Here, five new properties to shake up Europe's hotel scene.
The 71-room Alias Hotel Seattle (Brighton Marina, England; 44-1273/679-799; www.aliasseattle.com; doubles from $170) brings crisp modernity to the hip Brighton Marina. Rooms come with retro floral fabrics and terraces facing the English Channel.
The three-story Glasshouse (2 Greenside Place; 44-777/600-3890; www.theetongroup.com; doubles from $280) lives up to its name. Sitting atop a mid-19th-century church, the blue-paned building houses 65 guest rooms, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and glass-walled bathrooms.
This spring, San Clemente Palace (Isola di San Clemente; 39-041/241-3484; doubles from $460) opens on its own 17-acre island, an eight-minute boat ride from St. Mark's Square. Once a 17th-century monastery, the hotel will have 205 rooms with antique silk tapestries, marble floors, and views overlooking a private park.
The city's first boutique property, the Hotel Rialto (73 Wilcza St.; 48-226/284-622; www.designhotels.com; doubles from $165) occupies a 1906 town house. Its 45 rooms are furnished with original 1920's and 30's pieces.
For the 50-room Hotel Bentley (75 Halaskargazi St.; 800/337-4685; doubles from $150), Milanese architects Nicoletta Canesi and Piero Lissoni (designers of Cappellini and Cassina furniture) selected subdued interiors—pale blues, grays, and greens; parquet floors—to contrast with Istanbul's hectic pace. There are even DJ's spinning club music in the lounge to help guests chill out.
Local and international trendsetters flock to the bar at the 50-room Bentley Hotel, where on weekends lounge music plays well into the night. Milanese architects Piero Lissoni and Nicoletta Canesi used large windows, spare dark-wood furniture, and pale blue hues to give guests a calming respite just five minutes from Istanbul’s hectic center and bustling shopping district.
Hotel Seattle Brighton (Formerly Alias Hotel Seattle)
Images of the seafront, projected behind the reception desk, welcome guests to Hotel Seattle. In step with Brighton’s past as a seaside getaway from London, the hotel has with beach-holiday touches like wicker furniture and a large, marina-view restaurant. The 71 guest rooms are bright with sunlight and white linen. And although white is predominant, the sparsely furnished spaces have neat touches like porthole mirrors, monsoon showers, and a stock of tea and biscuits. Overlooking the 1,600-berth Brighton Marina (the largest in the United Kingdom), the hotel is separated from Brighton Pier by a two-mile beach.
San Clemente Palace Hotel & Resort
Former monastery dating to the 1700's on the private, 16-acre San Clemente Island, with spacious rooms and amenities including a pool, tennis, a 3-hole golf course, and a spa.
Room to Book: Standard Doubles have lovely lagoon views.
Built around the neo-Gothic façade of a 19th-century church, the Glasshouse Hotel contrasts old stone with contemporary, metal-framed glass walls. Attracting such former guests as Meryl Streep and the White Stripes, the 65 guest rooms are designed in a minimalist style with neutral tones, duck-down duvets, and glass bathrooms with heated floors. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook New Town or the two-acre rooftop terrace, which has shaded white furniture, views of Calton Hill, and a fragrant garden planted with juniper and lavender. The hotel also includes an indoor fire pit, an honesty bar, and a dining room serving a full Scottish breakfast.