When composing your travel dream list for this year, make sure do not skip these exciting hotels, slated to open throughout 2018. From luxe beachfront villas and rugged safari camps to a highly anticipated debut on Paris’ Left Bank, here are our best picks for the hottest newcomers.
Iguazú Falls, Argentina
No other Latin American country has so seamlessly blended colonial influences with native culture as Argentina. Here, highlights include, but are not limited to: vast Patagonia, the winelands of Mendoza and the cultural hub of Buenos Aires.
Set in a stunning location on the banks of the Iguazú river, the latest Awasi property sits in the heart of the rainforest, 20 minutes away from the famous waterfalls. The resort contains 14 eco-friendly private villas with plunge pools, and guests can enjoy socializing at the bar and restaurant in the main lodge. Each villa includes a private guide and four-wheeler, so visitors have the freedom to craft their own daily itineraries.
Opening: Early 2018
Shanghai , China
Any city that can make New York City feel laid-back must be extraordinary—and Shanghai is just that. Due mainly to the speed at which the city is growing, changing and reinventing itself, there’s an undeniable energy that’s invigorating and exhausting at the same time.
Conceived to save a historic village in the Jiangxi province and its surrounding camphor forest from destruction by the Chinese government, Amanyangyun is the latest Aman to open in China. The property encompasses 50 centuries-old homes that were transported piece-by-piece over 400 miles.
Hundreds of local craftspeople painstakingly restored the structures and created the magical resort over the course of a decade. Opening: Early 2018
Luang Prabang , Laos
A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, Luang Prabang is the former royal capital of Laos and abounds with cultural sites, including some thirty temples, called wats.
Rosewood Luang Prabang
Rosewood’s new luxury encampment in Laos combines the meditative peace of being in lush, virtually untouched forests, amidst winding rivers and waterfalls with prime access to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. Accommodations range from tented camps to private villas with pools. Guests can choose from a variety of experiences, like visiting an elephant sanctuary or the Sense spa, for meaningful immersion into an ancient landscape, without sacrificing modern indulgences.
Laos’s ancient capital of Luang Prabang is a land of golden-roofed temples, Buddhist monasteries—and soon, a fabulous Rosewood resort. Set to open early this year, the Rosewood Luang Prabang will claim an untouched corner of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by rainforest dotted with rivers and waterfalls.
Opening: Early 2018
This archipelago of white-sand islands, over 1,000 miles off the coast of east Africa, is a renowned tropical destination for good reason: it is remote, luxurious and gorgeous.
Four Seasons Private Island Desroches
The introduction of connecting flights through the UK and Paris this spring will make the remote island destination of the Seychelles much more accessible to travelers. The Four Seasons, which already has one property on Mahé, is opening a resort on Desroches Island, an exclusive tropical sanctuary with miles of white-sand beaches.
This private island retreat is a 35-minute flight from the main island of Mahé, and it welcomes honeymooners and families alike with a wide range of secluded accommodations; there are 71 bungalows, villas and suites to choose from, and most are equipped with their own pools.
Opening: Early 2018
With major European cities looking more and more alike (you’ll find the same hotels and chain stores from Berlin to Barcelona), Paris stands gloriously apart. The most beautiful city in France – maybe the world – Paris is more or less off-limits to overzealous developers. From the French perspective, earning a euro is just fine, but beauty is priceless.
The Left Bank landmark of the Boucicaut family—creators of the first modern department store, Le Bon Marche’ —the Lutetia has a gilded history, including over a century of being a Parisian hotel mainstay.
When it opened in 1910, the property turned heads with its fashionable Art Deco style and was frequented by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse. This spring, the Lutetia will experience a grand reopening after a three-year renovation and restoration and will be a welcome addition to the city’s hotel scene. It is also expected to join the elite ranks of “palace” hotels, of which there are only 10 in Paris.
The Lutetia will be the answer for Paris visitors who want to stay on the Left Bank, but in a five-star hotel with spacious rooms.
Hermes Boutique at the Hotel Lutetia
Opening: Spring 2018
Savannah , Georgia
Savannah has enjoyed a recent renaissance, and today it is recognized for its wonderful creativity thanks to the flourishing Savannah College of Art and Design. Known as “the Hostess City of the South,” Savannah proudly displays Southern hospitality. Thanks to beautiful architecture, rich history and classic charm, there is plenty to do in this Georgian city.
Perry Lane Hotel
Inspired by the classic Bull Street Mansions of Savannah, the Perry Lane Hotel will be an elegant and welcome addition to the city’s limited luxury hotel offerings.
pool and bar, with views of Forsyth Park, is sure to attract buzz, as is the boutique property’s restaurant and art collection. Its 168 rooms are decorated in an eclectic style that blends Southern colonial touches with dark wood, modern pops of color and fabrics like velvet.
Opening: March 15, 2018
Reykjanes Peninsula , Iceland
For those who love being outside and marveling at pristine landscapes and adventurous activities like walking on a glacier, descending into a volcano, cruising to see whales, fjords and puffins or glamping in remote wilderness, Iceland is a must visit. The extraordinary island nation boasts an otherworldly terrain that is ripe for expeditions and exploration and is a prime destination for viewing the magical Northern Lights.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most iconic attractions, drawing travelers with its ethereal geothermal pools. This year, those looking for a crowds-free experience can find it at the Retreat at Blue Lagoon, a modern hotel with a 43,000-square-foot spa carved into the lagoon’s volcanic rock.
The expansion of Blue Lagoon will include an underground spa, a signature restaurant and 62 guest rooms.
It boasts a robust treatment menu, 62 sleek suites, gourmet dining experiences and private access to nearly 10,000 square feet of thermal waters.
Opening: April 2018
Beneath a dreamlike canopy of steeples, spires, towers and turrets, Edinburgh’s cobblestoned streets wind uphill en route to a magnificent medieval fortress. Long hailed the “Athens of the North,” Scotland’s misty, collegiate capital is a profoundly lettered and storied city, from Hume to Harry Potter.
Fingal Royal Yacht Britannia
Royal Yacht Britannia’s New Floating Hotel
Anglophiles and fans of The Crown are already excited about Scotland’s newest hotel. A 1964 lighthouse-steamer, the MV Fingal, will dock next to Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Yacht Brittania, which lives in Edinburgh. The ship has been retrofitted to become a hotel with 23 rooms and duplex apartments designed in an Art Deco-meets-maritime style. The floating property invites guests to escape into the glamorous past of sea travel.
The luxury floating hotel will be unveiled by The Royal Yacht Enterprises. The MV Fingalis a former Northern Lighthouse Board tender that was the last ship to be built by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company in Glasgow; it’s now being converted into hotel , built by the Scottish engineer Robert Stevenson.
Interiors by Alan Pedley and Stephen Flanagan combine Art Deco touches with maritime heritage (and the color palette is said to take its inspiration from “the Fingal’s journey—from land and sea to the stunning landscapes of Scotland.” Top digs: the Skerryvore Suite, encompassing 575 square feet. There are also two luxury duplex cabins.
Opening: Spring 2018
Los Cabos, Mexico
Mexico’s stunning Baja Peninsula, once prized for its fishing by the likes of Ernest Hemingway, now draws Hollywood A-listers with its extraordinary resorts. Many travelers come to Cabo for the sun, the sea and the margaritas, but there are endless diversions to fill your days here.
Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Montage and Nobu
In 2018, the hotspot Los Cabos is getting an upgrade with four new stylish properties. Located on a private coastline, the Four Seasons Costa Palmas resort complex—which includes a marina, a village and beachfront residences—offers pristine views and fresh terrain in a destination that can sometimes feel crowded.
Meanwhile, the prestigious Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio, which is responsible for such resorts as Mandapa in Bali and Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico, is adding a fourth property: the oceanfront Zadún, which emphasizes tranquility with private villas featuring plunge pools. Finally, Nobu’s first Mexican hotel is also slated to open on Cabo’s beachfront this year, and a new Montage resort will be unveiled at Santa Maria Bay with one of the area’s only swimmable beaches.
The 200-room property will have a Japanese-inspired design that incorporates the beachfront Cabo San Lucas setting. It offers event and meeting space, a spa, plus a variety of lounges. But the focal point, of course, is the signature Nobu Restaurant and Bar.
Opening: Four Seasons – 2018, Ritz-Carlton – early 2018, Nobu – 2018, Montage – May 2018
Mana Pools , Zimbabwe
Long overlooked after years of upheaval, Zimbabwe is enjoying a resurgence as a safari destination. The country offers all the elements of a life-changing experience, with incredible wildlife and plush lodges.
Great Plains Tented Camp
Safari tent glamping gets you closer to the African bush, without ever leaving your comfort zone. Orange nylon is out, replaced by impeccable service, first-class amenities and the ultimate luxury of falling asleep to the night sounds of Africa and being awoken by the light and energy of the new day … all while staying under canvas.
Zimbabwe offers some of the best views of Victoria Falls—as well as wild landscapes and Big Five safari routes that have been traversed by only the most intrepid travelers. Recently the country has received more attention with the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, and now is the time to explore while it still sees few crowds.
The Great Plains Conservation Group, which also operates in Botswana
and Kenya, has secured land for two new luxury tented camps in the Sapi concession on the eastern border of Mana Pools National Park. This area is home to the country’s largest populations of hippopotamuses and crocodiles, as well as other big game like lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras, leopards and buffalos. One camp will be situated along the Zambezi River, while the other will be set inland—offering travelers who visit both a variety of amazing viewing opportunities.
Opening: June 2018
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
At first glance, Hong Kong is a Western territory, all shiny skyscrapers and multi-lingual business people. But scratch the surface, and it reveals deep
Chinese roots, where superstitions and traditions are solidly embedded. Since 1997, Hong Kong has been part of the People’s Republic of China rather than a British colony, but it retains its distinctive, freewheeling spirit.
Rosewood Hong Kong
This year, the Rosewood will open its first hotel in Hong Kong in a prime location on the Victoria Harbour waterfront on Queen’s Road Central. Occupying 43 floors of a multi-use tower, the luxury retreat will boast 413 rooms and 186 residences for longer stays that are designed in a sophisticated, modern style with mirror accents and pops of color.
The property will also offer eight different dining options and a fitness center with a swimming pool, as well as a center for the Rosewood’s innovative holistic wellness program. The tower is already considered to be one of the next iconic landmarks of the Hong Kong skyline.
Opening: September 2018
Rio Palena , Chilean Patagonia
Patagonia tops bucket lists for most outdoor enthusiasts and can be enjoyed by adventurous travelers of all ages. Highlights of the area include incredibly beautiful mountain ranges, numerous glacial lakes and abundant wildlife, including condors, guanaco and puma.
Eleven Experience Fishing Lodge
From the pioneering adventure travel company behind such top-notch properties as Deplar Farm and Scarp Ridge Lodge, the Eleven Experience Fishing Lodge in Chile will thrill fishing enthusiasts and adventure-lovers. Situated in a secluded valley along the Rio Palena, the lodge will offer premier access to excellent trout fishing. The lodge limits the number of guests to eight per week, which ensures that everyone gets personal attention from the expert guides.
Opening: December 2018
Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
The U.S.’s North may have the southern states beat when it comes to major metropolises, but the same cannot be said for the old-world charm and slow-paced ease that typify many of the cities below the Mason-Dixon line.
The highly anticipated bigger and wilder sequel to the Indagare-adored
Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
The highly anticipated bigger and wilder sequel to the Indagare-adored Blackberry Farm ,
Blackberry Mountain is set amongst 5,200 acres of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. The property will have 19 private stone cottages, traditional cabins or multi-bedroom homes and will feature a seemingly endless selection of outdoor adventure activities, spa treatments and farm-to-table dining experiences. Blackberry Mountain is a 90-minute drive from the Blackberry Farm sister property.
Opening: Early 2019