A short note on methodology: the order of all the hotels on the list is not of great importance, maybe with the exception of the first few—and especially the resort we kick off with. It really is a stunner, and it deserves to be at #1.
1.Soneva Jani, Maldives
The first property on our list comes from Soneva, one of our favourite hotel brands. This resort is set to outclass all other resorts in Maldives with its sophisticated and exclusive luxury.
“Soneva’s brand of rustic chic luxury takes inspiration from wild nature and adds layers of discreet luxury.” —From Photos by Travel+Style, Soneva Kiri
In keeping with the brand’s inventive ideas and exclusive organic style, the resort will offer original villas built to the highest levels of quality, as well as world-class facilities. Constructed both over-water and on land, the Soneva Jani will be located on Medhufaru Island in Noonu atoll, 35 minutes by seaplane from Male International Airport and an hour’s speedboat trip from its sister resort, Soneva Fushi.
Opening: Set to open late 2016, though according to Sonu Shivdasani the opening day may as well be pushed to early 2017. There is still hoping! Renderings (including the leading shot at the top of the article) © Soneva
2.Amanemu, Ise-Shima National Park, Japan
Also from the pool of our favourite hotel brands comes Amanemu, the Aman Resorts’ second property in Japan (after the Aman Tokyo opened in late 2014)—and the chain’s first hot spring resort. Twenty-four suites and four villas will be designed in an elegant style influenced by ryokans, Japan’s traditional bathing retreats. Amanemu will be located on the shores of Ago Bay in the Ise Shima National Park. High-speed rail link should provide access from Tokyo.
Opening: March 2016. Photos © Amanresorts
3.Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles
Sometimes it happens. These things take time: the resort openings get delayed—and this is the case with Zil Pasyon. We featured it last year as our pick for the most anticipated hotel openings—and here we are, returning to the subject again. Thankfully, it looks like the new Six Senses resort in the Seychelles is finally ready to open its doors in June 2016. Phew!
Opening: Scheduled for June 1, 2016. Renderings © Six Senses Resorts & Spas
4.Alila Koh Russey, Cambodia
This new eco resort will be the first ‘Villas’ type resort from Alila outside Bali. With magnificent views and exclusive beach access on the pristine Koh Russey island, Alila Villas Koh Russey is set to become the top destination for the discerning traveller discovering Cambodia’s unspoilt coast.
Opening: 2016. Renderings © Alila Hotels and Resorts
5.The St. Regis Vommuli Resort, Maldives
Maldives as a destination continues to attract the top hotel chains and this year St. Regis gets on the action. Vommuli Resort opens on the private island in the Dhaalu Atoll, a 40-minute seaplane ride southwest from Malé, and will offer all the latest in contemporary design and luxury, including spa, infinity pool, state-of-the-art fitness and diving centre—as well as three speciality restaurants.
Opening: September 1, 2016. Renderings © Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
6.The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi, Malaysia
Ritz-Carlton this year comes to Langkawi, offering a serene escape among manicured gardens and a lush tropical rainforest. Guests will enjoy private cove and a beach washed by the crystal clear waters of the Andaman Sea. This luxury resort will have 132-rooms and 42 romantic villas, and it will have plenty of attractions for families with children.
Opening: 2016. Renderings © The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
7.The Highlands Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
This truly unique new camp of only seven guest “rooms” wows with spherical creations as if straight from the sketchbook of Buckminster Fuller. Built on the edge of Tanzania’s wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater, at almost 3000m above sea level, the Highlands is the newest addition to the Asilia Africa portfolio of camps and lodges in Kenya and Tanzania. Guests will certainly enjoy their tented domes thanks to wood-burning fireplaces, en suite bathroom and luxurious furnishings—and the immersive views over the ancestral Serengeti landscape.
Opening: March 2016. Renderings © Asilia Africa
8.Six Senses Bhutan, Bhutan
Another truly unique proposition comes from Six Senses Bhutan. It’s not a single hotel or a lodge: it’s a journey. To showcase the magical Kingdom of Bhutan Six Senses created five properties, offering guests an opportunity to experience the stunning scenery and monuments of this wondrous destination. Eighty-two guest suites are distributed between five small lodges in Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro.
Opening: late 2016. Renderings © Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas
9.Meghauli Serai Lodge by Taj, Nepal
Chitwan National Park in Nepal is a jungle-filled haven of wildlife, where you may encounter elephants, sloth bears, tigers, leopards, countless bird species, as well as the endangered one-horned rhinos and gharials (a local fish-eating crocodile). This is the area where Taj Safaris from India will be launching a new luxury lodge, on the banks of the Rapti River—with 29 villas and suites overlooking the Himalayas and Terai grasslands.
Opening: late 2016. Renderings © TAJ Safaris
10.Moskito Island British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
This is Sir Richard Branson’s second private island escape in the British Virgin Islands, launched as part of his luxurious portfolio of Virgin Limited Edition. The Branson Estate on Moskito Island features eleven bedrooms for at least twenty-two guests distributed among three villas: Headland House, Mangrove Villa and Beach Villa. Guests will enjoy the infinity pool, hot tub, helipad, swim-up bar and tennis pavilion and all the other services you’d expect from a luxury hotel.
Opening: early 2016. Photo © Virgin Limited Edition