As the year winds down, we’re looking forward to the hot hotel openings set for 2013. While our Forbes Travel Guide editors found a bunch of luxury soon-to-open properties from Miami to Marseille, we’re especially excited about these three sure-to-be-fabulous hotels:
Originally set to open in June 2012, this stunning hotel (the first Four Seasons property in Russia) will likely be worth the wait when it opens in the spring. The 19th-century former royal palace is rich with details from the imperial era — Baroque architecture, a colorful yellow and white façade and ornate touches like a majestic marble staircase and a bevy of bronze and gold accents. The 177 guest rooms have high ceilings, large windows, marble bathrooms and a light, fresh palette of pale yellows and creams. (Tip: book a room on the fifth floor for a personal terrace and views of St. Isaac’s Cathedral.) Located in the historic Admiralteysky district, Four Seasons St. Petersburg is near cultural sites like the Hermitage Museum and the Mariinsky Theatre, but visitors will be able to explore the onsite attractions, too — a glass roof covers the top-floor spa (good for sunlit or moonlit swims), a tea lounge will offer vodka, caviar and more in a glass-roofed courtyard, and the two signature restaurants (one Italian, one Asian) are designed for entertainment with an open kitchen and chef’s table.
Panama City’s transformation into a go-to luxury vacation spot continues with the opening of the 130-room Waldorf Astoria Panama in early 2013. The new hotel also marks the luxury brand’s continued expansion — Waldorf Astoria has opened quite a few properties recently, from Chicago to Edinburgh — and its first foray into Latin America. Location is key — situated in the fashionable Calle Uruguay neighborhood just 15 minutes from Marcos A. Gelabert International Airport, the hotel is near the central business district and Cinta Costera, the city’s large, picturesque park. Amenities are top-notch, too. Four dining options include a terrace and pool bar, a brasserie and a sushi eatery. Meanwhile, a 2,500-square-foot spa, an outdoor swimming pool and a 1,200-square-foot fitness center round out the relaxing recreational options available at the stylish, contemporary hotel.
Adding to its locations in big gateway cities (New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo), The Peninsula Hotels group plans to open its first European hotel in Paris toward the end of 2013. While Peninsula hotels are known for advanced in-room technology and sleek Asian-inspired spas, The Peninsula Paris will not be an obtrusive modern eyesore among the grand old buildings of the posh 16th arrondissement. In fact, the hotel is housed in a historic Beaux-Arts building — once the Majestic Hotel, originally opened in 1908 — and painstaking measures have been taken to restore and pay homage to the original architecture of the century-old structure. While the company is keeping specific details under wraps, the hotel will have 200 guest rooms, a spa and an enviable location on Avenue Kleber near the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées.
Photo Courtesy of The Four Seasons