It's grey in London, dreary in NYC and actually raining in Los Angeles. But somewhere under my buttoned-up Moncler, deep in my heart, there's warmth in knowing that there's just 2-weeks left until summer... In the Southern Hemisphere, that is. And as much of Europe and the US settles into holiday chill, people are contrite on summer diets and weekend getaways as the other half of the world prepares for a season of new hotel openings, restaurant debuts and packed beach clubs.
Cape Town manages a summer groove with the opening of new boutique hotel Gorgeous George, set between St. George's Mall and the V&A Waterfront. Two separate heritage buildings, one Art Deco and the other Edwardian, feature 32-room hotel room designed by Johannesburg-based designer Tristan du Plessis - think exposed concrete and steelworks, alongside Victorian features. Look out for the new rooftop bar and pool, plus first-floor art space that will coordinate exhibits with nearby Zeitz MOCAA. If in CPT, also try our favorite South African chef Luke Dale Roberts' new The Commissary. Located next to his Shortmarket Club, the restaurant seats just 45 diners at a time with a communal commissary vibe. In Sydney, look for the new Paramount House Hotel to bring an even greater dose of cool to Surry Hills. In the former headquarters of Paramount Picture Studios, the hotel tells a glamorous design tale of period brick walls, timber floors and Aesop. In Bondi, look for Hotel Ravesisglam new remodel with lobby eatery and 12 revamped rooms that mix painted tiles with boho Bondi decor influences. In terms of Sydney dining, hit up Justin Hemmes-run Queen Chow or Peter Gilmore's revamped, culinary masterpiece Quay restaurant.
In South America youÂ’ll find the summer season arriving with gusto in Jose Ignacio where Argentine billionaires hover most of the season on a wind of irreverence given the financial and government crises that have failed to dampen the boom of Punta del Este. Sadly, the luxury hotel scene is operated by the very foreign Vik Hotels and already dated despite its new age. Instead, try Ignaico Ruibal Propiedades or VRBO for weeks' long rentals and spots like La Olada in Juanita and newly opened La Excusa for 12am vibes. In Rio, take a trip to Leblon and try Osklen designer Oskar Metsavaht's new Janeiro in its designer high-rise with rooftop pool, model-loved eatery (pictured) and beach club that attracts a sexy local crowd free of all the ruckus you'll find at places like the Fasano Ipanema. After all, the latest Bahia opening of Fasano Salvador later this month is far more of a summer scene.