The best hotel openings of 2018

From Iceland to Bali, the most exciting new places to stay this year…

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The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, Iceland

A trip to Iceland isn't complete without visiting the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. And, come April, there'll be even more reason to make a pitstop at this natural wonder when The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, Iceland's first five-star hotel, opens its doors. Built into an 800-year old lava flow and surrounded by the lagoon's steaming turquoise waters, The Retreat will be home to 62 contemporary rooms fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows and either a balcony or patio. Tapping into the same volcanic thermal waters as its neighbour, The Retreat features its own private lagoon and spa, designed for visitors to experience the "treasures of geothermal seawater".

retreat.bluelagoon.com

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(Image credit: Simon Brown)

Kettner's Townhouse, London

When Soho institution Kettner's – widely considered London's original French restaurant – closed its doors in early 2016, many thought it was the end of an era. Under the wings of the prestigious Soho House group, however, Kettner's has been given a new lease of life as a ravishing new restaurant, champagne bar and 33-bedroom guesthouse opening later this month. The design-savvy hotel group prioritised preserving the near 150-year-old history of Kettner's, with the new venue retaining many of the Grade-II listed building's original features. And with its French boudoir-inspired bedrooms – think William Morris prints, velvet headboards and antique chandeliers – it's an aesthetic that also playfully nods to Kettner's risque past. After all, it was here that King Edward VII would allegedly meet his mistress, actress Lillie Langtry, in a secret tunnel connecting Kettner's to the Palace Theatre.

kettnerstownhouse.com; image © Soho House

Seven Pines Resort, Ibiza

Come for the all-night parties, stay for the all-day luxury. In May this year, Seven Pines Resort Ibiza opens on a huge 56,000 square metre plot, nestled between a pine forest on one side and the sea on the other. The clifftop resort will feature whitewashed suites reminiscent of the island’s quintessential Ibizenco-style homes. Promising “exceptional food and beverages, a comprehensive spa and wellness offering and unparalleled discreet, personalised service” - not to mention the resort’s very own Pershing yacht which is available for you to charter, this is definitely one to keep on your radar in 2018.

7pines.com

Zuri Zanzibar, Zanzibar

When it opens in May, this design-led beachfront eco resort will offer 55 bungalows, villas and suites on the northern west shores of Unguja. The Jestico + Whiles-designed resort will sit on 350m of powder white beach and all rooms will boast views of the azure Indian Ocean. Ecology and sustainability are at the heart of the resort which will feature very strong eco credentials including the hotel’s own desalination plant with the latest ozone technology. But luxury is also high on the agenda, with five high-end dining and drinking options to keep you well fed and watered throughout your stay.

zurizanzibar.com

Joali, Muravandhoo Island, Raas Atoll, Maldives

Joali's September opening may feel a long way away, but it will be upon us before we know it, so beat the crowds and book now for this luxurious island retreat. The resort’s elegant villas offer effortless luxury, while four on-site restaurants bring inventive fusion cuisine to satisfy even the most discerning of diners. Joali takes pride in its art and design – and includes a dedicated art studio and gallery where you can pick up paints and easels to sketch your surroundings. There is also an underwater coral museum that aims to teach guests about coral degradation.

joali.com

(Image credit: MWP)

COMO Uma Canggu, Bali

Luxury hotel group COMO launches its third Bali outpost this February in the trendy yet still relatively untapped surfer's paradise of Canggu in the southern tip of the island. Situated on the legendary black sand shores of Echo Beach, COMO Uma Canggu comprises 119 contemporary rooms, suites and sprawling penthouses fitted with rooftop pools overlooking the scenic surf breaks. The hotel has partnered with Tropicsurf, specialists in the "art of luxury surfing", to provide board-based experiences suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers alike. If catching waves isn't your thing, there's a variety of traditional excursions available through the hotel, from rice paddy hikes to jungle treks and temple visits.

comohotels.com

Lutetia, Paris

The iconic Lutetia hotel, the original and, to date, only grand hotel in Paris's Left Bank, will be re-opening its doors this spring following an extensive four-year renovation overseen by local architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The hotel was originally opened in 1910 by the prestigious Boucicaut family and was frequented by the Parisian glitterati of the time, among them Josephine Baker, James Joyce, Picasso and, of course, Ernest Hemingway. The Set, a company that prides itself on creating "the modern grand hotels of our time", has overseen the restoration of this grand dame to its former Art Deco glory, including a painstaking reconstruction of the original frescoes. While remaining true to its historic roots has been paramount, the 184-bedroom hotel will feature plenty of modern amenities including a 700-sqm wellness centre complete with swimming pool, an open-air courtyard and the reimagined Lutetia Brasserie, now under the direction of three Michelin-starred chef Gerald Passedat.

hotellutetia.com

Havelock Beach , Port Blair , Andaman Islands , India

DPA-RAA-12330
(Image credit: © M Acharya/Dinodia Photo - www.dinodia.com)

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans, India

Luxury Indian hotel group Taj is putting the little-known Andaman archipelago on the map this year with the hotly anticipated new Taj Exotica Resort & Spa. Situated on Havelock Island – known as the "pearl of the Andaman" – on the crescent shaped Radhanagar Beach, the Taj Exotica comprises 75 villas, a luxury spa and three restaurants. The Andaman Islands are located across the Bay of Bengal in the Andaman Sea and are regarded as Asia's last unspoiled paradise, with rich coral reefs and well-protected white tropical beaches surrounded by lush green forests. As such, outdoor pursuits are a major part of Taj's five-star experience, with organised excursions such as kayaking through mangroves and underwater photography.

tajhotels.com

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