Our guide to the latest hotels lighting up our design radar..
The ReTReaT aT Blue lagoon
The lowdown Iceland’s most iconic destination opens its first luxury hotel.
Best for High-end design with volcanic views.
Despite Iceland’s bona fide tourist credentials, the country has, until now, been sorely lacking in swoon-worthy accommodation. That’s all about to change thanks to The Retreat, a next-level luxury hotel offering world-class design and bucket-list bedroom views. Located at Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spring and Iceland’s most popular attraction, the property’s minimalist suites are built right into the lava rock and blend seamlessly with their dramatic surroundings.
The Retreat provides access to an exclusive lagoon, offering total privacy from the heaving crowds. Elsewhere, the impressive Retreat Spa offers ‘The Ritual’, a relaxation regimen of mineral exfoliators and mud masks designed for deep detoxification and anti-aging.
Complete the experience with an in-water treatment, where you will be wrapped in algae and massaged while half submerged in the silica-rich waters. After a day of swimming and spa-ing, the hotel’s Moss Restaurant dishes up light, gourmet meals in a sleek dining room overlooking the rocky terrain beyond.
Book it Junior suites from £1,000.
The lowdown Hipster-luxe lodgings in so-cool-it-hurts Williamsburg.
Best for Exploring Brooklyn from this happening new hotspot.
The urban lifestyle maestros at Hoxton, the group behind millennial-magnet hotels in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, have opened their first property across the pond. Occupying a covetable spot in the ever-popular neighbourhood of Williamsburg, the design-led hotel has already become Brooklyn’s hottest hangout for New Yorkers in the know.
The first thing guests will experience is the cavernous Ennismore-designed lobby; like a chic Brooklyn friend’s warehouse apartment, the space is a great spot to meet friends, grab lunch, or whip out your laptop for some oh-so-modern remote working.
Bedrooms come in two tiers, Cosy or Roomy, and deliver unbelievably comfortable beds, stylish mid-century furniture and small but beautifully formed bathrooms.
Hotel restaurant Klein’s all-day dining menu offers updated American classics and fashionable contemporary cuisine – think acai bowls and fried chicken sandwiches. Up on the roof, the seasonally opening Summerly bar is one of the buzziest venues in town, where guests can munch on lobster rolls while taking in the cinematic views.
Book it Cosy rooms from £122.
Isle of Skye
The lowdown Warm, family-run hospitality in the isolated wilds of Scotland’s Isle of Skye.
Best for Experiencing the outdoors and fabulous foodie escapes.
Kinloch Lodge has stood proud since the 16th century, when it was first built as a grand hunting lodge. It later became a family home of the Macdonald clan, who still own and run it today. Set in spectacular seclusion on the south of the island, the lodge has enviable views and a true sense of bucolic tranquillity.
This is a place for culinary indulgence. Lauded chef Marcello Tully oversees the destination restaurant, which is almost certainly the best in Skye. His inventive tasting menus draw from the island’s abundant produce with local seafood and wild vegetables a speciality. Gourmets can make the most of guided foraging tours by local experts who share their knowledge of the best places to scout out mushrooms, sorrel, samphire and mussels. Kinloch can also arrange cookery courses, fishing, wild walks and spa treatments, for a fully immersive Scottish stay.
When you’ve explored the enchanting landscape, retire to the whisky bar for a nightcap and on to a restful night’s sleep in the country-cosy bedrooms.
Book it Double rooms from £280.
The lowdown Design-led luxury lands in the lesser-travelled Caribbean island of Grenada.
Best for Sun worshippers and families.
Somewhat off the beaten track, Grenada has long been a hidden haven offering a quieter slice of Caribbean life. Taking advantage of the exceptional beaches and picture-perfect scenery is new resort Silversands, which brings contemporary attitude to the unspoiled island and promises to make Grenada a competitor to the more familiar destinations of Antigua and St Barts.
Parisian firm AW2 oversaw the resort’s sleek, modernist architecture, creating what is easily the country’s most ambitious design venture. Previous projects include hotels for Aman and Six Senses, and that same pared-back, elegantly neutral aesthetic can also be found here. The geometrically shaped villa suites, decorated with natural textiles and bleached wood, are positioned to make the most of the sea views while offering guests full privacy.
Facilities naturally include a stylish spa, 100-metre infinity pool, cigar and rum bar, and two dining options. Main restaurant Asiatique serves fine Thai cuisine with a Caribbean flair, or for local specialties, head to the ocean-front Grenadian Grill.
Book it Double rooms from £760.