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January 6, 2015
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Top European Hotel Openings from 2014




2014 was a busy year for Europe's hotel scene. If you want to host your conference, incentive trip or a small board of directors' meeting at a top new hotel, here are some prime options.

In May, Hard Rock expanded into Europe for the first time on the seafront of Ibiza’s Playa d’en Bossa. Outdoors, the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza has an open-air stage for live concerts that can accommodate up to 2,500 guests. Inside, it has 493 rooms including 235 suites and leisure facilities like a lobby bar, kids club, teen venue and beach club. With 6,780 square feet of function space, the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza also offers the largest meeting and event space on the island. 

In France, the Peninsula Paris officially opened over the summer, just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysée. The hotel is in a 100-year-old classic French-style building that was the Hotel Majestic, a notable historic landmark. The five-year renovation by local designers and craftsmen reportedly used traditional techniques to maintain the classic vibe. The Peninsula Paris has 200 rooms, including 34 suites—five of which have a private rooftop. It also has six restaurants and bars including a panoramic rooftop bar—L’Oiseau Blanc—with a 360-degree view of Paris; the Peninsula Spa; a private reception rooms; and Paris’ first above ground Cigar lounge. The hotel's 1,850-square-foot Salon de l’Etoile is a popular venue for conferences, gala dinners and business lunches.

In October, the Four Seasons Moscow officially opened in a restored 1930s building located on Manezhnaya Square and close to Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral and the Bolshoi Theatre. Many of the hotel's 180 rooms have step-out balconies. Set apart from the busy ground floor, two ballrooms and five smaller meeting rooms on the second and third floors provide 15,123 square feet of options for groups from 20 to 500. The Tchaikovsky Ballroom covers 5,700 square feet in addition to an adjacent pre-function area and step-out balcony above Manezhnaya Square, with partial views of Red Square and the Kremlin.

In July, the Turkish coastal city of Bodrum got a Mandarin Oriental hotel. Overlooking Cennet Koyu (paradise Bay), the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum has just 59 guest rooms and 27 suites, including two Presidential Villas. Most rooms have terraces, and the suites come with plunge pools and outdoor showers in private gardens. For small-scale events and corporate retreats, the resort will have a 135-seat ballroom and four function rooms. 

In June, the Park Hyatt Vienna (the brand's first property in Austria) opened as the only hotel in Vienna's Golden Quarter, the pedestrian-only shopping district. The 143-room hotel has 35 suites and is housed in a 100-year-old building that once housed the Austrian Hungarian Monarchy Bank. For business or social events, Park Hyatt Vienna will have more than 7,500 of premier meeting space for a range of occasions, from a boardroom meeting to a large cocktail reception. 

May saw the debut of the Ferragamo family's newest hotel, the Portrait Firenze, on the banks of the Arno and close to the Ponte Vecchio. The hotel has a notable fashion theme and a penthouse suite that can sleep 10.

In early September, Raffles opened a new property in Istanbul's Zorlu Center, a popular hub for fashion and cuisine overlooking the Bosphorus. The hotel has 132 guest rooms and 49 suites as well as two restaurants and bars. The hotel has spaces large enough for a car launch (the 1200 seat ballroom has a specially designed vehicle entrance). All meeting rooms have a TV screen and wireless technology.

Istanbul also got a St. Regis hotel in the Nisantasi neighborhood on the European side of the city. The hotel is close to boutiques, restaurants and major landmarks including the Istanbul Congress Center and Taksim Square. The hotel has seven meeting spaces, the largest of which is 2,487 square feet.

In May, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam opened in the UNESCO area of Herengracht. The canalside property is made up of six historic 17th-and 18th-century townhouses that were once home to some of the city's top residents, and that have been converted into a 93-room hotel. All of the rooms have top views over the city, looking out on the canal or the local gardens and rooftops. For meetings and events, the hotel has a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 160 people. It also has four multifunctional meeting rooms for conferences, receptions or business meetings, and the Maurer Room (with original Rococo style decorations and 18th century wall paintings) is a good pick for private dining.

London Hotels

London may well take the cake for new openings in 2014: In May, the city got its first Shangri-La hotel in the post-modern Shard building. The Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London (its full name) occupies floors 34-52 of the Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper that rises 1,004 feet above London Bridge station. Its 202 guest rooms are, at 452 square feet on average, among the largest in town. The hotel has three F&B outlets, including Ting restaurant; Láng patisserie and deli; and Gŏng, London’s highest champagne and cocktail bar, as well as a Skypool on the rooftop. Three river-facing event spaces on level 34 also offer top views.  The largest of the venues, Ren, can accommodate up to 140 guests; the other two, Yi and Li, can hold up to 10 and 35 guests, respectively. 

The 359-room Mondrian London at Sea Containers, the first Mondrian-branded hotel outside the U.S., officially opened in September along London's South Bank. The hotel also has a 200-seat restaurant, Sea Containers, helmed by Seamus Mullen and multiple bar spaces, including Dandelyan, with drinks crafted by mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana, and a soon-to-be-announced rooftop bar. Business guests can use more than 20,000 square feet of food, beverage and spa space, but for dedicated events, the hotel has six flexible venues with over 5,500 square feet of space. For presentations (or private viewing parties), the hotel has a 56-seat private screening room and seven fully-wired and linked junket rooms with terraces and river views. Bonus perk: The hotel is home to the new London headquarters of advertising and communications industry experts Ogilvy Group.

Conrad Hotels landed this year in London with the Conrad London St. James. Originally opened at the end of 2012 as the InterContinental Westminster, the hotel was rebranded in September 2014. This is the first Conrad hotel in the UK. With a central London location between Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, the Conrad London St. James is housed in a historic 19th century brick building called Queen Anne's Chambers. (It was originally built for lobbyists and government workers who needed to live near the country’s seat of power.) Spaced across six floors, the hotel has 256 rooms (including the Conrad Suite which is accessed by its own private elevator). The Conrad London St. James hotel has seven meeting rooms from the Chequers Boardroom for ten people (with full video conferencing facilities) to the Whitehall Suite, which can cater for banqueting for up to 230 people, or can be configured to a theater-style layout for 300.

The Beaumont arrived as the first hotel project from Chris Corbin and Jeremy King – the restaurateurs behind The Wolseley and The Delaunay – the 73-room Beaumont is located in the city’s Mayfair district, and has a traditional American-style grill, residents’ lounge, a spa and a towering ‘inhabitable sculpture’ by artist Antony Gormley that protrudes from the building’s façade. (It's called Room, and it looks like a seated person.) For private gatherings, The Lotos Room can accommodate up to 16 guests for boardroom-style meetings or 48 guests for a reception.


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About the Author: Jena Tesse Fox

Jena Tesse Fox


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