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The Hottest Hotel Openings for 2018

The most exciting hotels still to open this year – including a playfully retro chalet in Verbier, a new lodge circuit in the kingdom of happiness, Bhutan, and an art world power couple’s Highland hideout.

UNIVERSITY ARMS, CAMBRIDGE

Opening in August, this is the hotel that this studious town has been crying out for. Built in 1834, the Victorian original has been completely transformed by classical architect John Simpson (favoured by the Royal family) and maximalist interior designer Martin Brudnizki (New York’s The Beekman; the new Annabel’s in London). As well as 192 rooms and suites, there will be Sunday lunches served from the roast-beef trolley in restaurant and bar Parker’s Tavern, inspired by college dining halls. Or pick up a packed picnic to sprawl with on the grass on nearby Parker’s Piece. universityarms.com

Now read our guide to all you need to know about Cambridge.

&BEYOND VIRA VIRA, CHILE

This smarty pants safari operator is one of the most respected in Africa, known as much for its slick lodges as its deep-rooted conservation and community involvement. Now they’ve set their sights across the Atlantic to South America, and this, in Chile’s Lake District, is their first lodge in what they hope will become a circuit across the continent. The former Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira Chile re-opens in its new guise this September with farm-to-table food inspired by local Mapuche recipes, thoughtful design featuring textiles, ceramics and sculptures from local artists and artisans, and activities from horse riding and hiking to white water rafting and skiiing. andbeyond.com

Now read our guides to Chile.

SISTER CITY, NEW YORK CITY

When Alex Calderwood opened his first Ace Hotel in Seattle in 1999, little could he know how copied, emulated and disseminated the hallmarks of the hipster hotel would become. In the new sharing economy of footloose creatives, the Nineties lobby as party scene became the Noughties lobby as co-working space with bearded millennials tapping on Macbooks surrounded by flat whites. But now Ace – through its Atelier Ace offshoot – is flipping the concept again. With its new Sister City, opening in New Yorkin the autumn, no longer will the model be that of hotel as buzzy neighbourhood hangout, but more as a stripped back retreat, an escape from the city outside the front door. Naturally, the marketing spiel is still stuffed with zeitgeisty reference points (‘Finnish saunas, Japanese bento boxes, John Cage’s ‘4’33”’) but the simple message is ‘less is more’, and that applies to the price point too: from about £185 a night in Manhattan is positively a bargain. sistercitynyc.com

Now read our guide to the best New York hotels.

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