £735
Bulgari takes Tokyo
Bulgari Hotels & Resorts is stirring up buzz in Rome, where the brand’s longtime collaborators, architects Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, are putting the finishing touches to their renovation of a rationalist landmark on the Piazza Augusto Imperatore (chuck a stone this way, you’ll hit the Ara Pacis; that way, the Mausoleum of Augustus); and all signs point to the Roman jewellery house’s hotel being a winner when it eventually opens this summer. But first comes the Bulgari Hotel Tokyo, an altogether different proposition.
Its 98 rooms occupy the top several floors of a new 240m super-tower in the Yaesu district (the master Bulgari Suite will boast bird’s-eye panoramas from the 45th storey). Expect the usual Bulgari suspects: Il Bar, Il Ristorante and a 16,000sq ft spa with a 25m pool. With its proximity to Tokyo Station, Ginza and the Imperial Palace grounds, the location, like those of all Bulgari’s other hotels, is first-rate. bulgari.com, from ¥200,000 (about £1,246)