9 of the best... European hotel openings in 2014

From Madrid to Moscow via Milan, 2014 has seen some spectacular hotel openings in Europe. C&IT rounds up nine of the best.

NH Collection Eurobuilding Hotel Madrid
NH Collection Eurobuilding Hotel Madrid

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam (opened May 2014)

Located on the UNESCO area of Herengracht, the luxury canal-side property is comprised of six historic 17th and 18th century town houses. Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam looks out over the city’s grandest canal, the Herengracht, and offers seven meeting and event spaces.

The Hooft Ballroom, which overlooks the canal, has capacity for up to 80 people, as well as a pre-function area. In addition, there are five meeting rooms, ranging from 29sqm to 84sqm, all overlooking the canal, and the hotel's private courtyard garden is also available for hire.

The Vault Bar is an exclusive den in one of the houses, formerly the original vault of a bank, while restaurant Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam, offers fine dining.

Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza (May)

Operated by the group behind the über-fashionable Ushuiaia Ibizia Beach Hotel, Hard Rock's inaugural European property is located in Playa D'en Bossa and with 493 rooms is the largest five-star hotel on the White Isle.

Its 'unparalleled gastro-sensory venture' Sublimotion, created by double-Michelin-starred chef Pac Roncero, claims to be the world's most expensive restaurant, where a 20-course meal will cost groups of 12 diners £1,225 a head.

Event space at the entertainment and tech-focused hotel includes a 600-capacity conference centre with stage and two 40sqm conference rooms.

Park Hyatt Vienna (June)

Europe's seventh Park Hyatt hotel opened its doors in Vienna in June, immediately cementing a place among the continent's luxury Grandes Dames. The century-old former bank is situated in the First District, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The interior that includes 143 rooms (with 35 suites) and features Vienna-inspired contemporary art and Italian marble throughout. Some 800sqm of event space comprises nine restored, historic rooms of which five are boardrooms and the largest - the Grand Salon - suits receptions for 200 and gala dinners for 112.

Drinking and dining take place at The Bank restaurant, the Pearl bar and the centrepiece Living Room lounge area, while guests can unwind at the 930sqm Arany Spa with pool and gym.

The Peninsula Paris (August)

Six years in the making, The Peninsula Hotels made its hotly anticipated European debut on 1 August with The Peninsula Paris, just minutes away from the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees.

Housed in a grand, palatial building that dates back to 1908, the 200-room property encompasses luxurious interiors, spectacular rooftop spaces and private terrace gardens. For meetings and events, The Peninsula houses a selection of elegant banquet and function rooms, including a traditional Parisian-style ballroom-salon with The Etoile pre-function area for up to 100 people, and three smaller function rooms.

Six dining venues are inspired by France and Asia, while a spa and fitness centre offers private treatment rooms, a gym and 20m indoor heated pool.

Raffles Istanbul (September)

Raffles’ newest addition – 127 years since it launched in Singapore – nestles between Europe and Asia, in Istanbul’s Zorlu Center.

Mixing ‘natural elements with angular architecture’, the hotel offers 132 rooms and 49 suites, many with panoramic views over the city. A ballroom capable of seating 900 guests is the star of the event offer, which also includes seven meeting rooms, a boardroom and a variety of outdoor spaces.

There are two eateries – signature restaurant Rocca serving Mediterranean fare with a Turkish twist – two bars and lounges and its own patisserie. For relaxation, Raffles Spa includes a variety of pools, saunas, steam rooms and hammams, as well as a fitness centre and gym.

NH Collection Eurobuilding, Madrid (October)

NH Hotel Group's reputation for cutting-edge hotel technology was strengthened with the unveiling of the four-star, 431-room NH Collection Eurobuilding Hotel in Madrid's business district.

The lobby's domed ceiling houses Europe's largest LED vault screen at 300sqm, from where digital artwork can be projected from above allowing clients to 'brand' delegates' arrival. A 3D holographic telepresence system has been installed in the meeting spaces in NH Collection properties in Berlin, Milan and Rotterdam, as well as a telepresence studio in London, which will allow conference organisers to project speakers in holographic form in real time from their event.

Some 32 meeting rooms total 7,800sqm of event space, with the 1,074sqm Salon Grand Madrid able to host up to 1,000 people. There are three restaurants - DiverXO, led by a three Michelin starred chef, 99 Sushi Bar and DOMO.

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow (October)

The legendary Hotel Moskva, which originally opened in 1935 and acted as an 'unofficial base for the Soviet Union's political and cultural power players', has been reborn in the Russian capital.

Just minutes from Red Square, The Kremlin and the Bolshoi Theatre, the luxury Four Seasons Hotel Moscow opened in October, offering 180 rooms and suites, five venues for drinking and dining - two lounges, the Italian Quadrum restaurant, the all-day Bystro and Amnys Cafe.

There is 1,405sqm of event space, including five function rooms and two ballrooms, the largest of which has a balcony overlooking Manezhnaya Square and can host 400 for a banquet.

The hotel's offer is completed with an indoor lap pool in a glass-roofed courtyard, a 24-hour fitness centre and the 3,000sqm Amnis Spa, both set to open next year.

Hotel Zoo, Berlin (November)

Originally built in 1891, converted into a hotel in 1911, gutted in 2012 and finally reopened in 2014, Hotel Zoo is a true icon of Berlin. The 145-room former townhouse is a member of Design Hotels and includes a roof terrace, winter garden and a 22-metre 'catwalk' carpet, adorned with black-and-white woven crouching leopards.

The destination Grace Bar is inspired by the venue's former speakeasy atmosphere, when it was the regular haunt for movie stars and politicians, and serves classic cocktails from the 1920s to 1950s. The signature Grace Restaurant is due to open in January 2015.

The main meeting room is 150sqm, with dark hardwood floors and pullout walls to create a variety of spaces – four in total. It has two balconies and a private entrance for VIP access.

Excelsior Hotel Gallia, Milan (December)

Originally launched in 1932, Excelsior Hotel Gallia reopened its doors earlier this month as part of Starwood's high-end Luxury Collection.

'An architectural jewel of belle époque grandeur', the hotel is also a meeting and events giant, and is now taking bookings for its ground-floor meeting spaces and foyers, with the exception of the main, 400sqm Duomo ballroom – the largest column-free ballroom in the city. Upon completion, a total of 12 meeting rooms will be available, encompassing a total space of 1000sqm with the addition of 700sqm of foyers. La Cupola on the 7th floor will be available from mid-February.

At present, the hotel can confirm groups of up to 150 rooms. There is also an exclusive wine cellar and cigar room and a 1,000sqm spa featuring indoor pool, Jacuzzi, fitness centre, six treatment rooms and a hammam.

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