Today (December 23, 2016): the hottest luxury hotel openings of 2016.
Be the first to explore my selection of the best new luxury hotels, 60 in total, that opened their doors in 2016. Some of these hotel are managed by world’s most exclusive hotel brands.
There is more information and direct link to the hotel websites below the slide show! Think I missed one? Share your opinion in the comments section!
The St. Regis Vommuli Resort brings the brand’s hallmark luxury services to the Maldives. A 40-minute seaplane ride southwest from Malé airport, the resort is located on a private atoll spanning more than 20 acres, surrounded by unspoiled beaches and a secluded lagoon with sparkling turquoise waters. The design draws inspiration from nature itself, with aesthetics including manta ray shaped lagoon villas, a signature bar in the shape of a whale shark, a lobster-inspired spa and a spiral shell shaped library. Besides organic sea forms, some buildings are based on local cultural symbols; coastal villas along the southern shoreline, for example, are akin to Maldivian Dhoni boats. The resort features 77 luxuriously appointed private villas, all with a distinct contemporary design scheme inspired by the island’s natural materials and color palette. Guests have access to a tranquil spa, an infinity swimming pool, a dive center, and 4 restaurants.
- Hotel website: St Regis Vommuli Maldives
- Accolades: St Regis Vommuli features in my list of the top 10 most exclusive hotels in the Maldives.
- Review: Coming soon (March 2017).
Another high profile opening took place in the Maldives this year. Milaidhoo Island promises its guests a new chapter of barefoot island living on its boutique 13 acre island set in the heart of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll region. Milaidhoo offers a return to a classic, relaxed Maldivian holiday style on a tiny island with deep soft white sand beaches and a vibrant coral reef where dolphins, whale sharks and manta rays are visitors – a benefit of being in a protected marine area. Standing on stilts over the lagoon are 30 spacious over-water villas (2,600 square feet) and hidden amongst the tropical greenery are 20 serene villas on the beach (3,100 square feet). All villas have large private freshwater swimming pools and an island host to attend to the guests’ every whim. This private, luxury island is reached by a scenic 30-minute seaplane flight from Male International Airport.
- Hotel website: Milaidhoo Island
The new Six Senses Zil Pasyon is located on the island of Félicité, one of the most dramatically beautiful and unspoiled islands in the Seychelles. With massive granite boulders fringing the shoreline and picture perfect beaches it is the island’s dramatic beauty that make it the perfect private island escape. True to Six Senses heritage of creating exceptional guest experiences in places of incredible beauty, the resort occupies just one-third of the island’s land total – the rest is left to the beauty of nature and wildlife. The resort includes 28 one-bedroom pool villas and a couple of two-bedroom pool villas ranging from 2,150 square feet (200 square meters) to 5,380 square feet (500 square meters) plus 17 private residences. Six Senses Zil Pasyon offers six dining and bar venues on the island, sport and leisure facilities, three pristine sandy beaches and an outdoor main pool.
- Hotel website: Six Senses Zil Pasyon
- Accolades: Six Senses Zin Pasyon features in my list of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2016.
- Review: Read here my review of Six Senses Zil Pasyon.
Banyan Tree Hotels & Resort has opened a glorious beach retreat in Tamouda Bay, along the northwestern coast of Morocco. The Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay pays tribute to the region’s Andalusian-Moorish legacy and Moroccan heritage that evokes a sense of place throughout its landscapes, courtyards, verdant gardens, fountains and reflecting pools. Basking on golden sands with brilliant blue waters lapping at its feet, this exclusive all-pool villa resort conveys romance with exotic Moroccan charm and inspires relaxation via its understated Mediterranean vibe. The resort is 15 km (9 miles) away from the city of Tetouan and a 45-minute drive from bustling Tangier. Positioned between the rugged Rif Mountains and the glistening Mediterranean Sea, Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay, Morocco resort offers spectacular waterfront views and sublime resort living.
- Hotel website: Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay
Cool and avant-garde on the beachfront of Morocco’s largest city, Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca enjoys a prestigious resort-style setting, just a short distance from the business district and the historic city centre. The new hotel is part of the master-planned Anfa Place community, combining residential, business, shopping and entertainment. Only five storeys in height, the intimately scaled Casablanca hotel features 186 ultra-spacious guest rooms, including 29 suites, most with private balconies overlooking the ocean or gardens. The hotel is ideally located to explore the city’s vibrant social scene. It features four Casablanca restaurants, an outdoor pool and club-like spa, and fitness centre. Meetings and events will unfold in the ballroom and five function rooms, open to outdoor terraces that will celebrate Morocco’s year-round warmth and sunshine.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca
Home to leopard, buffalo and elephant, the Ngorongoro crater experience is redefined by The Highlands, raising the bar for low-impact/high-style camps. Carefully positioned for maximum privacy high on the slopes of the Olmoti volcano, the lodge’s guests enjoy sweeping views all the way to the Serengeti. Inspiration for the eight canvas-and-glass domed suites was drawn from the traditional Maasai bomas that dot the landscape. Warm, intimate and contemporary, this is quite simply the perfect place from which to discover the wild and pristine Crater Highlands. At the heart of the camp is an authentic indoor fireplace designed to emulate the traditional East African campfire experience. Delve into the library or enjoy a drink from the extensive bar and unwind in comfort and style at the end of each rewarding day.
- Hotel website: The Highlands
Thanda Island is a tropical island with a single luxurious, five bedroom villa and two rustic Tanzanian Bandas in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Tanzania. Beach house romance, nostalgia and East African elegance personify the villa on Thanda Island, designed for a perfect summer in coastal whites, greens and blues. The owners of Thanda Island, Christin and Dan Olofsson of Sweden, built the villa as their own discreet, sumptuous retreat and private playground, but have now developped this remarkably uncommon destination into a very special, totally private island getaway. Situated in its own marine reserve, you can bathe in blue heaven with the gentlest giant of the ocean, the whale shark, and watch sea turtles nesting.
- Hotel website: Thanda Island
Perched on the edge of the escarpment, Limalimo Lodge is a beautiful place to experience Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park, a nature reserve listed by UNESCO as a site of outstanding beauty. The lodge features simple luxury and elegant design influenced by rural Ethiopia style in a stunning setting. The bar and restaurant are perched on top of the hill with views along the dramatic escarpment and onto the lowlands below. The 12 rooms are scattered around the site among the trees with views over wooded hillsides. Guests are able to explore the unique flora and fauna of the Simiens and visit local communities, or simply relax in the comfort of the lodge and its grounds.
- Hotel website: Limalimo Lodge
Situated in a 50 000 hectare (123 500 acre) private wildlife concession on the Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls, this brand new lodge provides the most luxurious accommodation and most unique wildlife experiences in the area. &Beyond Matetsi River Lodge consists of two camps of nine suites each, including a family suite at each camp. Highlighting the area’s cultural heritage, Matetsi is decorated with traditional abstract carvings of wood and stone and features a strong copper theme in homage to the mineral riches of the region. The lodge boasts a generous safari shop and state-of-the-art gym, as well as a massage sala and conference facility. A 20-meter-long (66-foot-long) rim flow swimming pool stretches along the river’s bank.
- Hotel website: Matetsi River Lodge
“When I dream of afterlife in heaven, the action always takes place in the Ritz Paris” Ernest Hemingway once wrote in a letter to his friend and fellow writer A.E. Hotchner. It’s been awhile, but the iconic hotel is back in action, after the 117-year-old landmark closed in 2012 for a top-to-bottom restoration by celebrated architect and designer Thierry W. Despont. The grand hotel – where Princess Diana spent her last hours – now features a 50-50 ratio of suites to rooms; a renovated Bar Hemingway, dedicated to the novelist and frequent guest; the world’s first and only Chanel Spa; and a tunnel from the parking facility to the hotel for private VIP entrances. Behind the walls, the latest in technology has been added throughout the hotel while great care has been taken to ensure that “the Ritz will always be the Ritz.”
- Hotel website: Ritz Paris
- Tip: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily breakfast, and a complimentary one-way private airport transfer).
For discerning global travelers, Park Hyatt Mallorca is a luxury retreat which reflects the style of a traditional Mallorquin hilltop village with references of local art and cultural heritage. Situated on the east coast of Mallorca, the new Park Hyatt Mallorca overlooks the majestic Canyamel valley, offering views of the Balearic Sea and the town of Canyamel. The hotel has 142 spacious and luxuriously appointed guest rooms, and 16 uniquely designed suites, brilliantly combing a blend of sophistication and upscale residential comfort with timeless regional accents. The hotel also offers a sophisticated dining experience centered around a village square, presenting a range authentic cuisines catering to all tastes.
- Hotel website: Park Hyatt Mallorca
- Accolades: Park Hyatt Mallorca features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Spain, and the best luxury resorts in the Balearic Islands.
- Tip: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD food & beverage credit, early check-in and late check-out).
- Review: read here my review of the Park Hyatt Mallorca.
Soho House Barcelona is set in a striking 18th century building in the historic Duc de Medinaceli square, overlooking Port Vell marina. That’s a short walk away from the iconic Las Ramblas, La Boqueria food market, and from the Gaudí-designed Palau Güell. The new hotel reflect Catalan culture through design features, such as its vaulted tiled ceilings and intricate metal work, but also embrace the fun spirit of the city. Arranged around a central glass atrium which runs throughout, all 57 rooms, that vary in size, have rustic Spanish patterned tiles, unique artworks and bathrooms with vintage bronze fittings. The hotel also has two restaurants, a rooftop pool, an indoor pool, a 30-room movie theater, a game room, and one of the brand’s signature Cowshed spas, with amenities provided by the British beauty line.
- Hotel website: Soho House Barcelona
The Mercer Hotel is a new luxurious, 12 room boutique hotel, located in the heart of the historic center of Sevilla. The integration of the old and the contemporary is one of the hotel’s hallmarks. The hotel lobby is a beautiful courtyard with marble floor and covered by a spectacular dome bathing the space with natural day light and harmony. Surrounding the courtyard, guests are astonished by the arches, high ceilings and by the sound of the fountain, which is a traditional decorative element of the Mudejar culture. The rooftop features a charming terrace with pool, where a relaxing drink will allow you to watch the sunset over the Guadalquivir river.
- Hotel website: The Mercer Hotel
Tucked away on a cliff high above the Mediterranean Sea, this utterly beautiful property offers one of the most breathtaking vistas on the globe, capturing Santorini’s iconic whitewashed villages, epic sunsets, and vibrant land and seascapes. Designer Paola Navone, recognized worldwide for brilliantly melding a modern design aesthetic with local materials and traditional handicrafts, has brought her prodigious gifts to Erosantorini, creating quintessentially Greek interiors and open-air salons that exude an effortless barefoot chic. The resort has only four suites, with each suite featuring its own private and semi-private space for outdoor living in every season, with dramatic floating fireplaces, heated private plunge pools, outdoor Jacuzzis, radiant heated floors, and magnificent views throughout.
- Hotel website: Erosantorini
Canyon Ranch opened its first-ever international destination outside the USA, Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya, on a spectacular peninsula of the sun-kissed Aegean coast in Turkey. The resort lies directly on the waterfront in Turgutreis, approximately 20 km (12 mi) from the centre of Bodrum. The two-storey hotel of comprises 66 rooms and suites. This is further complimented by 72 serviced residences. The restaurants and bars are places of entertainment, where the ambience runs from formal to casual and dishes are prepared with the best local products. With indoor & outdoor pools and Purovel Spa & Sport facilities, the resort provides guests with a wide variety of sport and leisure opportunities.
- Hotel website: Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya
- Accolades: Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kalpankaya features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Bodrum.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Bodrum is a luxury, lifestyle beachfront boutique hotel on the southwestern coast of Turkey. Designed to blend into its natural surroundings, the property utilizes modern elements to define Nikki Beach’s sleek look, with a nod to local aesthetics and materials. The contemporary property features 76 suites and villas. In-room amenities include indoor and outdoor bathrooms, entertainment walls, panoramic sea views and private pools, patios and decks. Among the hotel’s remarkable offerings, guests can enjoy pontoons and decks built into the sea, a rooftop relaxing pool area and expansive spa and gym fitness facilities. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa’s philosophy blends high and low energy levels, creating environments that provide the ultimate entertainment, indulgence and relaxation. The goal is to make each experience a personal journey.
- Hotel website: Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Bodrum
QT Bondi Beach Accommodation offers the only boutique, high-end hotel apartments on Bondi Beach. Experience an exhilarating mix of Bondi barefoot luxury with all the creature comforts you would expect to find in a world-class designer hotel. Welcome to the ultimate in chic beachside glamour. Created by renowned Australian designer Nic Graham, the QT Bondi Accommodation has an impressive selection of 69 extra-spacious studios and apartments that mix barefoot luxury with designer digs in the signature quirky-yet-stylish QT manner. The QT Bondi is essentially serviced apartments as you won’t find the typical hotel facilities on-site such as restaurants, gym or spa. The philosophy of the hotel is to make you feel like a Bondi local with an emphasis on guests making the most of exploring the neighbourhood and staff are well versed in pointing out where to go.
- Hotel website: QT Bondi
Located in the northeast corner of New Zealand’s North Island, this property features a pristine coastline, with four private beaches and many intimate coves. Guests here enjoy exploring the individual rooms of the Main House decorated with its eclectic artwork and treasures, which have been collected by the owners during their travels around the globe. These captivating and fascinating pieces complement opulent interior design. Facilitiesinclude a gym, sauna, massage room, a heated swimming pool, library, lounge areas, both informal and formal dining areas and an outdoor fire pit. Helena Bay hosts a maximum of five individual couples accommodated in five villa suites, which are named after New Zealand native birds, all with views overlooking Helena Bay beach and beyond to the South Pacific Ocean.
- Hotel website: Helena Bay Lodge
Positioned atop S Maison, a high-end retail complex on the edge of Manila Bay, the visually striking Conrad Manila offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Makati; but also enjoys easy access to the airport and lots of shopping, dining, recreation and attractions. Inspired by the impressive vessels that traverse the bay, Conrad Manila’s stunning architecture makes strong connections to the immediate waters in front, and the skyline of Makati’s Central Business District behind the hotel. The hotel has 347 guest rooms, with a high proportion of suites to anticipate and meet the expectations of the growing number of seasoned business and leisure travelers. The 8-storey structure also houses a dedicated sky park.
- Hotel website: Conrad Manila
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, is a landmark, mixed-use development in the heart of Bonifacio Global City (BGC), an emerging contemporary lifestyle district at the centre of Metro Manila and one of the fastest growing urban developments in Asia. Rising 250 metres high, Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, is one of the tallest towers in the Philippines. The hotel features 576 contemporary and spacious guestrooms and suites with unparalleled city and bay views. With one of the largest portfolios of conference and meeting venues in the city, Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila’s event spaces can suit any occasion. Guests can explore a variety of innovative cuisines from around the world, with seven dining concepts housed in the hotel.
- Hotel website: Shangri-La at the Fort Manila
Overlooking the pristine southern coast of beautiful Sri Lanka, Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa is located along the ancient Spice Route in a city steeped in rich history. Hambantota is known for its natural beauty and wildlife, and allows visitors to explore Asia’s most fascinating nature sanctuaries, including the Yala and Bundala National Parks. The luxury resort spans 53 hectares, making it the largest resort in Sri Lanka, and boasts 300 spacious rooms, including 21 suites, all surrounded by stunning tropical gardens. It is home to an 18-hole golf course, an expansive spa and an artisan village that celebrates local arts and crafts.
- Hotel website: Shangri-La Hambantota Resort & Spa
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has opened its second resort in Sri Lanka, a peacefully secluded hideaway located along the island’s southwest coast. Only ten minutes from the town of Kalutara and an hour south of the capital Colombo, Anantara Kalutara has a unique setting between the Indian Ocean and Kalu River and boasts coastal, river and lagoon frontage. All 141 guest rooms, suites and pool villas immerse guests in stunning views, with private balconies and terraces overlooking lush gardens, the ocean or lagoon. All guest rooms come with a wine humidor as standard and interconnecting, disabled and poolside guest rooms are available. Suites are set apart by an elegant lounge and the one-of-a-kind one bedroom Presidential Suite boasts a private plunge pool and sundeck. The resort has two swimming pools, a fantastic spa and a choice of three restaurants.
- Hotel website: Anantara Kalutara
Santani is the first and only purpose-built wellness resort in Sri Lanka. Offering effective, meaningful wellness without artifice, Santani has a pure and simple purpose: to help you get unstuck. This 48-acre former tea plantation within a pristine forest now functions as a restorative destination spa, which is completely accessible yet blissfully secluded. The 18 rooms are built for natural ventilation and are air-condition free. Guests are free to roam around these 48 acres of tropical jungle and fertile rice fields, to practice yoga or to meditate along the Hulu River.
- Hotel website: Santani
W Hotels’ first property in India is located on the tropical coast of North Goa, and feature secluded beaches lined with red cliffs and scenic views. Spread over 25 acres overlooking Vagator beach, W Goa offers 160 rooms and villas, a rock pool, gym, spa and on demand service, alongside multiple dining options including the pan-Asian Spice Traders, which serves up modern interpretations of local and international dishes. Located in close proximity to the vibrant centre of Goa, W Goa offers direct access to the area’s trendy cafes and fashionable boutiques in addition to the numerous cultural destinations including Hindu temples and flea markets.
- Hotel website: W Retreat & Spa Goa
The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa, Siswan Forest Range is a resort in New Chandigarh, surrounded by over 8,000 acres of protected natural forest at the foothills of the outer Himalayas. Harmonising traditional elements of Indian architecture, aesthetically landscaped gardens and beautiful water features, the resort has been designed so that guests can enjoy verdant views from every aspect. Accommodation ranges from the palatial Kohinoor villa, to luxury villas with private pools, royal forest tents with private pools, royal tents and premier rooms, with design elements inspired by Rajput and Mughal architecture, and all modern conveniences. The Oberoi Spa is a tranquil, light-filled space (12,000 square feet) adjacent to the forest. Embellished with glass, fire and water features, it is a wonderfully relaxing environment in which to experience spa treatments
- Hotel website: The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa
A design-led landmark in the heart of Singapore’s art and culture district, the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach fuses contemporary architecture with restored heritage in a brilliant show of form and function. Occupying three heritage buildings and two new hotel blocks, the luxury hotel features 634 guest rooms including 47 suites, 17 meeting rooms/venues, a grand ballroom with Philippe Starck-design interiors, 2 sky gardens, 2 outdoor pools, the signature Spa by JW and nine unique food and beverage concept outlets, including a restaurant helmed by world renowned Chef, Akira Back, of Iron Chef America fame. Located in close proximity to Singapore’s key tourist attractions, Shenton Way Central Business District (CBD) and the Marina Bay entertainment and business district, the JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach is the perfect choice for leisure and corporate travellers seeking enriching experiences and hospitality excellence.
- Hotel website: JW Marriott Hotel Singapore South Beach
March 2016 welcomed the opening of Amanemu, a ultraluxe hot spring resort, located in the idyllic setting of Ise Shima National Park on the shores of Ago Bay in Western Japan. It’s the latest addition to the portfolio of Aman, the world’s most exclusive hotel brand. Providing the perfect rural complement to Aman Tokyo (which I reviewed here) and continuing Aman’s journey with Japan, Amanemu adopts a classic Japanese aesthetic in the ryokan tradition, with each of the 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas featuring their own onsen (mineral hot spring). The design throughout embraces a classical Japanese aesthetic, giving pride of place to natural materials and soothing hues while framing the exceptional natural surroundings.
- Hotel website: Amanemu
- Accolades: Amanemu features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels of Japan.
- Review: read here my review of Amanemu.
The newly opened Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho is part of Tokyo Garden Terrace, a mixed-use skyscraper development which encompasses offices and residences in the Kioicho neighborhood. Designed by Rockwell Group Europe, the hotel is located on the 30th to 36th floors of the tower and offers 250 spacious guestrooms, including 11 opulent suites. The 35th floor features a signature bar with floor-to-ceiling glass windows for guests to enjoy the ever-changing cityscape. The hotel also boasts a large indoor pool, fitness center, spa, business center and club lounge. It houses four distinctive restaurants and bars, including an all-day dining venue and specialty restaurants.
- Hotel website: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho
The new Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is a contemporary, luxury oasis in Japan’s capital of culture. With a famed, 800-year-old ikeniwa (pond garden) at its heart, hotel guests experience authentic Japanese traditions in chic 21st Century style. There are 123 spacious accommodations with beautiful views across temple rooftops and elegant gardens, including 13 glamorous suites for the ultimate in luxury and personalised service. Set at the foot of Higashiyama Mountain in Kyoto’s district of temples, the hotel is a sanctuary of space minutes from the city’s cultural treasures and the bustle of downtown.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Kyoto
The St Regis Langkawi is situated in an idyllic cove in the south of Langkawi island, overlooking a private white-sand beach that fringes the Andaman Sea. It features 85 suites, including 20 pool suites, and four overwater villas, each boasting a spectacular view of the Straits of Malacca. All guestroom feature the signature St. Regis Butler service with around-the-clock customised service, anticipating each guest’s every need. Resort amenities include a stunning swimming pool, gym and function space, with access to expanded meeting facilities at the ultra-modern Langkawi International Convention Centre.
- Hotel website: St Regis Langkawi
- Accolades: St Regis Langkawi also features in my list of the most astonishing beach retreats in Asia.
St Regis opened another ultra luxe property in Malaysia this year, the St. Regis Kuala Lumpur. The hotel occupies one of the most desired addresses in the richly textured cosmopolitan capital city of the country, within minutes from the National Museum, Lake Gardens and the Bukit Bintang shopping paradise. The hotel features 200 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, all of them boasting magnificent vistas of the bustling metropolis. Three fine dining restaurants, a sumptuous spa and the ever-present, yet unobtrusive St. Regis Butler service guarantee a six star hotel experience. The hotel’s classic contemporary interiors combine modern day glamour with old-word elegance, infused with luxurious design details such as breathtaking Austrian crystals, stunning chandeliers, hand-made Italian gold tiles, horse-hair leather panels, and saddle stitch and stirrup motifs.
- Hotel website: St. Regis Kuala Lumpur
This year, Alila Hotels and Resorts opened its first property in China, Alila Anji. Anji is China’s first national ecological county, and one of the nation’s sustainable environmental development zones, in the Zhejiang province. Alila Anji is designed to resemble a traditional Chinese village with white washed exteriors and sweeping dark-tiled roofs. Set on immaculate grounds with stunning elevated lake views, the resort comprises 74 stately villas and rooms designed to provide understated comfort with warm hospitality within a peaceful oasis that feels a world away from the city. Room interiors combine native woods, bamboo and stone with soft furnishings to create a warm sanctuary of rarefied country living complete with modern luxuries.
- Hotel website: Alila Anji
Less than an hour’s drive away from downtown Shanghai, Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao transports guests to another era with its restored 600-year-old courthouse from the Ming Dynasty, “Wu Feng Lou” (Court of Five Phoenixes) style, to become the resort’s lobby, while an Old Qing Dynasty Theater is the building’s core. Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao features 35 villas, each with a courtyard and private garden. Within this collection, four exclusive villas are equipped with their own heated outdoor swimming pool. The hotel complements the experience with facilities such as Chinese/Asian cuisine restaurants, Chinese-style Tapas Bar, a Library, Cigar Bar, Tai Chi Room, a traditional Chinese medicine service desk, an Ahn Luh Spa, pillar-less ballroom, boardrooms and outdoor & indoor swimming pools.
- Hotel website: Ahn Luh Zhujiajiao
Continuing to build on this legacy, Ian Schrager – the internationally renowned American hotel visionary – expands his global influence with the opening of his first hotel in China. The Sanya EDITION, a spectacular oceanfront destination on Hainan Island, just off the coast of Southern China, is the latest addition to EDITION hotels, the brand Ian Schrager conceived in a partnership with Marriott International. Water, a source of vitality and serenity, defines the lush 50-acre EDITION property, which features a spectacular private ocean along with two pools. All of the 500 guestrooms in the horseshoe-shaped hotel have ocean views. In addition, 17 hotel villas are nestled into a terraced hillside with ocean views, private pools, and pavilion spaces.
- Hotel website: The Sanya Edition
Taj Hotels & Resorts opened its first safari lodge outside India: Meghauli Serai at UNESCO World Heritage listed Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Its dramatic landscapes of dense Sal groves, thick grasslands and meandering water bodies, coupled with the breathtaking wildlife, make Chitwan National Park one of the most sought after destinations in Nepal. From its 13 well-appointed rooms that offer elevated views over the jungle-scape to the 16 independent villas each with their own private plunge pools and the plush Rapti Mahal presidential suite, the lodge takes local traditions to a luxurious setting. Meghauli Serai has incorporated local hues into its design and operations for truly sustainable touches. From its Newari and Tharu-inspired front doors and the use of natural earthy tones that reflect the landscape, to the locally-sourced ingredients that foreground Tharu tastes in inventive cuisine, the lodge offers a relaxing setting for discovery.
- Hotel website: Meghauli Serai
Ideally situated on Jalan Gatot Subroto within the city’s Central Business District, the all-new Capital Place – an award-winning architectural landmark by César Pelli – is home to leading businesses, and now, the stunning new Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta. From the moment one enters the soaring lobby with its grand staircase lit by a magnificent crystal chandelier, a classical European aesthetic is reflected in the colour palettes, materials and finishes, fine furnishings and sophisticated lighting. Intimately scaled with just 125 accommodations, the all-suites Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta feels as much a luxurious residence as a modern hotel. With its excellent dining options, sumptuously appointed spa and handsome event spaces, it promises to be the preferred address of the city’s elite, as well as business and leisure travellers from around the world.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta
Katamama is a boutique hotel made by artisans. Every detail has been handmade or handpicked, using Indonesia’s centuries-old traditions interpreted in a modern and timeless context. All Katamama suites feature custom-made artisanal furnishings and timeless mid-century pieces. The décor combines understated elegance and contemporary design and features original artworks throughout. All suites overlook the exterior gardens while the rooftop suites have their own interior staircase leading up to a private and spacious rooftop garden with views of the Indian Ocean. The attention to detail and craftsmanship accompanies the hotel’s five star service delivered in a personalised and warm style by a family of individuals passionate about their craft.
- Hotel website: Katamama Bali
Four Seasons Hotel Bogota is the brand’s second opening in the city, joining the historic and now beautifully refurbished Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogota. Inspired by the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, Rottet Studio created a design aesthetic for Four Seasons Hotel Bogota combining pattern, texture, colour and craftsmanship that is epitomised in the bright new lobby. An oasis of quiet glamour awaits guests who stay in one of 64 rooms and suites, with custom-made beds framed by dark leather headboards and panelling, and pale floors of locally-sourced hardwood. Throughout the Hotel, nearly all materials are Colombian, with furnishings, finishes and artwork all handcrafted by the country’s artisans and artists.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Hotel Bogota
- Tip: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, early check-in and late check-out).
The 436 room Grand Hyatt Rio De Janeiro combines the brand’s effortless luxury experience with a Brazilian design and hospitality in an urban resort setting. Guests can enjoy its prime beachfront location in the exclusive Barra da Tijuca neighborhood and access to world-class shopping, dining, cultural and outdoor activities. The hotel is meticulously designed to exemplify the Grand Hyatt brand’s signature level of grandeur with an abundance of options for creating spectacular experiences. Every aspect of the hotel, from simple delights to elaborate gatherings, embodies the brand mantra of Living Grand, an expression of the ways in which Grand Hyatt hotels deliver extraordinary experiences and infuse care into every encounter.
- Hotel website: Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro
- Tip: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD resort credit, early check-in and late check-out).
Explora Valle Sagrado is located on an old corn plantation established in one of the most remote farms of the valley. It is sheltered and surrounded by mighty mountains that were once the home to the great Inca Empire. The 50 rooms are designed for maximum silence and privacy to ensure a deep rest after a long day of exploration. All rooms have views to the corn plantations and mountains surrounding the valley. In order to withdraw from everyday life, rooms are not equipped with Wi-Fi, television or minibars. The hotel offers guests over 20 exploration activities, either on foot or by bicycle. Guides will take travelers to experience the area’s unique geography and Andean culture in all it richness.
- Hotel website: Explora Valle Sagrado
Nestled on six oceanfront acres on Anguilla’s tranquil Shoal Bay East, Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa blends a contemporary luxury with experiences anchored in the rich island tradition. From nourishing treatments within an ancient Thai house to small-batch rums enjoyed within the elegant Rhum Room, guests are transported by experiences that awaken and engage their senses. Elegant seaside retreats, the collection of guest rooms and suites pair contemporary luxuries like wireless Bluetooth sound systems and motion-sensing climate control with the timeless appeal of sun, sand and warm sea breezes. The hotel’s cuisine marries the island’s abundance of fresh-off-the-boat seafood with an array of imported delicacies, local herbs and seasonal produce.
- Hotel website: Zemi Beach House
Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya is an upscale locale on the Caribbean beachfront just north of Playa del Carmen. Located in the Mayakoba Resort complex, the resort is surrounded by tranquil lagoons and lush vegetation with nature trails winding throughout. The guestrooms and suites are naturally inspired with breezy, open layouts flooded with natural light and featuring refined artisan décor. Local artworks adorn the walls, and decorative tiles outfit the floors. Each room has a balcony or terrace with tropical views of the resort gardens and mangroves, the crystal clear lagoon, or the Caribbean Sea. The resort features three outdoor pools, including a lap pool, and four on-site restaurants offering eclectic flavors.
- Hotel website: Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya
- Tip: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $120 USD resort credit, farewell gift local to the region, early check-in and late check-out).
Perched on the ocean in the heart of one of Mexico’s most gorgeous beaches, the new W Punta de Mita invites you to immerse yourself in a truly remarkable hotel experience. The resort pays homage to the area’s profound cultural history, with colonial grandeur blending seamlessly with the extraordinary artistry of the indigenous Huichol peoples. These elements exist in harmony with a very modern sensibility that extends throughout the resort, setting the stage for an unforgettable visit. All of the 119, light-filled rooms and suites feature modern amenities and captivating Huichol accents – not to mention breathtaking views. Guests can gaze on a lounge chair at WET Pool as they enjoy a cool ceviche, indulge in some “me time” at Away Spa, or celebrate the sensuality of South Asian cuisine at Spice Market, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s imaginative restaurant concept.
- Hotel website: W Punta de Mita
W Hotels opened the the brand’s first hotel in the Emirate, the W Dubai – Al Habtoor City. Owned by the Al Habtoor Group, the design-led lifestyle brand is set to shake up the destination with its rooftop W Lounge, pulsating WET pool deck and innovative fashion and music happenings. Set within the ambitious Al Habtoor City project, the Emirate’s first fully-integrated urban resort, the hotel rises 33 stories above the vibrant Sheikh Zayed Road, overlooking the newly built Dubai Water Canal with views of dramatic sunsets over the Arabian Gulf. Upon arrival, guests are whisked up 30 floors to the W Lounge (the W brand’s reinterpretation of the staid hotel lobby) where a jaw-dropping, panoramic view of the shimmering city awaits.
- Hotel website: W Dubai Al Habtoor City
Jumeirah Al Naseem brings a contemporary architectural twist to its sister properties within Madinat Jumeirah and marks the completion of Jumeirah Group’s transformation of 2 km (1,2 mil) of Dubai’s coastline into a major tourist destination. The interior decor of the 430 rooms is inspired by sea breeze, sand dunes, Dubai’s pearl diving heritage and Bedouin traditions. The balconies and extended terraces offer spectacular views of the sea, the resort’s landscaped gardens and swimming pools, and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The hotel is located so close to the water that the sounds of the sea reach guest rooms, open terraces and the 7 outdoor restaurants. The hotel is the first to feature an outdoor lagoon for rehabilitating critically endangered sea turtles.
- Hotel website: Jumeirah Al Naseem
Located in the prestigious Dubai International Finance Centre, the new Four Seasons Hotel DIFC is a boutique-style sanctuary – ideal for business trips and urban getaways. Stylish and filled with art, this intimate address features just 106 accommodations, including 28 suites. The spa, fitness centre and rooftop pool help you stay at the top of your game, while four options for dining and drinks are convenient for casual meetings. This walkable urban enclave – home to some of the city’s hottest restaurants and galleries – is just five minutes from the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons DIFC
The futuristic waterfront community of Al Maryah Island is home to the 34-storey Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, which combines innovative design and legendary personalised care. From the soaring, light-filled lobby to the 190 spacious guest rooms and suites, this sleek urban sanctuary celebrates expansive views of the bay. Guests are able to entertain in the five restaurants and lounges, relax in the full-service spa, and then refresh in the podium-level pool with a panorama of Abu Dhabi’s ever-changing skyline.
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Abu Dhabi
A rare jewel in the rocky contours of the vast Saiq Plateau on Oman’s fabled Green Mountain, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is magnificently perched on the curving rim of a great canyon, making it the highest five star resort in the Middle East and the second highest in the world. Rooms and villas of luxurious authenticity immerse guests in the splendours of Omani culture inside and draw the eye outside to admire canyon, cliff or garden views. A striking infinity pool with a belvedere sets the scene for relaxation. Anantara Spa harnesses the essence of Arabia with ancient hammam rituals and unique massage experiences.
- Hotel website: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
- Accolades: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar features in my top 10 list of Oman’s most exclusive hotels.
Superbly situated between a beach and natural lagoon on the south coast of Dhofar in Salalah, Oman, Anantara Salalah Resort is just a 15 minute drive from the airport. Opulently designed to reflect Dhofar’s rich heritage, the striking Middle Eastern design is inspired by the region’s iconic coastal fortresses. Luxury accommodations comprise 40 rooms and studios, 8 one bedroom villas and 88 one, two and three bedroom pool villas. Guests are able to relax at the exotic pool, enjoy a beautiful beach and indulge in Anantara Spa’s luxurious treatments, hammam rituals and male and female wet facilities.
- Hotel website: Anantara Salalah Resort
- Accolades: Anantara Salalah features in my top 10 list of Oman’s most exclusive hotels.
Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort Beirut, where luxury unfolds in the heart of a historic city, is a mesmerizing and iconic city resort with a vast array of leisure and business facilities meeting all the needs of the frequent traveler. Facilities include 153 modern and warmly decorated rooms and suites embracing a Mediterranean flair, a labyrinth of pools, including the Summerland “Cascade Waterfall”, private sandy beach, tennis court, water sports facilities, exquisite gardens, glamorous ballroom to host the city’s most prestigious events and a choice of restaurants and bars each creating a unique culinary journey.
- Hotel website: Kempinski Summerland Hotel & Resort Beirut
- Hotel website: Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
An architectural gem, hailed for its iconic nine-story atrium and pyramidal skylight, The Beekman unites some of the world’s greatest talent, including the sophisticated design of Martin Brudnizki and the culinary cachet of restaurateur and chef Tom Colicchio. The hotel occupies a landmark Queen Anne building from 1881, the height of New York’s early Gilded Age. The 287 high-ceilinged guest rooms, which ring that soaring atrium, kept their original style moldings and understated period chandeliers. They’re furnished with a mix of the classic (antique and custom furnishings Located within the center of Lower Manhattan’s thriving New Downtown, and nestled between both the East and Hudson Rivers, The Beekman is surrounded by some of Manhattan’s most cherished attractions, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the World Trade Center, South Street Seaport and City Hall.
- Hotel website: The Beekman, a Thomspon Hotel
Fifty years ago, Williamsburg was a neighborhood of industry. Today it’s a bustling community full of creatives, dreamers, and doers meeting for a drink and making things happen. Located on Wythe Avenue and North 10th Street, the eight storey Williamsburg Hotel stands at the nexus of history and history in the making. Designed by London-based design firm Michaelis Boyd Studio, the double-height ceilings, natural finishes and eclectic style invite you to stay awhile. The 150 rooms come in five room types and are encased in brick, glass, and Corten steel. Most of them enjoy epic window views of Manhattan or Brooklyn and a private balcony. All furnishings are custom designed by Michaelis Boyd Studio. Bathrooms feature classic marble and brass by Waterworks, plus pocket-worthy toiletries by Apotheke, handmade in the heart of Brooklyn.
- Hotel website: The Williamsburg Hotel
Another hotel addition to the Williamsburg neighbourhood occupies an eye-catching, 22-storey building conceived by architecture firm Albo Liberis. Studio Munge decorated the 183 good-looking rooms, which offer floor-to-ceiling windows, open-air balconies and jazzy trimmings. There’s a lengthy pool (with 60 ft or 18 m, the longest hotel pool in New York City), an elevated urban garden, cultural happenings and an excellent restaurant by acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini. The hotel’s wide range of spaces sets the stage for its calendar of cultural programs, which are open to both hotel guests and locals. With this sophisticated aerie as your base, you may never cross the bridge to Manhattan.
- Hotel website: The William Vale
Restored beyond its original grandeur, Washington’s Old Post Office has been transformed into the newest addition to the rapidly growing, Trump Hotels. The Trump International Hotel, Washington, D.C. features 263 richly furnished guest rooms and suites, among the largest luxury rooms in Washington, D.C., with lofty ceilings, soaring windows, beautifully restored historic millwork, and glittering crystal sconces and chandeliers. The three extraordinary Presidential Suites at 2500, 3500 and 6300 square are among the largest in the USA. The 6300 square foot suite facing Pennsylvania Avenue is the largest in the city. The hotel is on Pennsylvania Avenue, just a short walk from the White House.
- Hotel website: Trump Hotel Washington DC, USA
- Tip: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check-in and late check-out).
W Hotels, now part of Marriott, made its much anticipated Sin City debut with the opening of W Las Vegas. W transformed a 289-room tower of SLS Las Vegas, providing guests an elevated hotel-within-a-hotel experience, located on the emerging North End of the Vegas Strip. Bold and energetic, the hotel’s 289 rooms were designed by Philippe Starck in collaboration with Gensler, and offer an exclusive escape from the chaos of Sin City. Each room features a cheeky interpretation of luxury hospitality that Starck is known for, as well as the signature W bedding and sumptuous Bliss bath amenities. The rooftop WET Deck is an elite oasis for guests, providing an intimate escape to see and be seen in a private cabana or at the destination bar. Maximizing its North Strip location, the WET Deck offers panoramic views of the Stratosphere and desert mountains, all from its discrete rooftop perch.
- Hotel website: W Las Vegas
Ace Hotels, the uber-cool brand best known for their lobby hangouts, put its New Orleans property in a 1920s Art Deco buildi on the corner of Carondelet and Lafayette streets in the Warehouse District, close to up-and-coming art galleries, shopping, museums, and the French Quarter. It’s also a stone’s throw to many of New Orleans’ best gems like the Sports and Arts Districts, and just a bike ride to the lively Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods, as well as mystical nooks and corners you can explore on your own. The Ace Hotel New Orleans has 234 rooms, a bar, and a rooftop swimming poo with views of Lafayette Square.
- Hotel website: Ace Hotel New Orleans