Checking into a newly-opened hotel is a lot like moving into a new home. The paint is fresh, the sheets are crisp, the bed still has a bounce, you can see your face in the pristine tiled bathroom, and the space has a true fresh aroma. But unlike one’s residence, there’s an attentive staff to take your luggage, prepare top-notch cuisine, and book those practically unattainable theater tickets. It is for these reasons — and more — that staying in a hotel is always a memorable experience. While you may have your favorites, here are some up-and-comers opening their doors in 2019. Get ready to pack your bags.
When: Early 2019
Why Go: Nestled within the commercial and political nucleus of the city, this upscale hotel is perfect for those traveling on business — but there’s plenty to draw in pleasure seekers, too. We’re talking about two restaurants, a bar, and an ethereal spa complete with a state-of-the-art fitness center and 25 meter indoor lap pool housed under a sky roof. The property is strategically located on the top two floors of the WF Central — an upscale 21,000 square meter retail paradise — so shoppers, rejoyce. Wind down at the end of the day in one of the 73 rooms and suites that are touted as some of the largest in the Beijing. Don’t leave without taking in the views of the Forbidden City on the rooftop terrace with a libation in hand.
Where: Chelsea, New York
Why Go: Following in the footsteps of the Moxy in Times Square, the Chelsea location is primed to have the same level of success. Boasting 37-stories, the hotel features 349 guest rooms (each with floor to ceiling windows), a lively trattoria/café, live/work/play spaces, a coworking lounge, meeting studios, a planted conservatory, and a retractable glass-enclosed rooftop bar with sweeping views of the Empire State Building.
Why Go: Location, location. The Mandarin Oriental Jumeira is the closest beachfront resort to Downtown Dubai and the financial and business districts, so it’s perfect for business and leisure travelers alike. The property features an impressive six dining/drinking establishments, to include a Japanese steakhouse and José Avillez of Lisbon’s Belcanto, a celebrated eatery awarded two Michelin stars. Drop your little ones off at the kids’ club and head over to the spa for one of the indigenous treatments on offer. Celebrating a special occasion? Book the the Sea Jewel, an indulgent VIP suite featuring unparalleled views of the waterfront and a hammam-style treatment area.
Where: Tennessee, USA
Why Go: It’s likely that you’re already familiar with the legendary Blackberry Farm in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Despite the passing of founder Sam Beall, his wife and family continue to carry the torch for this historic property, as well as up-and-comer Blackberry Mountain. The holistic retreat is situated on eight miles of protected ridgetop spanning 5,200 acres, which makes it the perfect setting to enjoy creekside meditation, cooking demos, guided hikes, craft classes, mountain biking, tree climbing, rock climbing, foraging, and camping. You’ll want to make time to wind down at the outdoor heated infinity pool featuring breathtaking views of the grounds. It’s the perfect place to come with a group as the luxury accommodations are offered in the form of a ridgetop cabin, stone cottage, or multi-bedroom home.
Where: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Why Go: While there’s a bevy of enormous accomodations in Mexico, Hotel Amapa proves that good things come in small packages. Several of the 55 well-appointed guest rooms feature a private balcony, scopious windows, and minimal yet modern Mexican design (think ceramics by Mexico City-based David Pompa, woven wall hangings by fibre artist Mariella Motilla, and natural bath products by Mexican brand Vervan) that makes you feel as though you’re kicking back in your own hacienda. Take a trip to the rooftop pool and bar for an eagle eye view of the Sierra Madre mountains and tropical beach scene.
The Biltmore, Mayfair
Where: London, England
Why Go: LKR Hotels & Resort is is making its first European debut in the heart of London next to the historic Grosvenor Square. The 257 well-appointed guest rooms and 51 luxurious suites pay homage to the property’s roots when it served as a stately private residence. While specific restaurant details are forthcoming, we’re told one can expect internationally-renowned chefs in the kitchen, a year-round alfresco terrace, and a chic cocktail bar. If there are wedding bells in your near future, a 500 square meter ballroom can facilitate up to 700 guests for a cocktail reception.
Where: Hong Kong, China
Why Go: As this hotel is under the Rosewood brand, it’s no surprise that the accommodations are beyond luxurious — especially if you book one of the 18 specialty suites where you’ll receive personalized butler service and Manor Club access. Be sure to make an advanced booking at the Asaya, Rosewood’s second global wellness retreat. Along with face, body, and nail treatments, you can sign up for a customized, integrative program to help you achieve both physical and mental goals.
Where: Bristol, UK
Why Go: Partners in business and life, Justin Salisbury and (now) wife Charlotte are opening their fifth hotel in ten years, all of which are under the Artist Residence brand. The latest — housed in a former boot factory — will offer 27 bedrooms, a bar and café, and an event space for those who prefer a non-ballroom affair. Expect the same unconventional, nonconformist decor that includes a wide range of textures and colors.
Where: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Why Go: Native to Mexico, the Coqui Coqui Residences and Spa portfolio is making its way to the French Polynesian island of Bora Bora. The brainchild of perfumers Nicolas Malleville and Francesca Bonato, the residences and boutique celebrate the fruits, woods, and herbs of the native land. The dynamic duo tapped their friend/neighbor Raphael Delente, an accomplished landscaper, to create a beautiful, fragrant botanical garden on the premises. The residence will blend right into the area, complete with Polynesian bungalow charm.
Where: Marinilla, Columbia
Why Go: Located within the heart of the Columbian countryside within a protected forest among the Antioquian fincas of the central Andes, Cannúa is being primed to be the only upscale boutique retreat of its kind in the entire country. The 10 rooms and 8 cabanas — constructed with sustainable materials — are nestled within the mountainside, so you really feel as though you’re one with nature despite being surrounded by modern-day amenities and locally-influenced decor. Take advantage of the terrain by taking a pre-Hispanic heritage hike, exotic bird watching expedition, or a cooking class utilizing indigenous ingredients from the area.
Where: South Africa
Why Go: Natural Selection’s latest property is situated on the former South African president FW de Klerk’s retreat — it’s likely that he choose it due to the mesmerizing views of the Indian Ocean. Case in point, Lekkerwater actually means “the place of good water,” so it’s only apt that each of the seven rooms are located on a six-kilometer private beach. The De Hoop Nature Reserve is one of the most beautiful coastal reserves in Africa, so it’s a good home base for spying freely roaming Cape Mountain zebras, thousands of endemic plant species, tidal pools, and whales from July to November — come August or September and you could very well catch 400 to 600 whales at once!
Where: London, UK
When: Early Spring
Why Go: Whether it’s celebrating the Golden Age of travel on the Venice Simplon Orient-Express or rubbing elbows with A-listers at Cipriani and Copacabana Palace, the Belmond group is the epitome of luxury. The latest venture to join their portfolio is housed within the former home of Lillie Langtry, mistress of the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII.) Later, when the residence became the Cadogan Hotel, it was the hideout of Oscar Wilde — though he was eventually arrested in room 118. Now, after a four-year overhaul, the property is primed to be one of the most luxurious in all of London. The rooms and suites still have the vibe of an opulent old home, but with modern-day decor and amenities. The property is perfectly positioned between Chelsea and Knightsbridge, so you’ll have plenty to see and do. Just don’t miss out on the on-site gems such as the stunning Cadogan Place Gardens (the same since 1886) and the Chelsea Physic Garden (1673), London’s oldest botanical garden. The hotel will provide blankets, deck chairs, board games, a picnic, a hands-on learning experience, or anything else to help you enjoy this impeccible outdoor Eden.
Why Go: Those booking a springtime getaway to the City of Light are going to want to be one of the first to stay at what’s bound to be one of the newest Parisian hotspots — but with only 30 well-appointed rooms, you’ve got to act fast. Housed in the former European Consulate in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the location literally took the hotel group five years to find. J.K.’s first non-Italian venture will still celebrate their roots (hint: Casa Tua restaurant) while pulling in enough French touches so you remember where you’re at. For example, amongst the custom made interiors by Michele Bonan, you’ll find one-of-a-kind items from flea markets across Paris. It wouldn’t be a luxurious French hotel without a spa (Sisley, in this case), and the indoor pool can serve as a mood-booster on those grey Paris days.
Why Go: Childhood friends, the dynamic French trio (Oliver Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros, and Romée De Goriainoff — aka Experimental Group), are behind some of the most sought-after restaurants, drinking establishments, and hotels in Paris, London, New York, Verbier, and Ibiza — but now they’ve got Menorca on the brain. Unlike other islands, Menorca (a UNESCO Biosphere zone) is relatively unspoilt in comparison to its other sandy sisters, which is one of the many reasons why you should go. The 40-acre hotel — and first resort property for the Experimental Group —was previously a finca (country estate/ranch), yet it boasts a similar vibe to its extremely popular beach club in Ibiza. Of the 40 rooms, 9 will include private dipping pools for those quiet moments when you’re not catching the sunset with a craft cocktail (of course) at the beach bar.
Why Go: What started as one lodge in 1993 has now morphed into 12 lodges and camps amongst five wilderness regions in three African countries. The family land (known as the Sabi Sand Game Reserve) is also home to copious community development projects, so it’s making the lives of those who live there better, as well as those who visit. Another reason that makes Singita Kwitonda Lodge unparalleled to none is that it rests on 178 acres of land on the edge of a national park — more than one-third of world’s remaining mountain gorillas reside here amongst the treetops (you’ll want to book a classic safari!). From traditional dry-stone walls built by locals to native planting, the six lodges and camps are designed with the environment and community in mind.
Where: Chaina, Crete
Why Go: Did you know that Thomas Cook, the vacation package guru, was also an esteemed hotelier? That’s right, The company has properties in Mykonos, Kos, and Rhodes, but now it’s set to open up a more family friendly establishment in the ancient city of Chaina on the island of Crete. While the parents reclaim their sanity with yoga or a massage, the kiddos can explore the Neverland-inspired treehouse or partake of an educational yet entertaining cooking class, painting workshop, or sleepover experience — in a teepee no less! The newly built village-like property boasts 106 rooms and suites (as well as 16 family villas and 4 presidential villas) feel like a home away from home, Cretian style.
Why Go: First there will be Menorca (see the aforementioned notes on Experimental Menorca), next there will be Venice, the hospitality group’s first Italian property. Upon visiting the area, the group became enamoured with a 17th century palazzo in the Dorsoduro district, an area that boasts more of a residential (read: less touristy) vibe. Nestled between two unassuming canals, the front of the 39-room hotel boasts a sweeping terrace that serves as the main restaurant and Experimental bar. The back of the property — accessible via a private garden — offers a private space where one can take breakfast or an afternoon libation. Thankfully, designer Dorothée Meilizchon retained many of the historic elements that make Venetian architecture within the property, yet you’ll see contemporary nods to remind you that it’s 2019.
Where: Nashville, Tennessee
Why Go: Nashville is the first urban retreat where you can waste away in Margaritaville. The 217-room hotel will feature all the amenities of a beachy resort, to include a rooftop relaxation and entertainment area, swimming pool, cabanas, and live entertainment when you’re not at Music City Center. For those in the timeshare arena, 52 Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham timeshare condo suites are on offer.
Where: Sarasota, Florida
When: December, 11
Why Go: Celebrating European design and 40’s modernism, this luxury 89-room luxury boutique hotel (and as the name suggests, it’s modern-chic) is a welcome addition to the urban Rosemary District. When you’re not in the mood for the crowded beach, take a dip in one of the two aqua pools (or the hot tub), complete with private cabanas. If business trumps pleasure, there’s 10,000 square feet of meeting space and Rudolph’s restaurant (an elegant 2,500 square-foot eatery) to impress colleagues and contacts alike.