1. NOMAD LONDON
Since the opening of NoMad New York in 2012, the brand has established outposts in Las Vegas and Los Angeles and continued its journey across the Atlantic, where it has now planted roots in the UK capital. Located in the old Bow Street Magistrate’s Court in historic Covent Garden, NoMad London has been imagined with the help of several long-term partners and collaborators.
New York design firm Roman and Williams, which has worked on all NoMad projects, has led the design of the 91 rooms and suites, which exude a stylish, bohemian aesthetic, with eclectic furnishings and claw-foot bathtubs creating a homely, lived-in feel. A collection of post-war American and European avant-garde art is on display throughout the hotel and guestrooms, curated by long-term NoMad partner Studio Be-Poles.
Executive chef Ashley Abodeely, who makes her move from Chef de Cuisine at NoMad Los Angeles, will oversee the culinary theatrics at NoMad restaurant and The Side Hustle, while mixologist Leo Robitschek, who launched the award-winning NoMad Bar in New York, will head up the team at Common Decency, a slinky subterranean cocktail lounge.
2. HABITAS NAMIBIA
Blurring the boundaries between barefoot boutique, spiritual retreat and cultural festival, Habitas Tulum disrupted traditional notions of luxury travel when it opened in 2017. Almost four years later, the company founded by serial entrepreneur Oliver Ripley, is welcoming guests to its second remote escape: Habitas Namibia.
Built around sustainability, community and shared experiences, the tented camp sits on a bluff overlooking 50,000 hectares of private wildlife reserve, where game and the indigenous San people have lived since time immemorial. In addition to safari drives, locally-inspired spa treatments, sound journey meditation and outdoor yoga in the savannah, guests staying in the 15 sustainably built safari suites or signature private villa will be invited to connect with one another during drum circles and free dance sessions or gather around the fire-pit for live local music.
Visitors can also learn survival skills and learn how San tribesmen navigate constellations or join the team for educational talks on wildlife protection, and learn more about the property's local conservation efforts and Habitas Rise, a brand-wide philanthropic initiative that supports local communities.
3. HIGASHIYAMA NISEKO VILLAGE, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE
Inspired by the natural beauty of this picturesque corner of Hokkaido island, Higashiyama Niseko Village is a mountain retreat that serves as a gateway to adventure for discerning travellers. Fifty well-appointed guestrooms and suites are bedecked in polished marble, fragrant cedarwood and flame finished granite, all looking out across the dramatic landscape towards the mighty peak of Mount Yotei, a 1,898-metre high stratovolcano that’s home to some of the best skiing in Japan.
Local traditions and culture inform every aspect of the experience, from the culinary philosophy of ‘shun’ celebrating seasonal produce at Yukibana and Sushi Nagi restaurants, to the warm, heartfelt hospitality and genuine care of ‘omotenashi’ practiced by personal hosts. Higashiyama Reservists act as creative curators, helping guests plan excursions and experiences or gain exclusive access to other venues in Niseko Village. At Spa Chasi La Sothys, a traditional Japanese onsen fed by underground hot springs provides the perfect nourishment for body and soul after a day exploring some of 2,100-acres of skiing in the winter or miles of hiking and cycling trails in the summer.
4. LUX* CHONGZUO
Southern China’s semi-autonomous Guangxi region is a dramatic landscape of winding rivers, verdant fields and forest-covered peaks that stirs the heart of the avid explorer. Set on the banks of the Mingshi river 10 minutes from the Vietnamese border, LUX* Chongzuo provides the perfect base from which to explore this mesmerising land. The boutique resort is presented in a medley of materials chosen to weather the environment, with wood, stone and copper elements dominating the modern, minimal exterior.
Inside the 56 suites and villas, earthy tones complement rust and grey hues, while the outdoor spaces with private terraces and plunge pools afford sweeping views of the towering limestone karsts that dominate the horizon. This is a place where time slows down and guests can immerse themselves in a natural world that revolves around the river, from early morning riverside yoga and waterfront nature walks, to rooftop river views and cocktails at Skyver lounge. Life is equally unhurried in Slow Flow, the resort’s Chinese, South Asia and Western restaurant, and virtually grinds to a halt at LUX* Me Spa. If LUX* Chongzuo is an ode to the river, the nearby Detian Falls is its crashing crescendo; a collection of thundering waterfalls that lie on the border between China and Vietnam.