September, traditionally a transitional month from one season into the next – the Northern Hemisphere begins to bed down for the winter while things are just starting to heat up in the Southern Hemisphere. For many, September is also a month of new beginnings, as the back to school or work feelings set in after the socially-distanced summer holidays. Here, we take a look inside four of our latest additions – from a centuries-old Spanish farmhouse to a private island hideaway in the Maldives, put these brand new boutique hotels at the top of your post-lockdown travel list…
Opening date: 29th August 2020
A 15th-century farmhouse set within 150 hectares of forest and vineyards, Torre del Marques combines the latest in eco-luxury with a real respect for its heritage. The hotel is located in Aragon, one of the least discovered regions of the Spanish countryside yet easily accessible from Barcelona, and has strong eco-sensibilities with solar panels, sustainable architecture and eco-friendly operations to maximize energy efficiency. The light-filled restaurant embraces an organic ‘zero-kilometre’ approach to dining, serving only food that is produced in the immediate local area. Olive oil tasting, truffle hunting and horse-riding are just some of the activities on offer.
SLH Insider Tip: Torre Del Marques offers uninterrupted views of a spectacular river valley, and with no light pollution to detract from the brilliantly clear night skies, guarantees optimum conditions for star-gazing throughout the year.
Opening date: 1st September 2020
Nestled in the heart of the Loire Valley vineyards, designated by UNESCO as a ‘living cultural landscape’ and renowned for producing white wines including Sauvignon and Cabernet Blanc, Les Sources de Cheverny opened for the first time this September with 26 rooms and 23 suites. Two hours’ drive from Paris, the château sits in 45 hectares of woodland and each room is decorated with furniture sourced from antique markets by the owners. The spa offers the same range of vineyard-based treatments and skincare products as its Bordeaux sister property, Les Sources de Caudalie. The hotel provides an ideal base for exploring this region, particularly by bike thanks to its location on the famous ‘Loire bike track’.
SLH Insider Tip: The nearby Château de Cheverny was used as a model by Hergé for Marlinspike Hall (Château de Moulinsart), which is featured in several Tintin stories. The château has a permanent exhibition.
Opening date: 1st September 2020
With bold murals, striking sculptures and a colourful palette Galleria Vik Milano is a canvas for Milan’s creative side. Representing the city’s rich artistic heritage, Galleria Vik Milano is part hotel, part post-modern art gallery. Bedrooms and corridors are exhibition spaces with each bearing the hallmark of a renowned artist – from Giuseppe Gonella and Pino Pinelli, to Felipe Cardena and Shinya Sakurai – and there are no televisions here, the art is the star of the show. Two restaurants complete the picture: Vikissimo for dawn-to-dusk food and drinks, and I Dodici Gatti dedicated to wood-fired pizza. The hotel is located in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and is circled by Milan’s best-loved shops, landmarks, restaurants and galleries.
SLH Insider Tip: Book the Adriano Pompa Gallery Suite to sleep in a mezzanine-level bed beneath a Renaissance-esque mural.
Opening date: 1st November 2020
Only a 30-minute speedboat ride from the airport, with no disturbance from flight or boat paths, it’s clear to see how Huvafen Fushi Maldives earned its title as ‘Dream Island’. Here, private chefs serve you on a sandbank beneath the stars, sommeliers whisk you off on a wine flight beneath the ground, and clown fish dart past your massage table beside the coral reef in the first and only under-the-sea spa. But before all that, you’ll be introduced to your bungalow. Whether it’s an Ocean Bungalow or Two-Bedroom Pavilion, you’ll have your own freshwater pool and a staircase into the sea.
SLH Insider Tip: Meditate with marine life in the immersive sub-aquatic spa, where therapists use the secret sand and herb salve passed down to them by a Maldivian healer.