Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel contests, tips, series, or news.
Today: travel news: the 30 best luxury hotels that opened their doors in 2013.
More info and direct link to the hotel websites (click the hotel name) below the slide show!
Aman makes its debut in Vietnam with a contemporary beachside resort alongside a full-service Aman Spa. Named for the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’ and noi meaning ‘place’, Amanoi is a tranquil retreat situated on a gorgeous white sand beach overlooking spectacular Vinh Hy Bay in Nui Chua National Park, northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Guest accommodation includes 31 Pavilions, a number with private swimming pools, and five Aman Villas, all positioned on the hillside with impressive views.
2. AMAN CANAL GRANDE VENICE, ITALY
The new Aman in Venice, along Canal Grande, is housed in Palazzo Papadopoli, which was built in the 16th century by the architect Gian Giacomo dé Grigi. The hotel has gracefully blended the artful furniture pieces and art crafts preserved in the long history with modern twist creating the newly inspired stylish resort. The 20 suites and rooms are created in a very refined style and a private rooftop offers splendid views over Venice and, on a clear day, the Alps in the distance.
3. BANYAN TREE LANG CO, VIETNAM
Dramatic landscapes and sensational East Sea vistas greet you upon arrival at Banyan Tree Lang Co, located just over 40 km (25 miles) away from Da Nang in Central Vietnam. All villas have a private pool that come with either a lagoon or beach view. The resort is not only surrounded by tropical forest and pristine coastlines, but also ideally placed to visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites: the imperial city of Hue, the charming old town of Hoi, and the historical ruins of My Son.
Just steps from the powdery white sands of Aruba’s famed Palm Beach, the Ritz-Carlton is Aruba’s new top property. All 320 beautifully appointed rooms and suites have private balconies overlooking the Caribbean Sea. There are four dining outlets on site, as well as a luxurious, 13-treatment-room span 2 swimming pools and a 24-hour casino. Downtown Oranjestad, with its shopping, dining and nightlife, is just 10 minutes away from the beach resort.
Perched along crescent-shaped shores, the 15-acre beachfront resort immerses you in the warm, welcoming spirit of Hawaii, with suites that offer refreshing rain showers and a host of complimentary luxuries. This hotel, part of the Hyatt chain, is already the new star in Maui after it opened doors in September 2013. It is a revamp of the previous hotel, the Renaissance, but with all the current incarnation’s urban sharpness and distinctive services, you would never know.
Where the Gulf of Papagayo meets the sapphire blue waters of Culebra Bay, Andaz Peninsula Papagayo has arrived to personify Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida” (pure life) expression, an extension of the native spirit of the country. The design by Costa Rican architect Ronald Zurcher translates the healthy and poetic integration of men and nature, with 153 rooms (including 21 suites) that make you feel you part of the breathtaking setting and buildings created to the images of jungle creatures.
7. PARK HYATT, SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Hyatt rebranded renowned Cambodia hotel to the Park Hyatt Siem Reap. The luxurious five-star hotel is situated near the renowned 12th century ruins of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site that researchers believe was one of the largest pre-industrial cities in the world. An elegant hide-away and oasis of tranquility in the center of hectic Siem Reap, the exquisite hotel has 108 stylish guestrooms and suites, a private garden nd gorgeous swimming pool.
Read our review here.
8. FOUR SEASONS, ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Within a 19th century Russian royal palace, its entry guarded by 2 marble lions, the Four Seasons heritage hotel interiors, including the main stairway, vestibule and entry hall, have all been painstakingly restored to their original 1820 beauty. The 157 guest rooms and 26 suites reflect imperial Russian style while feeling fresh, light and contemporary. The hotel is located in the historic Admiralteysky district, just 2 blocks the Hermitage Museum and close to Nevsky Prospekt and the Mariinsky Theatre.
9. MANDARIN ORIENTAL, SHANGHAI, CHINA
Spectacularly located on the banks of the Huangpu River, the new Mandarin Oriental hotel lies in the heart of Pudong’s central financial district. Surrounded by gleaming skyscrapers, the hotels and its 362 spacious rooms offer a unique blend of style and comfort with a stunning design, world-class restaurants, serene spa and Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service. The hotel is located minutes from Shanghai IFC and World Financial Centre, and 10 minutes from the historic bund.
W Hotels’ first alpine escape is located near Place Blanche, the new heart of Verbier. The hotel has 130 rooms, suites and residences, each with signature W beds and balcony and some with panoramic vistas, You can stay in shape with a work out in FIT gym and fitness, take a dip in the stunning indoor/outdoor pool, or wind down at the Spa. Be prepared for the adrenalin of Europe’s most exciting slopes (412 km or 256 miles of top-notch ski runs), startling vistas and glamorous social scene.
11. SHANGRI-LA HOTEL ISTANBUL, TURKEY
In the Besiktas district on the western edge of Istanbul, the luxurious 1929-tobacco warehouse-turned-hotel has bagged a prime spot on the European bank of the Bosphorus. The pastel palette of blue, beige and cream that dominates the opulent interior is a calming contrast to the pandemonium of Istanbul’s streets. The 186 rooms are claimed to be the city’s most spacious, and some have front row seats for the restless turmoil of shipping on one of the world’s most historic waterways.
12. ROSEWOOD HOTEL LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
The first London outpost of the American-based, Hong Kong-owned, ultra-luxury group Rosewood Hotels and Resorts has been created in a magnificent 1914 Belle Epoque building on High Holborn, originally the HQ of Pearl Assurance and more recently the Chancery Court Hotel. The massive 262-room, 44-suite hotel is a pure delight to stay at — grand but not intimidating, discreetly sumptuous and warm, its food, beverages, spa and guest services top notch.
13. CHEVAL BLANC RHANDHELI, MALDIVES
The Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy resort offers 46 Island, Water and Garden villas in neutral colors and tones that complement the open design of the space. They each have a variety of contemporary design elements, high doors and ceilings, outdoor areas for relaxation, pool terraces, a 12.5m long private swimming pool and lagoon-side pontoons. The Cheval Blanc Spa offers up exclusive Guerlain treatments in special treatment villas. The Hair Spa by Leonor Greyl doubles as a beauty studio and barber shop.
This hotel also features in our top 10 list of best resorts in the Maldives.
14. VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND, MALDIVES
An exceptional private luxury retreat in Noonu Atoll, with 45 all-pool villas and service that goes beyond traditional resorts, Velaa offers Michelin star cuisine and one of the finest wine cellars in the Indian Ocean archipelago, to world-class watersports including its own private submarine. Exceptional facilities “beyond traditional resorts” extend to the only My Blend By Clarins spa in the Maldives and a ‘short game’ golf academy designed by two-time Masters Champion Jose Maria Olazabal.
This hotel also features in our top 10 list of best resorts in the Maldives.
15. LANGHAM CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA
Embodying the timeless qualities that define the Langham legacy since 1865 – heritage, history and hospitality – the 316 room Langham Chicago gracefully blends urban sophistication with refined luxury. Conveniently located downtown in a 52-story landmark tower designed by renowned architect Mies van der Rohe, the hotel is minutes away from Chicago’s luxurious, boutique-lined Millenium Mile. The hotel is also home to the highly acclaimed Chuan Spa where guests can indulge in signature wellness.
Read our review here.
Located just north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, right in the path of the annual Wildebeest migration, Mahali Mzuri is the latest addition to Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s eclectic and exclusive portfolio of retreats. Accommodation is in 12 luxury tented suites, each standing on raised platform with a spacious canopied veranda, an ensuite bathroom with a freestanding roll-top tub and a stupendous view into which big game – even the odd lion – may wander.
Awasi Patagonia, officially been inducted into the Relais & Chateaux Association, is situated inside a private reserve neighboring the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park. The location is protected from the strong Pataginian winds by a luxuriant native forest (where, occasionally, pumas are spotted). The 12 villas (one of them with 2 suites) all enjoy utmost privacy and views of the forest, Lake Sarmiento, the pampas and Torres del Paine, and their design is inspired by old Patagonian shelters and ranching outposts.
18. POINT YAMU BY COMO, PHUKET, THAILAND
Point Yamu by COMO is a new Phuket luxury resort overlooking the Andaman Sea and the dramatic limestones of Phang Nga Bay. Interiors by Italian designer Paola Navone offer a unique expression of contemporary Thai luxury, alongside a COMO Shambhala wellness retreat and two world-class restaurants. Blue and turquoise design accents in the 79 rooms and suites, and 27 private luxury villas, recall the Andaman Sea with floor-to-ceiling windows framing the spectacular views.
19. CAPELLA GEORGETOWN, WASHINGTON
Situated in the heart of Georgetown, along the historic C&O Canal, the hotel offers guests premium access to Washington, D.C.’s vibrant cultural life. The property has 49 guest rooms with 12 suites. Each room at is designed to anticipate one’s desires, from bedside touch button technology to a collection of personal amenities. The bathrooms are built for lounging with soaking bathtubs and glass enclosed rainfall showers.
20. THE CHEDI ANDERMATT, SWITZERLAND
The Chedi Andermatt nestles elegantly among the classic ski chalets of Andermatt, a village of timeless charms in the Urseren Valley. For GHM’s first Swiss property, the Asian brand synonymous with style, service and serenity, renowned architect Jean-Michel Gathy designed the 104 spacious guest rooms and suites. Traditional materials such as warm woods and natural stone create intimate yet visually striking environments among the accommodations and extensive facilities.
The Chedi Andermatt features in our top 10 list of the most luxurious ski hotels in the world.
21. TAJ PALACE MARRAKECH, MAROCCO
Nestled in the luxurious and exclusive Palmeraie region of Marrakech, Taj Palace offers breathtaking views of the prominent snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Opulent and majestic, and set on 55 hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens the Palace unfolds like a beautiful painting, featuring all the splendours of Moorish, Indian and Venetian architecture. This palatial desert oasis features 161 well-appointed, spacious guest rooms, including 25 luxurious suites.
22. BEDARRA ISLAND RESORT, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
When you need to escape and unwind Down Under, there may be no better place to disappear than Bedarra, an all-inclusive, private, tropical haven and the ultimate in barefoot luxury. Bedarra comprises just 8 private villas hidden amongst 45 hectares of tropical rainforest, offering solitude, privacy and sublime views over the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef. With a maximum of 16 guests at the resort at any time, you are guaranteed a sanctuary of seclusion and solace.
23. ANANTARA SIR BANI YAS ISLAND AL YAMM VILLA RESORT, ABU DHABI, UAE
This exclusive, intimate island experience features villas in a private setting on beautiful white sands overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Inspired by traditional Arabic fishing and pearl diving villages and their barasti (palm frond) houses, the 30 Al Yamm villas – some with private plunge pools – are sustainably built, with design feature complementing the island’s delicate eco-system and with additional views across a mangrove filled salt-water lagoon.
24. INTERCONTINENTAL (HOTEL DIEU) MARSEILLE, FRANCE
The Intercontinental Hotel Dieu instantly became a landmark in Marseille, which now has its first grand, prestigious hotel. The hotel is perfectly located overlooking the Old Port, adjacent to the oldest district in Marseille known as the Panier. The hotel is housed in a listed historical monument dating back to the 18th century and has 172 rooms and 22 suites (all designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel), some of them with a view of the Old Port and a private terrace. Photo provided by Made in Marseille.
25. JUMEIRAH MESSILAH BEACH HOTEL & SPA, KUWEIT
Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa is ideally located in the secluded area of Messilah along the shores of the Arabian Gulf, with easy access to Kuwait’s major attractions. Inspired by its location, this hotel offers a truly luxurious and idyllic destination in Kuwait that brings an exciting set of new experiences interlaced with heritage and history. The 316 rooms and suites, 80 apartments and 12 villas are all fitted to a high standard to meet one’s expectations of comfort, style and convenience.
26. THE COVE, NORTH ELEUTHERA, BAHAMAS
The Cove, North Eleuthera, one of the best kept secret in the Bahamas, reopened in 2013 after a major transformation. Located on of the Caribbean’s most beautiful pink sand beach, all 33 villas, guest rooms and suites have been renovated to blend urban chic with island charm. Sapphire blue water and beaches kissed with pink sand are lined by 40 acres of Eleuthera’s lush backdrop. Whether it’s a brief getaway, a wedding or private event, the staff is dedicated to making your stay a dream.
27. WALDORF ASTORIA PANAMA CITY, PANAMA
The Waldorf Astoria group, synonym of excellent service and hospitality opened its first hotel in Latin America. The property, formerly known as The Panamera, is located two blocks from the city center as well as within walking distance of Cinta Costera, one of Latin America’s best running and walking trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The hotel features 248 guest rooms and luxury residences, all tastefully designed, including spacious marble bathrooms with walk in rain showers.
28. VICEROY NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA
Viceroy New York, located one block from Central Park, redefines midtown by combining the pulse of the city’s heart with the cosmopolitan spirit of uptown, providing guests with nice New York City views (on the upper floors), superbly tailored (but rather small) accommodations and distinctive service. The building’s innovative Art Deco design, luxurious amenities and culinary offerings make Viceroy New York a funky and good choice for stylish travelers and savvy professionals.
29. PALAIS HANSEN KEMPINSKI, VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna – originally built as a hotel for the World Exhibition in Vienna in 1873 – captivates the visitor with a historic building, modern architecture and contemporary luxury. Its location in the heart of Vienna is perfect, right at the famous Ring Boulevard. It is a glamorous 5 star superior Palais Hotel with 152 elegant rooms and suites, 2 restaurants and 3 bars including a Night Bar & Cigar Lounge, a spa and fitness area as well as conference rooms and a ballroom.
30. SOFITEL DUBAI THE PALM RESORT & SPA, DUBAI, UAE
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa is a Polynesian themed resort, with vertical gardens, fresh flowers and artworks bringing elegance to luminous interiors, ideally located on a long private beach on Palm Jumeirah’s East Crescent. All 361 deeply comfortable rooms have balconies while suites boast 24-hour butlers and a private lounge. You can also indulge in a Beach Villa with a roof terrace and pool, or hotel apartments for longer stays in Dubai. The hotel has no less than 8 restaurants and 7 bars and lounges.
I cannot wait to stay at any one of the these resorts! Oh, the Aman! Oh, the Four Seasons St Petersburg!
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