2013’s Top 5 Hotel Openings

March 5, 2013

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Top Hotel Openings of 2013

Traveling is one of my passions and I am always thrilled when I stumble upon exotic locales and new, luxury accommodations. This year there are several phenomenal properties opening that will be sure to delight any savvy traveler’s palette and I have rounded up my top 5 destinations for you to dream about.

1. Banyan  Tree Kerala (Now open)

Banyan Tree Kerala Resort

If you are looking for a remote, private luxury than look no further than the Banyan Tree Kerala, located in Nedithurthu (halfway between Kochi and Alleppey – in India). The concept is one resort, one island and privileged guests are welcomed in the most dramatic of entrances as they sail into the lobby of the hotel through tranquil backwaters. This is the first property for Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts in this area and is set up as a luxury all-pool villa resort – how dreamy! Not being a big fan of hotels so to speak, I prefer to vacation in private villas, this property is right up my alley.

What can guests expect: 59 villas, each with two private pools and unobstructed water views, Banyan Tree’s first spa with an Ayuvedic center making it a prime wellness destination, a houseboat for customized journeys of the backwaters, an all-day restaurant, kid’s club, gym and four beautiful meeting rooms.

To view the property’s website or to book now click Here

2. Four Seasons Lion Palace St. Petersburg (Open Spring 2013)

Four Seasons Lions Palace

For over a year now, fans of Four Seasons properties and avid travelers have been waiting with breath that is baited for this restoration of the 19th century Lobanov-Rostovsky Palace as it’s transformed into the brand’s first hotel property in Russia. The beauty and history of Imperial Russia will become undoubtedly fashionable and updated with the Four Seasons luxurious design and amenities. The property is situation just two blocks from the Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace in St. Petersburg and the building is flanked by two stone lions, which were mentioned in Alexander Puskin’s “The Bronze Horsemen” poem dating back to 1833 – which is how the hotel got it’s name. Opening has been postponed until sometime in Spring 2013, so savvy travelers still have to wait for it’s unveiling.

What can guests expect: 177 5-star luxury guest rooms, which will include 26 suites with beautiful views of Saint Issac’s Cathedral, Aleksandrovsky Garden and the Landmark Admiralty, two uber trendy “see and be seen” restos, a four-story spa housed in an original courtyard and a glass-roofed winter garden.

To view the property’s image gallery and stay updated on opening dates click Here

3. The Langham Chicago (Open Summer 2013)

Langham Chicago

Chicago is one of my fave North American cities to visit and I was thrilled when I heard that Langham Hospitality Group was bringing it’s flare and euro aesthetic to the “Windy City” at one of the city’s most famous downtown landmarks, the Mies Van der Rohe building. If you’re unfamiliar with the Langham brand – then you better get with it kids…they are known for owning and managing properties with historic value that are in synergy with it’s luxury profile – The Langham Boston, which was formerly a bank; Langham London, London Town’s original grand hotel opened by the Prince of Wales back in 1865 and the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, that was built back in 1907 by a railroad magnate. Langham’s latest property will be housed in a 52 story building that was last designed by Van der Rohe and currently known the Chi-Town locals as the IBM building. Keeping to the historic thread amongst the company and like the rest of their properties, it was declared a landmark in 2008.

What guests can expect: 316 rooms starting at 525 sqft with superb views over the river, full service bar/lounge/resto which will match the other Langham properties Michelin star winning restaurants, Chuan Spa; the group’s award winning wellness retreat based on the founding principles of traditional Chinese medicine boasting 9,000 sqft and steps to leisure cruising on the river jetty.

To view the property’s image gallery and stay updated on opening dates click Here

4. Makal Resort (Now Open)

Mukul Resort

So clearly Nicaragua is now on my bucket list – never thought I would be saying that…but if you check out the resort’s website, you will not be second guessing my decision. I’m literally biting my nails to the cuticle to stop myself from grabbing my Visa and booking a one week stay. This brand new luxury boutique hotel and spa is located in Guacalito de la Isla on a 1,670 acre private beach community in the Emerald Coast. Mukul, which is the Mayan word for “secret” is the vision of Nicaraguan entrepreneur Don Carlos Pellas and the property’s designers include Jeff Jensen of HKS Hills Glazer Architects, Frank Butler and Song Chia of FAB Studios, SWA Landscape Architects and Paul Duesing Partners Interior Designers – their resort projects consist of celebrity favourites Las Ventanas al Paraiso and Palmilla One & Only Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Rosewood Mayakoba and Tucker’s Point Club in Bermuda…pretty impressive portfolio if you ask me!

What guests can expect: 37 accommodations; all with private staff, pool and ocean views, a beach club with dining & lounge spaces, Spa Mukul which as 6 private spa treatment casitas, Guacalito Golf Course; 18 hole course designed by David McLay Kidd, 5km’s of nature trails for hiking and biking in addition to 4 miles of beach and coastline.

To view the property’s website and to make bookings click Here

5. Mandarin Oriental Shanghai (Open Summer 2013)

Mandarin Oriental Shanghai

Hong Kong based luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental will be hitting the ground in mainland China this spring. Similar to the brand’s other properties in NYC, Miami and Vegas, the hotel will continue to offer their “go-to” contemporary, glam aesthetic on the banks of the Huangpu river in the Pudong financial district surrounded by impressive skyscrapers of Lujiazui. Whether you are going for business or personal travel, guests will be impressed with the hotel’s stunning design, serene spa, world-class restaurants and the brand’s exquisite and legendary service.

What guests can expect: The property boasts 318 rooms, 44 stunning suites, a palatial Presidential suite measuring at 788 sq meters (that’s meters not sqft!), 210 serviced apartments and a private club lounge offering private check-in. Not to mention six innovative restaurants/bars, a 2,415 sq meter spa and wellness facility; which will include 13 spa suites, 2 couples suites and 2 VIP suites, indoor pool, spa boutique, wellness events & seminars and stylish meeting/events rooms.

To view the property’s website and to be the first to book online for arrival dates of June 2013 click Here

Will you be adding any of these destinations/properties to your bucket list?



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  1. Antoi says:

    These are great picks!
    I’ve never had Nicaragua on my radar, but that Mukul Resort is calling out to me and I’m feeling an odd gravitational pull. I must go. Thanks for the introduction.

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