If you're wondering about 2018's best holiday destinations, House & Garden's Travel Editor Pamela Goodman is the woman to ask. As the editor of the magazine's annual Hotels by Design Supplement - on newsstands and available to download with the May issue now - she has combed the globe to bring our readers an essential guide of the most beautifully designed new hotels. Here are her top 10 places to visit in 2018.
Picking the three main features for Hotels by Design is never an easy task. There are always numerous contenders but getting the balance right between design styles and geographical location is particularly important. There’s no set formula year on year but in 2018 we plumped for a remote, coastal lodge (Sri Lanka), a far-flung, uber-cool retreat (Southern Australia) and a closer-to-home city hotel (Copenhagen).
Sri Lanka, in my book, rarely disappoints. There are always new and interesting openings there – in fact, one of my favourite Sri Lankan hotel groups, , is opening three gorgeous properties this year – and , with its crazy, creative cocoon pods on the edge of the shore in the Yala National Park seemed the perfect fit for Hotels by Design.
Australia has been in the news in the last few days not just for test match ball fixing, but the launch of the new direct – yes, direct – flight from London to Perth. OK, so Perth isn’t exactly close to Melbourne and the state of Victoria but (the Australian equivalent to the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express) offers an amazing two-night, three-day journey aboard The Indian Pacific train from Perth to Adelaide. It’s then only a 10-hour train ride on The Overland train from Adelaide to Melbourne, and an hour by car to the incredible . All in all, a great Australian experience.
Copenhagen should be on everyone’s radar this year for a short city break. It has always been a great capital for food and design, and now there are some interesting hotel options, too. , owned by ex-ballet dancer Alexander Kolpin, is truly chic and elegant – a little bit (in Stockholm – a great hotel if you don’t know it already) and a little bit Soho House. It was an easy pick for Hotels by Design. Other news includes the rebirth of the Royal Hotel, one of Copenhagen’s most iconic and cherished examples of Danish modernist architecture and interior design, originally created by Arne Jacobsen. Now managed by , the hotel has been completely renovated by design studio Space Copenhagen who have carefully preserved Jacobsen’s original schemes.
One hotel I’ve had my eye on for long weekend is the beautiful in the rural heartland of Portugal’s Alentejo region. This hotel, combining vineyards, olive groves and an ancient farm now converted into an exquisite collection of suites and cottages, forms part of a four-page feature in Hotels by Design on some the best places to stay, eat and shop in Lisbon and its surrounds. Chic, easy-going , a short hop from the beach, is also in the mix.
There are some of us, however, who like nothing more than making the most of the UK and, when it comes to hotel design, us Brits are pretty good at it. One way or another we reference a fair few UK beauties in Hotels by Design, but we were particularly drawn this year to the work of interior designer at Beaverbrook, a stately pile not far from London that was once the home of press baron Lord . Susie has a quintessential Englishness to her interiors and is a self-confessed floral print addict. The rooms she has created here sum up what is best and most glorious about the classic English country house.
So what’s in the pipeline for this year and beyond? I have a beady eye on Greece, where there’s much in the offing, and Namibia is going to be big – particularly if Harry and Meghan decide to honeymoon there. Zimbabwe is more than likely to make a healthy comeback after the demise of Robert Mugabe and the Seychelles will surely benefit from a new, direct route there. For some of the most interesting hotel openings and refurbishments, the Take Ten news pages in Hotels by Design hopefully say it all.