World’s best luxury hotels: Finest new launches in 2018

If you’re making year-end holiday plans, why not stay at some of world’s newest hotels. From the picture-perfect Mykonos to Manhattan’s busy streets, 2018 has seen some sensational hotel debuts. We pick the year’s finest new launches from across the world. So, whether you’re heading East or West, you’re sorted


W, Brisbane


feel the ‘Brissy’ vibe in one of Australia’s new-age hotels that is a fitting tribute to this sun-soaked city’s new found energy and eclectic charm. Located on the edge of the Brisbane river in the commercial epicentre of Queensland’s busiest city, the W is mighty close to the city’s major attractions like the Gallery of Modern Art and Botanic Gardens. The design vision of Aussie firm Nic Graham and Associates takes cues from the Brisbane River — the entrance staircase is lined with timber river reeds. W Signature experiences like the MixBar and the WET Deck — where you can grab a drink just after a dip in the pool, add to the cool vibe. And then there’s Three Blue Ducks, the epitome of modern Australian dining.

Hotel National, Paris


you’re presented with a range of tester cards, you spritz the scent and then take your pick. Except this is not a fragrance store but the Herbarium bar fronted by Italian mixologist Oscar Quagliarini. This multi-sensory experience has quickly become one of Paris’ most buzzed bars and is one of the standout experiences at this intimate hotel that’s walking distance from the Louvre and Notre Dame. The hotel’s location in Marais gives you easy access to the city’s trendiest hotspots. Envisioned by designer Raphael Navot, this hotel is understated Parisian chic at its best.

Raffles Maldives, Meradhoo


Southern Maldives is truly a jetsetter’s paradise. Raffles’ first hotel in the region is far from the beaten track, allowing you to truly get away. Choose from 21 island villas and 16 ocean villas with private pools. Thoughtful touches include butlers and private chefs on call aside from a choice of three restaurants. Yapa, the sunset bar serves beverages from Japan and South America. Maldives is a diver’s paradise and you can explore the region’s fascinating marine life and coral reef from a PADI-certified diving centre. That’s not the only outdoor option, you can choose from yoga and a range of water sports.

Four Seasons Desroches Island,




a 35-minute flight away from Mahe is one of Seychelles’ most idyllic beach getaways. Tucked away in a steep jungle that overlooks a private beach that runs for almost nine miles. Desroches is one of the most remote islands within the Seychelles and this resort is at the southern tip. A lighthouse was constructed to be the backdrop of the resort’s breathtaking beachside dining venue. But the best setting for a romantic meal could be your room — the resort’s villas come with infinity pools, while the white sandy beach below the resort is equally calming. This is the perfect beach address for couples and families alike.

Alila Villas Koh Russey, Cambodia


the ideal detour after you go back in time to the Angkor Wat Complex in Siem Reap. Koh Russey or Bamboo Island on the Cambodian coast is not too far from Siem Reap and provides the perfect contrast to Cambodia’s famous temples. Khmer design elements and an abundance of green spaces come together in Singapore architect Chioh-Hui Goh’s vision for this property. You can choose from lounging in the private pool in your villa or head down to the sunset bar at the beach front infinity pool for sundowners. There’s more than one unwind option — from the Spa Alila to the Beach Shack where fresh seafood is always on the menu.

Branco, Mykonos


If you’re seeking to be one with the elements on your next vacay to Mykonos, you may not need to look further. A contemporary take on Myconian architecture, Branco sits at the edge of one of the island’s most stunning beaches and is crafted almost exclusively with natural materials and earthy tones. You might end up spending all your evenings at the beach bar that’s helmed by one of the country’s most creative mixologists. The spa treatments that include a massage with tiger clam shells ensure you’ll be in good hands for the rest of the day.

One and Only Nyungwe House, Rwanda


SET AMONGST the tea plantations of Gisakura on the edge of Nyungwe National park, is Rwanda’s most charming new retreat. The Nyungwe National Park is one of the last mountain rainforest habitats in Africa and is spread over 1020 sq. km. of rainforest, bamboo, swamps and grassland. The luxury lodge offers an engaging experience from interactions with locals, to picnics in the wild to encounters with exotic birds and African wildlife. You can explore remote trails of the national park by mountain bike and then chill out in your two bedroom suite with an open-air jacuzzi.

Nobu Hotel Marbella, Spain


LOCATED ALONG the upscale Golden Mile in Southern Spain and within easy reach from the sandy beaches and the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean. The creamy tones and light wood in the rooms add to the coastal chic. The hotel overlooks La Plaza, Marbella’s hotspot — a host of engaging epicurean experiences are in the vicinity. Hotel guests get priority seating and VIP access to Bobu and La Suite, Marbella’s most exclusive club. Cold booster shots and mocktails elevated with electrolytes are de rigueur at the private Nobu pool. You can also sample Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s fabled signatures that include the black cod miso.

Public Hotel, New York City


Ian Schrager can take credit for the boutique hotel concept. The Public is a bold new vision for a luxury hotel, one that has been designed by Herzog and de Meuron, the renowned Swiss design firm. You’re greeted by the hotel’s showstopper — neon-lit escalators, that sets the tone. That’s one way to reach the destination restaurant managed by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who’s had a profound impact on NYC’s contemporary dining scene. The hotel is full of wonderful surprises that include a concealed garden with a magnolia tree and a hip rooftop bar. That’s not the only spot with brilliant views of the Manhattan skyline, many of the hotel’s rooms offer views that other hotels would kill for.

Amanyangun, Shanghai


saved from demolition, Ming and Qing dynasty dwellings were painstakingly reassembled, brick by brick, to create a unique hotel experience. Located on the outer fringes of Shanghai, China’s fourth Aman property is encircled by an ancient camphor forest and features 13 villas and 24 one-bedroom suites. Australian architect Kerry Hill worked on restoring these old structures and re-planting these trees and envisioned a minimalist design language for the resort with plenty of wood, stone and bamboo. There’s a luxurious spa, a given at an Aman resort and a choice of dining venues. You’re most likely to gravitate towards Lazhu with local flavours and managed by Shanghainese Chef Steve Miao.


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