Pillow Talk: The hottest openings, news and experiences in the world of hotels

Tom Mulvihill
This month sees Singita Pamushana Lodge return to Gonarezhou National Park - one of the top safari destinations in the country.

From the most exciting upcoming openings to the latest news, trends and events, keep up to date with our regularly updated guide to all that is hot in the world of hotels.

• This month's best new hotel openings


Secret spa 

Nihi Sumba, on the Indonesian island of Sumba, is taking spa luxe off the grid with its new Villa Rahasia experience. Two guests are taken on a sunrise trek to a secluded one-bedroom lodge where they have the run of a freshwater pool, a private cove and unlimited spa treatments for the duration of their stay.

• Villa Rahasia experience, £1,590 per night; rooms at Nihi Sumba from £590 (001 910 622 2657; nihi.com)

Luxury Indonesian island hotel Nihi Sumba has launched a new private spa experience, set in a secluded coastal lodge. Credit: Tânia Araújo


Beach fashion

Inspired by his love for Hotel Esencia on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu has launched a new capsule clothing collection influenced by the hotel’s Caribbean beach chic style and lush natural surroundings. His creations, including a special “birds of paradise” dress print, will be available for purchase in the hotel’s boutique, Retrobottega, as well as online through net-a-porter.com.

• Collection sweaters from £440; hotel rooms £455 (0052 984 873 4830; hotelesencia.com)

Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu has announced a new clothing collection inspired by uber-chic Mexican beach retreat, Hotel Esencia.


Safari luxe

This month sees the unveiling of Singita Pamushana Lodge in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe, after its renovation. It now features eight thatched suites and one five-bedroom villa, each with a plunge pool and views of the veld. There are game drives in search of lion, leopard, elephant and white rhino.

• Rooms from £1,105 per person (singita.com/lodge/singita-pamushana-lodge)

Set in Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park, Singita Pamushana Lodge is an excellent base of game drives in search of lion, leopard, elephant and white rhino.


Grape expectations

It has been more than a year since Michael Caines’s Lympstone Manor hurtled onto the scene, scooping up a Michelin star within six months of opening. Now, the country house hotel in Devon is setting its sights on the Decanter awards as work commences on planting a vineyard in the grounds. We won’t see its first vintage until 2023, but there will be plenty of events taking place in the meantime, from vine-planting festivals to wine tastings.

Rooms £315 (0139 520 2040; lympstonemanor.co.uk)

Lympstone Manor's foray into the wine world brings plenty for guests to get involved in, from vine-planting festivals to wine tastings.


Welcome back

The historic Hotel Lutetia, a monument to Belle Époque Paris, starts taking bookings this week as it comes to the end of an ambitious four-year restoration. The Left Bank icon, which officially reopens on June 1, looks to recapture its glamorous (and often lurid) past with the addition of a swinging jazz club and the new Brasserie restaurant under three-Michelin-star chef Gérald Passédat.

• Rooms £748 (00331 49 54 46 00; hotellutetia.com)

One of the Parisian Left Bank's most revered hotels, the Lutetia, reopens this month after a lengthy renovation.


Porsche power

The Curtain in Shoreditch is giving guests the chance to take to the streets in style, with a deal that gives those staying in the top suite use of a Porsche Boxster for the day (although open road may be hard to find in traffic-snarled E1). Other features include a rooftop breakfast area and in-room cocktails from a trolley bar.

• Package £1,015 (020 3146 4545; thecurtain.com)

Guests at Shoreditch hotspot, The Curtain, will be given the chance to take out the hotel's Porsche Boxter for the day.


Can't wait for...

We’re counting down the days to what is arguably the most exciting London hotel opening this year: the lavishly appointed L’oscar. Since taking over a derelict Baptist church in Holborn, Jacques Garcia, the French designer, has infused the place with a beguiling mix of faux-Baroque decadence and outlandish contemporary detailing. It’s not due to open until June, but is now taking reservations.

• Rooms £395 (020 7405 5555; loscar.com)

Jacques Garcia's L'oscar hotel - a sumptuous conversion of a former baptist church in Holborn - will open next month.


Vespa adventures

Marking 65 years since Roman Holiday first hit cinema screens, Portrait Roma hotel has launched a new Vespa Experience which will allow guests to experience the city as Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck did in one of the film’s most memorable scenes. Guests ride pillion on classic scooters as they are transported around such city landmarks as the Spanish Steps and the Colosseum in the company of an expert guide. 

• Tours £195pp; rooms £490 (0039 06 6938 0742; lungarno collection.com/portrait-roma)

Portrait Roma has launched a new series of Vespa tours through the Italian capital to mark the 65th anniversary of Roman Holiday.


Blooms and pastries

The Dorchester’s pop-up, The Drawing Room, returns to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this month, where it will serve drinks and pastries among blooms by the hotel’s florist, Philip Hammond. Guests at the Park Lane hotel will receive complimentary tickets.

• Rooms £855 (020 7629 8888; dorchestercollection.com/en/london/the-dorchester)

The Dorchester will be serving afternoon tea at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year at its Drawing Room pop-up. Credit: JAMES BEDFORD


Midsummer in the city

Mondrian London, located on the city’s South Bank, launched its Midsummer Terrace pop-up earlier this month. The riverside drinking spot, which will be festooned with pink wildflowers, has been created in partnership with Laurent-Perrier, which will stock the terrace’s champagne bar. A menu of light seafood and vegetable dishes will also be served from the hotel’s Sea Containers restaurant.

• Rooms £234 (020 3747 1063; seacontainersrestaurant.com)

The Mondrian London on South Bank opens its outdoor pop-up bar, Midsummer Terrace, on May 2. Credit: Niall Clutton

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