The year 2016 is bringing with it a new round of hotels in Europe. Check out these top properties that are creating a lot of buzz even before their openings.
The Fontenay, Hamburg, Germany
In fall 2016, The Fontenay will be the first ultra luxury hotel to open in Hamburg in 18 years. This hotel will sit on Lake Alster within a 10-minute walk to the city center.
Construction began on the 100 million Euro project in 2014 by architect Jan Stormer of Stormer Murphy and Partners. The plan is to make the hotel look sculpture-like, so it mirrors the fluid lines of the lake and surrounding park. It will also have a facade made of white ceramic tiles. Guests will notice that the Fontenay's design is created by fusing three circles that created the high atrium and the guest floor corridors, which will both be filled with natural light.
The guestroooms will have floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies with views of the lake (major selling point). The interiors will boast warm colors, parquet wood flooring and tall ceilings to maximize space and light.
Guests will be able to dine at two restaurants, including one all-day option and another offering cuisine from a Michelin-starred chef. However, The luxe touch we will enjoy the most is the rooftop bar with views of the city.
Sereno Lago Di Como, Lake Como, Italy
Sereno Lago Di Como is one of the most talked about hotel openings that is set to debut in Europe in Spring 2016. This ultra luxe hotel is currently being built on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, following the success of Le Sereno St Barth. Sereno Largo di Como is being positioned as the most posh hotel on the lake, and it also wll have views of the southern Italian Alps.
The hotel will have a contemporary, relaxed feel and will be created by Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola. She also designs for B&B Italia, Baccarat, BMW, Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands.
Of course, since the hotel will sit on the shore of Lake Como, it will have its own docking facilities and custom boats for transportation around the lake. If this hotel follows the popularity of the St. Barth’s location, we suggest booking one of the 30 oversized suites well in advance. Looking for the ultimate in Italian opulence? We hear the penthouse will have a private terrace, garden and rooftop lap pool.
Those not booking the penthouse can still enjoy the 60-foot-long infinity pool that will be located just in front of the lake. The pool will be surrounded by a sundeck where food and drink will be served, natch; it's also a neat place for weddings, we say. For more outdoor fun, Sereno will also have gardens designed with secret passage ways.
The chef of the restaurant hasn’t been announced yet, but we believe the Italian dishes will impress with ingredients being sourced from the Valtellina and Piemonte region.
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
The Ritz-Carlton brand has positioned itself for an exciting 2016, following an in-depth renovation, The Elizabeth Park Hotel, Budapest, a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel will be reopen as The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest in spring 2016.
At the top of the new additions will be a The Ritz-Carlton Club, new suites and updated and redefined dining lineup. This will be the first Ritz in Hungary and Marcus A. Loevenforst has been appointed as the general manager during the transformation of the property. Loevenforst has years of hospitality experience, serving most recently as the vice president of operations for Edition hotels.
As a bonus, this hotel will be located on St Erzsebet Square with views over St Stephen’s Basilica. Guests will be only a short distance from the business and shopping districts, making the hotel ideal for leisure and business travel.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hotel de la Paix, Geneva, Switzerland
The Ritz-Carlton, Hotel de la Paix Geneva will reopen in 2016 after a major renovation. The hotel is changing over from the Hotel de la Paix after signing an agreement to become a Ritz-Carlton Partner Hotel. Part of the renovation plan is to adjust the amount of rooms to an intimate 75.
This hotel was originally built in 1865 and has played hosts to historical moments like the international arbitration tribunal for the Alabama Claims in 1872. And the hotel has also housed famous guests like Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. We say this will be the place to stay in Geneva this year.
The Ritz, Paris, Paris, France
The Ritz Paris hasn’t reopened its doors from its three-year, top-to-bottom renovation. We hear, however, that the opening will happen in March. The revamp, which we hear from our Paris correspondent Mary Winston Nicklin is costing around 200 million Euros. And it will include designs from artisans and restoration artists who plan to bring The Ritz into the 21st century.
Rumors surrounding the hotel include that the hotel is updating the Grand Jardin with new flowers and trees and, we assume, the guestrooms will receive some updates. One thing is for sure, this is one of the most anticipated openings of 2016, and all eyes will be on the hotel in the coming months.