These Three Particularly Stylish Hotels Actually Opened in 2020
Above Image: Circulo Mexicano
One of our favorite things from month to month, and year to year, is reporting on the announcements of glamorous/stylish/provocative new hotels, from Munich to Miami, Buenos Aires to Bangkok…then reporting again when they are finally open.
But in 2020, of course, such reporting was not to be. Openings were delayed, or shelved entirely, as the coronavirus crisis gutted the hospitality industry, bringing mostly bad news that we preferred not to reiterate. But word of splashy new 2021 openings from marquee brands like EDITION, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons do find us ending the year with a glimmer of hope.
Yet as the hospitality connoisseurs at Tablet Hotels recently reminded us, 2020 did bring some notable debuts. A few of those – Hotel June in Los Angeles, Circulo Mexicano in Mexico City, and particularly intriguing, the Torre Del Marques in rural Eastern Spain – are surely poised to not just thrive, but to ultimately make their mark on the scene, once this insidious pandemic begins to recede at some point in 2021.
Tablet Hotels, of course, is the popular booking site, notable for its distinctly curated international collection, catering to exceptionally discerning, style-disposed travelers. It’s especially beloved of those who prefer small, independent boutique hotels, even in urban destinations.
Here’s why you need to know about these three exceptional new hotels – which, as one might have guessed, all happen to be members of Tablet.
Perhaps one of the most disappointing stories of 2020, was that Mexico’s Grupo Habita were forced to celebrate their otherwise genuinely exciting 20th anniversary in the middle of a global pandemic. But the brand seemed undaunted, even opening a super stylish new property in Mexico City this past summer.
Located along the Republica de Guatemala in the city’s historic center, it flaunts a clean, uncluttered look, with lots of light woods, natural shades of Oaxacan textiles, Shaker inspired furnishings, and minimalist, light-flooded rooms featuring freestyle bathtubs, rain showers, and skylit balconies or patios. Bonus: Awesome views all around of the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace and the Temple Mayor.
The hotel is currently hosting the culinary pop-up ONA Le Toit, from Chef Romain Tischenko and Sommelier Ioulia Gourieva. But the real scene is the Rooftop, with poolside seating and those aforementioned magnificent views.
Americans may very well be able to travel to Central America before Europe, so a springtime trip to Mexico’s capital would surely be the perfect way to shake off the quarantine blues. Plan to stay here.
News has not been good out of Southern California, as COVID cases continue to escalate. This has meant that the regular, and arguably essential cultural exchange between New York and Los Angeles has been all but shut down. (Though the latter has been recently exporting its art scene to Tokyo.)
So a very stylish new LA property opened this past spring without the usual fanfare. Yet Hotel June should certainly be a “must stay” for visiting mediarati, boasting as it is of all the desired and required amenities. It’s located just minutes from the Playa Del Rey beach, making it great for leisure visits. But there’s also comfy on-site lounging at the Caravan Swim Club, where one can kick back poolside with cocktails, biodynamic wines and raw bar faves, courtesy of Le Cordon Bleu trained chef Angie Lee (formerly of the Peninsula Beverly Hills).
The June also has breezy style to spare, with Kollin Altomare Architects and Studio Collective having preserved the original character of the 1960s modernist structure. The latter added terrazzo flooring, charmingly woven hanging lamps and detailing, and statement making Hem sofas from Sweden – while attractively uncluttered rooms nod to the stylistic tenets of Charles and Ray Eames, with platform beds and cool, muted color schemes.
It’s about as chill as a major city hotel can get – which, to be honest, is exactly what we need right now.
As unrelenting Europhiles, the EU travel bans have been particularly devastating (though we must clarify here that we are just thankful to be healthy.) When the bans are lifted, however, it might be wise to consider a less urban, more socially-distanced visit to the Continent – as we recently reported of Transylvania’s Bethlen Estates.
Another new opening that perfectly fits that strategy is the 18 room Torre Del Marques, a restored 18th Century farmhouse/tower outside of Teruel, Spain – a full 420 km from Barcelona. It’s perched dramatically amidst a hilly, breathtakingly beautiful landscape in a quiet, bucolic corner of the Aragon region.
Eschewing cloying antiquey-ness, interiors are instead decidedly clean, stark and contemporary. Think: lots of beige and grey tones, with earthy accents, brick walls and hanging pendant lamps – rustic, but decisively modern. There’s a spa/sauna/jacuzzi on-site, and a pool that looks majestically out over rows of cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves. Spend the days, truffle hunting, horseback riding…or just doing nothing but gawping at the views.
There’s a namesake restaurant that draws its ingredients solely from the surrounding area, serving Zero Kilometer cuisine using local olive oil, truffles, honey, etc. – in a part of Espana that is known for its considerable epicurean bounty.