1. Raffles Singapore
One of the most storied hotels on the planet, Raffles Singapore has reopened after a top-to-toe makeover. The new-look hotel, which first opened in 1887, now boasts 115 gorgeous suites, starting from 46 sqm in nine distinct styles, following the addition of Residence, Promenade and Studio categories. The reimagined suites have retained their elegant colonial flavour, with four-metre ceilings, polished teak floors and private verandas, plus vintage details such as mechanical light switches. Raffles Butlers will welcome guests to the new-look hotel with a Singapore Sling, but guests can still enjoy the iconic cocktail, invented here in 1915, in the legendary Long Bar.
Reimagined dining spaces are home to some of the hottest names in the culinary world: Anne-Sophie Pic of the three-Michelin star Maison Pic is behind La Dame de Pic; yì by Jeremy Leung presents fine modern Chinese fare and Alain Ducasse takes over the 122-year-old Bar & Billiard Room to introduce Mediterranean sharing and grill concept BBR. New York-based designer Alexandra Champalimaud led the US $182 million restoration, supported by architecture and design firm Aedas, the company that created the iconic Dubai Metro stations.
2. Baglioni Resort Maldives
The long-awaited Baglioni Resort Maldives has finally opened its doors, brining a splash of Italian style to the Indian Ocean idyll. The 96 villas and suites are spread out along a stretch of powder-white beachfront and perched above the turquoise waters of the Dhaalu Atoll, a 40-minute seaplane flight from Malé. The epic Presidential Villa has 360 sqm of indoor living space and another 310 sqm of glorious outdoor space, complete with private swimming pool. The resort has brought some of its Italian friends along for the ride, with bubbly from Ferrari Trento, linen and towels from Frette and chic swimwear from MC2 Saint Barth in the boutique.
The Baglioni Spa, created by Raison d’Etre, uses Italian brand Insìum’s anti-ageing, cruelty-free cosmetics, and offers outdoor treatments in six open-air pavilions, plus a dedicated pavilion for yoga, meditation and breathing exercises. Food takes centre stage: the Italian tradition of aperitivi is observed daily, and diners can choose from fine dining Italian at Gusto, Japanese flavours at Umami and international fare at Taste.
3. Nobu Barcelona
Opening September 12, Nobu Barcelona brings its signature pared-back design to the Catalan capital, with 259 rooms and suites overlooking the charming Eixample neighbourhood. Calming, minimal interiors will be a welcome break from Barcelona’s hectic streets, with splashes of Catalan inspiration in the form of works by Gaudi giving the hotel a true sense of place.
Walls will be embellished with collages made through ‘kintsugi’; the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, silver or platinum. On the top floor, Nobu Restaurant will pay homage to local ingredients and Catalan cuisine, and lobby level Kozara will serve Japanese style tapas and a selection of cocktails made from an extensive collection of sake and Japanese whisky.
4. Singita Kwitonda Lodge
Named after a legendary silverback gorilla whose name means ‘humble’ in English, Singita Kwitonda Lodge fuses conservation and luxury in one attractive package. Eight suites and the standalone Kataza House (which sleeps eight) are set within 178 acres of lush landscape on the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, home to around 320 mountain gorillas. Sustainability has been front and centre of the low-impact design: buildings are made from volcanic rock and river stone while other elements like ceramic tiles and red clay bricks were sourced from local suppliers. Beautiful interiors feature artisanal elements like woven panels, handmade tiles and ceramic pottery, and open fireplaces, outdoor heated plunge pools and individual wine cellars provide all the creature comforts environmentally minded visitors could desire.
More than 60,000 plants and trees will be planted in the surrounding area, in a bid to reforest the hillside and provide additional habitat for endangered species. The lodge itself is surrounded by mountain bamboo, ferns, giant lobelias and forest trees that will eventually engulf the buildings, and fresh produce is grown in the adjacent farm-to-table garden. There’s a detailed kids programme for younger visitors, an on-site spa and a Conservation Lounge where guests can learn more about Singita’s efforts and pick up maps and hiking guidelines for the local area.
5. Waldorf Astoria
Dubai International Financial Centre Dubai, UAE
A major hub of commerce, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is also an artists’ haven and cultural hotspot, meaning guests at Waldorf Astoria DIFC are mere steps from vibrant events and exhibitions all year-round. As one would expect from the brand, first-class hospitality and the finest amenities are right at your fingertips, with spectacular views available throughout the hotel, which spans the 18th to 55th floors of Burj Daman, an ultramodern tower of offices and residences.
The height of urban living, all hotel restaurants and wellness facilities are located on the 18th floor, where the property also houses an outdoor whirlpool. Guest rooms are designed to feel residential and take style inspiration from early-1960s New York.
6. Mövenpick Hotel Amman
Accor is on cloud nine in Jordan, adding its ninth hotel to the kingdom. The Mövenpick Hotel Amman is a takeover and rebrand of an existing 218-key property in the vibrant capital city, located close to the central business district, popular shopping malls and major cultural attractions including the Citadel, Temple of Hercules, Roman Amphitheatre and the Royal Automobile Museum. The property boasts an extensive range of facilities including four restaurants, seven meeting rooms and a grand ballroom accommodating up to 1,200 people, an outdoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room and an executive floor and lounge.
A highlight of the accommodation offering is the spectacular top-floor Presidential Suite, with a balcony featuring a Jacuzzi and stunning city skyline views. Later this year, guests staying at the property can also earn benefits as part of Accor’s loyalty programme.
7. The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah
Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Maldives
The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah is now open, set on the one of the country’s most beautiful atolls and adjacent to its sister property, The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi. The two resorts are connected by a bridge, enabling guests to travel between the two with ease – and forming one of the largest resort offerings in the Maldives.
All of Dhigurah’s 173 spacious beach and water villas overlook the dappled turquoise waters of the ocean and each one has its own private pool. Rooms are designed with plenty of natural light and crafted using local materials, blending the beauty of traditional Maldivian architecture with contemporary flair.
8. Amara Hotel
Agios Tychon, Cyprus
Following its opening in June, AMARA is the newest addition to the thriving hotel scene in the coastal town of Limassol. Poised above a sandy beach in the royal ancient kingdom of Amathus, all of the newly built rooms and suites offer unobstructed views over the Mediterranean Sea and wider horizon.
The 207 artfully appointed guestrooms and suites are amongst the most elegant on the island, whilst the 230-sqm AMARA Suite, with its own private infinity pool, is the jewel in the hotel’s crown.
9. The Newt in Somerset
Step into the British countryside at The Newt in Somerset, a Grade II*-listed Georgian country home set in a working estate, complete with manicured gardens, 60 acres of apple orchards and its own cider press and cellar. The hotel is home to 23 gorgeous guestrooms: 13 in the elegant main house with period furnishings, modern touches and spacious en suites; and 10 in the renovated buildings of the Stable Yard, which incorporate original elements like exposed stone walls, wooden rafters and the stables themselves.
The kitchen garden and surrounding woodland supply fresh produce for The Botanical Rooms, where head chef Ben Abercrombie creates menus with ingredients sourced from local partners; and private dining room Horns & Pigtails presents Georgian era menus for events of up to 16 in a vaulted cellar. There’s a Wild Pool for outdoor summer dips (and an indoor pool for winter bathing) and a spa offering hamman and mud therapy treatments.