Today in my lowdown on the hottest new hotels for 2014, it’s:
AMANO’I, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam
Vietnam has been on the travel radar for a while now, but over the past few years its backpacking image has been elevated with a new wave of luxury properties opening their doors. One of the most exceptional is the new Amano’i property, by Aman Resorts. Overlooking Vinh Hy Bay, north east of Ho Chi Minh City, it is found on the edges of Nui Chua National Park, a unique conservation site. While the surroundings are dramatically impressive, the hotel boasts its usual pared-back design, as conceived by founder Adrian Zecha and which makes Aman aficionados keep on returning. The resort takes it influence from traditional Vietnamese architectural styles and is based around a series of pavilions, including a communal hall, a library and a boutique selling Vietnamese lacquerware. Individual guest pavilions have separate living and sleeping areas as well as timber sundecks, which give panoramic views over the Bay or National Park. A sprawling spa, set beside a lotus filled lake, is outstanding. Save treatments for the end of the day, though, as here it’s all about exploring the richly diverse area – from snorkeling in the secret coves to trekking expeditions within the Nui Chua National Park.