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The Most Highly-Anticipated Hotel Openings of 2019

Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

From immersive African safaris to unique, isolated beachside havens, here is our mega-list of the hotel openings we are most excited about in 2019…

AUSTRALIA

Daydream Island, Whitsundays
Daydream Island, Whitsundays

Daydream Island

Whitsundays

Nearly two years after Tropical Cyclone Debbie’s path of destruction damaged Daydream Island (among others), causing it to close indefinitely, the private island resort will reopen in April following an extensive redevelopment. The shiny and new resort will offer 277 refurbished modern rooms and suites, three restaurants and three bars, and a revitalised pool landscape offering guests unparalleled views across the Whitsundays.

Free form coral lagoon The Living Reef will also make its return to the island in an even bigger and better capacity than before, wrapping 200m around the central building and holding over 1.5 million litres of water home to over 100 species of marine fish, rays, coral and invertebrates such as starfish, sea cucumbers and crabs.

https://www.daydreamisland.com/

InterContinental Hayman Island
InterContinental Hayman Island

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort

Whitsundays

Another island that fell victim to Cyclone Debbie, the previously One&Only-operated Hayman Island will reopen in July as InterContinental Hayman Island Resort. Following a multi-million dollar investment to refurbish the product, like the island’s previous iteration Hayman Island by InterContinental will be a private island resort featuring 166 rooms, its guests the only witnesses to Hayman Island’s tropical 400 hectares and an unbeatable panorama of the world famous Whitsundays.

The resort will introduce a new luxurious design concept across all rooms, suites and residences, world-class food and beverage experiences and eminent facilities from a new spa to kids club and retreat spaces. The new InterContinental will also cater to the growing group of discerning travellers seeking out boutique hotels and local, authentic experiences in their travels by offering guests meaningful experiences and local know-how, in addition to the expected frills of the InterContinental brand.

intercontinental.com

The Ritz-Carlton Perth
The Ritz-Carlton Perth

The Ritz-Carlton Perth

Forming a part of The Towers at Elizabeth Quay, The Ritz Carlton is envisaged to be the anchor and centrepiece of the new, thriving, riverfront entertainment precinct in Perth.

Featuring 204 luxury hotel suites, guests will have access to a wide range of venues and recreational amenities including The Ritz-Carlton Spa offering indulgent signature treatments and tailored spa experiences, vitality pools and treatment rooms, a fitness centre, rooftop bar and lounge, pool, whirl pool, restaurant, junior ballroom, main ballroom and club lounge. The podium rooftop bar will be accessible to the general public and will be a prime vantage point over the quayside.

The latest opening date reported in August last year was for July 2019. We’ll keep you posted.

ritzcarlton.com

ASIA

Orient Express Bangkok
Orient Express Bangkok

Orient Express Mahanakhon Bangkok

Thailand

Not opening until the last quarter of 2019, we figure we’ve waited this long for the return of the Orient Express brand, what’s another nine months? 136 years after the Orient Express took its maiden voyage from Paris, the world-famous brand will make a grand re-entrance onto the international stage with the opening of its first Orient Express Hotel at King Power Mahanakhon—which, at 78 stories high is currently the tallest building in Bangkok.

Expect old-world Art Deco architecture that reimagines the design and plant motifs of the original Orient Express carriages into a modern skyscraper in the heart of a bustling metropolis.

Orient Express Mahanakhon Bangkok will feature 154 rooms including nine suites and two penthouses, as well as an entire floor devoted to wellness including an outdoor pool and jacuzzi plus signature Orient Express Spa by Guerlain. There will be a rooftop observation deck and rooftop bar, while all rooms will provide stunning views over the Far East ‘City of Angels’.

Foodies will also want to visit the new hotel, with acclaimed Australian chef David Thompson behind new restaurant Mahanathi.

orient-express.com

Six Senses Fort Barwara, India
Six Senses Fort Barwara, India

Six Senses Fort Barwara

India

Following openings in Bhutan and a first city hotel in Singapore, Six Senses continues its hot streak, this time refurbishing the 700-year-old Fort Barwara, owned by the Rajasthani Royal Family, in mystical Rajasthan.

Six Senses aims to protect the original fort structure while adapting it to modern needs, creating a five-star luxury retreat in on 2.2 hectares of land. Set to open in spring this year, the hotel will feature 48 suites, two restaurants, a bar and lounge, and a Six Senses Spa, which will be housed in the original women’s palace and offer comprehensive Ayurveda treatments in addition to the brand’s usual spa offering.

Not to mention, just 30 minutes away is Ranthambore National Park, home to tigers, leopards, sloth bears, and other wildlife.

sixsenses.com

Rosewood Hong Kong
Rosewood Hong Kong

Rosewood Hong Kong

Rosewood is another hotel group on a mission to expand globally, and the opening of the Rosewood Hong Kong on 17th March in Victoria Dockside – an arts, design and conceptual retail district – will be the brand’s first property in their headquarters.

65 storeys high and housing 322 guestrooms and 91 suites — 80 per cent of which will enjoy harbour views — the harbourside hotel has been designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and showcases “ultra-residential” interiors with a touch of eclecticism in curated objets d’art, “thoughtful amenities” as well as marble bathrooms and walk-in closets. Their Suites, meanwhile, take luxury to a whole new level. Think: 57th floor, 100-metre apartments with a private terrace with wraparound views of Victoria Harbour, private gardens, lap pools and sun decks and even a dedicated private gym.

Rosewood Hong Kong will also be the first to house Asaya, Rosewood’s “integrative wellness offering” that promotes self-change and transformation, in a city setting.

rosewoodhotels.com

Raffles Singapore
Raffles Singapore

The Raffles

Singapore

After an extensive renovation that saw the hotel temporarily close to the public in December 2017, the home of the very first Singapore Sling will finally reopen in August. The luxurious all-suite hotel will feature an expanded suite count of 115 when its doors once again open to guests, each complete with pampering amenities, redesigned bathrooms, state-of-the-art technology, double-glazed windows, colonial architecture, lush gardens, verandahs and teakwood floors.

Meanwhile, two brand new amenities, The Raffles Boutique and Raffles Spa, along with the iconic Raffles Butlers, who provide 24-hour service and anticipate guests’ every need during their stay, will take the hotel into new luxury ‘lifestyle hotel’ territory.

The hotel’s historic Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling cocktail that was created over 100 years ago, has been open since October in its original location at the Raffles Arcade, now sporting a tropical, Malayan plantation-themed interior reminiscent of the golden age of the 1920s.

This hotel reopening has been highly anticipated… we hope it lives up to expectations!

raffles.com

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi

Maldives

Sea levels might be rising and The Maldives might be shrinking, but that’s not putting a dampener on the world’s top hotel brands that are determined to stake their claim on a piece of this island paradise. One in particular we’re looking out for In 2019 is the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, opening in March and spanning three islands in the South Malé Atoll.

The 138 beachfront and overwater villas will be equipped with a private pool, hot tub, and lounge deck area, while some overwater villas will also have glass flooring for crystal-clear views of the lagoon below.

Amenities-wise there will be 10 dining outlets and a 21,500-square-foot spa that has an extensive outdoor bathing circuit, a VIP spa suite, a hammam suite, four resting pavilions, a vitality pool, a beauty salon, and an indoor and outdoor mind and body studio. We reckon this new, luxe property will be one that lives up to the hype.

waldorfastoria3.hilton.com

Hoshinoya Guguan, Taiwan
Hoshinoya Guguan, Taiwan

Hoshinoya Guguan

Taiwan

Set to open mid-year, this ryokan-style resort will be only the second Hoshinoya outpost outside of Japan, and its design will be perfectly in keeping with the Hoshinoya brand. Minimal, Japanese-meets-Scandi interiors, with architecture designed to blend seamlessly into its natural environment – in this instance, Taichung Valley, known for its hot springs. The hotel will be the first luxury hot spring property in the area, and the valley’s natural spring waters will flow through a peaceful outdoor water garden with bathing areas and a bamboo grove. Each of the 50 guest rooms will have a private outdoor hot spring bath and a terrace for soaking in the picturesque valley and mountain range. Sounds positively restorative.

hoshinoya.com

One&Only Desaru Coast
One&Only Desaru Coast

One&Only Desaru Coast

Malaysia

It’s been a while since Malaysian tourism was in the spotlight, but One&Only’s new property in its foodie-focused and beach-heavy south-eastern region might just change this. Opening this autumn, One&Only Desaru Coast is conveniently located just a short drive from Singapore and within Malaysia’s state of Johor, and will be the brand’s first-ever property in Southeast Asia.

The brand hasn’t taken any chances with the design, engaging esteemed Australian design practice Kerry Hill Architects, and the hotel promises to be a private and unpretentious ultra-luxury part resort, part residential retreat.

The beachfront development spans 128 acres and features 45 hotel suites as well as around 50 private homes for sale. Expect an exciting destination spa, beach club and easy access to Els Club Desaru Coast, a prestigious golf club that features the Ocean Course, a 27-hole layout designed by golf champion Ernie Els.

oneandonlyresorts.com

Lelewatu Sumba
Lelewatu Sumba

Lelewatu Resort Sumba

Indonesia

Nihi Sumba – twice voted the World’s Best Hotel – has long been the only true luxury resort on the lush Indonesian island of Sumba, just a short plane ride from Bali. The arrival of Lelewatu Resort Sumba in April will finally change this, but those looking for luxe for less may be disappointed, with prices starting from around AUD $845 a night including breakfast, plus 21% tax – even more expensive than Nihi, where rates are based on full board.

That being said, you can expect a rare, lush retreat in the island of Sumba, and you can’t put a price on that. A totally unspoiled and blessed island with immense natural beauty in the form of remote beaches, traditional villages, sacred lakes and waterfalls, world-renowned surf and lush jungles, Lelewatu Resort Sumba will open on a cliffside location overlooking a private lagoon and the Indian Ocean.

Guests of the property will have 10 acres of untouched land to explore, and just a small bunch of other guests to bump into, with an exclusive 27 villas on offer with private balconies and pools. It will have to overdeliver to compete with Nihi’s unfaultable reputation, but we have high hopes for this new venture.

lelewatu.com

Awei Pila Resort
Awei Pila Resort

Awei Pila

Myanmar

If you’ve ever dreamed of getting off the beaten track or spending a week on a near-deserted island, don’t give up now, we may have found your dream holiday. The Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar, which was until recently off-limits to all visitors, is about to get its first resort – Awei Pila, and with nothing on the island but the resort and a community of around 70 Moken fisherman, it might just be one of the world’s last untouched paradises.

The new eco-resort is situated amid breathtaking atolls and coral reefs within an archipelago of 800 islets, most of which are uninhabited, with 10 sandy beaches nearby and just 24 tented villas fronting a white-sand beach, an open-air restaurant, and a spa will be on offer for guests to fully relax and recharge.

Sustainability is at the resort’s core to protect the island, and Awei Pila is plastic-free with a resident marine biologist overseeing sustainable policies. The island also has just a single source of fresh water.

Speaking of water, animal lovers will be in their element with the island’s coves teeming with fish, dugongs and turtles (as well as a thriving bird population).

Awei Pila is open now.

memoriesgroup.com/hotel-myanmar/awei-pila-resort-mergui-archipelago

andBeyond Uma Punakha
andBeyond Uma Punakha

andBeyond Uma Punakha

Bhutan

Bhutan has only a handful of luxury hotels thanks to the country’s strict limits on construction, while the amount of tourists to Bhutan is also limited, with a nightly tourist tariff in place to ensure the sacred land avoids the tourist hoards that flock to neighbouring countries.

That’s not to say Bhutan isn’t a covetable location among in-the-know travellers, with its beautiful monasteries, imposing fortresses, and dramatic landscapes on the cards for those lucky enough to visit.

The latest property brand to arrive in Bhutan will be andBeyond, marking the globally expanding brand’s first lodge in Asia. Set in the stunning Serigang Village in Punakha, the lodge will overlook the Mo Chu River and the Himalayas of Bhutan, with guests getting access to outdoor adventures, including kayaking, hiking and fishing. If andBeyond’s other lodges are anything to go by, this one will be a beauty.

andbeyond.com

Hokkaido, Japan
Hokkaido, Japan

Aonoza Hokkaido

Japan

As Japan’s second largest island, best known for its impressive mountain landscapes and premier skiing, Hokkaido will become home to a new luxury property in May, with the opening of Aonoza Hokkaido, perched above the sparkling crystal waters of Lake Shikotsu.

Inspired by the design of a traditional Japanese Ryokan, the hotel will feature 25 lakefront suites and six different room types, each with a private garden space and onsen (open-air bath), leaving guests with no doubt that they’re in the beautiful Land of the Rising Sun.

aonoza.com

NORTH AMERICA

Blackberry Mountain
Blackberry Mountain

Blackberry Mountain

Tennessee

If adventure travel is your thing, you’ll want to read on. Set among 5,200 acres of protected land in Eastern Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, luxury lodge Blackberry Mountain will open next month in Walland, Tennessee, as a rustic-chic retreat and sister property to established property, Blackberry Farm. The new lodge will, of course, have an outdoor and wellness focus, offering guests plenty of immersive outdoor and restorative activities like aerial yoga, sound bathing, mountain biking, trail running and fly fishing. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the lodge has two restaurants to choose from, while several types of lodging including cabins, cottages and private homes are available when it’s time to hit the sack.

blackberrymountain.com

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, California
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, California

Four Seasons Resort and Residences

Napa Valley, California

It seems every hotel chain is expanding right now, and Four Seasons is no exception. The group will open six new hotels across the globe in 2019, but we are particularly looking forward to seeing what they do with their California wine country venture. Expected to open mid-year amidst a six-acre vineyard, the resort is pegged to be farmhouse-inspired with 85 high-end rooms as well as 20 residences, which will be two- to four-bedroom properties ideal for longer-term stays. And of course, it wouldn’t be a winery hotel without its own on-site winery and cellar door – helmed by award-winning winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. Cheers to that.

Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Mexico

Los Cabos, or ‘Cabo’ as it’s fondly known, is by no means a new destination for holiday seekers, particularly Americans, but Aussies are just now clueing in to this dynamic beachside spot in Mexico that’s about to get an influx of new luxury resorts in 2019. These will include properties from Four Seasons and Nobu, as well as one we’re eagerly anticipating, Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – the first new Reserve property from Ritz-Carlton in three years.

So, what can you expect from Zadún when it opens halfway through 2019? 115 suites and one- and two-story villas, each with a personal butler and many with a private plunge pool, for a start. Add a dreamy beachfront location, two pools, a five-acre wellness haven, 27-hole golf resort with three distinct courses designed by Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus, and four restaurants and bars, and you’re starting to get the picture of this impressive new resort.

ritzcarlton.com

The Lodge at Blue Sky
The Lodge at Blue Sky

The Lodge at Blue Sky

Utah

Another adventure-focused USA lodge slated to make adventure-seekers weak at the knees, The Lodge at Blue Sky will open in May in Utah’s secluded Wasatch Mountains.

Just 46 well-appointed rooms and suites will be on offer, including the plush Creek Houses—spacious, freestanding accommodations situated along Alexander Creek (which is also the property’s main water source).

In the great outdoors guests will have access to fly-fishing, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and even skiing, with the property’s 3,500 acres at guests’ disposal.

For adrenaline junkies, the lodge has also partnered with helicopter outfitter CloudVeil, allowing guests to partake in unforgettable heli-skiing and heli-snowboarding on some of North America’s most iconic peaks.

And then, there’s Auberge Spa, and meals at the restaurant made with fresh produce from the lodge’s 1.5-acre far. There is even a yurt available to book for those looking for a camping-style session in the wilderness, smores and all. What’s more to want?

aubergeresorts.com/bluesky

The Hoxton Downtown LA
The Hoxton Downtown LA

The Hoxton Downtown LA

California

When it comes to the wonderful world of new hotels, any avid traveller knows that distinctive interiors have become king. The sterile, uniform rooms of yesteryear have been replaced by home-like, luxe spaces defined by beautiful stonework, crafted timber, plush velvet, leather, metallic accents and spaces seemingly designed to make you feel both uplifted and relaxed. And Hoxton Downtown LA is no exception.

The seventh hotel for Hoxton, their Downtown LA property will open in the second quarter of 2019 and in true Hoxton style it will be situated in a creative neighbourhood that’s just a little rough around the edges. Housed in a 10-storey Broadway building that was formerly the headquarters of the LA Railway Authority, each of the 174 rooms is as beautiful as we’d expect, with four simple and personality-filled room categories: Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy. There will also be that LA staple – a stylish rooftop pool and bar ensuring adequate amounts of buzz emanate from and about the new property.

This boutique brand has been getting on more and more travellers’ radars in recent years with their series of ‘open-house hotels’ inspired by their local neighbourhoods, and in 2019 the company will open a further two hotels – in Chicago and Southwark in London, making the brand one to watch.

thehoxton.com

UNITED KINGDOM

Belmond Cadogan Hotel
Belmond Cadogan Hotel

Belmond Cadogan Hotel

London

Speaking of London, here’s another luxe new hotel to add to your list of must-visits, and it’s a doozy: The Cadogan Hotel. The very same hotel that was the former pied-à-terre of Oscar Wilde, who famously resided in Room 118 awaiting his arrest, is reopening next month after a four-year, $48-million renovation. This storied hotel first opened in 1887 and its latest iteration will showcase plenty of the historic elements of its original Queen Anne design, such as its wood-paneled walls, stained-glass windows, mosaic floors and wood-burning fireplaces.

The rooms, however, are another thing altogether. Expect contemporary art and furniture in those, and  a tea lounge and fine dining restaurant helmed by award-winning chef Adam Handling in the communal areas.

Belmond was recently acquired by luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy, so we’re expecting big things from Belmond in the brand’s next chapter.

belmond.com

Monkey Island Estate
Monkey Island Estate

Monkey Island Estate

London

Another historic hotel opening up next month (on Valentine’s Day, incidentally) is the famed 800-year-old old Monkey Island Estate, and we reckon it’s going to be every bit as exciting as its name suggests. For a start, it is indeed located on an island. In the middle of England. Nope, we’re not yanking your chain. Perched on the River Thames in the historic village of Bray in the English countryside, the property has undergone a complete renovation by YTL Hotels and Champalimaud Design, and on opening will be a member of Small Luxury Hotels – which is always a good sign.

Ok, so the hotel is called Monkey Island after the monks that founded it, not monkeys, but it’s no less interesting given the island was frequented by monarchs, aristocrats, writers, and artists throughout the centuries. Not to mention, it will have  a floating spa—the first of its kind in Britain—on a custom-built barge featuring a wheelhouse reception, Elixir Bar, and three treatment rooms. The hotel is located on seven acres of sprawling green, English countryside, with six individual residences peppered along the grounds, while the estate itself will house 27 boutique bedrooms and three deluxe suites.

Foodie folk will also be keen to discover Bray is the only village in the world that lays claim to two three-Michelin- star restaurants: Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and The Waterside Inn by Alain Roux. Convinced it’s time for a green change? Us too.

monkeyislandestate.co.uk

The Stratford at Manhattan Loft Gardens
The Stratford at Manhattan Loft Gardens

The Stratford at Manhattan Loft Gardens

London

If sleek, contemporary architecture is more your cup of tea than hotels with old bones, The Stratford at Manhattan Loft Gardens could be the London hotel for you. Set in a spectacular 42-story mixed-use skyscraper designed by SOM, the architects behind One World Trade and Burj Khalifa, this will be London’s newest high-rise hotel, and one sure to impress. It will open in April with 145 spacious rooms with contemporary interiors by SPACE Copenhagen, two restaurants, and three sky gardens with panoramic views of Olympic Park.

manhattanloftgardens.com/the-stratford/

EUROPE

Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé
Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé

Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé

Loire Valley, France

This Francophile thinks you can never have too many château-hotels, and the Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé, which will open in autumn, has us all sorts of excited for our next romantic French sojourn. Located in the beautiful Loire Valley, a region in north-west France known for its castles and wine country, the historic chateau served as the country home of the Baron Jacques Pineau de Viennay from 1760 and played host to luminaries like Voltaire, Rousseau, and Mozart… as you do.

In 2019, it will return to its former 18th Century glory following a lengthy restoration under the guidance of the French government. The finished product is boldly lavish and proudly French, with over-the-top details like original boiserie walls with wooden details, crystal chandeliers and custom fabrics from the likes of Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier.

The 45,000-square-foot château will have 17 rooms and suites, a spa and fitness centre, a grand ballroom, formal and informal dining rooms, orangeries, and nearly 80 acres of quintessentially French manicured gardens and grounds. It’s going to be a hotel fit for a … well, you get the idea.

chateaugrandluce.com/

Hotel de la Ville, Rome
Hotel de la Ville, Rome

Hotel de la Ville

Rome, Italy

When was the last time a new hotel opened in Rome? We couldn’t tell you either. So it’s probably a good thing that the Eternal City will herald the arrival of Hotel de la Ville in May 2019, an historic 18th Century palazzo. And it’s not opening just in any old place, but at the top of the Spanish Steps.

The Rocco Forte property originally opened as a hotel in 1924, and on opening in May will have 104 elegant rooms and suites along with two presidential suites that exude an almost unfathomable level of luxury. The 8th floor suite boasts elevator access and spans 1,185 square feet with two terraces, a sitting room, dining room, and study. The hotel will also feature three restaurants and cocktail bars headed by executive chef Fulvio Pierangelini, a stylish rooftop bar with stunning views of Rome, and a two-story spa with a thermal concept and five treatment rooms. When in Rome…

roccofortehotels.com

Six Senses Shaharut, Israel
Six Senses Shaharut, Israel

MIDDLE EAST

Six Senses Shaharut

Israel

When Israel’s much-anticipated new international airport opens in the Red Sea town of Eilat in a few months’ time with flights from London, Germany and elsewhere around Europe, it will open up parts of the Sinai, as well as southern Israel, Jordan’s epic Wadi Rum and the ancient sites near Petra.

When Six Senses Shaharut opens in August it could very well round off the lesser-visited Eilat as another must-visit part of Israel. Set on a cliff in the arid Negev desert with panoramic views of, you guessed it, the desert landscape, the shiny new resort will feature just 58 suites and villas, including one three-bedroom retreat, with design focusing on the use of local materials including rocks and furnishings made by community artisans.

There will be a signature restaurant, poolside bar and grill, juice bar, and Six Senses’ trademark “Alchemy Bar”, while the extensive spa facilities will include an indoor pool, outdoor lap pool, fully equipped gym, yoga studio with desert views, and nail bar.

Those who prefer active holidays or relaxing ones will be pleased to know Six Senses Shaharut will also be a home base for exploration, featuring camel stables with an arena and grooming area, and an open-air amphitheatre created from the natural terrain that will transform into a cinema beneath the stars. Activities include off-road driving, mountain climbing, mountain biking, camel safaris, craft workshops, bird-watching, wine tours, and a tented Bedouin dining experience.

sixsenses.com

AFRICA

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop
Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge at De Hoop

South Africa

This is one we’re pretty excited about. Known for eco-friendly luxury camps across Namibia and Botswana, conservation-focused safari company Natural Selection will open its first South African property in April 2019, and it looks all sorts of fabulous.

Lekkerwater, which means “good water” in Afrikaans, will have just seven chalets, perched dramatically atop bluffs overlooking an unspoiled, marine-protected stretch of ocean within the game-filled De Hoop Nature Reserve, three hours’ drive from Cape Town.

Inside these oceanside havens expect earthy and cosy interiors outfitted with wood-burning stoves, but the real star of the show is, of course, that view.

naturalselection.travel

Sonop, Namibia
Sonop, Namibia

Sonop

Namibia

Safari enthusiasts will know that Namibia has been making dozens of lists the world over as a top country to visit in 2019, and the string of luxury properties opening, including Shipwreck Lodge, Hoanib Valley Camp, and the three listed here further prove the destination’s level of tourism demand. Slated to open halfway through 2019, Sonop will be an exclusive lodge set in the arid Karas Region at the southern extremity of the Namib Desert.

The lodge will be constructed atop dramatic boulders and feature just 10 rooms richly furnished with antiques made of beautiful materials, vibrant, colourful carpets, artisan wood work and even telescopes, while the bathrooms will be built around central copper bathtubs and feature rain showers.

There will also be a cocktail-and-cigar lounge with a billiard table, a spa, a fitness centre, and a heated outdoor infinity pool, all facing the vast, expansive desert. As for adventure, the lodge will offer guests 4×4 dune drives and horseback safari rides where they can catch a glimpse of native leopards, cheetahs and baboons.

zannierhotels.com/sonop

Omaanda, Namibia
Omaanda, Namibia

Omaanda

Namibia

Here we go again… Namibia is HOT, and the recently opened Omaanda is a new property to look out for when planning your next safari adventure.

Comprised of ten huts inspired by traditional Owambo architecture, Omaanda gives guests the opportunity to discover the vast beauty of the Namibian savannah, in the very heart of a private animal reserve of over 9,000 hectares surrounding the capital Windhoek.

Overlooking the boundless Namibian plains, the ten round thatched huts are the epitome of safari chic, while facilities include a cosy bar, a spa with two double treatment rooms, a boutique and a heated infinity swimming pool overlooking the majestic savannah. The welcoming and authentically decorated restaurant is open all day and offers a selection of sumptuous meals inspired by the best local produce.

zannierhotels.com

Habitas Namibia
Habitas Namibia

Habitas Namibia

Located on a private 35,000 hectare nature reserve, Habitas Namibia looks to be a particularly beautiful lodge, expected to open in the second quarter of 2019. An immersive nature experience will be on offer, where guests can learn and track animals, learn about the local tribes, and work with the hotel’s local wellness practitioner. As for the accommodation, from what we can see on the hotel’s website, guests won’t want for a thing. Another one to watch during Namibia’s mini hotel boom.

ourhabitas.com

Magashi Camp Rwanda
Magashi Camp Rwanda

Magashi Camp

Rwanda

In addition to Namibia, we’ve named Rwanda a top destination to visit in 2019, and it’s not just because of the gorillas. Akagera is home to some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa – open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp, and grassy low mountains and it has one of Africa’s highest hippo densities. The region also has a healthy population of lions, which were reintroduced into the park in 2015 after a 20-year absence, as well as black rhinos, which were reintroduced in 2017. Magashi – the only exclusive-use area in Akagera – also harbours a good density of leopard.

In March, Wilderness Safaris will debut their six-tented luxury camp, Magashi Camp, overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga and the image renders indicate it will take glamping to a whole new level, boasting a lavish lounge, dining and bar area, wine cellar, and pool.

wilderness-safaris.com

SOUTH AMERICA

Kachi Lodge, Bolivia
Kachi Lodge, Bolivia

Kachi Lodge

Bolivia

Opening in just a few short weeks is this quirky, wonderful new accommodation in beautiful Bolivia. Sitting at an altitude of 11,800 feet directly on the Uyuni Salt Flats, the other-wordly camp is the area’s first luxury offering. Just six stylish bedroom ‘pods’ will come with a private bathroom, sumptuous bedding, and a practical, minimalist set-up designed to highlight the star of the show – that stunning landscape. Guests will also want to head off on one or all of the excursions on offer, which range from guided morning hikes on the Salar or to Tunupa volcano crater, to culturally immersive tours to nearby archaeological sites and pre-Columbian cities.

kachilodge.com

Mari Mari Natural Reserve
Mari Mari Natural Reserve

Mari Mari Natural Reserve

Chile

If you’re into exclusive, look no further than this six-villa hotel located on a remote and beautiful stretch of coastline in Chilean Patagonia. And what the hotel lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality – expect all the frills of a five star hotel including lavish linens, a state-of-the-art spa and gourmet meals alongside plenty of unforgettable nature experiences like beach horseback rides and swimming under the stars.

The hotel also has a master residence, and a 20,000-square-foot Lodge & Spa houses an oceanfront dining room.

hotelmarimari.com

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