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Global travel trends are reflected in the list of new hotels in 2017. A slowdown in grand European openings has its counterpoint in an avalanche of unveilings in China.
Hotel superpowers New York and London continue to make a splash unabated, while Singapore ups the ante on arty, bespoke lodgings.
There are some fabulous openings in Australia, and New Zealand is about to get some pretty swish new hotels, too.
And across the globe, the growth of millennial hotels – the smaller, distinct, culturally connected and clever properties designed to appeal to the most modern of traveller – continues seemingly exponentially.
Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Melbourne get new brands from the big chains, But all eyes are on Hobart for 2017's most significant local opening.
MACQ 01 HOTEL
Federal Group Tourism – they of Saffire Freycinet and the stylish The Henry Jones Art Hotel – are set to open the Tasmanian capital's first waterfront hotel for a decade.
The 114 rooms of the Derwent River-facing property will "pick up on the emotion behind the story of Tasmania and express them in the most delightful and unexpected way", says interior designer Amanda Pike of Pike Withers Interior Architecture. Each of the hotel's 114 rooms will be linked to a historic Tasmanian character: "heroes, villains, explorers, inventors, convicts, bushrangers, first people, industrial giants, political mavericks and much more."
Promising warmth and quality, the hotel will offer luxurious suites and rooms, along with a restaurant and bar.
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON MELBOURNE DOCKLANDS
Following on the heels of 2016's Peppers Docklands, Four Points by Sheraton, Melbourne Docklands brings 273 guest rooms as well as dining and bar facilities to an under-utilised end of Melbourne's CBD. The sleek high rise sits right on the water and is designed with business-like tones and touches. But being next to Etihad Stadium as well as offering easy access to the airport freeway, not to mention having an outdoor pool – a rarity among Melbourne's hotels – this property is set to scoop up plenty of leisure travellers.
Aloft Perth will be the first hotel to open in Australia under Starwood's millennial brand. Set in The Springs, Perth's biggest urban renewal project, which is near the Swan River, the hotel will feature 224 colourful guestrooms as well as the de rigueur assets of this kind of young-minded and tech-savvy hotel: plenty of communal spaces, plus pool, fitness centre, restaurant and bar.
SOFITEL DARLING HARBOUR
Sydney's first major new-build five-star hotel in 15 years adds 590 rooms to the city via a 35-storey glamour building at the northern end of Darling Harbour, designed by renowned Sydney architect Richard Francis-Jones, from Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. When completed, it will be one of Australia's largest hotels. Positioned for panoramic harbour and city views, there'll be a rooftop lounge and deck with infinity pool, extensive food and beverage and meeting facilities and a large ballroom. Accor has applied to have a helipad on the roof.
PULLMAN BRISBANE AIRPORT
The Pullman Brisbane Airport will feature 130 rooms including two presidential suites, 10 junior suites and 45 executive rooms. Transit passengers will be happy; there's a leisure pool, 20-metre lap pool, poolside daybeds and pergolas ready and waiting for them.
With international and domestic passenger numbers through Brisbane Airport forecast to grow to 38 million per year by 2034 (from 21 million in 2014), the hotel is likely to get a workout.
Accor is also building a new ibis at the airport.
With the Chinese continuing to embrace the concept of travel, hotel business continues to be big business in China. In 2017, Shanghai is where it's at, with three stunners swinging open the doors to guests.
THE ST REGIS SHANGHAI JINGAN
Starwood's ultra-high-end brand opens a "flagship" property on ultra-high-end West Beijing Road. Promising to "redefine luxury" in a city that knows luxury well, the nearly 500 guestrooms, including 41 suites and 47 residences are on the 29th to 59th floors of a mixed-use development and give stunning views of the Shanghai skyline.
Starwood already has 12 hotels in Shanghai with another five in the pipeline.
CAPELLA SHANGHAI JIAN YE LI
The Xuhui District preservation zone is a slice of 1930s French Shanghai. In this enclave of "shikumen" courtyard houses comes the Jian Ye Li estate, comprising Capella Shanghai, Capella Residences and The Gallery lifestyle retail.
Sensitively restored, it will be Shanghai's only all-villa urban resort with 55 villas, an Auriga Spa, a French brasserie and event venues.
HOTEL JEN BEIJING
In the first 22 floors of the China World Trade Centre development in Beijing's central business district, Chaoyang, this will be the third Hotel Jen to open in mainland China since Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts launched the brand two years ago.
Facilities will include a "co-working hub paired with creative meeting spaces", the only gastropub in the CBD and a 3500-square-metre health club. With a cutting edge air purification system throughout, the 450 spacious rooms and suites will feature contemporary design and open city views.
Historic hotels from one end of England to another promise to delight history buffs, foodies, luxury lovers and literature mavens alike.
THE GREAT SCOTLAND YARD HOTEL
OPENING: early 2017
London's original Scotland Yard police station is set to become a new five-star luxury hotel, following a £50 million refurbishment to the building made famous by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the 1888 Jack the Ripper investigation. The new hotel combines luxury bedrooms – costing up to £10,000 a night – with two bars, a library, and dining rooms.
While the Edwardian facade has been kept, the whole interior has been gutted, with a new basement of several storeys excavated.
No website yet.
LEGOLAND CASTLE HOTEL
Legoland Windsor Resort sees the opening of a hotel full of themed room types – Knights and Wizards – each with separate sleeping areas for adults and children.
LEGO models feature throughout from a lobby dominated by a giant LEGO Wizard, to the a la carte Tournament Tavern Restaurant, indoor Jester's Play area and outdoor themed playground.
Guests get early entry to the park, fast track access on selected rides, free refillable drink bottles and LEGO gifts.
NOBU HOTEL, SHOREDITCH
OPENING: early 2017
A 150-room hotel with food and beverage menus developed by chef Nobu Matsuhisa also features a design that reflects both the city and Nobu Hospitality's signature east-meets-west philosophy, a collaboration between Ben Adams Architects, Studio Mica and Studio PCH.
The first Nobu Hotel opened in 2013 as a boutique hotel within Caesars Palace Las Vegas and was subsequently named one of the hottest new hotels of the year on various prestigious lists.
Manila Chicago, Miami Beach and Bahrain are among the brand's other locations. See nobuhospitality.com
THE NED HOTEL, SOHO
OPENING: early 2017
In a Grade-I-listed former bank building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens as the headquarters of Midland Bank, this restoration and conversion will feature nine restaurants and bars in the huge original banking hall (the biggest in the world of its time), grand event spaces converted from the former executive offices and board rooms, extensive health, leisure and grooming facilities, and the trump card: a roof-top terrace with pool overlooking Saint Paul's Cathedral.
Announcing the death of Scandi-chic once and for all, rooms will have a seriously 1920s and 1930s collector vibe, pushing the "retro touch" movement into an opulent yesteryear place full of hand-loomed Persian rugs, high-polish antiques and four-poster beds.
Often, when cities once considered soulless work hard to capture a sense of spirit, they fail. But in recent years, Singapore's embracing of its history, culture and heritage has added new depth and dimension. Its 2017, hotel openings reflect this movement.
THE DUXTON CLUB
Inhabiting two pre-war colonial heritage buildings, the Duxton Club comprises The Duxton House on Duxton Road and The Duxton Terrace on Murray Street. Nearby trendy Tanjong Pagar, and Chinatown, the 50-guestroom Duxton House spans eight adjoining three-storey buildings with Anouska Hempel design will be accompanied by an all-day restaurant, a bar and a private cigar room.
The 138-room The Duxton Terrace comprises fourteen adjoining three- and four-storey colonial-era buildings restored by architect and designer Jacques Garcia with five food and beverage venues.
THE PATINA CAPITOL
OPENING: early 2017
Modern architectural pedigrees don't come much better than Richard Meier and Singapore's Patina Capitol combines the American master's geometric aesthetic with the classically Asian interior sensibilities of Jaya Ibrahim.
The two have collaborated to bring to life Singapore's 1930s Capitol Building, with 157 rooms full of beautifully retro yet cutting-edge touches.
A huge number of openings in New York City is the main headline for 2017 when it comes to US hotels. But the growth is bespoke and honed. In one of the most saturated markets in the world, new properties are geared towards engaging visitors emotionally. There's nothing cookie-cutter about these fine offerings.
OPENING: Some time, 2017
British architect David Chipperfield's first residential tower in Manhattan, the 34-storey The Bryant is also home to a 232-room hotel in the lower floors. Overlooking Bryant Park, it offers extraordinary views and an incredible address.
Forward details are scant. But the pedigree is undeniable.
RESTORATION HARDWARE HOTEL
OPENING: TO BE ANNOUNCED
If there's one thing the United States gets consistently right, it's the merchandising of its aspirational home deco stores, one of the most drool-worthy being Restoration Hardware. Now the impossibly on point luxury home furnishings company is getting into the hotel business with a 14-room boutique in New York City's Meatpacking District.
Be still about a billion beating interiors-loving hearts – there's no word on the look of the rooms (though plenty of mutterings about the corporate colonisation of a much loved Ganesvoort Street building). But it's rumoured there will be an on-site restaurant.
SOFITEL SO AUCKLAND
Auckland, New Zealand
This 133-room hotel inhabiting the old New Zealand Reserve Bank at 67 Customs Street is finally coming to fruition, just one street back from Auckland's harbour foreshore. The impressive designer property will feature a spa and fitness centre ensconced in the old bank vault. A rooftop restaurant is another fabulous twist.
OPENING: late 2017
One of Warsaw's best-loved buildings, the Hotel Europejski originally opened in 1857 as one of the most luxurious hotels in the Russian Empire. Damaged during World War II, it was re-built in stages, and reopened in 1962.
Now lovingly and meticulously restored, the new Raffles will feature an outdoor terrace with seasonal menus showcasing local produce, a bar and cigar lounge and a patisserie nodding to Hotel Europejski's famous Lourse Confiserie, a sweets salon that attracted the city's high society and intellectuals.
See also: The 17 hottest cities to visit in 2017