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February Hot List: 4 new hotels to have on your radar

Spring is on the horizon for the Northern Hemisphere, bringing a much-needed fresh start for travel and a selection of new hotels worth waiting for. From a period-drama worthy setting on the outskirts of Bath, to a pair of smouldering Sicilian retreats, and San Francisco’s most exclusive members-only boutique, our latest additions should be top of your list for when the world reopens…

Homewood, Bath – UK

Set in 20 secluded acres of the rolling West Country landscape just outside of the World Heritage City of Bath, Homewood is an eclectic Georgian country house hotel with a playful personality. Marrying contemporary comforts with luxurious modern indulgences, the hotel is driven by a sense of fun in everything it does, from frilly chandeliers, statement artworks, an antique clocks-lined wall, to life-size giraffe and teddy bear grass sculptures on its expansive lawns. Its 31 characterful rooms feature velvet sofas, cashmere mattresses and thoughtful touches like Dyson hairdryers and homemade biscuits, with sweeping Somerset views across the scenic Avon Valley forming the backdrop – not to mention a heavenly spa, all-year heated outdoor swimming pool and romantic bar.

Homewood’s Mediterranean influenced Olio Restaurant is an absolute must-try, not only for its simple yet beautifully presented dishes brimming with the finest locally sourced produce, but also for the new magical dining domes which come with a special menu, winter heating, and Sonance surround sound, perfect for social bubbling.

SLH Insider Tip: When in Bath, take to the waters with one of the Hot Tub Suites, complete with a private hot tub spacious outdoor terrace.

Donna Carmela Resort & Lodges, Sicily – Italy

Mediterranean scents of citrus and olive groves fill the Ionian Sea air at Donna Carmela Resort & Lodges, a volcanic getaway on Sicily’s historic eastern coast. With just a handful of rooms dotted among subtropical gardens, each unique lodge is tailored for relaxation and peaceful seclusion with Etna or sea-facing views. The interiors bring together design and sustainability, as well as little extras – including a panoramic terrace, a lava stone hot tub or your own private garden. The on-site restaurant specialises in exquisite Sicilian dishes accompanied by an extensive wine list, including those from the hotel’s vineyard. For guests in search of some fresh air and open space, hop on one of Donna Carmela’s bicycles to explore the surrounding area, taking in the Aeolian coasts and the historical hilltop town, Taormina.

SLH Insider Tip: Donna Carmela is an ideal starting point to discover the beauty of eastern Sicily and the Ionian Coast – pair it with other SLH hotels in Etna, Taormina and Noto for an unforgettable road trip and gourmet adventure. Pencil in a guided tour of Donna Carmela’s renowned gardens.

Q92 Noto Hotel, Sicily – Italy

Bask in the glory of Sicily’s baroque past at Q92 Noto Hotel, an impeccably restored 18th-century palazzo in the heart of Noto along the famous Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Once a nobleman’s palace overlooking the picturesque Noto Cathedral, the palazzo’s interiors have been transformed into a luxurious private residence by the same family who owns the charming Villa Carlotta and Villa Ducale in Taormina. Classic design rubs shoulders with contemporary features and antique furniture, infusing the building with a unique atmosphere of understated luxury. Soak up the classic ambience of the large, airy lounges which flow through to the nine rooms and suites – each styled with bespoke wooden and leather furniture, warm Mediterranean colours in Sicilian style reminiscent of the aristocratic residence this building once was.

The scent of Dr Vranjes room fragrances creates a soothing, luxurious oasis, and those in need of some pampering are treated to ETRO bath and body products designed exclusively for Q92 Noto Hotel. While a balmy afternoon away from the privacy of the room terraces that overlook the hotel’s peaceful courtyard garden, or with some fine Sicilian wine in hand while watching the world go by along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele street below.

SLH Insider Tip: Q92 Noto Hotel makes it easy to unwind and immerse yourself in centuries of Baroque culture and history. Nearby, Val di Noto – an expansive, unspoilt area of Sicily – is a magical countryside filled with ancient olive and almond trees, and moments of relaxation on some of the prettiest beaches in Italy.

The Battery, San Francisco – USA

This former marble warehouse and candy factory turned art-filled members-only boutique in the heart of the Golden City is the definition of city cool. The Battery is so exclusive, entry to the social club is strictly by-invite or booking a night at one of their stylish guestrooms and get granted Residence membership for the duration of your stay. This includes full-access to the club’s facilities in addition to a calendar of world-class programming featuring art exhibitions, wine and spirit tastings, musical performances and family-friendly events.

Designed with an opulent, bohemian interior by celebrated interior designer Ken Fulk, The Battery boasts plenty of art-filled communal spaces and each hotel room comes with vintage lounge chairs, antique bar accessories along with an eclectic mix of artwork – viewed in gallery-worthy brilliance thanks to large factory windows which flood the rooms with natural light. Bathrooms feature natural stone tile, a large Japanese soaking tub, and products by Malin+Goetz, while the minibar is stocked with a full liquor selection and locally-produced artisanal snacks. The Battery is serious about their tea – teabags are not provided in-room – instead call room service and a “tea-rista” will come and serve you.

SLH Insider Tip: Make sure to explore the speakeasy-within-a-speakeasy: head over to The Musto Bar’s bookcase and hover your hand over the Winston Churchill bust to unlock a secret door into The Green Room, where guests can make themselves at home over music, curated cocktails or a game of chess.