hottest hotel openings in December 2022 • Hotel Designs

What a year it has been! From new islands to renovated great dames, mind-blowing hotel concepts to the hospitality industry boldly entering the metaverse – 2022 will go down in history. It has been a year of growth and recovery – the ’20s really are living up to expectations of being totally ‘roaring’!

However, we are not quite ready to leave this year in the past to then focus on 2023 and beyond, as we have a handful of hotel openings expected to emerge in December that we believe will be revolutionary, and will aptly set the tone for the next year of openings, renovations and, generally, challenging conventional hospitality and hotel design concepts.

So, for the final time this year, here are our VIP arrivals that we expect to be ‘big news’ this month.


Luxury, alpine vibes inside Faern

Image credit: Faern

This month, Faern, a collection of lifestyle resorts in the idyllic Swiss Alps, is debuting two hotels; Faern Arosa Altein and Faern Crans-Montana Valaisia. What makes this brand exciting and ‘one to watch’ is its approach, answering each alpine destination with a fresh, new take that will be inspired by the scenic sights to ultimately – and authentically – bring people together to experience the best in altitude living. The design is to be rooted in traditional ’70s alpine charm with urban and modern convenience. Both destinations are also set to have extensive wellness offerings with indoor and outdoor pools for guests and visitors.

The Wayfinder Waikiki

A blue and white interior design scheme inside guestroom at The Wayfinder Waikiki in Hawaii

Image credit: Read McKendree

Hawaii, but not as you know it. The Wayfinder Waikiki is opening in the neighbourhood of Honolulu as the second Wayfinder hotel under Dovetail + Co. The brand has created a uniquely hidden oasis with thoughtfully transformative design, public spaces, authentic food and beverage programming, and guest experiences steeped in culture distinctive to Hawaii and the Waikiki region. Designed by The Vanguard Theory, the 228-key hotel offers a fresh hospitality space, merging the building’s Brutalist architecture with tropical touches, electrifying colours, and patterns, alongside lush foliage specific to the island. Its design has been inspired by the sites, stories, and heritage of Hawaii by utilising colour tones that represent the land, sky, and water, geometric and floral prints, and natural fiber furniture with decorative art and design elements incorporated throughout by local artisans.

Portrait Milano

Contemporary lobby inside Portrait Milan

Image credit: Lungarno Collection

It is being billed as Milan’s ‘hottest and most exciting new hotel’ to arrive – big statement – Portrait Milano is not short of personality or colour! Lungarno Collection has once again collaborated with architect Michele Bonan on the interior design element of the project, after having worked with him on their other hotels; Hotel Lungarno, Portrait Roma and Portrait Firenze. The style of the rooms at Portrait Milano is clearly inspired by the city’s salotti, living rooms, of the 1950s: the blond Italian walnut and oriental references, typical at the time, take guests back to the most glamourous houses in Milan. The boiserie on the walls, which also feature rattan panels, add texture to the simple and essential lines of the interior design. These historical references are flanked by craftsmanship from Florence, the city where Lungarno Collection was born.

The Chedi El Gouna

Exterior image of The Chedi El Gouna

Image credit: Orascom Hotels

Orascom Hotels Management, the hotels management arm of Orascom Development, is preparing the opening of its latest hotel, The Chedi El Gouna, which will become the brand’s flagship, located at the Egyptian Red Sea resort. The hotel represents the pinnacle of El Gouna’s luxury hotel offering, with its tagline ‘lean into the hush’ chosen to reflect the hotel’s serenity. With charming character and a stunning beachfront location, complemented by The Chedi’s signature Asian aesthetics of intuitive luxury, timeless design, and contemporary cool experience, the 82-key hotel will be a sumptuous, eco-friendly getaway.

Emerald Zanzibar Resort & Spa

Render of Emerald Zanzibar Resort & Spa

Image credit: The Emerald Collection

This winter, the Scarapicchia family, which brought us earlier this year year Emerald Faarufushi Resort & Spa, will continue to build on their past success managing resorts in Zanzibar, Tanzania, with the launch of a new five-star luxury property in Zanzibar within The Emerald Collection group. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Emerald Zanzibar Resort & Spa will be located in the north-east of the island in Muyuni area, directly in front of Mnemba island.

JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort Suites

Nestled in a beautiful beachside setting on southern Thailand’s Andaman coast, the 52-key JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort Suites is opening this month, sheltering a contemporary yet airy interior design and architecture scheme. The resort’s collection of 11 restaurants and bars tempt guests with an extensive array of casual and formal dining choices ranging from traditional Thai to Japanese and Italian cuisines. New additions to the resort include Sala Restaurant & Pool Bar, an inviting all-day venue that celebrates the timeless pleasures of great Asian and international food and family dining by the poolside. DRIFT Beach Bar & Grill is the resort’s new meat and seafood grill restaurant inspired by regional Mediterranean cuisine. The brand’s signature JW Garden offers a variety of homegrown organic herbs, spices and other natural ingredients that are used in the restaurants, resort activities, cooking classes and for organic treatments in the spa.

In January, Hotel Designs will publish its extensive list of statement hotel openings that are expected in 2023. 

Main image credit: Read McKendree

Leave a Reply