Openings, Revamps and the Latest Travel News
Nekupe Sporting Resort & Retreat, Nicaragua
Thirty minutes from historic colonial Granada, Nicaragua’s first luxury country resort is next-level adventure, outfitted for the most discerning guests. Ideal for group travelers, the intimate, eight-room hideaway (tucked into a 1,300-acre nature reserve) harmoniously blends adrenaline activities, wellness programs, outdoor exploration, and sumptuous creature comforts—from hiking, surfing, and horseback riding, to bespoke dining menus and marimba lessons, to spa treatments and yoga with a view of spectacular Mombacho Volcano. The four-suite La Residencia de Doña Theresita encompasses the 24,000-square-foot main residential compound. Four well-appointed villas have access to a nearby dry riverbed flanked by tropical plants. Steeped in native culture, the property offers many diversions, as well as the option to completely unplug.
Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort, Portugal
Located along Portugal’s southern coast, Europe’s first Anantara resort pairs seaside serenity with Vilamoura’s celebrity glamor in a newly refreshed home. Facelifts to the lobby, spa, kids’ club, and rooftop suites have transformed what was once the Tivoli Victoria into a world-class, see-and-be-seen destination where the legendary golf fairways, four cerulean pools, and glowing golden beaches are always within view. The addition of Sundown ceremonies, Golf and Wine Guru journeys, family- friendly amenities, and Ayurveda-based treatments confirm that the signature Anantara touch is the new norm for jet setting beach-goers.
Hotel Eden Rome, Italy
Rich heritage and uncompromising elegance are just a few things to expect from the recently-reopened Hotel Eden in the Eternal City. It took more than a year to complete, but the property has entered an exciting new chapter of its 125-year history as a rejuvenating home just a short stroll from the city’s Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese icons. Bruno Moinard of 4BI and Associates oversaw the lobby and bedroom enhancements, reducing the number of guestrooms from 121 to 98 and applying gilded Roman resplendence alongside Bang and Olufsen televisions, Bluetooth sound systems, and Bottega Veneta bath amenities throughout. Elsewhere, the hidden library bar, brand new spa, and top floor brasserie La Terrazza, prove this enduring city oasis still has a few surprises up its sleeve.
OneFortyEight, Nairobi, Kenya
Safari-goers in Kenya have a new boutique hotel in Nairobi to bookend their journey. Newly opened OneFortyEight Nairobi is located next to the Giraffe Sanctuary in the Langata suburb, close to Wilson Airport. The eight-room hotel is a cozy retreat with accommodations in a main house and five well-appointed suites converted from the on-site artist’s studio. Original artwork lines the walls and wildlife like warthogs, peacocks, and monkeys freely roam through the garden. From OneFortyEight, it’s easy to experience more of Nairobi, whether you are there for one night or for an extended stay.
Bisate Lodge, Rwanda
Wilderness Safaris' latest outpost makes a grand debut within an amphitheater of an eroded volcanic cone, offering unrivaled access to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and its resident mountain gorillas. Comprised of just six dreamy villas, the intimate digs are slated to set a new standard for luxury properties and conservation tourism. The lodge’s reforestation project aims to restore the surrounding land into an indigenous rainforest. Seven-thousand trees have already been planted on the site. Recognizing that protecting the gorillas’ natural habitat is crucial to their survival, Bisate is also working towards the physical expansion of Volcanoes National Park, a goal that will hopefully see an increase in the population of critically endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
Bawah Private Island, Indonesia
Opening midyear in the Anambas Archipelago in Indonesia, Bawah Private Island is a pristine tropical hideaway. A ferry ride from Singapore to Batam, followed by a one-hour flight on a private seaplane, transports guests to paradise. Behold six islands of lush jungle, 13 fine white sand beaches, and three clear blue lagoons spread over an official marine conservation area, teeming with underwater life. Bawah is a place for curious adventurers, with most of the island completely untouched by the outside world. Even the build left a low environmental footprint: during the five-year construction process, crews built the resort and its 35 safari-style tented villas without the use of heavy construction equipment, breaking rocks and boulders for building material by hand.
Jabali Ridge Ruaha, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
Asilia is known for having safari properties in some of the most prime locations in Africa. They’re continuing the tradition with the opening of Jabali Ridge, set to welcome guests to Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park in September. Set among boulders high up on a rocky kopje, the lodge’s ten suites blend seamlessly into the wild environment. The distinct vegetation zones of Eastern and Southern Africa converge in Ruaha National Park, creating a wildlife conservation area that supports a great and varied number of species. One-tenth of the planet's lion population, the endangered African wild dog, bat-eared fox, and roan antelope roam in Ruaha. It's also home to one of the world’s largest elephant populations. What’s more, the number of visitors to Ruaha is so few, you get the feeling you have the park all to yourself.
It’s no secret that Cuba is undergoing a major renaissance moment. One year after U.S. tourists began flooding the Caribbean island, the deluge shows no signs of relenting, which is why the unveiling of the Gran Hotel Manzan Kempinski La Habana in Old Havana couldn’t be timelier. The 246-room hotel is the first of its kind: the country’s first modern five-star property, managed by Europe's oldest luxury hotel group, and housed in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A colorful 120-year heritage, a rooftop swimming pool, a one-of-a-kind Cuban cigar lounge, a Resense spa, and views over Parque Central in La Habana Vieja are just a few of the reasons why this Kempinski newcomer is about to become the most coveted address in Havana.
King Lewanika Lodge, Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia
The first and only permanent lodge west of the Barotse Floodplain of the Zambezi River immerses guests in an ultra-private safari experience in unspoiled nature. A collaboration of Time + Tide with conservation nonprofit Africa Parks, the Barotse Royal Establishment, and the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife, the sustainability-focused property accommodates up to 15, and boasts six open-front, tented villas with private decks, outdoor showers, and furnishings that emulate safari’s golden era. Dedicated photographic guides lead shutterbugs of all abilities to nab the perfect shot—perhaps the area’s legendary lion prides, booming cheetah and hyena populations, or Africa’s second-biggest wildebeest migration, if the time is right.
Montage Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina
The Montage Palmetto Bluff on the banks of the May River in South Carolina might be America's most exquisite place for front porch sitting and sweet tea sipping. Surrounded by centuries-old live oaks draped in Spanish moss, this plantation-style lowcountry resort delivers southern charm and hospitality. A recent renovation included the addition of 150 rooms and suites, a 13,000 square-foot spa, pool, and fitness center, and several restaurants and retail spaces. As enticing as the screened-in porches of the River View Cottages are, you can also soak in all the 20,000 acres of coastal marshland through adventures like horseback riding, paddle-boarding, a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, fishing—or two of our personal favorites, clay shooting and naturalist-led alligator “hunts”(the reptiles are observed, not disturbed).
Alila Fort Bishangarh, Jaipur, India
One of the most anticipated hotel openings of the year, Alila Fort Bishangarh is set to open its doors to guests on July 1. After a seven-year restoration and renovation project, the 230-year-old warrior fortress, located at Bishangarh Village in Jaipur, strikes a balance between historic preservation and modern luxuries. The original fort has been left intact, with the new hotel built above and outside. You can appreciate the 6.5-foot thick, battle tested walls, still bearing openings for firearms and the old turrets. You will also find large bathrooms with standalone tubs, wireless Internet, and comfortable daybeds in each of 59 gorgeous suites. Perched on a granite hill, the property boasts grand windows with endless views of Rajasthan’s stunning landscape. The former dungeons have been recast as airy Spa Alila. Carved out of granite rocks, the spa offers a variety of indulgent treatments and yoga classes to promote well-being.
An affable and ancient culture, a textile heritage defined by its color explosion, a proud and progressive foodie scene rivaling the Michelin stars of Europe, a landscape comprising 84 ecosystems and 24 climates, and one singular seventh Wonder of the World—it’s no wonder Peru features on so many top traveler lists year in and year out.
Yet the Land of the Incas isn’t slowing down. After a well-considered refurbishment, SUMAQ Machu Picchu Hotel has unveiled a series of amped-up activities that connect to rituals of Peruvian culture—from a shaman-guided mystical tour of the country’s main attraction to a traditional Andean destination wedding to a Pachamanca meal cooked in an underground oven.
Multi-million dollar renovations, inaugural launches, and brand new experiential offerings slated for the coming year have secured Peru’s designation as the boundary-pushing hot spot this travel season. Here is what’s on the horizon.
Country Club Lima Hotel is undergoing an $8-million renovation project slated for completion this August. All 83 rooms, as well as the lobby and public areas, will see a welcome facelift without any closures to the property. Rock star chef Virgilio Martinez—a recent addition to the Chef’s Table lineup—will unveil his cutting edge Mil Restaurant this spring. Sitting 11,500 feet above sea level, the Mory restaurant will only serve food grown and prepared using ancient Peruvian techniques. In May, Belmond unveiled the highly-anticipated Belmond Andean Explorer, Peru’s first luxury sleeper train. The 68-passenger train will depart on one-and two-night journeys through the natural wonders and ancient kingdoms of the Peruvian Andes, from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Arequipa. Finally, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, will embark on several special departures aboard the Aria Amazon cruise vessel in February and October of 2018. Each cruise through the Northern Amazon will feature once-in-a-lifetime interactions and excursions with this world-renowned champion of ocean conservation and environmental protection.