Torel Avantgarde, Porto
Doubles from €90 room-only
Opened September 2017
As the name suggests, this new boutique hotel (pictured above) celebrates avant-garde artists and pioneers in the fields of music, literature, design, fashion and architecture. Each room takes its inspiration from a different visionary: the Frida Kahlo room has vibrant hues and tropical prints; Andy Warhol has a splash of pop art colour. It may sound gimmicky, but it’s all done with flair and good taste, and the views from the pool terrace over rooftops and the Douro river are some of the best in the city. The in-house Digby restaurant offers contemporary dishes with the flavours of Portuguese gastronomy.
Magnolia Hotel, Quinta do Lago, Portugal
Doubles from €78 B&B
Opened October 2017
Quinta do Lago is one of the Algarve’s most exclusive golf resorts, with five-star hotels and villas, so not the place you’d expect a budget “Miami-style” motel with neon signs and “the hottest Café del Mar-style beats”. But a run-of-the-mill hotel has been given a makeover to appeal to a younger crowd. Bedrooms, plus three suites and seven cottages, are simple and unfussy with private verandas. There’s a pool, all-day teppanyaki grill, cocktail bar and the fancy sport and leisure facilities of Quinta do Lago on your doorstep.
Agroturismo Atzaró, Ibiza
Doubles from €154 B&B
Opened January 2018
When it opened in 2004, Atzaró was part of a new wave of rural hotels – or agroturismos – in the Balearics that combined rustic charm with cool glamour. This converted farmhouse quickly became a hit with the A-listers but has just relaunched after a renovation that has apparently stripped out the Asian influences (Balinese-style day-beds, Buddhas and pagodas) and taken Atzaró back to its Balearic roots (white walls, terracotta floors and artisan furniture). There’s a gorgeous pool, courtyard restaurant, outdoor spa and yoga pavilion, and a beach club in Cala Nova.
Dorm/room from €15/€49
Hip hostel chain Generator continues its pattern of converting unusual buildings. This one is a former carpark and petrol station on the edge of the trendy Malasaña district and will have 51 double and family rooms and 78 dorms. There’ll also be a rooftop lounge with whirlpool baths, and a restaurant and cocktail bar decorated by local artists.
Icon Rosetó, Palma de Mallorca
Doubles from €129 B&B
Opened October 2017
A converted convent in Palma’s old town is the latest boutique hotel in the Petit Palace group. With rooftop pool and location a few minutes’ walk from La Seu cathedral and the Paseo del Borne, it’s an ideal base for exploring Mallorca’s capital on foot or on a bike hired from reception. Bedrooms are simple with white walls and linen, exposed beams, and iPads available on request.
Meininger East Side Gallery, Berlin
Dorm/room from €9/€47
Opened December 2017
This fifth Meininger group hotel/hostel takes its name from the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall still standing, which has been transformed into an open-air gallery with colourful murals and street art. It offers a mix of private and shared accommodation (singles, doubles, family rooms and dorm) in lively Friedrichshain. The proximity of the Berlin Wall has also inspired the interior design – exposed concrete, colourful graffiti and slogans – in the public areas, which include a lounge, guest kitchen, and gaming zone.
Le Barn, Rambouillet Forest, near Paris
Doubles from €139 B&B
The owners of this retreat 30 miles south-west of Paris have attempted to recreate the experience of a guest ranch in Montana. A former mill house and agricultural buildings are being converted into rustic-chic rooms, with wooden walls and exposed beams. Guests can also try their hand at fishing, cycling, golf or gardening. The good life ethos continues in the refectory, which serves produce from the farm’s market garden.
Ho36, Les Ménuires, France
Dorm/room from €25/€109
Opened December 2017
In the heart of the Trois Vallées ski area, this new designer hostel offers that rarest of things – ski accommodation that is both affordable and stylish. Guests can ski or snowboard from the front door, or stay put and soak up the views of the Vanoise national park mountains from the terrace. All budgets are catered for, with a choice of dorm beds and private en suite doubles and family rooms. The feel is Alps-meets-Hoxton, with plenty of bare plywood, gnarly wooden tables and a liberal sprinkling of cowhides. This is not a place for introverts who like an early night; there are two lively bars with live music and regular DJ nights, a restaurant serving hearty Alpine meals and film nights.
Hotel des Grands Boulevards, Paris
Doubles from €200 room-only
Opened 19 January
This is the second Paris hotel from the Experimental Cocktail Group, the collective behind some of the city’s most popular bars and restaurants. It also runs the Grand Pigalle Hotel, which opened in 2015. The design of this latest property gives a nod to its 18th-century roots, with features like canopy beds, cast iron stoves and blue faience tiles, and mixes these with contemporary elements such as espresso machines and mirrors that are actually televisions. Sample signature cocktails in the roof terrace bar or venture out to one of the many bars and brasseries of the second arrondissement, famous for its belle époque boulevards and covered passages.
Hotel Helvetia, Zurich
Doubles from £150 room-only
Opened October 2017
The long marble bar at the Helvetia – known for well-kept Zurich beer and posh cocktails – has been a gathering place for Zurich’s musicians, artists, students and journalists since the 1970s. Today it’s at the heart of a classy and understated boutique hotel which has recently been relaunched with a fresh new look and a brand new wing in an adjacent building. This has more than doubled its bedroom count, from 16 to 37. Like the original hotel, the new wing is in a listed art nouveau building and boasts immaculate, airy bedrooms in crisp shades of white, grey and blue, and in-room treats such as Swiss chocolate and Kiehl’s beauty products. The new lobby doubles as a contemporary art gallery, the acclaimed first-floor restaurant serves gourmet cuisine fused with traditional Swiss fare, and there’s now also a rooftop bar with 360-degree views over the city.
MarBella Nido, Corfu
Doubles from €153 B&B
Opens 5 May
The Greek islands have seen a wave of upmarket adult-only hotels, with MarBella, opening on Corfu this spring, the latest. Bedrooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and terraces or balconies overlooking the Blue Flag beach, and there are two restaurants, a pool with daybeds, spa and gym. MarBella is in low-key Agios Ioannis Peristeron, 10 miles from Corfu Town.
Jardin Secret, Brussels
Doubles from €110 room-only
Opened September 2017
Hidden behind a plant shop, Jardin Secret is a new bolthole in the lively Saint-Boniface district – the exact location is only provided once you book. There’s no reception; just ask in the shop and you’ll be led through a “hidden oasis” to wooden steps up to the rooms (which sleep from two to five). Instagram-friendly decor includes lots of natural wood and greenery, and large windows overlooking the garden. Breakfast (€14) is served in the conservatory-style restaurant (and there’s another bar and restaurant too).
1898 The Post, Ghent, Belgium
Doubles from €150 room-only
Opened September 2017
With its gothic-style turrets and gargoyles, clock tower and dark, cosy decor, this boutique hotel in Ghent ticks all the boxes for a romantic winter escape. It’s hard to believe the building once housed something as humdrum as a post office, but the room categories are a nod to its former life: “stamp”, “envelope” or “letter”, depending on size. Dark green walls, bookcases, antiques and sloping ceilings create an intimate, clubby atmosphere. The homely Kitchen restaurant serves waffles for breakfast and tea and cake in the afternoons. In the evenings you can work your way through the cocktail list in the Cobbler bar.
The RomeHello, Rome
Dorm/room from €13/€60
Opened 1 February
This hostel has a clear idea of its target audience: “Culture queens and craft beer buffs, tattoo artists and selfie snappers; graffiti writers and table football champs; history teachers [?] and skater dudes.” Billed as Rome’s only “street art hostel” it has a mixture of dorms and private en suite twins, doubles and triples, with TVs and mini-bars. Street art decorates the bar, cafe and courtyard garden. Termini station and the Trevi fountain are 10 minutes away.
St George, Helsinki
Doubles from €213 room-only
Opens 15 March
One of the best-loved historic buildings in the Finnish capital is to reopen as a design hotel. The handsome 19th-century pile opposite beautiful Old Church Park has over the years been the headquarters of the Finnish Literary Society and a printing house for the first Finnish newspaper, Suometar. But this is perhaps its most exciting incarnation yet. There will be the usual blend of effortless Nordic cool and understated elegance, but what sets this place apart is its heavy-hitting art collection – guests will be greeted by a huge white dragon sculpture by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in the lobby – and its gorgeous Winter Garden, a lush courtyard conservatory with bar. Rooms range from opulent suites to “Cozy Studios” with porthole windows and abstract art. There will also be a spa with sauna and pool, a restaurant and a basement bakery, deli and bar.
Conscious Hotel Westerpark, Amsterdam
Doubles from €120 room-only
Opened 13 April
This fourth hotel by Dutch sustainable brand Conscious will be the first powered entirely by wind. What’s more, desks are made from recycled yoghurt pots and the restaurant is fully organic. Rooms in neutral tones with high ceilings and big windows overlook a gas works which is now a cultural centre.
Mama Shelter, Belgrade
Doubles from €129 room-only (opening rate of €99 until 31 March)
Opens 8 March
A new outpost of this hip hostel chain will cement Belgrade’s reputation as a party capital, and it has one of the best addresses in town: on pedestrian Knez Mihailova Street. Inside, decorative tiles and kilims hint at the Serbian capital’s Ottoman history, and are matched by signature Mama Shelter touches – bold black and white carpets, giant table football. Sundowners on the roof terrace are a must before hitting the town.
Puro Kraków Kazimierz, Poland
Doubles from £75 room-only
Puro has shaken up Poland’s tired hotel scene since opening its first affordable, design-conscious hotel seven years ago. The small chain now has four hotels in Poland, with two more in the pipeline this year, in Łódź and Kraków. The Kraków hotel will be Puro’s second in the city, opening in the historic Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, now an arty neighbourhood full of vintage shops, galleries and cool bars. Expect sleek, contemporary interiors designed by Conran and tech-savvy touches.
Wild Atlantic Hostel, Connemara, Ireland
Dorm/room from €19/€50
Opened 1 March
The Delphi Resort on Ireland’s west coast started life as a residential activity centre for school groups, and reinvented itself 10 years ago as a destination resort with the addition of a four-star hotel, a spa and a restaurant. This year sees the replacement of Delphi’s old hostel building with brand new budget accommodation. Renamed the Wild Atlantic Hostel, the sleek, contemporary hostel offers en suite dorms in a range of sizes, and will also have a large lounge and games room, cooking facilities, bike storage and a drying room.
Guests will have access to the adventure centre, spa and restaurant, and can book inclusive activity packages. The adventure centre offers more than 20 outdoor activities for visitors aged four and above, from kayaking, surfing and coasteering on the water to climbing, high ropes and mountain biking on land. The 300-acre resorts sits on a rugged stretch of coastal County Galway, amid lakes, mountains and Ireland’s only fjord, Killary.
The Devlin, Dublin
Doubles from €130 room-only
Opens late summer
The Dean Hotel opened in 2014 and was soon crowned Dublin’s hippest hotel, with its lively rooftop bar, contemporary art and touches such as turntables and mini Smeg fridges in the bedrooms. So expectations are high for this sister hotel in the southern Ranelagh district. Like its predecessor, the Devlin aims to be a hub for locals as well as guests, with a diner, coffee “hatch”, rooftop bar and basement cinema screening classic and indie films.