From a stunning beach resort built on stilts in a Mangrove forest in Mexico, to a contemporary tower in Tokyo, I have assembled a long list of highly anticipated hotel openings for 2020 around the world. This year I have listed all new properties and residences by hotel brand so that luxury travelers can visit their favorites.
Also included is the exclusive selection of the top 12 luxury hotel brands for 2019 according to LTI-Luxury Travel Intelligence.
Cabo San Lucas
Located in Baja’s East Cape, and neighbor to the new Costa Palmas Four Seasons Resort, Amanvari, will feature a resort, private Aman Residences, multiple dining venues, Aman Spa, and its own stretch of white sand beach. Nestled in a delicate ecosystem of mangroves, Amanvari will be an eco island with overwater stilted units.
Aman unveils a new urban sanctuary in the heart of Manhattan. The Aman New York brings the serenity of Aman to bustling city. Within the Crown Building, 83 rooms and suites and Aman’s first urban Residences will offer a unique twist for Aman junkies worldwide.
UAE / Ras Al Khaimah
Ras Al Khaimah is in the northernmost emirate of the UAE, located 45 minutes from Dubai and will feature the new Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort offering overwater luxury villas on the Arabian Gulf in an eco-sanctuary.
Part of the new Mina Al Arab luxury development, a beachfront playground with a marina, waterfront cafes and boutiques, the resort offers 300 guest rooms, suites and villas in Maldivian resort style.
Morocco / Tangier
Al Houara is a luxury beachfront development just south of Tangier on Morocco’s Atlantic Ocean coast. 150 rooms, suites and villas overlook the ocean and a Graham Marsh-designed golf course.
Secluded within 10 acres on Waller Creek, the Commodore Perry Estate comprises a 10,800-square-foot home, a chapel and gardens enclosed within a walled compound in the style of a historic country estate. This elegant new social hub is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The all new Mauna Lani resort is situated on sacred land on the Kona Coast. It is marked by royal fish ponds, natural lava plains, lush tropical gardens and alluring beaches, and will boast contemporary rooms and suites, five private bungalows, five restaurants and lounges, three pools, a signature spa and wellness haven.
Following the devastating effects of political unrest in the country, one of my favorite hotels in the world will be making a comeback. The Mukul Resort, surrounded by jungle on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, is a stunning property and Auberge is hoping to open it late 2020 but could face a further delay pending Nicaragua’s political situation.
The brainchild of rum billionaire Carlos Pellas, the 23 hillside suites, and the 12 Beach Villas at Mukul were built to pay tribute to the tropical, rolling surf of Playa Manzanillo. Wealthy travelers are offered a stay in Casona Don Carlos, the Pellas family’s private beach residence. Located adjacent to the Beach Villas, the oceanfront compound features a 20,000 square-foot indoor-outdoor living area with soaring 80-foot-high palapa ceilings, four bedroom suites, a wrap-around stone terrace and a large private swimming pool.
The famous, crescent shaped hotel has hosted generations of Hollywood celebrities, foreign dignitaries and every United States President since its opening in 1966. Located in the heart of Century City in Los Angeles it is undergoing a complete restoration and is slated to re-open as Fairmont Century Plaza. The mixed-use redevelopment project includes approximately 394 guestrooms and 63 branded residences within the original building, along with two new 46-story luxury residential towers with 290 luxury residences and approximately 100,000 square feet of boutique high-street shopping and expanded parking facilities.
Fairmont Taghazout Bay will feature 155 spacious guestrooms, with sea facing views, in addition to 52 Fairmont branded villas, to be released for sale later this year, which will be the first luxury waterfront villas ever in Morocco. The resort will boast over 27,000 square feet of meeting space and a Fairmont spa with fitness facilities. A range of culinary offerings will include an all-day dining restaurant, lobby lounge, specialty restaurant and beach pool bar and grill.
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi is where the business district and the gardens of the Imperial Palace meet. On floors 34 to 39 of Tokyo’s leading commercial tower, the ultramodern, spacious guest rooms and suites will capture the area’s energy and sophistication, while amenities including a sky-high terrace and four global restaurants round out the urban experience.
Set among the verdant hills of Napa Valley, with a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and on-site winery, this resort will be the perfect retreat for wine lovers. The resort will feature a farmhouse chic style in their 85 villas, all with a fireplace and private terrace.
Vietnam / Ho Chi Minh City
Mandarin launches this new hotel in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The Mandarin Oriental Saigon hotel will be situated on the upper floors of this mixed-use complex, and will comprise 227 guestrooms and suites, six restaurants and bars, a range of meeting spaces, a fitness center, a Spa at Mandarin Oriental and an outdoor swimming pool.
Stunning architecture and 115 rooms and suites will blend old-world Japanese influences with ultra-modern design. A state-of-the-art fitness center, and an indoor swimming pool will be featured. The Rooftop at Nobu Hotel Chicago, complete with an indoor lounge and outdoor terrace will also be a highlight.
Nobu Hotel London Portman Square will feature 249 guest rooms and suites, together with a Nobu restaurant, ballroom and meeting spaces in the heart of London’s West End, steps away from boutiques, and next to the shopping district of Oxford Street and Regent Street.
The new Nobu Hotel Tel Aviv will offer 38 beautifully designed rooms, a large garden, fitness center, pool, outdoor spaces and a private rooftop retreat.
Nobu Hotel Warsaw will be located in the heart of the historic city. With 117-rooms, expansive meeting and event spaces, fitness center and signature Nobu Restaurant, it will be an integrated mix of luxurious hotel and comforting living space.
ONE & ONLY
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest will be home to 14 rooms and 7 suites, with every space designed to frame nature, encircled by trees for ultimate privacy, with breathtaking views of Pyrethrum farmland, lush shambas and Eucalpytus forest. All located in the foothills of the Virunga Volcano Range.
One&Only Desaru Coast will be a collection of suites and private homes. From king suites with interconnecting rooms to the stunning 4-bedroom villa. All guests have a suite with a plunge pool. The resort features secluded retreats between lush rainforest and powder white sands, bordered by the South China Sea.
With 140 rooms and villas, private residences and marina, the new One&Only Portonovi in Montenegro will be the brands first resort in Europe. Stunning balcony views are the highlight with a large waterfront pool that stretches into the Adriatic coastline.
Located in one of the last remaining beachfront jungles in Mexico, the One&Only Mandarina will offer an exclusive collection of 53 One&Only Private Homes as well as Clifftop Villas and ocean treehouses with private butlers.
China / Nanjing
Positioned along the Yangtze delta, Nanjing embraces an ancient city and a metropolis. Centered at the Xinjiekou CBD, The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing features a grand hotel that includes 295 guest rooms, 32 luxury suites and elegant event spaces. Local cuisine is celebrated at the signature restaurant, one of five dining options, and wellness treatments are heavily focused with an indoor pool, gym and The Ritz-Carlton Spa.
Morocco / Rabat
The beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture is at the center of The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam. With 440 acres of oak forest and the famed golf course at Royal Golf Dar es Salam the resort will feature five restaurants and lounges with a spa featuring ancient rituals including a signature hammam.
Morocco / Tamuda Bay
Ten miles from the Moroccan city of Tetouan, The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Tamuda Bay, offers an upscale enclave that embraces indigenous design and natural beauty. Set along the sea, the resort features luxury amenities including a beach club, 18-hole golf course and upscale accommodations.
Rising 58 stories in the heart of the financial center, The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City adds a unique new structure to the city’s skyline. Located on floors 36 to 47, the hotel offers sweeping views of Chapultepec Park from each of its 153 accommodations and its private residences. Luxury amenities include a Club Lounge, a Mediterranean-inspired bar and restaurant, a spa, pool, and fitness center.
Rosewood São Paulo will be located in an historic 1904 building that was formerly a maternity hospital in the center of Cidade Matarazzo, a complex of elegant, preserved buildings that were built in the early 20th century.
The hotel will feature 151 guestrooms and 122 owners’ suites, which will be situated within a vertical park created by Nouvel. Two restaurants, including one located on a veranda overlooking the lush hotel gardens, will be complemented by a bar and a caviar lounge. Two swimming pools (one rooftop pool), and a large spa with six treatment rooms and fitness area. Hotel guests will also be able to access an adjoining music studio, a screening room and high-end retail stores within the development.
This will be the first North American property for Six Senses. The Six Senses New York will feature two unique, twisting towers designed by architect Bjarke Ingels located between Manhattan’s Hudson River and The High Line. Two restaurants will showcase the brand’s popular culinary approach to wellness, and the Six Senses Spa will introduce a new direction of wellness treatments.
Historic Rajasthan is the setting for the 14th century fort that has been converted to become Six Senses Fort Barwara, a three-hour drive from Jaipur. Originally owned by the Rajasthani Royal Family, it sits directly opposite the temple, Chauth ka Barwara Mandir. Featuring 48 suites and incorporating a palace with two temples within the walled site. Two restaurants serve classic dishes and modern cuisine together with a bar and lounge. A 30,000 square foot Six Senses Spa and fitness center is located in the original women’s palace and will feature an extensive Ayurveda program, meditation and Six Senses Integrated Wellness programs. There are two swimming pools, banquet areas, retail boutique and kid’s club.
Bhutan / Bumthang
Six Senses Bumthang sits in the spiritual heart of Bhutan. The retreat offers eight spacious 985 sf suites, and one expansive two-bedroom villa. It joins the brands other existing properties in Bhutan.
Israel / Shaharut
Six Senses Shaharut is located south of the Negev Desert in the Arava Valley and features 58 suites and villas with one Retreat Villa. Designed to integrate into the desert terrain, the villas are built from, and inspired by, local rock and pigments. The Six Senses Spa Shaharut includes single and double treatment rooms plus male and female steam, sauna and hammams. On-site attractions include the Earth Lab, camel stables and an open-air amphitheater. Many optional activities include overnight camel camping to extreme sports, hiking, jeep safaris and wine tours.
Morocco / Tamuda Bay
This new beach hotel will include 100 guestrooms and suites that offer unobstructed sea views. The resort will offer a specialty restaurant, an all-day dining restaurant and a St. Regis Bar inspired by the brand’s original King Cole Bar in New York. Amenities at The St. Regis Tamuda Bay will include a spa, pool and fitness center.
From a prime cliff-front location, the Waldorf Astoria Bali offers dramatic panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Guests have a choice of 96 luxurious villas set on the sprawling estate, ranging from one-bedroom villas to six-bedroom suite villas.
Waldorf Astoria Bali will include two specialty restaurants and a destination bar. A stunning outdoor sea-facing pool with a beach club, a large private beach as well as a health club and spa will be available to guests.
Bali / Ubud
W Bali Ubud will offer 100 locally inspired guestrooms, including 10 villas with private swimming pools and an unusual dramatic Extreme WOW suite (the brand’s unique version of the traditional Presidential Suite).
Located on Collins Street in the middle of Melbourne’s shopping district, W Melbourne will encompass 294 rooms and suites, including an Extreme Wow Suite.
Portugal / Algarve
The W Residences will share the W Algarve setting, but offer additional privacy. There are 95 Residences, comprising one to three bedroom apartments, including duplexes and one four bedroom penthouse. Some apartments have a private pool others have sea and garden views.
Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle / France
Set within the perimeter of the Palace grounds, Le Grand Contrôle will be the only hotel of its kind in the world; offering exclusive access and experiences at Chateau de Versailles to staying guests. The 14-bedroom luxury hotel will feature an 18th century style, with architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer in charge of its design. As well as a private spa guests will also be able to indulge in a first class restaurant, led by Alain Ducasse who has been a partner in the exciting project from the very beginning.
Xigera Safari Lodge / Botswana
This new safari lodge set in the heart of the Okavango Delta on the aptly named Paradise Island. Opening in June 2020, it is surrounded by deep channels and lush vegetation within a remote area of the productive Moremi Game Reserve.
With just 12 suites showcasing southern African artisans, Xigera has been designed to protect its environment; it is 100% solar powered, with a dedicated focus on sustainability and eliminating single use plastics. Every spacious suite will be fully air conditioned.
Arctic Bath Sweden
This hotel and cold bath was inspired by the timber floating era as reminder of the importance of forests for the entire country’s development. The main building is inspired by a jam of floating timber in the river. The floating open air cold bath is located downstream from the bridges of Bodtraskfors. Arctic Bath has a circular shape which creates a protected environment. The center of the bath is perfect for both sunbathing and winter bathing, a cold bath under the northern sky. Arctic Bath hotel has 12 private cabins, a spa, cold bath, hot bath, different saunas, spa treatment room, lounge, shop, bar and a restaurant. There are also 6 floating hotel cabins (double rooms) floating downstream from the hotel with private access from the shore via foot-bridges. And 6 cabins on land, 3 suites and 3 cabins sleeping 1-5 people.
The Legian Sire / Lombok
Nestled on Lombok’s most pristine beach and only a 40-minute flight from Bali, the Legian Sire, Lombok is a boutique suite and villa resort with stunning views of the famous Gili Islands. All suites offer 1,200-square-feet overlooking the ocean, and the resort features 55 and 75 foot infinity pools. The Club by The Legian Sire offers personalized butler service with unique pool villas, eight beachfront villas, and a beach house with direct access to the white beach.
The Bvlgari Hotel will be located at 30 Avenue George V, between the Champs Elysees and the Avenue Montaigne. Offering 76 rooms, most of them suites, and a full range of luxury facilities including a spa with a pool and a Bvlgari restaurant and bar opening to a courtyard garden.
Ambiente will be the first landscape hotel in North America and comprised of 40 cubed-shaped guest ‘Atriums’ that are elevated above the ground by steel piers and constructed using floor-to-ceiling, bronze-tinted glass, matte-charcoal, and rusted metal. At dusk, the tinted glass reflects the nature around it, creating mirrored silhouettes.
THE BEST BRANDS OF 2019
And breaking news this week as LTI – Luxury Travel Intelligence, a global members only organization, reveals the world’s best luxury hotel brands for 2019 in their second annual report. Their assessment measures the performance and values of luxury hotel brands through a rigorous algorithm process.
The process encompasses 123 touch points relevant to the luxury hotel sector including overall brand performance, rather than the performance of individual properties. It’s all about a brand’s ability to deliver: its passion, commitment, ethos and values, as well as the quality of its management and staff.
Here are the top 12 luxury hotel brands for 2019 according to LTI-Luxury Travel Intelligence. The number in brackets is the ranking from 2018.
- Belmond 83.1% (4)
- Mandarin Oriental 81.4% (5)
- Four Seasons 79.4% (7)
- Aman 78.9% (1)
- Oetker Collection 78.6% (2)
- Auberge 76.8% (6)
- Rosewood 76.1% (11)
- Six Senses 74.3% (3)
- St. Regis 73.1% (10)
- COMO 71.4% (-)
- One&Only 69.3% (9)
- Anantara 67.1% (-)
Michael Crompton, Founder of LTI, says, “No other organization connects with the global luxury hotel industry as LTI does. We are out there 365 days a year, with our researchers engaging with everyone from CEO’s of the brands we have rated to hundreds of management, staff and guests. Primarily, this is all part of the process for creating our destination led reports for our members (affluent discerning travelers) but it also allows us to utilize our findings to create this unique report. Every year the process starts again – the results from previous years have no bearing on the following year. This will no doubt lead to some volatility in each year’s results (such as this year), but this is a dynamic sector and we want to reflect what is really happening out there.”
*Originally posted on Forbes