PHOTO: The Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square features a rotunda above a bar and lounge.
Brexit. Currency fluctuations. Terrorist attacks. These are just a few of the challenges to selling Europe in the 21st century. Yet tourism there is steadily increasing, albeit incrementally.
Preliminary findings show that international visitor numbers to Europe last year grew by 2 percent over 2015, despite “a number of destinations affected by safety and security challenges,” according to a statement by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In raw numbers, about 12 million more people took overnight trips to Europe in 2016 than in 2015, bringing the total to 620 million. Looking ahead, the majority of the UNWTO’s Panel of Experts project that tourism to Europe will grow by another 2 to 3 percent in 2017.
The challenges aren’t stopping major hotel companies from opening new properties there, either. Many, including InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International and Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, are moving ahead with developments. Among Marriott’s upcoming hotels are more than 20 Moxy properties, including about a dozen that are slated to open this year. IHG is developing hotels across several of its brands, including InterContinental, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn.
Following are a sampling of hotels scheduled to debut in 2017.
The 100-room Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square opened in January in the restored former headquarters of the Port of London Authority. The property, which is within walking distance from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, also has 41 private residences and a private members club. Three-star French chef Anne-Sophie Pic has opened La Dame de Pic, her first U.K. restaurant, in the hotel; an Asian restaurant is set to open this spring. The centerpiece of the lobby – a large, colorful rotunda – hovers over a bar and lounge. A spa is set to open this spring, as well as an indoor pool and vitality pool. 800-819-5053, www.fourseasons.com/tentrinity
At press time, Le Méridien Visconti Rome was slated to open in February. Located between the Spanish Steps and the Vatican, the hotel offers 240 accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows and contemporary décor and furniture. Some suites feature private balconies, and Corner Suites have views of the Palace of Justice. Among the public areas are a rooftop terrace and Le Méridien Hub, a living room-like, multi-purpose space that offers the brand’s Sparkling Social Hour. Culinary options include an Italian restaurant and a French patisserie. 800-543-4300, www.lemeridienviscontirome.com
One of several Moxy properties under development in Europe, the Moxy Vienna Airport is set to debut in March. This millennial-targeted hotel offers 405 accommodations with USB ports and high-quality sound systems, among other perks. The bright, open lobby has contemporary furniture and “plug-and-meet” gathering areas with ergonomic seating, large writing walls, 56-inch TVs for presentations, a video wall, and snacks and beverages available 24/7. A healthy continental breakfast is served each morning, and local brews and wines by the glass are on tap each evening. 888-236-2427, www.moxyhotels.com
The AC Hotel Mainz, Marriott’s first AC property in Germany, is scheduled to open this spring next to the Main Railway Station, with access to the Old Town district and the Rhine River. The 58-room property features traditional-style exterior architecture, but its interior design is more contemporary, with guestrooms done in rich woods and a gray, beige and white color motif. Food-and-beverage options will include the AC Bistro, serving French fare, and a bar. The hotel also will offer a fitness center. 888-236-2427, www.achotels.marriott.com
The Hyatt House Düsseldorf, the brand’s first European property, is scheduled to open in the second quarter of this year. It will be part of Andreas Quartier, a former courthouse located in the Altstadt (Old Town) district of central Düsseldorf, near the Rhine River. Its 102 apartment-style Kitchen Suites will have living rooms and fully equipped kitchens. Among its public spaces will be The Commons, a lounge where guests gather and socialize; the 24/7 H Market, offering snacks and sundries; and a 24-hour fitness center. 888-591-1234, www.house.hyatt .com
The 234-room Hilton Saint Petersburg ExpoForum, slated to open this spring, will be part of the St. Petersburg ExpoForum, one of the world’s five largest exposition centers. The contemporary property will feature a spa, a fitness center and an indoor swimming pool. Guests staying in its Executive Rooms will have access to the Executive Lounge. For dining, The Gril` will serve steaks selected from a visible aging cabinet, and The Light Bar will re-create Russia’s famous White Nights and a light sculpture. 800-445-8667, www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/russian-federation/hilton-saint-petersburg-expoforum-LEDHIHI/index.html
Opening in May, Roomers Munich, Autograph Collection will offer 281 guestrooms and suites. The luxury property will be urban and contemporary inside and out, with panoramic windows and a central fi re pit in the lobby, and modern art throughout. Five of the hotel’s suites will feature terraces with Jacuzzis. In addition to a spa, the property will offer a pool with a cinema screen. Guests may imbibe at Roomers Bar, enjoy live entertainment at the Hidden Room, and dine at Izakaya, an award-winning Japanese restaurant from Amsterdam. 888-236-2427, www.autograph-hotels.marriott.com/hotel/roomers-munich
The Hilton Lake Como will be the company’s first property in Italy’s northern lakes region when it opens in June. The modern hotel, located in a mixed-use development near the western lakefront, will offer 170 rooms and suites, all with parquet floors, wood and glass furnishings, and large windows. The hotel’s sky bar and rooftop infinity pool will have views of the lake. Additional amenities will include a fi ne dining restaurant on the top floor, casual eateries and the full-service eforea Spa with a fitness center. 800-445-8667, www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/italy/hilton-lake-como-MXPCOHI/index.html
The Hotel Terramar on Spain’s Catalan Coast is undergoing a major renovation and rebranding and will reopen this summer as Meliá Hotels International’s ME Sitges Terramar. The 213-room, beachside property will be the first hotel in that destination for the avant-garde luxury brand. It will feature a beach club, two restaurants (one of which has a 13,000-square-foot terrace), a cafeteria, bars, a wellness area and a kids’ club. 888-956-3542, www1.melia.com/en/promo/mebymelia
InterContinental Hotels Group’s Hotel Indigo Berlin City-East Side is set to open this fall in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, one of the city’s creative districts near the former Berlin Wall. Owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), it will be part of Mercedes Platz (also AEG-owned), an entertainment complex with restaurants and bars, an event hall accommodating 4,000 people and a movie theater. The hotel will feature 119 rooms, a gym, a restaurant and a rooftop bar with an outdoor terrace. 877-270-1392, www.hotelindigo.com
Integrated into the 31-story Lincoln Plaza building in London’s vibrant Canary Wharf area, the Lincoln Plaza London Curio, A Collection by Hilton is set to open in mid- to late-2017. The 129-room, upscale property will boast a spacious atrium, innovative design and views over the River Thames. Amenities will include a gym, an organic deli, fine-dining Indian and Mediterranean restaurants, a rooftop terrace and two bars, including a lounge bar on the mezzanine level. 844-442-8746, www.curio.com
The Hyatt Centric La Rosière, Hyatt ’s first ski resort in the French Alps, is set to open by the 2017-18 winter season. The 71-room cosmopolitan hotel will be located close to ski lifts and offer mountain and valley views. Streamlined, modern guestrooms will feature amenities like environmentally conscious bath products and Bluetooth-enabled electronics. For dining, the property will offer the H40 Bistro Bar and La Tavola restaurant. The hotel will operate seasonally, from December to April and June to September. 888-591-1234, www.centric.hyatt.com