2018’s been tiring, but we’re looking forward to these upcoming luxury resorts that are opening up across the globe. Take advantage of 2019’s public holidays and spend a long weekend in Koh Samui, or splurge (and take annual leave) on a long getaway to Bhutan, London, Xishuangbanna and more. These are our picks for the best new hotels opening in 2019.
Six Senses Bhutan
This Himalayan kingdom has a quota on tourists entering, which means you don’t have to worry about fighting the crowds or grabbing some much needed zen.
Luxury hotel group Six Senses is opening not just one, but five different lodges situated in the west and central valleys of this mountainous region, each with their own design and character.
With wide, open views of the countryside, the lodges in Thimpu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro embrace Six Senses’ principle of wellness, healthy eating, and spas, mixed with the spirituality of The Hermit Kingdom.
Meditate in Punakha, the Kingdom’s old capital (now Thimpu) and home to the magnificent 17th century Punakha Dzong, a 15 minute drive from the lodge.
From there, travel to the lodge in Gangtey, where nature lovers will marvel at the sight of the protected black-necked cranes and lush forests.
Six Senses can arrange for you to stay a combination of the lodges depending on your preference, or you can sign up for their five-night ‘Tasting Sense’ journey, that takes you through Thimpu and Paro, to visit sites such as the sacred Tiger’s Nest monastery. Who knows, you may even fall in love.
Room rates are inclusive of breakfast and dinner, private return airport transfers, non-alcoholic beverages, daily replenishment of minibar snacks, laundry service, and wireless internet.
The Residences Dhigurah, Maldives
Possibly one of the world’s most romantic locations, the Maldives has long been the place to fill up your Instagram feed. Built in the style of traditional Maldivian architecture, the Residences Dhigurah's 173 beach and water villas come with two complimentary bicycles for island jaunts, and their own private pool, and unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean.
If you’re feeling a little homesick, dine at Li Bai, the sister restaurant to the celebrated Cantonese restaurant in Sheraton Towers. Alternatively, nibble on tapas at the Cafe del Sol or the international spread at all-day dining venue, The Dining Room.
Venture beyond the island and visit charming Maldivian villages as part of an island-hopping tour, scuba dive among pristine coral reefs, or pamper yourself at the Spa by Clarins.
If you fancy a pool that’s a little larger, head to the 42m infinity pool, which seemingly expands into the horizon, blurring the lines between the pool and the sea.
A bridge links you to sister resort, The Residence Maldives at Falhumaafushi, as both are located on the same southern atoll - Gaafu Alifu Atoll.
After flying from Singapore to Male International Airport, staff will take you to the domestic airport for a scenic 55-minute flight to Kooddoo Airport, before a short five-minute speedboat ride to the hotel.
The Belmond Cadogan, London
Made up of five restored 1800’s Queen Anne-style buildings, the Belmond Cadogan is the latest luxury hotel to hit London, situated on Sloane Street, in the upmarket Chelsea area.
A favourite haunt of the likes of Oscar Wilde and actress Lillie Langtry, this 54-room hotel was designed by GA Design, whose portfolio includes The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam and The Renaissance Hangzhou.
After you’re done clearing out the shops in nearby Knightsbridge, take shelter in the beautiful -and exclusive - early 19th century Cadogan Place Gardens.
Privately owned and formerly part of the London Botanic Gardens, have a picnic or take a stroll through the winding paths surrounded by catalpa, ginkgo, redwood, maples, various flowering cherries, hydrangea, laburnum, viburnum and 300-year-old mulberry trees. As the garden is not open to the public, you can rest assured you’ll be able to picnic in peace - no plebeians here.
If you wish to get your Wimbledon on, there is also a tennis court for guests to use within the gardens.
Once you’re done, return to the hotel and indulge in modern British cuisine by rising star, chef Adam Handling (chef-owner of The Frog), before retiring to your room.
Avani+, Koh Samui
Did you know we have four long weekends next year? The seaside paradise of Koh Samui has long been a popular destination, and Avani+ at Taling Ngam, Koh Samui promises sunlit rooms and villas for you to rest and recharge.
With a cool blue and white room palette reminiscent of Santorini, the resort is on the Southern side of Koh Samui, ideal for friends, families and couples looking for a serene, tropical holiday.
Apart from the spa, yoga, kayaking, paddle boarding, mangrove tree tours and beach picnics, guests can explore the surrounding area to explore the Hua Thanon Fishing Village, Laem Sor pagoda, or go island hopping.
Adrenaline junkies can go wild zip-lining through the rainforest, or on 4x4 mountain tours.
If you’re coming with a group of girlfriends, opt for the Two Bedroom Beachfront Pool Villas, which have direct access to the beach in addition to your own pool and sundeck.
The poolside bar comes in the form of a classic, renovated Volkswagen van, with the restaurant practicing the farm-to-table concept.
Monkey Island Estate, Bray
Opening on Valentines Day, this stately abode is situated on a private island in the River Thames in the village of Bray; the whole property is a spacious seven acres.
The 27 rooms and suites have been renovated and designed by YTL Hotels and New York based award-winning Champalimaud Design, with a contemporary English feel to match the Georgian building, with either a view of the River Thames or the grounds.
While Asia is more famous for their spas, Monkey Island Estate boasts a new concept - The Floating Spa will be on a refurbished boat moored to the bank of the island.
Foodies will delight as the hotel is in close proximity to three Michelin-star restaurants, including Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck.
The island itself has a colourful historical past, with the name thought to have developed from the original name, Monks Eyot, which was given by monks from the nearby priory in 1197.
In 1723 the Duke of Malborough bought the land and turned it into a fishing retreat, building a Fishing Temple and a Fishing Pavilion which was for eating and sleeping.
In its heyday during the 1900’s, the island hosted many royals and famous celebrities such as Edward VIII, H.G Wells and Edward Elgar, which lends to the allure.
Angsana Xishuangbanna, Xishuangbanna
Homegrown luxury hotel group Banyan Tree will unveil their latest property, Angsana Xishuangbanna, in the culturally diverse Yunnan province, an hour’s flight from Kunming.
Built in the style of the Dai people, one of Yunnan’s 25 ethnic minorities, it is situated in the Horon Monbala Royal Southeast Asian Botanical Garden Resort Zone, meaning you’ll be far from hustle and bustle of the city, surrounded by the rainforest.
Tea lovers rejoice, for Yunnan is the home of Pu’er tea, specially Menghai county which is in Xishuangbanna prefecture and boasts possibly the oldest specialised tea factory in China.
With 407 rooms, suites and villas, if you’re travelling with your lover we recommend the Hot Spring Suite, so you can soak in your own private hot spring, while admiring the rainforest outside.
If you don’t manage to snag a Hot Spring Suite, you can always head to the hotel’s Angsana Spa after you’ve worked up a sweat hiking.
Pavilion Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s always great for weekend getaways, so why not take advantage of the exchange rate and go shopping in KL?
The newly opened Pavilion Hotel Kuala Lumpur managed by Banyan Tree makes it even easier for you to access the shops - it’s 13 floors above the award-winning Pavilion mall in the centre of town (KLCC is a short walk away).
Dine at one of two restaurants, at either all-day dining The Courtyard or Ebisu, a restaurant and bar space featuring an array of Japanese cuisine with a twist. Afterwards, retire to Whisky Cove and enjoy their wide, international selection of whiskies and blends.
After a long day emptying your purse, treat yourself to Asian-inspired treatments at the Banyan Tree Spa, or float your worries away in the rooftop infinity pool.
The Middle House, Shanghai
Designed by Piero Lissoni, renowned architect and founder of Lissoni Architettura in Milan, the new Penthouse at The Middle House hotel combines both modern Chinese and Italian design.
With an impressive 660sqm on the 14th floor, the Penthouse will be your home away from home, with an intimate living area for entertaining guests, a master bedroom, second bedroom, outdoor event space and terraces overlooking the city, and another multi-purpose function room.
Want to throw an elegant soiree? The Penthouse can fit 200 people.