It’s only January 2021 as we write these words, but we are already seeing signs that global travelers are itching to make up for the lost time. We have good news: our list of the Best Luxury Hotel Openings of 2021 is jampacked with high-end hotel debuts.
The travel industry took a huge hit last year, and the luxury hospitality niche was not spared. Surprisingly, a fair few hotels we listed in our Best Luxury Hotel Openings 2020 did open during the pandemic, even if many more had to put up the “Opening Postponed” signs on their trimmed lawns.
But let’s look to the future. And this year, a clear trend is emerging: everyone is banking on the intuition that travelers are looking forward to the restorative, wellness-focused getaways and secluded escapes, surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty. These themes are not new, and some of our favorite brands, such as Soneva or Six Senses, have been trailblazing with them for years. But this year, the spa escape has an extra appeal.
*Disclosure: We earn commissions for purchases made through links in this article.
1The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, Maldives
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In a remarkable “integrated development” project, the Fari Islands in the North Malé Atoll are home to three new luxury resorts — Patina, Capella, and Ritz-Carlton — all located a fifty-minute speedboat ride from the Male airport (or a ten-minute seaplane hop). The Ritz-Carlton on Fari Islands offers one hundred villas, ranging from one- to three-bedroom, and has two bars, and as many as six restaurants — one helmed by a Michelin–starred chef. Other facilities include Spa, dive center, kids club, tennis court, fitness center, and even a photography studio. Guests will benefit from a dedicated aris meehaa or personal butler, for every villa.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives is the third five-star property from the Marriott group in the country, the first two being St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort and W Maldives (both of which we stayed at and reviewed).
Website: The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands. Opening: May 2021.
Images © The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
2Six Senses Shaharut, Israel
This highly-anticipated new resort from one of our favorite resort brands is launching in a remote spot south of the Negev Desert, in Arava Valley, with 60 suites and pool villas and an expansive Six Senses Spa. The hotel design is inspired by and integrated into the site’s topography, with local stone and earthy color palettes used in construction. Among Shaharut’s facilities are a yoga studio and nail salon, and indoor and outdoor pools. There is an Israeli-Mediterranean restaurant, a poolside bar, and a tented Bedouin-style dining spot among the dining options. The activities included unforgettable desert experiences, such as dune trekking or camping-under-the-stars, with an overnight sleep.
Website: Six Senses Shaharut. Opening: March 2021. Photo © Six Senses
3Aman New York, New York, USA
Located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, the 83-room hotel features two restaurants, Wine Library, an underground Jazz Bar, and a Garden Terrace overlooking Central Park. The trademark Aman Spa is spread on three floors and includes a 25-meter swimming pool. All rooms of the hotel have working fireplaces, and many will enjoy views of the Park. Finally, The hotel offers twenty-two private Aman Residences, and a single five-floor penthouse, on top of the building (it is literally its gilded ‘crown’). Delayed from last year just like many other hotels, it is still our most anticipated opening in NY.
Website: Aman New York. Opening: late Spring 2021. Images © Aman Group
4Four Seasons Resort and Residences Caye Chapel, Belize
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Four Seasons Resort and Residences and Four Seasons Private Estates form a unique development on a private island — home to the first resort from Four Seasons in the country. The 280-acre private island is neighboring Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Belize’s largest marine sanctuary. Besides guest accommodation (100 rooms and suites, 35 residences, 50 private estates), the resort facilities include an 18-hole golf course and a conservation institute founded by the explorer Fabien Cousteau. There is also a private airfield and heliport for arrivals in style, though a 30-minute luxury boat ride from the mainland sounds just about perfect to us, too. The resort offers off-island adventures, including visits to Mayan ruins in the mainland jungle and open water excursions to the famous Great Blue Hole.
Website: Four Seasons Resort and Residences Caye Chapel.
Opening: 2021/2022. Image © Four Seasons Hotels
5One&Only Kea Island, Greece
“Hellenic in style, contemporary in spirit, the resort will showcase authentic cuisine, blissful wellness, inspiring local adventures, and matchless relaxation under the Greek sun.” — One&Only
Offering spectacular sea views and a sandy beach, One&Only Kéa Island Resort is spread across more than sixty hectares of the sheltered western coastline of Kéa, the closest Cycladic island to Athens. It is the second One&Only in Europe, and it is designed as an idyllic beachfront resort. The property is made up of seventy-five resort villas and a limited number of exclusive private homes, available for purchase as an exciting investment opportunity. There are two bars and three restaurants, designed around distinct culinary concepts. The Spa is set to provide natural healing and indulgent pampering, with an expertly balanced menu of modern treatments and holistic therapies. The fitness hub features indoor and outdoor spaces.
Website: One&Only Kea Island. Opening: 2021/2022. Images © One&Only Resorts
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6W Rome, Rome, Italy
Italy seems like a perfect destination for the elegant but bold brand known as W, so it is almost surprising that it is only its first hotel in the country. Taking over two converted 19th-century properties, the hotel has a Rome address in the coveted area close to the Spanish Steps and shops on Via Condotti. Initially intended for residential use, the renovated buildings have been injected with strong brand themes while retaining their heritage architecture. W Rome concentrated on creating socializing spaces, such as the rooftop bar with views of Rome, an outdoor gym area, and W Living Room, a lobby that connects the two buildings. The hotel has 159 guestrooms and suites, restaurants (helmed by a Michelin-starred chef), event space, and a spa.
Website: Not yet available. Opening: 2021. Image © Marriott International
7Capella Maldives, Maldives
“Capella Maldives finds synergy between authentic island life and the contemporary elements that make up the perfect escape […].” — Capella Maldives
Another development in the Fari Islands’ multiple-resort project is Capella Maldives, offering fifty-seven beautiful villas and mansions, all featuring private pools. Its guests will enjoy the group’s trademark Auriga Spa and a rich food and beverage experience that includes an all-American steakhouse, a Japanese Omakase bar, and Keveli, a signature oceanfront restaurant offering immersive dining concepts.
Website: Capella Maldives. Opening: 2021. Images © Capella Hotel Group
8The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza, Japan
The highly competitive EDITION Hotels brand is on a spending spree. As many as seven new properties are coming online this year (and we mention a few on this list). Tokyo hotel in Ginza is among them, and it is the second opening from the EDITION in Japan (following the Toranomon hotel). This time, the hotel opens in one of the largest shopping and entertainment destinations in the metropolis, with a Chuo Street address. The purpose-built property offers 78 guestrooms and suites, a meeting studio and fitness center, and food and beverage venues, among them an excellent rooftop bar.
Website: The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza. Opening: Fall 2021.
Image © Marriott International
9Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, Maldives
“Patina Maldives embraces our natural conflicts: desire for peace and party, for nature and design, technology and rusticity, self-indulgence and deep reflections”.
— Marcio Kogan, Studio MK27
The new development on the Fari Islands in the Maldives generates a lot of buzz this year, with three luxury resorts here being built and launched at the same time. Alongside the Ritz Carlton and Capella, the third one is Patina. As a sister brand of Capella, it makes sense to be its neighbor, and it shares access to the Fari Marina Village, the destination for shopping with a beach club.
Designed by the celebrated architect Marcio Kogan, the resort offers twenty studios and ninety villas that exude warm, rustic simplicity. Studios are situated at the Village’s edge, while villas are designed for serenity and privacy and are placed to face sunrises or sunsets. Restaurants at Patina are focused on health and ethical dining, with vegan menus. Guests will benefit from outdoor pools, Spa, and events such as movie nights, at the open-air cinema.
Website: Patina Maldives. Opening: Q2 2021.
Images (including the leading image at the top of the article) © Capella Hotel Group
10Alila Dalit Bay Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
Malaysian Borneo is a fascinating tropical destination, relatively untouched by tourism. But now, Alila Hotels and Resorts is putting it on the map for discerning travelers. Located on the island’s northern coast, Alila Dalit Bay Sabah promises a white-sand beach setting and eco-friendly approach without sacrificing modern luxuries and comforts. The resort launches with 152 suites and bedrooms, multiple dining outlets, and swimming pools. There is also an outdoor wedding chapel, while 74 villas are set aside for private ownership.
Website: Alila Hotels. Opening: 2021. Image © Alila Hotels
11Six Senses Resort Papagayo, Costa Rica
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The breathtaking Papagayo Peninsula is home to the finest mixed-use luxury development in Costa Rica. Still, among its discreetly-situated residences and hotels, Six Senses Papagayo holds an elevated status. The hotel is spread on a unique site that stretches from a panoramic-view hill to a forested beachfront. Forty-one pool villas designed in the hallmark Six Senses style embraces ultra-luxury and sustainability. The resort’s architecture blends design and nature in a vision of the London-based architect John Heah, known for Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan and Amanera in the Dominican Republic. Every Six Senses resort’s unfailing highlight is a wellness and spa center, and the Papagayo property is no different. Its beautiful Spa is connected to a well-equipped fitness club, and the onsite organic farm with fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens provides natural ingredients for treatments.
Website: Six Senses Resort Papagayo. Opening: Late 2021
Images © Six Senses Resorts
12Artist Residence Bristol, United Kingdom
A listed former boot factory near Portland Square in Bristol has undergone a fundamental transformation to become a new five-star hotel, with style defined by creatively eclectic decisions. These include preserving many features of the original building, including structural beams, industrial sliding doors, and objects from the old factory. The design also features metal letters from the 1960s and 1930s street lights from France. The Artist Residence Bristol launches with 23 rooms (including two suites). The bathrooms are fitted with statement bathtubs, and bedrooms with headboards, adding a whiff of bohemian luxury. The hotel facilities include a bar, restaurant, cafe, garden, and an events space.
Website: Artist Residence Bristol. Opening: Early 2021. Photo © Artist Residence
13Banyan Tree AlUla Resort, Saudi Arabia
Accor’s first Banyan Tree resort in Saudi Arabia is located some 15 km from the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra (Al-Hijr Archaeological Site), featuring ancient ruins from the enigmatic Nabatean Kingdom. Referencing the heritage location and the desert landscape surrounding the Ashar valley, the Banyan Tree is designed by AW² studio as a tented property of eighty-two luxury villas, with a high-end Spa and a selection of gourmet dining venues.
One, two, and three-bedroom villas are set in a neutral palette of sandstone-colored hues. They channel the Banyan Tree philosophy of creating exclusive luxury escapes blending indoor and outdoor spaces. The resort grounds feature cozy outdoor fire pits, which become perfect places to stargaze, thanks to minimal light pollution.
Website: Banyan Tree Ashar AlUla Resort. Opening: Q2 2020.
Images © Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts
14Soho House Paris, France
Paris has no shortage of cool hotels — and this year, its luxury hospitality niche is as competitive as ever. Entering the scene is also the Soho House group, known for the concept of hotels attached to private clubs, targetting clientele of celebrities and high earners.
Situated in the red-light district of Pigalle, the Soho House Paris occupies a historic townhouse that was once the home of the French poet Jean Cocteau. The place offers a gym, club lounges, restaurants, a charming courtyard with a garden, a pool terrace, and even a private cinema. Its 35 guest rooms are all infused with individuality. The building’s facade recalls the historic early 20th Century architecture, while the Montmartre Boheme inspires the eclectic design. Low-level lighting and sophisticated textures add glamour and elegance to this luxury boutique hotel.
Website: Soho House Paris. Opening: Summer 2021. Image © Soho House
15Kalesma, Mykonos, Greece
The 25-suite Kalesma Mykonos is the first hotel on the island where every single room is equipped with a private swimming pool or plunge pool. Perched on a hill perched overlooking Ornos Bay and located a short walk from the beach, Kalesma is a charming hotel featuring an onsite restaurant and two luxury villas. The hotel is housed in a beautiful generations-old property. Created to resemble a typical Mykonos village, it has whitewashed walls and a neutral, earthy color palette. The modern style of the interiors was envisioned by K-Studio, known for the Casa Cook Chania hotel and the new Mykonos Airport.
Website: Kalesma Mykonos. Opening: June 2020. Images © Kalesma
16Six Senses Rome, Italy
“As stewards of such a cultural and historical site, we are responsible for celebrating its past and conserving its potential for future generations. […] It is a human project, which is why we are teaming up with the architects and designers who feel as passionate and excited as I do.”
— Neil Jacobs, CEO, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
Six Senses continues its push for urban resorts with its first Six Senses property in Italy. The 95-room hotel is housed in the Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini, a UNESCO-listed building that dates back to the 18th century, restored with interiors by award-winning designer Patricia Urquiola. With an emphasis on wellness, delicious food, community, and sustainable design, the Six Senses Rome features Six Senses Spa, a five-star restaurant, an outdoor courtyard garden, and a rooftop terrace offering expansive views of the city rooftops. The hotel is conveniently situated in the heart of the Eternal City; only a short walk away from the Fontana di Trevi, the Pantheon, and other sights.
Website: Six Senses Rome. Opening: Late 2021. Photo © Six Senses Resorts
17NoMad London, UK
Following the COVID-19 delay that prevented the NoMad London’s 2020 opening, the hotel is set to open in February 2021, as the fourth property from NoMad, after hotels in New York and Los Angeles. It is also the company’s first opening outside the United States. Reimagined as a hotel with space for private events, NoMad introduces its own blend of comfort and understated elegance to the heart of Covent Garden in London. With help from the New York-based interior design firm Roman and Williams, the hotel took over a listed building — previously The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station — embracing the history of the place as an integral part of its design DNA. For example, the 91 rooms and suites preserve and incorporate much of the original architecture into their design. The hotel also hosts a small museum with rotating exhibitions honoring the history of the Metropolitan Police Force.
Website: NoMad London. Opening: Spring 2021. Image © The Nomad Hotel
18Kisawa Sanctuary, Benguerra Island, Mozambique
“My mission for Kisawa is to create […] a place that inspires feelings of freedom and luxury born from nature, space, and true privacy. […] We have used design as a tool, not as a style, to ensure Kisawa is integrated both culturally and environmentally into Mozambique.”
— Nina Flohr, the founder
Kisawa Sanctuary faces dunes and a beach and is flanked by a large patch of wild forest on the tropical island of Benguerra, in Mozambique.
The hotel aims to set new standards in sustainable design and innovation. Its architects used a patented 3D sand-printing technology to build the resort, with sand and seawater mortar as the primary building materials. The design blend innovation with tradition in using local weaving, thatching, carpentry, and textile methods. This unique luxury resort features twelve bungalows (from one to three bedrooms) and one sprawling “Kisawa Residence.” Among the facilities are dining venues, a beach club, a large swimming pool, a library, and a Spa.
Website: Kisawa Sanctuary. Opening: Jan 31 2021. Images © Kisawa
19Patina Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Following the natural topography of the land carved by the Wos River, Patina Ubud’s buildings cascade down a slope, with a long infinity pool, 102 guestrooms, suites, and villas facing the river. The valley ensures panoramic views, while the mist rising from the rainforest in the morning invites you to discover the island’s natural beauty. The serene design of the Patina Ubud’s interiors and the expansive windows of guest rooms inspire tranquility and relaxation. The hotel benefits from an excellent location. Ubud town center with its enchanting temples and shrines, quaint shops, and countless restaurants is only a short walk away, through a private pathway.
Website: Patina Ubud. Opening: Summer 2021. Image © Capella Hotel Group
20Rosewood São Paulo, Brazil
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Set on the premises of a historic hospital constructed in 1904, this is the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ debut in South America. The development is heralded by some big names in architecture and design, including the award-winning architect Jean Nouvel, designer Philippe Starck, and artist Vik Muniz. All were commissioned to turn the 100-year-old building in the heart of the city’s Cidade Matarazzo into a luxurious city resort. Rosewood São Paulo comprises 151 rooms and 114 suites and features two restaurants, a bar and caviar lounge, two swimming pools, a large spa, and a fitness center, as well as extensive gardens.
Website: Rosewood São Paulo. Opening: Spring 2021.
Photo © Rosewood Hotels and Resorts
21The Chedi Kuda Villingili, Maldives
Only a thirty-minute speedboat ride separates The Chedi Kudavillingili from Malé’s Velana International Airport. The new resort from Chedi offers 99 villas, built using rough stone and tropical woods, and designed with the simplicity of clean lines to create a luxury feel. The resort features villas on the beach, over-water, and two-story houses. All villas are available as residences for sale. With extensive food & beverage facilities and the Chedi-branded level of service, the Kuda Villingili is shaped as an ultimate island destination.
Website: The Chedi Kuda Villingili. Opening: Late 2021. Images © GHM
22Costa Navarino, Greece
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Messinia is an up-and-coming area featuring hotels, private residences, and other facilities, including two new golf courses, situated a few kilometers inland in the southwest part of the Peloponnese peninsula. Meanwhile, right on the coast, opening are two new luxury hotels from Costa Navarino: Navarino Bay and Navarino Waterfront. The first one is a luxury hotel set on two kilometers of rugged waterfront, featuring 99 suites and pool villas. The resort’s earth-sheltered design splits it into two areas, with the main property containing 39 rooms, while 12 rooms and 48 villas are set within a curved hillside beneath the main building. The second hotel, Navarino Waterfront, is a larger establishment, with 174 guest rooms and suites and 26 bungalows. A traditional Greek port town inspired the Waterfront’s design, and its facilities include an Agora (a town square) with shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Website: Costa Navarino. Opening: 2020. Image © Costa Navarino
23The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City, Mexico
The Ritz-Carlton Mexico City is a significant milestone for Ritz-Carlton in the Caribbean and Latin America, as it represents the brand’s entry into the region’s most prominent city. Ritz-Carlton’s 153 rooms and private residences are spread across floors 36 to 47 of a striking, 58-floor high skyscraper. The resort offers a full range of facilities, including a Club Lounge, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and bar, as well as a spa, fitness center, and swimming pool. The hotel benefits from a prominent location in the heart of the city’s financial center, with beautiful views of Chapultepec Park.
Website: The Ritz-Carlton Mexico City. Opening: July 2021.
Image © The Ritz-Carlton
24Six Senses Ibiza, Spain
“We’re very excited to open our first resort, spa and residential project in Ibiza, a project that celebrates wellness, sustainability, and community spirit.”
— Neil Jacobs, CEO, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
The Six Senses Ibiza is located on a 25-acre (10-hectare) site on the northern tip of Ibiza’s Cala Xarraca Bay. It features pool suites, “beach cave” units, and townhouses (134 keys in total), as well as two extraordinary six-bedroom Mansions, many offering captivating sunset views. This new resort is designed around a holistic approach to nutrition, yoga, fitness, mindfulness, and education, with an innovative take on optimizing health through a Six Senses wellness philosophy. It includes the “spiritual learning center,” which creates and broadcasts content in a TED-like fashion. The kitchen comes with a social twist, thanks to the long communal dining tables, though private dining is available. The poolside bar offers organic snacks with accompanying cocktails. The signature Six Senses ice cream shop is based on a traditional street vendor’s cart.
Website: Six Senses Ibiza. Opening: 2021. Images © Six Senses
25The Rome EDITION, Rome, Italy
Another launch from the renowned EDITION chain this year is The Rome EDITION, its first hotel in Italy. It comes with 95 guest rooms and suites, including a Penthouse sporting a large terrace. Among the dring and beverage venues is a signature restaurant with outdoor dining space, Punch Room Bar, and a Rooftop Terrace (available for private bookings), which also benefits from a swimming pool. Among the amenities are a state-of-the-art gym and spa rooms offering a “couple’s massage” experience. The Rome EDITION has an excellent address just a short walk from Via Veneto and Bernini’s Tritone Fountain in Piazza Barberini. Many top sightseeing sites are within easy reach, including Spanish Steps and the Borghese Gardens and Gallery.
Website: The Rome EDITION. Opening: Late 2021. Image © Marriott International
26Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest
Following the takeover and re-launch of the celebrated North Island, Seychelles (the Luxury Collection’s first private island), the company turned to a very different location — in Hungary, the former communist republic. The Matild Palace is housed in a palatial neo-Baroque building near the Elisabeth Bridge. The hotel welcomes its guests to 130 rooms and suites and offers a good variety of dining options, among which both the Sky Bar and the heritage Matild Café will undoubtedly draw chic crowds in the city.
Website: Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest.
Opening: March 2021. Image © Marriott International
27One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro
One&Only Resorts—the brand behind the One&Only Reethi Rah (see our review!), and the wildlife lodge One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, in Rwanda — is expanding its portfolio with the first European resort. Portonovi is a spa resort with a yacht marina, situated in the picturesque Boka Bay in Montenegro. The location permits exploration of the Balkans’ dramatic coastline, while the nearby Riviera escape of Tivat and the medieval town of Kotor offer plenty of sightseeing. Set on the Adriatic Sea’s edge between the towering mountains and inky sea, the hotel features over 140 rooms, villas, and residences.
Website: One&Only Portonovi. Opening: March 2021.
Images © One&Only Resorts
28Zulal Wellness Resort, Qatar
This unique development in northern Qatar is the first “full-immersion wellness resort” in the Middle East. Its concept enfolds the narrative of journeys in search of an oasis and the philosophy of “purified water” as the life-giving substance. The resort’s specialty wellness therapies are inspired by medicinal ideas in traditional Arabic and Islamic texts. Zulal’s architecture references local heritage and building traditions, while landscaping includes shaded, walled gardens studded with ponds and water features. The whole project is divided into the Wellness Resort with 60 suites and villas for adult travelers, and Family Wellness Resort, with 120 rooms and suites.
Website: Zulal Wellness Resort. Opening: Q2 2021. Image © Zulal Wellness Resort
29Hotel Castello di Reschio, Umbria, Italy
The idea of staying at a hotel housed in a 10th-century castle is very appealing. The renovated Castello di Reschio in Umbria, surrounded by the classic landscape of rolling hills peppered by the tall Cypress trees, is home to a beautiful, 36-bedroom hotel with charming guest rooms decorated with vintage furniture and period objects housed in stone farmhouses. The Hotel Castello di Reschio facilities include a homemade-style restaurant, a private swimming pool, and a tennis court. The surrounding countryside will offer a lot of opportunities to explore, also on horseback.
Website: Hotel Castello di Reschio. Opening: April 2021.
Images © Castello di Reschio
30Raffles Udaipur, India
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We have great memories from our visit to Rajasthan and confirm that Udaipur’s reputation as one of India’s most romantic cities is well deserved. Embracing this historic city’s allure, The Raffles Udaipur is opening on a private island in the middle of Udai Sagar, one of Udaipur’s five lakes. The experience of the hotel is defined by a palatial design reflecting the heritage of the Mughal Empire. Raffles Udaipur offers 101 lake-facing rooms with private pools and features an extensive spa, a swimming pool, a rooftop restaurant, and the Raffles classics: the Long Bar and Writers Bar. The Raffles Udaipur is the brand’s debut in India, and it is likely to become one of the most prestigious hotels in the country.
Website: Raffles. Opening: Winter 2021. Image © Raffles Hotels & Resorts
31The Londoner, London, England
The Londoner is doing something interesting with the concept of a “boutique” hotel: trying to maintain the atmosphere, sensibility, and personalized look of a small and independent property, but on a much larger scale. They even gave this hotel concept a name: the Super Boutique. So, the eight-story Londoner hotel has as many as 350 guest rooms, including 15 suites and a tower penthouse — all with floor-to-ceiling windows for the maximum light (and views). A rooftop terrace features a Japanese lounge bar with a terrace and fire pit. But space is at a premium in London’s Leicester Square, and the hotel also has six floors below ground, making it one of the deepest public buildings in the world. Housed underground are several restaurants and concept eateries, bars, leisure facilities, and even two onsite cinemas. The Londoner hotel’s luxe aesthetic is the work of Yabu Pushelberg, a studio behind the Four Seasons Hotel in Downtown Manhattan.
Website: The Londoner. Opening: April 2021. Image © The Londoner
32Six Senses New York, USA
The Six Senses New York is set to be the chain’s most swanky urban resort yet, and is also the first genuinely five-star hotel in Manhattan’s West Side, with the address near the High Line and looking out to Hudson River. Located in two unique, twisted-shape skyscrapers, with 137 rooms spread on ten floors, the new Six Senses New York features two restaurants, a private member’s club, and our favorite Six Senses Spa, reflecting the brand’s approach to wellness. Guestrooms and suites are designed as contemporary penthouses, offering every modern convenience and luxury. Behind the design of the interiors is the celebrated Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier.
Website: Six Senses New York. Opening: Late 2021.
Images © Six Senses Resorts
33Airelles Château de Versailles, France
Airelles Collection, known for uber-luxe French properties such as La Bastide de Gordes, is opening a 14-room property in a coveted location on the grounds of the Château de Versailles. This opulent addition to the Airelles portfolio is set to offer an experience like no other, as it’s the only hotel residing within the palace boundaries, and its guests will benefit from exclusive access to the Château de Versailles — after hours. Housed in Pièce d’Eau des Suisses, a grand building dating from the late seventeenth century and overlooking the Orangerie, this luxurious new property has been transformed into a swanky hotel with 18th-century-style decor but 21st-century facilities. The hotel facilities include a wellness center with an indoor pool and an Alain Ducasse restaurant.
Website: Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle.
Opening: Early 2021. Image © Airelles Collection
34Habitas AlUla, Saudi Arabia
“We believe that luxury is something that cannot be bought or sold; rather, it is a feeling that exists in the experiences and memories we create with others. We call this luxury for the soul.” — Oliver Ripley, CEO, Habitas
We have long dreamed of seeing with our own eyes the incredible landscapes and ancient ruins of the AlUla Region in Saudi Arabia, with its stunning Al-Hijr Archeological Site. And now it’s an excellent time to visit, as some fascinating new resorts are launching in the area. Among them is Habitas AlUla, created by the brand we know from the enticing openings in Tulum and Namibia. This 100-room resort relies on solar panels and is built using eco-friendly methods by 3D-printing and shipping ready-made “rooms” (to be assembled onsite IKEA-style). The resort is consciously designed to blend with AlUla’s landscape and immerse its guests in the local culture, environment, and heritage.
Website: Habitas AlUla. Opening: January 2021. Images © Habitas
35Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey
“The project is slated to cater to a discerning clientele who enjoy this legendary city so rich in history and culture, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia”
— BoD statement, Astaș Holding A.Ş, and Yapi & Yapi
The new Mandarin Oriental is located in one of the most prestigious districts on Istanbul’s European side. Designed by a NY-based designer Adam Tihany, the hotel offers a range of luxuriously designed exclusive suites with expansive sea views. A world-famous spa brand, various dining facilities, an array of social and business events, a classically designed bar, and several opulent ballrooms make it one of the city’s most elite luxury hotels.
Website: Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus. Opening: Spring 2021.
Image © Mandarin Oriental
36Alila Hinu Bay, Salalah, Oman
Another delayed property is the Alila Hinu Bay resort, and we are very keen to discover how the minimalist design from Alila would fare in Salalah. We know already that the Hinu Bay property aims to fuse local architectural traditions with contemporary aesthetic sensibility. The resort is set to offer 120 private suites and 25 villas, alongside several dining venues, a diving center, and the excellent Alila Spa.
Website: Alila Hinu Bay. Opening: May 2021. Images © Alila Hotels
37The Hoxton Rome, Italy
Set up in Salario, a green neighborhood away from the city’s main tourist trails, the 192-room Hoxton Rome riffs off the classic mid-century Italian design, from the bright lobby space and the open kitchen to a coffee shop with a takeaway counter. This is the 10th hotel from the Hoxton brand and their sixth opening in Europe. True to its luxury credentials, the Hoxton Rome is infused with the elegant, signature design in all bedrooms, thanks to the collaboration between Ennismore Design Studio and Fettle Design.
Website: The Hoxton Rome. Opening: 2021. Image © Hoxton
38Habitat Mykonos All Suite Hotel, Mykonos, Greece
“Habitat Mykonos is a home away from home for those in the know, who seek an authentic, warm, and welcoming experience rather than just a hotel stay” — habitatmykonos.com
Defined by bohemian chic, understated furnishings, plush linens, and tactile materials, Habitat Mykonos All Suite Hotel is the most exciting opening on the island. Located near the Agios Stefanos village, this all-suite hotel blends simple, rustic details with contemporary comforts and modern amenities, inspiring a relaxed island experience thanks to the calming earth tones and whitewashed hues. There are 17 suites in five categories, with the unique Habitat Suite as the top choice. It features a private terrace with a large sunbed and a private swimming pool.
Website: Habitat Mykonos All Suite Hotel. Opening: April 2021.
Images © Habitat Mykonos
39Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Madrid, Spain
“For more than 100 years, The Ritz has been an icon in this vibrant city. This extensive restoration […] ensures the property retains its legendary status as one of the world’s great hotels. We intend to make the local community even more proud of this historic landmark.”
— James Riley, Group CEO, Mandarin Oriental
Since its opening in 1910, the original Ritz hotel was a Madrid landmark for decades, but the €99-million project to reinstate it to its former glory is set to surpass its predecessor. Reopening as the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, the luxurious makeover upgraded the hotel’s facilities and services while maintaining its unique Belle Époque-era character. The massive renovation brought back the original glass roof above the main lounge and raised the roof to include new, luxurious attic rooms. New additions also include the gigantic Royal Suite with views over the Prado museum, while the hotel’s main restaurant moved back to the terrace garden and a new bar. There is a new fitness center, an underground swimming pool, and a new range of spa experiences.
Website: Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Madrid. Opening: Summer 2021.
Photo © Mandarin Oriental
40Waldorf Astoria Bali, Bali, Indonesia
The Waldorf Astoria Bali is perched atop a cliff 40 meters above the sea, ensuring stunning sea views, and its facilities are spread over 32 acres. The hotel offers 96 luxurious villas, ranging from one to six bedrooms, and its guests benefit from a destination spa and two fine-dining restaurants. An outdoor sea-facing pool, a beach club, and access to a private beach round off the offering in this full-service tropical resort.
Website: Waldorf Astoria Bali. Opening: Late2021. Images © Waldorf Astoria
41Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, CA, United States
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A sensory feast of sophisticated style, atmosphere and design
Built from the ground up as a beachfront resort in North County, San Diego, Alila Marea is the second US opening from the Hyatt-owned luxury brand. The place channels the Southern California lifestyle with a unique take on barefoot luxury, embracing the shimmering Pacific coast’s atmosphere. The 130 rooms and suites’ design draws from the San Diego coastline’s unspoiled beauty in a palette of natural stone, warm woods, clean lines with pops of color. Modern amenities and personalized experiences ensure comfort and create a sense of carefree vacations. The resort facilities further enhance the experience, thanks to a fine dining restaurant with a menu of local and sustainably sourced ingredients and a large Spa with saunas and steam rooms. A wedding venue that includes an oceanfront cliff site is also available.
Website: Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas. Opening: January 2021.
Image © Alila Hotels
42Six Senses Fort Barwara, India
This highly ambitious project from Six Senses is centered around a careful restoration of a 14-century fort. The fort’s three palaces and two temples are brought back to their former glory, offering the lucky guests a chance to experience the life of Rajasthan royalty. Located some three hours by car from Jaipur, Six Senses turned the Barwara fort into a gorgeous luxury hotel with the 21st-Century standards of service. The modern facilities include two swimming pools, two restaurants, and the outpost of the celebrated Six Senses Spa.
Website: Six Senses Fort Barwara. Opening: late 2021. Images © Six Senses
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43Cheval Blanc Paris, France
Initially set to open in 2020, Cheval Blanc’s opening date in 2021 still has a “to be confirmed” status due to the impact of COVID-19. In any case, we are very much looking forward to the unveiling of the Cheval Blanc Paris in a coveted location next to Louvre. The hotel is housed in La Samaritaine, formerly a large department store filled with designer goods and chic boutiques. Now redesigned, the famous Art Deco building houses 36 rooms and 36 suites, together with a Spa, a swimming pool, and a restaurant by a Michelin-starred chef. A garden rooftop terrace will undoubtedly be a popular spot.
Website: Cheval Blanc Paris. Opening: 2021. Image © Cheval Blanc
44Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, Mexico
“Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo [is] a tropical oasis set within a captivating landscape, tranquil beaches and rocky cliffs descending into the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to a magnificent 18-hole golf course”
— Pedro Verea Hernandez, CEO, Paralelo 19
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts partnered with Paralelo 19, a real estate developer based in Mexico City, to create a unique luxury resort on a private Pacific Ocean peninsula as part of a massive El Tamarindo development. It will take advantage of the elevation of up to 120 meters above sea level, ensuring breathtaking views from many spots in the hotel. Most of the hotel’s 155 rooms will boast panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the surrounding jungle, or the golf course. The dining and beverage venues include an ocean view bar and restaurant, beach bar and grill, and golf club restaurant. The resort’s facilities are completed by a full-service spa, three pools, a fitness center, and other sports facilities.
Website: Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, Mexico.
Opening: Late 2021. Images © Four Seasons Hotels Limited
45The Ritz-Carlton, Tamuda Bay, Morocco
Tamuda Bay on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco has established itself as a new destination for beach vacations in the country, if not in the Mediterranean basin. And no wonder — the infrastructure is good, the beaches are vast, and the city of Tangier is nearby. The Ritz Carlton spotted the opportunity, and this year they are unveiling a new property in the area. As a fully-serviced luxury beach resort, The Ritz-Carlton offers generously-sized guest rooms, a beach club, restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, and a range of other luxury amenities. The design fuses Moroccan traditions and contemporary aesthetics through a well-curated selection of furniture and sophisticated decor.
Website: The Ritz-Carlton Tamuda Bay. Opening: 2021.
Image © Marriott International
46Jack’s Camp, Botswana
Jack’s Camp has been setting the safari luxury standards in the Kalahari desert for many years and now is reopening following a complete refurbishment. With their famously beautiful interiors, the guest tents still pay homage to the classic 1940s safari style, but they have also been made double-in-size, compared to what they used to be. They also have new features and comforts, including new furniture, wood-burning stoves, and overhead cooling systems. The ensuite bathrooms have been equipped with indoor and outdoor showers, while each outdoor veranda is now fitted with a new private plunge pool. Other camp facilities are also new or refreshed. A sun deck enhanced the swimming pool pavilion, but the most significant addition is a brand new, dedicated spa tent. The camp now runs exclusively on Tesla solar power.
Website: Jack’s Camp. Opening: January 2021. Images © Natural Selection Safari
47Jumeirah Bali, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
We often reminisce on our trips to Bali — and always are looking for a good excuse to come back to the “island of gods.” This year’s opening from Jumeirah offers such an excuse. Situated on the southern tip of Jimbaran, the resort is made up of some 80 hotel suites and 25 villas, which are designed to utilize greenery and water, combining contemporary comfort with cultural heritage, in the refined Jumeirah style. Three dining outlets, a fitness center, and a clifftop wedding venue promise a fully realized beach vacation.
Website: Jumeirah Bali. Opening: 2021. Image © Jumeirah
48The Orient Express MahaNakhon, Bangkok, Thailand
“Orient Express redefined rail travel in the 1900s, introducing the first sleeper cars linking West to East and delivering unprecedented levels of comfort and dining. We look forward to bringing this same luxury and refinement to the new incarnation of Orient Express hotels”
— Michael Issenberg, CEO, Accor Hotels Asia-Pacific
Never mind the pandemic delays — the history of this hotel was already a bit complicated. Repeatedly delayed, it appeared on our previous lists, except then it was being planned as The Bangkok Edition hotel. But now Orient Express takes over. The hotel offers 154 rooms and 9 suites, and an entire floor dedicated to wellness, with the Orient Express Spa by Guerlain featuring an outdoor swimming pool. The property features two signature dining venues, and a rooftop dining area with a bar, on Level 76. The hotel’s Art Deco interiors are the creation of the interior designer Tristan Auer. The Orient Express MahaNakhon is housed in Bangkok’s tallest building, also known as the “Pixel Tower” (sporting Thailand’s highest observation deck, the Mahanakhon Skywalk).
Website: Not yet available. Opening: Summer 2021.
Image © ALL – Accor Live Limitless
49Six Senses Botanique, Brazil
Located 3940 feet (1200 meters) above sea level in the Mantiqueira Mountains, Six Senses Botanique is designed to stimulate a sense of the outdoors, with huge glass panels opening the interiors up to the expansive views of the forested surroundings. Brazilian design, culture, and cuisine are at the heart of the hotel experience, channeled through a program of rituals, workshops, and festivals aimed to seek harmony and reconnection with nature. The hotel library, cosmetics, food, and films in its in-house cinema are all locally inspired or sourced from Brazil. The Spa — always our favorite experience at any Six Senses resort — offers a “CO2 bath,” tropical rain, sauna, and other facilities for wholesome water therapies. The resort offers seven suites and 27 villas, as well as 37 residences available for purchase.
Website: Six Senses Botanique. Opening: 2021. Photo © Six Senses Resorts
50Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique
The Island of Ilha Caldeira is located about ten nautical miles away from Mozambique’s coast. It is part of a marine protected area with some twenty percent of Mozambique’s intact coral. And now it is home to Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira — a luxury resort of only 40 private pool villas located on the oceanfront. The island features the Banyan Tree Spa, which remains among our favorite spa brands, and an outpost of the signature Banyan Tree restaurant, Saffron, which serves contemporary Thai cuisine. The area offers excellent diving sites, and the Ilha Caldeira island feels like an undiscovered natural gem, covered with tropical greenery and encircled by a large sand dune.
Website: Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique. Opening: Q4 2021.
Image © Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts
51The Chedi Khorfakkan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Our experience of the Chedi brand in Oman was that of a hotel “ideal for travelers looking for an alternative to the sumptuous, over-the-top Arabian luxury.” The Chedi Khorfakkan is bound to deliver something similar. This 100-suite resort, perched on a mountain peak, and facing a private bay on Sharjah’s east coast, offers all-suite accommodation. Only fifty-four suites come with a swimming pool — but all of them with unspoiled ocean views. The resort is split into three parts called The Fort, The Hilltown, and the Town Square. The facilities include restaurants, a spa and a health club, business/events space, beachfront space, and several cafes.
Website: The Chedi Khorfakkan. Opening: Late 2021. Images © GHM
52Bvlgari Hotel Paris, France
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Balinese serenity, Italian glitz
It’s not easy to make a splash in a city known for the highest standards of luxury and booming hospitality industry, but the Bvlgari Hotel Paris might do just that. The Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts style has always had an undertone of lavish luxury, rich in marble and expensive fabrics, which we experienced at the Bvlgari Bali (don’t miss our review!), and the eighth hotel in the group’s portfolio follows the template, albeit with the Hausmann twist. The design firms commissioned to turn the historic building on Avenue George V (within the Triangle d’Or, the city’s most exclusive area with luxury shopping and entertainment) into a five-star hotel are the Italian architectural studio Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Parisian firm Valode&Pistre. The hotel features 76 rooms, a spa with a 25-meter pool, a bar, and a Bvlgari restaurant and courtyard garden.
Website: Bvlgari Hotel Paris. Opening: 2021. Image © Bvlgari Hotels
Sussurro means “a whisper,” which is a name that inspires a tranquil and restful hotel stay. It also reflects the resort’s ethical luxury philosophy, which enfolds renewable energy, plastic-free commitments, and sustainable, locally sourced materials used in construction. There are six guest bungalows, and they are decorated with thoughtfully curated artisan pieces from around Africa and furniture created onsite. Each cabin features traditionally-woven canopies above bedroom mosquito nets, indoor and outdoor bathing facilities, and large waterfront verandas. Guests staying here can enjoy a lap pool, a restaurant with a bar, gallery, a library, as well as a waterfront-facing yoga deck. Of course, there is the beach, while experiences include two- or four-day guided excursions into the Mozambican National Parks (Gorongosa and Zinave).
Website: SUSSURRO. Opening: January 2021. Images © SUSSURRO
54W Algarve Hotel & Residences, Algarve, Portugal
W is a chain of Marriott-owned hotels that cater to youthful clientele with their extravagant, quirky brand. And it is expanding rapidly, with a number of high-profile openings in recent years. And now also Portugal welcomes its first W, in Algarve, in a coveted location on the waterfront, and access to three beaches and a golf course. The hotel is designed with 134 rooms and 83 suites and allocated 95 units as exclusive residences. The hotel rooms all have sea views, while suites come with rooftop plunge pools. W Algarve offers 5-star facilities, including a two-level hotel pool and a sky deck from which guests can enjoy beautiful views of the Algarve coastline.
Website: W Algarve Hotel & Residences. Opening: April 2021.
Image © Marriott International
55Habitas Bacalar, Mexico
Habitas, with its small portfolio of chic hotels designed to fit an exceptional destination (such as Namibia or Bhutan), is expanding with its second hotel in Mexico, in the little-developed corner of Yucatan near the Belize border.
Habitas Bacalar’s experience was designed to forge a deeper relationship with nature, beauty, a sense of adventure, and rich history. The 35 tented rooms on Laguna Bacalar’s shores were built with environmentally friendly materials and methods and carefully designed to blend with the natural surroundings. The hotel’s experience enfolds wellness and restoration, offering yoga, “floating meditation,” and other treatments such as Temazcal ceremonies.
Website: Habitas Bacalar. Opening 2021.
Image © Habitas
56Downtown LA Proper Hotel, Los Angeles, USA
City lights, vintage brick, eclectic interiors — the Proper brand re-imagined and updated a historic 1924 Broadway Corridor landmark building. The project is infused with the designer Kelly Wearstler’s eclectic vision, who blended past and present with compelling ideas that combined vintage styles and local art. Housed in a 13-story property that was formerly a sporting club, the 148-room hotel comes with a rooftop lounge, two restaurants, and an intimate lounge with a library. The former basketball court and indoor pool were converted into unique guest suites, reflecting the building’s past.
Website: Downtown LA Proper Hotel. Opening: Spring 2021.
Photos © Proper Hotels
57The Chatwal San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
The Dream Hotel Group is known for The Chatwal in New York, US, an exquisite hotel that embraced the bygone era’s heritage and carefully curated its NY character. The philosophy of enfolding the local culture in the design and style of the property seems like a good match for San Miguel de Allende, a culturally significant city in Mexico’s central highlands. The hotel is situated on a dramatic cliff in The Vines, just outside of the town proper, overlooking the Laja River Valley, and features 44 freestanding villas and 125 branded residences. Surrounded by 200 acres of vineyards, the hotel facilities include a world-class polo club, a spa, and a fitness club. The hotel prides itself on the carefully curated, farm-to-table culinary program that promises to serve meals composed of only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.
Website: The Chatwal San Miguel de Allende. Opening: Late 2021.
Image © Dream Hotel Group
58Can Ferrereta, Mallorca, Spain
Can Ferretera is another example of a beautiful heritage property renovation on this list. This time restored was a 17th-century building, and the team responsible for the project is also known for the art-filled, neoclassical Sant Francesc Hotel Singular in Palma.
The meticulously crafted rooms and suites (31 of them) of Can Ferretera are filled with intriguing Spanish art from the owners’ private collection. Many rooms feature private patios and terraces, and the hotel’s signature suite has a private swimming pool. Adding to the place’s allure are verdant gardens, two bars, a Mediterranean restaurant serving seasonal dishes, and a beautiful spa with a hammam and an indoor pool.
Website: Can Ferrereta. Opening: March 2021. Images © Can Ferrereta
59The Riviera Maya EDITION at Kanai, Mexico
The Riviera Maya EDITION at Kanai is the luxury hotel brand’s first opening in Mexico. The property offers 180 rooms and suites, with an exclusive Penthouse Suite that wows with its size and design. As part of the hotel experience, the guests can enjoy fine dining at the signature restaurant, a destination spa, a pool bar, and a beach club. The hotel emphasizes events, with ample meeting spaces and an outdoor deck for large scale parties.
Website: The Riviera Maya EDITION at Kanai. Opening: Winter 2021. Image © Marriott International
60Villa Dagmar, Stockholm, Sweden
Sister to the Hotel Diplomat, Villa Dagmar opens in the upmarket Stockholm neighborhood of Östermalmstorg, close to City Hall and The Swedish History Museum, and linked under one roof to the Östermalmshallen food hall. Housed in an Art Nouveau building, this intimate luxury hotel features 70 striking rooms and suites. It offers a spa, a signature Mediterranean-fusion cuisine restaurant — and, uniquely, a flower shop.
Website: Villa Dagmar. Opening: April 2021. Photo © Villa Dagmar
61W Osaka, Japan
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Indulgent and sexy, luxury playground
W Osaka is the first W Hotel in Japan, and it feels like the perfect match to the futuristic tastes of a Japanese city, given the typical for W bold design. Located on Midōsuji Boulevard, this purpose-built property is managed by Sekisui House, a long-standing partner of Marriott International. There are as many as 337 guest rooms and suites spread over the building’s 27 floors. Other facilities include bars, restaurants, the 400-square-meter Great Room for events, a fitness center, and the AWAY Spa.
Website: W Osaka. Opening: March 2021. Image © Marriott International
62The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm, Dubai, UAE
With the address on the celebrated Palm Island, St. Regis brings its signature style, service, and luxury to the UAE. The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm has 289 guestrooms and suites, spread over the first 18 floors of Palm Tower, with the upper floors devoted to 504 luxury apartments. The hotel features two swimming pools — one of them touted as one of the world’s highest-positioned infinity pools. Perched on the 50th floor, 210 meters above ground, it will undoubtedly offer some of the most astonishing views.
Website: The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm. Opening: May 2021.
Images © Marriott International
63DumaTau And Little DumaTau, Botswana
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The romance of a luxury star bed in the savannah
The forced delay in 2020 has only built up our expectations around the launch of this safari camp in Botswana. Following a significant refurbishment, the DumaTau reopens, with its sister property Little DumaTau, a brand new exclusive opening with only four tented suites. The design of both embraces the sense of an off-the-beaten-track safari expedition, and a new under-the-stars bed strengthens the impression.
The old camp’s enhancements include doubling the guest accommodation’s size, adding outdoor decks and a plunge pool. Indoor and outdoor showers are a new addition to the bathrooms. The campfire deck is positioned as the center of the camp life, but both camps also benefit from a new spa and wellness space, which overlooks the Linyanti River.
Website: DumaTau. Opening: August 2020. Image © Wilderness Safaris
64Paradero Todos Santos, Mexico
Todos Santos is a UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve, established to protect the diverse range of natural ecosystems. The Paradero hotel is surrounded by five acres of private land with a large botanical garden and offers expansive views of the ocean, mountains, and farmlands. Paradero Todos Santos is a chic, bohemian retreat designed for surfers, outdoor enthusiasts, and wellness aficionados. Guests of the hotel can choose from among 35 suites, among which the Garden Suites blend indoor and outdoor spaces (an outdoor hot tub, anyone?). Guests checking in to the Rooftop Suites will enjoy rooftops with panoramic views. The spa lovers will appreciate Ojo de Agua, the below-ground facility inspired by local traditions for rejuvenating body and mind.
Website: Paradero Todos Santos. Opening: January 15, 2021. Image © Paradero
65Explora El Chaltén, Argentina
Explora is located deep in the wilderness of a private natural reserve near Los Glaciares National Park, some 17 km from the town of El Chaltén, Argentina’s trekking capital. It is an all-inclusive destination resort that wows with ultra-modern architecture, matching Patagonia’s stunning scenery. The landscape surrounding the lodge is shaped by high-elevation glaciers, rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and wild rivers, and it offers countless exploration opportunities. All hotel packages include accommodation, transfers, meals and beverages — and activities and trekking routes designed by the hotel’s outdoors team. The indoor facilities are cozy and comfortable, with the design reminiscent of the typical Argentinian Patagonia estancias (ranches).
Website: Explora El Chaltén. Opening: February 2021. Image © Explora
66Park Hyatt Jakarta, Indonesia
Set to be one of the finest among luxury hotels in Jakarta, Park Hyatt launches with 220 rooms and 36 suites, with sophisticated interiors from the award-winning studio Conran+Partners. The hotel’s design aims to reflect Indonesia’s rich diversity and Jakarta’s urban lifestyle. Park Hyatt Jakarta offers five food-and-beverage venues, an outdoor pool, and a 24-hour fitness center. Guests can look forward to enjoying stunning views of Jakarta starting from the 25th floor.
Website: Park Hyatt Jakarta. Opening: Mid 2021. Images © Park Hyatt
67The Reykjavik EDITION, Iceland
Tapping into the demand for a sophisticated mix of contemporary design, refined service, and lifestyle fashion, the EDITION has been on an aggressive global expansion ever since its debut a few short years ago. Only to mention the latest openings, in 2019, they launched The Times Square EDITION in New York and The West Hollywood EDITION in Los Angeles. In 2020 we listed their openings in Tokyo and Dubai as well. Opening near the Harpa Concert Hall, the EDITION’s venture in Iceland is situated in a vibrant part of the country’s capital. The hotel offers more than 250 rooms and suites, and its facilities include a nightlife space and ballroom. The excellent culinary options are ensured via three restaurants and a café. To create the hotel, the company has enlisted architects from T.arch and designers from Roman & Williams.
Website: The Reykjavik EDITION. Opening: Late 2021. Image © Marriott International
68Capella Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam
In what appears to be one of the most inspired projects on this list, Capella Hanoi is shaped by its proximity to the iconic Hanoi Opera House, in the prestigious Hoàn Kiếm neighborhood. The extravagant 1920s that defined the opera scene in the city inspired the vibe of the hotel. The storytelling and themes within the property contribute to a unique hotel stay experience: from set designs and opera costumes to memorabilia and custom portraiture art. The 47 rooms of this boutique hotel were individually designed by Bill Bensley, who is also responsible for the creation of the sister property Capella Ubud, as well as the celebrated Shinta Mani Wild lodge in Cambodia. Guests of the Capella Hanoi can expect excellent cuisine at the Backstage Restaurant.
Website: Capella Hanoi. Opened: January 2021. Image © Capella Hotel Group
69W Bali Ubud, Indonesia
Marriott’s second W resort in Bali is designed to serve an experience very different from the one offered by its sister property, the beachside W Seminyak. The older hotel embraces the spirit of a partygoing destination on the island’s southern coast. The new resort plugs into the spiritual atmosphere the Ubud resorts are known for. The brand’s youthful vibe, bold design, and eclectic interiors are an exciting premise for a hotel in Ubud. The laid back vibe, DJ nights, the AWAY Spa treatments, and a range of other attractions (including a mountaintop sunrise yoga) make this new opening from W an attractive option in Ubud. The resort is located in the lush Tanggayuda Valley and offers 100 guest rooms and 10 villas with private swimming pools.
Website: W Hotels. Opening: Late 2021. Image © Marriott International
70The Westbund Hotel Shanghai, China
This new opening in Shanghai’s Xuhui District aims to appeal to the sophisticated tastes of one of the most cosmopolitan urban centers in China. Housed within the top floors of a 52-floor skyscraper, the Westbund Hotel Shanghai features 219 rooms. Other facilities include a Spa with a 25-meter infinity pool, a rooftop Sky Bar with an outdoor terrace, and an English tea room, modeled on the group’s Brown’s Hotel in London. True to the city’s international nature, the hotel interiors draw on Chinese art and Eastern aesthetics but are imbued with Western-born, 21st-century luxury.
Website: The Westbund Hotel Shanghai. Opening: 2021.
Images © Rocco Forte Hotels
71The Madrid EDITION, Madrid, Spain
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Tree houses and Tanzanian wilderness
With the recent news that the Madrid EDITION was taken over by the Asian-Dutch investment group Archer Hotel Capital, we look forward to discovering what this means for this new EDITION-branded opening. For now, the investors are set on unveiling “one of the most exciting hotel openings across all of Europe,” according to Dominic Seyrling from AHC. In any case, this is the second EDITION Hotel in Spain — the Barcelona EDITION being the first — and it offers 200 beautifully appointed rooms and suites (some with terraces). The guests can enjoy five dining outlets, bars, a rooftop terrace, as well as an outdoor pool, a state-of-the-art fitness club, and a spa. The hotel is located in a tranquil square, surrounded by historic buildings near the Puerta del Sol square, and within walking distance to The Golden Triangle of Art.
Website: The Madrid EDITION. Opening: Fall 2021. Image © Marriott International
72Ambiente – A Landscape Hotel, Arizona, USA
Ambiente is designed to blend into the natural environment and bring landscape vistas into the 40 cube-shaped rooms. Clad in mirroring dark glass with floor-to-ceiling windows, they appear floating above the ground, each room reflecting the craggy surroundings and offering a worthy companion to the scenery. Inside, the minimally decorated, moodily lit spaces are equipped with double-sided fireplaces, and many come with rooftop decks, perfect for stargazing. The hotel offers a spa and a lagoon-inspired swimming pool.
Website: Ambiente Sedona. Opening: Summer 2021. Image © Ambiente
73Portrait Milano, Milano, Italy
“[…] the seminary in Corso Venezia is an architectural jewel in our urban fabric, […] set to become a major destination for any visit to Milan not least for the architectural value of the colonnade and the Renaissance perfection of its proportions” — Michele De Lucchi, architect
Portrait Hotels is part of a small Lungarno Collection portfolio, and the opening in the capital of fashion, Milan, marks the third hotel launched under the Portrait brand. And what opening it is: in a former Archiepiscopal Seminary (Europe’s oldest), with a beautiful baroque entrance designed in 1652 by Francesco Maria Richini — and a 3000 square-meter piazza surrounded by a double colonnaded loggia. The carefully restored building at 11 Corso Venezia (by Michele De Lucchi’s from the MDL studio) also has restaurants, shopping arcades, and event space. The renovated and redecorated hotel spaces welcome guests with a restrained luxury, bringing out the heritage building’s classic beauty, binding together the authentic architecture and modernized interiors in stylistic consistency.
Website: Portrait Milano. Opening: 2021. Image © Lungarno Collection
74Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
The well-established Banyan Tree group is applying its vast luxury spa and hospitality experience to launch a new brand, Escapes, focused on health immersion in nature. And it’s perhaps inevitable that their first Escape-branded opening is on the “island of gods,” Bali, in the heart of Ubud.
The resort appeals to travelers seeking luxury sanctuaries and those who cherish the essential quality of cuisine, excellent sleep, and privacy. It does it by highlighting ephemeral notions such as a sense of touch, urban detox, emotional awareness, and self-introspection. In their own words, “Banyan Tree Escape is an invitation into a different way of being, to kindle a renewed conversation of meaning and purpose.”
The public spaces, hideaway spots, the Open Kitchen are designed to stimulate all senses, while the villa design follows a “no walls, no doors” philosophy. There are only 16 villas, and they blend indoor and outdoor spaces, opening up to panoramic views of the misty river forests of central Bali. The lucky guests have access to The Secret Garden, the Spa & Wellness concept named for its hidden nature. It offers the utmost privacy in an “open” Spa experience.
Website: Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape. Opening: July 2021
75IL Tornabuoni Hotel, Florence, Italy
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The Tornabuoni Hotel enjoys a prime location in Florence’s upscale shopping district and is housed on the top four floors of the 13th-century Palazzo Minerbetti. Carefully restored and updated, the building’s historic nature makes floor layouts varied, the hotel’s 63 guest rooms individual, and their bathrooms oversized. The rooms have a distinct color scheme: grey, orange, mustard, peacock. Andrea Auletta, the hotel’s designer, treated every element of the interiors with thoughtful consideration, from furniture design to decorative objects and the patterns in carpets and wallpapers — and the result is a feeling of refined elegance. The hotel features a rooftop cocktail bar and two restaurants, including Il Magnifico Restaurant & Bistro on the ground floor, offering a Toscan gourmet menu.
Website: IL Tornabuoni Hotel. Opening: March 2021. Image © IL Tornabuoni
76Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth, French West Indies
“A legendary resort cherished for its rich offerings, memorable service, and captivating landscape, Le Guanahani is a jewel within the Caribbean and an idyllic destination for Rosewood’s affluential explorers”
— Sonia Cheng, CEO, Rosewood Hotel Group
Closed since 2017 following the devastation during Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the old Le Guanahani resort reopens as a brand new property, rebuilt and extensively renovated with a design reflecting the Caribbean culture and style. Situated on a private 18-acre peninsula, and overlooking Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac of St. Barth, the Rosewood resort offers 66 rooms, suites, and villas (many with private pools). The updated facilities of the resort include an exclusive beachfront dining concept and a new swimming pool.
Website: Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth. Opening: Spring 2021.
Image © Rosewood Hotels and Resort
77W Melbourne, Australia
The W Melbourne hotel is the second W in Australia being launched recently. Opening with 294 spacious guestrooms, in which 40 are suites, the hotel also features three restaurants, an underground bar, an indoor heated swimming pool, as well as a large conference and meeting space. The most luxurious guest accommodation is the Extreme Wow Suite — named with the usual W panache.
Website: W Melbourne. Opening: Feb 2021. Image © Marriott International
78Four Seasons Hotel Milano, Italy
“We have an incredible opportunity to reinvent what is already an iconic hotel with great heritage in one of the world’s best locations” — Andrea Obertello, GM
Four Seasons Milano opened in 1993 as the first Four Seasons hotel in continental Europe on a former 15th-century convent site. Following two decades of success, the hotel closed its doors for an extensive renovation — under the renowned architect Patricia Urquiola — with the grand reopening scheduled before the year’s end. The remodeling should turn this upscale hotel into a sophisticated garden retreat with a complete transformation of public spaces, restaurants and bars, rooms and suites, and the introduction of a new lobby and a lounge. No doubt the loyal guests of Four Seasons Milano will come back, not least thanks to the ideal location in the heart of Milan’s fashion center.
Website: Four Seasons Hotel Milano. Opening: Late 2021
Photo © Four Seasons Hotels Limited
79Azumi Setoda, Onomichi Island, Japan
Azumi Setoda fuses contemporary luxury with the concept of a traditional Japanese ryokan. Housed in a 140-year-old property, the 22 suites exude a peaceful aesthetic channeling a warm, homely atmosphere, thanks to the materials such as cedar and cypress wood, traditional Japanese paper, and elegant granite. Each room features a mossy garden or balcony and a hinoki bathtub. The hotel promises gourmet seafood dining. Behind the project is Adrian Zecha, known as the Aman hotels founder, who partnered with Japanese hospitality company Naru Developments for the Azumi Setoda project.
Website: Azumi Setoda. Opening: March 2021. Image © Azumi
80Six Senses Galapagos, Galápagos Islands
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Six Senses has always been taking ethical sustainability seriously, but with their launch of the first-ever luxury resort in the Galapagos Islands, the brand takes that commitment up a notch. As a destination known for inspiring the theory of evolution, Galapagos has incredibly diverse ecosystems, and Six Senses is taking on several projects devoted to the stewardship of nature. Also, the resort is built with materials and techniques meant to minimize the impact on the environment. Local volcanic stone, clay tiles, and repurposed timber are used, and bamboo architecture is featured. An outpost of the celebrated Six Senses spa is part of the development (alongside a fitness club and yoga studio). The minimal light pollution in the area promises fabulous night skies, and the hotel developed an Observation Post for stargazing.
Website: Six Senses. Opening: Late 2021. Image © Six Senses Resorts
81The Dubai EDITION, Dubai, UAE
The Dubai EDITION marks an important event for the brand as it expands into the Middle East’s most popular travel destination and points to the confidence of this relatively young hotel brand. After all, Dubai is one of the most competitive travel destinations in the Middle East. Situated in downtown Dubai, opposite the Dubai Mall, the hotel offers 210 rooms and suites. It also features several food and beverage outlets, a pool, spa, and fitness center, in addition to a dynamic events space with multiple meeting rooms and a ballroom.
Website: The Dubai EDITION. Opening: 2021. Images © Marriott International
82San Domenico Palace, Taormina — A Four Seasons Hotel, Sicily, Italy
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Four Seasons is synonymous with exceptional service and refined design, while San Domenico Palace in Taormina was for decades one of the world’s most celebrated heritage hotels — so the match of these two names seems made in heaven. As the international chain takes over, San Domenico reopens with 111 guest rooms and suites, following an extensive renovation. The palace itself comprises a former Dominican monastery founded in the 15th century, with a Grand Hotel Wing added in 1896, and the updated guest rooms and public spaces feature facades the elements of the original architecture. Four Seasons San Domenico Palace has several restaurants (including one with 2 Michelin stars) and a new beach club. The brand new spa comes with seven treatment rooms, a Turkish bath, and an indoor pool. Set on the hilltop above Taormina and overlooking the Bay of Taormina flanked by the snow-capped Mount Etna, the place guarantees sweeping sea views.
Website: San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel.
Opening: 2021. Photo © Four Seasons Hotels Limited
83The Residence Douz, Tunisia
The Residence Douz is the second Cenizaro hotel in Tunisia, after The Residence Tunis, with two more hotels planned in the future. Set on fourteen hectares of rolling dunes and surrounded by palm trees, the Residence is a desert resort of only 50 villas. Their design creates a sense of desert romance, with style referencing local vernacular in patterned Tozeur bricks, glowing lanterns, handwoven carpets under the four-poster beds, and outdoor canvas canopies. Guests can look forward to a refreshing swim in the swimming pool after a day of adventures under the African sun.
Website: The Residence Douz. Opening: 2021. Image © Cenizaro
84Cielo Lodge, Golfito, Costa Rica
“We built Cielo Lodge as a respite for people seeking to reconnect — with nature, with each other, and ultimately with themselves.” — Nicole Goldstein, owner of the lodge
Overlooking the Golfo Dulce and surrounded by 380 acres of rainforest in Costa Rica, the Cielo Lodge promises an intimate and exclusive experience — with only six Canopy Suites available for booking. Each suite is elevated and set apart, offering privacy and panoramic views of the forest canopy. The accommodation has walls and screens but no glass windows, and just a natural airflow for circulating the mountain breeze. The hotel’s public areas feature a sunset bar and an infinity-edge saltwater pool, both with breathtaking views. A gourmet restaurant is adjacent to the pool. The lodge proposes a range of wellness-focused activities, including “detox hikes,” rainforest walks, sunrise yoga, holistic massages, but also surfing expeditions and whale watching.
Website: Cielo Lodge. Opening: January 2021. Image © Cielo Lodge
85King’s Mansion, Goa, India
King’s Mansion is a new luxury spa destination resort in Goa, promising “Ayurvedic integrative wellness.” The guest accommodation is bright and spacious, with floor to ceiling windows, private gardens, and ensuite bathrooms clad in marble. There are only 17 suites, so guests can expect an exclusive experience focused on authentic experiences and mindfulness. The activities include consultations with a Medical Ayurvedic Doctor, personalized nutrition plans, and a range of spa and hydrotherapy treatments. King’s Mansion is located on the sun-baked shore of northern Goa, in an area rich in tropical forests, historic Portuguese sites, banyan tree avenues, and quiet beaches.
Website: King’s Mansion. Opening: 2021. Images © King’s Mansion
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//The Best Luxury Hotel Openings of 2021: Runners-up!
There are so many new hotels scheduled to launch worldwide that it would be impossible to give them all a place in the above list — but we will give at least a mention to the runners-up. They are also worth checking out.
The Best Luxury Hotel Openings of 2021: Africa & Middle East
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Planning a five-star holiday in Seychelles? Start here!
Soho House Tel Aviv, Israel. Opening Spring 2021.
Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv, Israel (image below, middle). Late 2020.
Sofia Hotel Sea Of Galilee, Tiberias, Israel (image below left). Early 2021.
SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, Dubai, UAE (image below right). March 2021.
Nobu Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Debut in 2021.
Banyan Tree Doha At La Cigale Mushaireb, Doha, Qatar. Q1 2021.
Jumeirah Muscat Bay, Muscat, Oman. Early in 2021.
The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam, Morocco. Debut in 2021.
Park Hyatt Marrakech, Morocco. Late 2021.
Nobu Marrakech, Morocco. Summer/Autumn 2021.
Conrad Rabat Arzana, Rabat, Morocco. 2021.
Amani Boutique Hotel Zanzibar, Tanzania. January 2021.
The Mighty Fine, Johannesburg, South Africa. Feb 2021.
Mango House Seychelles, Seychelles. April 2021.
Club Med Seychelles, Seychelles. Feb 2021.
LUX* Grand Baie Resort & Residences, Mauritius. October 2021.
LUX* Le Morne Resort, Mauritius. Re-opening January 2021.
The Best Luxury Hotel Openings of 2021: Asia & Pacific
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Avani Fares Maldives Resort, Maldives (image below, middle). Opening 2021.
Andaz Bali – a concept by Hyatt, Bali, Indonesia. April 1, 2021.
Shangri-La’s Bali Resort & Spa, The Maj Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.
Intercontinental Yao Yai Resort, Thailand (image below, right). Q3 2021.
The Pavilions Anana Krabi, Thailand. Opening February 2021.
Sala Bang Pa-In, Ayutthaya, Thailand. Opening April 2021.
Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. January 2021.
Regent Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Opening in Q2 2021.
The Chedi Mumbai, India. Opening 2021.
The LungMār Snow Leopard Camp, India. Opening Q4 2021.
Resplendent Ceylon Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. Late 2021.
Harding Boutique Hotel, Sri Lanka. Early in 2021.
The Chedi Zhudong, Hsinchu, Taiwan. Debut in 2021.
Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Kirishima, Japan. January 2021.
The Ritz-Carlton, Jiuzhaigou, China. Debut in 2021.
Patina Sanya, China (image below left). Opening Winter 2021.
W Xiamen, China. Opening July 2021.
LUX* Dali, China. April 2021.
LUX* Puer, China. July 2021.
LUX* Chongzuo, Guangxi, China. Feb 2021.
The Ritz-Carlton Jiuzhaigou, China. 2021.
Lost Horizons Resort & Spa Begnas, Pokhara, Nepal. 2021.
Habitas Bhutan, Bhutan. Late 2021.
The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hobart, Australia. June 2021.
Ace Hotel Sydney, Sydney, Australia. Late 2021.
The Best Luxury Hotel Openings of 2021: Americas
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The Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, US. Spring 2021.
Life House Bushwick, New York, USA. Opening Q4 2021.
The Chatwal Lodge, Bethel, New York. April 2021.
The Aurum, Catskills, New York, USA. Opening: Fall 2021.
Soho House Austin, US. Summer of 2021.
Auberge Stanly Ranch, Napa Valley, California. Late 2021.
Four Seasons Resort & Residences Napa Valley, California, USA. Early in 2021.
The Cloudveil, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA. Opening: Spring
The Green O by Paws Up, Montana, USA. June 2021.
Pendry West Hollywood, West Hollywood, California, USA. January 2021.
Thompson Hollywood, Hollywood, California, US. Early in 2021.
The Tampa EDITION, Florida, United States. Winter 2021.
W Nashville, USA. Opening February 2021.
W Philadelphia, USA (image below left). Opening March 2021.
St. Regis Chicago, Chicago, USA. Summer of 2021.
Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, USA. Mid 2021.
The Newbury, Boston, USA. Early in 2021.
Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Reopening 2021.
Soho Beach House Canouan, Caribbean – opening early 2021.
Baja Club, La Paz, Mexico. Spring 2021.
Habitas San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. 2021.
Habitas Todos Santos, Mexico (image below, middle). 2021.
Etéreo Auberge Resorts Collection, Riviera Maya, Mexico. Debut in 2021.
Susurros del Corazón, Punta de Mita, Mexico. Late 2021.
The St. Regis Bermuda Resort, St. George, Bermuda. April 2021.
Fairmont Saint Lucia at Sunset Bay. Second-quarter of 2021.
Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection, Belize. March 2021.
Hotel La Compañia, Panama City, Panama (image below, right). Scheduled for 2021.
Ace Hotel Toronto, Canada. 2021.
1 Hotels Toronto, Canada. Summer of 2021.
W Toronto, Canada. Opening: April 2021.
Park Hyatt Toronto, Canada. Late Spring 2021.
The Best Luxury Hotel Openings of 2021: Europe
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Chateau Denmark, London, UK. Opening: Summer of 2021.
Mondrian Shoreditch London, London, UK. Spring 2021.
The Harper, Langham, Norfolk, UK (image in the second row, left). March 2021.
Gleneagles Townhouse Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. October 2021.
The Cashel Palace Hotel, Ireland, April 2021.
Soho House Rome, Italy. Summer of 2021. Located in the San Lorenzo district, the House has 49 bedrooms and 20 apartments, with views across the Eternal City from its rooftop, terrace and pool.
Anantara Palazzo Naiadi, Rome, Italy. 2021.
Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino, Italy. Planned to reopen following a redesign in Spring 2021.
MGallery Pompei Habita 79, Italy. Spring 2021 — the property has a rooftop bar-restaurant offering a unique view of the ancient ruins of Pompei.
Borgo Santandrea, Amalfi, Italy. April 2021.
Casa Di Langa, Piemonte, Italy (image below, middle). Spring 2021.
Hôtel du Palais Biarritz, France. Reopening after renovation, in Spring 2021.
Revīvō Château de Fiac, France. Opening Q3 2021.
Peliva Nature & Suites, Pelion, Greece (image below, right). Spring 2021.
Angsana Corfu, Corfu, Greece. Spring 2021.
CAYO Exclusive Resort, Elounda, Crete. Opening: Early 2021.
The Royal Senses Resort & Spa Crete, Greece (image below left). April 2021.
MarBella Elix, Parga, Greece. April 2021.
Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid, Spain. 2021.
Ikos Andalusia, Spain. April 2021 (image in the second row, right).
The Woodward, Geneva, Switzerland (image in the second row, middle). Spring 2021.
Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern, Switzerland.
The House Hotel Tbilisi, Georgia. 2021.
Bethlen Estates, Transylvania, Romania. Spring 2021.
Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia, Serbia. Early 2021
Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel, Budapest, Hungary. 2021.
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, Istanbul, Turkey. “The beloved boutique hotel will reopen in 2021 with a fresh new look that honors the building’s storied history and connects even more deeply with the surrounding Old City.”
See our previous New Luxury Hotel Openings lists:
The Top 100 Luxury Hotel Openings of 2020.
The Top 50 Luxury Hotel Openings of 2019
The Top 80 Luxury Hotel Openings of 2018
The Top 70 Luxury Hotel Openings of 2017
The Top 60 Luxury Hotel Openings of 2016
Africa’s 20 hottest hotel openings of 2016
The 50 Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings of 2015
*Note: All opening dates in this article are subject to changes as hotels experience odelays.