The biggest travel trends of 2024 predict that in an increasingly tech-dominated world, travellers are still yearning for connection – a thought demonstrated by this year’s most exciting new hotel openings. Two of the most talked-about brand launches come from Aman Resorts and The Standard, both of whom are widening their audience with sibling brands that lean into social wellness and lively leisure spaces. Elsewhere, other newcomers tap into adventure travel and the ever-expanding bleisure trend, at affordable prices.
The StandardX, Australia, Thailand, USA
When hotelier André Balazs opened The Standard, Hollywood, in 1999, he became one of the first to create communal spaces as magnetic as the bedrooms, attracting tastemakers from the fashion, music and art set with creative partnerships, art installations, and a nightclub disguised as a diner. Now, Standard International Holdings is innovating again, introducing a ‘rebellious younger sibling’ boutique brand coined The StandardX. Set to offer ‘a classic Standard experience, re-tailored to fit rough-and-ready modern travel,’ at a lower price point, The StandardX hotels promise neighbourhood restaurants, and minimal but chic bedrooms designed to offer ‘the essentials without the superfluous’ (think king beds topped with 300-thread-count cotton sheets, and SMEG kettles, Frank Green French Presses and millwork writing desks for those after a flexible workspace), rolling out in hip enclaves across the world.
The StandardX will debut in Melbourne’s artsy Fitzroy this summer, with Bangkok, Brooklyn and East Austin to follow. Designed by local studio Hecker Guthrie, The Melbourne location matches The Standard’s familiar crimson revolving entrance door with whitewashed spaces, rich terracotta accents and pieces by local artists and designers, such as Sarah Parke’s macrame-wrapped columns. The lobby will double as an attractive workspace, alongside a concept store showcasing The Standard’s lifestyle collection. Culinary offerings overseen by Justin Dingle-Garciyya (ex-Aman and Six Senses) include elevated street food at guests-only The Roof, serving Mexican tostadas, margaritas and skyline views, and flavour-packed Thai at BANG restaurant.
“”The StandardX is meant for spontaneous travellers,” comments Amber Asher, CEO of Standard International. “This new sub-brand serves as a simple space to be creative and socialise with focused services that include everything one might need, whether staying for a week or a weekend.”
Average rates between £130-180; standardx.com
Another new lifestyle hotel brand tapping into the draw-of-the-neighbourhood is Miiro, which places community at its heart. The first foray into Europe from InterGlobe Group Enterprises – a heavyweight aviation and hospitality conglomerate which counts India’s largest airline, IndiGo in its portfolio – will see five individually-designed Miiro properties open in popular European cities in the next two years, beginning with Paris and Barcelona. Taking its name from the Latin word ‘miro’ (wonder), each hotel will draw inspiration from its surrounding area. “We created Miiro with the self-assured traveller in mind. A guest that is curious to explore a new neighbourhood, learn about its history and connect with the community, and that seeks a considered place to stay, allowing them to relax and recharge,” says Neena Gupta, CEO at Miiro.
First to open in early summer is Le Grand Hôtel Cayré, Paris, a reimagining of the historic Hôtel Cayré in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter. Designed by Michaelis Boyd Associates, known for its transformation of Soho Farmhouse, interiors in the storied 123-room property will take on a fresh look with light-filled bedrooms in soft dusky pink, green and sandy beige hues, with old-world tasselled lampshades. Championing a community-first ethos, much of the produce served at in-house French brasserie Annette will come from neighbouring chocolatiers, cheese-makers and fishmongers also resident on Rue De Bac. In late summer, 92-room Borneta will open in Barcelona’s El Born, while Templeton Garden in London’s Earl’s Court and a Viennese property are slated for 2025.
From £312 room-only (Paris) and £260, room-only (Barcelona), miirohotels.com
Aman Resorts will premiere its much-anticipated sibling hotel brand Janu this spring. The latest addition to the portfolio, joining 35 elegant Aman properties, a ready-to-wear collection and all-natural skincare and fragrance lines, is Janu Tokyo, an 112-room property in Tokyo’s newly-created ‘city within a city,’ Azabudai Hills.
While Janu will share some DNA with Aman – including a rooted-in-destination ethos, unflappable service and uncompromising luxury – it’s designed to be a complementary offering, focused on restoration, social wellness and collective joy. “We wanted to create a new hotel brand with soul, and with the aim of kickstarting human interaction again,” says Aman CEO Vlad Doronin.
Sitting inside a Pelli Clarke Partners designed-tower, Asian-meets-European inspired decor by Jean Michel-Gathy will feature throughout. The hotel will lay claim to Tokyo’s largest gym, set within a 4,000 sq m wellness centre with a boxing ring and hydro and thermal facilities. There is also an eight-strong repertoire of restaurants including a craft cocktail bar, a reimagined omakase experience, and Janu Mercato – a pasta, seafood and charcuterie restaurant centred around an open kitchen. Twelve more Janu properties are in the pipeline, including Saudi Arabia and Montenegro.
Stays from £740 a night, including breakfast, non-alcoholic beverages and select wellness sessions; janu.com
Outbound Hotels, USA
The demand for active getaways is booming and Outbound Hotels aims to ‘redefine adventure in America’s great outdoors’ with a collection of US hotels set within close proximity to the great outdoors. The hotels are aimed at “curious explorers who get their thrills from nature and love and respect the places they visit,” says Matthew Mering, executive vice president of hospitality at Waterton, Outbound Hotels’ ownership group. Partnerships with local adventure outfits mean guests benefit from curated trips, insider expertise and reliable gear, while accommodation ranges from cosy rooms and cabins to chalets and villas. Guests can expect social experiences including toasting s’mores by smokeless fire pits and poolside yoga, as well as informal no-reservations restaurants – from cosy spots offering homestyle salads, soups and sandwiches, to counter service diners for burgers, waffle fries and nostalgic vanilla-chocolate soft serve swirls, and an onsite provisions shop stocked with locally-made goodies. All properties are dog-friendly, with owners given complimentary pet health support through The Kin app during their stay.
First into the Outbound Hotels family fold are two contemporary reimaginings of classic 1960s lodges: The Virginian Lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, close to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and Outbound Mammoth (the former Sierra Nevada Resort) in California, known for its snow-covered slopes in winter, and its fishing and walking opportunities in summer. A property in Stowe, Vermont will open this autumn, followed by Yosemite National Park in early 2025.
From £120, room-only; outboundhotels.com
Cardo Hotels, Europe
Launched with discerning business travellers in mind, Cardo Hotels is an independent hospitality brand arriving in Rome and Brussels in 2024. Both will join the Autograph Collection, a soft-brand hotel within the Marriott portfolio. Cardo takes its inspiration from the lively spirit of ‘the cardo’ – a north-south street in ancient Roman cities, which formed the economic focal point of the settlement. Each opening will “uniquely adapt to the aesthetics and culture of its city, blending personal wellbeing with business culture,” explains Head of Cardo Hotels Nicolas Romero Oneto, who has years of experience at Starwood and A-Stay Antwerp under his belt.
Cardo Roma opens this spring in the Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR), a popular business district in southern Rome. Expansive meeting spaces are met by a therapeutic four-pool bathing circuit in an extensive spa, and guests can partake in activities such as guided running tours and spritz-making classes. Decor by Amsterdam-based Saar Zafrir reinvigorates the former conference hotel in a palette of off-white, russet and rich olive (the latter nodding to Roman goddess Minerva, believed to have created the first olive tree). Bedrooms match practical smart tech (keyless entry and digital tablet concierge) with Taschen coffee table books and bespoke rose and cardamom-infused Muro toiletries.
From £215 (room-only), £240 (B&B); cardorome.com