|Selman Marrakech is adorned with rich colors and plush fabrics.|
Luxury hotels have been popping up all over the map this year, and with an abundance of over-the-top amenities, exclusive suites and ultra-luxurious spas, it’s hard to tell which resorts are truly the crème de la crème. We’re here to set the record straight with our picks for the hottest new hotels of 2012.
Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, Abu Dhabi
This resort defines both the beauty of the mangroves and the excitement of the city. Guests can relax on the rooftop lounge overlooking the city skyline or embark on a kayaking adventure from the onsite marina. The entire resort is outfitted with earth tones and the finest decor—think 18-carat gold accents. Pushing this hotel into the realm of over-the-top luxury is the Royal Mangroves Residence, an apartment-style suite with its own private entrance and lift. Enjoy absolute privacy with an infinity pool, pool bar and rooftop garden.
Guests of this luxurious suite will never want to leave, especially with a private chef and mixologist at their fingertips. A limousine, complete with driver, is also available if the shopping in Abu Dhabi is too much to resist—and we hear it’s amazing. Visit www.abu-dhabi.anantara.com.
|Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara is the epitome of luxury.|
This luxury getaway oozes Moroccan charm. The star of this resort is most definitely the Riads, five of them to be exact. Think over-the-top luxury—each with a private garden, heated pool and 24-hour butler service. Rich colors and plush fabrics adorn these mini-mansions and the decor is simple, yet elegant. The hotel itself evokes relaxation, with soothing tones throughout and a 12,000-square-foot spa with seven treatment rooms and four hydrotherapy rooms. The hotel even has its own Arabian horses to gaze at—they are much too special to ride. Other amenities include an indoor pool, massage jet pool, hammam, sauna, fitness facilities, relaxation room, spa suite with private Turkish bath, two outdoor heated pools and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Visit www.selman-marrakech.com.
|Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa has rooms with large windows overlooking the sea.|
Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, Mallorca
Jumeirah’s first European resort, set atop a rugged cliff in northwest Mallorca, Spain, affords views that are beyond comparison. Guests can watch the sunset while sipping cocktails on one of the resort’s three terraces or in the comfort of their own room complete with large windows overlooking the sea. The views are not lost in the hotel’s Talise Spa, which hangs over the Port of Soller and the Serra de Tramuntana. The spa is extra-special, with 10 treatment suites and a thermal area equipped with a hammam, an ice room, a glass-paneled sauna overlooking the valley, a relaxation room with fireplace and an outdoor heated Hydropool. Upon arrival, guests can slip right into relaxation with a welcome hand massage and the smell of citrus wafting through the lobby. Visit www.jumeirah.com.
|Palazzo Margherita’s decor exudes Old World charm.|
Palazzo Margherita, Southern Italy
Three words: Francis Ford Coppola. With interior gardens and painted frescos, the director’s new Italian resort, originally built in 1892, is simply delightful and filled with Old-World charm. A private pool and the option to dine wherever you choose reflect its laid-back style. Guests can even book a farmhouse table in the kitchen where they can watch and participate in the making of their own traditional Southern Italian meal. Guest rooms surround an inner courtyard, and everyone is made to feel like a member of the Coppola family. Some of the suites even open directly onto the courtyard garden where a lovely afternoon by the pool awaits. In the evenings, guests can grab a drink at the bar or head to the salon for private screenings from Coppola’s personal collection of classic Italian films and documentaries. Visit www.palazzomargherita.com.
|St. Regis Bal Harbour houses oceanfront air-conditioned cabanas.|
St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort & Residences, Florida
This resort is all about the beach. The entire resort is made of glass and every room boasts panoramic views of white sand and turquoise waters. Luxe amenities are endless, with poolside services such as foot reflexology and cold towel presentations. Take in the view from your oversized glass balcony or lounge the day away in a private open-air cabana, where refreshments and amenities are offered throughout the day to ensure a truly pampered experience. We hear the oceanfront air-conditioned cabanas are equipped with champagne, fresh fruit, and even a personal butler upon request. These are perfect for an all-day affair, complete with wet bar, bath and shower, day beds and a flat-screen TV. Oceanfront cabanas are also available for beachside dinners or private yoga sessions. Amazing views, oceanfront dining and butler service at your fingertips—what more could you want? Visit www.stregisbalharbour.com/regal.
|Conrad New York incorporates sustainability-conscious design elements in its rooms.|
Conrad New York
We love this eco-friendly addition to the New York skyline. This 15-story, all-suite hotel is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification for New Construction from the U.S. Green Building Council. Sustainability-conscious design elements include: green roof and chef’s roof garden, bike racks for public use, low-flow plumbing fixtures for water conservation, LED lights that consist of more than 60 percent of all the lighting in the hotel, low VOC materials to promote indoor air quality, and Energy Star kitchen equipment. A virtual concierge is available in every room to ensure quick access to room service, reservations and other amenities. Did we mention upscale dining from Chef Anthony Zamora, valet parking and amazing views? Visit www.conradnewyork.com.
|Goa’s The Park on Holiday Beach includes a white-andpurple Peace Bar overlooking the sea.|
The Park on Holiday Beach, Goa
Everything about this new Park hotel makes us want to kick our feet up and chill out. The relaxed, contemporary feel of this hotel sets it apart, boasting sleek lines and all-white rooms with purple accents. Local artwork adorns the walls and the relaxed mood continues throughout the hotel, with a 24-hour “Love” restaurant and Peace Bar overlooking the sea, as well as poolside cabanas where guests can indulge in spa treatments. We love the idea of enjoying a foot massage while sipping a tropical libation. For those who enjoy a night out—we heard the nightlife in Goa is top-notch. Celebrities are known to frequent the many trendy nightclubs in this west India city. Visit www.theparkhotels.com.
|The Westin Xiamen stands tall amidst the central business district of Xiamen.|
The Westin Xiamen
Towering above the central business district of Xiamen, this hotel includes spacious rooms equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi, 42-inch LCD TV, iPod docking station and a large desk with an ergonomic chair by Herman Miller. Coziness is most important at the Westin, with a signature Heavenly Bed in every room and a pillow menu for a customized sleep experience. The bathrooms are also built for comfort with a separate bath and shower stall. Guests can relax under the rain shower before slipping into a provided bathrobe and slippers. The dining options are plentiful at the Westin—think authentic Cantonese dishes and western-Asian fusion cocktails. We love that Five Zen5es serves up unique cocktails based on the five Chinese elements—gold, wood, water, fire and earth. Qba is also onsite, offering exotic Latin flavors and an outdoor garden. Treats is the right choice for dessert—with a range of cakes, pastries, pies and handmade chocolates. Visit www.starwoodhotels.com/westin.
|The soon-to-open Secrets The Vine Cancun provides the perfect setup for a romantic getaway.|
The Okura Prestige, Bangkok
Traveling to Bangkok for business just got a lot more exciting with the debut of this new eco-friendly hotel. It’s situated on “Embassy Row” in the center of the business district, with foreign embassies nearby. The hotel is equipped with plentiful meeting space and a dedicated meetings and events team. When business hours are over, guests can enjoy Bangkok 24 floors up while taking a dip in the infinity pool. Head to Up & Above Restaurant and Bar for a sky-high culinary experience. The hotel also has a spa, fitness center, four restaurants and bars, four meeting rooms and a business center. The Okura Prestige lets guests have a peaceful stay in the midst of the bustling city center, as well as convenient direct access to the BTS SkyTrain. Visit www.okurabangkok.com/intro_okura.
|The Okura Prestige lets guests have a peaceful stay in the midst of Bangkok’s bustling city center.|
Secrets The Vine Cancun
This last resort is still in the works, but we had to include it as one of the hottest hotels to make its debut in 2012. This new adults-only resort, opening August, takes luxury to a new level with Secrets’ signature Unlimited-Luxury service. Guests will enjoy unlimited gourmet à la carte dining, 24-hour room and concierge services, daytime activities and more. Access to water sports, movies on the beach, dance classes and evening recreational activities will ensure that everyone remains entertained. Each of the 495 guest rooms has a private balcony and ocean views, the perfect setup for a romantic getaway. And speaking of romance—wedding, honeymoon and anniversary packages are also available. Visit www.secretsresorts.com/thevine.