World's newest and best hotels take luxury to new heights
From urban hideaways to sun-soaked resorts, we look at 15 of the best
Whether it’s an island escape or an urban destination, the world’s top hotels are tailoring their treats to suit ever more discerning travelers.
As the most exclusive resorts go to even greater lengths to differentiate their offerings, we pack up the designer luggage to find the best new properties where you can stay in 2017 (and beyond):
1. Soneva Jani, Maldives
With 24 over-water villas and one sprawling island villa set on a private lagoon in the Maldives, the newest Soneva resort might just be the best yet.
Each of the resort’s multilevel water villas has its own private pool and a retractable roof that allows guests to sleep beneath the stars. Many villas also have slides that transport guests directly from the top level into the lagoon below. Other hotel highlights include a spa, an observatory – home to the largest telescope in the Indian Ocean – and an outdoor cinema.
Soneva Jani, Medhufaru Island, Noonu Atoll, Republic of Maldives; +960 656 6666
2. Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
Set on a half-mile stretch of private beachfront near several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Four Seasons’ latest resort has the best address in Hoi An, a coastal city in the central part of Vietnam.
Formerly The Nam Hai hotel, the resort features 60 beachfront villas with private outdoor terraces. There are also 40 pool villas which each have their own private swimming pool. Also on site: three communal pools, four tennis courts, a spa, two restaurants and a beach bar.
Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Block Ha My Dong B, Dien Duong Ward, Dien Ban Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam; +84 510 394 0000
3. Las Alcobas, Napa Valley, California
Near the Beringer winery and estate in St. Helena, this beautiful boutique hotel is the ultimate wine country getaway.
All 68 guestrooms and suites feature private outdoor terraces outfitted with fireplaces – not to mention sweeping vineyard views. Hotel highlights include a 3,500-square-foot spa and a seasonal Californian restaurant run by Top Chef winner Chris Cosentino.
Las Alcobas, 1915 Main Street, St. Helena, CA, 94574, United States; +1 707 963 7000
4. The Silo, Cape Town, South Africa
Built in an historic grain silo complex above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), The Silo is set to be the hippest new hotel in Cape Town.
The ultramodern, industrial-style hotel will have only 28 rooms, each with whimsical interiors and dramatic waterfront views. The hotel, part of The Royal Portfolio hotel collection, will also have a restaurant overlooking Table Mountain, a spa, and a rooftop pool and lounge.
The Silo, The Silo Hotel, Silo Square, V&A Waterfront, 8001, Cape Town; +27 (0) 21 671 5502
5. Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles, Africa
Located on the secluded granite-rock island of Félicité, this chic retreat is the last word in luxury. Each of its 28 standalone villas is outfitted with a private pool and wine cellar, and comes with a 24-hour personal butler. But all this comfort won’t cost you your conscience: the resort is also eco-friendly.
It has a reverse-osmosis refinery for potable water, a chicken farm and an organic garden to increase sustainability.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, P.O. Box 696, Bois De Rose Avenue, Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles; +248 467 1000
6. W Shanghai - The Bund, Shanghai, China
Perched on the banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai, this ultra hip hotel will be Starwood Hotels’ third W-branded property in China, after Beijing and Guangzhou.
Its 374 rooms and 35 suites are spacious and modern, blending the W’s eclectic aesthetic with traditional Shanghai decor. Hotel highlights include a sprawling outdoor pool and lounge, and the W’s signature AWAY Spa, specializing in restorative local treatments.
W Shanghai, No.66 Lvshun Road, Shanghai, 200080, China; +86 21 2286 9999
7. The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, Dubai
The St. Regis’ second property in Dubai, built on a world-class polo field in the sprawling Dubailand entertainment complex, is an equestrian’s dream.
The 159-room hotel is home to a 500-stable polo academy, show-jumping and dressage arenas, and a riding school. Adults and children are invited to interact with the horses stabled at the property’s polo fields. Inside, there’s an Equine Library, filled with equestrian statues, artifacts and literature, and an Equestrian Lounge, perfect for winding down with a cup of tea after a long day of riding.
The St. Regis Dubai, Wadi Al Safa 5, Emirates Road 611, Dubai, UAE; +971 4 435 4400
8. Hotel Eden, Rome, Italy
After a year of extensive renovations, the 125-year-old Hotel Eden – a favorite of director Federico Fellini – will finally open its doors as a Dorchester Collection hotel.
Rooms have been reduced from 121 to just 98, and have been beautifully redesigned with a more modern and understated feel. There are a few new additions to look forward to, including a casual all-day brasserie and a hidden library bar. But the restaurant’s iconic La Terrazza restaurant – and its jaw-dropping views over the Eternal City – still remain.
Hotel Eden, Via Ludovisi 49, 00187, Roma; +39 06 478121
9. Assila Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Rocco Forte’s 10th hotel – and its first foray into the Middle East – does not disappoint. It’s playful and modern, with 147 rooms and 63 suites offering panoramic city views (it’s possible to see the Red Sea from some suites).
There’s a rooftop pool and four excellent restaurants, the standout being Aubergine, which serves Arab and Mediterranean fare. Added bonus: It’s in the heart of Jeddah’s business district, close to Jeddah Mall and just 40 minutes’ drive from Mecca.
Assila Hotel, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz St (Tahlia St), Jeddah , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Assila.Sales@roccofortehotels.com
10. Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square, London, England
Located in a building constructed in 1922 (it was formerly the headquarters of the Port of London Authority) the new Four Seasons London is one of the handsomest hotels in London.
Its 89 bedrooms and 11 suites are sleek and modern, while common areas are classically decorated with Corinthian columns, ornate plasterwork and crystal chandeliers. Hotel highlights include an 18,000-square-foot, Roman-inspired spa with a hammam, sauna and nail salon, and gourmet French restaurant run by Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, 10 Trinity Square, London; +44 20 3297 9200
11. Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, California
The Waldorf Astoria’s first West Coast property is fabulously over-the-top – not that you’d expect any less from the ritzy hotel group. Tucked in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the 12-story Art Deco hotel will feature a 5,000 square foot spa by La Prairie and a restaurant by Michelin-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
There are 170 rooms and 51 suites, three of which have private plunge pools. According to the hotel, every room in the hotel will have unobstructed views over the city of Los Angeles.
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, 9850 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, California, 90210, USA; +1 310 860 6666
12. The Fontenay Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Set on the tranquil banks of Lake Alster, The Fontenay will be the first new luxury hotel in Hamburg, Germany, in 18 years. It was designed by local architect Jan Stormer to mirror the fluid lines of the lake and surrounding parkland, and reportedly cost more than $100 million to build.
Each of its 131 rooms and suites feature a private balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows with Lake Alster views. The property, which is already a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, will also offer a 10,000-square-foot spa with an indoor-outdoor infinity pool.
The Fontenay Hamburg, Fontenay 10, 20354 Hamburg; +49 40 605 6 605
13. SLS Brickell, Miami
This new Philippe Starck-designed hotel isn’t your typical Miami Beach hotel.
For one, it’s not on Miami Beach, but in the nearby neighborhood of Brickell – an up-and-coming area filling up quickly with bars, restaurants and museums. Unlike its flashy, beachfront counterparts, the SLS is understatedly stylish rather than painfully hip.
Its 124 rooms feature clean lines, subdued color palettes and a minimalist aesthetic. The hotel’s pièce de résistance? A rooftop deck with an infinity pool and views over downtown Miami.
SLS Brickell, 1300 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33130; +1 305 239-1300
14. Rosewood Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang, Laos
This earthy, Lao-inspired forest retreat is an interesting move for Rosewood – best known for its upscale city hotels like The Carlyle in New York.
Just 10 minutes’ drive from UNESCO World Heritage Site Luang Prabang, the resort is flanked by dense forests, rivers and waterfalls. Its 22 accommodation units include five luxury tents with wraparound decks and private dining areas. The resort also has a bistro serving up French and Laotian fare, as well as Rosewood’s signature Sense spa.
Rosewood Luang Prabang, Luang Prabang; +852 2138 2222