The most exciting new hotels slated to open in the year ahead – including Leonardo DiCaprio's desert-island retreat, Burma's barefoot-chic beach hotel, and a rainforest treehouse beside the biggest waterfalls in the world.
Lutetia, Paris (Top Image)
Paris’s hotel scene has never been shinier, smarter or more exciting than it is right now. Two of its grand dames, The Ritz Paris and Hôtel de Crillon, are back burning brighter after sensational refurbs. Funky little boltholes are popping up across the city: special mention to the gorgeous Hoxton Paris, which opened last year, and to the Experimental Cocktail Club, which unveils its second Paris overnighter, Hotel des Grands Boulevards, in January.
But the 2018 opening we’re most excited about is Lutetia. Originally opened in 1910 by the Bon Marché Boucicaut family, the hotel embodied the Left Bank: James Joyce wrote Ulysses here (with Ernest Hemingway acting as occasional editor) and Picasso, Matisse, Serge Gainsbourg and Miles Davis were regulars. It will reopen in the spring as part of The Set group (Hotel Café Royal, London; The Conservatorium in Amsterdam), which has spent the past four years reviving it with the help of French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. Art Deco and Art Nouveau architectural elements will be blended with super-sharp contemporary design in the 184 rooms and suites, plus there’s the Akasha spa, a jazz bar, a cigar bar and the reimagined Luetita Brasserie overseen by Gérald Passedat, whose Marseilles restaurant Le Petit Nice holds a coveted three Michelin stars. hotellutetia.com
COMO Uma Canggu, Bali (Bottom Image)
Bali’s hipper-than-thou Canggu scene hits tipping point this year with the arrival of the ahead-of-the-curve COMO group’s latest outpost, opening in February on Echo Beach. The group is best known for its COMO Shambhala Estate, the sensational holistic hideaway at the spiritual heart of the isle near Ubud, and its new beachfront hit will be the work of Asian and Italian designers Koichiro Ikebuchi and Paola Navone. Riffing off Canggu’s deliciously laid-backed style, the hotel will be centred around the COMO Beach Club, which looks out to Echo Beach’s famous surf breaks –if you want to carve those breaks up yourself the hotel has partnered with top-notch wave-masters Tropicsurf. The 119 rooms, suites and apartments included penthouses with rooftop pools from which to survey the scene. And not forgetting its soul-soothing roots, a new COMO Shambhala Retreat will have seven treatment rooms in which to ease out board-battered muscles. comohotels.com/umacanggu
Awasi Iguazú, Argentina
On the Argentinian side of the pounding Iguazu Falls that straddle the border with Brazil, Awasi Iguazú opens its 14 wood-clad villas hidden in the trees this February. But this isn’t just about chasing waterfalls. Each villa has its own guide and four-wheel-drive vehicle and there’s a packed roster of excursions developed with renowned biologist and photographer Emilio White: boat trips to 18th-century Jesuit ruins; hikes into the Atlantic rainforest to discover its thousands of endemic plants and animals, and visit the local Guarani tribes. awasiguazu.com