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December 20, 2018

Luxury Travel Intelligence Identifies 2018’s Best New Hotels

By Lauren Jade Hill

A members-only organisation aimed at high-net-worth individuals, Luxury Travel Intelligence specializes in providing honest and up-to-the-minute insight into hotels, restaurants, spas and nightlife around the world. Now, looking back on the past year, the members’ club has identified the best new hotels of 2018, giving you the inside track on this year’s global luxury hotel openings. “We thoroughly research every property, on our own dollar, as we are passionate about what we do – and bring truth to luxury travel,” Michael Crompton, the founder of LTI, explains. “Of the 42 new hotels that we visited this year, we discovered 15 exceptional properties.” Read on to see LTI’s pick of this year’s most exceptional new hotels, listed in reverse order.

15. Hotel Gloria de Sant Jaume, Mallorca

LTI: “A magnificent 16th-century mansion in the heart of Palma, this has been lovingly restored by passionate hoteliers, Heidi Wolf and Jordi Cabau. The cozy subterranean spa with its long pool is a particular plus point.”

14. Six Senses Fiji

LTI: “Six Senses has seen a very busy year, with the launch of several new and impressive properties. This Fiji resort though is the real standout for pure barefoot luxury. We are particularly impressed with the beachfront pool villas.”

13. Nobu Hotel Marbella

LTI: “This iconic brand may have taken a few wrong turns over the past few years, but we are excited about this Marbella property – a hotel within a hotel that reflects the true style and exclusivity of Nobu. It has a stylish maturity that has been lacking on occasion with some of the brand’s other properties.”

12. The Murray, Hong Kong

LTI: “It’s no secret that Hong Kong is filled with iconic luxury hotels, but the Murray has delivered something extra special to earn its place on the global scene. The Calcutta marble bathrooms are truly impressive, as are the four floors of suites and the five in-house dining venues.”

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11. Solaz Los Cabos, Mexico

LTI: “In an enviable location, right on the beach, this 128-room luxury resort is set in 34 acres. The five swimming pools and the impressive Thalasso therapy wellness spa contribute to earn Solaz a deserved place on this year’s Best list.”

10. Como Uma Canggu, Bali

LTI: “Como delivers yet another uber cool and relaxed Bali resort, this time in the quieter hipster area of Canggu. The three-bedroom duplex penthouses – each with its own rooftop swimming pool and large deck – are among the most impressive new suites we have seen anywhere in the world this year.”

9. Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, France

LTI: “LTI has been won over by the extra special location of the Royal Champagne, which has just 49 rooms, an excellent restaurant and an exceptional spa that overlooks the vines. It’s worth noting that the four corner rooms give panoramic views and extra privacy.”

8. Capella Ubud, Bali

LTI: “In demand hotel designer Bill Bensley has scored another home run with this 22-tented retreat. Each tent is accessed by its own mini suspension bridge, as well as its own salt-water pool and private deck. The décor is both intriguing and extraordinary.”

7. Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos

LTI: “All praise to the Rosewood for undertaking a passionate project with just 23 rooms – yet again linked to Bill Bensley. He has created spacious and individual spaces, including four deluxe rooms, four specialty suites, three riverside villas, six pool villas and six luxury tents.”

6. Chablé Maroma, Mexico

LTI: “The ultimate escapist resort, this is a dream property that comprises 70 private pool villas, a 17,000-sq-ft spa with eight treatment rooms, a beautiful beach and some world class dining options.”

5. Zuri Zanzibar

LTI: “This exciting and surprisingly affordable luxe resort set on a beautiful beach has 55 thatched roof villas, and second to none wellness facilities. It’s a real find.”

4. Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia

LTI: “Prolific hotel designer Bill Bensley features on our list yet again – this time with his very own property, Shinta Mani Wild. It’s a remote and radical new concept for a luxury camp experience, set in a wildlife reserve in the Cardamom Mountains.”

3. Amanyangyun, Shanghai

LTI: “This stunning, light-filled resort on the outskirts of Shanghai has the look of a centuries-old forested village, but in fact the ancient camphor trees and Ming and Qing dynasty buildings originally sat 400 miles away in Jiangxi province until they were relocated by Aman to escape destruction due to the construction of a new dam. The buildings have been reassembled, brick by ancient brick, to create peaceful, refined spaces.”

2. Joali Maldives

LTI: “The epitome of sustainable glamour, this ultra-luxe resort has been designed with families in mind. There are 70 elegant one- to four-bedroom villas and residences, four exceptional restaurants, a beach-side bar and a magnificent spa. And all the while, ever-present general manager Steven Philips makes sure every guest is taken care of.”

And the property LTI indentifies as Best New Luxury Hotel for 2018 is…

Kudadoo Private Island, Maldives

LTI: “Kudadoo is a truly special and intimate private island resort, with just 15 expansive overwater ocean residences. Everything is included, from fine dining to in, on and above the water adventures, as well as luxury spa treatments. And the real bonus? Sister property Hurwalhi is just as spectacular and is only a short boat hop away.”

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