First In

26 August 2020

From the latest country house darlings to the upcoming - and highly anticipated - new openings from renowned hotel groups, here’s our collection of some of the most desirable places to book ahead for whether you’re looking to travel later this year or you’re planning ahead for 2021.


Another brand making their debut in Europe is One&Only - and what a place they have chosen - in a spectacular natural harbour on the Bay of Kotor, surrounded by limestone peaks and ancient walled towns. Days are spent at their secluded sandy beach or at one of the six distinct resort pools. Hike through the countryside or explore Portonovi’s boutiques, galleries and restaurants serving fish fresh from the bay. Enjoy healthy southern Italian cuisine at the restaurant helmed by Giorgio Locatelli, which will be the world-renowned chef’s third restaurant, serving up nourishing dishes from an open kitchen. Exploring the marina is a must for any visit.

Good to know: The hotel opens 21st March 2021. At present, wearing protective masks outdoors and indoors is mandatory in Montenegro except on beaches and in national parks.   


The Newt has been described as “one of the most exceptional country house hotels Britain has seen” by The Telegraph upon opening late last summer. A former Elle Deco editor has styled the house beautifully, juxtaposing modern and traditional; the unusual stable rooms use the original hay mangers. Set on a working estate near Bruton, there’s plenty to explore – pull on your wellies for estate and woodland walks, through extensive gardens over to the Deer Park. Enjoy farm-to-table dishes at the Botanical Room – the kids get can get involved too, collecting eggs, picking fruit or baking their own loaves. 

Good to know: 2-night minimum stay is now in place for fewer room changeovers. The gym and swimming pools are open, with pre-booking required. Some of the spa treatments are currently unavailable in line with government restrictions.


Lastly, Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa is not brand new but worth remembering as Crete’s latest luxury hotel. Exclusively for adults, you’d be forgiven for feeling like you’re in the Indian Ocean; some of the villas and bungalows come with private pools or jacuzzis, but it’s the signature overwater and swim-up rooms that are a rarity in Europe. Dive from your bedroom straight into the infinity pool or lounge on the overwater hammock. 

Good to know: A full ‘calm and safe’ programme is in place with PPE for staff, mobile check-in/out and restaurant/spa bookings. 1.5m social distancing. 


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