Why not surprise someone special with a heart-warming promise of sunshine in exotic climes? Read on to discover where you should be taking your loved ones this year.
Adding more than a touch of sleek luxury to Grenada, an island that is often overlooked in favour of its flashier neighbours, is the new Silversands resort, due to open in March 2018. The first major hotel to fling open its doors on the so-called Spice Island for 25 years, it boasts a minimalist aesthetic, courtesy of French design house AW2.
Low-level buildings house the 43 spacious suites and nine villas (choose between hillside or beach), while white-on-white interiors and simple spaces showcase the glittering landscape and ocean views beyond. Beachfront restaurants, serving global-inspired cuisine, a cigar and rum lounge, and a beach club with resident DJ marry a Caribbean laid-back sensibility with an urban vibe. Meanwhile, the chic spa will reinvigorate even the most jaded travellers with a host of authentic remedies.
Take a picture by: the most glamourous pool in the Caribbean, and the longest at 100 metres in length. Pout before you plunge, and dress to impress – this palm-fringed beauty is Instagram gold.
Dream Hollywood Hotel, LA
Check into David Rockwell’s latest project and you might just think you’ve taken a step back into Hollywood’s heyday. The New York-based architect has taken inspiration from the iconic mid-century modern architecture of Los Angeles and vamped it up with plenty of ‘wow’ concepts aimed to fill the senses.
Tying the 178-room hotel together is a novel indoor-outdoor experience – lobby walls open up to a landscaped garden path, strips of grass are found between stone floor tiling and decorative trellis work as dividers. Rooms have been designed around the colours of the sky or the desert (so expect cool blues or hot oranges) while all spaces have plenty of luxe features to elevate the feel into sumptuousness – from the shimmering silver tiles in marble bathrooms to the blue-velvet upholstered beds and custom lighting. The hotel is also home to a second opening of New York’s dramatically-styled Tao restaurant, renowned just as much for its sushi and dim sum (try the lobster wontons with shitake ginger broth) as it is for its black and blood-red interiors.
Go for drinks at: The Highlight Room, set to be LA’s newest, and coolest, hangout. The sprawling rooftop space has a retractable roof, stone bar and stunning pool overlooking the Hollywood sign.
COMO Uma Canggu, Bali
Edged by rice paddies on one side and some of the island’s best surf breaks on the other, the new hotel by COMO blends the wildness of its surroundings with the slick vision that hotelier Christina Ong’s brand is known for. Opening in February, the low-slung resort will have 119 spacious guestrooms, including 12 glamourous penthouses, each with a rooftop pool. The Asian-Italian look is courtesy of leading designers Koichiro Ikebuchi and Paola Navone. Expect floor-to-ceiling windows, which make the most of the endless ocean views, private courtyards and outdoor showers. Adding to the barefoot-chic feel is the dining, which is a modern take on a traditional ‘surf shack’ with a focus on ‘new world cuisine’ – think Australian, Asian and European flavours with locally-sourced ingredients. A COMO Shambhala spa will also endorse the laid-back atmosphere with Asian-inspired therapies, yoga and pilates classes.
Try your hand at: surfing – the hotel has collaborated with Australia’s Tropicsurf – who will cater for all levels of water babies wanting to ride the swell on Echo Beach, where it is located and renowned as an iconic surf beach. It’s far out.
Zuri Zanzibar, Tanzania
Want to get away from it all? Then head to the new beachfront bolthole opening on the north-west shores of Zanzibar’s Spice Island, Unguja, and soak up the totally tropical taste. Built around a lush spice garden at its centre, complete with relaxation pods and meditation areas, you’ll wake up to dreamy Indian Ocean views, and breakfast in peace on your own terrace. As a member of Design Hotels, you can expect artfully curated rooms, with traditional African touches, including locally-sourced furniture, beautifully carved doors and local art. From traditional Swahili cooking classes, using many of the spices grown in the garden, to swimming with turtles and dolphins, the eco-conscious resort promises an immersive experience and plenty of breathtaking moments to write home about.
Book the: Ocean Bungalow. It may not be the highest category of room, but it is the most charming. Cosy hideaways feature beds swathed in netting which look straight out to the ocean, African murals on the walls and private Jacuzzis. Dreamy.
Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia
Book now and you’ll be one of the first guests through the doors when Six Senses opens up on the untouched island of Krabey next summer. While it is just a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Phnom Penh Airport, the region remains largely undiscovered and – until now –has largely been a best-kept secret among backpackers. Found off the coast of Sihanoukville, the archipelago has been tipped as South-East Asia’s next hot island destination, with Alila and Six Senses both opening five-star resorts in the region next year (Alila’s is located on nearby Koh Russey). With just 40 pool villas, the new offering from Six Senses will feature natural décor and plenty of pampering details (some villas even have their own mini wine cellars). The outdoor Cinema Paridiso will offer classic movies under the stars, while the hotel also has its own sleep ambassadors on tap for those wanting to truly tune out. All-day dining, a deli and an ice cream parlour will have universal appeal, while Indochine, the speciality restaurant, will include a communal dining table around a show kitchen. Spa aficionados will not be disappointed by the flagship Six Senses approach, which will combine Cambodian healing traditions, rejuvenation journeys and visiting expert practitioners.
Gaze at: the stars. The resort will have its own observatory with telescope and expert talks on astronomy and the universe, as well as stargazing sessions. Promises to be stellar.
Ritz-Carlton Langkawi, Malaysia
Inspired by the nearby traditional villages – known as Kampongs – the ancient jungle and glittering Andaman Sea, Ritz-Carlton’s new outpost in Langkawi is about as far away from a bland ‘chain’ hotel as you can get. The result? A vibrant resort that immerses travellers into the island’s culture. From the Walkway of Wishes – where guests are invited to write their wishes on a flat stone which is placed into the water fountain – to the sunrise and sunset performances of ancient tarian payang – a dance of gratitude – you can expect a seemingly endless supply of magical treats. Try the rainforest yoga, go diving in the private cove and tuck into authentic Malay cuisine in the Langawi Kitchen and the stresses of home will seem a long way away.
Zone out: in one of the spa’s unique cocoon-shaped pavilions, which float above the sea, and which are based on the intricately-woven fish traps that have used by local fishermen for centuries.
This feature is also published in the December 2017 issue of Kensington & Chelsea magazine