5. Sandhotel—Reykjavik, Iceland
Sandhotel, which opened in June and is made up of a collection of historic townhouses turned contemporary retreat, immerses visitors in Reykjavik’s past—and future. One of the hotel’s houses is the former home of Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness. Another puts guests above the enticing scents of Sandholt, a bakery loved by locals. The third was the gentlemen’s store of Guosteinn Eyjolfsson, which first opened in 1918. Tell clients to look out for one-off features throughout—from works by Icelandic artists to plush fabrics sourced from offcuts by the city’s oldest tailors. They can sample fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon buns from Sandholt; or explore the seasonal menu at Lauf, the bakery’s sister restaurant.
SLH Insider Tip: Whether it’s an endless summer or an aurora-chasing winter, Sandhotel is the ideal base for Icelandic adventures. The concierge can help plan an adventure taking in glaciers, waterfalls and volcanic sands.
Rates start at $300 per night; slh.com/sandhotel
4. Grand Forest Metsovo—Greece
For clients who’ve been to Greece and done it, so to speak, recommend this mountaintop hideaway in Metsovo. The 62-room Grand Forest Metsovo features floor-to-ceiling windows and private balconies providing guests with stunning views of the Pindos peaks. Meanwhile the hotel’s restaurant, Metsovo 1350M, serves Epirus specialities from local producers at a panoramic altitude. In summer, guests can follow trails from reception on foot or on horseback, and in winter, skiers can head to nearby Anilio, a new family-friendly ski resort in Greece complete with baby lifts and rental outlets, where downhill runs provide views over beautiful stone villages.
SLH Insider Tip: Recommend clients order a picnic basket to enjoy local meats, cheese, bread and wine as they explore the surrounding pine forests.
Rates start at $154 for a Suite Mountain View, including breakfast; slh.com/grandforest
3. D-Resort Sibenik—Croatia
D-Resort Sibenik has brought a 21st-century edge to one of Croatia’s oldest port towns. Sweeping lines reflect the curve of D-Marin Mandalina below and glass walls open up spellbinding Adriatic views from each of the 72 rooms and suites. Guests can wander up to the main pool to pick out the perfect lounger. When it’s time for dinner, they can choose from Croatian cuisine at Art Restaurant, or saintly meals and sinful cocktails overlooking the marina at the Yacht Club. Families can take kids to the dedicated kids club and pool while they indulge in a couples massage or hammam at D-Spa. D-Resort’s prime position next to the marina means guests can easily board a yacht to explore the Kornati Islands or take the shuttle boat to Sibenik old town, a maze of medieval streets crowned with a hilltop fort.
SLH Insider Tip: Book your clients an Exclusive Villa so they can spend the day soaking in the ambiance beside their private pool.
Rates from $190 per night, including breakfast; slh.com/dresort
2. Hotel St. Petersbourg: Tallinn, Estonia
Estonia’s oldest hotel, Hotel St Petersbourg, has been given a glamorous, contemporary makeover inspired by imperial Russia. Cozy fireplaces are flanked by eclectic artwork and the 27 rooms’ historic features are complemented by sumptuous fabrics. Guests can enjoy gourmet Russian cuisine and tasty cocktails at The Hermitage before retreating to the spa to enjoy the private sauna and beauty treatments. The hotel is located in the heart of Tallinn’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe, with pastel-hued merchant houses, gothic spires and winding cobbled streets.
SLH Insider Tip: Guests can join Tallinn locals at the hotel’s Golden Piglet Inn, which serves authentic Estonian recipes handed down through the generations.
Rates from $190 per night, including breakfast; slh.com/stpetersbourg
1. Union House Lukang—Taiwan
It might be set in Lukang Old Town, but Union House, which opened this past spring, invites visitors to see this corner of the country in a new light. Made for modern travelers, it strikes a contemporary tone from the second guests step into the monochrome lobby. Breakfasts celebrate international cuisines with the home-baked bread a highlight. Recommend clients reserve a table at THE Dining or they can slip into the serene garden, which is hidden on the first floor and offers a Zen-like hideaway of pebbles, running water and delicate plants. The hotel welcomes children and pets with children’s games and pet-sitting services available.
SLH Insider Tip: Discover the neighborhood on one of the hotel’s daily trishaw tours. Lukang’s cultural highlights include Shiyilou, Longshan Temple, Shan Hang Street, First Market and Ding Mansion.
Rates from $196 per night, including breakfast; slh.com/unionhouse