The haute hotel openings you need to know about for 2023
Haute hotels are red hot. These are the fashion brand holiday collabs you need to know about
It’s hard to imagine a time when fashion houses didn’t have a stake in luxury hotels. Yet Versace was the pioneer as recently as 2000, opening Palazzo Versace on Australia’s Gold Coast. The bling five-star resort marked the dawn of a new era for designer brands, fusing high fashion with experiential hospitality.
Dipping its toe into the embryonic lifestyle travel sector, high-end jeweller Bulgari soon followed, with Missoni and Armani quickly opening hotels too. Fast forward to 2023 and the fashion-meets-hospitality space is well and truly established. Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi, Ferragamo, Christian Lacroix, Ralph Lauren and Christian Louboutin have opened high-end hideaways, although not all carry their designer name in their branding.
Hotel Missoni may have come and gone, and by the time you read this, Australia’s Palazzo Versace hotel will have been renamed as The Imperial Palace, operating as an independent hotel. It certainly doesn’t spell the end of fashion house hotels, and with openings in Tokyo and Rome this year, Luxe Radar believes Bulgari Hotels & Resorts is bucking the trend. The fashion world’s most successful hotel venture to date, with nine global properties, the luxury jeweller has three more five-stars in the pipeline for 2025 and beyond.
But there’s been a noticeable shift in the dynamics. The stakes seem high for fully branded fashion five-stars, but owning a hotel isn’t a design house’s only option. Many are collaborating with landmark hotels to design rooms and suites or create a signature spa. (Think Dior Spa Cheval Blanc and Hôtel Plaza Athénée, both Parisian icons, and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc.) Last year Dior and Belmond Hotels (of Orient Express fame) created a pop-up spa, the Jardin des Rêves Dior in the gardens of Splendido, a Belmond Hotel, in Italy’s Portofino.
A low-risk investment, seasonal pop-ups make sense, marrying our favourite design houses with luxury resorts. This summer we’ve enjoyed watching the beach club takeover, which has been colourful and creative.
There’s been One&Only Desaru Coast, an ultra-luxe all-suite resort on Malaysia’s tropical Desaru Coast, whose sleek Ember Beach Club was transformed by Dior with a pop-up shop and café showcasing the luxury French fashion house’s Dioriviera capsule collection. We love their playful pink and grey reinvention of the classic toile de Jouy pattern, which features everywhere from the deckchairs and parasols to the table tennis paddles, and even a surfboard.
Closer to home, the opulent Palazzo Avino collaborated with Maison Valentino, with a summer pop-up dedicated to the Escape 2023 capsule collection. Taking over the Clubhouse by the Sea, it customised the space making it the ultimate Amalfi Coast perch this summer, with a special custom pop-up shop to purchase the striking collection.
On Sicily, the pool area at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons Hotel (and most recent setting for season 2 of White Lotus) had a full-on Dolce & Gabbana makeover this summer that was nothing short of fabulous. The iconic brand used its classic Blue Mediterraneo pattern to bring real sass and spirit to the picturesque pool, with items available for purchase at the Dolce & Gabbana Casa website.
Not to be outdone, Marbella’s Puente Romano Beach Resort teamed up with Fendi. Until the end of September, the resort’s hip Chiringuito Beach Club has been completely reinvented as FENDI for Puente Romano Beach Resort. With a fun candy-striped theme, the hip spot is bursting with the fashion brand’s signature personality. Everything from the furniture through to cushions and textiles has been Fendi-fied, including tableware inspired by the brand’s archives. Naturally, there’s a pop-up Fendi store to complement their newly opened flagship boutique just around the corner.
For year-round options, check out the glam Diane Von Furstenberg Suite at Rocco Forte Hotel’s new Brussels outpost. Hotel Amigo opened a few months ago and offers a special suite celebrating the famous Belgian-American fashion designer who collaborated to create a space adorned with her signature style.
Rocco Forte’s rooms are always a joy and their new Paul Smith Suite at their Mayfair’s landmark, Brown’s Hotel, promises another visual feast for fashionistas. One of our favourite hotels, we just know the custom furniture, hand-picked artworks and soft furnishing from the debut Paul Smith home collection will make a stay here extra appealing.
And, heaven forbid the holiday budget is blown for this year, there are always Louis Vuitton and Tiffany collabs with top pastry chefs to ply perfect patisserie at their respective cafés in Japan and London. Louis Vuitton and Gucci also have teamed up with some of the world’s best chefs to offer fine dining with their branding over the door. Luxe Radar is just a little bit excited about Louis Vuitton’s upcoming Paris property too, which will transform its Paris HQ into its largest store and first-ever hotel. Watch this space.