THE NED, London – This sensational hotel launch will cause the biggest stir in the capital. Opening in spring, it’s a bold incarnation of what was once a branch of the Midland Bank (in its heyday, the world’s largest clearing house). The Port land-stone building, designed in the 1920s by Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens, will have a whopping 252 rooms with interiors inspired by a Thirties ocean liner, as well as nine restaurants, and a rooftop bar and spa. With Soho House & Co and the Sydell Group (The Line, No Mad) at the helm, rates of interest – from London’s creatives to cool-cat bankers – are pitched sky-high.
PALACIO TANGARA, Sao Paolo – The most talked-about opening in Brazil since Rio’s Olympic ceremony, Palacio Tangara is a neoclassical 141-room fantasy of a palace in the tropical gardens of Sao Paolo’s Burle Marx Park. As you’d expect from the Oetker Collection, this South American debut is pretty special: the group sets the standard for glamour worldwide (Hotel du Cap-Eden-Rocand Le Bristol Paris). Named after a brightly coloured bird, its smart interiors will be magicked up by top Brazilian designers, with food by culinary whizz Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and a phenomenal Sisley spa.
THE WHITBY, New York – Kit Kemp’s stylish London crash pads – from the Charlotte Street Hotel to Ham Yard – have won scores of loyal fans. She and husband Tim, who head up Firm dale Hotels, opened their first New York outpost, Crosby Street, in 2009; the second arrives in February. The long-awaited Whitby, in upper Midtown, will have 86 atmospheric loft-style rooms with floor-to-ceiling Crittall windows, plus a lovely orangery. The quirky bar is to be festooned with a collection of traditional English baskets, including a Northumbrian fishwife’s creel and a Sussex trug.
ULTIMA GSTAAD, Switzerland – Gstaad’s ski-chic landscape is being polished even more this month with the arrival of Ultima Gstaad: 10 suites and seven residences in three contemporary Alpine chalets designed by architect G Hauswirth. The vibe is cosy, fun and firmly high-end, with fabrics by Hermes and Dedar, bronze fireplaces and, in homage to Alicia Keys (the owners are fans), a replica of her glass Schimmel piano in the entrance.