There has been a spate of luxury hotel openings recently, with more to come in 2016. These hotels have all grabbed our attention for raising the bar for style, character and sophistication, as well as their simply stunning settings. This is our new wishlist, and it should be yours too!
Nestled in the rainforest canopy of Kamala in Thailand, amongst tropical trees and gushing waterfalls and overlooking the Andaman Sea, Keemala is a lush green paradise. The traditional villas, cottages and houses have stylish interiors topped with idyllic thatched roofs, as well as outdoor terraces with private pools – refresh with a scenic dip as you watch the sun set over Kamala Beach. For shops, restaurants and nightlife, Phuket isn’t far away, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Helena Bay Lodge, New Zealand
Helena Bay Lodge has a beautiful setting tucked away on the shores of the South Pacific in New Zealand’s picturesque North Island, surrounded by mountain peaks and tranquil waters. Arrive in style on a flight on the lodge’s own helicopter, and while you’re there, luxuriate in blissful seclusion by lingering over gourmet candlelit dinners and exploring the four private beaches and numerous hidden coves – while offshore, there’s world-class diving to be had in the beautiful Poor Knights Islands.
Phum Baitang, Cambodia
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and their family stayed here while filming First They Killed My Father in Cambodia, and it's easy to see why. At Phum Baitang, you’ll find elegant traditional stilted and thatched villas with vases of fragrant lotus flowers, bamboo shutters and private pools, surrounded by lemongrass fields and rice paddies. Pick your own ingredients and spices for your evening meal, and enjoy fine wines and vintage liquors by the infinity pool. This is all just 15 minutes from Siem Reap and the iconic Angkor Wat, and you can also pamper yourself in the Spa Temple for the ultimate indulgence.
The Strand Cruise, Myanmar
Hop onboard the Strand Cruise, the sister of the Strand Hotel in Yangon, for a scenic and leisurely cruise along Myanmar's Irrawaddy River between Bagan and Mandalay. Relax on the balcony of your luxury cabin as you glide serenely along the river, while even inside, the floor-to-ceiling windows will ensure you won’t miss any of the views over Myanmar’s ancient pagodas, temples and palaces, which you can discover with onshore excursions. Back onboard, tuck into delicious traditional cuisine and make the most of the pool on deck or enjoy a spa treatment