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January 12, 2018updated Jan 08, 2019

The Most Anticipated Luxury Hotel Openings of 2018

By Lauren Jade Hill

With rainforest lodges, exclusive island retreats and ambitious urban renovations on the cards, the coming year promises to deliver a whole host of exciting new beginnings in luxury travel. We take a look at the most anticipated luxury hotel openings of 2018.

Awasi Iguazu

January 2018

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Following on from its architecturally impressive properties in Patagonia and the Atacama, Awasi is launching its third ambitious lodge, Awasi Iguazu. Taking inspiration from the rainforest it’s surrounded by, the new lodge mimics the shapes of leaves and roots in its design, with just 14 standalone villas tucked into the foliage. Made from wood and stone, each villa is then built on stilts for minimal environmental impact with contemporary interiors offering spacious living areas and jungle views. The 13 Jungle Villas come with private pools, while the one and only Master Villa comprises two bedrooms, a larger living space and plunge pool. The stilted open-sided communal areas, meanwhile, provide an atmospheric setting for dining on seasonal, locally inspired cuisine. From the lodge, set out on excursions to Iguazu Falls, trek through the wildlife-rich rainforest and meet the local Guarani tribes. As each room comes with a 4WD and private guide, guests have the freedom to explore anywhere they want to at their own pace.

Amanyangyun, Shanghai

January 2018

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The fourth Aman property in China, Amanyangyun lies just outside Shanghai within camphor forest that’s stood for more than 1,000 years. What’s most remarkable though is that this ancient woodland and the resort’s historic villas were transported more than 700 kilometers through a 15-year conservation initiative set up when a reservoir took over their original site in the Fuzhou province. The ambitious transformation of the historic village was then led by Kerry Hill Architects—the design firm behind a number of Aman properties including Aman Tokyo—fusing contemporary design with the buildings’ 400-year heritage, with stone carvings and inscriptions featuring alongside stylish furnishings, Jacuzzis and private pools. The heart of the village now acts as a cultural complex where you can try out traditional crafts, while the 30,570 sq ft spa featuring treatment rooms, spa suites, a sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and two swimming pools is positioned around a courtyard. All of this is complemented by the resort’s sophisticated restaurant and bar offering, which includes the lakeside Italian-inspired restaurant Arva where cooking classes are also hosted.

NoMad Los Angeles

January 2018

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NoMad’s flagship New York hotel has long been held in high regard, in particular for its restaurant serving the accomplished cuisine of chef Daniel Humm. It is therefore no surprise that such anticipation has surrounded the opening of NoMad Los Angeles, which has taken up residence in the 1920s neoclassical landmark Giannini Place. The new hotel balances the building’s heritage with contemporary design and California style, with the integration of exclusive features such as a rooftop pool. Chef Daniel Humm and NoMad New York’s restaurateur Will Guidara are also behind the new restaurant, taking inspiration from local ingredients and the culture and traditions of Los Angeles. Opening this month, you won’t have to wait long to see inside the new location.

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The Siren Hotel, Detroit

February 2018

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Housed in Detroit’s iconic Wurlitzer Building, The Siren Hotel has been renovated to encompass 106 rooms, two boutiques and seven restaurants and bars, with a rooftop commanding panoramic views over the city. A mural by the celebrated British artist Quentin Jones will further distinguish the building’s facade. The collection of restaurants and bars are set to include the eight-seat tasting counter ‘Albena’ by James Beard award nominee Garrett Lipar, the lobby’s cocktail venue ‘Candy Bar’ and a cafe by Populace Coffee. Sebastian Jackson of the Social Grooming Company will open a barber shop, and Pot & Box is set to open a flower shop. Named after the Greek mythological sirens, the hotel’s name acts as a metaphor for calling people back to the city.

COMO Uma Canggu, Bali

February 2018

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An enthralling addition to the COMO Hotels and Resorts portfolio, COMO Uma Canggu in Bali—the hotel brand’s third hotel on the island—overlooks the ocean from Bali’s southern coast, encompassing 2.2 acres of land and a six-mile stretch of beach. Positioned between rolling waves and rice paddies, the resort provides a tranquil retreat from nearby hub Seminyak. Remaining true to the brand, the emphasis here is on wellness and healthy living. At COMO Shambhala Retreat, guests will be able to indulge in Asian-inspired therapies and take part in yoga and pilates classes, with COMO Shambhala healthy cuisine offered alongside the restaurant’s charcoal grilled locally sourced produce. Then, drawing on its location on what is thought to be one of Bali’s best surf beaches, the resort is taking on a luxury surfing concept in partnership with Tropicsurf. The resort’s suites, residences and duplex penthouses with rooftop pools all combine the Asian and Italian design accents of the development’s interior designers, Koichiro Ikebuchi and Paola Navone.

Rosewood Luang Prabang

Early 2018

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This new Rosewood property has a particularly captivating setting, tucked into the lush forest outside Luang Prabang, with a river running through the heart of it. The hotel’s interiors draw inspiration from Luang Prabang’s French-Lao architecture, with accommodation ranging from specialty suites, riverside villas and waterfall pool villas to hilltop tented villas, which promise to make a stay here feel as adventurous as it is luxurious. Dine on Laotian inspired farm-to-table specialties at the Great House, try cocktails with local herbs and spices at Elephant Bridge Bar and retreat to ‘Sense, A Rosewood Spa’ for Lao therapies in the mountain-view Spa Tents. An oval-shaped pool lies at the center of the resort next to the cascades of a natural waterfall.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island

March 2018

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One of the Seychelles outer islands, Desroches seems a world away from the bustle of everyday life, with a pristine environment of thick forest and palm tree lined shores lapped by turquoise waters. The island’s isolation makes it feel particularly special, and when this Four Seasons resort opens in March, it will be the only one here, with a discovery center and tortoise sanctuary providing insight into the island’s natural environment and conservation. From here, you can cycle to the island’s only village community, set out on a castaway picnic, hike through rainforest and swim from the resort’s picture-perfect white sand shores. On returning to the hotel, you can then unwind at the spa, savor sunset cocktails at the bar and dine on fresh seafood at the Lighthouse restaurant. Each beach suite, villa, bungalow and residence has direct access to the beach, as well as a tropical garden and private plunge pool.

Nobu Hotel Marbella

March 2018

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One of Europe’s hottest openings in 2018 is the ultra-stylish Nobu Hotel Marbella. Positioned on Marbella’s Golden Mile, the hotel promises to deliver a buzzy vibe and VIP access to the Spanish coastal town’s most exclusive nightlife venues and private member clubs. The emphasis here is on the gastronomic offering of chef Nobu Matsuhisa along with the hotel’s five-star hospitality. Spend each day sunbathing by the Nobu pool, indulging in an in-room spa treatment or retreating to the hotel’s Six Senses Spa. In addition to the spa’s hydrotherapy and cold plunge pools, herbal steam room, sauna and hammam, the hotel has 10 tennis courts and a poolside health bar.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans

March 2018

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In recent years India’s isolated Andaman Islands have been named an emerging luxury travel destination, while also remaining remarkably under-the-radar. The latest hotel addition to the archipelago is the soon-to-open Taj Exotica Resort & Spa on the crescent-shaped Radnanagar Beach of Havelock Island. Taking inspiration from the homes of the indigenous Jawara people, the resort’s 75 beach villas reflect the destination they’re in through their distinct design. Backed by jungle, these villas sit on the beachfront overlooking turquoise water where coral reef teems with marine life, enabling you to swim with manta rays, reef sharks, loggerhead turtles and a myriad of tropical fish. The resort is also home to Jiva Spa and three restaurants that showcase local produce in Southeast Asian, Tamil, Keralan and Bengali dishes. As well as being held in high regard for its dive sites, Havelock Island abounds with opportunities for cultural exploration and to try out outdoor pursuits such as kayaking through the mangroves.

Six Senses Fiji

March 2018

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Positioned on a secluded bay of Fiji’s forested Malolo Island in the Mamanuca Islands archipelago, this new Six Senses resort lies along 2,100 ft of private beach immersing guests in the island’s natural beauty. Following on from eco-resorts such as Six Senses Zil Pasyon, the resort brand has placed sustainability at the heart of this development through management of water, energy, waste and the island’s biodiversity, while powering the resort entirely through solar power. Projects here include reforestation and an initiative to grow coral and enhance the local marine environment. Here you can perform sun salutations on a treetop yoga platform, try surfing, sailing, diving and sea kayaking, and retreat to Six Senses Spa in the resort’s wellness village where personalised programs are created for each individual. The restaurants, bars, gourmet food market and a walk-in cellar are all set within the tropical landscape.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland

April 2018

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The Unesco Global Geopark’s Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular places to visit with its mineral-rich geothermal waters where visitors can indulge in in-water spa treatments in the open air. Following an extension of the spa facilities here, this year will see the launch of The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland encompassing a subterranean spa, geothermal lagoon, restaurant serving modern Icelandic cuisine and 62 luxury suites encircled by the lagoon’s mineral rich waters. Created by Basalt Architects with interiors by Design Group Italia, the design throughout the retreat aims to reflect the shapes, colors and patterns of the surrounding land, with lava in its various forms used in the structure. To fully benefit from the the elements of the lagoon’s geothermal seawater, try the new spa’s Blue Lagoon Ritual.

Rosewood Baha Mar

Spring 2018

This bright and breezy resort on Nassau aims to combine the island’s British colonial-style architecture with Bahamian spirit, paying homage to the Bahamas’ past while offering modern hospitality. Positioned alongside the white sand shores of Cable Beach, the new resort will soon be home to a series of contemporary suites and beachfront villas featuring Bahamian art and décor. The resort’s collection of eating and drinking venues will include an al fresco poolside grill serving seafood, grilled dishes and cocktails, and a farm-to-table restaurant with adjoining Rum Room for private island-style dinners. Guests can relax by the resort’s swimming pool and in its poolside cabanas, retreat to ‘Sense, A Rosewood Spa’ for island-inspired treatments, and pay a visit to the nearby islet Long Cay.

Lutetia, Paris

Spring 2018

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Scheduled to open in spring, Lutetia will be the latest addition to The Set hotel group, which follows its other ambitious restorations with the transformation of this historic hotel in Paris’s St Germain-des-Pres area. Over four years, this restoration and refurbishment led by renowned architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte has sensitively combined the building’s original Art Deco and Art Nouveau features with modern design sensibilities, reducing the former hotel’s number of rooms to accommodate more expansive suites. The opening of the hotel will unveil a jazz bar, the Salon Saint-Germain, an orangerie and a lounge and open-air court. And in keeping with the landmark’s history, the renowned Lutetia Brasserie will also reopen, under the expertise of three-Michelin-starred chef Gérald Passedat. The Akasha Holistic Wellness Centre will be an entirely new concept though, with a sauna, steam room, plunge pool, infinity-edge Jacuzzi and swimming pool, in addition to its six treatment rooms.

Baglioni Resort Maldives

July 2018

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The distinctly Italian hotel brand Baglioni has announce the summer launch of its first foray outside Europe, Baglioni Resort Maldives on Maagau island of the Dhaalu Atoll. The 96-villa resort has been built with sustainability in mind, designed for minimal environmental impact. Owing to its Maldivian setting, the resort places much of the focus on water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling and diving, while also ensuring complete relaxation with a swimming pool and yoga pavilion, plus the Ayurvedic and Thai therapies that are offered at Baglioni Spa. Particular attention is paid here to enriching and detoxifying treatments that purify and repair skin from sun and sea damage. All of this is topped off by the irresistible gastronomy Baglioni Resorts take pride in.

Six Senses Bhutan

August 2018

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Among Six Senses’ 2018 openings is a collection of lodges in Bhutan. Located in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro, the lodges will provide luxury travelers with a place to stay as they travel around the country’s most captivating towns and areas of natural beauty. Three of these are set to open in August, with the two remaining lodges scheduled to launch towards the end of the year. While other luxury hotel brands have taken on this concept in recent years, Six Senses differentiates its Bhutan properties by giving each one a specific theme, beginning in the capital Thimphu where the focus is on culture. Taking in Bhutan’s dramatic Himalayan scenery, rich heritage and unique culture, this is a journey that’s made even more extraordinary by the luxury of each Six Senses property.

Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito, California

Summer 2018

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When it opens this summer, Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito will become the only luxury resort with a private beach in Southern California and the only five-star resort here with suites positioned right on the beach. Here you’ll be able to step straight from your room onto the sand, rise early for beach yoga and take sunset strolls along the shore. Built on the site of the former Miramar by the Sea Hotel, which closed more than 17 years ago, this new Rosewood property will once again draw luxury travelers to this coastal retreat in Santa Barbara. Highlights of the new resort include an Oceanside bar and restaurant with outdoor terrace, signature restaurant, two swimming pools, Sense® spa, a screening room and an event space with Baccarat chandeliers as well as an exclusive membership-only beach club.

Rosewood Hong Kong

September 2018

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The latest addition to Hong Kong’s luxury hotel scene is this new Rosewood property in the city’s art and design district, Victoria Dockside on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Occupying 43 floors of the former New World Centre, the hotel will endeavor to capture the brand’s sense of place philosophy by reflecting the city’s history, culture and sensibilities through its architecture, design and the experience provided. The hotel will be the setting for the first ever city-based holistic wellness concept Asaya, along with a fitness center, indoor swimming pool and as many as eight restaurants. For VIP treatment, head up to the Manor Club executive lounge where guests are given exclusive privileges.

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest

Late 2018

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When it opens towards the end of the year, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest will provide adventurous luxury travelers with a place to stay in the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range. Tucked into a forest of eucalyptus trees, the resort comes with breath-taking views over the Rwandan hills and the wilderness of Volcanoes National Park. It’s in this pristine wilderness that families of mountain gorillas reside, making Rwanda one of only three countries where this critically endangered animal can be seen in its natural habitat. Of the estimated 780 mountain gorillas in existence, around one third are said to be here, with their conservation funded by the limited number of gorilla trekking permits allowed each year. A stay at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest can also include a discovery of the Rwanda’s golden monkeys and a visit to Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Camp.


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