Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) is kicking off the New Year by introducing five new exciting additions, including two properties in new destinations for the brand – Montenegro and The Hamptons. From an intimate adults-only hideaway in Barcelona to a sustainable Sicilian farmhouse and an eco-friendly hideaway in Cambodia, the latest SLH member hotels offer an ideal snapshot of the brand’s independently-minded portfolio.
The Wittmore, Barcelona, Spain (pictured)
22 rooms from $467USD including breakfast
Bringing a hint of New York sophistication to Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, The Wittmore has a speakeasy vibe with its plush, red velvet interiors, Bakelite telephones and adults-only, no-photography policy. The property exudes intimacy throughout from a baronial dining room decked with tartan motifs and a crackling fireplace where Sinatra and Dean Martin play on constant loop to a rooftop sun deck with yellow-and-white striped loungers, a plunge pool and panoramic views of the city. Perfectly in keeping with the members’ club vibe, The Witty restaurant feels as if it’s straight out of a Wes Anderson film thanks to its bird-print wallpaper, dog-shaped salt and pepper shakers and an old-master-style oil painting of a fictional Lord Wittmore.
SLH Insider Tip: Every Thursday night, The Witty restaurant hosts musicians playing everything from jazz music to Spanish pop. Guests can listen to the delightful tunes whilst tucking into the restaurant’s sublime roast beef with mustard sauce.
Villa Geba, Sveti Stafan, Montenegro
Eight rooms from $1,089USD including breakfast
A secret hideaway overlooking the Adriatic Sea, Villa Geba offers privileged views of the Sveti Stefan peninsula, a former fishing village which has recently been named Montenegro’s most photographed site. Each of the hotel’s eight suites comes with its own private butler and is named after a different Greek goddess encapsulating her beauty in its interior design, from the Moorish-themed Salma and blue monochrome Appolonia to the black-and-gold Elena. Guests are invited to indulge their senses at the hotel’s Muse Restaurant & Bar which serves French cuisine prepared by Chef Olivia Méli who trained under Joël Robuchon, with specialties including seabass in salt crust or lemon meringue pie with notes of lavender. When it’s time to unwind, they can also take a reinvigorating dip in the infinity pool suspended above the Montenegrin coastline, surrounded by ancient ruins.
SLH Insider Tip: The hotel can organise a host of bespoke activities for guests including tea ceremonies with Montenegrin monks in a local monastery, dinner in a winery or gourmet lake-side picnics.
Susafa, Sicily, Italy
18 rooms from $189USD per night including breakfast
A part of Northern Sicily’s bucolic landscape, Susafa is a family-run estate owned by the Saeli-Rizzuto family which aims to introduce a new generation of guests to centuries-old rural life from cherry harvesting and Sicilian wine tasting to ravioli and tortellini making. Committed to working in tune with their natural environment, Susafa produces most of its own energy through solar panels and all their water is sourced from on-site wells. Guests are encouraged to join walking tours of the bountiful gardens growing native fruits, vegetables and herbs which are served daily at the hotel’s restaurants. The hotel also has olive groves from which they produce their own organic extra virgin olive oil and wheat fields from which delicious Focaccia bread and pizzas are baked daily on site.
SLH Insider Tip: Guests should not miss the chance to take part in the hotel’s Sicilian cooking class teaching them how to make traditional Sicilian tomato sauce “caponata” with fresh seasonal ingredients from the garden. This is followed by a lesson in ricotta cheese and cannoli making, the traditional Sicilian dessert.
Topping Rose House, The Hamptons, United States
22 rooms from $660USD per night including breakfast
Approximately 100 miles from New York City on the East End of Long Island, Topping Rose House is The Hamptons' full-service luxury hotel ideally situated within walking distance of Bridgehampton’s boutiques, art galleries and cafés. The hotel’s 75-seat restaurant is truly farm-to-table, featuring produce grown on the property's one acre Topping Rose Farm and honouring the best ingredients from other local farmers and fishermen. When it’s time to unwind, guests can enjoy a host of herbal treatments at the Naturopathica Spa including a Herbal Hydration Complex mask or an anti-inflammatory massage using Arnica Remedy Oil. The knowledgeable concierge staff can organise a range of bespoke activities for guests including a private yoga session in the Studio or Barn; a cooking, wine or spirits demonstration led by their expert staff; guided hikes and bike rides; a chartered fishing excursion; or a vineyard visit and wine tasting.
SLH Insider Tip: Guests should watch out for the hotel’s art collection featuring both local and international artists, including art pieces from Seattle artist Christopher Boffoli who plays with scale and food photography or Scott Patt’s “Rabbit with Foot” featuring a ceramic rabbit sculpture with a gold-dipped foot.
Angkor Village Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia
42 rooms from $159USD per night including breakfast
Located in the heart of Siem Reap just minutes from Angkor Wat, the Angkor Village Hotel is a collection of Khmer houses, set amongst lush tropical gardens, and made with carefully selected local materials, arts and crafts sourced from the local community. The hotel’s eco-conscious ethos prevails from reducing energy consumption by using energy efficient devices and movement sensors to reducing single plastic use of in room amenities by adopting refillable containers. Guests can eat dinner by torchlight in L’Auberge des Temples – a ‘floating’ pavilion beside lotus-dotted pools of water – serving delicious Khmer recipes using only locally sourced ingredients. Nearby is the onsite Apsara theatre where guests can experience traditional Cambodian dances and Khmer culture.
SLH Insider Tip: Hotel guests should visit Angkor’s night market for a true insight in this extraordinary city, housing over 200 bamboo huts selling a wide range of clothing and traditional Khmer handicrafts made by local communities and using recycled materials.