The new year is upon us, and 2019 is set for a flurry of hotel openings. But which are the best to check into?
These boltholes combine stellar architecture with prime locations, from a prison that’s turning over a new leaf in Cornwall to a modernist jungle retreat in Sri Lanka.
Here are the new hotels opening in 2019 that we’re most looking forward to.
TWA Flight Centre, New York, USA
The airline is no more, but TWA’s retro-futuristic headquarters at New York’s JFK Airport are getting a second wind. Eero Saarinen’s UFO-inspired wings are ideally positioned for recovering between flights, and its 4,500 square metres are enough to put up 1,600 people. Stonehill Taylor is designing the guest rooms with custom leather beds, walnut wet bars, curvacious 1960s-era Knoll furnishings and 10cm-thick glass windows to keep out the runway’s roar.
Taking bookings for early 2019
JFK Airport, Queens, NYC
Nobu Los Cabos, Mexico
Architects Monica Cuervo and Mark Yoshizaki of WATG fuse low Japanese aesthetics with traditions of California modernism in Nobu’s latest property – a beach house in Los Cabos, Baja. Inside the suites, designer Severine Tatangelo of Malibu’s Studio PCH brings textural Mexican wood, stone and marble, and chooses textiles and artworks from local artisans to warm it all up.
Cabo San Lucas, Baja, Mexico
Hoxton Chicago, USA
The former stockyards area of West Loop orbits around West Randolph Street, aka Restaurant Row, home to a location of Soho House. One block north, Morris Adjmi Architects and GREC have added several storeys to a century-old warehouse, playing up the Chicago neighbourhood’s postindustrial history with high ceilings, dusty heritage colours and a buzzy American-sized bistro.
200 North Green Street, Chicago
Muji Hotel Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
You know Muji’s new hotel in Ginza will be smack in the centre, because the brand has trusted the location with its Tokyo flagship, just downstairs. The cheap’n’cheerful formula is just what Ginza has been waiting for since the luxury-brand hotels have flooded in, each pricier than the last. Muji’s will be light, bright and stocked with homeware basics like modular sofas. And because rooms will start on the seventh floor, each gets a stellar view.
Opening 4 April
3 Chome 3-1 8, Tokyo
Altu Qala, Las Paz, Bolivia
With La Paz anchoring itself to the South American holiday trail, hotels are becoming more luxe and more abundant. Altu Qala is the latest coming attraction, retrofitted into a classic colonial townhouse with the addition of a two-storey glass extension up top. The latter will house a restaurant and 10 suites decorated in mid-century style will fill the rest.
Plaza Tomas Frias 1570, La Paz, Bolivia
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Is that cloud or ash hovering over the Virunga volcano range, you’ll ask yourself, lounging under the ceiling fan in your private, grass-thatched villa in the foothills. Big cats and exotic birds flock to this national park, the oldest on the continent, but One&Only built this nest as a base for viewing gorillas, king of these jungles. When you’ve returned from tracking them, you can always play a round of golf.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Hotel de la Ville, Rome, Italy
Tommaso Ziffer and, naturally, Olga Polizzi have collaborated on the fresh artefact-sprinkled interiors in Rocco Forte’s new hotel atop Rome’s Spanish Steps. Local artisans will provide furnishings for the design team to play with. And the social spaces will doubtless meet the high expectations set by the classical gardens of Forte’s Hotel de Russie, downhill.
Via Sistina, 69, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Four Seasons Montreal, Canada
The Four Seasons is building up into the sky above Montreal’s Golden Square Mile with its latest hotel-residence. Banks of glass will wrap the first five floors, devoted to retail, events and Marcus Samuelsson’s first restaurant in the city. Rooms will get a make-over from Paris designers Gilles & Boissier. And lifts will whisk visitors to the spa and skylit indoor pool over looking the Old City.
1430 Rue de la Montagne, Montreal
Bodmin Jail hotel, Cornwall, UK
In Cornwall, spiffy hotels are rising from the ashes of crumbling infrastructure. Restorers have relocated nine species of bat from inside the 18th-century Bodmin prison, unused for nearly a century, so the building could be converted into a 63-bedroom boutique hotel. An outbuilding will house the bats, and the old gallows will relocate to a viewing platform so Twelve Architects can open up the dark core into cosy guest accommodation.
Berrycoombe Road, Bodmin
Harding Boutique Hotel, Ahangama, Sri Lanka
The newest opening on Sri Lanka’s beachy southern coast is a homage to the island’s tradition of modern architecture in concrete and tropical woods. Jonathan Ashmore of Anarchitect designed the eponymous property from Sri Lankan-Australian Paul Harding with indoor-outdoor rooms, terraces that float within the palm forest and a small private pool steps from the sand.
Ahangama, Sri Lanka
Read next: 11 new museums opening in 2019