With new luxury pied-à-terres becoming increasingly prevalent, it has become harder to decide where to call your home away from home. Many boast a sense of place, and some hotel brands spend years trying to find the perfect balance of neighborhood and an elegant design sensibility. But local design and authenticity have, thankfully, become de rigeur, cropping up in spades in new builds.
In Architectural Design hotel hot list for 2019, they have selected new and refurbished properties that not only are stunning in terms of design, but actually help transform the location they’re in for the better.
Some brands, like the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, are committed to really picking the right destinations. Bart Carnahan, executive vice president of global business development says that new builds, strategic conversions, and adaptive reuses of historic buildings have helped fuel the brand’s growth. Four Seasons will open several hotels in 2019, including those in Philadelphia and Boston. “With each new property, our goal is to always operate in the destinations where our guests want to be, in the very best locations,” he adds.
Herewith, 21 noteworthy places to consider as you look forward to packing your bags in 2019.
1. Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
Architect Bill Bensley, who designed Shinta Mani Wild, which opens at the end of December 2018, created luxury tented camps hidden on a pristine wildlife corridor in Cambodia’s South Cardamom National Park. After purchasing more than 1,000 acres of land at an auction a few years ago, complete with a wild river, rapids, and three mammoth waterfalls, he wanted “a way for this land to stay untamed.” The result is a truly sustainable solution, with a high-yield, low-impact camp of 15 tents inspired by the spirit of the Golden Age of Cambodia during the 1950s and ’60s. “The 1962 Phnom Penh Jackie Onassis state visit hosted by King Sihanouk is well documented, but lesser known are the details of their royal glamping safari into the wilds of the Cardamons,” says Bensley, who re-created what he envisioned the Cambodian sovereign would have provided for Onassis’ life-changing experience. Guests can now enjoy what Bensley describes as his most ambitious project to date and can take heart in the resort’s own private army committed to protecting the private nature sanctuary. shintamani.com
2. Rosewood Hong Kong
Designed by New York–based Tony Chi, with the architecture done by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Rosewood Hong Kong boasts 413 rooms spread over 43 stories with sweeping views of Victoria Harbor and a feeling of integral connectedness to the water. A key design component is the incorporation of green spaces and outdoor areas to reflect the vision of the vertical estate, which has a residential feel. The majority of the hotel’s eight restaurants and bars draw on today’s growing appetite for outdoor living with alfresco terraces. The hotel will offer eight dining options and Asaya, Rosewood’s holistic wellness concept; the Manor Club executive lounge will provide an array of exclusive privileges for its guests. rosewoodhotels.com
3. Anantara Tozeur, Tunisia
In the splendor of Tozeur in Tunisia, built around a palm tree grove and the endless desert, is the new 93-room Anantara, opening in 2019. From walkways flanked by carvings to the resort souk, there are touches of ornate rugs and bonfires throughout. Travelers can also step back in time with Bedouin-style camel and caravan voyages into the desert that include visits to abandoned villages of Chebika, Tamerza, and Mides and to the film set of the original Star Wars. The nearby Chott el Djerid is the largest salt lake in the Sahara Desert, renowned for its mysterious mirages. Designed by Kansas-based Agora Architecture, the property honors the preservation of ancestral traditional construction techniques by using clay bricks that are made manually and dried in the sun. Interiors feature pure lines and forms with artisanal details inspired by Tunisian heritage.
Opening soon: www.anantara.com/en/tozeur
4. Kudadoo Maldives
The Maldives gets its first fully sustainable resort when Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawahli opens on December 1, 2018. The all-inclusive exclusive resort boasts 15 Japanese-style villas designed by Yuji Yamasaki, emphasizing the characteristics of air and light. 300 kilowatts of solar panels stud the roof of the Retreat, a two-story main building on the island, which powers the entire island. With an emphasis on the environment, only indigenous plants and trees can be discovered here, and the resort has its own marine biologist. Guests can swim with manta rays, turtles, and dolphins, and can enjoy wellness treatments and a Himalayan Salt Room at the spa. A meditation guru, personal trainer, and yoga instructor is available at the full disposal of guests. kudadoo.com
5. The Fife Arms, Braemar, Scotland
Located in the village of Braemar, Scotland (home to the largest gathering of the Highland Games and located just a few miles from the royal Balmoral Estate), the Fife Arms, owned by the Hauser & Wirth founders Iwan and Manuela Wirth, is set to open in December 2018. Interior designer Russell Sage and architect Ben Addy restored the former 19th-century hunting lodge built by the Duke of Fife to resemble a private country house. Inspired by the traditions of Braemar and Scotland, the hotel will feature 46 rooms and an extensive art collection, including more than 12,000 pieces commissioned by leading international artists such as Subodh Gupta and Richard Jackson. It is surrounded by the majestic landscape of Royal Deeside. thefifearms.com
6. Belmond Cap Juluca, Anguilla, British West Indies
After being severely impacted by Hurricane Irma last year, it only took Anguilla 100 days to restore electricity; the mile-long beaches and the tropical landscape are now back to their original beauty thanks to massive efforts by the islanders, the hotel and tourism groups, and the international and local governments. Following a $121 million investment, Belmond brings a dose of beach-chic glamour to Cap Juluca, Anguilla, located in the British West Indies on Maundays Bay. Known for its spectacular white sandy beaches, the resort opens in December 2018. The design done by Rottet Studio pays homage to the surrounding nature and Anguillan heritage, blending the charms of old-world travel with new-world comforts, and boasts a new infinity-edge pool, a rustic beach bar called the Cap Shack, and elegant restaurants done in the resort’s signature Greco-Moorish architectural style. belmond.com
7. Conrad Washington, D.C.
Slated to open in the first quarter of the year is the first Conrad brand in Washington, D.C., with architecture by the Pritzker Prize–winning Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron and design by Houston-based Rottet Studio. Located in the heart of the District within CityCenterDC (a high-end, mixed-use development featuring ten acres of luxury retail stores), the 360-room hotel boasts a rooftop bar with beautiful city views, and easy access to attractions including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Ford’s Theatre. Lauren Rottet conceived the Conrad as a reinterpreted early American village where the guest strolls and discovers venues of entertainment handcrafted of wood and stone. She says, “Though the design is minimal and pure at first glance, the large interior spaces are dynamic and create visual movement through the light that emanates from above, under, and through the walls.” The hotel also features a contemporary art collection inspired by the Washington Color School movement, curated by consulting from Tatar Art Projects. conradhotels3.hilton.com
8. Raffles Singapore
The legendary hotel in Singapore received an extensive makeover by New York–based design firm Champalimaud and will be fully open and operational in the middle of summer 2019 with 115 suites, a history gallery filled with art, and a new spa emphasizing holistic wellness. The renovated hotel will preserve the legendary Tiffin Room that dates back to 1892 with its intricately patterned wood and mirror wall paneling, and the glamorous lobby that serves afternoon teas. The classic Writer’s Bar receives an expansion with bespoke craft cocktails; an airy, renovated Long Bar is currently open. raffles.com
9. J.K. Paris, France
The first venture of the J.K. brand (which owns hotels in Capri, Rome, and Florence) outside Italy, the 30-key J.K. Paris opens in the spring of 2019. It aims to reinvent the area on the back of the Seine and opposite Boulevard Saint Germain, the precise location that took the team over five years to find. The building, at 82 Rue de Lille, is reimagined from its former status as a European consulate. The Italian design with a French twist under the auspices of Michele Bonan boasts an indoor pool, a Sisley Spa, and a partnership with Casa Tua. jkplaces.com
10. Four Seasons Astir Palace, Athens, Greece
Opening in 2019 as the brand’s first property in Greece is Astir Palace, long favored by elite international and Greek clientele. Suites offer sweeping views of the Vouliagmeni peninsula in the Athens Riviera that stretches across 75 acres of pine-dotted and scenic landscaped gardens. The hotel, which has two main buildings, also offers retail and dining options, including Matsuhisa Athens by Nobu, and Astir Beach, a seaside concept. The hotel is moments away from the chic coastal town with shops, taverns, and a therapeutic thermal lake. fourseasons.com
11. Hôtel de Paris, Monte Carlo, Monaco
After a four-year restoration, the Hôtel de Paris Monte Carlo, which was frequented by the glitterati, reopens fully at the end of 2018. The Belle Epoque façade still retains the grandeur of the past, but the interior now boasts more suites with design by Monaco-based Callender Howorth. The hotel will have a modernist wing, a new courtyard that anchors the property, and a reimagined spa. Visitors can now enjoy its most exclusive Princess Grace Suite (a nod to Grace Kelly, of course), which is spread across two floors and filled with everything she loved the most, from poems to flowers. With terraces that feature a private pool, the suites have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the harbor. The hotel also boasts Le Louis XV, a three-Michelin star restaurant helmed by Alain Ducasse. montecarlosbm.com
12. Belmond Cadogan Hotel, London
13. Mari Mari, Patagonia, Chile
14. Nobu Hotel Barcelona, Spain
15. Capella Bangkok, Thailand
Opening soon: www.capellahotels.com/en/capella-bangkok
16. Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
17. Al Bait Sharjah, UAE
18. Fairmont Toronto, Canada
19. The Biltmore Hotel, Miami
20. One&Only Desaru Coast, Malaysia
21. Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center