There’s no doubt that 2020 has been one of the worst years in history for the hotel industry. Thousands of properties around the globe have closed and millions of jobs have been lost. But there are still some exciting developments to look forward to in 2021 as travel resumes and new hotels ranging from island getaways to chic city hotspots prepare to open their doors. Here are 15 of the most exciting hotels opening internationally in 2021, and what awaits guests who plan to stay in the coming year. For more exciting accommodations to keep an eye on, check out last year’s list, which includes many properties that delayed their debuts until 2021.
Paradero Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico: January 2021
The sleepy surf hamlet of Todos Santos is about to get a lot livelier thanks to the imminent opening of this new 35-suite luxury resort. Aiming to integrate as fully as possible into the surrounding landscape, the grounds will be peppered with 80 endemic plant species and include a 100,000-square-foot botanical garden. Yektajo Valdez Architects have overseen the design of the buildings, with an indoor-outdoor aesthetic that draws from the surrounding desert landscapes, while design firm B Huber has created interiors meant to evoke a sense of sanctuary. The hotel’s palm-shaded Ojo de Agua Spa will draw upon the healing powers of the area’s hidden watering holes, while the restaurant will incorporate ingredients from the on-property garden into Oaxacan-inspired dishes. During the day, guests can shoot the curl at nearby Cerritos or San Pedrito beaches, take guided hikes and mountain biking excursions, enjoy private beach picnics, or just wander around on a taco tasting tour, among other activities, all of which are comprised in all-inclusive nightly rates. Prices start at $550 per night.
Capella Hanoi, Vietnam: January 2021
Hotel designer extraordinaire, Bill Bensley, is known for his whimsical concepts, each unique to a particular project, and based on a specific theme. His latest collaboration with Asian luxury chain Capella is this new 47-key hotel in Vietnam’s capital. Just a stone’s throw from Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi’s famous opera house, Bensley seems to have taken that as his inspiration, and conceived of an enclave that would have felt like a home away from home for eccentric operagoers and artists from the turn of the last century. To wit, guests will find over 1,000 musical instruments and artifacts such as set designs and production costumes, not to mention classic cocktails and small bites in the Diva’s Lounge and both international and Vietnamese fare in the main restaurant, Backstage. The Auriga Spa will offer treatments inspired by the celestial spheres and phases of the moon. Room rates are not yet available.
Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, Spain: March 2021
Not a new hotel, but rather a new beginning for a beloved institution, Mandarin Oriental has been steadily polishing its Spanish crown jewel for the better part of three years, and is finally set to reopen the landmark Hotel Ritz restored to its former glory. Parisian designers Gilles & Boissier have redone the once-fusty 100 rooms and 53 suites with a contemporary residential look that still highlights the hotel’s historical features, and its unparalleled location in Madrid’s so-called Golden Triangle of Art, adjacent to the leafy El Retiro Park. Chef Quique Dacosta will oversee the five restaurants and bars, including a hidden chef’s table experience, and the sceney Palm Court. Those looking for a memory of the past will be relieved to find the Champagne Bar still in its place just off the palatial lobby. However, they should also enjoy the all-new fitness and wellness facility including an indoor swimming pool and a single-room spa. Opening rates start at $730 per night.
Azumi Setoda, Japan: March 2021
Hotelier Adrian Zecha was the man behind beloved luxury chain Aman. Now he’s setting his sights on the traditional Japanese ryokan experience with this meticulously devised resort on Japan’s sunny Ikuchijima Island on the Seto Inland Sea. The focal point is a 140-year-old family house, around which the hotel has been designed, including guestrooms with cypress bathtubs, cedar and granite accents, lantern-like lighting fixtures, and floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the tranquil garden. Guests can also spend time in the hotel’s sister bathhouse across the street to enjoy the full experience. Opening rates from $720 per night.
Airelles Château de Versailles Le Grand Contrôle, France: Spring 2021
The palace of Versailles might have a whopping 700 rooms, but this luxurious new retreat on the grounds will have just 14 extravagant apartments. The building was originally constructed in 1681 by Louis XIV’s favorite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, and overlooks the Orangerie. Guests can peruse tomes in the restored library, or pore over artifacts such as a marriage contract signed by Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. World-renowned chef Alain Ducasse will head an onsite restaurant with menus inspired by the lavish banquets of Versailles. Don’t worry: guests will be able to work off rich meals in a Valmont wellness center complete with a 15-meter indoor swimming pool. Perhaps the biggest perk? Behind-the-scenes access and private tours of the grounds, the palace, and the Petit Trianon. Visitors might also be lucky enough to enjoy an electric boat ride along the central canal, too. Opening rates start at $1,585 including breakfast.
Desa Potato Head, Bali, Indonesia: Spring 2021
More of a community than simply a resort, this compound will include a 168-room hotel as well as an art gallery, a recording studio, an underground nightclub, and even a kid’s club with environmentally sensitive programming. Of course, you’ll also find a beach club and an oceanfront pool. But for true relaxation, take a yoga flow class and visit the Djamu Bar for ancient Balinese healing compounds. Among the restaurants will be zero-waste Ijen serving locally caught fish, and Tanaman for vegan Indonesian cuisine. Rooms blend “ancient craftsmanship with modern aesthetics,” so expect sustainably produced wooden furnishings and amenities made from recycled and biodegradable materials, colorful, handwoven traditional textiles, and all-natural Sensatia Botanicals products …but also unobstructed ocean views. Think of it as the next evolution of Seminyak’s hard-partying backpacking culture. Room rates start at $138 per night.
The Woodward, Geneva, Switzerland: Spring 2021
Star designer Pierre-Yves Rochon is transforming a post-Haussman 1901 edifice right along the shores of Lake Geneva into a 26-suite stunner that will be part of the ritzy Oetker Collection. All but five of the suites will have full lake views and include opulent elements like marble fireplaces and built-in bookcases. The Presidential Suite will feature its own private dining room and loggia, while the Royal Suite can only be accessed by a private elevator and will take on the ambiance of a fashionable Paris pied-à-terre. In addition to an exclusive Spa by Maison Guerlain, including a 21-meter indoor swimming pool and six wellness suites, guests will be able to enjoy fine dining at a location of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon with seats for just 36 diners at a time, and Le Jardinier from Michelin-starred chef Alain Verzeroli. Opening rates are not yet available.
Rosewood São Paulo, Brazil: Mid-2021
A garden-inspired trellised tower by starchitect Jean Nouvel, plus typically fanciful Philippe Starck interiors should make the new Rosewood in Brazil’s biggest city a must-visit when it premiers later this year in the bucolic Cidade Matarazzo neighborhood. The hotel will have 180 rooms and suites with décor that contrasts the stark lines of modernist design with sylvan inflections of Brazilian woods and emerald tones that bring a park-like setting indoors. The hotel will boast an impressive six restaurants and bars plus a new location of Rosewood’s burgeoning Asaya holistic wellness concept. Opening rates are not yet published.
Villa Dagmar, Stockholm, Sweden: Spring 2021
Situated right in the heart of central Stockholm’s happening Östermalmstorg district, Villa Dagmar looks set to open later this year. It takes over a 19th-century Art Nouveau brick edifice that has been transformed into a sumptuous city hideaway with just 70 individually designed suites and rooms. The décor blends turn-of-the-century elegance with Scandinavian simplicity, and takes full advantage of that famous northern light through ceiling-high windows. Chefs Daniel Höglander and Niclas Jönsson of the Michelin-starred Aloê will oversee the Mediterranean menus at The Restaurant. Upping the quirk factor, the hotel will also house The Store, purveying organic produce and prepared foods, plus a flower shop and a fitness center and spa. Opening rates start at $430 per night.
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands: Mid-2021
There’s been a building boom in this Indian Ocean archipelago of late, with new resorts from the likes of Waldorf Astoria, Intercontinental, and St. Regis opening their doors in recent years. Joining their ranks is a new luxury entrant under the Ritz-Carlton brand, which is set to debut in the North Malé Atoll’s Fari Islands sometime around the middle of 2021. The resort will field seven restaurants and bars serving a variety of cuisines, a Ritz Kids Club to entertain the tykes, plus an overwater spa with treatments focused on channeling directional energy. Villas will start at an impressive 1,615 square feet of both indoor and outdoor space, and all will offer dedicated butler service, and sundecks with integrated infinity pools. Topping the accommodation list will be the spacious Ritz-Carlton Estate, with two bedrooms and room for up to six adults, as well as a full kitchen, a spa room for in-villa treatments, two pools and access to a private beach. Hotel guests will also be able to take advantage of a beach club, restaurants, boutiques and a marina that are part of the Fari Islands development. Room rates start at $1,350 per night.
Reykjavik EDITION, Iceland: Summer 2021
For years now, the Harpa Concert Hall, its glinting glass façade capturing the ever-changing colors of the sky and sea, has anchored Reykjavik’s harborfront. It’s about to have a new neighbor, though, in the form of a 253-room outpost of Marriott’s trendy EDITION brand, designed by the Ian Schrager Company in collaboration with Roman & Williams and T.arch. Guests will be able to enjoy panoramic views from a private rooftop lounge, or linger over drinks at a yet-to-be-determined nightlife space and ballroom. The six-floor hotel will also house a spa, a café, and three restaurants among other amenities. Opening rates are not yet available.
The Farmyard at the Newt, United Kingdom: Summer 2021
We’re all seeking greener pastures and wide-open spaces these days, so is it any wonder that one of the most exciting hotels coming along soon is in the idyllic English countryside? The folks behind working-farm-cum-luxury-retreat, Babylonstoren, in South Africa’s Franschhoek wine region opened the first iteration of The Newt in Somerset in 2019. The stately country seat comes complete with working gardens, dairy, and bakery to supply the kitchens. Now they are in the process of converting an imposing former dairy on the property into an annex dubbed The Farmyard, with just 17 rooms and suites in a more laidback setting, with its own dining room and swimming pool. Opening rates are not yet available.
Soho Beach House Canouan, Grenadines: Late 2021
With members-only clubs, restaurants, bars, and a growing portfolio of hotels, Soho House aims to be the only all-round lifestyle brand for perambulatory professionals and jetsetting creatives. Adding a barefoot, beach destination to its roster will be this carefree, Caribbean haven. The seaside retreat will have just 40 rooms and suites fronting a white-sand beach complete with thatched palapas. The look will be island-chic, with billowy canopy beds, a washed-out palette of cream, turquoise and sea-foam green, and plenty of windows to let in the tropical sunshine. Opening rates not yet available.
The Langham, Gold Coast, Australia: Late 2021
Luxury label Langham is opening its third Australian property later this year in the glitzy vacation destination of the Gold Coast, along Queensland’s southern shores. The hotel will be part of the new three-tower Jewel Development right on the beach in Surfers Paradise. Its 169 rooms and suites will be located between the third and 20th floors, with residences in the stores above that. The décor will reflect a mix of city and beach, with sun-bleached timber accents, and a palette of tan, beige, teal and azure. In addition to a pool bar, a lobby lounge, a rooftop terrace, and a casual counter for grab-and-go service, the hotel will host a franchise of Langham’s signature T’ang Court Cantonese restaurant. Guests can also enjoy afternoon tea in the Palm Court lobby lounge and bar, which is modeled after the original in London. A Chuan Spa will offer traditional Chinese medicine treatments as well as both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a fitness center. Opening rates are not yet available.
Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, Mexico: Late 2021
Starting south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s Costa Alegre remains an undiscovered stretch of rugged coastline and lush, jungle-covered mountains. At its heart is the protected eco-reserve of Tamarindo, where developer Paralelo 19 Desarrollos plans to open a resort managed by Four Seasons later this year. The property will span over 2,000 acres of rainforest, occupying several distinct settings including a family-friendly beachfront and a more secluded cliff-top site, not to mention three pool areas. The 92 rooms and 63 suites will have a nature-inspired look, incorporating raw stone and timber, as will the organic spa, with eight treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms, and both hot and cold plunge pools. There will also be four restaurants and bars to choose from. Among the activities will be surfing, kayaking, hiking, deep-sea fishing, and guided eco-tours of the mangrove wetlands. Room rates are not yet available.