So many people have told me that they have had a hard time booking hotels in Europe in the next few months, especially at a reasonable price. Anecdotally, Rome is fully booked at the moment (which of course isn’t true, but that’s the way it is).
Earlier this month, I was a guest at ILTM Asia Pacific, the annual gathering of luxury tour operators in our region. Speaking to hoteliers, they confirm business is booming, despite universal staff shortages and airlines not operating at full capacity. Hyatt recently recorded its best quarter ever and large conglomerates like Accor have hundreds of new hotels in the works.
When the current travel frenzy subsides, as it should, there will be a whole host of new places to stay (even in Rome, where Rosewood, Hyatt, W, Anantara, Orient Express and Six Senses are all slated to open). In the meantime, I’ve bookmarked a few new hotels and 2023 openings in our area that look very tempting.
Anyone looking for a destination on the road less traveled will book a room at Nepal’s Shinta Mani Mustang, a new lodge from Shinta Mani Hotels, the Bill Bensley Collection, due to open in March 2023. Located in one of the most unspoilt regions of world and bordered by the Tibetan Plateau, the 29-suite lodge sits amidst some of the world’s tallest snow-capped peaks, including the formidable Mount Nilgiri. A collaboration with local Nepalese Sherpa group, Shinta Mani Mustang continues the brand of ethical and sustainable luxury that sets Bill Bensley’s work apart. See shintamani.com
Kuala Lumpur can be a difficult city to visit as the heat and urban design make it not very conducive to exploring on foot. The new Else Kuala Lumpur is located in KL’s Chinatown, the most walkable part of the city. Occupying a restored 1930s heritage building, the 49-room art deco gem plans to be an oasis in a new cultural hub, supporting local Malaysian artists, with receptionists as “guides” to the neighborhood. See slh.com/hotels/else-kuala-lumpur
In the quiet part of Bali near Pekutatan, Lost Lindenberg West Bali is a “guest collective” of the small German hotel group Lindenberg, which owns four hotels in Frankfurt. Rising from the palm treetops of the jungle, the hotel consists of a cluster of eight stylish treehouse-style rooms on towers. This cool hotel has its own surf break, restaurant with plant-based menus, communal living areas, jungle walks, and boasts “no honeymoon kitsch, no Insta-style architecture.” infinity pool, no yoga dogma”. See slh.com/hotels/lost-lindenberg
Coming soon to Sentosa Island, Singapore, the highly anticipated Raffles Sentosa, Singapore’s first all-villa hotel, occupies 100,000 square meters of tropical gardens overlooking the South China Sea. Each of the 62 large villas has its own swimming pool and terrace. Unlike the original Raffles, this is a new building, with interiors designed by the Yabul Pushelberg design team, known for their sleek landscaping and sexy lighting. Good old-fashioned service is expected of Raffles’ famous butlers. See www.raffles.com
Thai hotel group Anantara’s newest Thai resort, Koh Yao Yai Resort and Villas, opens in February 2023. Located on a beautiful island in the middle of Phang Nga Bay and accessible by speedboat from Krabi airports or of Phuket, the community is predominantly Muslim. , so the island won’t attract the drinking and party culture seen elsewhere in Thailand. The 148 ocean suites and pool villas set in coconut groves above a pristine white sand beach offer magnificent views of the limestone islets from all directions. See anantara.com/en/koh-yao-yai-Phuket
Yoga and wellness enthusiasts might want to head to Six Senses Vana India Himalayas, which is a partnership between the hotel group and the Vana Yoga Retreat, nestled in a Sal tree reserve in the lush region of Mussoorie in India, near Rishikesh, the cradle of yoga. There will be a minimum stay of three nights for a personalized program which includes Tibetan medicine, Ayurveda and complementary therapies. See sixsenses.com/en/new-openings/vana
Finally, you don’t have to travel far to stay at one of the most anticipated openings of 2023, Capella Sydney, which will make its debut in March, joining the six other international hotels in the Capella group. Capella’s philosophy is to preserve, restore and transform heritage buildings and they discovered one of Sydney’s most neglected and traveled buildings, the former Education Building on Bridge Street, designed by architect by QVB, George McRae, in 1912. The 192-room hotel will combine the original building with its arched windows and oak floors with new construction above which includes a 20-metre-long suspended swimming pool. I can not wait. See capellahotels.com/en/capella-sydney