Amongst the many positive trends we’re seeing evolve within the hospitality space in recent months, the promise of dozens of new luxury hotel openings in 2021 has us plotting adventures both closer to home and abroad.
As a luxury travel advisor with SmartFlyer, we are constantly scouting properties, exploring destinations, and testing out on-the-ground operators on behalf of our clients. While this process looks different now, including precautions ranging from COVID testing prior to departure and upon return, to itineraries built around social distancing and of course, constant communication with our valued hotel partners, we haven’t been this excited about new hotel openings in quite some time. In this roundup, we’re sharing twenty-one of the most anticipated properties on our radars right now.
1. AMAN NEW YORK | NEW YORK, NEW YORK
For all of our Aman junkies out there, take a deep breath because this is big news: at the crossroads of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, Aman New York will breathe new life into the already iconic Crown Building. In fact, the opening–set for spring 2021–will coincide with the Crown Building’s 100th anniversary. In its next life, the structure will be home to Aman’s flagship wellness centre complete with a 2,300 square metre spa with seven spa treatment suites and two Banya and Hammam spa houses, the latter of which will have their own private outdoor relaxation terraces with hot and cold plunge pools.
2. AMBIENTE HOTEL | SEDONA, ARIZONA
One of the most anticipated openings to date in Sedona, Ambiente Hotel brings an exciting new concept to the luxury hotel scene by blending the architecture of the building into the red rocks of Sedona. Though there has been little released about the actual opening date, we love that the resort is focusing on sustainable travel. The property will consist of forty cube-shaped guest atriums that are built above the ground on steel frames to look as if they are floating mid-air. Even more interesting, no cars will be permitted on the three-acre property; eco-minded guests will appreciate that they can ride around the hotel’s network of wellness trails in two-person electric vehicles or take a guided hike through nearby Coconino National Forest.
3. ALILA MAREA BEACH RESORT ENCINITAS | ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA
Hyatt-loyal travelers will be thrilled to learn that its Alila brand will open its first newly built property in the U.S. this March just outside San Diego. Located in one of Southern California’s most iconic coastal towns, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will be a crafted luxury resort, delivering authentic and bespoke experiences in a world-class beachfront setting. The resort will be committed to locally inspired programming and also feature an oceanfront pool, signature restaurant showcasing the finest sustainably sourced ingredients, more than 28,500 square feet of expansive, distinctive indoor-outdoor meetings and event spaces, and Spa Alila, a world-class spa and wellness experience that will infuse the ocean’s healing attributes throughout.
4. BISHOP’S LODGE, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION | SANTE FE, NEW MEXICO
Settled more than 150 years ago by Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy, this iconic Santa Fe landmark is steeped in history and is undergoing a sensitive restoration to preserve its distinctive Southwestern heritage for the next generation. Guests will be invited to explore vibrant culture and expression through nature-driven adventures at Bishop’s Lodge including access to visual arts, ancient healing arts, culinary arts and the art of gathering. We love that the property is a part of the Auberge Resorts Collection–one of SmartFlyer’s preferred partners–not only gaining our clients access to additional amenities, but further ensuring we can customize their experience through close contact with our on-the-ground partners.
5. FOUR SEASONS NAPA | CALISTOGA, CALIFORNIA
As one of the most anticipated openings in California wine country in recent memory, our team is eager to see Four Seasons Napa open its doors in early spring 2021. The property is nestled in the historic town of Calistoga and surrounded by hundreds of acres of vineyards, framed by picturesque forests and majestic mountains. For a hands-on experience where you’ll learn more about the winemaking process, take a front-row seat for world-class winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown’s tasting sessions.
6. HUTTON BRICKYARDS | KINGSTON, NEW YORK
For New Yorkers seeking an escape from city life, the impending opening of Hutton Brickyards in Kingston–a quaint town upstate–promises outdoor recreation and indoor luxury. The building itself offers architecture lovers something to marvel at; the hotel will be housed in what was the region’s last architecturally intact brick manufactory. Fifty years have passed since the final bricks were fired and in 2021, Hutton Brickyards will be reborn as a rambling imaginative new hotel, spa restaurant and events retreat. The property will feature 25 guest cabins and suites, each thoughtfully designed to optimize privacy and Hudson River views.
7. MONTAGE BIG SKY | BIG SKY, MONTANA
Centrally located in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana, Montage Hotels & Resorts is constructing a masterful residence-style project set to open in late 2021. The property will feature 150 guest rooms and suites along with 39 Montage Residences. For those who are eager to hit the mountain, Montage Big Sky will offer ski-in, ski-out access to Big Sky Resort’s 5,800 skiable acres. For those who want to hang back at the resort, there will be no shortage of activities including a locally-inspired restaurant, lobby bar, and lounge, market, pub, and recreation room with a bowling alley, indoor lap pool, family swimming pool, and signature Spa Montage.
8. PENDRY PARK CITY | PARK CITY, UTAH
Despite being Utah’s most well-known ski town, we love that Park City remains low-key while continuing to innovate on the hotel front. Late 2021 will see the opening of Pendry Park City, a year-round mountain resort situated to offer easy access to more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. The property will feature four unique lounge, restaurant and bar experiences, a rooftop pool and bar, a full-service Spa Pendry and the brand’s signature Pinwheel Kids Club.
9. THE GREEN O AT PAWS UP | GREENOUGH, MONTANA
You’ll find this gem under a canopy of towering pines, but only if you know precisely where to look. Nestled deep on the densely timbered southern edge of the expansive 37,000-acre Paws Up Ranch, the Green O at Paws Up will be a hidden gem designed for adults searching for the perfect blend of adventure and serenity. This isn’t just a luxury resort, this is a place where breathtaking views meet thrilling outdoor adventures—a place where your soul and spirit can wander.
10. ROSEWOOD LE GUANAHANI | ST BARTHELEMY
Upon closing after Hurricane Irma hit, the reopening of this French West Indies island staple–now under beloved Rosewood Hotels’ management–has long been on the radar of those who are in-the-know. Nestled on eighteen lush and secluded acres overlooking two stunning beaches on a private peninsula, Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth is a full-service luxury resort that takes a sustainable approach to hospitality. The rooms and suites—most with an ocean view and some with private pool—feature bright, colorful exteriors and modern interior design bathed in natural sunlight. Its restaurant will offer Mediterranean cuisine, three distinct dining ambiances and two bars, all with views of the beach and ocean. Sense, A Rosewood Spa extends personal well-being, making your St. Barth vacations deeply rejuvenating.
11. KIMPTON TULUM | TULUM, MEXICO
A sanctuary that exalts peace, energy, and inspiration, while this property technically opened at the tail end of 2020, we’re including it here because our clients have been longing for a more refined Tulum product for so long. Kimpton Aluna Tulum–operated by IHG–is mix of spirituality and cutting-edge lifestyle in a pristine design based on Mayan and Mexican influences. Privately located within the most exclusive and chic urban development in town, the resort offers the best of both worlds: secluded enough to allow an enclave of relaxation and spiritual reconnection yet at an easy ride from the white sand beaches and the energetic, vibrant atmosphere of downtown. Don’t forget to take advantage of alfresco culinary creations by the pristine pool or in the rooftop terrace.
12. CHEVAL BLANC PARIS | PARIS, FRANCE
As they say, good things come to those who wait and this highly anticipated opening certainly fits the bill as it has been on our radar since 2019. For those unfamiliar with the Cheval Blanc brand, it’s owned by LVHM, so you can rest assured no detail goes overlooked–a peek at their properties in the Maldives, St. Barth’s, Courchevel, and more all serve as evidence. This spring, architect Peter Marino will debut his work turning La Samaritaine (a former department store) into the brand’s Art Deco flagship furnished with the finest French touches. Cheval Blanc Paris‘ Left Bank location on the edge of the Seine will be reason enough to get back to our beloved City of Lights.
13. FOUR SEASONS MADRID | MADRID, SPAIN
Having been under construction since 2013, the opening of this Madrid has made big waves in the hospitality industry. History comes to life with vibrant modern energy at Four Seasons Hotel Madrid which resides in a complex of seven different buildings that date back to the mid-1800s. For foodies, Spanish celebrity chef Dani García’s rooftop dining is a destination in and of itself. Or, there’s always the four-level spa and a sun-splashed pool terrace to enjoy; no matter how you choose to spend your time, Four Seasons is bringing a new level of luxury and service to Madrid.
14. ONE&ONLY PORTONOVI | PORTONOVI, MONTENEGRO
Resplendent at the entrance of Boka Bay, a fjord-like idyll on Montenegro’s Adriatic Sea, One&Only Portonovi is a year-round haven where cultural wonders and fresh-air adventures meet the glamour of Europe’s most fashionable new riviera. Feel the world melt away as you unwind on One&Only Portonovi’s secluded sandy beach and, as the Mediterranean sun washes over you, let the uplifting beats from Tapasake Club gently get under your skin. Allow your mood to dictate which of the sparkling pools you’d prefer to take a dip in, before ambling across to one of our world-class restaurants to savour an array of Montenegrin, Mediterranean and Asian flavours. For relaxation where the emphasis is on health and wellbeing, the pioneering Espace Chenot takes a 360-degree approach to your pampering and purification needs.
15. VILLA IGIEA, A ROCCO FORTE HOTEL | PALERMO, ITALY
Missing Italy? Us too. Now is the perfect time to plot your visit to Sicily to discover history, majesty and serenity at Villa Igiea: a turn-of-the-century palazzo at the perimeter of vivid Palermo, the foot of Mount Pellegrino and the Gulf of Palermo. This long-loved seaside-meets-city spot has been a sanctuary for royalty, dignitaries and Hollywood luminaries but we consider it new as it’s been revitalised by Rocco Forte. Guests will find themselves trace their paths through tiered villa gardens that sweep down to the port and out to the Tyrrhenian Sea and onto excursions uncovering Palermo’s bustling markets, Baroque palaces and ancient sites.
16. THE WOODWARD | ENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Oetker Collection’s tenth masterpiece hotel, The Woodward, will open in Geneva this spring. Beyond The Woodward’s historic façade, guests will find classic-meets-contemporary interiors, providing a stylish city sanctuary with spectacular lake and mountain views. Each of the 26-suites has been carefully curated to possess their own distinct character and individual design details with signature flourishes including marble fireplaces and bookcases wit twenty-one of the suites offering a full lake view. World-class dining experiences will be provided by L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Le Jardinier, both recipients of Michelin stars for their New York outposts. In keeping with Oetker Collection’s commitment to wellbeing, the hotel’s 13,000 square foot spa will include a Wellness Institute by Maison Guerlain and a 21-meter indoor swimming pool – the longest in Geneva. There will be a state-of-the-art gym, two saunas, two steam rooms, two Swedish baths, and a jacuzzi.
17. AQUA EXPEDITIONS: AQUA NERA | PERUVIAN AMAZON
While this may not technically qualify as a new luxury hotel opening for 2021, we couldn’t resist including one of our favorite products at sea (or in this case, river!), because Aqua Expeditions essentially offers a floating hotel experience! Setting a new standard for luxury river cruising on the Amazon, Aqua Nera draws design inspiration from the Peruvian Amazon’s mystical black water lagoons and bears the hallmarks of contemporary style and generous interiors that Aqua Expeditions small-ship expeditions are known for. The vessel’s 20 spacious Design Suites convey a sense of Amazon tranquility, while the social spaces showcase refined elegance with a touch of drama. Aqua Nera takes guests into the depths of the Peruvian Amazon in the comfort of luxury and featuring an authentic Amazonia-inspired cuisine experience created by renowned chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. Expert naturalist guides conduct small group excursions that reward guests with up-close wildlife encounters in the world’s most biodiverse rainforest.
18. MANDARIN ORIENTAL BOSPHORUS, ISTANBUL | ISTANBUL, TURKEY
With spectacular views across the water, the verdant Naile Sultan pine grove as its garden and the historically charmed streets of Kuruçesme nearby, Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul offers both peaceful respite and a prime position from which to explore the bustling city where Europe meets Asia. Designed to act as an Urban Oasis, the hotel has three swimming pools, distinguished restaurants and bars, and an impressive 3500 sqm spa and fitness centre offering the Group’s award-winning signature wellness programs as well as locally inspired treatments.
19. SIX SENSES SHAHARUT | HAHARUT, ISRAEL
Located a few hours from Tel Aviv to the south of the Negev Desert, Six Senses Shaharut is located within a small community where traditional desert hospitality is expressed by generosity of spirit. With SmartFlyer clients having flocked to Israel for quite some time, we couldn’t be more excited for our partners at Six Senses Hotels & Resorts to be unveiling this beauty complete with 60 suites and villas, many of which have their own private plunge pool. Active guests will find themselves in paradise as they fill their days with scenic desert hikes, camel trekking at dawn or dusk, stargazing and even snorkeling or diving in the Red Sea. For those who want to relax, the spa offers six treatment rooms, saunas, steam rooms and hammams in addition to indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center as well as a yoga studio overlooking the desert.
20. THE TOKYO EDITION | TOKYO, JAPAN
Following the successful launch of the first Japanese EDITION hotel with The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon in late 2020, The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza will offer those who are obsessed with the brand (can we talk about the signature lobby scent?), even greater flexibility. This property will be situated just of Chuo Street, one of the largest upscale entertainment and shopping destinations in the city. Whether you’re headed to Tokyo for the Olympics or just some family fun, you can’t go wrong here.
21. XIGERA | XIGERA, BOTSWANA
Xigera is Red Carnation Hotels’ love letter to the magic of the African bush. Every aspect is handcrafted to beguile guests’ senses and stir their souls–from the evocative interiors to one-of-a-kind encounters. Transformed by Africa’s life-enhancing beauty, it is a story of remarkable renewal, of rebirth and family legacy, and of the pioneering spirit that drives us to seek out Africa’s wild spaces. The same spirit that inspired this remarkable reimagining, perhaps a complete reinvention, of an Okavango Delta safari. This is Xigera (pronounced ‘kee-jera’), named for the Pied Kingfisher that makes its home amid the watery channels of Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve. The culmination of a lifelong dream of the Tollman family, drawing on six decades of devotion to unparalleled luxury in service.
Ready to Explore the World?
We have partnered with SmartFlyer, a full-service travel agency catering to high-end customized itineraries for couples and families worldwide.
Elena Borrero, SmartFlyer Travel Consultant, is a lifelong globetrotter who has visited more than 40 countries. With an initial no fee consultation, Elena’s strengths lie in getting to know her clients and executing detail-oriented, completely customized itineraries for couples and families. She specializes in luxury hotels and resorts, and her extensive industry network allows her to negotiate amenities, upgrades and VIP status for her distinguished client base. Through her decades of testing out hotspots first-hand, her product knowledge of beach destinations, Europe and even African safaris, she is well-versed to take on creating a trip in practically any corner of the world. Learn more about the benefits of working with Elena via website or email: Elena@smartflyer.com.