In luxury hotels, Europe doesn’t disappoint.
Hotel developers appear confident of Europe’s ongoing appeal, and hotel brands continue to invest in luxury newbuilds and extensive upgrades all over the continent.
Over in London there are now two Four Seasons hotels, the newest being Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, occupying the 1922 headquarters of the Port of London Authority, directly across the road from the Tower of London. Opening its doors just last month, this city-center newcomer features 100 guestrooms, including 11 suites, a lavish spa sanctuary, and three restaurants, including the first UK restaurant by chef Anne-Sophie Pic, the only current female French chef to be awarded three Michelin stars. Guests also enjoy an indoor pool and a luxurious London Day Spa.
Amsterdam, meanwhile, is famous for its art, and the Hotel Pulitzer has long paid homage to its city and quintessential Dutch elegance and style. Fresh from a complete overhaul, this Luxury Collection member strides into 2017 with everything going for it: history; contemporary design incorporating the hotel’s extensive art collection; a hot chef, Cassidy Hallman; and a beautiful 1920s mahogany canal boat for afternoon canal tours. The Pulitzer is made up of 25 historic canal houses from the 17th and 18th centuries; they are connected by courtyards and gardens and spread between two of Amsterdam’s smartest canals.
Adapting old buildings to modern needs is one of the better architectural trends of recent years. Take converting a redundant insurance building into a luxury hotel, for example, which is the story of The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest, the latest high-end hotel opening in the Hungarian capital. Located opposite St. Stephen’s Basilica and a short stroll from the Danube, the new Ritz-Carlton has 170 rooms and 30 suites; the latter come with bathrooms in Edwardian style with heated floors. Facilities include the popular Deak Street Kitchen brasserie with a menu of farm-to-table specialties and a broad choice of local wines, a health club and a pool.
Re-opened last Easter under the management of Kempinski, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, the 190-room San Clemente Palace Kempinski sits on its own private island in the Venice Lagoon, 10 minutes by hotel launch from the San Marco Piazza. The foundation of the church and monastery from which the hotel has been converted dates to the 12th century. One of the glories for today’s guests are the views from the lagoon-facing rooms and suites. Other joys of this resort-like hotel are its lush gardens, three restaurants, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a heated outdoor pool, a network of jogging trails, a tennis court and a pitch-and-putt golf course.
Park Hyatt’s first luxury European resort, Park Hyatt Mallorca, brings a new standard of luxury to Mallorca and an ideal year-round base for an active vacation: hiking, cycling, riding, fishing and watersports. The resort stands hilltop on the Cap Vermell Estate on the pristine northeast coast, inland from the Mediterranean. Modeled on a traditional village, the complex features three swimming pools, the Serenitas Spa, four restaurants, and 16 suites out of a total inventory of 112 spacious guestrooms with terraces spread out in buildings connected by paths and streams. Under construction is a country club that will have outdoor and indoor swimming pools, as well as tennis courts and fitness areas.
The American brand Canyon Ranch has gone international for the first time, with the debut of Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya on the Turkish Riviera, 50 miles from Bodrum. The sprawling property has 141 rooms, all with Aegean Sea views and a 107,500-sq.-ft. spa featuring 38 treatment rooms including a mud chamber, hydrotherapy suites and private couple’s spa rooms.
There are two restaurants serving up healthy food, and three private beaches, as well as yoga, hiking and helicopter tours.
Putting on the Ritz
The reopening of the storied Ritz Paris (finally) was certainly last year’s big hospitality industry news story in Europe. While at first glance this Paris icon may look just buffed to her 19th century elegance, upgrades are substantial. There are now 142 rooms instead of 159, and 71 of those are suites. Additionally, there are all-new plumbing, electricity, heat and cooling systems, complimentary WiFi, and telephones from which guests can control lights and temperature. Further, the Ritz Paris now sports the world’s first Chanel Spa—Coco Chanel lived at the Ritz for 34 years; a third demonstration kitchen at the cooking school—Ecole Ritz Escoffier; and a 21,500-sq.-ft. version of a Versailles garden-park. The Ritz is represented in the U.S. market by The Leading Hotels of the World.
Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya: canyonranch.com/kaplankaya
Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square: fourseasons.com/tentrinity
Hotel Pulitzer: pulitzeramsterdam.com
Park Hyatt Mallorca: mallorca.park.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
Ritz Paris: lhw.com/hotel/ritz-paris-paris-france
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest: ritzcarlton.com
San Clemente Palace Kempinski: kempinski.com/en/venice/san-clemente-palace-kempinski