There aren’t enough luxury hotels in the world! Or, at least, it seems that way given the rate at which we hear about amazing new openings. Here are a handful of the new openings in 2019 that have caught our imagination and fired up our travel plans for the next year.
If the words Ritz-Carlton conjures images of Sun-King-esque palatial hotels, then think again as they’re about to launch their first all-villa resort in Jiuzhaigou. Located in the Jiuzhaigou Valley, South West China’s unforgettable UNESCO heritage site, this is the place to come for luxury, culture, nature and a bit of zenning. Located just on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau the 87 villas will enjoy panoramic views over the Minshan mountain range, the dense woodland covering the hills and ancient Tibetan villages.
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.
Times Square Edition, New York
EDITION Hotels are opening a 452 behemoth of a hotel at 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street. Because it’s Times Square the hotel is reportedly set behind more than 25 million pixels of screen thanks to the iconic billboards, though the rooms will tower above these with terraces offering commanding views across one of the best known spots in America.
Fans of Chinatown’s Experimental Cocktail Club will already know that there’s far more arrows in the French co-founders’ quiver (or carquois, according to Google translate) than this exceptional bar. The group, from childhood friends Olivier Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros and Romée de Goriainoff now has footholds in New York, Paris, Ibiza and, most recently, Verbier, all of which just heightens the general coolness of the brand. And in terms of heightening coolness, their 2019 openings in Menorca and Venice will do nothing to dent the general perception that theirs is a trend that keeps on upticking, Set over 40 acres and overlooking the Mediterranean the 40 room hotel should be one of 2019’s most exciting hotel openings.
Rosewood is to luxury as Hong Kong is to, well, luxury, which makes this the perfect pairing. The hotel group’s opening in what your uncle gratingly refers to as ‘Honkers’ should be in time for Easter with a soaring tower offering incredible views over Victoria Harbour. The 91 suites will come with private butlers, marble-clad bathrooms and every luxury you’d expect from an opening of this caliber.
From the rainy (and, today, bitterly cold) city to the windy city, The Hoxton Hotel arrives in Chicago this spring. From its original spot in actual Hoxton, the hotel’s been on the march lately as it’s opened in Amsterdam, Portland and coming soon in LA (and, less salubriously, Southwark). Located in the formerly industrial West Loop part of down, on the site of a former warehouse, the 175 room hotel will include a rooftop terrace and pool, restaurants and bars and everything else you’d expect.
Mandarin Oriental have grabbed a foothold on Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach with a beachside property that, even in a ridiculously crowded market, has still got us rather excited. Opening in February, double-Michelin starred José Avillez will be opening one of the half dozen restaurants in the complex. Also look out for the beach-side pool, spa and beach club.
Last year, in this very feature, indeed, we reported that One & Only’s Gorilla’s Nest was due to open in 2018. Well it looks like 2019 is, in fact, the year when this spectacular hotel finally opens its doors. Hot on the heels of One & Only’s Nyungwe House, it proves that Rwanda is a hot destination right now, with well-heeled tourists flocking to catch sight of the famous gorillas.
Less a hotel and more a collection of smart tents, still there’s nothing bazaar about Zannier Hotels latest creation. Opening in summer Sonop Nambibia is constructed on top of boulders and is a luxurious camp overlooking the Nambibian desert. The lavish tents, a call-back to yesteryear, will be set within the Sonop nature reserve in the Karas region and the opening is expected in summer 2019.
When the British Empire waned, Soho House seem to have decided to take up the mantle and one country after another falling to their relentless expansion. Their 2019 openings will include Soho Warehouse, a former industrial building in Los Angeles that will be transformed into a trendy clubhouse. Crucially, it will also feature rooms, giving Soho Housers somewhere to stay on the West Coast (Soho House West Hollywood is simply a straight-up club). Of course it comes with the obligatory rooftop pool and red-and-white stripy poolside furniture.
Bhutan is the latest location for Six Senses, with a series of lodges located in Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey and the amusingly named Bumthang. Offering a ‘Six Senses Journey’ between each lodge gives guests an opportunity to explore this hidden kingdom known for its majestic mountains and its rich diversity of flora and fauna. Separating the ancient civilisations of Tibet and India, Bhutan is endlessly fascinating and, now, endlessly luxurious.
After a hurricane destroyed much of one of the Caribbean’s favourite hotels, Le Sereno is back. The St Barths hotel has used the down-time to add new suites, a new restaurant, family suites, spa and fitness facilities. Opening imminently, we’re told it’s the backdrop to regular Victoria’s Secrets photoshoots, so if that’s not reason enough…
If you’re as mad for Madeira as we are, then you will be keen to hear more about the Savoy Palace, opening this June. Touting itself as ‘the new luxury face of Madeira’, the hotel has 352 rooms and a bold curvaceous design including a rooftop infinity pool, restaurants, terraced gardens and panoramic views.
Nobu hits Mexico for the first time this year as Robert Di Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s hotel empire expands yet further. The winning pairing have seen their Japanese restaurants-cum-hotel chain expand exponentially over the last few years, with luxury hotels opening in Saudi Arabia, Barcelona, Chicago and Toronto this year. The beachfront Los Cabos property looks set to impress with its 200 guestrooms and clean, Japanese, design.