New York City, New York, USA
Ian Schrager, the man behind luxury-hotel hotspots Morgans and Royalton, rolls out his newest this month: Public. The Lower East Side hotel is positioning itself as “more than just a place to sleep” with a focus on personalised service from all-knowing “Public Advisors” to rooms equipped with Apple TV so you can watch content from your own device. If there’s one thing NYC hotels are infamous for, it’s their diminutive size, but Public has cleverly devised discrete spaces within each of the 367 rooms for sleeping, relaxing and working – all in a “cosy-radical-chic” style differentiating it from its shabby-, retro-, and industrial-chic competitors. Highlights from the five restaurants and bars include menus by Jean-Georges Vongerichten in Public Kitchen and Diego, and panoramic city views in the buzzing Roof bar.
Casa Cook Kos
Grouping small, minimalist Aegean-styled buildings in little enclaves around courtyards and gardens helps underline the Greek concept of parea, a gathering of friends, at this beach boutique. Laid-back is the theme, with farm-to-table feasts, barbecues and poolside beats creating a relaxed social atmosphere. The resort’s 100 rooms with spacious balconies and terraces extend into the property’s village-like setup, offering both privacy and social space to suit holidaying couples or groups. In muted earthy tones, the low-key rooms include sea or garden views, and the suites boast direct access to either a shared or a private pool. Activities such as horseback riding on the beach, paddleboarding the Aegean’s perfectly blue waters, and cruising on the resort’s private boat will be on the menu to enhance guests’ Greek getaway.
An erstwhile working sugar mill that’s now a bit grander as a 117-room luxury resort, the setting still exudes pastoral authenticity given its surroundings of karst mountains, rolling green hills and meandering rivers. Elements of the 1960s sugar mill still remain as well, in the form of artful hollow wall structures and a sugarcane dock which has been given a new life as a pool. Each room or villa showcases the verdant landscape outside, which can be explored through a number of experiences that reveal the local life and culture, such as bazaar tours, rock climbing, creating handmade traditional sugar treats and cycling along the river. The cavernous Spa Alila is a serene underground retreat made from volcanic rock that produces unique – and relaxing – jewelled hues.
W Shanghai – The Bund
W Hotels’ latest takes its inspiration from local decadence of the city’s past and avant-garde present. The contrasting design narrative honours the history and spirit of Shanghai while taking advantage of the hotel’s prime location between the Suzhou Creek and Huangpu River. The curvilinear building showcases striking river views from almost all of the 374 rooms, which guests will discover after being dazzled in the entrance lobby by neon-light installations which are a modern interpretation of the lilong culture of hanging laundry across narrow lanes. Ensuring privacy in the glass structure, each room features liquid-crystal switchable privacy glass. And as with every W Hotel, a number of dining and drinking venues, including WOOBAR, will provide hip spaces to socialise.