Looking for a brand new luxury hotel to stay in when you can travel again? We round up the hottest new luxury hotels you should know about, opening their doors around the world for this first time this year.
Aman Kyoto, Japan
Hotel group Aman quietly opened its third property in Japan just before the start of 2020. The hotel is located outside Kyoto’s bustling city centre, in a secret terraced garden ensconced in a 32-hectare pine, maple and cedar-swathed forest. For his final project with Aman, the late Australian architect Kerry Hill created a series of standalone pavilions, their dark, slatted timber exteriors slotting discreetly into the wooded landscape. The 24 guest rooms and pair of two-bedroom villas take their cues from the layout and minimal aesthetics of a traditional ryokan, albeit with dramatic floor-to- ceiling windows that frame the leafy views outside.
If your legs are weary after a day spent exploring the city’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the nearby Kinkaku-ji temple, head to the Aman Spa and wallow in the traditional onsen baths, filled with natural water from a local spring, or indulge in treatments that use ingredients such as Kyoto green tea or local sake. Follow this with a bite to eat in the Living Pavilion, where a mix of perfectly executed Western dishes and home- cooked Kyoto obanzai-style cuisine is served against a background of handmade raku tile panels, by local artist Shigeo Yoshimura, and beyond that, a serene garden. Words by Lauren Ho.
Islas Secas, Panama
If you've never ventured to Panama before, Islas Secas is as good a reason as any to make you visit central America now. Opened in the last few weeks of 2019, Islas Secas is a privately owned archipelago made up of 14 petite islands in the Gulf of Chiriquí. The luxurious eco resort is powered completely by natural energy and has left 75% of the archipelago undeveloped and open to the wilderness of Panama. Guests can enjoy waking up in bamboo-finished villas that overlook the Pacific Ocean, spending their days surfing, whale watching and diving in the warm waters. There's also a handy landing strip for visitors arriving by private jet or chopper.
For additional privacy, the resort is now offering a single group up to 24 guests the chance to book the entire resort to themselves - for a price tag of $18,000 a night.
Hotel Le Coucou Méribel, France
The sister site to Maisons Pariente hotels Crillon le Brave in Provence and Lou Pinet in Saint Tropez, Hotel Le Coucou Méribel opened for the first time during the 2019/2020 ski season. With 55 suites and two private chalets designed by Pierre Yovanovitch, the rustic-style boutique sits next door to the slopes of Le Rond-Point des Pistes. Combining traditional mountain design with panoramic views over snowy peaks, Le Coucou Méribel should be on your short-list if you're already thinking about which ski resort to visit for your winter holidays. There's two restaurants on offer, a spa with multiple swimming pools and a sauna, plus the concierge team are on hand to organise a range of tailor-made mountain experiences, from horse-drawn sleigh rides to snowmobile tours.
Hôtel Particulier Villeroy, France
Adding to an ultra-exclusive list of properties in Courchevel, St Barths, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and London, Le Collection’s latest outpost is in Paris’s 8th arrondissement, right in the middle of the city’s Golden Triangle. Hôtel Particulier Villeroy is housed in a former mansion, built in 1908 by Ernest Rahir for Nicolas Lucien Villeroy (son of Maurice, of Villeroy & Boch fame). Discreetly blending into quiet Rue Jean-Goujon, it looks – and feels – much more a home than a hotel, targeting guests who value privacy and want to feel like residents rather than visitors.
The Restaurant, called Trente-Trois, is for residents only and is led by Michelin-starred chef Sébastien Sanjou. A 24-hour butler service is also available to guests, and there's a spa hidden in the basement, which uses products by L’Officine Universelle Buly. Words by Lucia Ferigutti.
Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa, Italy
Puglia's latest boutique hotel, Paragon 700, had its grand opening set back by COVID-19 but finally flung its doors open for this first time in June. Just 11 artfully decorated rooms are housed within the restored red palace, contrasting colourfully with the whitewashed buildings of the surrounding village of Ostuni. Within the red brick façade there's a lush garden and swimming pool, a restaurant headed by chef Giovanni Cerroni, the protégé of Michelin-starred Paulo Airaudo, and a spa to boot. Guests can also expect curated experiences tailor-made to their preferences, from day trips on the hotel’s private yacht, to wine tastings, motorbike tours and cooking classes to fully embrace the local culture.
Given it's petite size, it's more than feasible for guests to consider taking over the entire hotel to themselves for an ultra exclusive summer holiday.