In need of some autumnal inspiration? Look no further than our latest boutique hotel additions – from a swish new Roman residence just steps away from the Trevi Fountain, to a peaceful pair of Hangzhou country houses near China’s famed West Lake.
Maalot Roma, Rome – Italy
Opened 1st October 2021
The Eternal City welcomes Maalot Roma, its first new boutique hotel located just a coin’s toss from the Trevi Fountain. The 30-room hotel spans four floors in the former residence of famous Italian opera composer Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848). Maalot Roma’s vibrant décor is designed as a ‘colonial style lounge’ concept with the restaurant and bar on the ground floor and private bespoke rooms on the four floors above, each oozing Italian glamour. Hues of ochre, dark blue and deep red run through the interiors, marked with signature paintings of hats symbolising the hotel’s ethos of ‘setting your hat down and feeling at home’.
There’s an all-day modern Roman gastronomy experience to be enjoyed in Don Pasquale Restaurant Cucina and Bar headed by Executive Chef Domenico Boschi, which uses the finest local produce and served sensational cocktails, rum and wine. Maalot Roma’s prime positioning makes it the perfect base for exploring Rome’s highlights such as the Pantheon and Spanish Steps.
SLH Insider Tip: Take advantage of the concierge’s insider knowledge and book a private visit to The Doria Pamphilj Gallery, founded by Pope Innocent X Pamphilj in 1644, which houses valuable works by great masters such as Raphael, Tiziano, Caravaggio, Brueghel the Elder, Velazquez and Bernini.
Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Estate, Galway – Ireland
Arriving through the magnificent cast-iron gates of the five-star Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Estate sets the tone for an enchanting stay ahead. Glenlo sits on the shores of one of Ireland’s largest lakes, Lough Corrib, and is the only luxury hotel located en route to the breath-taking region of Connemara, allowing guests to experience both country and city just 10 minutes apart. Eternally elegant, the 18th century property has recently enjoyed a multi-million-pound investment and has introduced a new restaurant and spa this year.
The new contemporary bar and restaurant, Palmers Bar & Kitchen, pays homage to the hotel’s owners, the Palmer family, and serves delicious seasonal produce in a relaxed yet stylish setting. It adds to the hotel’s existing dining options; the River Room Restaurant, the Oak Cellar Bar and the Pullman Restaurant on The Orient Express. The new Glo Spa & Wellness boasts four innovative treatment rooms, an indulgent Elemis spa menu and a well-appointed Tranquility Terrace embracing the stunning views of the 138-acre estate. Glenlo ticks many boxes from golf to spa and so much more in between such as trout and salmon fishing, hiking and horse-riding.
SLH Insider Tip: Take a seat in the cosy Abbey Movie Theatre, Glenlo’s very own house cinema. The space is designed with meticulous detail to portray an old-world cinematic experience, found only in a traditional picture house but with the added joys of modern-day luxury and comfort.
Euphoria Retreat, Mystras – Greece
Euphoria Retreat is a visionary destination spa like no other. Only three years since opening its doors, this tranquil resort has secured its place as one of Europe’s leading spa destinations, scooping both a Tatler Spa and Condé Nast Traveller Spa Award. Sitting at the heart of the Greek Peloponnese, in the foothills of the mystical Mount Taygetus, the impeccably designed 45-room resort features elegant domes and arches with a palette of soothing yellows and golds. Each guestroom has its own distinctive character, decorated with wooden furniture and marble bathrooms and fully equipped with the latest technology such as bio-climatisation and home automation systems.
Swathed by a private pine forest overlooking the River Evrotas, Euphoria blends harmoniously with its natural surroundings. It’s a perfect setting for guests seeking a sanctuary to recharge and rejuvenate after the stresses of the last year. The celebrated spa features an innovative Sphere Pool, a Byzantine Hammam, a Laconium Finnish Sauna and Tepidarium, amongst other advanced therapies. Carefully curated wellness offerings draw inspiration from several sources, including Ancient Greek philosophers, Hippocratic medicine, Taoist philosophy and Chinese medicine. All the programmes cleverly blend the best of these philosophies and complementary medicines to promote deep emotional and physical transformation. The resort’s Gaia restaurant completes the experience with healing Greek and Mediterranean cuisine using local products and antioxidants to bring balance to the body.
SLH Insider Tip: The new Feel Alive Programme offers an innovative pathway to negotiating a post-pandemic world with fresh energy, vigour and playfulness.
Qiushui Villa, Hangzhou – China
Opened 6th August 2021
A century-old villa turned lakeside retreat on the shores of Hangzhou’s West Lake, everything about Qiushui Villa is designed to press pause on the bustle of modern life. Built by the founder of the influential newspaper “Shanghai News” Shi Liangcai for his wife Shen Qiushui, the revitalised building fuses the very best of China’s rich history with well-appointed contemporary comforts. The implicit beauty of Chinese culture comes through its landscaping inspired by ancient Jiangnan architecture – flanked by stone statues and vibrant flowers, the central courtyard sets the scene of the owner’s poignant love story. The arched cornices and wooden lattice windows on the original building are now protected as cultural relics.
The rooms and suites continue this theme, with modern design touches and handpicked antique furniture. Each suite is named after historical personalities such as painter Feng Zikaiand and novelist Zhang Ailing, each decorated in a different style. The spacious garden deck is the perfect spot to get lost in a good book, while a state-of-the-art fitness suite is available for personal workouts. Add to the mix unique French cuisine, a never-too-much-to-ask butler service and a stunning infinity pool, and you have a truly luxurious escape.
SLH Insider Tip: Watch mist rise from the serene waters of the West Lake’s famed Broken Bridge right from your room in the morning, step out and explore its many winding causeways and bridges by bike, or simply revel in the poetic charm of the mansion’s surroundings. The owner was very fond of “Dream of Red Mansions” and reproduced the protagonist Jia Baoyu’s Yihong Courtyard at Qiushui Villa.
Vallie Hotel, Hangzhou – China
Hidden in the heart of the lush forest by the South Yangtze River, serenaded by the chimes of the tower bells of nearby Liuhe Pagoda, Vallie Hotel feels like a picturesque romantic escape from another era. Once homes for local tea farmers, the restored buildings blend beautifully into the tree-filled landscape. Minimalist furnishings, white linens and exposed wooden beams make each generously-sized room a calm and relaxing space.
All rooms come with 24-hour heated private pools filled with water from the nearby Hupao Tiger Spring, and some also feature private courtyards and living rooms for entertaining guests. For those who would like to explore the surroundings, the hotel is in close proximity of Liuhe Pagoda, which towers above the trees and offers stunning views over the Qiantang River.
SLH Insider Tip: The low-key hotel’s French gastro lounge SHIJIU is highly lauded on social media and has guests specially coming to the secluded valley to visit. By day, the gastro lounge serves a sumptuous afternoon tea encircled amongst nature while it transforms into a fine-dining setting when night falls. For those celebrating special occasions, private dining set within the hotel’s French-style garden can be arranged upon request.
For more on Hangzhou, discover Marco Polo’s ‘Heaven on Earth’ in our city guide here.