1 – Four Seasons Hotel Bogotá
Time will tell what effect Netflix smash-hit Narcos will have on Colombian tourism, but needless to say the country’s lush landscapes and vibrant culture has been showcased to hundreds of thousands of viewers in recent months. Things are a little more tranquilo these days in the country’s capital, though the city is heating up with the latest Four Seasons opening – the group’s second hotel in Colombia arriving hot on the heels of last year’s Four Seasons Hotel Casa Medina Bogotá, and occupying a remodelled building with a modest 64 rooms on offer.
Half of those are suites, all designed by Texan Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio. The all-new spa will provide hotel and local guests alike with expert treatments and globally renowned products including France’s Biologique Recherche. There’s also a large fitness centre stocked with Matrix training equipment to help burn off what chef Pablo Peñalosa has prepared on the charcoal robata grill at Kuru, the hotel’s Japanese dining concept.
2 – Amanemu
Ise-Shima National Park, Japan
Amanemu is a place for quiet contemplation – a far cry from the bars and bright lights of the capital, where sister-hotel Aman Tokyo is located. This new 24-suite hot-spring resort is tucked within Ise Shima National Park, among maple and cherry trees and other rich greenery on the shores of Ago Bay. Styled in a classic Japanese aesthetic, it embraces omotenashi, the Japanese welcoming spirit that combines warmth with respect.
The secluded destination has also launched four two-bedroom villas, each featuring their own private onsen (the Japanese hot spring). Amanemu also factors in the Japanese tradition of ryokan hospitality, meaning it’s run by an okami – a female manager who is central to the carefully honed art of Japanese hospitality, paying close attention to every detail and dedicated to anticipate the needs of each guest.
3 – Ani Villas
Maaliyadda, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an idyll for barefoot luxe and Ani Villas’ latest opening takes it to the next level. The 15-bedroom beachfront compound is nested on a stretch of white sand on the island’s central south coast, allowing guests to take in the headlands, reefs and sandbars, as well as the brilliant blue waters. The hideaway’s tropical architecture has myriad spaces for dining and entertainment, including an event pavilion that’s ideal for weddings and retreats.
With seven- and eight-bedroom villas available, the resort is the ideal place for large families travelling together – and it’s even possible to book the entire estate, which would include the full team, from the GM, chefs, butlers and sports/outdoor/children’s activities coordinators to massage therapists, housekeeping and service staff. In addition, Ani’s spa menu is also one of the most advanced on the entire south coast, providing Ayurvedic treatments galore practised for more than 4,000 years.
4 – The St. Regis Langkawi
Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Langkawi has all the postcard-perfect features you’d want from a dreamy getaway (as seen in the main pic above), but it’s also South East Asia’s first UNESCO Global Geopark – a single, unified geographical area of international geological significance that’s managed with protection, education and sustainable development in mind. That means The St. Regis Langkawi, just 30 minutes from Langkawi International Airport, has been developed under strict protocol and with Mother Nature front of mind.
The intimate resort is being vaunted as the ideal departure point for exploring the “Jewel of Kedah” – the affectionate nickname for Langkawi – with helicopter tours, cable-car rides, jungle trekking, golf and beach yoga all available, and respite found in a serene private beach and more than 800 square metres of tranquil space. The hotel’s Iridium Spa will also make sure your well-being is in ship-shape and you can breathe easy knowing the entire resort is smoke free.
5 – W Dubai Al Habtoor City
Phase two of Al Habtoor City has arrived in Dubai in the form of the first W-branded hotel in the emirate. Starwood’s trifecta of hotels was launched with the arrival of The St. Regis Dubai last November and will conclude when The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City opens and the adjacent Dubai Water Canal project eventually reaches completion. This 32-floor hotel peers over the Sheikh Zayed Road superhighway, which
is best viewed at night from the 30th-floor lobby – where, if you know
anything about W Hotels, the party typically starts and finishes.
With 365 guest rooms and suites, you could spend a year enjoying each accommodation, relaxing and reviving amid modern décor, cutting-edge technology and minibars stocked with W’s signature (and often cheeky) indulgences. Socialites should also know that the dome-shaped Great Room is tipped to be Dubai’s latest and greatest venue for an unforgettable event.
6 – 25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt
Fashioned as a home away from home, this boutique opening from 25hours includes 25 “cabins” that would rival the unique designer suites from any top hotel chain. Each is warm and cosy, featuring materials and artefacts that are a nod to Hamburg’s harbour and shipbuilding heritage, with all inspired by 25 real-life stories from 25 seafarers from around the world – their voyages, romances and painful farewells.
The “anecdotal accessories” and range of nautical objects are explained in full in each cabin’s logbook. The pick of the bunch are the spacious XL Cabins, each spanning roughly 40 square metres with a king-size bed and couch, thankfully not as spartan as an actual ship’s cabin. We’re fairly sure any trawlermen wouldn’t have had free use of an on-board Hafensauna either. With a view over the city’s harbour, the “harbour sauna” is free of charge for guests and is the ideal way to unwind after a day out exploring Hamburg’s cultural and historic highlights.
7 – Somerset Panorama Muscat
The Ascott Limited has opened the first Somerset-branded property in the lush and perma-sunny Oman. The 277-unit facility also offers the first luxury serviced residences in the sultanate, forming part of an integrated development with Panorama Mall, located directly beneath. The residences offer a 24-hour reception, daily housekeeping, discrete gyms for men and women and business-centre services, all in tandem with homely mod-cons.
Holidaymakers and long-stay travellers can either opt for a studio or a one- or two-bedroom apartment, with all units configured with a fully equipped kitchen including cooker, kettle, fridge and all crockery and cutlery as well as separate living, dining and work areas. The Ascott property opened March 1 in the lively Bawshar district, roughly five minutes from Muscat Grand Mall, Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Al Ghubra Beach and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.
8 – Santo Maris Oia
Santorini doesn’t exactly need to be sold. The sun-baked island is already adored for its whitewashed, caldera-clinging properties and the blue hues of both the iconic Greek roofs, as well as the Aegean itself. Santo Maris Oia, named for the village of Oia on the south coast of Santorini’s northern curl, is located on a peaceful promenade and is perched on picturesque coastal cliffs some 350 metres from the centre of the quaint village.
Although authentic in every appearance and detail, the collection of suites and villas is designed with sustainability in mind. The bold colours and island aromas work in harmony with the contemporary-minimalism style, which incorporates natural elements for a classic Greek getaway in an entirely eco-friendly and luxurious fashion. The hotel’s spa and signature Alios Ilios Restaurant will all be open by April 28.