Above: Pool, Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, Namibia - DAVID ROGERS

New & Noteworthy: Spring Openings

Pool, Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, Namibia - David Rogers

Enticing new hotels are popping up like tulips this spring. Many properties delayed their debuts during the pandemic or used the time to complete renovations. Now, at last, numerous luxury hotels are opening (or reopening) their doors to guests, and we feel spoiled for choice. These are some of the most intriguing new options around the world.

Japan: Bulgari Hotel Tokyo

Bulgari Suite, Bulgari Hotel Tokyo

I particularly enjoy staying in a Bulgari hotel in a fashion capital like Milan, and I suspect that the 98-room Bulgari Hotel Tokyo, which opened April 4, will feel similarly chic. Occupying floors 40 to 45 at the top of the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu building, the hotel has décor incorporating high-end Italian furnishings and materials, like Calacatta Viola marble in the baths, but the result looks cosmopolitan, not incongruous. The over-10,000-square-foot spa has an 80-foot-long indoor pool in addition to the usual amenities. The main bar, lounge and Italian restaurant will all offer both indoor and outdoor tables. But the most exclusive restaurant, helmed by Michelin three-star chef Kenji Gyoten, has just eight seats. Walking distance from the famous Ginza neighborhood and a stone’s throw from Tokyo Station in Marunouchi, the hotel is ideally located for those wishing to take advantage of Japan’s high-speed rail network for day trips.

France: COMO Le Montrachet

COMO Le Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet - Martin Morrell

I require only the flimsiest excuse to return to Burgundy, an exceptionally beautiful swath of French countryside that also happens to produce some of the greatest wines in the world. COMO, best known for its sybaritic, spa-centric Asian resorts, has acquired a small hotel in the village of Puligny-Montrachet and reopened the overhauled property on April 1. Centered on a 19th-century limestone inn, COMO Le Montrachet faces a large square that’s walking distance from restaurants, wine bars and wineries, as well as from hallowed grand cru Chardonnay vineyards. Paola Navona oversaw the interior design of the four buildings comprising the hotel, which contain 30 accommodations and a signature COMO Shambhala spa, a rejoinder to the extensive spa of Hôtel Le Cep in Beaune. And all the expected activities — winery visits, tastings with the hotel’s sommelier, hot air ballooning, bike rides through the vineyards — will also be available to guests. COMO did a fine job with its first continental European hotel, Castello del Nero in Tuscany, and I have high expectations for Le Montrachet, its second.

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Above: Pool, Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, Namibia - DAVID ROGERS