The Handbook
The Handbook

The world is bursting with epic hotels, from sleeping in an igloo at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort to bedrooms immersed in the sea, surrounded by 360 degree windows and coral, colorful fish and dolphins at The Manta Resort in Tanzania. The right hotel can make any lifetime vacay that little bit more incredible and, always on the lookout for a new opening, we’ve discovered some hotels that’d make any nomad nod with acceptance. From a Wild Thornberry style trip to tents under the stars in Namibia, to the ultra-luxe Lily of the Valley in the Côte d’Azur, here’s a look at some of the best summer hotel openings…


Sonop, Namibia

Angelina-Jolie’s favoured bohemian bolthole, Phum Baitang in Cambodia, opened its second Namibian property in the Karas region. Picture vast plains adorned by luxury tents, 10 in total, sitting atop a granite boulder formed by ancient volcanic eruptions. If you want to escape the everyday, it doesn’t get more far removed than this. Here, in the middle of nowhere, you’ll discover the private reserves where leopards and the likes roam free. Decor is 1920s explorer with lashings of luxe, and staff wear black tie and serve cigars on silverware.

In a truly Wild Thornberry’s manner, your time can be spent hot-air ballooning, on horseback safari or e-biking, or if that’s all too tiresome for you then why not make the most of the infinity pool? Now this is a bucket list holiday.

Where: Sonop Farm, Road D707, Karas Region (Namibia)

Calilo, Ios

The utterly sensational five-star newbie, Calilo, has made the Cyclades’ island of Ios the centre of most people’s gaze this summer. Sustainable tourism developer Vassiliki Petridou-Michalopoulos and her husband Angelos purchased a quarter of the island around a decade ago (#lifegoals) and have since set to open this gorgeous and entirely unique hotel on the island. Calilo is set to have 27-rooms, suites, each with pool and sunken in-water beds, and views of olive groves, sands of Papas beach and ares of scrubland. Guests can kayak to secluded coves or spend their day enjoy the Mediterranean fare amongst natural stonework and dip-in ponds, in true Ancient Greek fashion. The property is open until 30 September and is a two-hour ferry from Mykonos.

Where: Ios Island, Papas Beach, Cyclades, Greece


Lily of the Valley, Côte d'Azur, France

Tucked up in the Côte d’Azur, Lily of the Valley is flooded with old school glamour and all of the holiday look essentials one needs. The new opening sits about 20 minutes away from St. Tropez, overlooking Gigaro Beach, and was designed by Phillipe Starck. The beauty of the new location is evident; rattan and light wood curves throughout the property, and rooms are done in a sand palette. You’ll discover a wow-worthy wellness centre offering providing energy-moving massages and naturopathy consultations, alongside a vintage-style swimming pool area, littered with striped chaise lounges and white sun umbrellas.

Where: Colline Saint Michel, Boulevard Abel Faivre, Quartier de Gigaro, 83420 La Croix-Valmer, France

Trunk House, Tokyo

The fashion-focused Shibuya neighbourhood of Tokyo opened a hotel named Trunk Hotel that has just 15-rooms, a chef’s table, a terrace, and a private dining room, and rustles up some of the most exquisite, creative dishes of the Shibuya soul food influence. Now, the brains behind the bolthole have opened up a new Trunk hotel, named Trunk House, sitting in Kagurazaka neighborhood. The amazing Japanese opening sits in a mid-century former geisha house and will open this month with a living room and private garden, a small tearoom with an irorifireplace (a traditional Japanese sunken hearth), a tiny disco with a state-of-the-art karaoke machine, and a bath area.

Where: 5 Chome-31 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Raffles, Singapore

Raffles Hotel, synonymous with luxury, elegance and expats, is re-opening. The hotel that pretty much set the standard for Western hotels in Asia, Raffles is an icon and a Singaporean national monument. The revamp has been extensive with the addition of a new lounge in the Grand Lobby serving afternoon tea, new suites and general improvements that keeps Raffles at the top of its game on an island teeming with luxury hotels.

Where: 1 Beach Road, City Hall, 189673 Singapore, Singapore

Il Palazzo Experimentale, Venice

Positioned amongst the legendary cocktail scene is Venetian newbie Il Palazzo Experimentale. The hotel houses 32 rooms and a whole lot of marble, and prides itself on serving a bountiful menu that covers far more than a simple spritz. The rooms overlook the Giudecca Canal in the city’s Dorsodoro sestiere, living up to all the romantic Venetian stereotypes one expects. The space is airy, refreshing and just a gondola ride away from the goings-on of the city. It draws on local signatures like granite terrazzo floors and richly carved wood, with a color palette that reflects the city: sky blue, pale yellow, silvery grey and the terra cotta tones. Venice, here we come…

Where: Fondamenta Zattere Ai Gesuati, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy

J.K. Place Rive Gauche, Paris

Moving from one romantic city to the next, Paris has seen the opening of J.K. Place Rive Gauche, an old European Consulate overlooking Paris’ Seine. With designer Michele Bonan at the helm, the 30 delightful rooms have been outfitted with antiques from Marché des Puces de Saint Ouen and guests can sit in luxury and enjoy Italian fare by global supper club super stars Casa Tua. The hotel screams fashion set and sunglass wearers and is a real must during your visit to the city of love. Discover it at 82 Rue de Lille and let your luxe-hotel dreams come true…

Where: 82 Rue de Lille, 75007 Paris, France

Check out some openings closer to home here…