The best new hotels, resorts and other wonders
EQUINOX HOTEL HUDSON YARDS, NYC
Equinox, the luxury gym chain created to be a franchise for innumerable things foisted upon us until we just can’t take any more and heave them up, are, of course, branching into hotels. Their gyms, which are great, always felt like the fitness center in an expensive, slightly soulless chain hotel anyway. So this is not a leap, nor a bad thing.
The first is in New York, in the newly erected, mixed reviewed, undeniably excessive and flauntative Hudson Yards. All 212 rooms are designed to be dark, quiet and cool equipped, with pretty much everything you can imagine, and some things you can’t or won’t -– like wake up and wind down rituals which come with an in-room guide, which sounds a bit invasive, yoga accessories, which sound a bit presumptive, and massage essentials in your room’s EQX Regenerative Toolkit. In the Fitness Center (of a hotel inspired by a fitness center) you can have a Personal Trainer, or take a class, or a dip in one of the pools – the one on the terrace with daybeds and views, or the 25-yard indoor salt water lap pool and accompanying hot and cold plunge pools. Oh, and don’t worry, there is a restaurant promising extraordinary seasonal American cuisine, with dining on the terrace in the good weather.
THE OBERIO BEACH RESORT LOMBOK, INDONESIA
If you are heading to Indonesia any time soon you might consider a stay at the Oberio Beach Resort in Lombok. It just reopened with a completely new look. All Villas and Pavilions have either a garden or ocean view and most their own swimming pool. The resort is located on the shores of Medana Beach on twenty four acres of perfect landscaping and an infinity pool. Snorkelling and diving are a must to see the coral reefs, giant sea turtles and an unspoiled underwater garden full of marine life. The Oberio Spa offers traditional Balinese, Western and signature Oberio therapies. The Sunbird Café serves Indonesian and Indian fare for breakfast and lunch, Lumbung Restaurant dinner, with Indonesian and International cuisine, the Tokek Bar is best for a drink and the sunset. You can also have dinner at the Amphitheatre while watching a show. How Vegas on the beach!
THE RAFFLES HOTEL SINGAPORE
August 1 2019 is the scheduled reopening date for the now completely renovated and refurbished icon of Singapore, and one of the last of the great classic hotels on the planet. The hotel closed in 2017 and was originally scheduled to reopen mid-2018, but that was revised after they announced they would debut three new celebrity chefs’ dining concepts.
There is no longer a front desk — upon arrival in the lobby, each guest will be checked in by a butler who will be available to them for the duration of their stay. There will be 25 butlers, fluent in a range of languages. The immortal Long Bar has a new health conscious recipe for the Singapore Sling — which proves that the time of the Antichrist is upon us — and we are told the shopping arcade is “easier to get to” and will feature a, to us, staggering 40 retailers. We are left wondering why it was previously hard to get to.
TAKE A BREATH IT IS GOING TO BE A WHILE…
SIX SENSES ÖSSURÁV VALLEY, ICELAND
It’s a few years away, but excitingly Six Senses, known for their laudable preoccupation with community, sustainability, wellness and a great eye for design, will be opening a first of its kind resort in Iceland’s Össurá Valley, in Svínhólar, near Lóni. Iceland is where you’d expect Six Senses to have always been! The topographical drama of its glaciers, volcanoes, geothermal lakes and ice-filled lagoons and long black sandy beaches are catnip for at least the five known senses.
The resort’s 4,000 acres is at the southern end and adjacent to the Lón Lagoon, the largest gathering place for swans in the country. The private cottages and 70 rooms are being built with a focus on energy and water efficiency using locally sourced, renewable materials. There will be a fitness center, yoga and spa studio, a cinema, library, something called the Earth Lab, detailing the project’s sustainability initiatives, and a water bar, which sounds worthy, quixotic and completely boring. Plus an organic garden and cooking school for guests to attend classes, organized by chefs teaching farm to table recipes. Dining will include fresh seafood and of course be in exquisite settings. If you are want virtually unspoiled nature, ambient wellness, and adventure during the day and maybe seeing the Aurora Borealis while eating dinner, mark your calendar for 2022 (and watch this space for when we report the inevitable delay).