Luxury bathroom products and pillow menus are no longer enough.Today’s travelers now demand (at least someone thinks) such extras as a marine conservation center, private cinema, oxygen lounge and in-room thermal baths.
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Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles
Opening: January 2014
The Ace Hotel group’s fifth American property and the first to open since co-founder Alex Calderwood’s death in November, this LA hotel highlights everything the Ace brand stands for.
Set in the historic 1927 United Artists building and theater, the 182-room hotel’s eclectic style is a collaboration between local group Commune and Atelier Ace.
Guest rooms reflect architectural heritage and come with Rudy’s Toiletries, Pearl+ soaps and Revo Radios.
In addition to a rooftop pool and bar and pet-friendly options, the property will reopen the building’s original 1,600-seat performance space, which will house a theater.
Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, 929 South Broadway, Los Angeles; +1 213 623 3233; from $299 per night
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
Opening: February 7, 2014
Incorporating a traditional Meiji-era house and courtyard, this Zen-inspired property sits on the banks of Kyoto’s Kamogawa River, with many of the city’s 17 World Heritage Sites within walking distance.
From the Imabari robes in the hotel’s 134 guest rooms to artwork by local artists, Japanese design and style are featured throughout the hotel.
Some suites come with outdoor gardens modeled on tsukimidai (moon-viewing decks).
All rooms offer 600-fretted bed linens and featherbeds, luxury bath amenities by Asprey of London and Kyoto Shabon soaps and seasonal bath salts.
Those bath products are also found in the 2,000-square-meter spa at the base of a waterfall.
The dining room’s beautiful features include an 11-meter Uwajima-nuri lacquered counter and waterfall. The menu focuses on Edomae-style sushi.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Kamogawa Nijo-ohashi Hotori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan; +81 75 746 5555; from $700 per night
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Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
Opening: March 2014
The upcoming Waldorf 93-room property encompasses six original patrician houses — each of them on UNESCO’s World Heritage list — from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Set on one of Amsterdam’s oldest canals, the Herengracht, in the middle of the city’s historic center, each house has exposed beams, sloping ceilings and large picture windows overlooking the canal or courtyard garden.
The hotel will house the same Peacock Alley restaurant as the New York flagship, a converted underground bar and a function space decorated with original 17th-century paintings.
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam; +31 20 710 6090; from $630 per night
Alila Jabal Akhdar (Oman)
Opening: March 2014
Neighbor to Dubai and Abu Dhabi but a world away in pace, Oman has steered clear of record-breaking hotels in glass towers with water parks and snowfields.
Set 2,000 meters above sea level in the mountainous Jabal Akhdar region two hours from Muscat, the country’s newest offering doesn’t deviate from tradition.
Asian-based hotel group Alila’s Middle Eastern debut sits on the edge of a dramatic gorge, with spectacular views of the Hajar Mountains from the outdoor pool.
The 86 rooms, suites and villas are set in stone buildings resembling flat-roofed Omani houses.
There’s a spa, indoor pool and surprising array of adventure activities in the area.
Alila Jabal Akhdar, Hajar Mountains, Oman; rates from $310 per night
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Anantara Doha Island Resort & Spa
Opening: April 2014
Anantara’s big opening is a 13-hectare private island resort.
Accessed by speedboat, Anantara Doha’s 141 rooms include a series of over-water villas with plunge pools.
There are four other pools for guests: one with a wave simulator, another styled on a lagoon and two hydro-exercise pools.
An offshore reef is being regenerated and will be home to a conservation center. Guests can plant their own coral and dive at the fully equipped dive center.
On land, diversions range from a bowling alley and cinema to four restaurants and bars, a holistic wellness center, tennis courts and nine-hole putting course.
Anantara Doha Island Resort & Spa, Doha, Qatar; email@example.com; rates TBA
Park Hyatt New York
Opening: Q2 2014
The Park Hyatt’s first New York hotel occupies a coveted location opposite Carnegie Hall in midtown Manhattan, with views of Central Park.
Occupying the top floors of the 90-story One57 — the tallest residential building in the city — the 210-room property was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Christian de Portzamparc.
Interiors are by Yabu Pushelberg, whose notable Manhattan designs include Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys.
Park Hyatt New York, 157 W. 57th St., New York; rates TBA
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W Beijing — Chang’An
Opening: June 28, 2014
In a city where hotels seem to materialize every other day, the W Beijing has a lot of pressure to stand out.
For starters, there’s its attention-grabbing location, just steps from the Forbidden City.
The 340 rooms and suites bring state-of-the-art bells and whistles — integrated audio systems, built-in recessed screens, adjustable lighting.
The hotel will have a Wish Workshop, where guests can sign up for everything from cooking classes to yoga.
It’ll be a busy month for W Hotels in China, with Beijing’s sister property, W Shanghai — The Bund, set to open on June 15, with 600 rooms and Huangpu River views.
W Beijing — Chang’An, No. 2 Jianguomennan Avenue, Beijing; rates TBA
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Sea Sentosa Bali
Opening: Q2, 2014
It turns out there’s still beachfront left in Bali.
Located on popular Canggu surf hangout Echo Beach on the west coast of the Indonesian island, the new Sea Sentosa property features rooms and suites enveloping a lagoon-style swimming pool and hemmed with vertical gardens.
At the top of the resort, the three-bedroom penthouse comes with wraparound balconies overlooking the Indian Ocean, a private plunge pool and Italian furnishings.
Two beachfront restaurants will provide opportunities for sunset gazing.
There will also be a gourmet deli and surf shop on the property.
Sea Sentosa, Echo Beach, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia; +62 361 888 1234; from $175
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Opening: Q2 2014
Coming to the location that inspired the brand, the Shangri-La Hotel group’s first luxury property on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau is within walking distance of Potala Palace and Norbulingka Palace.
Set at an altitude of more than 3,500 meters, the 289-room hotel is designed to maximize comfort.
Surrounded by extensive gardens with indigenous plants, the oxygen lounge is meant to help guests adjust to the altitude.
Traditional Tibetan furniture and furnishings (turquoise stone, decorative metals, floral patterns, auspicious symbols) brighten rooms; public facilities include the CHI Spa and a Tibetan-Yunnan restaurant. Recommended: roasted lamb ribs marinated in Tibetan yogurt.
Shangri-La Lhasa, Lingkor Road, Lhasa, China; from $392
The Gainsborough Bath Spa
Opening: Q2, 2014
Approximately 4 million visitors flock to Bath every year to see the historic streets and buildings and soak in thermal waters.
The Gainsborough hotel combines Bath’s top sights by occupying three historic structures with direct access to thermal waters — the only hotel in the United Kingdom to enjoy such a privilege.
The lower level of the property will be home to the 1,300-square-meter Spa Village Bath and mosaic thermal pools set within an atrium flooded with natural light.
The 99 rooms come with high ceilings, heated bathroom floors and Georgian windows, and include three spa suites with roll-top baths. The three taps are marked “hot,” “cold” and “thermal.”
Bellotts, a 17th-century annex to the Gainsborough building, has 14 guest rooms with an underground passageway to the spa village.
The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Beau Street, Bath, England; from $381 per night
The Beaumont Hotel
Opening: Q3, 2014
Jeremy King and Chris Corbin — founders of some of London’s most successful restaurants, including The Wolseley, Delaunay, Brasserie Zedel and Colbert — are behind this boutique Mayfair property overlooking Brown Hart Gardens.
The art deco building’s 73 rooms and suites take inspiration from 1920s Manhattan, while the works of British sculptor Antony Gormley dot the sculpture room.
A Corbin & King restaurant is on the roster, as well as an American-style bar.
The Beaumont, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London; rates TBA
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Opening: August 1, 2014
Peninsula Hotels makes its debut in Europe with the launch of a grand hotel in a century-old Beaux-Arts building.
Tiered silver platters will be delivered to tables for high tea every afternoon and the hotel’s five other restaurants and bars include an upscale Chinese restaurant, cigar lounge and rooftop bar.
The 1,700-square-meter subterranean spa includes an indoor pool with LED mood lighting, herbal steam rooms and ice fountains.
Peninsula Paris, 19 Avenue Kleber, Paris; rates TBA
Other notable openings in 2014
Japanese hoteliers Hoshinoya will open a retreat in Ubud, Bali, toward the end of the year.
The Ritz-Carlton will return to Bali with a resort slated for the Nusa Dua region.
Southern California will see the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage.
Anantara will open its second Phuket property, Anantara Phuket Layan Resort & Spa, Thailand, and will also open Anatara Emei Resort & Spa in China.
The Russian capital will soon be home to the Four Seasons Hotel Moscow.