Union Øye, Norangsfjorden, Norway
A favorite refuge for royal families, mountaineers and explorers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this charming hotel is nestled within an untouched natural environment at the spot where the Norang fjord begins to dwindle. While upholding the spirit of its founders and a strong connection with the local communities, the hotel has been modernized, and new rooms have been added. The establishment asserts a zero-waste, zero-plastic policy. Take a breather here at the ends of the earth, where you can listen to famous ghost stories and local folklore around the fireplace. The owners and chef strive to propose a principally locally sourced culinary selection, pamper their guests, and endlessly share the beauty of their mountain and the surrounding villages.
Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta, Trieste, Italy
Located on the most beautiful square of Trieste – Piazza Unità d’Italia – in a building that was already an inn for travelers as early as the fourth century, this historic forty-two-room hotel overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. With two rosettes in the Michelin Guide awarded to chefs Matteo Metullio and Davide De Pra, the Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta is the only Michelin-rated restaurant in Trieste. The establishment mingles epicurean pleasures with resort activities at its Beach Club, just twenty minutes by shuttle from the Falesie di Duino Nature Reserve. Together, the maître d’hotel and the chef endeavor to showcase the treasures of this Italian region bordering on Slovenia and Croatia, from its unique architecture to its farm-fresh produce.
Kasteel Van Ordingen, Sint-Truiden, Belgium
Kasteel Van Ordingen is located in a striking residential building dating from the eleventh century which was extended in the seventeenth century and partially demolished during the Second World War. It was fully restored over a period of twenty years, with respect for its history and the distinctive surrounding landscape, through a collaboration between the talented architect Pieter Porters and the current owner Richard Sleurs. The castle, complete with turrets and a moat, is now a beautiful hotel with some thirty spacious rooms and suites designed to satisfy today’s traveler. Succumb to the charm of this historical spot and its exquisite luxury, and discover the gourmet selection and ecological awareness of chef Gary Kirchens.
Bellevue Parkhotel & Spa, Adelboden, Switzerland
Franziska Richard is the third in her family line at the head of the Bellevue, a forty-nine-room hotel with 1930s architecture. In the spa village of Adelboden, the ski slopes extend along 210 km / 130 mi of snowy trails in the wintertime and offer plentiful hiking opportunities in the summertime. The Richard family asserts the beauty of this irresistible region and continues to expand the hotel’s well-being services. These already include an indoor swimming pool, an exterior Himalayan saltwater swimming pool, eucalyptus steam baths, floral elixirs, and plant-based treatments. The natural environment is also central to the cookery at the restaurant, featuring fresh, seasonal products.
Fleur de Loire, Blois, France (Opens in June 2022)
The native-born two-star chef Christophe Hay wears more than one hat. An accomplished farmer, gardener, rancher and fisherman, he is now opening a refined hotel in Blois with thirty-three rooms and eleven suites, as well as a gourmet restaurant with a view of the Loire and the beautiful town of Blois. This former hospice was built for Gaston d’Orléans, the son of Henry IV and Marie de’ Medici. The 5,000 m2 / 53,820 ft2 space is fully eco-designed, while the courtyard opens onto a poetic garden representing the river’s meandering path. At the Spa, Sisley – the luxury brand also from Blois – is chosen for its phyto-cosmetology expertise. The ingredients in each dish include meats from the chef’s ranch (such as Wagyu beef), vegetables from the immense kitchen garden, and other produce from local farmers. The zero-plastic rooms are furnished with materials from eco-certified forests and businesses. Waste and energy reduction strategies such as rainwater recuperation complete the ecological dimension of this unique destination and its exceptional epicurean experience.
La Fonda Hotel & Spa, Marbella, Spain (Opens in July 2022)
The three historical buildings of this twenty-one-room boutique hotel stretch along the Casco Antiguo, the oldest and most authentic district of this Andalusian city. Its owners resolved to restore the architectural splendor of this sixteenth-century building. This began with archaeological digs that produced surprising treasures, such as the nave of an old church, which are presented in a small museum at the entrance of the hotel. From a raw food bar to grilled fish and party platters – and the bonus of a rooftop cocktail bar – the restaurant keeps pace with the Costa del Sol spirit, and is set to become the not-to-be-missed epicurean destination of this historic district.
Le Domaine du Mouflon d’Or, Zonza, Corsica, France (Opens Spring 2023)
Lise Canarelli – the owner of the Relais & Châteaux Grand Hotel Cala Rossa in the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio – purchased this hotel with her husband Anthony Bornea. Iconic of the Corsican mountains, the building stands in the picturesque, unspoiled village of Zonza, one hour from the coast. The seventeen hectare / forty-two acres of this authentic Belle Époque estate, currently being renovated in the spirit of its patrimony and history, was already welcoming wealthy visitors in the early twentieth century. Seek refuge in one of the secluded shepherds’ huts, with an optional private swimming pool, in this natural setting offering an unobstructed view of the Bavella needles. At the Spa, the natural and organic Corsican skincare brand Nucca – founded by the Canarelli family – brings you the best of local well-being. Reconnect and relax with open-air sylvotherapy sessions, woodland sauna cabins, and outdoor cinema screenings on warm summer nights.