New openings around the world continue at an unusually brisk pace. Numerous luxury hotel companies used the relative quiet of the past couple of years to renovate and build, and travelers are at last able to enjoy the fruits of their labors. We’ve been watching the three properties below with keen interest, and now they’ve finally opened (or are just about to).
In a perfectly central location between the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain on Via del Corso, this 39-room member of the Shedir Collection plans to open in late August. Interior designer Giampiero Panepinto, who also did the décor of the recommended Hotel Vilòn, contrasts stylish contemporary furnishings with period details including coffered ceilings, ornate stuccowork and wood paneling, all of which have been meticulously restored. Public spaces of Palazzo Roma include a music-themed lobby in a former ballroom centerpieced by a grand piano, as well as a frescoed restaurant. Suites on the top level have terraces with views over Rome, but the 1,775-square-foot Ladies Suite on the first floor, with its balcony and 16-foot ceilings, also sounds quite impressive. This hotel is emblematic of the upswing of the Corso, which has become fashionable once again. Everyone is talking about the openings of the Six Senses and Bulgari hotels in Rome, but I’m just as enthusiastic about this new hideaway.
Raffles London at The OWO
London is also seeing numerous notable hotel debuts this year. One of the most exciting is Raffles’ new property, set within the transformed neo-baroque Old War Office on Whitehall, midway between Big Ben and Trafalgar Square. Historic figures such as Winston Churchill and T. E. Lawrence worked at this 1906 landmark, which belonged to the British government until it was sold to the Hinduja Group in 2016. After years of renovation that restored original elements such as mosaic-tile floors and a grand marble staircase, the property will open this summer as a 120-room hotel, with an additional 85 residences. Guests will be able to take advantage of nine restaurants (including three led by chef Mauro Colagreco), a Guerlain spa and a 65-foot-long swimming pool, among other amenities. I very much look forward to seeing how Thierry Despont’s interior design interacts with the extravagant architecture.