Last year saw several prominent openings in New York, Paris and London; this year we are looking elsewhere for promising new properties. All of the major hotel groups have several projects in the works; some look very compelling (St. Regis Bal Harbour, Raffles Maldives, Capella Georgetown), others not so much (Kempinski Vilnius, St. Regis Tianjin, Four Seasons Baku). The Amanresorts guessing game continues to captivate their legion of fans (Gabon! Perth! Wadi Rum!), and it will be interesting to see what their new owners decide to unveil. Below are a just a few of the openings that we are anticipating. There are many others worth considering. Please feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments section (and please note that by mentioning these hotels we are not signaling an imminent incognito visit!). We are also looking forward to several re-openings, including
Four Seasons Toronto and Park Hyatt Sydney. The Siam, Bangkok - Set in almost three riverside acres to the north of the Grand Palace, The Siam will offer suites that start at an impressively spacious 830 square feet and go up. The four teakwood houses transplanted from the ancient capital of Ayutthaya should make for especially atmospheric accommodations. Opening this spring.
Gstaad Alpina - It's not opening until December, but The Alpina looks to be a very appealing contemporary take on a traditional Alpine lodge. Set on the hilltop of Oberbort, five minutes from the town center, this claims to be the first luxury hotel to open in Gstaad in the last 100 years.
St. Regis Mauritius - Opening May 15th, this 173-room property sits on the southwestern side of the island, which rests in the southwest Indian Ocean roughly 500 miles east of Madagascar. All of the colonial-style accommodations on this beach resort will include butler service.
Raffles Konottaa, Maldives - Forty-nine duplex villas, all with their own plunge pools, will comprise the accommodations at this new beach resort set on its own island in the pristine Gaafu Dhaal Atoll, a 50-minute flight from Male.
St. Regis Bal Harbour - Opening June 19th, this sits 243-room property has an enviable beach location directly across from the Bal Harbour shops. All guest accommodations feature kitchens as well as glass-enclosed balconies with ocean views.
Capella Georgetown - We were favorably impressed with Capella Pedregal in Cabo, and are looking forward to this fetching red-brick 48-room property which sits between the C&O Canal and the cobblestone sidewalks of Georgetown.
Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg - Opening in May, this looks to be another remarkable historic property from Four Seasons along the lines of its hotel in Florence. This stately 19th-century Russian royal palace sits two blocks from one of the world's great art collections, the Hermitage Museum.
London Café Royal - Add this to the growing number of sparkling new properties opening in London in anticipation of the summer Olympic Games. The legendary Regent Street venue, which was popular with Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and various turn-of-the-century royals, will begin its new life as a 160-room luxury hotel this spring.
Mandarin Oriental Guanghzhou - China's third largest city, the former Canton, sits 75 miles north of Hong Kong along the Pearl River. A new 233-room Mandarin Oriental, set above a luxury shopping complex in the Tianhe commercial district, will be opening this summer. This is mostly a business address, but the scenic wonders of Guilin's Li River are a short plane hop away.