New and Now

The 16 Hottest Hotel Openings of Early 2018

by Berit Baugher
Rosewood Photo courtesy of Rosewood Luang Prabang.

In the world of hospitality, 2018 is off to an especially promising start with sixteen new hotel openings worth paying attention to — from a too-good-to-be-true Jamaican retreat at an affordable price point to an out-of-this-world escape in one of the Northern Hemisphere’s most inaccessible regions. Less traversed cities like Hamburg, Belgrade, and Detroit have had notable openings, while major U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., continue to expand their boutique offerings. Asia is on track for a banner year with the first of many new high-end resorts on the horizon, while beachy cities like Palma and San Juan are seeing an influx in smaller, design-centric properties. These are the new hotels we’re thinking and talking about in the Fathom office. Keep an eye out for more coverage throughout the year.

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Photo courtesy of Experimental Group.

Hotel des Grands Boulevards

Where: Paris, France
Why we’re excited: The latest Paris opening from the Experimental Group is a 50-room boutique hotel that does not disappoint. Located in the 2nd arrondissement near Sentier, the former cinema-turned-bourgeois-residence-turned-hotel was decorated by famed designer Dorothée Meilichzon. Interiors are modern and bright, with elegant French accents like four-poster beds draped in linen and velvet and rustic wooden stools. Guest rooms are outfitted with handmade beds from Brittany, thermostatic faucets, a mirror that transforms into a television, and organic coffee. At the restaurant, a seasonal and ingredient-led menu of French-Italian country classics is served by celebrated Parisian chef Giovanni Passerini.
Check in: Book a room.
Read more on Fathom: A Review of Hotel des Grands Boulevards, Your Favorite New Paris Hotel

Photo courtesy of Sheldon Chalet.

Sheldon Chalet

Where: Denali National Park, Alaska
Why we’re excited: Perched on a nunatak above a glacier at an elevation of 6,000 feet, the elegantly appointed five-bedroom chalet is located on the only private land in Denali. The first accommodation of its kind — with electricity, hot running water, a sauna, and down bedding — has opened up a part of the world once only accessible to the most intrepid travelers. Also on offer: air tours of the stunning geography; heli-experiences, including fishing, picnics, and hiking; and Alaskan delicacies prepared by a private chef.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Grupo Cappuccino.

Hotel Mamá

Where: Palma, Mallorca
Why we’re excited: European hospitality brand Grupo Cappuccino has opened their first hotel, a darling 32-room property in the city’s historic quarter. Decorated by Parisian interior designer Jacques Grange in various pastel shades, the eclectic guest rooms come in five bespoke styles with eight suites facing the famous Plaza de Cort. An extensive art collection is on display around the hotel, with works from Sean Scully and Wendy Artin. Spanning four floors, the hotel also has a private cinema, rooftop pool, gymnasium, and a spa scheduled to open later this year. An outpost of their signature restaurant, Cappuccino Grand Cafe, joins the Japanese-style Tahini Sushi Bar & Restaurant.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Aman Resorts.


Where: Shanghai, China
Why we’re excited: The tranquil hotel, Aman Resorts' most ambitious project to date, has one of the most interesting origin stories we've heard. Over a fifteen-year period, an endangered village of historic dwellings and 1,000-year-old camphor trees were preserved and transported more than 400 miles to Shanghai's Minhang District. Kerry Hill Architects then painstakingly restored the 50 disassembled homes to create the accommodations: 26 antique villas along with 24 newly constructed Ming courtyard suites. Also on site: a modern-day recreation of a 17th-century Chinese scholar's studio, where guests can spend time learning, contemplating, and practicing traditional crafts like calligraphy, music, and painting; six traditional tea ceremony rooms; and an impressive spa combining ancient healing practices from traditional Chinese medicine with 21st-century well-being and technology.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Paramount House Hotel.

Paramount House Hotel

Where: Sydney, Australia
Why we’re excited: Coffee-obsessed Aussies already swarm the chill and lofty Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills for its avocado toasts and enticing menu of caffeinated beverages. Earlier this year, the plant-filled spot became an extended lobby of sorts for the new hotel, whose owners also run Seven Seeds, Reuben Hills, and Bondi Hall. There are surprisingly few boutique hotels in the whole city, let alone in Surry Hills, but this cozy neighborhood enclave of cafes, bars, and eateries lets guests get a feel for living the local (good) life. Terrazzo, timber, and concrete come together in 29 thoughtfully designed and detailed rooms that have a hint of ‘70s industrial glam. There are plants and outdoor alcoves, Aesop toiletries, and lots of sunlight streaming through the windows.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of The Siren Hotel.

The Siren Hotel

Where: Detroit, Michigan
Why we’re excited: Housed in the iconic Wurlitzer Building, the 106-room hotel is the second in an expanding portfolio from design development firm ASH NYC, who are also behind the highly Instagrammable The Dean hotel in Providence, Rhode Island. Inspired by a reinterpretation of yesteryear hotels once found in Detroit, rooms are decorated with a mix of vintage and custom furniture, retro terrazzo tiling, black marble tabletops, Italian linens, and hand-loomed blankets. An interesting roster of partners includes James Beard nominee Garrett Lipar, who will debut an eight-seat tasting counter called Albena later this spring; specialty roaster Populace Coffee; a handsome two-chair barbershop called The Social Grooming Company; and Pot and Box floral design studio.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Mama Shelter.

Mama Shelter Belgrade

Where: Belgrade, Serbia
Why we’re excited: Located in the heart of Serbia’s most energetic city along an iconic pedestrian thoroughfare, the latest Mama Shelter outpost is the country’s coolest hotel. Designed with the millennial traveler in the mind, guests can look forward to high speed WiFi, communal spaces intended for communing, and funky decor that pays homage to the capital’s Ottoman history. The epic 5,000 square-foot terrace is a destination in itself, with foosball and tennis tables, views of the ancient citadels and concrete towers, and an outdoor bar with live music.
Check in: Book a room.

Ready to go? Email the Fathom Travel Desk and let us plan your trip for you.
Photo courtesy of Soho House.

Kettner’s Townhouse

Where: London, England
Why we’re excited: The latest project from Soho House comes with a colorful history: Originally established in 1867 by August Kettner, who opened London's first French restaurant and fed the likes of King Edward VII, Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby, Margaret Thatcher, and, rumor has it, Napoleon III, while managing to stay open through both World Wars. This year, the restaurant and champagne bar reopened its doors with 33 Art Nouveau-style bedrooms and a historic Jacobean suite in Soho.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of PRG Hospitality Group.

Sands Hotel & Spa

Where: Indian Wells, California
Why we’re excited: The 46-room boutique hotel is the first of its kind in the charming desert community and has everything going for it. A prime location just steps from the “Rodeo Drive of the desert,” Indian Wells Tennis Garden, and The Nest, a popular live music venue. LA designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard is behind the fun, jewel-toned interiors, which mix Moroccan-style furnishings and accents with the mid-century vibe so synonymous with the California desert. The serene pink and white spa features a menu of services that use naturally sourced ingredients from Morocco. This month, The Pink Cabana will open, offering a selection of Moroccan and Mediterranean influenced dishes made with fresh, California-grown ingredients.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Freehand Hotels.

Freehand New York

Where: New York, New York
Why we’re excited: Housed in Gramercy Park’s former George Washington Hotel, the free-spirited 395-room Roman and Williams-designed property has five dining and drinking options, including acclaimed downtown restaurateur Gabriel Stulman’s largest project to date, Simon & The Whale. Popular NoHo cafe The Smile has an outpost, as will Broken Shaker, the Freehand Miami’s much-beloved and awarded bar, which is scheduled to open on the rooftop later this spring. The compact rooms have a distinct 1970s SoCal vibe, with natural wood furnishings, woven rugs, potted succulents, and original murals by Bard College students.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

Rosewood Luang Prabang

Where: Prabang, Laos
Why we’re excited: Situated on a virtually untouched stretch of land, the sumptuous escape consists of 23 guestrooms, villas, suites, and tented accommodations centered around a stunning natural waterfall and river in the north central part of Laos. The forest-enveloped swimming pool is adjacent to a natural waterfall and verdant garden, where guests can partake in games of pétanque or croquet. The spa features a menu of holistic therapies performed by a native villager and healer. Guests can try their hand at traditional crafts from the local hill tribes and rural farming communities. Fresh Laotian cuisine is served d at farm-to-table restaurant The Great House, while small bites, drinks, and river views are on offer at The Elephant Bridge Bar. Also worth noting: The hotel is the site of the first hospitality school in Laos, providing training to local students.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo by Michael Condran.


Where: Negril, Jamaica
Why we’re excited: The folks behind Rockhouse, the cliffside resort in Negril, have just opened Skylark along Seven Mile Beach, a short distance away. At 28 rooms (with more on the way), the beachfront hotel is super-cool, with a Miami Art Deco design, lush gardens, an airy beachfront event space, a pool (later this summer), and almost impossibly affordable rates (from $115). Miss Lily’s restaurant and bar, with its open BBQ and tent-like ceiling is poised to be the place to go when it opens in June. We predict the neighbors on Seven Mile Beach will have to up their game to compete with Skylark and be worthy of the white sands and blue seas.
Check in: Book a room.

Ready to go? Email the Fathom Travel Desk and let us plan your trip for you.
Photo courtesy of Sydell Group.

NoMad Los Angeles

Where: Los Angeles, California
When: January
Why we’re excited: After the success of its New York City flagship, the Sydell Group’s second NoMad hotel opened in Downtown LA’s historic twelve-story Giannini Place building, the stunning former Bank of Italy headquarters. Drawing inspiration from Italy and contemporary California, the 241-room Jacques Garcia-designed hotel has several dining options (an elegant restaurant, a library, an all-day cafe, and a formal dining room) conceived and run by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park. Since this is LA, there is a swank rooftop pool with sweeping city views and a reproduction of the famed Roman statue The Mouth of Truth, as well as a concept shop call The Lab.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Sydell Group.

Line DC

Where: Washington, D.C.
Why we’re excited: The first spinoff of LA’s hip Koreatown hotel is open for business. Built inside a 110-year-old Neoclassical church in the diverse and always-buzzing Adams Morgan neighborhood, the 220-room hotel has a decidedly Washingtonian look, with lobby seating from repurposed mahogany pews, salvaged hymnal pages adapted as art, and 60-foot vaulted ceilings. The drinking and dining options include The Cup We All Race 4, a modern-day lobby cafe serving Counter Culture Coffee and delicious, straightforward food from Spike Gjerde and Corey Polyoka (of Baltimore's Woodberry Kitchen) and Erik Bruner-Yang of of D.C.'s Maketto. The hotel lobby is also home to Full Service Radio, a local talk-radio station created by Heritage Radio alum Jack Inslee.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of The Fontenay Hamburg.

The Fontenay Hamburg

Where: Hamburg, Germany
Why we’re excited: Hamburg is on its way to becoming the cultural capital of Germany, so it’s only fitting that the city would welcome one of the country’s most exciting five-star openings in over two decades. The 130-room hotel sits on the shores of Lake Alster and is a total showstopper. Jan Störmer, a native of Hamburg, covered the circular exterior in thousands of white porcelain tiles that reflect the shimmering waters. The three restaurants range from fine dining to casual, the most notable being Lakeside, a 40-seat rooftop fine-dining restaurant under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Speinle. Also on site: the region’s first La Mer spa and an indoor/outdoor infinity pool.
Check in: Book a room.

Photo courtesy of Serafina Restaurant Group.

Serafina Beach Hotel

Where: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Why we’re excited: Created by the folks behind Serafina Restaurant Group, the oceanfront-resort has a distinct European sensibility with a youthful charm. Each of the 96 guest rooms has floor-to-ceiling windows with water views of either the Atlantic Ocean or Laguna del Condado (a pristine natural sanctuary home to protected wildlife), sleek furnishings in soothing shades of grey and white, and Malin+Goetz toiletries. Of the three dining options, we’re most excited about the signature restaurant aMare, which mixes traditional Italian seafood with Puerto Rican flavors. Combine all of that with a gorgeous infinity pool, complimentary bicycles, and a central location in the buzzing Condado District and you have the makings of an excellent cold-weather escape.
Check in: Book a Room.

Ready to go? Email the Fathom Travel Desk and let us plan your trip for you.

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We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.