LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence is in an ideal position to give an inside track on this year’s well-documented luxury hotel openings – they have nine highly experienced and discerning experts covering the globe.
LTI thoroughly researches every property, on their own dollar, and are passionate about what they do. As LTI states, it gives this unbiased opinion, ‘to bring truth to luxury travel.’ Who did they see as the best of 2014? Here is their list, announced in reverse order.
10. Cromlix House, Scotland
Many thought tennis star Andy Murray and his family would struggle with this venture. But they have got most things right and thereby created a stand out country house hotel experience, enhanced by warm and caring staff, who are mostly locals.
9. Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam
With just 93 rooms, this is positively ’boutique’ for the Waldorf Astoria brand. We love these six 17th and 18th century townhouses splendidly converted into what is now Amsterdam’s top luxury hotel.
8. Four Seasons, Dubai (Jumeirah Beach)
Just weeks old, this is a master class lesson in how to open a luxury hotel. Everything is in tune, with more dining and entertainment options to follow soon. We think this is destined to become Dubai’s top luxury hotel and dining destination.
7. Raffles, Istanbul
This caught us by surprise. A routine stop over in Istanbul revealed an impressive new property that has so much to love: staff and management, nice design aspects, excellent shopping (the hotel is an integral part of an upscale shopping mall) and…….. wonderful beds.
6. Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka
A hot ‘all villa’ property in what is currently a hot destination. GM Michele Giraudo is our kind of manager – always on hand and always looking to improve the guest experience. The great dining, superb location and impressive swimming pool also won us over.
5. Maalifushi, Maldives
A little isolated, compared to most of the top resorts, and on a tiny piece of atoll real estate, just 800 metres by 200 metres, thereby delivering a real Maldives experience. Wonderful island chic accommodations, a great spa and plentiful in/on water activities make this our new favourite Maldives destination.
4. Four Seasons, Moscow
As Four Seasons continue their prolific global expansion, it would be easy for the brand (and LTI) to become a little blasé. But they rarely put a foot wrong. Here, they have created a wonderful, warm and luxurious hotel in a stunning location. It’s a shame that they couldn’t get the spa (set to be one of the best in Moscow) ready in time for the opening – an oversight, which marks them down in our books.
3. Loews Regency, New York
OK, so this is not really a new hotel as such – but the lengthy and well-executed refurbishment has revealed a property that is new in many regards. This iconic property still offers a superb location and some of the largest rooms and suites in the city. We love the lighter, cleaner lines of the décor.
2. Portrait, Florence
This luxury boutique hotel has unbeatable views of the Ponte Vecchio. And we love the huge rooms and suites. Couture shoemakers Salvatore Ferragamo own it – and the family have poured heart, soul and money into this wonderful property.
And their top choice for best new luxury hotel of 2014 is …
1. Beaumont, London
We are long-time fans of Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. Their ‘dining room’ empire in London never fails to impress, so we have been well aware of their longstanding ambition to open a hotel. It was no surprise that the hotel opening was pushed back several times, so that everything would be perfect. And perfect it is – in fact it feels like it has been there forever, and the Art Deco inspired rooms and suites are warm and welcoming. The Colony Grill Room is outstanding and deservedly one of the hottest reservations in town.
About LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence
A global member’s only organisation, providing digital, up to the minute reporting for high net worth individuals who wish to make informed decisions, based on their honest and highly detailed intelligence. They do not sell travel, have a booking engine or carry advertising. Membership fees are their only revenue and they only answer to their members.
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