From imaginative jungle villas to a revived ancient bathhouse, and futuristic towers to overwater bungalows, 2015 is proposing the latest and greatest in next-generation lodging. Cropping up in tried-and-true travelers’ havens like NYC and Venice, to further-flung locales from Marrakech to the Maldives, here are 10 of 2015’s most anticipated high-end hotel openings, readying to reinvent the landscape of travel in the New Year.
1. Keemala, Phuket (Thailand)
(Courtesy: Keemala Phuket)
Opening August 2015
This radical villa-dotted wonderland comes tucked into Phuket’s woodlands, overlooking the Andaman Sea. The grounds — a montage of towering trees, streams, and waterfalls — are integrated into Keemala’s design, with a network of jungle walkways connecting 38 distinctive private villas, along with a lobby, pool, three dining areas, and spa. The inventive dwellings, filled with locally crafted fixtures, furniture, and fabrics, are inspired by themes of earth, sky, nomadism, and nests. On-site wellness activities include options like Thai Chi, meditation, yoga, and Thai boxing.
Rates from $526/night
2. The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Bath (England)
(Courtesy: Gainsborough Bath Spa)
Opening spring 2015
The 99-room Gainsborough Bath Spa comes set atop the vestiges of an ancient Roman settlement, including the remains of an original Roman bathhouse. Today, it’s the only hotel in Bath to offer direct access to the town’s legendary natural thermal springs. The property’s bi-level spa will also include an apothecary, ice chamber, sauna, steam room, fitness center, and treatment rooms. Champalimaud Design and EPR Architects London will be restoring the hotel’s Georgian-era facade (circa 1824), along with outfitting its luxurious guestrooms with period details and furnishings, including three spa suites that propose thermal waters on tap en suite.
Rates from $454/night
3. The Knickerbocker Hotel, New York City
(Courtesy: The Knickerbocker Hotel/Rick Lew)
Opening February 2015
Times Square is raising its cachet with this winter’s scheduled opening of The Knickerbocker Hotel. Set behind the elegant 16-story facade of a landmarked Beaux Arts building (built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor IV), the hotel’s interiors have been gut-renovated to reflect sleek spaces that include 330 modern guestrooms (where guests can sample in-room salon services from celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson) and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Chef Charlie Palmer will manage its signature New American restaurant and bar, the Charlie Palmer @ The Knick, while rooftop bar and terrace St. Cloud rewards with breathtaking views over Times Square.
Starting rates from $495/night
4. JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Italy
(Courtesy: JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa)
Opening March 2015
Unfolding on the private island oasis of Isola delle Rose — or, the “Island of Roses” — Venice’s newest luxury retreat will debut with 40 acres of gardens and olive groves, at the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa (the brand’s first property in Italy). A 15-minute boat ride from St. Mark’s Square, just across the Venetian Lagoon, guests can luxuriate in one of 266 guestrooms, or enjoy amenities like a rooftop swimming pool (touting terrific views over Venice), full-service spa (with a hammam and outdoor treatment cabanas), cooking school and wine academy, and several restaurants and bars.
Starting rates from $495/night
5. The Reverie Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City
(Courtesy: The Reverie Saigon)
Opening spring 2015
For voluptuous Vietnam lodging, look ahead to the design- and details-driven 286-room The Reverie Saigon, debuting this spring. Rooms, restaurants, bars, and public spaces come drenched in elaborate craftsmanship and artistry, as envisioned by a quartet of prestigious Italian design houses. Oversized, contemporary guestrooms occupy the hotel tower’s 27th to 39th floors, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping vistas of the city and Saigon River. The property’s signature style extends to the road, too, thanks to the luxury house cars available to guests, including Bentleys, Mercedes, and Rolls Royces. Rates from $290/night
6. Club Med Finolhu Villas, Maldives
(Courtesy: Club Med)
Opening January 2015
The adults-only, sustainability-minded Club Med Finolhu Villas enters pure dreamscape territory, with a 52-villa private island resort in the midst of the Maldives that manages to one-up the coveted oceanfront resort experience, with additional ocean-top offerings. Thirty luxe over-water villas come positioned atop the Indian Ocean, granting direct access to the sea, with private pools and terraces combined with the services of a personal butler to cater to guests’ every whim. Enjoy included-in-the-rates activities like snorkeling and kayaking, live music, outdoor flicks, and fine dining; or indulge in pampering at the Club Med Spa by ILA (treatments are additional).
Rates from $627 per person, per night
7. Hard Rock Hotel Dubai Marina
(Courtesy: Hard Rock Hotel Dubai)
Opening summer 2015
In this boundary-pushing desert city, nothing’s too over the top. Enter Dubai’s newest accommodations, the Hard Rock Hotel Dubai Marina, set to unfold within the mixed-use Marina 101, which will, upon completion at 101 floors, mark the world’s tallest residential building. The 281-room Hard Rock Hotel will make up the structure’s first 33 stories, with a Hard Rock-branded lounge atop its 101st floor, complete with live musical entertainment. The brand’s first project in the Middle East, the hotel will also tout other hard-rockin’ amenities like a Rock Spa, “The Sound of Your Stay” music amenity program, and plenty of music memorabilia on hand.
8. Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
Opening spring 2015
Upscale, Asian-inspired hotel brand Mandarin Oriental will introduce the group’s first resort in 2015, unfolding outside of bustling Marrakech in a landscaped patch of olive groves fringed by the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Well-heeled guests bunk down in one of 54 private riad-style villas, trimmed with pools, hot tubs, open-air showers, and private areas for sunbathing and alfresco dining (seven additional suites come with their own rooftop plunge pool). The remainder of the palatial resort includes no fewer than five on-site eateries and a spa equipped with a traditional hammam, while Marrakech’s legendary walled medina quarter is just a five-minute drive away.
Rates from $930/night
9. Hotel Mount Stephen, Montréal
(Courtesy: Hotel Mount Stephen)
Opening fall 2015
Exclusive 1920s-era social club Mount Stephen Club will take on new life in 2015 as one of Montréal’s leading luxury hotels. The soon-to-launch Hotel Mount Stephen reimagines the historic club’s neoclassical architecture and heritage status to incorporate a hotel restaurant, two lobby bars, an urban spa and fitness center, along with meeting rooms and event spaces. A new adjoining tower will propose 90 all-suite guestrooms, featuring sleek modern decor and floor-to-ceiling windows; some units also boast private terraces.
10. The South Beach, Singapore
The South Beach (Courtesy: Singapore Tourism Board)
Opening late 2015
Singapore is busily slinging inspired public spaces and futuristic architecture, with this Asian capital’s soon-to-launch The South Beach hotel, conceptualized by French designer Philippe Starck, marking the latest wow-factor development in its forward-pushing cityscape. Innovative architectural firms Foster + Partners and Aedas will construct the 654-room, luxury skyscraper, with features to include a duo of rooftop “sky gardens,” and eco-friendly touches like solar paneling and tiered green canopies used to harvest rainwater.