A number of new luxury hotels are opening in 2016, from Japan to Italy to the Caribbean to Hawaii. Although there are many tempting options, my clients are particularly interested in the following, which I consider the top 4 luxury hotel openings of 2016:
1. Amanemu: now Open
A new Aman Resort is cause for celebration among discerning travelers, and Amanemu is particularly distinctive, as Aman’s first natural hot springs resort, located by Ago Bay in Ise-Shima National Park, Japan. There are just 24 suites and four 2 bedroom villas, intimate even for an Aman, making for a highly personalized experience.
Guests at Amanemu are just 1 hour away from the revered Ise Grand Shrine, and UNESCO World Heritage designated pilgrimage trails also dot the landscape, an excellent way to experience the views and natural beauty the area is known for. The Amanemu Spa is the perfect way to soothe sore muscles with its large central onsen fed by local hot springs, as well as two private spa pavilions with indoor and outdoor onsen and a watsu pool.
Dining is a highlight, thanks to the region’s abundant local produce, fresh seafood such as spiny lobster and abalone, and Matsusaka beef, a particularly succulent variety of Wagyu beef. Both traditional Japanese cuisine and international favorites are prepared, and an impressive international wine list and Japanese sakes are on offer to complement guests’ dining experience.
2. Ritz Paris: opening June 2016
While this is technically a reopening, The Ritz Paris at 15 Place Vendome is iconic, having set luxury standards when Cesar Ritz first opened it with his partner, Chef August Escoffier in 1898, and hosted royalty and celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway and Coco Chanel, who lived at the hotel for 30 years. Having been closed since 2012 for an extensive renovation, the hotel’s June 2016 opening is highly anticipated.
For those for whom money is no object, the hotel’s grandest suite, the Suite Imperiale, is listed as a Monument of France. It’s over 2650 square feet, with two bedrooms, a grand salon, dining room, 20 feet high ceilings, 18th century paneling, and views of the Place Vendome.
3. Four Seasons Kyoto: opening TBD
Kyoto is must-visit destination in Japan, yet it badly lacks luxury hotel accommodation. The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto opened in 2014 and is very good, but somewhat far from the main sights. The Four Seasons Kyoto will solve that, as it will be in the Higashiyama district, close to Kiyomizu Temple, Toyokuni Shrine, the Kyoto National Museum, and other landmarks. The hotel will offer 124 rooms and suites, a swimming pool, fitness center, spa, and restaurants.
4. Park Hyatt St Kitts: expected to Open November 2016 Updated (September 2016): opening now revised to 15th April 2017
Banana Bay in St. Kitts has long been a beautiful spot, but with few amenities. That changes with the new Park Hyatt St Kitts, which will offer 126 spacious rooms and suites. Many of the suites will include private rooftop pools with lovely views of the Caribbean and the island of Nevis. In addition to scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing and other water sports, guests will be able to enjoy a Tom Fazio designed 18 hole championship golf course, the resort’s outdoor infinity pool, and massages and body treatments at the spa.
Which 2016 luxury hotel opening are you most looking forward to?
Hilary Stockton is the CEO at TravelSort.