A new year, and indeed, on this occassion, the start of a new decade. What will the luxury travel industry bring us this year to herald the decade ahead of us? Just like we do annually, we round up our most anticipated hotel openings of the year. But since the solar new year and the Lunar New Year (commonly celebrated in East Asia – coming at the end of the month) are so close by this year, we’ve gone for the number 8, which signifies good luck (and to make up for it, we’ve added a further notable list of openings at the bottom). So here’s to a lucky 2020!
One&Only Mandarina, Mexico
Set in a secluded peninsula on the dramatic, diverse coast of Mexico’s Rivera Nayarit, the 104 treehouses and clifftop villas (all with priate pools) at One&Only Mandarina match the jungle with soft, golden beach on one of Mexico’s last stretches of beachfront jungles.
The Legian Sire, Lombok, Indonesia
Bali’s lesser renowned and lesser developed (although arguably more picturesque) island cousin is finally getting a brand new renowned luxury resort, a sister property to The Legian’s stunning beachfront hotel in Seminyak in Bali. After multiple delays over a couple of years, it does look like this resort is finally set to open. Designed in a similar fashion to reflect its sister property in Bali, all of its 45 suites and 12 villas will either feature beautiful ocean views, or expansive spaces and private pools (or both!), fronting a quiet corner of one of the island’s best beaches, sitting right across the famous Gili islands. The island of Lombok is known for its beaches, its lush landscapes and its volcanoes.
Opening: Early 2020
Cheval Blanc, Paris, France
With resorts across some of the world’s most sought-after destinations, from Maldives to St Tropez, Courchevel to St Barth’s, perhaps the biggest surprise is that the ultra-exclusive luxury hotel arm of LVMH doesn’t have a hotel in a city they call home – Paris. Well, until April anyway, when the 72-room Cheval Blanc Paris is set to open in an Art Deco extension of La Samaritaine, formerly an iconic 19th department store on the edge of the Seine.
Aman New York, New York, USA
Aman continues its rapid global expansion with the opening of one of its most anticipated hotels, ever; a veritcal hotel featuring 83 rooms and 22 private residences (which are for sale) in the historic Crown Building smackbang in the centre of New York. Jean-Michael Gathy, the icon behind numerous luxury hotel designs, including many Amans, will introduce his sublime vision in restoring the splendid structure to its original grandeur with a modern twist. Aman New York will also be the first Aman with a private “members only”-club.
In the mean time, don’t miss out on the other Aman opening of 2020 in Cabo San Lucas on Baja’s East Cape.
Six Senses Fort Barwara, Rajasthan, India
Another luxury hotel group making rapid global headway is Six Senses, primarily associated with rustic, eco-concious resorts in remote locations. Six Senses has also expanded its offerings, with city hotels opened (two in Singapore, one in Istanbul late last year) and opening up (New York in 2020) to complement its now range of rustic and contemporary-styled resorts in otherworldly locations, but it’s their opening in Rajasthan in 2020 which has most excited. Fort Barwara, a 35-minute drive away from Ranthambore National Park (famous for its tiger reserve), is a beautiful area known for its rich history and heritage, as well as lush landscape. The location of the resort is a 14th-century fort that has been meticulously restored, split into 48 suites, two restaurants and a 30,000 square foot Six Senses Spa.
Opening: Early 2020
If this one sounds familiar, that’s because it kind of is – we visited and reviewed Bawah Reserve last year. But what’s different is that they’re about to make it even more exclusive. A resort within a resort, Elang is set to open up on one of the islands as a private island concept featuring six clifffront villas that can be rented out as a whole, or individually.
Bai San Ho, Phu Yen, Vietnam
Probably one of our favourite boutique hotel groups, Zannier Hotels (of Phum Baitang, Omaanda and Sonop fame) has managed to bridge the awkward gap between Hoi An/Danang and Nha Trang with a 71-villa coastal resort. Meaning ‘Bay of Corals’, the kilometre-long beach is surrounded by hills and paddy fields, and decorated in the beautiful Zannier style, rustic with clean lines, and with various local elements scattered throughout.
Kalesma, Mykonos, Greece
Promising Mykonian living, the way it was meant to be lived, Kalesma rises from the myths of old. The area of Aleomandra, where the resort now resides, was named after the stables that provided shelter to the Olympian god Apollo – so the resort will certainly have an Olympian task to live up to its name! The suite-only property, complemented by its two villas (all rooms come with a private pool), crafted in whitewashed stone, were created to resemble a Mykonian village.
There are a slew of others that we just couldn’t fully cover, either due to lack of photos, or lack of clear information regarding opening dates and property specifics, but are expected to open this year. Other notable openings include:
- Ace Hotel Kyoto, Japan
- Capella Bangkok, Thailand
- The Edition, Tokyo, Japan
- Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River, Thailand
- Four Seasons Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, Japan
- Hoshinoya Okinawa, Japan
- One&Only Desaru Coast, Malaysia
- Park Hyatt Niseko Hanazono, Japan
- Raffles Bali, Indonesia
- Raffles Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Africa and Middle East
- Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort
- Anantara Tozeur Resort, Tunisia
- Kisawa Mozambique
- Kwessi Dunes, Namibia
- Oberoi Marrakech, Morocco
- Six Senses Shaharut, Israel
- Xigera Safari Lodge, Okavango Delta, Botswana
- Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, France
- Arctic Bath Lapland, Sweden
- La Réserve Eden au Lac, Zurich, Switzerland
- One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro
- Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forto Hotel, Palermo, Italy
- Villa Copenhagen, Denmark
North and Central America
- Amanvari, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel, Arizona, USA
- Four Seasons Resort at Cayo Largo
- Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Napa Valley, California, USA
- Mauna Lani, an Auberge Resort, Big Island of Hawaii, USA
- Six Senses New York, USA
- Rosewood São Paulo, Brazil
Rest of the World