Top 10 New Hotel Openings in 2018

Top 10 New Hotel Openings in 2018

 

The Top New Hotel Openings of 2018 I'm looking forward to include new Four Seasons and Montage resorts in Los Cabos; the Six Senses Bhutan; Cheval Blanc Samaritaine and the renovated Hotel Lutetia in Paris; the Middle House in Shanghai; and a new Four Seasons private island resort in the Seychelles, among others.

1. Six Senses Bhutan (Summer, 2018)

Bhutan is increasingly on my clients' wish lists, and I'm thrilled that in addition to Amankora's 5 lodges, they will now be able to choose Six Senses Bhutan, which will also offer 5 lodges situated in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro. The reason I'm especially looking forward to this opening is that Six Senses has snagged one of my favorite General Managers in the world: Mark Swinton, who not only led Amankora 2006-2007, but also was General Manager at Aman Summer Palace and one of my favorite Amans, Amanjiwo, near Borobudur in Indonesia.

If you only have 5-6 days you'll want to focus on the Paro, Thimphu and Punakha lodges; Paro and Thimphu are about 30 minutes and 1.5 hours, respectively, from Paro, the international airport, while Punakha is 3.5-4 hours from Paro Airport, and about 2.5-3 hours from Thimphu. Punakha is the former capital of Bhutan, and is where some of the Kingdom's most historically significant dzongs (temples) are situated. The Punakha Valley is also one of the lowest lying areas of Bhutan, with a temperate climate and the source of much of Bhutan's fresh produce. Imagine a culturally rich day, then returning to the Six Senses Punakha Lodge and soaking in its outdoor pool, or perhaps enjoying a Six Senses Spa massage or a yoga or meditation session.

Six Senses Bhutan: Punakha Lodge

 

If you have a week or more, Gangtey is a must for its stunning glacial valley, a special conservation area, notwithstanding the long drive to get there (or if you have the budget, a helicopter transfer is also available from Paro). Try to time your visit for November or early December, when you can see the endangered Black-necked cranes that winter here. The lodge is walking distance to the Royal Society for Protection of Nature's Black-necked Crane Visitor Centre.

Six Senses Bhutan: Gangtey Lodge

 

2. Cheval Blanc Samaritaine (End of 2018)

I consider Paris one of the top 3 luxury hotel cities in the world: some of the finest urban luxury hotels on the planet are located walking distance from each other, many of them with the Palace designation, and providing the whole package: professional yet warm service, gorgeous flowers in the lobbies and the guest rooms and suites, elegant swimming pools and spa, and often Michelin star dining.

Cheval Blanc certainly has its work cut out for it, but if any new entrant to Paris can impress, it's Cheval Blanc, the luxury hotel and resort arm of French luxury brand Louis Vuitton. See my review of Cheval Blanc Randheli, which is by far our favorite experience in the Maldives to date, among the 6 luxury Maldivian resorts we've stayed at.

Cheval Blanc Samaritaine, Paris

 

3. Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island (Early 2018)

The Four Seasons Seychelles is already a client favorite, while Fregate Island Private (an Oetker Collection resort) offers an exclusive private island experience, but at a cost only a few can afford. The new Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island will be a private island resort, at a price point in between the Four Seasons Seychelles and Fregate Island. Desroches Island is 4 miles long, with 9 miles of soft white beaches. With just 71 accommodations, all with private pool and beach access, it's larger than Aman Resorts but smaller than many other luxury beach resorts. Experience world-class diving, fishing and nature walks in this island paradise.

Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
  • Spa credit of USD100 once during stay (not applicable to products)
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites, villas, and private residences)
  • Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms; complimentary premium Internet in all suites

Four Seasons Seychelles at Desroches Island

 

4. Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas, Los Cabos, Mexico (Winter, 2018)

Currently my top luxury resort recommendation in Los Cabos is Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, but that may change at the end of 2018 or in 2019, with the opening of the Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas. Costa Palmas will be the site not only of the Four Seasons Resort, but also Four Seasons Private Residences and Four Seasons Private Villas, on the 1000 acre site. As with other Four Seasons Residences rentals, clients will be able to enjoy Preferred Partner benefits; see Four Seasons Residential Vacation Rentals with Preferred Partner Benefits.

Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
  • Food and beverage credit of USD100
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites, villas, and private residences)
  • Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms; complimentary premium Internet in all suites

Four Seasons Los Cabos at Costa Palmas

 

5. The Middle House, Shanghai, China (Spring, 2018)

For clients who prefer boutique city hotels, with a modern design aesthetic, The Upper House in Hong Kong is a firm favorite. Those venturing to Chengdu have also loved Temple House, and in Beijing, Opposite House. Now Swire Hotels will extend its House Collective to Shanghai, with The Middle House, opening in Spring, 2018, which will include 111 rooms and 102 private residences. At the helm is Kristina Snaith, previously the Director of Guest Experience at The Upper House. I have clients who will be staying there in late spring, and can't wait to hear their report.

The Middle House, Shanghai

 

6. Montage Los Cabos, Mexico (May 2018)

Four Seasons isn't the only luxury resort opening in Los Cabos in 2018; about 1.5 hours away, and just 15-20 min. from Las Ventanas, Montage Los Cabos will be situated on Santa Maria Bay. The resort will feature 122 rooms and suites, as well as 52 private residences. Enjoy beautiful views, beaches, swimming, diving, snorkeling and water sports. Resort amenities will include the Spa Montage, tennis courts, two swimming pools, and and kid's program, Paintbox (although note that typically Montage kids' programs are at additional cost, unlike the Four Seasons Kids for All Seasons program, which is complimentary).

Virtuoso Benefits

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily breakfast
  • Designated Virtuoso amenity to be mutually agreed upon no later than 5 months prior to opening date
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

Montage Los Cabos, Mexico

 

7. Hotel Lutetia, Paris, France (March, 2018)

The Hotel Lutetia is being meticulously renovated, and will provide a new luxury choice in St. Germain on the Left Bank, where many clients would like to stay but where there is virtually no luxury accommodation. The renovated Hotel Lutetia, which is a Virtuoso Preview hotel, will offer 184 rooms and suites, including several signature suites and a penthouse.

The hotel's dining and bar options will include the Lutetia Brasserie, a Jazz Bar, and a Cigar Bar with a private courtyard. Wellness devotees will be catered to with the Akasha Spa, at over 7500 square feet one of the largest luxury hotel spas in Paris. The 6 treatment rooms will include a couple's spa suite with its own jacuzzi. There will also be a 55 foot swimming pool that enjoys natural light, plus a sauna, steam room, cold plunge pool and jacuzzi.

Virtuoso Benefits

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Hotel Lutetia, Paris

 

8. Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos

Bill Bensley and Jirachai Rengthong are the architects and landscape designers behind some of the most stunning resorts in Asia, from the Four Seasons Koh Samui and Four Seasons Golden Triangle to The Siam Bangkok and the St. Regis Bali. The Rosewood Luang Prabang has wisely had Bensley and Rengthong design its 22 tents, villas, and suites, set in a picturesque forest with rivers and a waterfall. It's just 10 minutes from UNESCO World Heritage Site Luang Prabang, dotted with temples and steeped in Buddhist tradition; locals as well as visitors continue to make rice offerings to the orange robe clad monks each morning.

We very much enjoyed our stay at Amantaka, which is still more centrally located and walking distance from the night market, but the new Rosewood Luang Prabang will provide another excellent alternative for luxury stays.

Rosewood Elite Benefits

  • Complimentary daily breakfast for two
  • Welcome amenity
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

Rosewood Luang Prabang

 

9. Four Seasons Astir Palace, Athens, Greece (Summer 2018)

Athens is not a great luxury hotel city, and has been in need of a new luxury addition for some time. I'm excited that the Four Seasons is taking over management of the Astir Palace, and investing over EUR 100 million into the renovation of its rooms, suites, public spaces, spa and beachfront promenade.

Since Athens itself is a hectic city, I also consider it a plus that the resort is located 30 minutes from the Athens city center, right on the Aegean, with two private beaches and three pools for guests, as well as a spa and eight restaurants, lounges and bars.

Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits

  • Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
  • Spa services credit of USD100
  • Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites, villas, and private residences)
  • Welcome note at check-in acknowledging you and your travel agency and the amenities that are being extended
  • Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms; complimentary premium Internet in all suites

Four Seasons Astir Palace, Athens

 

10. Belmond Cadogan Hotel, London, UK 

Belmond is fully renovating the Cadogan Hotel in London, which is well located at 75 Sloane Street, walking distance from Hyde Park, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Harrods, and Buckingham Palace. Its 54 rooms and suites and gourmet restaurant will reflect the hotel’s rich heritage, creating a stylish retreat for visitors to what is one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious shopping enclaves.

Belmond Bellini Club Benefits

  • VIP welcome treats with local flair
  • Buffet or full breakfast for 2 daily
  • Complimentary upgrade based on availability at time of check-in
  • Up to $200 hotel credit per stay ($200 per stay for select suites; $90 per stay for all other suites and rooms)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • A unique US$500 gift voucher loyalty programme when reserving a US$5,000 or more Belmond holiday with TravelSort
Belmond Cadogan Hotel, London
 
 
Which of these new hotels opening in 2018 would you most want to stay at?

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