LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence is in a strong position to give the inside track on this year’s well-documented luxury hotel openings – they have nine highly experienced and discerning experts covering the globe, they thoroughly research every property, at their own expense, and are passionate about what giving an honest and unbiased opinion to luxury travellers.
So, who got it right this year and who got it so wrong?
Happily, the UK achieves top billing with The Beaumont in London (pictured above), and Cromlix House gets a highly creditable mention in tenth place.
Unfortunately, both Shangri-La in The Shard, and Ham Yard in Soho feature in the ‘worst’ listings.
Here are LTI’s citations:
Top choice for best new luxury hotel of 2014
1. Beaumont, London
“We are long-time fans of Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. Their ‘dining room’ empire in London never fails to impress, so we have been well aware of their longstanding ambition to open a hotel. It was no surprise that the hotel opening was pushed back several times, so that everything would be perfect. And perfect it is – in fact it feels like it has been there forever, and the Art Deco inspired rooms and suites are warm and welcoming. The Colony Grill Room is outstanding and deservedly one of the hottest reservations in town.”
2. Portrait, Florence
“This luxury boutique hotel has unbeatable views of the Ponte Vecchio. And we love the huge rooms and suites. Couture shoemakers Salvatore Ferragamo own it – and the family have poured heart, soul and money into this wonderful property.”
3. Loews Regency, New York
“OK, so this is not really a new hotel as such – but the lengthy and well-executed refurbishment has revealed a property that is new in many regards. This iconic property still offers a superb location and some of the largest rooms and suites in the city. We love the lighter, cleaner lines of the décor.”
4. Four Seasons, Moscow
5. Maalifushi, Maldives
6. Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka
7. Raffles, Istanbul
8. Four Seasons, Dubai (Jumeirah Beach)
9. Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam
10. Cromlix House, Scotland
“Many thought tennis star Andy Murray and his family would struggle with this venture. But they have got most things right and thereby created a stand out country house hotel experience, enhanced by warm and caring staff, who are mostly locals.”
And now, the bad news – the worst new luxury hotels of 2014
1. Shangri-La, London
“What views! And we are not talking about those of the amazing London skyline stretched out below you – but rather those direct or reflective views into neighbouring rooms. And when you can see them, they no doubt can also see you. This disastrous design fault has already been well documented by the global media, but we have witnessed it firsthand on two occasions and it is very disconcerting. The hotel’s solution has been to fit blinds, but then you are in just another hotel room, which completely erodes the whole purpose of staying here, as room décor and size is only on par with the average London 4/5 star hotel.”
2. SLS, Las Vegas
“SLS Miami failed to impress us, but after three days at SLS Las Vegas we would have returned to the Miami location in a heartbeat. There is so much wrong here – including poor location, poor management and many of the hotel’s dining and entertainment options failing to draw the crowds, meaning shutdowns (or limited opening hours) and a seemingly never ending decline.”
3. Ham Yard, London
“We are long-standing fans of the wonderful hotels created by Tim and Kit Kemp. But this one sadly falls well short of their usual high standards. It has a feel of a pop up and appears unfinished and lacking in warmth and character. The overall exterior look is very corporate and jars with the unique character of Soho. In time it could blossom – and if anyone can achieve this it is the Kemp duo. They have their work cut out on this occasion.”
4. Park Hyatt, New York
5. ME, Ibiza
6. ME, Mallorca
7. One and Only, Hayman Island
8. The Brando, French Polynesia
9. Peninsula, Paris
10. Waldorf Astoria, Dubai
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