The latest and greatest hotels, resorts and unique stays to check into and check out right now.
1. K5, Tokyo
With Tokyo’s green Olympics around the corner, the city has seen an increase in hotel rooms; K5 is the latest. Housed within a 100-year-old former bank, the ‘micro-complex’ features 20 bespoke rooms, restaurant Caveman serving ‘progressive Japanese’ cuisine, Ao bar serving natural cocktails, and a lobby/florist festooned with greenery.
2. Arctic Bath, Swedish Lapland
Designed to freeze into the Lule River during winter, and float atop it during summer, Sweden’s Arctic Bath spa hotel is the epitome of treading lightly, with its central over-water bath-house structure resembling a giant bird’s nest, complemented by a small collection of water and land-based cabins.
Sustainable materials have been used throughout the cabins, which are elevated from the ground and linked by walkways to ensure they don’t have a heavy impact on the landscape. Not surprisingly, the focus here is on health and wellness.
3. Palihotel San Francisco
The chic boutique brand Palisociety has rolled out another of its considered properties, this time in the heart of San Francisco. Retrofitted into a charming 19th-century building just steps from Union Square, the 82 rooms are decorated in signature Cali-cool style, while downstairs restaurant/bar Fisher Loft is a riot of floral wallpaper and cosy chintz-covered booths, serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner and killer cocktails.
Superstar Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has put his stamp on the latest hotel offering in Kyoto, with Ace Kyoto melding the former Kyoto Central Telephone Company, built in the 1920s, with his distinctive style. The property features 213 rooms, a courtyard garden and three restaurants.
Kuma worked with LA-based studio Commune to create the bespoke interior, sourcing pieces and fittings by Japanese craftspeople using sustainable materials and traditional techniques.
Comprising 140 guest rooms, 48 suites and two penthouses, The West Hollywood Edition, a collab between rock-star hotelier Ian Schrager and Marriott International, has a polished, luxe outlook befitting its high-profile location in the sceney WeHo neighbourhood.
There’s a signature restaurant on site, a well-equipped 24-hour fitness centre, rooftop pool and a spa with multiple treatment and steam rooms and a comprehensive treatment menu. Some of Los Angeles’ winning attractions are on the doorstep – from Rodeo Drive to the Whisky a Go Go.
Housed in an Ottoman-era mansion in the well-heeled Sariyer district of Istanbul, Six Senses Kocatas Mansions, Istanbul has a gracious design, stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait and adheres to the wellness brand’s signature holistic approach to travel.
There’s a trio of restaurants on site and the spa, with its treatment rooms, hammams, swimming pool and Holistic Anti-Aging Center, opens in early 2020.
Located in Kinigi in north-west Rwanda, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is just five minutes from Volcanoes National Park, home to the highest number of mountain gorillas in the country. With a roster of 21 lodges and suites, which include spacious proportions, luxurious fittings and outdoor bathtubs, the resort also features Nest, its indoor/outdoor restaurant, a pool bar and One&Only Spa. As for activities, the national park is a focus along with morning yoga, coffee tasting, photography lessons and bike rides to nearby villages.
8. TRUNK(HOUSE), Tokyo
TRUNK(HOUSE) is one of a wave of cutting-edge, boutique hospitality experiences in Tokyo meeting the demand of travellers that are ditching the conventional luxury hotels and yearning for a more personal experience.
Originally a geisha house, the one-bedroom property now accommodates up to four guests.
Before you assume TRUNK is a slightly upscale Airbnb, it’s not. Personal chefs are ready to serve traditional Japanese food in the open kitchen and the accommodation will include a range of carefully curated artwork. There’s even a small disco room if you feel the need to boogie.
9. Oaks Wellington Hotel, Wellington
Oaks Hotels, Resorts and Suites is a new welcome addition on the scene in New Zealand with a debut in Wellington. Converted from a 1922 Ford assembly plant, the new Oaks underwent a multi-million-dollar face lift into the nine-story, 226-room hotel it is today.
The Oaks Wellington’s central location in the Te Aro district is a definite merit as well, given its affordable prices for a modern, clean room. There are 30 different possible room configurations to choose from, the nicest of which boast sweeping views of the Lambton Harbour and fully equipped kitchens. Rates start at $165.
If Canggu is the new Seminyak, then Uluwatu is most definitely the new Canggu – thanks to hotels like this one.
Boutique Asian hospitality group M. Group has launched sister property to its award-winning Balinese beach club – Ulu Cliffhouse.
Sitting atop Uluwatu’s dramatic cliffs some two hundred feet above the world famous breaks of the Indian Ocean, The Clubhouse at Ulu is a collection of seven stunning, individually-
appointed suites, each named and inspired by the seven legendary surf breaks that surround the property. It’s Indonesian paradise at its finest.
There is a lot of buzz around Wellington at the moment, so the opening of the 226-room Oaks Wellington is perfect timing to cater to those heading to the New Zealand capital to discover its food and wine scene and natural beauty. Located in Courtenay Place, with myriad shopping and dining offerings on the doorstep, the hotel has an on-site restaurant, bar and fully equipped fitness centre.
Experience the tradition, drama and beauty of the Italian island of Sardinia from the rustic luxury of Su Gologone’s two new Country Suites. Utilising locally sourced materials and fabrics, linen and home decor items from owner Giovanna Palimodde’s Le Botteghe di Su Gologone collection, the rooms each boast a large bedroom and bathroom, a generous sitting room and private terrace complete with a daybed and outdoor tub. The rooms look out over the vegetable garden, which caters to the new restaurant, Orto.
Part of The Dorchester Collection, Le Meurice has had a nip and tuck befitting a Parisian grand dame, transforming 29 rooms and suites including its headlining Belle Etoile penthouse suite. While the generous interiors throughout have been elevated to new levels of style and sophistication, it is the expansive terrace space of the Belle Etoile Suite that is stealing all the attention. The lush, green oasis, conceived by landscape designer Pierre-Alexandre Risser, seems to blend into the Tuileries Garden below and looks out over one of the most stunning views in the city.
Located in Oita Prefecture on the Japanese island of Kyushu, a region famous for its hot springs, the ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa is the first international luxury resort to arrive in the area. Combining the traditions of hot spring culture with the brand’s modern take on service and design, the resort has two large outdoor onsens, while some of the 89 guest rooms have their own private onsen. There are five restaurants and an infinity pool overlooking the town’s hot springs below.
Housed over two heritage Cape Town buildings (one Edwardian, the other dating to the 1920s), Gorgeous George definitely lives up to its bold moniker, with each of its 20 rooms and 12 suites exuding a sophisticated industrial chic vibe (thanks to the use of concrete and steel) softened with African influences, Delft-inspired ceramics and a colour palette of blues, whites and greens.
There’s a restaurant, bar and sexy rooftop pool terrace.
Sandwiched between historic buildings in Edinburgh’s Old Town, Market Street’s sleek Brutalist facade (rendered in milky sandstone) instantly sets it apart within its surroundings.
Inside it’s more of the same: sleek interiors (designed by FG Stijl) with modernist furniture scattered throughout the 98 rooms and public areas including a Champagne lounge. The whole thing is tied back to its location with the unexpected use of traditional Scottish tartan.
Retrofitted into a 16th-century palace in the heart of Lisbon, each of The One Palácio da Anunciada’s 83 rooms and suites marries modern interiors with pretty flourishes of colour and texture. The light, elegant aesthetic also pervades its restaurant and bars; sitting under the ornate ceilings in the signature Condes Ericeira Restaurant (below) is worth the stay alone.
Originally opened in 1902 (as the Hyde Park Hotel), the grand Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London’s well-heeled Knightsbridge district has reopened after a multi-million-pound renovation (and a headline-making blaze that broke out in June 2018 just one week after the completion of works).
The interiors have been luxuriously reimagined by designer Joyce Wang, with a subtle Asian influence running throughout. Every one of its 141 rooms and 40 jaw-dropping suites have been given a facelift, as have its restaurants and bars including the light and pretty Rosebery.
19. Kāmana Lakehouse, Queenstown, New Zealand
Kāmana Lakehouse is the latest addition to Queenstown’s hotel offering.
Located high above Wakatipu Lake, the boutique property’s 73 rooms feature contemporary design (inspired by the Kāmana bird and its natural habitat) and luxe amenities, while the Living Space provides guests with a convivial social space complete with fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows with views to the lake and the surrounding mountains.
With bright jolts of colour that pop against the endless blue of sky and sea, LUX* North Male Atoll in the Maldives sets itself apart from other properties in this paradise.
Its 67 two-storey residences sit on the beach or over water, each boasting a rooftop area, private pool and butler-style host. There are numerous restaurants, one overseen by the Maldives’ only Peruvian chef, Beach Rouge with its pool-club vibe, and an over-lagoon wellness spa.
21. Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong
Reflecting Phuket’s unique history and culture through its decor and guest experiences, the 180 spacious and vibrant rooms of Hotel Indigo mimic the area’s tropical location and buzzy nightlife.
There’s also a 24-hour fitness centre, authentic local dining experiences and a Muay Thai boxing ring with professional trainer on site.
In the Indian city of Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Four Seasons has installed the 230-room Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru and Four Seasons Private Residences into the hospitality, retail and corporate Embassy ONE development.
Conveniently located 30 minutes from the airport and well connected to the CBD, the sleek hotel features a selection of dining options, a pool, lush botanic gardens and spa.
Located in Japan’s unique tropical paradise, the luxurious rooms of this boutique property all have balconies overlooking white-sand beaches, with several boasting private pools. Plus the spa incorporates local Okinawan ingredients.
Luxury safari and experiential travel company andBeyond has recently opened the brand new Tengile River Lodge, a luxurious lodge in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve, and boy is it magical.
The nine-suite lodge offers a high level of exclusivity and sense of tranquillity with a contemporary bush design.
Each of the suites features a private deck with a swimming pool, an outdoor lounge and a master bedroom that opens out onto a luxurious bathroom with an outdoor shower and views over the river.
Built with an extremely light footprint, using sustainable construction materials and an environmentally friendly design, the lodge has also been cleverly positioned on a bend of the Sand River, so that each suite is nestled in the tree line along the riverfront and boasts a magnificent view out over the Sand River, an area inhabited by a world-renowned diversity of wildlife.
The elegant design concept is based around blending luxury with the natural landscape and bringing the outdoors inside, drawing inspiration from the textures of the surrounding bush.
This new five-star resort is located 10 minutes away by car from Luang Prabang’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town.
Its 16 hectares encompass 123 modern guest rooms with large terraces, a two-bedroom villa and a healthy scattering of infinity pools and streams. The Pullman Luang Prabang is now the largest hotel in town, but its low-rise architecture – which draws on traditional Laotian influences – sees it blend in well with the surrounding natural landscape.
Guests can dine on international cuisine at L’Atelier and sink a cocktail overlooking paddy fields at the Junction.
Promising a real once-in-a-lifetime experience, One&Only Nyungwe House sits within the dense Green Expanse of a tea plantation, next to Ancient Montane rainforest.
Wild experiences such as chimpanzee Trekking or walking among majestic mahogany trees allow guests to max out the incredible setting.
The 23 rooms and suites combine local African craftsmanship with a contemporary look and feel, Plus there’s a Spa that uses natural products from luxury brand Africology.
Located in the historic university town of Göttingen, in Germany’s Lower Saxony, Hotel Freigeist is a relentlessly modern new build (and a member of Design Hotels) featuring 118 rooms.
The décor continues the theme, with wood and copper fittings throughout contrasted against a palette of grey bricks, neutrals and shots of blue, and Basquiat-inspired artwork.
The whole thing has a Nordic vibe (enhanced by the on-site sauna), but in Intuu, its signature restaurant, it’s Japanese/South AmericaN Fusion all the way.
Omaanda is nestled in the Namibian savannah in the heart of the Zannier private animal reserve. Its 9000-hectare footprint, which offers lashings of peace and quiet and natural beauty, houses 10 luxury huts inspired by traditional Owambo architecture.
Ambo Delights restaurant offers cuisine inspired by the best local produce, while the bar at the edge of the heated swimming pool has views over the savannah.
A perfect blend of old and new Shanghai, the 145-room Shanghai EDITION sees Nanjing Road’s 1929 Art Deco Shanghai Power Company building fused with a new-build skyscraper.
Its various food and drink options include star chef Jason Atherton’s HIYA (translated to ‘clouds in the sky’), a Japanese izakaya-inspired eatery on the 27th floor.
The Six Senses group has had a busy year, having already opened properties in Singapore and Fiji; now comes Six Senses Maxwell.
A sister property to Six Senses Duxton, the wellness brand’s first city hotel, the 120-room property is also retrofitted into a historic Singapore colonial-style building and features Euro-chic interiors courtesy of French architect and designer Jacques Garcia.
The first Kempinski hotel to open in Bali is a suitably grand reflection of Balinese architecture and craftsmanship.
Situated in the Nusa Dua area of the island, the hotel boasts 475 rooms, suites and villas and all the requisite inclusions expected from the luxury brand, from five dining options to a 60-metre swimming pool to an ocean-facing spa and a cigar and shisha lounge.
It even has its own beachfront wedding chapels.