Bürgenstock Resort, Switzerland
With a fascinating history dating back to 1868, the original Bürgenstock Resort also hosted the likes of Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn back in the 1950s – in fact, Audrey even chose it as her wedding venue in 1954. Opening in September 2017, the new hotel will herald a new era in Swiss hospitality, and is a masterpiece of modern architecture and technology. Featuring cutting-edge contemporary design, each of the 102 rooms and suites will boast panoramic views across Lake Lucerne and refined interiors paired with the splendour of local Baroque architecture intertwined with retro influences. An added attraction of staying here has to be the unique arrival – private boat transfer across Lake Lucerne (one hour from Zurich airport), followed by a ride on the funicular railway to the resort’s spectacular setting – nestled on top of the Bürgenberg mountain ridge in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Really four properties in one, and designed to seamlessly integrate into the forest surrounds, it offers sublime tranquillity and a glamorous heritage converge in a breathtaking landscape.
Rooms rates from: Dh2,932 per night (buergenstock.ch/en).
Flying time from UAE: About 7 hrs.
The 13, Macau
Now this is something very special indeed. It may sound and look like something out of a Bond film but The 13 is already being hailed as the most luxurious hotel in the world. Set to open in Cotai in early 2017, it will feature 200 exclusive ‘villas’ with Baroque-inspired interiors, evoking the style of a French palace. All villas feature a private lift to the lobby, 24-hour butler service and complimentary transfers to and from Macau with the property’s fleet of 30 bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms. And the wow factor continues with king-sized velvet canopied beds and a rain shower situated in the stained glass bathroom. There’s even a Roman bath that fits six to eight, situated between neoclassical columns under a crystal chandelier, which can be covered with a retractable marble floor. The 13 also has six restaurants – including the only outpost of L’Ambroisie, which retains the honour of being the only Parisian restaurant to maintain its three Michelin stars continuously since 1988 – and L’Atelier, an invitation-only shopping area that has bespoke products by the world’s leading luxury brands.
Room rates: TBC – it’s basically for people so rich they don’t care what they’re paying (the13.com).
Flying time from UAE: 10hrs 25mins
One & Only, Bahrain
Scheduled to open in late 2017 in Seef, Bahrain, the latest addition to the luxury One & Only resort collection will have an impressive location and the distinction of being one of the most luxurious hotels on the island. The only island nation in the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain is steeped in history and culture, and was once the capital of the ancient Dilmun civilisation, with fascinating sights including the Bahrain Fort, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Nestled on the north-western coast of the island, the One & Only will showcase Bahrani history and culture, and will feature approximately 150 appointed guest rooms, suites and villas, and access to a private beachfront. There will be an emphasis on privacy at the resort, so it will be ideal for anyone looking to escape from it all, and will also offer family-friendly accommodation. The resort will also feature world-class dining and retail choices, along with a Givenchy spa. There will be a Hakkasan restaurant offering Cantonese cuisine overseen by Michelin-starred executive chef Ho Chee Boon. A stay here promises to be indulgent and relaxing while offering an insight into a close neighbour of the UAE.
Prices: TBC (oneandonlyresorts.com).
Flying time from UAE: 1 hour.
Iniala Shores, Thailand
Although this gorgeous property is really a collection of glamorous villas with access to amazing facilities, we had to include Iniala Shores. Setting a new standard for luxury in South East Asia, it’s set to open its doors this month, offering prime beachfront living for families or groups of friends seeking total relaxation. Each villa has a private, infinity pool with uninterrupted views of the golden sands of Natai Beach and across the Andaman Sea. Housed within an exclusive, private estate framed on one side by tall palm trees, the villas have been specifically designed to provide the ultimate family retreat on the beach. Features include an extensive outdoor sitting and lounge area as well as in-house private spa room with a wide variety of beauty, wellness and massage therapies providing the perfect haven to revitalise mind, body and spirit. Iniala offers various options for fitness and recreation, including a fully equipped gym, beachfront yoga and pilates. With the ocean on your doorstep, water sports, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkelling are also available.
Villas from: Dh9,182, minimum three-night stay (iniala.com).
Flying time from UAE: 6hrs.
The Silo, South Africa
Opening in March, the latest addition to the Royal Portfolio collection promises to be a magical space towering above the V&A Waterfront surrounded by the natural wonder of Cape Town.
With a prestigious location in a former grain silo above the new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art, the hotel is located in a building set to become as synonymous with the Cape Town skyline as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. With just 28 rooms – including a one-bedroom penthouse with views of the ocean as well as Cape Town landmarks including Robben Island, Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, and Lion’s Head – the property will offer exclusive stays in a laid-back atmosphere. Each room is being individually designed to complement the natural beauty of the surrounding area, with colourful eclectic pieces juxtaposing the modern, industrial architecture, and the overall feel of the hotel will be of a warm, welcoming space. It’s the perfect excuse to book a break to Cape Town, which is regularly lauded as one of the top cities in the world to visit, and has a magnificent backdrop of one of the seven natural wonders of the world – the incredible Table Mountain.
Rooms from: Dh3,194 a night (theroyalportfolio.com).
Flying time from UAE: About 9hrs 40mins.
Wild Coast Tented Lodge, Sri Lanka
For something a little bit different, and situated in Sri Lanka’s leopard heartland of Yala National Park, the Wild Coast Tented Lodge will boast 28 luxurious tented suites, offering guests the excitement of a safari-style wilderness experience in comfort and elegance. Featuring a design inspired by the surrounding landscape, the vaulted tents will be arranged in clusters of three or four, replicating the shape of a leopard’s paw. Four secluded beach-facing suites will offer private plunge pools, whilst a further 16 suites will congregate around watering holes, attracting a variety of wildlife, which guests can view from the comfort of their private decks. The family cluster comprises eight suites with adjoining ‘urchin tents’, offering privacy for both adults and children. Expert wilderness guides will seek out Yala’s best-kept secrets, offering glimpses of Sri Lanka’s magnificent biodiversity, from elephants and leopards, to incredible birdlife. Guests can also enjoy daily changing menus of Sri Lankan cuisine in the open-air bamboo-clad restaurant, or relax in the resort’s Ayurvedic spa.
Rooms from: Dh3,393 per night (resplendentceylon.com/resorts/wildcoasttentedlodge).
Flying time from UAE: 4hrs 14mins.
The Onyria Palmares Beach House Hotel, Portugal
With a fabulous setting alongside one of the Algarve’s leading golf courses, the Onyria Palmares Beach House Hotel features 18 rooms and two suites, and stunning 180-degree views to the Bay of Lagos. Rooms at the hotel, which will open this month, have beds facing the windows so that guests can wake up looking towards the glorious three-mile Meia-Praia beach. The concept behind the boutique hotel is ‘beach house’, and although it’s set to be slightly grander than that, it will offer an intimate connection with the natural surroundings. All rooms, decorated in soft colours, will have spacious balconies designed to frame a panoramic view over fascinating Lagos Bay. The restaurant will offer the fresh flavours of the Mediterranean, served on a generous terrace; there’s also a spa and clubhouse and of course for golf-lovers, this resort is a dream come true, with its proximity to the outstanding 27-hole golf course. You can even watch live golf from your window, in the link holes below.
Room prices: TBC (onyriapalmares.com).
Flying time from UAE: 11hrs 50mins.
The Murray, Hong Kong
The Murray, a Niccolo Hotel, is a 336-room standalone hotel located in an iconic historic building, which will open at the end of 2017 as Hong Kong’s newest 5-star hotel. The tall, white landmark structure in the Central business district, with its distinctive arches and unique recessed windows, was built in 1969 and has won many awards for its groundbreaking energy-efficient design. The style of the new hotel will be contemporary urban chic, and it has the added advantage of being close to the green oasis of Hong Kong Park. There will be 336 sophisticated spacious suites, first-class wellness facilities and five elegant destination restaurants. Renowned international architects Foster and Partners have been engaged as designers for the project, which is being led by hotelier Duncan Palmer who was previously at The Savoy, The Connaught, Mandarin Oriental and Langham Hotels in Hong Kong and London. Each of the oversized rooms at The Murray will feature floor-to-ceiling windows; surfaces are covered with rare stones, and leather and textiles combine to create a feeling of a sophisticated sanctuary in the heart of the city.
Room rates: TBC (themurrayaniccolohotel.com).
Flying time from UAE: 7hrs.
Baglioni Resort, Maldives
Set to open in summer, the five-star Baglioni Resort Maldives will offer Italian glamour on the unspoiled island of Maagau in Dhaalu Atoll. Combining the luxury of a private island with Italian flair and style, the resort will have 96 villas with a selection of garden, beach or over-water options, as well an ultra-luxe Presidential Water Villa. The resort will have three restaurants, including international, Japanese and Italian options, some with sand floors offering barefoot dining and vegetables grown in the hotel’s own garden. Wind down in the Garden Spa, a haven of Ayurvedic and Thai therapies surrounded by tropical foliage. Guests will be able to choose from watersports such as topcat sailing, kayaking and windsurfing, as well as diving and snorkelling in some of the best dive sites in the world with the resort’s specialist dive centre. Although it boasts an impossibly romantic location, the resort is also ideal for families, offering a kids’ club, with theme days, cooking courses including pizza and ice-cream making, and indoor and outdoor play areas. Just 40 minutes by seaplane from the capital Malé, the resort is easily accessible while feeling remote.
Rooms from: Dh4,040 per night (baglionihotel.com).
Flying time from UAE: 4hrs 47mins.
Jabali Ridge, Tanzania
Set high on a rocky kopje overlooking a landscape dotted with spiky palms and bulbous baobabs, Jabali Ridge is a stylish and modern lodge that consists of 10 suites creatively situated amongst the surrounding rocks and nestled in the wilderness of Ruaha National Park. Built entirely of wood from local, sustainable sources, the concept is ‘at one with nature’, blurring the lines between the indoors and the outdoors. Ruaha National Park is home to 10 per cent of the world’s lion population, as well as wild dogs, cheetahs, leopards and spotted hyenas.
Jabali Ridge will feature an infinity pool, rooms with views out over Ruaha, and vertical feature elements that represent the ancient baobabs that dot the landscape, making it an ultra-cool base for a safari and wilderness escape when it opens in September. Accomodations are designed to allow a view out over the Ruaha from every section of the room. Timber gives an earthy feel as well as allowing the structures to blend in naturally to their environment.
The linen and soft furnishings in the guest rooms include over-dyed organic bed throws, dip-dyed mosquito nets and pure linen cushion covers taking their colour inspiration from the boulders. Antique blackened brass fittings in the stone, basins and showers as well as artistic renderings of abstract baobabs complement the architecture.
The use of stained cane chairs and wooden beaded light fittings enhance this natural rustic feel.
All private and public areas create a comfortable environment within these harsh rustic, unyielding surroundings, facilitating an authentic African escape.
Rooms from: Dh2,754 per person per night (asiliaafrica.com).
Flying time from UAE: 5hrs 40mins.