Sometimes, a hotel is a destination in itself. From bespoke services through to sumptuous facilities, these properties are examples of luxury accommodation at its finest. This guide is another collection hand-picked from our travel consultants' many years of expertise: we've included brand new hotels that we are as eager to try as you are, and some established favourites that we believe are musts on your travel list for 2017.
Amazing Hotels to Visit in 2017
Laucala Island Resort, Fiji
This heavenly Fijian island was once a private retreat for the Forbes family, and is now owned by Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz. Highly exclusive and devastatingly beautiful, Laucala Resort takes up only 10% of the island, leaving the rest as an untouched paradise which has lured the likes of Oprah and Elle Macphearson to its gorgeous shores. Guests will relish the private golf course, farm-fresh fine dining, and the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the world.
Meghauli Serai Jungle Lodge, Nepal
Explore the heart of the Nepalese jungle from this safari lodge, which abounds with opportunities for wildlife encounters, especially those with the giant One Horned Rhino. Accommodation is spacious and simplistically elegant, with balconies that offer stunning river or grassland outlooks. Must-do activities include elephant bathing and feeding, canoeing in the Rapti River, and a visit to a local Tharu village.
Hotel Ritz Paris
After a four year hiatus, the Ritz Paris has opened to wow the world with its top-to-bottom makeover. The rooms and public spaces boast exquisite detail that will astonish and delight even the most discerning of guests, and the bars and restaurants are a destination in themselves. Sip a martini in Bar Hemingway, named after the author who passionately defended his favourite watering hole from the Nazis in 1944.
This deluxe eco resort offers the ultimate immersion in the hushed beauty of the Australian outback. There are only 15 of the luxury tented pavilions, and all offer a private glass wall that presents incredible views of Uluru. The days are filled with enlightening tours and rare natural delights, but experiencing the romance of Uluru by night is a truly special feeling, especially when accompanied by fantastic service and fabulous food.
The Vale Niseko, Japan
Niseko’s most awarded hotel is nestled at the base of the ski slopes, offering guests easy access to the world’s best powder snow. The private onsen suites are the ultimate post-ski indulgence; simply step out on to your balcony and slip into the natural hot spring water, piped straight from the source. Sleek and contemporary furnishings are enhanced by stunning views of the slopes, or of Mt Yotei; the ‘Fuji of the North’.
Eagle’s Nest, New Zealand
There are only five luxury villas on this 75-acre estate, four of which boast a private infinity pool with mesmerising views over the Bay of Islands. Each villa is furnished in a contemporary, eclectic style, with bespoke art and international influences. All services are personalised by a dedicated concierge, who arranges everything from degustation menus to activity itineraries specifically tailored to your interests and desires.
Ashford Castle, County Mayo, Ireland
This jaw-dropping castle was founded in 1228, and every detail of the resort is a luxurious interpretation of the building’s historical heritage. Antique bedroom furnishings, manicured gardens and magnificent common areas stay true to the medieval ambience, and guests can even ‘fly’ a hawk at the School of Falconry. The grounds are comprised of 350 acres of ancient woodland, where guests can enjoy activities such as archery, tree climbing and lake cruising.
Lizard Island, Queensland
It’s fitting that Tropical North Queensland’s most northern resort offers the height of luxury in the miraculous setting of the Great Barrier Reef. Simply grab your snorkel, walk to the water’s edge and dive into the turquoise waters to discover vibrant coral and effervescent fish. Pristine beaches and secluded lagoons are the perfect back drop for a private picnic, and activities such as glass-bottomed boat rides and dinghy hire are included within the room rate.
More Inspiration for a New Year of Travel:
Our Favourite New Hotels for 2017
Alila Fort Bishangarh, India
This one-time warrior fortress is a jaw-dropping palace that has weathered the desert storms and conquests of Rajastahan for over 200 years. The fort is striking in its stark beauty and grandeur, and will be left completely intact during the site’s transformation into a lavish hotel. Guests will enjoy features such as a cigar room, two speciality restaurants and a wine cellar; just in case any distraction is needed in such a stunning setting.
Great Scotland Yard Hotel
The original home of England’s legendary Scotland Yard is being transformed into a five-star hotel, set to open its doors early next year. The building was made famous by the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and from behind its Edwardian brick and stone facade London’s finest worked on such cases as the infamous Jack the Ripper. The renovation will endeavour to maintain the principle elements of this stately building in a manner of refined luxury.
Six Senses Fiji
In late 2017 the Fijian island of Malolo will welcome Six Senses Fiji, a no-holds-barred luxury resort nestled in a picture perfect bay. The resort will be 100% solar powered, with a focus on sustainability that takes nothing away from its first-class features. The Six Senses Spa offers each guest an Integrated Wellness Program, which can include spa treatments, sleep tips, meditation and yoga on the resort’s tree-top platform, all designed by professionals and tailored to the individual.
A team of dedicated historians and master craftsman have caringly relocated houses from the Ming and Qing dynasties to form an integral part of Aman’s latest property – a luxury resort nestled amongst thousands of ancient camphor trees. The 24 antique houses are joined by a collection of new villas and suites, two pools, a traditional Chinese garden and six dining venues.
Hotel Eden, Rome
The refurbishment of one of Rome’s most iconic hotels will launch the erstwhile haunt of Ingrid Bergman and Ernest Hemingway back to the top of the list of luxury hotels in the eternal city. Re-opening in April 2017, the Hotel Eden will offer sumptuous suites that stay true to the hotel’s original design. Restaurant La Terrazza dell’Eden will also return to offer Michelin-starred dining accompanied by romantic views of Rome.
Admiralty Arch London
Built in 1910, the Admiralty Arch is a monument to the British Navy and a memorial to Queen Victoria. As of 2017 it will also be a deluxe hotel and spa, complete with serviced residences and a private members club. This opportunity to stay in building where Sir Winston Churchill lived and worked is topped off by an exquisite restaurant that offers views straight down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace.
Funky and refreshing, Aloft Hotels is a Starwood brand that will be introduced to Australian shores when Aloft Perth opens at Rivervale in May 2017. Designed for savvy travellers who appreciate urban design and easily accessible technology, the loft-inspired rooms and common areas are splashed with vibrant colours that encourage the brand’s trademark lively atmosphere.
Park Hyatt, St. Kitts
Set on a nearly untouched Caribbean island in the delightfully named Banana Bay, the Park Hyatt St. Kitts will stay true to the brand’s intimate luxury with a collection of 126 spacious rooms and suites. As well as views of golden beaches and crystal clear waters, guests can enjoy an outlook across The Narrows towards the volcanic island of St Nevis.
Spicers Potts Point
Spicers’ unique brand of relaxed luxury is extending into the heart of Sydney. Spicers Potts Point is a 20 room hotel spread over three heritage-listed terrace houses. A fresh, contemporary decor is augmented by classic touches such as marble fireplaces and the original wrought-iron balconies from the Victorian era. It’s a city oasis that is handy to chic shops, cafes and restaurants.