The wanderlust is strong within us all. Blame it on Singapore's small geographical footprint that gives rise to cabin fever every now and then. For some of us, the thrill of exotic adventures beckons our soul, for others, it's simply to relax in ultra luxurious surroundings with every whim and need anticipated for. For the traveller who prefers to be cocooned in the lap of luxury, here're a few hotly anticipated hotel openings (some have just opened) to make reservations for.
1. INTERCONTINENTAL MALDIVES MAAMUNAGAU RESORT, THE MALDIVES
Another year, another breathtaking resort opening in The Maldives. For underwater lovers, the atoll to make a break for is the InterContinental® Maldives Maamunagau Resort opening on 1 September 2019.
Housed on Hanifaru Bay - the Maldives' only UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve - this is where you can potentially snorkel amongst whale sharks and manta rays.
Away from the ocean, all 81 villas and residences (Beach, Lagoon and Overwater) are exceptionally well-appointed and come with a private terrace and pool, placing you mere footsteps away from the azure waters of the Indian Ocean (bliss!).
When you are eventually famished, there are six food and beverage outlets to keep your island meals varied, an on-site spa, plus an adults-only retreat space with its own bar and infinity pool - a place to regain your sanity while you shoo the kids off to the Planet Trekkers Kids Club.
And as it's situated just a 35-minute seaplane ride away from the airport, you're promised an amazing start and end to your dream island vacation.
Beach pool villas from US$1,250 (S$1,701) per night. Book by 31 Jan 2020 to enjoy daily complimentary breakfast and dinner at Cafè Umi for any length of stay and complimentary seaplane transfers for stays of five nights or longer.
Go to www.intercontinental.com/maldives for more information.
2. ST. REGIS HONG KONG, SAR
For fans of architect Andre Fu's (Andaz Singapore, The Upper House, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok) sleek, intimate yet luxe style, a stay at the newly opened 129-room St Regis Hong Kong is a must.
Housed in the vibrant enclave of Wan Chai, Fu fuses the fabled history of the area with modern touches to create quite the stylish sanctuary away from the outside hustle and bustle.
Think colonial columns from the old Wan Chai police station, gas street lamps from Duddell's Street, eye catching art pieces, vivid orange lacquered doors in the rooms and lush topiaries decorating its 8m high ceilings - in short, it's quite the looker.
On the food front, there's the old style jazz-esque St Regis Bar that extends out to the Astor Terrace for pre/post dinner drinks, French restaurant L'Envol helmed by chef Olivier Elzer, one of Hong Kong's top French chefs, and the hotel's signature Chinese restaurant, Rùn, where chef Hung Chi-Kwong's turns out plates of Cantonese cuisine with a killer view of Hong Kong's skyline.
From US$525 (S$714.40) per night. Go to www.stregis.com for more details, or make a reservation at +852 2138 6888.
3. THE BILTMORE, MAYFAIR, UNITED KINGDOM
It's always a good idea to drop by London, and with the upcoming re-opening (it's accepting reservations from 9 September 2019 onwards) of The Biltmore in Mayfair, a stylish place to rest your head is assured.
Designed by Goddard Littlefair, many of the 257 rooms and 51 suites overlook the historic Grosvenor Square, famous for its beautiful central garden and as Oscar Wilde's former place of residence.
Besides being a stone's throw away from Bond Street's shops and Hyde Park, the hotel itself boasts a few in-house distractions: a fully kitted-out gym, a 500 sqm ballroom and a number of culinary concepts (the exclusive Pine Bar, the year-round alfresco terrace) headed up by Michelin-starred Jason Atherton.
The star eatery though is The Betterment which will serve a seasonally-driven menu, much of it deliciously wood-fired and we predict, very scrumptious.
Go to https://lxrhotels3.hilton.com/lxr/biltmore-mayfair/ for more information.
4. AMAN KYOTO, JAPAN
Aman junkies (yes, this is a real thing) have one new property to hunt down.
This time it takes place in a secret garden setting in Japan's ancient imperial capital. Sounds enchanting? It is. Opening November 2019, Aman Kyoto is making the most of its prime location at the foot of the Mountain of Hidari Daimonji with 72 acres of permanent forest gardens sporting colourful yama momiji maples and kitayama-sugi (Japanese cedar) trees.
Inside the resort, the zen vibe continues with the 24 guest rooms and two villas decorated like a modern-style yet traditional ryokan (we hope this means it provides a bit more comfort) with floor-to-ceiling windows, tatami mats, intimate tokonoma (alcoves where items for artistic appreciation are presented) spaces and ofuro bathtubs made of hinoki cypress wood.
If you can tear yourself away from your little hideaway, you'll be rewarded with haute cuisine meals at the Dining Pavilion and treatments using the area's mineral rich spring waters and natural apothecary - including Kyoto green tea, Tanba kuromame (black beans), local sake, and cold-pressed tsubaki (camellia) oil at the Aman Spa.
Go to www.aman.com/kyoto for more information.
5. HINODE HILLS NISEKO VILLAGE, JAPAN
If you haven't noticed there's been a slew of new hotels catering to the demand for skiing holidays.
One to consider for the year-end ski break is Hinode Hills Niseko Village situated at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri. Set to open 1 December 2019, aside from its prime position at the heart of Niseko Village and adjacent to the Upper Village Gondola (ie. less lugging of ski equipment needed) for easy access to the varied ski terrains, there's also ski-in, ski-out access and an in-house onsen to soothe those tired muscle post ski session.
When it's time to hit the sack, all 79 rooms and suites exude a zen vibe with its wabi-sabi aesthetic.
And because it's boring to ski alone, the multiple room and suite configurations cater to most accommodation scenarios (family trips, group holidays etc…) so you don't have to split up across the village.
Rates start from 40,000 Japanese Yen (S$499.90) per night for a studio unit. Go to ytlhotels.com for more information.
6. CAPELLA SANYA, CHINA
Billed as the Hawaii of the East - it's not too far fetched a claim seeing as Sanya's daily temperature hovers around 26 degC - Sanya has always been a favourite of mainland and Russian holiday makers.
Now, with the recent opening of Capella Sanya, the island's accommodation offerings have gotten a tad more glamourous.
Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, the serene beachfront retreat fuses design references to Chinese culture - ask after the treasure bowl lobby water feature - throughout the resort together with splashes of red and feng shui principles in a clean, modern style.
The result is an idyllic retreat of 190 rooms and villas with guest rooms starting from a spacious 88 sq m in size and unusual activities such as the daily tai chi showcase at the central pool at 8.30am and an evening bar ritual that melds storytelling with a special cocktail concoction.
If beach bumming is not your thing, there's curated leisure options such as a fishing trip with local fishermen. All in all, while you may be looking for a relaxing beach break, you'll be getting a lot more than that.
From 2,288 RMB (S$452.50) a night. Go to www.capellahotels.com/en/capella-sanya for more information.
7. CANYON RANCH WELLNESS RETREAT, CALIFORNIA
With wellness becoming more of a lifestyle, there are fewer better options than taking a few days off at the Canyon Ranch.
Nestled amongst towering redwood trees, the luxury wellness brand's first retreat model will open in the Fall 2019 at Woodside, California above the famed Skyline Boulevard winding road.
There, the stressed and harried can refind their centre in scenic luxury treehouse surroundings as they take part in three-day, four-day, or seven-day retreats.
With only 14 guest rooms and 24 additional guest rooms, the activities calendar includes everything from obstacle courses, hiking and night vision goggle adventures as well as various spa (watsu theraoy, cactus pedicures) options and alternative modalities (equine therapy, astro gemology, crystal sound activation) as they discover what it means to "discover your good life", hopefully for life.
Go to www.canyonranch.com/woodside for more information.
This article was first published in Home and Decor.