We’re well into 2018 and what do we especially love about the new year? New hotels. There’s a swag of accommodation set to open in the coming months and we’ve done a bit of digging to round up the best of em for our annual list. Keen for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sweden’s new Arctic Bath Hotel; mind-blowing views across the Himalayan mountains; or simply an extended long weekend without leaving the country – we’re sure our list will have something that gets you booking in your annual leave.
By Jade Just – Contributing Travel Editor
Cover Image: Six Senses, Bhutan
W Hotel Brisbane – opening March 2018
Perched on the edge of the Brisbane River, complete with three venues to eat and drink at, the five-star W Hotel Brisbane is set to make a mark on the sunny state’s hotel scene. It’s a short stroll to South Bank but that’s if you want to leave your room…with free Netflix, wi-fi and an in-room cocktail bar, we won’t blame you if you decide to stay in.
Images: W Hotel Brisbane. Further info here.
The Arctic Bath Hotel & Spa, Sweden – opening mid 2018
Fancy visiting a hotel that’s frozen onto a river in winter but come summer it’s free-floating? We’re a bit impressed! The Arctic Bath Hotel & Spa, perched on the Lule River, looks like something a beaver constructed (no kidding) but beyond the woodwork is a hotel that delivers ultimate relaxation. An arctic plunge pool, open-air bath, saunas and spa room are just the starting point of the fancy setup. Best of all, you won’t be sharing your experience with many others – maximum capacity is twelve guests. Winning.
Images: The Arctic Bath Hotel & Spa. Further info here.
Six Senses, Bhutan – opening late 2018
We are absolute suckers for a stunning view, and Six Senses Bhutan is set to hit the nail on the head. In what is a colossal project for the luxury chain, there will be five lodges dotted around the scenic Himalayan region. You can just stay in one lodge but conveniently there’s a customised itinerary for a visit to each. The lodges are tipped to be big on culture, nutritious eating and R&R. It will be pricey but undoubtedly worth it.
Images: Six Senses, Bhutan. Further info here.
The Westin Perth – opening April 2018
Perth’s accommodation has seen a serious overhaul in recent years, and the soon-to-open Westin Perth will fit seamlessly into the ongoing revitalisation. Set smack bang in the middle of the city with the upper floors privy to views across the river to the new Optus Stadium, it will be an excellent option for both business travellers and holidayers. An infinity pool, large-scale fitness area and lobby cafe all feature in the hotel’s extensive facilities list. Getting the locals excited is Garum, the hotel’s Italian restaurant owned by Melbourne’s own Guy Grossi.
Images: The Westin Perth. Further info here.
West Elm Hotels – opening late 2018
This one’s still massively under wraps (urgh!) but interior decor and retailer giant, West Elm are looking to break into the boutique hotel market later this year. Word on the street is that the hotels and their rooms will aim the create the same vibes as their stores. They’ve already earmarked numerous locations across America…so, keep an eye on this space!
Images: Business Wire.
The Tasman, Hobart – opening late 2018
Tassie is set to get a luxury lodging with The Tasman under construction in re-purposed heritage buildings in Hobart’s Parliament Square. The original features will be restored and will play a major part in the design of the hotel’s 128 rooms and suites. Think: fireplaces, whiskey bar, floorboards…sophistication here is key. If you’ve never visited Tasmania before, this opening is sure to get you over the line.
Images: The Tasman Hobart. Further info here.
The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa – reopened early 2018
It’s not a newie but it’s a goodie. One of Byron’s much-loved hotels has undone a six week makeover including a newly transformed bar and restaurant. The copper island bar and appointment of Executive Chef Matthew Kemp deserves big ticks. As for the rest of the resort, it’s still oozing casual luxury but now the dining areas are just that bit more Instagram-worthy.
Images: Michael Wee. Further info about The Byron at Byron here.
Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia – opening late 2018.
Imagine zip-lining into a luxury camp to be greeted by a G&T once your feet hit the ground. Different…but very appealing. Shinta Mani Wild, the brainchild of world-renowned resort designer Bill Bensley, is not only big on opulence but also wildlife and adventure. The luxe tents are positioned along the property’s 1.5km of river and waterfalls, which run through several of Cambodia’s most significant wildlife parks. The corridor of parks make up one of few remaining habitats for wild elephants, bears, gibbons, tigers and other species, and you can see them yourself thanks to tours that allow you to accompany rangers and researchers on the job. The camp will not only be a hit with nature-loving couples but will also appeal to families travelling with adventurous older kids and teens.
Images: Shinta Mani Wild, Cambodia. Further info here.
Pinky’s Eco Retreat
A chunk of the RJL team are Perth born and raised, and there’s no denying that holidays at Rottnest Island are an unforgettable experience. The idyllic, slow-paced island, just 20 mins from mainland Perth is renowned for its incredibly happy Quokka community but an exciting change is on the way. Pinky’s Eco Retreat is set to open in time for Summer 2018/19 and will be a welcome, family-friendly addition to the island’s accommodation portfolio. A beach club, restaurant bar and grill, kids wi-fi zone and swimming pool are all set to hit Pinky’s along with eco tent digs. If we ever needed another reason to visit Rotto, we’ve found one. BUT the best news is that accommodation prices will start from approx $100 per night!
Images: Pinky’s Eco Retreat. Further info here.