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By Alex Martin | December 12 2019
Find out where you should be heading this year to experience the latest in luxury travel. From an eco-tourist’s paradise in the British Virgin Islands to one of the world’s deepest underground hotels in London, Elite Traveler takes you through its pick of the most anticipated luxury hotel openings 2020.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay opens in January following a four-year closure and a huge restoration project. It returns with the same big emphasis on eco-tourism. In fact, in many ways, this region gave birth to the booming travel trend. The site was originally developed by conservationist Laurance Rockefeller over half a century ago and has set the standard for conservation ever since. Located on half-mile crescent bay over 500 acres, the resort’s rooms and suites are set just steps from the beach, with 24-hour butler service. Highlights include a cliffside Sense Spa and hilltop yoga platform with panoramic views – and the hexagonal-shaped Tree House Suites, perched on stilts in the lush gardens, with wrap-around terraces for an elevated perspective.
There has never been a better time to visit the hill-top city of Ostuni, set in Italy’s charming southern region of Puglia. Its winding cobbled walkways and whitewash buildings are an Instagrammer’s dream. There is only room for boutique hotels here, and Paragon 700 will in February become the latest luxury offering that Ostuni has to offer. Set in a quintessential Puglian property, the hotel is being meticulously restored to boast 11 individually curated rooms with a cosmopolitan soul. In contrast to the whitewashed buildings of Ostuni, Paragon 700’s red brick façade cocoons a lush garden and swimming pool, a rare green space in the heart of the city, offering a tranquil and exclusive oasis just five-minutes from Ostuni’s main square.
Bangkok’s coveted riverside is already home to a number of luxury resorts, but Four Seasons Bangkok will be aiming to set a new standard when it opens in February. With 299 guest rooms including a number of suites, the hotel will sit amongst galleries, boutiques, restaurants and cafés. It will also have its own collection of restaurants and bars as well as a stunning courtyard and an outdoor infinity pool boasting lovely views across the river.
Whether its chic boutiques or modern fine dining, there are few hotter places than West Hollywood right now. The ultra-modern Pendry West Hollywood will slot perfectly into this fashionable district with interiors designed by the acclaimed Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. The hotel will have 149 luxury guestrooms and suites, and 40 Pendry Residences with full access to the hotel’s services and amenities. Most excitingly of all, the hotel will also be home to a new restaurant from the famed Los Angeles chef Wolfgang Puck. There will also be a private membership club for the city’s elite.
Located in the heart of Paris, on the edge of the River Seine and mere yards from the Louvre, Cheval Blanc Paris will combine historical, cultural and contemporary features inspired by the City of Light. The hotel will be the fifth under the Cheval Blanc brand after Courchevel, Randheli in the Maldives, St-Barth Isle de France and St-Tropez. The Maison will be a residential haven for guests with meticulous French craftsmanship championed wherever possible. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the 36 rooms and 36 suites will offer views of famed landmarks and city life. There will also be a new gourmet experience from the three-Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Donckele. The restaurant will be located on the seventh floor and will have a large terrace offering unrivaled views. Donckele, who has earned the accolade of a 19/20 rating in the Gault Millau guide, is currently in charge of La Vague d’Or restaurant at Cheval Blanc St-Tropez.
The Dubai-based hotel chain One&Only will add to its collection in June with a new property worthy of its ultra-luxury reputation. One&Only Mandarina is being built on a previously undeveloped stretch of coastline along the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico. Its spectacular cliff-side setting overlooks the Pacific Ocean and sits on top of the surrounding rainforest. The hotel will be made up of 104 free-standing villas that float above the treetops or perch against the cliffs. The property has been designed to blend in with the surrounding environment and botany experts have been consulted to minimize the impact on the existing natural landscapes.
Marriott International is planning to open 30 luxury hotels in 2020 from Melbourne, Australia, all the way to Iceland’s capital of Reykjavik. We have chosen The Tokyo EDITION as it has been in the offing for several years and should open just in time for the Summer Olympic Games. Set in one of Tokyo’s finest neighborhoods, the high-rise hotel will offer skyline views in its 206 rooms, including 21 suites and a penthouse. A signature restaurant, cocktail bar and wellness spa will cultivate a unique, luxurious atmosphere.
Space is certainly at a premium in London’s Leicester Square. The English capital has famously tight restrictions on the height of buildings, so Edwardian Hotels has navigated its way around regulations by digging down, and down, and down. By the time its finished, the 350-room hotel will have eight stories above ground and six stories below it, making it one of the deepest public buildings in the world. As well as a spa and a rooftop bar, the property will also have a cinema capable of hosting premieres of the world’s biggest movies. As a result, you can expect this hotel to be quite the celebrity hotspot when it opens in June.
There seems to be no limit to how luxurious safari retreats can get. Botswana-based Xigera is set to raise the bar even higher when it welcomes its first guests this June. Set amongst the unspoiled wilderness of the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta, the tiny safari lodge will have just 12 rooms – all of them suites – to make it one of the most exclusive in Africa. The suites will be suspended above the ground to lessen the impact on the surrounding area and will be surrounded by ancient trees and flood plains. The lodge will have an incredible staff to guest ratio of over 4:1 (105 staff for 24 guests) and will generate 95 percent of its power through solar panels to reduce its impact on the precious ecosystem that it sits in.
This fall, Four Seasons will offer you the chance to purchase a property set within one of Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards and benefit from the hotel group’s famously luxurious amenities on a daily basis. Its latest resort and residences will be set in the heart of the food and wine capital of North America. It will bring together innovative dining, decadent spa treatments and thoughtfully personalized Four Seasons service. Guests and residents will be able to participate in the winemaking process and sample the vineyard’s best produce during regular tasting events. The accommodations will come complete with its own wine fridge and a terrace boasting beautiful views of the rolling hills.
A Six Senses property in North America has been a long time coming, but it looks as though it will be worth the wait. Six Senses New York will be housed in two unique, twisting towers designed by world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels in an unparalleled location in between Manhattan’s Hudson River and The High Line. The hotel will have two restaurants that will fall in line with the brand’s approach to health and wellness. They will offer fresh and wholesome dishes made with locally-sourced ingredients. The rooms and suites are designed by Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier to embody contemporary, modern city living wedded to a calm ambiance.
If Napa Valley is too mainstream for your liking, you will soon be presented with the option of heading to the most serene corner of North America’s most fertile plains. Montage Healdsburg will debut in late 2020 with a unique sense of place. It is designed as a retreat from the Californian crowds, yet comes with all of the scenic charm and beauty that has made Northern California such a popular destination. The resort will feature 130 bungalow-style guestrooms and suites situated on the 258-acre property, each surrounded by the region’s rustic beauty. And, of course, there will be wine and lots of it. In fact, the hotel is in the process of planting its very own vineyard and is aiming to produce high-quality wine to pair with its exceptional dining options.
Following the huge success of its properties in Beijing, Dubai, Shanghai, London and Moscow, Bulgari will open a hotel in the spiritual home of high fashion, Paris. The hotel will be located on Avenue George V among some of the city’s most exclusive shopping streets and cultural attractions. The majority of the hotel’s 76 rooms will be suites and facilities will include an expansive spa and a swimming pool. There will also be a stylish bar and restaurant in a private courtyard garden, which offers respite from the bustling Parisian streets. Paris will be the first new opening in an expansion plan that will see Bulgari Hotels and Resorts Collection grow to nine by the end of 2022.