Get ready to be impressed by this year's hottest accommodation offerings. From eco escapes to lagoon lodgings and desert digs, 2018/19's most exciting hotel bookings are all about adventure, nostalgia and romance...
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The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Whether you’re looking for scenery straight out of Game of Thrones or you’re just seeking an indulgent spa getaway, you might want to pack your bags for Iceland. Opening in April, the highly anticipated Retreat at Blue Lagoon will combine contemporary Scandinavian design with one of the world’s most amazing natural attractions, the Blue Lagoon. Built in the heart of an 800-year-old, moss-covered lava flow, The Retreat will feature a superb underground spa, plus 62 sleek guest suites surrounded by the lagoon’s famed mineral-rich waters.
Adding to the mix of fabulous offerings, a stylish restaurant will reinvent Iceland’s culinary heritage and serve creative dishes that celebrate sensational local produce. Foodies, book yourselves The Chef’s Table and watch talented pros prepare each dish of your seven-course degustation right in front of your eyes. Or, for something a little more intimate, cap off a day of soaking in the lagoon with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by the toasty fire at the restaurant’s lounge.
The Rosemont Hotel & Residences Dubai, UAE
From its skyscrapers to its man-made islands, everything in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai is a matter of go big or go home. So a super-glam 53-storey hotel with its own 7,000-square-metre rainforest situated right in the heart of the CBD wouldn’t seem entirely out of the ordinary here.
Opening later this year, The Rosemont Hotel & Residences Dubai will be home to a range of mind-boggling features, including a pool-with-a-view on the 26th floor that will impress serious thrill-seekers. Cantilevered over and wrapped around the edge of one of the hotel’s two towers, the impressive Sky Pool will boast a glass-bottom floor that’s lit from the bottom to look like the night sky, a pool bar and pretty spectacular views of the Gulf. Of course, the main attraction at the Rosemont will be the lush rainforest on its top floor. Set to feature waterfalls, streams, adventure trails and a sand-less beach, the rainforest will also include an advanced sensory rain system to create the sensation of being surrounded by light rainfall without actually getting wet. Only in Dubai.
Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia
There’s glamping, and then there’s this dreamy hideaway, opening in late 2018. Set along a 1.5-kilometre river in southwest Cambodia, Shinta Mani Wild is a luxury camp experience like no other. With a focus on protecting threatened wilderness and creating sustainable opportunities for the local people, the camp will invite guests to help preserve Cambodia’s natural gifts during their stay.
Couples can explore the pristine waterways of South East Asia’s last estuarine ecosystem aboard a luxury expedition boat for an adventure-filled getaway, or for something a little more hands-on, you can also join researchers in the north to check for camera traps and study the dense forest. Upping the romance are the sixteen 100-square-metre tents that are decked out with all the mod-cons to provide a fantastic setting for a couples’ escape. Perched over swift moving waters, each tent commands magnificent views. There’s also a restaurant sitting above a waterfall and full-service spa.
One of the best things about visiting Paris is immersing in its illustrious history and culture. Reopening its fabled doors in (France’s) spring 2018 following a four-year renovation, the iconic Lutetia will allow guests to experience all this without leaving the hotel. Located in Paris’ St.Germain-de-Pres area, Lutetia has welcomed some pretty big names since originally opening in 1910. Picasso and Matisse took up residence here, while James Joyce actually wrote Ulysses at the hotel with a little help from his friend Ernest Hemingway. Charles de Gaulle and Miles Davis were also regulars, and rumour has it the Paris jazz craze got its beginnings in the hotel’s bar in the 1950s.
This year, Lutetia’s 47 new suites and seven signature suites (including two penthouse suites with private terraces and 360-degree city views) will offer the same level of luxury that attracted such famous faces. A new holistic wellness centre with a 17-metre long swimming pool and dining options led by renowned chefs will make your Parisian getaway simply magnifique!
Anantara Tozeur Resort, Tunisia
Movie magic and romantic fantasies meet in the desserts of Tozeur – and it’s also where you’ll find a new offering from luxury resort chain Anantara early 2019. Taking inspiration from its setting, Anantara Tozuer Resort will offer an oasis (literally) of luxury for couples exploring the spellbinding destination.
Centring around a lush pool area, 93 exquisite guest rooms, villas and pool villas will provide guests with a lavish home-away-from-home for their Saharan desert adventures. The shoot location of the original Star Wars film and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tozeur is also renowned for its architecture and sprawling palm-tree fields, making it an incredible place for a romantic escape. Adding to it all, Anantara’s all-day-dining Tunisian restaurant, traditional-style souk and luxury spa (with its own hammam) will round out the whole five-star desert getaway idyll.
The Tasman, Australia
Hot on the travel radar right now, Tasmania is a couples’ heaven. Blessed with unbelievable scenery, a renowned food and drinks scene, and fascinating history, its capital of Hobart will see its first Luxury Collection hotel, The Tasman, open in 2019.
Finding its place in a group of re-purposed heritage buildings in Hobart’s harbourside, the elegant hotel will host 128 guest rooms and suites with carefully restored historical features, including original windows, floorboards and fireplaces. The building’s original Georgian and Art Deco architectural style will also be continued throughout The Tasman, creating a sophisticated setting for a new restaurant and whisky bar – ideal for sampling the local produce. And you’ll want to do plenty of that, with the Salamenca Market nearby, as well as the acclaimed MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).
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