THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
With exquisite new hotels opening around the world monthly, the variety of places to escape to has never been better. Here’s our choice of the best new kids on the luxury block
At this year’s Virtuoso Travel Week, Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch said, “Travel creates a path to human understanding and peace and allows countries to protect natural resources in a way that would not be possible without its economic contributions”. Increasingly, luxury travellers are seeking destinations that are in harmony with their values. This can range from providing inner-peace to giving them the freedom to explore, whilst also being secure in the knowledge that they are staying in a resort which pays due respect to its environment.
Here, we have highlighted seven new luxury hotels and resorts that work with the values of the discerning new customer but also offer something unique either by virtue of location, history and heritage, commitment to sustainability or a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.
Westin Miriandhoo Maldives
“Empowering a Better You™” is the philosophy of Westin Hotels & Resorts and its first Maldives-based hotel combines a commitment to wellness with sustainability. This breathtakingly unique resort is located on the previously uninhabited island of Miriandhoo - the Maldives first and only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The island is accessible by a scenic 40-minute seaplane flight or a 20-minute speedboat ride. Each of the villas and suites offer exquisite views of the Indian Ocean and come with an outdoor rainforest shower and a double roofing system to provide the last word in eco-friendly luxury.
YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island Estate
Step onto to Monkey Island, in Bray-on-Thames, and you enter a world steeped in history, that has been the haunt of royals, composers, sporting legends and writers, including Edward VII, Edward Elgar, Stirling Moss and HG Wells. The painstakingly and lovingly restored Grade-1 listed buildings on the estate offer 38 luxurious bedrooms and three deluxe suites. The interiors have been designed by award-winning New Yorkers, Champalimaud, whose work adorns iconic hotels such as The Waldorf Astoria and The Dorchester. For gastronomes, Bray is the only village on the planet with three Michelin-starred restaurants but while this is an ideal private countryside retreat, it is also just 30 miles from Central London.
Wilderness Safaris Magashi, Akagera Rwanda
Wilderness Safaris has been lavished with praise by Bloomberg for being “the Tesla of African tourism… safari trailblazers at the top of their game, leading the industry in both conservation and community work.” Overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga, the intimate and luxurious six-tent Magashi Camp is the only private access area in Akagera and boasts an expansive viewing deck. It provides a stunning location for a life-changing adventure. Akagera is home to one of Africa’s highest hippo densities as well as a healthy population of lions that were introduced by African Parks in 2015 after a 20-year absence. https://wilderness-safaris.com/
The Tsinandali Estate, A Radisson Collection Hotel
Welcome to paradise for oenophiles. The Tsinandali Estate is a total one-off, with 141 ultra-stylish guest rooms and suites set within the vineyards of Kakheti, an iconic wine region described as “the cradle of classical winemaking of Georgia”. It was here that 19th century Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, the founder of Georgian Romanticism, established the country’s oldest winery, combining Georgian and European winemaking traditions. The Estate will include an infinity rooftop pool with stunning vistas of the Caucasus Mountains and a helicopter landing spot, while the on-site vineyards will provide access to the Prince Alexander’s personal wine cellar collection. www.radissoncollection.com
Viceroy Los Cabos
Hailed as a ‘futuristic dreamscape’ by Architectural Digest, this is a hotel experience like no other. The Viceroy Los Cabos is located on the Sea of Cortés, close to the historic colonial town of San José del Cabo and skirts the white-beach waterfront of the Zona Hotelera. Elevated walkways connect the 194-rooms suites and villas, all of which front on to the ocean from this stark, white, minimalist hotel. Viceroy Los Cabos was originally designed by one of Mexico’s most celebrated architects, Miguel Angel Aragonés and visitors can hear the sound of running water throughout, in accordance with his wishes.
Six Senses, Cambodia
The Six Senses Krabey Island (created “to help people reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them”) is set across 30-acres of private land comprising of 40 luxurious pool villas just off the coast of the Kingdom of Wonder. With a choice of oceanfront settings or jungle cocoons, on-site ‘sleep ambassadors’ will help guests to achieve the perfect night’s rest. Experiences range from water activities, island hopping and boat trips. The Sis Sense Spa features wellness programmes and ancient Cambodian healing treatments for the ultimate in relaxation.
“The captivating soul of authentic Grenada will be at the forefront,” promises Silversands Grenada. Located on the Grand Anse beach, the elegant and cool all-suite resort aims to offer a luxury, “next generation Grenada” experience for the design-conscious, amid an unspoiled island, the so-called “Spice of the Caribbean”. In-house attractions include the longest outdoor infinity pool in the Caribbean (at 100 metres) and the hotel designed by acclaimed Parisian architects AW2. There is an extraordinary and diverse range of activities on offer, taking in waterfalls, scuba dives, the world’s first underwater museum, ancient rum distilleries and organic farms.
This feature first appeared in Luxury Plus magazine