2015 was a busy year in the luxury hospitality industry, and it was not easy to limit our list to only fifty top luxury hotels. On the other hand, you can be sure that only the very best made it. It’s the ultimate list of the top luxury hotels launched in 2015, to inspire your next vacation.
UPDATE: The Best Openings is an annual series, highly anticipated by our readers. Discover many more best new hotels opened in the last few years:
1Amanera, Playa Grande, Dominican Republic
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Located on a spectacular cliff overlooking the crescent-shaped Playa Grande beach, this is the first golf-integrated property in Aman’s portfolio. It is also one of the most exclusive Amans. Comprising only twenty-three guest accommodations, called Casitas, plus one two-bedroom Casa, Amanera wows with the brand’s hallmark minimalistic luxury. The resort is designed to make the most of the sea views, with all rooms enjoying unobstructed vistas, while the Casa benefits from the finest clifftop position, overlooking the Playa Grande beach — as well as a spectacular 20-meter infinity swimming pool. An Aman spa, two restaurants, and a cigar parlor complete the offering.
Website: Amanera, Dominican Republic. Opened: November 2015.
Photo (including the leading shot at the top of the article) © Aman Resorts
2Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Ubud, Bali
Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Ubud is an intimate property of 60 luxurious pool villas and suites, situated in a beautiful location of a river enclosure, among lush rice paddies and surrounded by tropical jungle and rolling hills. The hotel’s design borrows from the best features of the Balinese architecture and craftsmanship and wows with sophisticated interior design.
UPDATE: We have since visited and stayed at the Mandapa.
Read our review of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
Website: Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Opened: mid-2015. Photo © The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
3COMO The Treasury, Perth, Australia
The arrival of COMO to Western Australia caught us off-guard — as we used to associate this excellent luxury hotel brand with tropical destinations in Asia. In any case, the wellness-focused hotel is now a destination in itself, in Perth’s revitalized historic center. COMO The Treasury occupies two 19th-century buildings and features forty-eight contemporary rooms, two restaurants, a bar — and, of course, the outpost of its world-renowned COMO Shambhala Spa.
Website: COMO The Treasury, Perth, Australia.
Opened: 2015. Photo © COMO Hotels and Resorts
4Keemala Phuket, Thailand
These unusual shapes are the original dwellings of Keemala. Villas, tents, clay cottages, tree houses, and dream-weaved spa units are designed to represent mythical early Phuket settlers. Set in a woodland among trees, streams, and waterfalls and inspired by themes of nomadism, earth, sky, and nests, the 38 guest villas all come with private pools. Jungle walkways connect them with a lobby, shared swimming pool, three dining areas, and a spa.
Website: Keemala Phuket, Thailand. Opened: August 2015. Photo © Keemala
5Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, Siem Reap, Cambodia
This boutique resort is one of the best-looking hotels in Siem Reap (don’t worry, Amansara, we still love you). Surrounded by acres of lush gardens and paddy fields, its forty-five villas reflect authentic Cambodia in a refined style. A mere 10 minutes drive away from the Angkor Wat site, Phum Baitang guarantees plenty of relaxation after sightseeing, with a 50m infinity pool, spacious spa, two restaurants, and a sunset bar.
Website: Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Opened: June 2015. Photo © Zannier Hotels
6Suján Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur, India
Founded by the Maharaja of Jaipur in 1729, the Suján Rajmahal Palace used to host visiting monarchs, princes, and lords. Reimagined and brought to the aesthetics of the 21st century, the palace is now an all-suite luxury hotel. The Suján carries traditional royal motifs and classical architecture, blending them with contemporary luxury. There are only 20 rooms and suites, accompanied by two restaurants, a bar, a spa, and a swimming pool.
Website: Suján Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur, India.
Opened: January 2015. Photo © Sujan
7Singita Ebony Lodge, Sabi Sands, South Africa
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Design in its DNA
Singita Ebony reopened after a major refurbishment, with twelve new luxury suites featuring tent-style interiors, private plunge pools, open floor plans, and pavilion decks offering river views. This luxury safari lodge is situated in the heart of a 45,000-acre game reserve in South Africa, and its design incorporates the surrounding landscape into its architecture and decor. Framed sepia photos, tribal murals, natural sculptures, and ebony wood are paired with black-and-white accents, drawing both from the local culture and contemporary aesthetics to create eminently relaxing spaces.
Website: Singita Ebony Lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa.
Re-opened: June 2015. Photo © Singita
8Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, China
When it opened, the Qing Cheng became the only resort located right next to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mount Qingcheng, in the Chinese province of Sichuan. Using the tried-and-tested Six Senses formula of responsible luxury, the resort designers drew upon regional architecture and traditional landscaping to create a design that has a strong sense of place, but with the quintessential Six Senses aesthetics.
Website: Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, China.
Opened: May 2015. Photo © Six Senses Resorts & Spas
9Soho House Istanbul, Turkey
Having established its hotels in New York, Chicago, and Berlin, among other locations, the Soho House unveiled its first Istanbul property in March 2015. Located in the Beyoglu neighborhood, the hotel occupies three buildings, with the stately mansion of Palazzo Corpi, a former U.S. Consulate, at its core. This is the biggest property yet from the trendy hotel chain of Soho House, featuring eighty-seven rooms of various sizes, two rooftop pools, as well as a fitness center, and a spa.
Another prominent opening from the brand included the Soho House Farmhouse, located in the heart of a 125-acre estate near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, UK.
Website: Soho House Istanbul, Turkey. Opened: March 2015. Photo © Soho House
10andBeyond Benguerra Island, Mozambique
After taking over the old Benguerra Lodge and bringing it to the high-end &Beyond standards, the Benguerra Island welcomed its first guests in June 2015. The refurbishment meant that the 12 huts of andBeyond Benguerra Island all got a brand new look, with light and airy spaces and bespoke furniture befitting the luxury island lifestyle. The island’s two boats were overhauled, too: the Flamingo, a traditional sailing dhow, and the Stiletto, a large, double-hull catamaran used for snorkeling trips.
Website: andBeyond Benguerra Island, Mozambique.
Opened: June 2015. Photo © &Beyond
11G-Rough, Rome, Italy
3G-Rough is a member of Design Hotels and a sister property to the PalazzinaG in Venice. The hotel’s five floors are housed in a 16th-century building, with a prime location near the Piazza Navona in Rome. This petite, ten-suite hotel showcases a “Made in Italy” concept of luxury, drawing inspiration from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and creating an atmosphere of contemporary nostalgia, unique to G-Rough.
Read our review of G-Rough.
Website: G-Rough, Rome, Italy. Opened: March 2015. Photo © G-Rough
12Tri Lanka, Koggala Lake, Galle, Sri Lanka
What is possibly Sri Lanka’s first sustainable “eco” luxury hotel, the 10-room Tri is inspired by nature in more than one way. The hotel has green roofs and solar arrays, and recycled wood and local materials unify interiors and landscape. But the hotel’s beauty also comes from a geometric principle, the Golden Ratio: the rooms are arranged on a spiral grid, following the circular shape of the island.
Website: Tri Lanka, Koggala Lake, Sri Lanka. Opened: mid-2015. Photo © Tri Lanka
13The Hoxton Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is the first overseas venture of Hoxton, the “affordable luxury” brand from London. Spread over five townhouses on Amsterdam’s Herengracht canal, the hotel has 111 bedrooms, a restaurant, a bar, and business facilities. Stylish and unfussy, the design wows with a masculine style: dark wood floors, velvet curtains, leather chairs, and splashes of Vermeerian yellow and blue.
Website: The Hoxton Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Opened: Summer 2015. Photo © The Hoxton
14Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
This may be Abu Dhabi’s hottest new island hotel. Located a 15-minute boat ride off the shores of the city, Zaya Nurai Island has only 32 villas, with a dedicated butler on hand 24 hours a day. The facilities include a world-class oceanside spa, five fine and casual food and beverage outlets, and a beach club.
Website: Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Opened: January 2015. Photo © Zaya Nurai Island
15La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa, Paris, France
La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa has a great address in the eighth arrondissement, steps away from the Palais de l’Elysée and overlooking the Grand Palais, the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon, and the Concorde obelisk. The tasteful, elegant decor of the hotel celebrates the French art of living and offers a luxurious package of ultra-personalized services.
Website: La Réserve Paris Hotel and Spa, Paris, France.
Opened: January 2015. Photo © La Réserve Paris
16Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
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Set in a restored 19th-century manor house, the Six Senses debut in Portugal had it soon hailed as one of the top spa resorts in the country. With just over seventy rooms, the Douro Valley property is focused on wellbeing and rejuvenation, true to the brand’s core commitments. The Six Senses Spa is set on a 2200 square meters, with an outdoor infinity pool and panoramic views of the valley. The famed Douro wines are also part of the experience, with wine-tasting accompanying the resort’s excellent cuisine.
Website: Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal.
Opened: mid-2015. Photo © Six Senses Resorts & Spas
17The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney, Australia
With its own branded designer scent and an edgy sense of humor, the Old Clare Hotel, in Sydney’s gritty inner-city, has already earned a reputation for a hip hangout for locals and visitors alike. The hotel occupies a former Carlton United Brewery, with a renovated pub housing the reception and bar. There are three independent restaurants under one roof with the hotel, and the Old Clare also has a rooftop pool and bar, in addition to sixty-two high-end rooms. The heritage fabric of the buildings is preserved as part of the hotel’s design, with eclectic interiors featuring marble bathrooms and super king-size beds.
Website: The Old Clare Hotel, Sydney, Australia.
Opened: late 2015. Photo © The Old Clare Hotel
18Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, Morocco
Mandarin Oriental is a truly unique oasis of luxury in the heart of Marrakech. The hotel offers hectares of landscaped gardens and olive groves, fifty-four private villas, a world-class spa, and five innovative restaurants and bars. All these facilities await guests only minutes from the bustling Marrakech Medina and to the backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains.
Website: Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, Morocco.
Opened: October 2015. Photo © Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
19The New York EDITION, USA
The building located on the corner of Madison Avenue and East 24th Street was an office tower, and once the world’s tallest building, at least for a few years in the early 20th century. Following a renovation and remodeling, it now houses an exceptional high-end hotel under the management of EDITION, the brand created by the hotelier Ian Schrager. The 50-floor, 273-bedroom hotel brings an exciting, trendy design and high level of service to the NoMad neighborhood, with panoramic views of the city.
Website: The New York EDITION, USA. Opened: May 2015. Photo © Edition Hotels
20Nomade Tulum, Mexico
Nomade ticks all the boxes for the bohemian-style stay in Tulum, but with unique inspirations from Moroccan bedouin’s culture, as evidenced in the air-conditioned Berber-style tents and oceanfront suites with private pools. The more typical for Tulum boho-chic vibe comes through details and furnishings such as dream catchers, hammocks, bamboo, and oversized jumbo beanbags on private terraces. The Moroccan-themed Macondo restaurant offers vegan options, while the beach grill at La Popular can be more indulgent. The hotel offers “spiritual workshops” and wellness-focused retreats and talks.
Website: Nomade Tulum, Mexico.
Opened: December 2015. Photo © Nomade Tulum
21Alila Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
Benefitting from a great beachfront location, Alila Seminyak Bali brought the sublime luxury of Alila to the most fashionable part of Bali. The stylish design of Alila Seminyak is inspired by a rice paddy field, with lush gardens infusing every part of the resort. The contemporary architecture is woven through with vertical greens, wall-hugging plants, green roofs and landscaped terraces designed to enliven the senses.
Website: Alila Seminyak, Bali. Opened: October 2015.
Photo © Alila Hotels & Resorts
22Amandayan, Lijiang, China
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Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, in a remote corner of Yunnan Province, lies Lijiang, one of the cutest towns we visited in China. It’s winding pathways lined by traditional houses draw crowds of tourists every year — but now it also became a destination for “Aman junkies,” that is, discerning travelers who have a particular appreciation for the Aman Resorts. Count us in. Situated on a hill overlooking Lijang, Amandayan is an exclusive resort featuring only thirty-five luxurious suites, clustered around tranquil courtyards. It is Aman’s third resort in China, following the openings of Aman at Summer Palace in Beijing and Amanfayun in Hangzhou. But like no other resort, Amandayan exemplifies the hallmark Aman philosophy in which a real sense of place becomes the defining element of the hotel experience.
UPDATE: We have since visited and stayed at the Amandayan.
Read our review of Amandayan here.
Website: Amandayan, Lijiang, China. Opened: 2015. Photo © Aman Resorts
23W Amsterdam, Netherlands
The unique brand of W Hotels offers a refreshing, different, and bold take on a hotel experience — and now the W is making its mark in Amsterdam, thanks to a vibrant city hotel located close to the Royal Palace and Dam Square. There are 238 rooms, of which couple dozen are suites, some with the illustrious names of WOW suite or Extreme Wow Suite, true to the W naming conventions. Some other atypical moments of experience include check-in on the rooftop Lounge (no cookie-cutter hotel lobby here), and Wet Deck, Amsterdam’s first rooftop swimming pool, with water heated in winter.
Website: W Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Opened: October 2015. Photo © Marriott International
24Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Sri Lanka
The Anantara brand debuted in Sri Lanka with the Tangalle Resort & Spa, on the island’s south coast. The resort is established in a beach-side town of Tangalle, some 80 kilometers east of the historic fort city of Galle. The 152 guest rooms (including 32 pool villas), restaurants, bars, and spa are set up over 18 hectares of coconut palm groves.
Website: Anantara Peace Haven Tangalle Resort, Sri Lanka.
Opened: late 2015. Photo © Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
25The Serras, Barcelona, Spain
The Serras is a thirty-room city retreat and a Design Hotels member, boasting a prime address near Barri Gotic, El Born, and Barceloneta — and, incidentally, sharing it with the historical Picasso studio. The hotel’s rooftop terrace offers gorgeous views over this popular neighborhood. We love how the building’s neo-classical facade works with airy, light interiors: elegant and fresh, the sleek design combines New York and Catalan styles.
Website: The Serras, Barcelona, Spain. Opened: January 2015. Photo © The Serras
26Amilla Fushi, Maldives
Amilla Fushi means “your island home,” and the resort is designed around the concept of a highly personalized stay, offering its guests a complete island vacation experience. The accommodation consists of “Island Homes” located over-water, high in the treetops, or on the beachfront. You can be sure of delicious food, excellent wine list, impeccable service, and great atmosphere.
Website: Amilla Fushi, Maldives. Opened: February 2015. Photo © Amilla Fushi
27The Temple House, Chengdu, China
Sister property to the high-end Upper House in Hong Kong and The Opposite House in Beijing, the Swire Hotels’ Temple House in Chengdu is a 100-room hotel situated in the Daci Temple Project, a mixed-use commercial area aiming to preserve and restore a historical part of the city. Designed with respect for its historic surroundings, the hotel contains a restored Qing Dynasty courtyard and features architectural elements referencing the old building techniques and materials, with timber, brick, and step stones used throughout. The sleek guest rooms are very much modern, though, with floor-to-ceiling windows and calming design. Facilities include four onsite food-and-beverage outlets, a full-service spa, a swimming pool, and a gym.
Website: The Temple House, Chengdu, China.
Opened: 2015. Photo © Swire Properties
28Cotton House Hotel, Barcelona, Spain
The Hotel Cotton House is part of Marriott’s boutique Autograph Collection, and it occupies a 19th-century townhouse in the Catalan capital. The hotel features 83 rooms and suites and several lounge areas, not least of which is the impressive octagonal hall with two sweeping staircases.
Website: Cotton House Hotel, Autograph Collection, Barcelona, Spain.
Opened: March 2015. Photo © Marriott International
29Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The Swahili word, after which this high-end safari camp is named aptly describes the setting and the mood: angama means “to be suspended mid-air.” Each tented suite has 11m glass floor-to-ceiling windows, light canvas, and sleek parquet floors, with decks protruded over a steeply-descending hillside, down to the Mara, far below.
UPDATE: We have since stayed at the Angama Mara lodge.
Read our review of Angama Mara here.
Website: Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya.
Opened: June 2015. Photo © Angama
30Mandarin Oriental Milan, Milan, Italy
The Mandarin Oriental in Milan took residence in four classic 19th-century buildings, bringing the far-east take on luxury and style to the heart of one of the world’s fashion cities. The hotel enjoys a coveted address in Milan, only steps away from La Scala, adding an excellent spa and an eclectic selection of restaurants to serve sophisticated tastes of the well-heeled clientele. The hotel has just over 100 rooms and suites, with soothing interiors done up in soft palettes with wooden floors and well-curated furniture and fabrics.
Website: Mandarin Oriental Milan, Italy. Opened: 2015. Photo © Mandarin Oriental
31The Miami Beach EDITION, USA
Born from a partnership between hotelier Ian Schrager and the giant Marriott, the Edition brand redefined the Miami luxury resort scene with the Miami Beach EDITION. Elegantly designed, with intricate bungalows and spaces—including the spectacular rooftop penthouse—the hotel is a real stunner.
Website: The Miami Beach EDITION. Opened: January 2015. Photo © Edition Hotels
32Raffles Jakarta, Indonesia
Situated at the heart of the central business district in Jakarta, the Raffles Jakarta features 173 rooms and suites, with an expansive spa, three restaurants and two bars completing the range of facilities. This swanky city hotel is a sister property to the legendary Raffles Singapore, where we popped in to try the Singapore Sling.
Website: Raffles Jakarta, Indonesia.
Opened: March 2015. Photo © Raffles Hotels and Resorts
33Amanjena, Marrakech, Morocco
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Following a refurbishment in 2015, Amanjena reopened with two new restaurants and lounges and several private Residences. What has not changed is the epic, palatial architecture, born from the vision of the architect Ed Tuttle. His pared-down vision of a monumental Moorish palace has a distinct Moroccan identity, infused with the hallmark Aman atmosphere and luxury. The hotel features perfectly symmetrical collonades, vast reflecting pools, decorated arches, while the colors reflect the surrounding olive groves and Berber villages, with pink columns, marble fountains, jade irrigation pools, and see-through curtains flowing in the quiet wind. It’s a tranquil, private place, with grand proportions and a high level of luxury.
Website: Amanjena, Marrakech, Morocco. Re-opened: 2015. Photo © Aman Resorts
34The Knickerbocker Hotel, New York, USA
Originally opened in 1906, The Knickerbocker is the rumored birthplace of the Martini, and now this legendary New York landmark has been transformed into a sophisticated urban property. All 330 rooms and suites of the hotel are designed to offer a promise of the New York luxury lifestyle.
Website: The Knickerbocker Hotel New York, USA.
Opened: February 2015. Photo © The Knickerbocker
35The Sanchaya, Bintan Island, Indonesia
The Sanchaya brings a new dimension of contemporary lifestyle and refined luxury to Bintan Island, a 50-minute trip by ferry from Singapore.
This unique resort hugs a stretch of precious, silvery sand beachfront with a shimmering 50-meter infinity pool reflecting the Sanchaya’s clean lines and graceful architecture. Elegant and exclusive, the place seduces with a promise of a relaxing, sophisticated stay.
UPDATE: We have since visited and stayed at the Sanchaya.
Read our review of the Sanchaya here.
Website: The Sanchaya, Bintan Island, Indonesia.
Opened: 2015. Photo © The Sanchaya
36The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, United Kingdom
Bath has served as a leisure and wellness center for well over 2000 years, and its archaeological and architectural heritage is ranked among the finest in the world. Building upon this unique tradition, the custom-furnished 99 rooms of The Gainsborough Bath Spa subtly references the historical details, setting them in thoughtful harmony with contemporary interior design.
Website: The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath, United Kingdom.
Opened: 2015. Photo © The Gainsborough Bath Spa
37Roving Bushtops Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania
Luxury camping in central Serengeti got a serious boost with the arrival if the Roving Bushtops mobile camp. The thrilling experience of living at one with nature in the beautiful tents goes hand in hand with the excellent game drives in the heart of the most popular African wildlife park.
Website: Roving Bushtops Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania.
Opened: June 2015. Photo © Bushtops Camps
38Brown Beach House Tel Aviv, Israel
A member of Design Hotels, the Brown Urban Beach House hotel offers 40 spacious rooms and suites, private sun terraces with sea or city views, spa, and business facilities—and a quirky indoor “urban beach lounge.” This is the first boutique, high-end hotel on the Tel Aviv’s waterfront—and we love its interior design, infused with a retro vibe.
Website: Brown Beach House Tel Aviv, Israel.
Opened: March 2015. Photo © BrownTLV
39Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, Mallorca, Spain
Following careful restoration, an elegant manor house that stood virtually unchanged for 135 years has opened as Sant Francesc Hotel Singular. Fitted with 42 rooms and suites and furnished with expertly selected fabrics, antiques and bespoke furniture, the hotel benefits from beautiful original architecture and great location in the prominent square of the Sant Francesc church.
Website: Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
Opened: March 2015. Photo © Sant Francesc Hotel Singular
40Fendi Private Suites, Rome, Italy
If the idea of a successful shopping trip for you involves a splurge at a Fendi boutique, you can now go one step further: to shop at Fendi’s flagship store and stay in one of the private suites, all in one place. Palazzo Fendi houses a two-floor store and a seven-suite hotel on the top two floors of the 17th-century palazzo overlooking Via dei Condotti. Located near Piazza Borghese, the hotel has also a rooftop bar and a restaurant, Zuma.
Website: Fendi Private Suites, Rome, Italy.
Opened: December 2015. Photo © Fendi Private Suites
41Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort&Spa, Mauritius
The renowned Le Touessrok resort has reflagged as Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, and it continues to offer its guests access to two islands, Ilot Mangenie and Ile aux Cerfs, which is home to an 18-hole golf course. This five-star resort has 200 guestrooms and suites and three exclusive villas. All come with sea views.
Website: Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort&Spa, Mauritius.
Opened: September 2015. Photo © Shangri-La Group
42Baccarat Hotel and Residences New York, USA
This was the first hotel opening by the luxury brand Baccarat—and smack in the heart of Manhattan. Already established as one of the top hotels in the city, the 114 light-filled rooms and suites wow with a sophisticated mixture of Parisian aesthetic and New York sophistication.
Website: Baccarat Hotel and Residences New York, USA.
Opened: March 2015. Photo © Baccarat Hotel & Residences
43ANI Private Resorts Sri Lanka, Dickwella, Sri Lanka
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Set on the breathtaking beachfront of the southernmost shore of Sri Lanka, ÀNI Private Resorts is a fully-serviced luxury beachfront estate of only 15 guest rooms. Created by the Paris-based architect Reda Amalou (a designer behind the Nam Hai and the Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam), this retreat comes with a spa, large oceanfront pools, children’s facilities, and plenty of spaces for dining and entertainment. Meanwhile, the brand has also arrived in Thailand, with ÀNI Thailand, a stunning 10-villa resort designed to reflect the style of Buddhist temples in the north.
Website: ANI Private Resorts Sri Lanka. Opened: April 2015. Photo © Ani Villas
44Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Tanzania
The renowned brand of Park Hyatt brought to Zanzibar its refined brand of luxury to the most laid-back corners of Tanzania, seriously raising the bar for the hospitality industry in the area. The hotel features sixty-seven spacious guest rooms and suites, with a design inspired by an opulent Omani residence. A prime location on the beachfront of Stone Town is just icing on the cake.
Website: Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Opened: March 2015. Photo © Hyatt Corporation
45JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Venice, Italy
In a city where space comes at a premium and hotel rooms are often on the small side, JW Marriott offers a welcome change, especially for families with children. Located a 20-minute boat ride from the St. Mark’s Square, on an artificial Isola delle Rose, the hotel took over the grounds of a former hospital, established in 1900s. Surrounded by green lawns, gardens, and windswept willow trees, this tranquil resort enchants with light-filled rooms and clean design. JW Marriott’s rooftop terrace with a swimming pool, overlooking the city, is a destination on its own.
Website: JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Venice, Italy.
Opened: 2015. Photo © Marriott International
46Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
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This is an example of a phoenix rising from the ashes. Destroyed in the Cyclone Ita, the Great Barrier Reef resort Lizard Island turned the calamity into an opportunity—for extensive refurbishment and refitting. The hotel added new villa types, launched a dedicated deli room, and relocated and expanded the excellent spa.
Website: Lizard Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Opened: March 2015. Photo © Lizard Island Resort
47Jalakara, Andaman Archipelago, India
“We want to make guests feel as if they have been invited to stay at their friends’ amazing tropical hideaway” —Mark Hill, Jalakara’s owner
This is as an undiscovered a destination as they get. Until recently, some of the islands in the Andaman Archipelago were off-limits to visitors—and the remoteness and lack of decent transport links didn’t encourage tourism either. But this is changing. Jalakara is the first boutique hotel in the Andaman Islands opened with only seven luxury rooms and suites, and a stunning 16-meter infinity pool.
Website: Jalakara, Andaman Archipelago, India. Opened: 2015. Photo © Jalakara
48The Renwick Hotel, New York, USA
Occupying a building that used to host artists and writers, the 173 loft-style rooms of the Renwick are referencing the world of art and creativity. Bespoke furniture pays homage to easels or workbenches, and carpet patterns remind of a paint-splattered concrete.
Website: The Renwick Hotel New York City, Curio Collection by Hilton.
Opened: Summer 2015. Photo © The Renwick
49Linkwasha Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
This camp from one of our favorite safari providers Wilderness Safaris is located in a private concession of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Said to be one of the most luxurious safari camps in the area, Linkwasha comprises eight glamorous en-suite tents, a swimming pool, and a winter lounge with a library and a fireplace.
Website: Linkwasha Camp, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
Opened: May 2015. Photo © Wilderness Safaris
50Nest Tulum, Mexico
Nest Tulum, feels like a cross between a guesthouse and a boutique hotel. Its minimalist interiors are rich in locally sourced furniture and fabrics and materials. Handwoven hammocks, recycled wood, colorful pillows make the place homely and full of rustic comfort. The hotel has only nine rooms and is located in a quiet spot on Tulum’s famous beach.
Website: Nest Tulum, Mexico. Opened: December 2015. Photo © Nest Tulum
//Other Notable Openings of 2015
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The ultimate list of 100 hotels, plus another 100 runners-up!
Best of the rest:
Let’s supplement the above 50 Top Openings with a shortlist of runners-up. These are additional notable hotels, lodges, and resorts launched in 2015.
Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, Okavango Delta, Botswana – December 2015
Le Riad Yasmine, Marrakesh, Morocco. Renovated in 2015.
AdAstra Suites, Florence, Italy. October 2015
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, Italy. March 2015.
Les Bains, Paris, France. Jun 2015.
AthensWas Hotel, Athens, Greece. March 2015.
Grand Ferdinand Vienna, Austria. November 2015.