From tropical islands to Scandinavian wilderness gripped by ice, and from deep jungles to cities packed with glittering skyscrapers, in 2018 the luxury hotel industry went on to conquer all lands real and imagined.
2018 gave us exclusive villas with smooth infinity pools, but also a shipwreck lodge lost in a vast desert and even a luxury hotel set in a former prison. But the most exciting new projects were not just focused on unique locations, beautiful architecture, or cool features. Some properties attempted to reinvent the way we think about a hotel experience.
When browsing the list, keep in mind that some openings were delayed from the previous year, and some others may have slipped to the next one. Also, this list is not arranged in the “best-to-worst” order — and finally, do let us know if we missed any cool new openings. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
1JOALI Maldives, Raa Atoll, Maldives
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We are always super excited about any new luxury openings in the Maldives, but Joali looks extra promising, thanks to beautiful guest accommodation. This island retreat offers 73 luxurious beach and water villas with curated in-room libraries, walk-in closets, and artisanal amenities in the bathrooms. Four restaurants with fusion cuisine, ice cream parlor, whiskey lounge should satisfy all kinds of culinary cravings. What also distinguishes the resort among others is a dedicated Art Studio and Gallery showcasing art and design created out of recycled goods.
UPDATE: Since its launch we have now visited Joali.
Don’t miss the review from our stay!
Website: Joali. Opened late 2018.
Photos (including the leading image at the top of the article) © Joali
2 Amanyangyun, Shanghai, China
“Every Aman has a story to tell and this one is no exception. This project and the many challenges it presented were unimaginable, but we overcame them not only to defy the test of time. […] This resort, a legacy to the past, stands proud as an archive for future generations.”—
Vladislav Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman.
The fourth Aman in China is the result of a 15-year conservation initiative, which involved relocating a forest (!) and the reconstruction of a historic settlement. Situated in downtown Shanghai, the resort is designed in stark contrast to the bustling metropolis. Modeled after a peaceful village and made up of restored Ming and Qing dynasty buildings, Amanyangyun has contemporary suites and pool villas as well as the Aman Spa, two large swimming pools, and six dining venues.
Website: Amanyangyun, Shanghai, China.
Opened in Jan 2018. Photos © Aman Resorts
3Alila Villas Koh Russey, Cambodia
This long-delayed, five-star eco-resort from Alila has finally launched in 2018 on the island of Koh Russey. Designed by the Singaporean architect Chioh-Hui Goh of the Studiogoto, the sleek architecture of Alila Villas Koh Russey takes Khmer ambiance and charm to create a beautiful experience of contemporary luxury. One, two and four-bedroom villas are all carefully placed to maximize the magnificent sea views, and each villa comes with a private swimming pool. This is the first ‘Villas’ class of resort from Alila outside Bali, after the Alila Villas Uluwatu, a stay at which we truly loved.
Website: Alila Villas Koh Russey, Cambodia.
Opened in September 2018. Photos © Alila Hotels
4 Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
We love Six Senses almost as much as we love Bali, so to us, this new opening is the perfect match. In a classic Six Senses approach, the resort design draws from the deeply spiritual local culture of Bali, while its location and landscaping embraces nature. Set atop a rugged cliff, the property shares a spectacular sunset view with the famous Uluwatu Temple. The resort has twenty-eight Sky Villas, sixty-two one-bedroom and seven two-bedroom villas. The Six Senses Spa is also here, offering a range of locally-inspired treatments as the Six Senses signature therapies.
Website: Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.
Opened in March 2018. Photos © Six Senses
5Istoria, Santorini, Greece
To claim that this could be “the most Instagrammable hotel” on Santorini is bold talk on an island filled with some of the most beautiful small hotels in Europe — but Istoria does seem to have the right design ideas. The Greece-based Interior Design Laboratorium studio designed the property in a contemporary style, with mosaic floors, large stone pots, and handcrafted textiles surrounded by architecture that skillfully merges the white minimalist forms of Santorini with rustic stone walls and clean interiors.
Website: Istoria Hotel Santorini, Greece.
Opened in June 2018. Photos © Istoria Hotel Santorini
6Kudadoo Maldives Private Island, Maldives
Kudadoo Maldives Private Islands is a serene and exclusive destination resort with only fifteen villas. The resort offers an all-inclusive private island experience and stands out as one of the first Maldivian resorts that are capable of operating on solar power entirely during sunny periods. Kudadoo Maldives’ design has a subtle Japanese feel, thanks to the vision of the New York-based architect Yuji Yamazaki. The villas are all overwater, located around a horseshoe-shaped jetty connecting them to the small island of Kudadoo.
Website: Kudadoo Maldives Private Island, Maldives.
Opened in December 2018. Photos © Kudadoo Maldives Private Island
7Six Senses Fiji, Fiji
One of our favorite brands of luxury resorts is venturing into new destinations, including cities and mountain areas, but Fiji is tropical and very remote. It’s the kind of setting we love the Six Senses in the most, so we are looking forward to checking out the white-sand beaches, the fantastic spa, and spacious villas, beautifully designed in the brand’s hallmark style that blends indoor and outdoor living.
Website: Six Senses Fiji, Fiji. Opened on April 14, 2018. Photos © Six Senses
8Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
“It’s nothing that I’ve ever done before. It’s everything I’ve dreamed about. [It’s] way beyond glamping.”
This property has been designed and is owned by the world-renowned designer Bill Bensley and it is regarded as “the most luxurious tented camp in Asia.” There are only sixteen 100-square-meter tents here, hidden deep in the jungle on 500 acres of land and located between three oldest national parks in Cambodia. Bensley ambition is to create a jungle resort built to the highest luxury standards, but also one that is “fully self-sustaining”.
Website: Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia. Opened in Q3 2018. Photo © Shinta Mani
9Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island
Remote and secluded, yet only a 35-minute flight from Mahé, the Desroches Island is perfectly located to provide an experience of “luxury castaway”, courtesy of Four Seasons. Following extensive renovations of an old resort, the Four Seasons offers forty beach suites with private pools as well as eleven private residence villas — all set up as an exclusive destination on a pristine tropical island, edged by fourteen kilometres of white beaches.
Website: Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island, Seychelles.
Opened early in 2018. Photos © Four Seasons Hotels
10Hoanib Valley Camp, Namibia
Namibia astonished us with its beauty like no other place on Earth, so we are always very excited about any new luxury properties opening here. Especially if they are like The Hoanib Valley Camp from Natural Selection Safaris. This unique and exclusive camp has only six stylish tents. Raised on decks with ensuite bathrooms, they overlook the ephemeral Hoanib River, whose banks are frequented by elephants. Desert-adapted rhino and lions are also present in the area.
Website: Hoanib Valley Camp, Namibia.
Opened in May 2018. Image © Natural Selection Safari
11Fairmont Maldives – Sirru Fen Fushi, Maldives
Fairmont Sirru Fen Fushi has all the hallmarks of a perfect Maldivian paradise. At least, the look of it does it for us: just picture pearl-white beaches ringing a patch of tropical forest, and a string of beautiful villas puncturing the island and extending into the turquoise shallows. Tastefully designed, with thatched roofs and whitewashed walls, the architecture and design of the resort embody an exotic private island vacation.
UPDATE: We have since visited and stayed at Fairmont Maldives.
Read our review of Fairmont Maldives – Sirru Fen Fushi here.
Website: Fairmont Maldives – Sirru Fen Fushi, Maldives.
Opened in April 2018. Photos © Fairmont
12Mombo and Little Mombo Camps, Botswana
Wilderness Safaris has been upgrading several flagship lodges in different countries, including Botswana. Here, in the Moremi Game Reserve, two sister lodges have undergone a major overhaul, and they are the last word when it comes to exclusivity: Mombo is composed of nine guest tents and Little Mombo of only three. Although located on two sides of the same island (a raised boardwalk connects them), each camp comes with its own facilities.
Website: Mombo Camp, Botswana.
Opened in March 2018. Photo © Wilderness Safaris
13The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui, Thailand
The Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui is a stunning oceanfront resort of 175 suites and pool villas, set on 58 acres of a former coconut plantation, and overlooking two white-sand beaches lapped by the calm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The hotel also features a massive Spa with multiple treatment pavilions (plus a health bar and a lap pool with cozy cabanas), and as many as six different dining venues.
Website: The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui, Thailand.
Opened in Feb 2018. Photo © The Ritz-Carlton
14Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos
The news of the Rosewood property opening in Laos is exciting, as this country has been on our to-visit list for a long time. This is a luxury resort with tented villas — the first of this kind in the Rosewood portfolio — with each villa set up as on a hundred-square-meters of room. The property has two dining venues and the signature Sense spa. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang city is only minutes from the hotel.
Website: Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos.
Opened in first quarter of 2018. Photos © Rosewood Hotels and Resorts
15The Middle House, Shanghai, China
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This is the fourth property under the Swire Hotel’s House Collective brand, originally created to bring together three distinctive hotels, The Upper House Hong Kong, The Opposite House Beijing, and The Temple House Chengdu. The Middle House offers 111 rooms and 102 Residences, with interiors designed by Milan-based designer Piero Lissoni, and the architecture by Lissoni Associati and Wong and Ouyang. The Middle House exudes the brand’s trademark style of intimate luxury and personalized service. The property has an abundance of outdoor spaces and terraces that help to create a feeling of a calm oasis in one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities.
Website: The Middle House, Shanghai, China.
Opened early 2018. Photo © Swire Hotels
16Olea All Suite Hotel, Zakynthos, Greece
Set on a picturesque hill and surrounded by olive trees and the ever-present element of water, the Olea All Suite Hotel Zakynthos attempts to connect indoor and outdoor environments in a concept that infuses wellness-leaning philosophy with a quiet romantic ambiance and minimalistic design. There are three restaurants on-site, focused on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine; and the spa, gym, beauty salon, and yoga pavilion are integral parts of the wellness experience.
Website: Olea All Suite Hotel, Zakynthos, Greece.
Opened in June 2018. Photos © Olea All Suite Hotel
17Six Senses Duxton, Singapore
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Duxton is somewhat a departure for Six Senses Resorts, as the usual ingredients familiar to the brand’s aficionados — such as a beach, a remote location, even an on-site spa — are not part of the deal here. Instead, this is a tiny city hotel housed in a 19th-century heritage building, formerly a row of shophouses in a low-rise part of downtown Singapore. The hotel’s design is moody, characterful and full of contrasts, and it feels like a bold statement against the cookie-cutter beiges and chromes of any high-rise city hotel.
But fulfill the promise of a “Six Senses” experience? Since its opening, we had the chance to visit the Six Senses Duxton and find out for ourselves — don’t miss our review!
Website: Six Senses Duxton, Singapore. Opened April 2018. Photo © Six Senses
18Wa Ale Island Resort, Burma
In the novelty-seeking luxury hotel’s world, new destinations are the hottest commodity. It’s not hard to predict then that Burma is being eagerly looked to with the hope that the country is approaching its moment. Paving the way is Wa Ale, being readied for its March opening on a 9000-acre island in the Lampi Marine National Park. Made up of eleven tented villas and three treetop hideouts, this unique resort will sit alongside a kilometre-long beach, in the untouched Mergui Archipelago.
UPDATE: We have since visited and stayed at Wa Ale Island Resort.
Read our review of Wa Ale Island Resort here.
Website: Wa Ale Island Resort, Burma.
Opened in March 2018. Photos © Wa Ale Island Resort
19Soho House Amsterdam, Netherlands
A six-floor limestone-and-granite 1930s building is home to the Soho House Amsterdam, a 79-room hotel with a stunning rooftop, an in-house cinema, and Cowshed Spa. The guest rooms range from Tiny to XL Monumental, and their design draws colors from the waterways of Amsterdam, with blue and seaweed-green, while the architectural features recall hints of Art Deco. There is a lovely set of guest amenities, from flip-flops and phone chargers to hot-water bottles, while an excellent range of Cowshed shower gels, shampoos, and oils add a touch of pampering. The interiors have some truly remarkable features, from the intimidating gym to a spectacular central stairway, with a church-like quality.
Website: Soho House Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Opened in 2018. Photo © Soho House
Based on the track record of the Zannier Hotels, we are very excited about their new lodge in Namibia. The arid landscapes are particularly well suited as a backdrop to the kind of pared-down and sophisticated look that this Belgium-based specialize in. The 10-room Omaanda is located near Windhoek, set up in a 9000-hectare wildlife reserve that is home to elephant and rhino. The guest “huts” here are inspired by the traditions of the Ovambo tribe. The camp features a restaurant and spa as well.
Website: Omaanda, Namibia. Opened in summer 2018. Photos © Zannier Hotels
21The Barcelona EDITION, Barcelona, Spain
2018 was a huge year for The Edition hotel group, which was on a spending spree with ambitions to expand worldwide, but the opening we looked forward to the most was the Barcelona EDITION, in Spain. This 100 room luxury boutique hotel inspires with personalized service and great facilities, including signature restaurant Bar Veraz and a stunning outdoor pool. With a desirable location in the Ciutat Vella district, this new hot spot on the Barcelona map is a worthy addition to the vibrant hotel scene in the city.
Website: The Barcelona EDITION, Barcelona, Spain.
Opened mid 2018. Photo © Marriott International
22Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini, Greece
Canaves Oia Epitome is part of a collection of five boutique luxury hotels from Canaves, all located in various spots around Oia. The Epitome overlooks a small fishing town of Ammoudi and has access to a beach, which is something of a rarity in Santorini. The hotel boasts an infinity pool, a restaurant and sundowner bar, while its guest suites are equipped with plunge pools, designed to maximize the sunset views.
Website: Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini, Greece.
Opened in May 2018. Photos © Canaves Oia Hotel
23Palm Suite, Rome, Italy
Located near Forum Romanum, in Rome’s heart, and facing the Basilica of Maxentius with views toward the Colosseum, the Palm Suite is perfectly situated for exploring the iconic sights of the Eternal City. The hotel is housed in an 18th-century building, whose tall ceilings and red brick imprint a personality on the design. A consistent visual theme runs through the interiors, e.g. as the wallpaper pattern, in headboards, and on lamps, with the image of palm trees reflecting the hotel’s name. The eclectic design mixes colonial elements, exotic imagery, African prints, vintage designs, and even pop accents. Designer furniture in vibrant and energetic hues is set against neutral gray on walls.
Website: Palm Suite, Rome, Italy. Opened in 2018. Photo © Palm Suite
24One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda
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Rwanda has become a hot destination in recent years and is one to welcome more and more new luxury lodges, among them the Nyungwe House, by One&Only. Set on a working tea plantation on the edge of Nyungwe National Park, the property offers twenty-two rooms and suites situated in 6 wooden villas with open fireplaces and private decks and exceptional views of the forest.
Website: One&Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda.
Opened late 2018. Photos © One&Only Resorts
25Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Safari-style hotels are clearly in vogue, but Bali has not yet seen a property like this yet. Capella Ubud delivers the experience of glamping in the heart of the island, with 22 tents designed by the world-famous architect Bill Bensley. Inspired by the spirit of exploration and discovery in the nineteenth century, the luxurious accommodation nevertheless comes with all mod cons, including private plunge pools.
Website: Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. Opened in 2018. Photo © Capella Hotel Group
26Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, China
If our stay at Bulgari Resort in Bali is to tell us anything, it is that this brand is well set up to fulfill the expectations of the most spoiled sybarites. And now Bulgari brings its glitzy Italian style to Shanghai’s vibrant hotel scene. Occupying eight top floors of a 40-floor-high skyscraper, the hotel offers more than eighty guest suites, including an extravagant 400-square-meter “Bulgari Suite”, one of the biggest in the city. Definitely check out their rooftop restaurant and bar.
Website: Bulgari Shanghai, China. Opened in 2018. Photo © Bulgari Hotels & Resorts
27Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Namibia is booming, and rightly so, as it is a wonderful destination. One of the most eerily beautiful areas of the country is the Skeleton Coast, where the ancient Namib Desert meets Atlantic and where the remains of hundreds of beached ships are slowly consumed by the elements. This unique place is the inspiration for Shipwreck Lodge as the twelve chalets reflect the rusty, upturned shapes of old vessels, while the textures and materials of the decor reflect the weathered surroundings. At the same time, the interiors could easily trace their pedigrees to the latest chic décor catalogues.
Website: Shipwreck Lodge, Skeleton Coast, Namibia.
Opened in June 2018. Photos © Natural Selection Safari
28Hotel Lutetia, Paris, France
Following a restoration commissioned to the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Hotel Lutetia started a new chapter of its long and illustrious history. With past guests such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Josephine Baker, the architect had a lot to live up to. But there is no doubt that the work done on this landmark building returned it to the former Art Nouveau glory. The 184 rooms and suites (plus two penthouses) were refreshed to suit contemporary sensitivities, while new additions included a holistic spa center.
Website: Hotel Lutetia, Paris, France. Opened in Spring 2018. Photo © Lutetia Paris
29The Jaffa, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel
“The aim of the architectural intervention […] is to preserve the site’s powerful atmosphere while returning the existing buildings and adding significant contemporary components to the composition” —designer John Pawson
Located in Jaffa, the oldest district of Tel Aviv, The Jaffa hotel occupies a former hospital and convent, a historic building that was offered a new lease of life following a meticulous restoration. Today it is a luxury property with 127 hotel rooms and 32 residences, a spa, a signature restaurant, a fitness center, and an outdoor deck with a swimming pool. The amazing 19th century French Hospital’s Chapel is a bar, while the lobby features 12th-century ruins.
Website: The Jaffa, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Opened in March 2018. Photos © Marriott International
30The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia
The ongoing refurbishment project at the Datai Langkawi had us drooling with anticipation, especially as the makeover was directed by the original creators of this luxury resort. The visionary Australian architect Kerry Hill and the interior designer Didier Lefort of DL2A oversaw the extensive renovation, which included the refurbishment of the resort’s guest rooms and villas, an extension of the spa, and a new fitness center by the beach.
Website: The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia.
Opened in December 2018. Photo © The Datai
31Chablé Maroma, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Set alongside Maroma, one of the area’s most exclusive private beaches and occupying a patch of a lush jungle, Chablé Maroma is the second Chablé property, following in the footsteps of the older Chablé Resort & Spa Yucatan. The guest rooms of this new resort are hidden among a lush forest and feature private swimming pools and outdoor terraces. The spa incorporates Mayan ancestral techniques while the three restaurants serve only ingredients that have been sourced locally.
Website: Chablé Maroma, Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Opened in September 2018. Photo © Chablé Hotels
32&Beyond Tengile River Lodge – Sabi Sand, South Africa
Situated in the wild Sabi Sand Game Reserve, the Tengile River Lodge is a beautiful addition to the portfolio of &Beyond, the safari company well-known for its string of luxury lodges and camps across Africa. Tengile translates as “tranquil”, and the lodge designers (Anatomy Design) took it as a guiding principle when creating elegant interiors and warm, intimate spaces infused with contemporary chic. Nine guest suites offer sunken lounges, chic bedrooms, and bathrooms that open to the forest. Raised above the ground, the rooms have magnificent river views.
Website: &Beyond Tengile River Lodge, Sabi Sand, South Africa.
Opened in Dec 2018. Photos © &Beyond
33The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s top tourist attractions. Set in a dramatic landscape shaped by volcanic activity, with steaming pools, rugged lava flow rock the backdrop to the electric blue water. Located directly on-site, The Retreat is a luxury hotel that gives its guests exclusive access to the geothermal spring and a private swimming area set apart from the main body of the lagoon. This 62-room retreat also has a subterranean spa in which the Hidden Cove offers a private holistic experience that includes a butler and on-call chef.
Website: The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, Iceland.
Opened in April 2018. Image © The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
34Zuri Zanzibar Hotel & Resort, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Zanzibar has a lot of room for beautiful hotels and Zuri makes us want to visit the island again. Set on the north coast, this Design Hotels member offers a luxury of simplicity in a “beach hammock” type of experience. The large private beach is the main attraction, but there are also a couple of bars, a grill restaurant, and a swimming pool. Fifty-four villas are designed in a style that marries chic modernism with a thatched-roof accommodation.
Website: Zuri Zanzibar Hotel & Resort, Zanzibar, Tanzania.
Opened in July 2018. Photos © Zuri Zanzibar
35Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey
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The resorts from Six Senses offer the kind of blend of luxury, sustainability, design, and mood that resonates with us, so we are always interested in new openings from the group. The opening of the Six Senses Kaplankaya, on the Turkish Riviera, marked their expansion into the Mediterranean. Designed to reflect the landscape of rugged rocks, golden beaches and undulating hills covered by wild cypresses and olive trees, the resort features 141 guestrooms and suites, including 66 Ridge Villas, as well as 154 private adjacent residences. With the addition of the massive Spa complex, this place is shaped up to be another great destination.
Website: Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey. Opened in May 2018. Image © Six Senses
36The Shanghai EDITION, Shanghai, China
Located only a 5-minute walk from The Bund, The Shanghai EDITION occupies a unique property made up of two separate towers. The ample space ensures the 145 guest rooms are accompanied by ten levels of public space with meeting rooms and conference spaces, and numerous food and beverage outlets. These include a signature Japanese restaurant on the 27th floor, a Cantonese dining venue with five private dining rooms, an all-day dining restaurant, three lounge bars, and two rooftop bars.
Website: The Shanghai EDITION, Shanghai, China.
Opened in 2018. Photos © EDITION Hotels
37The NoMad Hotel Los Angeles, Los Angeles, US
The NoMad hotel and restaurant in New York City are well established and loved by the locals — and now its unique take on the city chic is also enjoyed by the discerning crowds in LA. The hotel took over the 20th century Giannini Building, originally designed in a Neoclassical fashion as the headquarters for The Bank of Italy. Carefully refurbished and updated, the place now hosts 241 rooms (including 31 suites) with interiors drawing inspiration from the lobby’s restored gold-and-blue Italianate ceilings. The hotel’s rooftop cocktail bar, with a swimming pool and alfresco dining space, is one of the coolest hangouts in the city’s booming downtown.
Website: The NoMad Hotel Los Angeles, Los Angeles, US.
Opened in January 2018. Photo © NoMad Hotel
38Serra Cafema Camp, Kunene, Namibia
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“Getting to Serra Cafema is a tough journey. Hundreds of square kilometers of mountains and desert surround the camp and no permanent roads cross this part of the country. The only way of traveling here is an arduous flight on a bumpy light plane. It may be one of the remotest luxury camps in all of Africa—but reaching it is worth every effort.”
This is what we wrote about our stay at the Serra Cafema, so it was great to learn that Wilderness Safaris was rebuilding and upgrading the camp. And it was already one of the most beautiful camps we stayed at. Now the place got even better — which is enough of a reason to re-visit. Even if the desolate, rugged landscape and the remote location on the border with Angola are worth it on their own.
Website: Serra Cafema Camp. Opened in June 2018. Photo © Wilderness Safaris
39The Hoxton Williamsburg, New York, US
If the very cool Hoxton Paris was an indication of anything, it was that The Hoxton was ready to hit it big with more openings, and soon more followed, all in the USA, with the openings in Williamsburg (NY) and in the Old Town Chinatown of Portland (OR).
Already established as one of the most fashionable boutique hotels in town, The Hoxton Williamsburg is located on the site of the former Rosenwach Water Tank Company and positioned itself as “part of its neighborhood”. The 175-room hotel hosts monthly events and is open to the public with three restaurants, a terrace bar, and a roof deck.
Website: The Hoxton Williamsburg, New York, US.
Opened in 2018. Photo © The Hoxton
40The Bodrum EDITION, Bodrum, Turkey
Peppered by olive trees and lawns and studded with plunge pools, this magnificent property descends in terraces and layers to a private beach, filled with sand made up of pulverized marble. The Bodrum EDITION features 108 guest rooms, suites, and villas, many benefitting from sea views, and depending on the category the rooms feature private pools, balconies, and gardens. The hotel facilities include a state-of-the-art spa with Turkish Hammam and fitness center, and innovative food and beverage outlets, and infinity pool and a jetty that houses private cabanas.
Website: The Bodrum EDITION, Bodrum, Turkey.
Opened in June 2018. Photo © Marriott International
41&Beyond Bateleur Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya
Situated just below the exact spot where the famous final scene of the movie Out of Africa was filmed, the Bateleur Camp promises a glamorous safari experience. This classic Masai Mara camp rebooted following a complete rebuild and makeover, with all safari tents expanded to 97m2. They now have private verandas with comfortable built-in daybeds and ensuite bathrooms with spacious bathtubs and alfresco showers. The camp is also enhanced by the addition of a gin bar, two new swimming pools with beautiful views of the Masai Mara, as well as a massage sala and a well-equipped fitness center.
Website: &Beyond Bateleur Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.
Re-opened in March 2018. Photos © &Beyond
42Rosewood Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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Located in the Vattanac Capital Tower in the central business district of the capital of Cambodia, and the tallest hotel in the city, this sleek skyscraper hotel has since its opening gained a reputation for ultra-luxury and high level of service. The exceptional views, fashionable rooftop bar, tranquil spa, and elegant, branded tuk-tuks are features that make it a standout in many more ways.
Website: Rosewood Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Opened in February 2018. Photo © Rosewood Hotels
43Kenshō Psarou, Mykonos, Greece
Located just above the golden strip of Psarou Beach, Kenshō Psarou is a hotel of 32 rooms and suites, each with a private jacuzzi tub or plunge pool. It’s the second Kenshō hotel on the island and Psarou continues the aesthetic that blends the traditional cubist architecture of Cyclades with contemporary style. Facing the glistening sea, the hotel descends towards the beach, with the lounge and facilities arranged neatly around the organically-shaped swimming pool.
Website: Kenshō Psarou, Mykonos, Greece.
Opened in June 2018. Photo © Kenshō Psarou
44W Brisbane, Australia
In 2018 the Marriott brand continued its vigorous global expansion with the W brand, opening its outpost in Brisbane. This sleek 5-star city hotel is situated in the heart of the city, on the edge of the iconic Brisbane River. All the W brand ingredients are here: exceptional design, contemporary flair, humor and bold statements in spacious guestrooms and suites designed to reflect Queensland’s savoir-faire.
Website: W Brisbane, Australia. Opened in June 2018. Photos © Marriott International
45COMO Uma Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
COMO Hotels is already well established in Bali, and Uma Canggu is their third property on the island. This time it is a beach resort, located near one of the best surf spots in the area. Non-surfers can take up surf tuition, but the fantastic COMO spa is a tempting alternative, alongside sunbathing and lounging at the COMO Beach Club, around which the resort is formed.
Website: COMO Uma Canggu, Bali, Indonesia.
Opened in Feb 2018. Photo © COMO Hotels
46Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This new arrival to the luxury hotel scene of Malaysia’s capital makes its mark in the thriving district of the Golden Triangle. Located in a 65-floor mixed-use tower that includes retail and residential, the Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur has 209 guest rooms and suites as well as 27 serviced residences, plus a full spectrum of facilities. Four dining outlets include a rooftop pool bar and an all-day dining restaurant with views of the Petronas Twin Towers.
Website: Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Opened mid-2018. Photo © Four Seasons Hotels Limited
47Brach Paris, France
The 59-room hotel is located in Paris’ upper-class 16th arrondissement, in what used to be a letter-sorting facility some fifty years ago. But if the deep-time heritage was boring, the hip Brach is anything but. Born in the visionary mind of Philippe Starck, the playful design brings delightful contrasts to the spacious interiors. They are equally sensual and methodical, minimal and colorful, and are inspired by multicultural influences, from Africa, Asia, and South America. Some creative ideas that set it apart from the cookie-cutter hotel experience include concept bookshops instead of minibars and a rooftop vegetable garden with roaming hens, accessible for guests staying in Suites. A massive sports club is a part of the offering, with a 72-foot swimming pool, sauna, hammam, and even a salt cave.
Website: Brach Paris, France. Opened in 2018. Photo © Brach
48Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, Thailand
Housed in the 60-floor Magnolias Ratchadamri complex, the 171-room Waldorf Astoria hotel is a great addition to the luxury hotel scene in Bangkok. The guest accommodations, starting at 50m2 feature marble bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub while the two-bedroom Royal Suite (over 300 sqm) with kitchen and dining room should satisfy the most discerning city dweller. The guests enjoy a rooftop restaurant, two bars, an indulgent wellness spa, as well as an outdoor infinity pool.
Website: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, Thailand.
Opened in August 2018. Photo © Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
49Alila Wuzhen, Zheijang, China
Impeccable and intriguing, the design and architecture of this Alila hotel draws from the local heritage but also reflects the best trends in contemporary architecture. Designed by Greentown Oriental Architects studio which scored a major award for the project, this hotel of more than 100 rooms is a beautiful spot from which to discover the 1000 years of the cultural history of the ancient town of Wuzhen.
Also in Asia, in 2018 the group opened Alila SCBD in Jakarta, and Alila Bangsar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Website: Alila Wuzhen, Zheijang, China.
Opened in May 2018. Photo © Alila Hotels & Resorts
50Kettner’s Townhouse, London, UK
Kettner’s Townhouse is located next to the group’s original Soho House on Greek Street. Originally established in 1867 as London’s first French restaurant, Kettner’s Townhouse remained open for business all the way through two world wars and beyond. While still primarily a restaurant, the place now invites guests to its 33 guest bedrooms on upper floors. The room design is inspired by the 1920s, bringing to mind a French boudoir style.
Website: Kettner’s Townhouse, London, UK.
Opened in January 2018. Photo © Soho House
51Four Seasons Hotel Tunis, Tunisia
The Four Seasons Hotel Tunis is the group’s first foray into North Africa and the two-hundred-room property stretches alongside five hundred meters of beach. The resort offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean coastline, including from the three restaurants and two lounges, while the centerpiece of the hotel is its Roman spa. Boasting ten treatment rooms plus a VIP suite, the spa is an eye-candy of marble columns, dreamy water features, and a glass-walled indoor-outdoor pool.
Website: Four Seasons Hotel Tunis, Tunisia.
Opened January 2018. Photos © Four Seasons Hotels Limited
52The Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
With the mighty Victoria Falls a mere 15-minute drive away, and The Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel brings refined luxury to one of the most remarkable regions in Africa. Surrounded by a private nature reserve, with an elephant-visited watering hole nearby, this five-star boutique hotel features a garden with a swimming pool and only sixteen luxury Suites. The beautiful interiors capture the charm of a bygone era while ensuring guests enjoy modern luxuries.
Website: The Stanley and Livingstone Boutique Hotel, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Opened in October 2018. Photo © MORE Family Collection
53Azerai Can Tho, Can Tho, Vietnam
Built on a verdant islet, The Azerai is only accessible by boat from the city of Can Tho. The designers of this chic resort looked to traditional architecture and interpreted it in a contemporary style in its 60 guest rooms. Those staying here have an opportunity to experience spa, use the tennis court, swim in the centrally located rectangular infinity pool, and choose from two restaurants for dining. Among excursions and activities, the highlight is a trip on an early morning boat to witness the local fishermen and plantation farmers trade their catch and crops at the Cai Rang floating markets.
Website: Azerai Can Tho, Can Tho, Vietnam.
Opened in January 2018. Photo © Azerai
54The Abu Dhabi EDITION, United Arab Emirates
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Another noticeable opening from the EDITION group is the hotel in Abu Dhabi, the destination which got an extra spotlight in 2018 thanks to the opening of The Louvre branch. The hotel is situated in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen Marina, with nearly every guest room, suite, penthouse and residence offering great sea views. There are 198 guest rooms and 57 exclusively serviced residences, and facilities include two pools, two state-of-the-art fitness centers, as well as a spa with seven treatment rooms. Dining outlets include three signature restaurants and bars in the lobby and by the pool.
Website: The Abu Dhabi EDITION, United Arab Emirates.
Opened November 2018. Photo © Marriott International
55Banyan Tree Anji, China
Banyan Tree Anji is located in the countryside of rippling green hills, famous for its bamboo forests and white tea. The resort’s 151 rooms, suites, and villas provide intoxicating views of the mountainous landscape in this popular summer destination in eastern China. Infused with the classic glamour of the Banyan Tree style, the architecture and interior design reflect the local cultural traditions. Among the amenities and services, the resort offers the signature Spa, kids club, two restaurants, one lounge and a bar.
Website: Banyan Tree Anji, China. Opened in May 2018. Photos © Banyan Tree Hotels
56Viceroy Los Cabos, Mexico
Surrounded by flat surfaces of water, wrapping around the minimalistic buildings that house luxury suites and villas, this stunning property looks almost like a work of contemporary art. Viceroy Los Cabos features a new beach bar and a swimming pool, while the fitness center and spa are both state-of-the-art, and there is even a small private cinema. The resort has 194 rooms, suites, and villas.
Website: Viceroy Los Cabos, Mexico.
Opened in spring 2018. Photo © Viceroy Hotel Group
57The RuMa Hotel and Residences, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The RuMa is designed for Instagram-obsessives and aimed at style-conscious couples. The creative minds behind the interiors drew inspiration from Kuala Lumpur’s history in tin-mining and rubber plantations, using copper as a design feature, both as a material and as a color. In stark contrast, the 6th floor features a bright, sparkling azure swimming pool, laced with glittering tiles, and cantilevered from the side of the hotel. The Ruma enjoys a central location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle and is a serene urban resort surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city. Many of its luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites ensure breathtaking cityscape views. The hotel experience is designed with the concept of “hostmanship” at the core, with intuitive service, devoid of complicated processes.
Website: The RuMa Hotel and Residences, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Opened December 2018. Photos © The RuMa Hotel and Residences
58Anantara Quy Nhon Villas, Vietnam
Located on a serene beach between Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas invites its guests to taste the beauty of southern Vietnam through the experience of a luxury resort. This hideaway is composed of only twenty-five private pool villas, designed with elegance and restraint. The guests can enjoy a swimming pool, onsite gym, restaurant, and a library. The diverse neighborhood provides plenty of ideas for activities, from taking adventurous hikes to visiting secluded temples.
Website: Anantara Quy Nhon Villas, Vietnam.
Opened mid-2018. Photo © Anantara Hotels
59The Setai Tel Aviv, Israel
This luxury hotel boasts 120 rooms housed in a former Ottoman prison, now transformed and refurbished in a style that sets contemporary aesthetics against the site’s heritage elements. The sleek interiors feature the original 13th-century stonework, as well as Ottoman doors, wrought-iron bars, reclaimed timber from the historical roof, and a centuries-old fountain. A restored Turkish Hamam Spa and infinity rooftop pool look towards Tel Aviv cityscape and ensure breathtaking views from sunrise to sunset.
Website: The Setai Tel Aviv, Israel. Opened in January 2018. Photo © The Setai Hotels
60W Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
We know the W Hotels as the place to be if you crave cool urban vibes, and W Kuala Lumpur follows the modus operandi of this luxury brand. Located at the Malaysian capital’s Golden Triangle, the hotel wows with a combination of art, design, music, and fashion. Attracting the design-aware, discerning audience, the urban chic in the style of W will infuse one hundred and fifty guest rooms as well as restaurants, lounge, bar, fitness centre, spa, and a swimming pool.
Website: W Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Opened in June 2018. Photo © Marriott International
61Soho House Mumbai, India
The favorite hangout of celebrities from London to Hollywood landed in India for its Bollywood debut. Housed in the upscale neighborhood of Juhu, the Soho House Mumbai has thirty-eight bedrooms of various sizes, as well as a gym, cinema room, and Cecconi’s, the restaurant. The hotel benefits from direct access to the popular Juhu Beach, while its rooftop pool and bar looking out to sea is a fashionable spot.
Website: Soho House Mumbai, India. Opened in mid-2018. Photo © Soho House
62&Beyond Phinda Homestead, South Africa
Reborn following a fire in December 2016 and extensive overhaul, this sole-use house located in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province was recreated as a contemporary bush home. The new interiors bear hints of the 1980s retro design, while the colors, textures and raw materials bring to mind the local traditions of the Zulu craftwork. The house ensures a relaxing stay thanks to the spacious, simple yet elegant bedrooms, a well-equipped gym, massage room, and the library.
Also at the Phinda Private Game Reserve, the Phinda Vlei Lodge has undergone a refurbishment, with a style that evokes a sense of the Old World luxury. The updated interiors feature an eclectic mix of curated antiques, tapestries, fine art, vintage fabrics, and silver.
Website: &Beyond Phinda Homestead, South Africa.
Re-opened in Sep 2018. Photos © &Beyond
63Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, Greece
We love coming back to Greece, so next time we are in Athens we know where to check-in. Located only 30 minutes from the historical city center and occupying a lovely spot on the trendy Athens Riviera, the Four Seasons Astir Palace is a laid-back seaside escape with easy access to Acropolis. The hotel has 303 guest rooms, suites, and bungalows, three pools, two private beaches and eight restaurants, lounges and bars. The Spa claims to be “inspired by the ancient teachings of Hippocrates.”
Website: Four Seasons Astir Palace. Delayed to 2019. Photo © Four Seasons Hotels
64Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andaman Islands, India
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The remote Andaman Islands have the right location and pedigree to become the next hot spot for the travelers looking for something off the beaten path. Landing on Havelock Island, known as a staging ground for some excellent diving, the new Taj Exotica Resort & Spa capitalize on the destination’s opportunities. The resort is ocated on the edge of a jungle, and alongside Radhanagar Beach, one of the most desirable beaches in the Andaman archipelago. Serene and remote, it is a beautiful backdrop to the seventy-five private villas, three restaurants, and a spa. Inspired by the pitch-roof style of the local Jawarawa huts, the beautiful design of this Taj resort further enhances the experience.
Website: Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Andamans, India.
Opened in March 2018. Photo © Taj Exotica Resort & Spa
65White City House, London, UK
This Soho House hotel is located in the revived former BBC Television Centre. This famous circular building was transformed into a new ‘village’ with hundreds of apartments, restaurants, and cafes — and the White City House hotel. It has 45 bedrooms, a Cowshed Spa and a cinema. And as with all Soho House’s properties, the hotel also boast a rooftop swimming pool. Beyond that, the brand has expanded further still this year will the unveiling of the Soho House Amsterdam as well as the Soho Warehouse in LA.
Website: White City House, London, UK.
Opened in spring 2018. Photo © Soho House
66Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden, Mallorca, Spain
Set in a quiet side street of Palma’s La Lonja district, this hotel occupies what was first a medieval Mallorcan mansion, and later a school run by nuns. Renovated to reflect the heritage beauty of the original house, Can Bordoy juxtaposes antique frescoes and wooden beams with design furniture and curated contemporary art. The hotel has only twenty-four suites, and a garden, which is somewhat a rarity in the tight build of the city, with a swimming pool and a spa. Stepping through the doors of this hotel means entering a secluded and surprising oasis from the hustle and bustle of Palma.
Website: Can Bordoy Grand House & Garden, Mallorca, Spain.
Opened in 2018. Photo © Can Bordoy
67LUX* North Malé Atoll, Maldives
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LUX* Resorts & Hotels launched their second property in the Maldives on Olhahali, a six-hectare island only 45 minutes by speedboat from Male. Behind the development of the resort is the Singapore design studio Miaja, who took inspiration from nautical forms and tones to create unique blends a luxury yacht glamour with a beach club vibe. Rather than the typical to Maldives thatched villas, the resort consists of sixty-seven innovative penthouse residences, one-, two- and three-bedroom. Well-spaced to ensure privacy, placed either on the beach or over water, these stylish residences have a minimum living area of 350m2.
Website: LUX* North Malé Atoll, Maldives.
Delayed to 2019. Image © LUX* Resorts & Hotels
68Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia
Think of the former Soviet republic of Georgia and “cool” may not be the first thing that pops to mind. But this is slowly changing, and not least because of the new air of trendiness that sweeps Tbilisi, the young republic’s capital. One of the new brands that have been instrumental in putting the country on the design-aware traveler’s map is Adjara, the company behind the Rooms hotels in Tbilisi. And now they launched their first five-star hotel. Named Stamba and housed in an old printing house, the property has a magnificent basement-to-roof atrium topped with a rooftop swimming pool, filtering a sky view through its transparent bottom. The hotel houses an upscale casino called Aviator as well as a cool underground cocktail bar featuring an antique printing machine as a design object.
Website: Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia. Opened in 2018. Photo © Rooms Hotels
69Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma, Zambia
Sussi & Chuma, named after Dr David Livingstone’s companions are some of the most interesting lodges in the vicinity of the mile-long waterfall of Victoria Falls. The twelve Sussi tree-houses, linked by wooden walkways, plus two private Chuma houses (each with two bedrooms) provide beautiful new accommodation infused with natural elegance thanks to sophisticated furniture design and bespoke pieces.
But the Sussi & Chuma are not the only hotels from the Sanctuary Retreats that have recently reopened — other include Sanctuary Olonana in Kenya, which blends modern design with distinct traditional African finishes, and the Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp in Botswana, on a 260,000-acre private concession in the renowned Okavango Delta, with 10 new luxury canvas tents.
Website: Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma, Zambia.
Opened in April 2018. Photo © Sanctuary Retreats
70Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, this city retreat from the well-known luxury hotel chain has only fifty-five rooms and suites, and one of its attractions is the Vertigo rooftop bar, offering panoramic views of the city skyline. And where is Banyan Tree hotel, there is also the Banyan Tree Spa, which we love visiting.
Website: Banyan Tree Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Opened in June 2018. Photo © Banyan Tree Hotels
71JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa, India
Rajasthan is known for its Mughal heritage, incredible palaces, astonishing forts, and captivating local traditions. Among the old cities of the region is the “pink city” of Jaipur — now home to the stunning palatial hotel from JW Marriott. JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa is designed as a destination for weddings, special events, and business meetings, for which it is well set up. The multi-functional indoor and outdoor event spaces total more than 52,000 square feet, with state-of-the-art audio-visual systems and luxurious amenities. The hotel features two hundred luxurious guest rooms, villas and suites, including Royal Pool Villas with private plunge pools, and its facilities include kid’s playhouse, a large library, as well as sport and fitness areas.
Website: JW Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa, India.
Opened 2018. Photo © Marriott International
72Katikies Mykonos, Greece
We wrote in our Katikies Santorini review that it has “tuned the Santorinian aesthetics to perfection.” Following the success of that property, the company is island-hopping to Mykonos, and we think the Cycladic style of Katikies works just as well on Greece’s party island. Certainly, the whitewashed rooms with private verandas and hot tubs match thee visual style of the island, while two infinity pools, sunbathing decks, a spa and bubbly sundowners by candlelight at the Seltz Champagne Bar put in the right mood.
Website: Katikies Mykonos, Greece. Opened in June 2018. Photo © Katikies
73The Chedi Luštica Bay, Montenegro
The Chedi Luštica Bay is located on the Montenegro coast, boasting beautiful views of the Adriatic Sea. The hotel is designed in a minimalist style in which the simple, modern decor and sensitive lighting emphasize luxury and elegance. Other than 110 guest rooms, the on-site facilities include two restaurants and a bar, outdoor pool, spa, and fitness center with an indoor heated pool. Beyond Europe, this year the Chedi has also launched a hotel in Ninghai (China).
Website: The Chedi Luštica Bay, Montenegro. Opened in 2018. Photo © GHM
74SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, Thailand
We know SALA from their Phuket resort (which we liked a lot) and their opening on Samui is another stunner. We recognize the trademark SALA touches in the mix of minimalist design and beach-villa chic, with the sweeping curtains, bleached timber, fantastic private pools, and alfresco showers. Facing the sea, with luxurious villas and suites and a beachfront swimming pool, the Chaweng resort promises a fantastic stay on one of our favorite Thai islands.
Website: SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, Ko Samui, Thailand.
Opened in January 2018. Photo © SALA Hospitality Group
75Raffles Europejski Warsaw, Poland
The old Hotel Europejski, one of Warsaw’s best-loved buildings, was originally established in 1857 as the most luxurious hotel in the Russian Empire. Harking back to the decadent years of the 19th-century, and having undergone a meticulous restoration, the building is becoming a new classic under the auspices of Raffles. The guests have over one hundred rooms and suites to choose from, and a six-room house spa, bar and cigar lounge, a pâtisserie and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace promise much more than a hotel stay.
Website: Raffles Europejski Warsaw, Poland.
Opened in early 2018. Photos © Raffles Hotels & Resorts
76Dhawa Jinshanling, China
Conveniently located near Beijing, the Dhawa Jinshanling resort is nestled in the shadow of the Great Wall at Jinshanling, the best-preserved part of the ancient wall. Two hundred rooms of Dhawa Jinshanling offer either mountain or garden views and are designed with a blend of contemporary design trends and strong influences from China’s rich cultural heritage.
Website: Dhawa Jinshanling, China. Opened in May 2018. Image © Dhawa
77Silversands Grenada, Grenada
It is a pleasant surprise to see a simple, sophisticated, unpretentious luxury coming to Grenada’s Grand Anse Beach, which has been so far a home only to large, bland hotels. Located on a shore outlined by white beaches, the Silversands Grenada is a real stunner. This sleek, contemporary boutique property of forty-three suites and nine villas surround a 100-meter pool (the longest in the Caribbean) and is defined by a minimalist design by the French design studio AW2.
Website: Silversands Grenada, Grenada.
Opened in March 2018. Photo © Silversands
78Coqui Coqui Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Coqui Coqui was the hotel that started the craze for Tulum as a jet-setter destination. The company then launched three other properties in the Yucatan Peninsula, all of them wonderful perfumeries with a tiny hotel on top, but now this chic company brought its rustic style and exclusive hospitality to the very distant, exotic shores of Bora Bora, making it an instant hit. But Coqui Coqui is first and foremost a Perfumery, and their outpost on Bora Bora is filled with the signature scents, with the addition of eight new French Polynesian-inspired fragrances.
Website: Coqui Coqui Bora Bora, French Polynesia.
Opened in fall 2018. Photo © Coqui Coqui
79Kimpton La Peer Hotel, Los Angeles, US
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Hip in LA
The neighborhood in which this hotel has its address has a strong art and fashion vibe. The 105-room La Peer taps into it with a cool design that injects quirky and fun ideas into a luxurious setting. Thoughtfully designed, the pared-down interiors are elegant and sleek, with accents that include string art installations and original artwork. Swimming pool, roof terrace, plenty of indoor and outdoor lounging spaces provide opportunities for chilling out after days of exploring the West Hollywood’s Design District.
Website: Kimpton La Peer Hotel, Los Angeles, US.
Opened in January 2018. Image © La Peer Hotel
80Hotel Pacai, Vilnius, Lithuania
This is the first property in the Baltic States under the auspices of Design Hotels. Housed in a magnificent, authentic 17th-century mansion, Hotel Pacai offers a truly unique take on a baroque palace, with a sleek contemporary design set against historical grandeur. The minimalist challenge to the heritage decoration captures the vibe of Vilnius as a city that can trace its history to 13th Century but is vibrant, young and optimistic in spirit. The hotel offers one hundred rooms, plus two restaurants, four meeting rooms, a spa, and a beautiful courtyard. The level of service and luxury set a new benchmark for the hospitality industry in Lithuania.
Website: Hotel Pacai, Vilnius, Lithuania. Opened in spring 2018. Photo © Hotel Pacai
//Other Notable Openings of 2018
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The ultimate list of 100 hotels, plus another 100 runners-up!
Best of the rest:
Let’s supplement the above 80 Top Openings with a shortlist of runners-up. These are additional notable hotels, lodges, and resorts launched in 2018.
Africa & Middle East
The Constance Aiyana, Zanzibar. Opened January 2018.
Selinda Pioneers Camp in Botswana. December 2018.
Mpala Jena Camp, Zambezi National Park in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. July 2018.
Kings Pool Camp-Wilderness Safaris, Okavango Delta, Botswana (image below right). Reopened after renovation in 2018.
Singita Pamushana, Zimbabwe (image below left). Reopened after renovation.
Al Manara, A Luxury Collection Hotel Saraya Aqaba, Jordan. April 2018.
Mandarin Oriental Doha, Qatar. Early 2018.
The Drisco, Tel Aviv, Israel (image below in the middle). Spring 2018.
Le Petit Yasmine, Marrakesh, Morocco. End of 2018.
Asia & Pacific
Ayana Komodo Resort, Komodo, Indonesia (image below left). Summer 2018.
The Residence Bintan, Indonesia (image below right). February 2018.
AVANI Sunset Coast Samui Resort & Villas, Koh Samui, Thailand. September.
Akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok, Thailand. Q2 2018.
Regent Jakarta, Indonesia. Late 2018.
The Murray, Hong Kong, China (image below in the middle). January 2018.
1 Hotel Haitang Bay, Sanya, China. Late 2018.
W Xi’an Hotel, Xi’an, China. August 2018.
City of Dreams – Morpheus, Macau. June 2018.
Hotel de la Coupole – MGallery, Sapa, Vietnam
Iraph Sui, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Okinawa, Japan. Late 2018.
The LINE CD, Washington (image below in the middle). January 2018.
Freehand New York, US. Also January 2018.
The Ramble Hotel, Denver, Colorado, US. May 2018
Rosewood Baha Mar – Nassau, The Bahamas (Spring 2018)
Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito, Montecito, California. Summer 2018.
Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla, British West Indies. Reopened November 2018 following an extensive makeover after Hurricane Irma.
Montage Los Cabos, Mexico. May 2018.
Solaz, A Luxury Collection Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico (image below left). March.
La Valise Tulum, Mexico (image below right). Settled between dense jungle and a white sandy beach, the small hotel has just six suites, made with locally sourced materials, and built entirely by Mexico City artisans. Spring 2018.
Itz’ana Resort & Residences, Placencia, Belize.
W Costa Rica Resort – Playa Conchal, Costa Rica. November 2018.
W Panama, Panama City, Panama. March 2018.
Hotel Birks, Montreal, Canada. May 2018.
Hotel des Grands Boulevards, Paris, France. January 2018.
Relais de Chambord, France. March 2018.
Principal London (image below right). April 2018.
The Oscar, London, UK. April 2018.
Belmond Cadogan Hotel, London, UK.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, UK. Following an extension renovation done by Joyce Wang, reopened its doors in December 2018.
The Langley, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Buckinghamshire, UK. June 2018.
Heckfield Place Hotel, Hampshire, UK. September 2018.
Nobu Marbella, Spain. March 2018.
Dá Licença, Alentejo, Portugal. September 2018.
The St Georges, Helsinki, Finland (image below left). Spring 2018.
The Fontenay Hamburg, Germany. March 2018.
Elizabeth Unique Hotel, Rome, Italy. February 2018.
Palazzo Bozzi Corso by La Fiermontina, Lecce, Italy. June 2018
Perianth Hotel, Athens, Greece. July 2018.
Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu. July 2018.
Finally, why not check out our previous lists? See the top 2020 openings or our lists from 2019, or 2017. There is even more in our T+S Magazine and stay tuned for our upcoming Hotel Reviews. Happy travels!