“Every so often there’s a new opening that really gets everyone talking,” says Kate Lough in the Evening Standard. The latest is the “eclectic” Mandrake hotel. It opened in mid-September in Fitzrovia and has already hosted London Fashion Week parties. With 30 rooms and three suites across four floors, it’s “a true boutique experience with all the trappings of a luxury hotel”.
Book into the lavish Mandrake Suite, which has a freestanding bathtub, a Bedouin-style tented bed and a black and silver wave-marble bathroom. For the really big spender, “the Penthouse is encased in Veronese marble with a gargantuan, cashmere-mattressed bed and a Jacuzzi, which sits under a retractable roof”.
Add Serge et Le Phoque, an outpost of the Michelin-starred, modern French restaurant from Hong Kong, into the mix, and “something tells us it’s going to be the new place to see and be seen”.
• Rooms start from £306 per night; TheMandrake.com.
An eco-friendly chalet in Switzerland
The new Valsana Hotel at the base of the Graubünden mountains, in the Swiss ski town of Arosa, is a mix of rugged chalet architecture and modern technology, says Phoebe Neuman in the Robb Report. Set to open in December to kick off the ski season, it is “a laid-back and eco-conscious alternative to the area’s sleek and sprawling hotels”. The hotel has 40 rooms and nine apartments decorated in a mix of “rugged leathers, ashy woods, and sleek sliver accents”.
Valsana has worked to keep the forests and lakes of the Schanfigg Valley pristine by using sustainable materials and powering its chalets using “state-of-the-art renewable energy”. When not out and about on the slopes, guests can unwind and enjoy “panoramic views of the mountains” from the spa.
• Rooms start from CHF380 (£295) per night; Valsana.ch.
A characterful time in Tasmania
“If you had found yourself in the Salamanca area of Hobart, Tasmania, in the mid-1900s and been brave enough to venture into the Esplanade Hotel, you would have been mingling with the city’s underbelly in a den of debauchery,” says Sarah Fitzmaurice on MailOnline. The venue, called The Blue House, was rumoured to be a brothel. The newly opened hotel Macq01, which occupies a site nearby, pays tribute to the formidable landlady and madam who kept the unsavoury types in check.
In keeping with her “colourful and quirky” character, Fitzmaurice’s room had “pops of bright hues and vibrant artwork and there are also old beer tankards in a glass display unit, a tribute to her boozy legacy”. All 114 rooms are named after characters who have influenced and shaped Tasmanian culture, from native people to inventors, and from explorers to convicts. Each room is “generously spacious” with “incredible views”.
• Rooms start from $400 per night; Macq01.com.au.
A tasteful spot in Sri Lanka
The Church Street Social restaurant at the new Fort Bazaar hotel in the charming Sri Lankan city of Galle is already being described as one of the best on the south coast, says Wendy Gomersall in The Mail on Sunday. The hotel is perfect if you’re looking for somewhere chic and a bit different.
It opened 18 months ago and is situated within Galle’s fort, a favoured holiday destination of the well-to-do, with great shops selling a selection of jewellery and handicrafts. The rooms are tastefully furnished with four-poster beds and coffee machines; some also have alfresco courtyards with “comfy sofas on which to read or sip a pre-dinner cocktail”.
• Rooms start from £144 per night; Teardrop-hotels.com/fort-bazaar.
A futuristic eco-resort
Architect Vincent Callebaut has unveiled plans for a “stunning” eco-resort in the Philippines, says Una-Minh Kavanagh in the Lonely Planet. The Nautilus Eco-Resort will be in the shape of a shell and built entirely from reused and recycled material from the area. It will feature “futuristic rotating apartment towers and an incredible spiral layout”, with room for more than 500 guests.
At the centre of the resort there will be a scientific research centre and nautical recreation base known as the “Origami Mountain”, the roof of which will be covered with organic orchards and vegetable gardens serving the resort’s restaurants, as well as swimming pools and science laboratories. See Vincent.Callebaut.org for details.