The Top 18 New Hotels in 2018

The phrase “luxury hotel” has a wide array of connotations. But a general consensus among well-traveled guests is that properties with a true sense of place, and those that are an extension of the area’s history, are exemplars of true luxurious style. The hotels that are new and exciting for 2018 are those that are not only well-designed but that go far above and beyond brand recognition.

“People want an unpredictable luxury experience,” says Jack Ezon, president of New York–based Ovation Vacations. “They still want their Frette linens, but with a local touch,” he adds. In this aspect, independent hotels are making a strong mark.

“What increasingly distinguishes a true luxury hotel is not just the comfort and beauty of the property but rather the personal care, proactive attention, and unique experiences that each and every person on the property extends to the traveler,” says Jennifer Tombaugh, president of Connecticut-based guided tour company Tauck. “A warm, heartfelt welcome in this busy, technology driven world is rare and precious,” she adds.

Here are the top hotels to watch in 2018, chosen not only for their outstanding design but also for their commitment to hospitality and capturing that sense of place.

Photo: Courtesy of Bulgari Beijing

Bulgari Beijing, China (Fall 2017)

This 119-room urban resort in the Chaoyang neighborhood straddles the Liangma River, adjacent to the Genesis Culture Foundation. Designed by the Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, the hotel was intended to be jewel-like with sensory-friendly raw materials of limestone, onyx, mosaic, and several types of marble. It is surrounded by a sculpted garden. The spa occupies two floors, and the Bulgari suite is one of the largest in the city. Highlights include a map of the world dating to 1690 by the famed Italian cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli, in the hotel lobby.

The Oberoi, Marrakech, Morocco (Early 2018)

An escape from the bustling nature of Marrakech’s souks and alleyways 20 minutes south of the city center is the brand’s first hotel in Morocco, set on 25 acres of citrus orchards and ancient olive groves. It features a salmon-colored exterior that is a nod to the “Red City,” with postcard views of the Atlas Mountains. Its 84 villas and suites are decked in handcrafted Moroccan design and ornate columns, and it features a 21,500-square-foot “private-island” spa with Turkish hammams.

Photo: Courtesy of The Setai Tel Aviv

The Setai Tel Aviv, Israel (January 2018)

The brand’s third outpost located along the historic Jaffa coastline is steps from the popular Clock Square. It boasts 120 rooms with Ottoman doors, a centuries-old fountain, and spear-tipped wrought-iron bars outside room windows (the building once housed Turkish prisoners awaiting deportation). London-based ara Design and Israeli-based Feigin Architects preserved the stonework of the 13th-century building and added a new wing and a bar surrounded by reclaimed timber from the original roof. Tel Aviv also gets a new W hotel in March that will be in Old Town Jaffa, a city inhabited since 7500 BCE.

Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood Luang Prabang

Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos (Winter 2018)

The brand’s first luxury encampment, with 22 tents, villas, and suites, is set in a thickly forested area with rivers and a waterfall. It is located ten minutes from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, well-known for its 33 villages filled with architecturally rich temples and monasteries. Bangkok-based Bill Bensley designed the hotel with elements inspired by Lao tradition with a French colonial vibe. It will also be the site for the first philanthropic hospitality school in Laos.

Photo: Courtesy of Raffles Europejski Warsaw

Raffles Europejski Warsaw, Poland (Early 2018)

A building constructed by Enrico Marconi in 1857 is touted as Poland’s’s first luxury hotel. Situated on the Royal Route in the heart of Warsaw, the 106-suite property will have bespoke furniture, oak floors, and Polish art. Its history of glamorous New Year’s Eve parties was immortalized in the Polish 19th century classic “The Doll,” by Bolesław Prus; the hotel’s patisserie was frequented by poets and writers. Interiors were done by Spanish designer Lázaro Rosa Violánwith a blue-and-white color palette that references Polish pottery traditions.

Photo: Courtesy of One&Only Resorts

One&Only Nyungwe House, Gisakura, Rwanda (Spring 2018)

Located on the working tea plantation of Gisakura on the lush edge of Nyungwe National Park, considered a haven for primates, this all-inclusive resort combines a modern sensibility with Rwandan touches. Its 22 rooms and suites in six wooden villas boast private decks and fireplaces. Activities include primate trekking, spear-throwing, hilltop archery, and helicopter tours of the park. Guests can enjoy outdoor candlelit dinners.

Photo: Courtesy of The Murray

The Murray, Hong Kong, China (January 2018)

The 336-room hotel redesigned by Foster + Partners spans 25 floors and is an urban chic sanctuary in the central business district of Hong Kong on the well-known Cotton Tree Drive. Highlights include a panoramic rooftop with views of Hong Kong Park and a series of signature restaurants and bars. The 1970s building with recessed windows and three-story arches adds to the glamor of new hotels that are opening in the city; a Waldorf Astoria and Rosewood are also slated to open in early 2018.

Photo: Hyatt St. Kitts

Park Hyatt St. Kitts, Banana Bay, St. Kitts & Nevis (November 2017)

Touted as the first luxury resort on the island of St. Kitts, the 126-room property just opened its doors on Banana Bay, a relatively untouched area with views of the Caribbean Sea and the island of Nevis. The resort features Kittian-inspired décor, an adults-only restaurant, and a rum bar, as well as the first Caribbean spa outpost of Miraval.

Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood Baha Mar

Rosewood Baha Mar, Nassau, Bahamas (Spring 2018)

Set on Nassau’s Cable Beach, the 233-room, five-villa Rosewood property is one of three major hotels that form part of the $4.2 billion resort complex of Baha Mar (the other two hotel brands are the SLS and Grand Hyatt). The interiors designed by Dianna Wong have a British colonial vibe to them, with textures of mahogany, polished brass and marble, and a seaside color palette. The property has several dining venues including “Commonwealth,” with cuisine from Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Caribbean.

Photo: Courtesy of Auberge Resorts

Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe, New Mexico (Summer 2018)

Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, this historic ranch resort located at the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains is set on 317 acres and centered around a centuries-old chapel. The lodge first opened in 1918 and underwent a $75 million renovation. There are 92 rooms and suites and 12 residences, as well as three glamping tents for a night under the stars.

Photo: Courtesy of Ayana Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach

Ayana Komodo Resort, Flores, Indonesia (Summer 2018)

The undeveloped, rugged eastern Indonesian island of Flores falls into the spotlight when Ayana opens its 189-room, 12-suite property in the summer (visitors can access the island through an hourlong flight from Bali). Architects Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo clad the hotel interiors in warm earth tones to blend them with the outdoors; the lobby will be on the 11th floor and rooms on beach level.

Photo: Courtesy of Baglioni Resort Maldives

Baglioni Resort Maldives, Dhaalu Atoll (Spring 2018)

Located on Maagu Island, which is a 40-minute seaplane ride away from the Maldives capital of Malé, is a new hotel that boasts four eateries and a world-class diving site. Its 96 garden, beach, and over-water villas are designed with sustainable materials. Guests can take sunset fishing expeditions on traditional wooden “Dhoni” boats and trips to the local goldsmith village to experience the Maldivian way of life.

Photo: Courtesy of Sanders Copenhagen

Sanders, Copenhagen, Denmark (November 2017)

The brainchild of Danish ballet dancer Alexander Kølpin, this boutique hotel located on a quiet cobblestone street behind the Royal Danish Theater makes you feel you are stepping onto the stage. The 54-room property has coupé rooms inspired by train cabins along with spacious apartments that coexist in a building that was a cultural hotspot in the 1970s. Designed by Lind + Almond, it features polished hardwood and rattan cane-couches that have a Parisian sensibility with a colonial edge.

Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons Costa Palmas

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

Forming part of the private beach community of Costa Palmas at the sandy eastern shoreline of Baja (considered its “secret cape”) is the 145-room Four Seasons. It also has private residences, a Robert Trent Jones II–designed golf course, and a resort community village. Rooms overlooking the Sea of Cortés were designed by Las Vegas–based TAL Studio, and guests have access to an 18-acre organic farm.

Photo: Courtesy of The Ramble Hotel

The Ramble Hotel, Denver, Colorado (March 2018)

Inspired by the style of 17t- century French salons, this 50-room boutique hotel in the burgeoning RiNo (River North Arts District) neighborhood will feature the first outpost of Death & Co outside Manhattan. The lobby will have two bars including one serving craft coffee. Rooms designed by Los Angeles–based Avenue Interior Design integrate neighborhood industrial elements with softer patterns and textures.

Photo: Courtesy of Leading Hotels of the World

Nobu Hotel Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (March 2018)

Located in downtown Riyadh, this 90-room, 44-suite property boasts a printed, layered glass skyscraper designed by The Rockwell Group. The interiors blend Japanese and Arabian style, with an emphasis on color, reflection, and light. Nobu Hospitality was founded on a partnership between chef Nobu Matsuhisa, actor Robert De Niro, and film producer Meir Teper.

Photo: Courtesy of Royal Brittania

Fingal Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh, Scotland (Spring 2018)

A new investment by the Royal Yacht Britannia takes the shape of a floating hotel permanently berthed at The Shore restaurant in Leith, Edinburgh. Its 23 cabins designed by Alan Pedley and Stephen Flanagan are named after lighthouses constructed by the famous Scottish civil engineer Robert Stevenson. The hotel is a stroll away from two Michelin-starred restaurants.

Photo: Courtesy of The Hotel Lutetia

Hotel Lutetia, Paris, France (Spring 2018)

With the reimagination of this 184-room grand dame, once owned by the Boucicaut family, the property aims to redefine the Left Bank of Paris. The hotel takes after the city’s Roman name. It will be restored to its former Art Nouveau glory with the largest accommodations in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, traditionally known for its boutique options. From its spa to the Aristide Jazz Bar, which has hosted many a star, the interiors get a renovation overseen by Jean-Michel Wilmotte.]

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