2020’s Most Anticipated Hotel Openings
From a resort complex in Malaysia to a “super boutique hotel” in central London to a 14-room hideaway surrounded by the gardens of Versailles, there’s no shortage of “see it to believe it” concepts opening in the new year. Here are the hotspots discerning globe-trotters will be clamoring to check into in 2020 and beyond.
Arctic Bath (Sweden)
Estimated opening: January
For northern lights chasers, there may not be a more perfect place to visit this winter than a wellness retreat floating in the middle of a river in the Swedish Lapland. There are only 12 minimalist guest rooms (three suites and three cabins on the shore and six cabins on the water), but the main lodge—a stunning architectural marvel that looks like a massive bonfire—houses the spa facilities: several saunas, a hot bath, treatment rooms, and an outdoor cold-water pool.
Hotel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf (St. Barth’s)
Estimated opening: March
Recovery from 2017’s Hurricane Irma is ongoing with many resorts reopening after extensive renovations. But there are new players, too. On the centrally located beaches of Gustavia, Barrière Group brings its French flair with 23 suites and bungalows that come with private plunge pools—not to mention the island’s must-have reservation: a restaurant from celebrated Paris-based chef Pierre Gagnaire.
One&Only Desaru Coast (Malaysia)
Estimated opening: March
Malaysia’s lush Desaru Coast is poised to become one of Southeast Asia’s premier resort destinations, thanks to the unveiling of One&Only’s secluded 128-acre paradise, nestled between the sea and the jungle. The brand’s entry into the region is fully equipped to keep guests thoroughly entertained: There’s a beach club, several dining concepts (from Malaysian to Mediterranean), and a sprawling destination spa tethered to a holistic wellness program. More active-minded travelers can take on water sports, golfing, guided hikes, and even treks to see white-handed gibbons in their natural habitat.
Commodore Perry Estate (Austin, Texas)
Estimated opening: April
Auberge Resorts Collection’s first urban project is a transformed 10,800-square-foot Jazz Age mansion, first constructed to host glamorous parties. Just a few miles north of downtown Austin, the genteel hotel is made up of two “houses.” The mansion has five suites, while 42 guest rooms and seven terrace suites are tucked into the purpose-built courtyard-style inn. They sit on a beautifully manicured 10-acre property, complete with a wedding-ready chapel, a working farm, and members-only club for Austin’s movers and shakers.
Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle (Versailles, France)
Estimated opening: May
Is there a more iconic palace than Versailles? This spring, opulence takes on new meaning when Le Grand Contrôle opens to the public. The 14 over-the-top rooms and suites spread across three buildings facing L’Orangerie will transport guests to Marie Antoinette’s 18th century. Period pieces were brought in to decorate every corner. Think: four-poster beds, heavy drapes, larger-than-life chandeliers. The soon-to-be-named restaurant from Alain Ducasse and pampering treatments at the spa by Valmont are more modern-day indulgences.
The Londoner (Leicester Square, London)
Estimated opening: June
In the heart of its theater district, London will welcome a type of accommodation never seen before: a super boutique hotel. Canadian design firm Yabu Pushelberg made sure that, through the interiors, the intimate atmosphere that boutique addresses typically deliver has been achieved. But its 16 stories are packed with grand ambition, too. There are 350 rooms and six dining venues, including a rooftop hangout serving Japanese food. An underground level will host two private screening rooms, as well as a spa and gym, pool, nail salon, and barbershop.
Estimated opening: July
Welcoming its first guests just weeks before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, Four Seasons’ second location in the Japanese capital could become a flagship address for the brand. Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy to deliver a striking medley of contemporary elegance and eye-catching but subtle moments of drama (cue the red-orange timber entrance and the spacious open-air terraces), this 193-room skyscraper hits all the right luxury notes: incredible views, destination dining and drinking (including a Paris-meets-Tokyo cocktail bar), and a top-floor spa with an 82-foot pool.
Explora Uyuni (Bolivia)
Estimated opening: July
The border between Bolivia and Chile marks some of South America’s most remote areas. But the Atacama Desert and the Uyuni salt flat are also some of the continent’s most beautiful destinations. Explora, which specializes in luxury adventure travel, has been servicing Atacama for years, but the introduction of this low-lying, minimalist lodge in Bolivia will allow travelers to see and do much more. Activities like biking through local villages and over the salt flat and hiking Tunupa volcano will be easier than ever.
Six Senses Fort Barwara (India)
Estimated opening: September
Sitting on the five-and-a-half acre site of a 700-year-old fort (previously owned by the Rajasthani royal family) in a village 68 miles southeast of Jaipur, this heritage pile is all about preserving history. Conservation experts were tapped to help transform palaces, temples, and gardens into a regal property with plenty of old-world panache. Six Senses’ world-famous wellness spa, all 30,000 square feet of it, will be built into the original women’s palace. Bonus: Safari drives to see Ranthambore National Park’s tiger population are offered daily.
Ambiente, a Landscape Hotel (Sedona, Ariz.)
Estimated opening: December
Touted as the first of its kind in North America, this property of 40 cube-shaped atriums not only showcases Sedona’s rugged landscape but also blends into it. Built with matte-charcoal and rusted metal, the 576-square-foot atriums are outfitted with floor-to-ceiling, bronze-tinted glass that at dusk mirrors the surrounding terrain. Each unit also comes with rooftop lounges for unobstructed views of the Coconino National Forest. Nature and outdoor activities are a huge part of the experience here, thanks to Ambiente’s proximity to nearly 100 hiking trails.
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