Asia’s hot list: 22 luxurious new hotels opening in 2018

CNN  — 

It seems a new hotel opens up every day in Asia, where a tourism boom is expected to continue well into the next decade.

Tourism was up 9% in 2016, and by 2030, the UN World Tourism Organization predicts the Asia-Pacific region will register 535 million arrivals annually.

Naturally, hotel developers are racing to keep pace as people look for the best places to stay. The hottest hotel openings in 2018 are as diverse and dynamic as the regions themselves, including big-name global brands, heritage renovation projects and ambitious architectural pursuits.

Here, we’ve rounded up 22 of the most anticipated newcomers.

These beauties provide new ways to experience a few of our favorite destinations, from a remote beach resort in Okinawa to glamping in Cambodia, a heritage project in Hong Kong and a relaxing wellness getaway in jam-packed Jakarta.

1. The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel

Hong Kong's 1960s Murray Building gets an epic makeover by Foster + Partners.

Opening: January 2018

Touching down at the beginning of 2018, The Murray is one of the most anticipated hotels of the year.

Designed by Foster + Partners, the hotel has renovated a colonial-era heritage building in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central district, right by Hong Kong Park and the Botanical Gardens.

Built in the 1960s, the original Murray Building (designed by architect Ron Phillips) was best known for its majestic three-story archways and sustainable design, which includes angled windows to minimize direct sunlight.

The majority of the notable architectural characteristics will be preserved, but the interiors will be transformed into a luxury palace worthy of visiting dignitaries and celebrities.

In the 336 rooms, amenities include all-marble bathrooms, harbor views, herringbone wood floors and a muted palette with glamorous bronze accents.

The Murray, Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel, 22 Cotton Tree Dr, Central, Hong Kong; +852 3141 8888

From $530 per night
Rates provided by

2. Morpheus, Macau

Macau gets ready to welcome Morpheus, a sculptural hotel by the late architect Zaha Hadid.

Opening: Spring 2018

When it comes to Macau hotels, the rule is “the bigger, the better.” And while Morpheus, at the City of Dreams on the Cotai Strip, will indeed be huge, this hotel is more about quality rather than quantity.

One of the last projects designed by acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid, who passed away in 2016, Morpheus swirls above the territory’s skyline like something from another galaxy. It’s sinuous and serene – a masterpiece of architectural engineering, particularly notable for its 115-foot-high lobby atrium and exposed exoskeleton.

Brimming with 780 rooms, suites and “sky villas,” the hotel is home to an infinity pool on the 40th floor, two sky bridges and an entire floor of food and beverage outlets from Alain Ducasse.

That’s right: The award-winning French chef is opening a haute cuisine restaurant, a new French-meets-Asian concept dubbed Voyages by Alain Ducasse, and a dedicated bar – all in one place.

Morpheus, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, Macau; +853 8868 6688

3. Amanyangyun, China

The antique villas at Amanyangyun were all relocated 435 miles from Jiangxi to Shanghai.

Opening: January 2018

It’s not every day that a forest and an ancient village are relocated across China in order to preserve a piece of the past. But that’s exactly what happened with Amanyangun.

The hotel’s 10,000-tree camphor forest and Ming- and Qing-Dynasty structures were moved tree by tree, stone by stone from Jiangxi, about 435 miles away, in order to preserve them in the face of development.

Opened on January 8, 2018, the latest Aman property is located just outside of Shanghai and has been about 15 years in the making. Designed by Kerry Hill Architects, the 26 cottages have been modernized to balance old and new, including both antique carvings and private courtyards alongside private pools and Jacuzzis.

In Aman style, there’s also a soothing spa on site (offering pilates, yoga and “spa journeys”) as well as nature programs, an herb garden, a tea house, five restaurants and bars and a bamboo grove.

Amanyangyun, 6161 Yuanjiang Road, Minhang District. Shanghai, China 201111; +86 21 8011 9999

4. Mandarin Oriental Qianmen

Not the Beijing hutongs you're used to.

Opening: Fall 2018

With an expected 2018 opening in Beijing, the Mandarin Oriental Qianmen will take over a historic hutong neighborhood (a series of alleyways with courtyard-style residences) near Tiananmen Square.

The aim? To provide travelers with a peek into the past and an opportunity to experience historic Beijing accommodations – albeit with the Mandarin’s luxury spin.

Inside the private sanctuary, guests will find manicured gardens and traditional Chinese courtyards, as well as restaurants, bars, a tea lounge, cake shop, spa and traditional stone hutong homes.

And just outside? One aspect of a major neighborhood restoration project, the hotel will sit among privately owned residences and shops in a labyrinthine hutong that’s ripe for exploration.

Mandarin Oriental Qianmen, Qianmen East Hutong Quarter, Beijing

5. COMO Uma Canggu, Bali Indonesia

COMO Uma Canggu rides a new wave in Bali.

Opening: February 2018

If you’ve always wanted to learn to surf but can’t commit to a back-to-basics surf camp, then COMO Uma Canggu might be just for you.

The luxury Bali address, just northwest of Seminyak, is set to open this February. It’s part-beach club, part-surf club, part-spa sanctuary … think of it as a wellness getaway with a side of adrenaline.

Health-conscious travelers will also appreciate the daily fitness sessions, holistic therapies and juice bar.

Here to splurge? We hear the Penthouse comes with three bedrooms and its own rooftop pool.

COMO Uma Canggu, Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Banjar Lungsiakan, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia; +62 361 972448

From $278 per night
Rates provided by

6. Six Senses Bhutan

Six Senses Bhutan will be bold and beautiful.

Opening: August 2018

Coming this August, the new Six Senses Bhutan isn’t just one hotel – it’s five distinct lodges built across the country’s majestic Himalayan mountain communities.

With 82 guest suites and villas in total, Six Senses Bhutan is meant to be an experiential journey.

Travelers are encouraged to stay a few nights in each destination – Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro – to soak up the diverse surrounds, architecture and local culture.

Along the way, guests will observe traditional farm life, wander through rice fields, enjoy a bit of bird-watching, explore ancient ruins and admire the Himalayan Kingdom’s dramatic scenery from window-fronted lodges.

7. Shinta Mani Wild – The Bensley Collection, Cambodia

Travelers can explore Cambodia's wilder side at Shinta Mani Wild.

Opening: August 2018

Prolific resort designer Bill Bensley has teamed up with a long list of eco partners – including the Wildlife Alliance, Fauna & Flora International, The Royal University of Phnom Penh and the Cambodian government – to introduce his first-ever tented camp inside a dedicated wildlife sanctuary: Shinta Mani Wild.

Set outside Southern Cardamom National Park – between Kirirom, Bokor and Cardamom national parks in southern Cambodia – the nature getaway comprises just 15 tents.

In terms of interiors, it’s all old-world safari vibes, evidenced by the clawfoot tubs, handmade textiles, outdoor showers and private verandas overlooking a rushing river.

With the river at your doorstep, kayaking and fishing are obvious activities. But travelers can also look forward to forest treks, elephant safaris, a waterfall bar (situated on a deck next to a natural waterfall), an alfresco restaurant and a spa.

Hospitality is of course crucial to success, but the long-term aim is to protect this 400-acre river valley from destructive industries such as poaching, mining and logging.

8. Alila Koggala, Sri Lanka

Opening: Summer 2018

If Sri Lanka has been on your wishlist, this year might be the time to go: Alila Koggala is slated to open in mid-2018.

Hugging Koggala Lake, in southern Sri Lanka, the eco-oriented retreat aims to lure well-heeled wellness travelers and barefoot yogis. About a five-minute walk away, travelers will find Ahangama Beach, while a short drive will take you to the historic fortress of Galle.

Around the resort, there will be a mix of 40 suites and villas (some with private pools), a yoga garden, kids’ club, a few restaurants and bars and Spa Alila.

Alila Koggala, Koggala, Habaraduwa, Galle, Sri Lanka; +94 710 360 460

9. Rosewood Luang Prabang, Laos

Rosewood Luang Prabang provides a luxurious new option.

Opening: Early 2018

Changes are afoot in sleepy Luang Prabang.

In early 2018, Rosewood Luang Prabang will open its doors in the wilderness outside of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s about as glamorous as “glamping” gets: Guests will have a choice of 23 suites and villas, including six luxury tented villas with private desks for those who are looking for the ultimate back-to-nature experience.

Also on the grounds, there’s a Laotian-style restaurant, a bar, spa and a few waterfalls that add to the ambiance of the remote destination.

Rosewood Luang Prabang, Nauea Village, Luang Prabang, Laos PDR; +856 7121 1155

From $892 per night
Rates provided by

10. Six Senses Fiji

Six Senses Fiji offers a new excuse to visit the islands.

Opening: March 2018

Just when we thought Fiji couldn’t get any more alluring, Six Senses announces plans to debut an eco-chic, 120-acre property in March 2018.

Located on Malolo Island, west of the main island, the 90-villa beach community offers pristine private beaches, water sports, boating, fishing, tennis, snorkeling, scuba diving and treks around the volcanic landscape.

Eco-conscious travelers will appreciate the on-site water bottling facility, locally sourced food, dedicated garden and 100% solar panel-fueled operations.

And everyone will swoon over the Fijian-style residences, which range from two to five bedrooms and feature private plunge pools, open-air dining decks and fire pits.

Six Senses Fiji, Malolo Island, Fiji; +679 666 5028

11. Atlantis Sanya Resort

The mythical world of the “Lost City of Atlantis” first came to life at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, followed by the larger-than-life Atlantis Dubai.

But the most ambitious venture is still to come.

Coming up in 2018, Atlantis Sanya Resort – located on Hainan Island off the southern coast of China – will turn heads with 133 acres of beaches, restaurants, marine adventures and entertainment.

A family-friendly experience, guests can expect an immense Aquaventure waterpark, wave pool, a 13.5-million-liter open-air aquarium and a collection of underwater suites that face either the hotel’s aquarium or lagoon.

Atlantis Sanya Resort, North Haitang Bei Road, Sanya, China, 572013; +86 898 8898 6666

From $335 per night
Rates provided by

12. OBLU Select at Sangeli, The Maldives

OBLU Select at Sangeli: A sexy new choice in The Maldives.

Opening: July 2018

Honeymooners flock to The Maldives to soak up the sun, of which there’s no shortage. Come July, another option is joining the fold: OBLU Select at Sangeli.

The edgy resort plans to drop a flag on an uninhabited island in the North Male Atoll, about 32 miles from Male International Airport. After a 50-minute-long speedboat trip, the hotel will welcome guests to its 137 standalone villas and two pristine islands.

The ultracontemporary communal spaces include a dramatic blood-red pool that juts out onto the beach, while the house reefs promise easy access to colorful underwater worlds.

For those who don’t want to count coins, there’s an all-inclusive option that includes fine-dining outings and complimentary daily mini bar refills.

13. Alila SCBD, Jakarta, Indonesia

Alila SCBD promises a whisky lounge and rooftop bar near the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

Opening: Spring 2018

A design-savvy addition to the Jakarta skyline, Alila SCBD sits in the heart of the city’s business district, neighboring the Indonesia Stock Exchange.

As for the 227 rooms and suites, these stylish pads plan to deliver 55-inch LCD-screen TVs, complimentary tablets and contemporary decor.

A mix of restaurants and bars provides something for everyone, from late-night comfort food at the 24-hour Le Burger to morning breakfast at the Vong Kitchen, both by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

And for night owls, there’s Sake No Hana, a rooftop bar, whisky lounge and OMNIA nightclub.

Alila SCBD, SCBD Lot 11, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Kav 52-53, Jakarta 12190, Indonesia; +62 21 2932 6188

14. Heritage Hotel Kempinski Yangon, Myanmar

Heritage Hotel Kempinski Yangon will inject new life into the former  New Law Courts buiding.

Opening: Spring 2018

The former Myanmar capital is full of colonial-era buildings and The Heritage Hotel Kempinski Yangon is about to inhabit one of them. Set inside the 1920s New Law Courts building, once home to many a grand gala, this five-year-long restoration project will open this spring on Strand Road, Yangon’s major thoroughfare.

Designed by architect Thomas Oliphant Foster, the property should be a glamorous mix of old and new, featuring three-story-high columns, marble floors and flashes of gold accents.

Inside, 219 rooms and suites feature soaring ceilings, while several restaurants – including a Cantonese affair and a French brasserie – take guests on a gourmet tour around the world.

The hotel also aims to be a hub of classy nightlife, opening a DJ-fueled rooftop pool bar, an old-school cigar lounge and a classic European bar pouring bespoke cocktails and a long list of whiskies.

Heritage Hotel Kempinski Yangon, 14 Strand Road, Kyauktada, Yangon, Myanmar; +(95) 1 230 7900

15. SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, Thailand

Clean white interiors beckon at SALA Samui Chawen Beach Resort.

Opening: January 2018

Opening in two phases, beginning in January, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort provides a high-end option on the sandy shores of popular Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui, off the coast of southern Thailand.

Rather than going the traditional Thai route, the modern resort glows in the sun – all clean white decor and contemporary styles.

The project begins with the Oceanfront Wing, a mix of 52 pool villas and suites (all with private pools), beachfront restaurant and circular pool.

Next year, a Garden Wing will follow with another 83 rooms and villas, as well as a separate pool, spa, restaurant and bar.

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, 99/10 Moo 2, Bophut, Ko Samui, Surat Thani 84320, Thailand

From $319 per night
Rates provided by

16. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andaman Islands

A view of Havelock Beach in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Opening: March 2018

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, an archipelago between India and Thailand in the Bay of Bengal, is rolling out the red carpet for luxury newcomer Taj Exotica Resort & Spa.

If the brand’s other hotels are any indication, the Andaman address should be a crowd-pleaser.

From its plot on Havelock Island, the resort offers a mix of crescent white beaches backed by jungle, as well as easy access to the archipelago’s colorful coral reefs and mangroves.

Keeping with local traditions, the 75 villas take inspiration from thatched-roof tribal huts (typically made with dried coconut leaves) matched with contemporary colors and Taj’s famous service.

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andaman Islands, Radha Nagar Beach No. 7, Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 744211, India; +91 3192 283 333

From $424 per night
Rates provided by

17. Anantara Quy Nhon Villas, Vietnam

Opening: Mid 2018

Coming up in mid-2018, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas will stretch across a quiet beach in southern Vietnam, between Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An.

The Quy Nhon area lures outdoorsy types with its hiking and mountain scenery, pretty parks and hidden waterfalls – not to mention a long stretch of clean and clear coastline.

The 25-villa property will have everything you need for a lazy escape or an action-packed getaway, including a gym, spa, pool, watersports and more.

18. Rosewood Hong Kong

Rosewood Hong Kong is part of a massive waterfront redevelopment project in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Opening: September 2018

Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui harborfront has seen non-stop construction over the past few years, from the ongoing renovations of the Hong Kong Museum of Art and Hong Kong Space Museum to a brand-new promenade, set to open in stages through 2019.

Dubbed Victoria Dockside, Tsim Sha Tsui’s waterfront public space will transform the New World Centre into an arts and culture district.

Rosewood Hong Kong will kick off the waterfront project (designed by the acclaimed New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates) followed by an artsy mixed-use office space K11 Atelier, and lots of green space to elevate the area.

Stretching across 43 floors of the new 65-story tower, the luxury hotel will feature skyline views and 413 guest rooms (80% of which offer harbor views). Of the 90 suites, 18 will feature distinct designs and amenities – some of which include private sky gardens and pools.

In addition, the hotel will play host to eight restaurants and bars, and an urban outpost of the brand’s recently launched Asaya wellness concept.

19. IRAPH SUI, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Okinawa

At the end of 2018, you can visit Iraph Sui in Okinawa.

Opening: Late 2018

Snorkeling, island hopping, pristine beaches, fresh seafood … There’s no shortage of reasons to visit Okinawa. And, by the end of 2018, there will be one more calling card: IRAPH SUI, a Luxury Collection Hotel.

Awash in soothing shades of whites and blues, the resort will open on an elevated headland, along the sandy coast of Irabu Island. The remote island is off the southwestern coast of Okinawa’s main island – about a 50-minute flight from Naha Airport or three hours from Tokyo.

Within the property, there will be 57 guest rooms – all with ocean views – as well as nine suites, equipped with private plunge pools.

No pool in your room? Luckily, there’s a communal 72-foot-long outdoor infinity pool that appears to spill into the ocean. Of course, if you’re in the market for an adventure, scuba diving in Okinawa is not to be missed.

Due to years of volcanic activity, the underwater landscape is full of surprising rock formations, coral and eerie caves.

IRAPH SUI, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture 906-0000, Japan,

20. Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

Waldorf Astoria debuts in Bangkok this year.

Opening: TBA

Southeast Asia’s first Waldorf Astoria is coming to Bangkok, making its debut on the banks of buzzing Ratchadamri Road in the city’s centrally located Pathum Wan district.

It’s part of the Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard, a mixed-use luxury high-rise project near famous shopping malls like Siam Paragon and Central World.

But back to the hotel: The 171-room address will spoil guests with some of the largest hotel rooms in the city, starting at 540 square feet.

The decor is subdued, featuring neutral shades with flashes of gold here and there and marble all around. Deluxe Suites, for example, come kitted out with a lounge area, enormous circular bathtubs and skyline views.

Around the property, guests will also enjoy a few restaurants, two glamorous bars (including an emerald-hued Champagne Bar), an indulgent spa and an outdoor pool.

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, 151 Ratchadamri Rd, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand; +66 2 846 8888

21. Capella Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Capella's first branded Bali property invites guests to live in one of 22 luxury tents.

Opening: Early 2018

Originally scheduled to open in 2017, Capella Ubud will finally debut this year along Ubud’s Wos River. Surrounded by rainforests and rice terraces, the tented camp recalls bygone days of European exploration.

Brought to life by acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, the atmosphere encapsulates best of Ubud with forest-hugged pavilions and secluded accommodations. Each of the 22 luxury tents comes with a private plunge pool, while communal areas include a cozy library, gym, two restaurants, and a spa.

And if you can tear yourself away? We’d recommend a visit to the nearby Ubud Traditional Art Market and Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.

Part of a rapid expansion across the region, Capella also opened a Shanghai property late last year and has plans to unveil another address in Bangkok later this year.

Capella Ubud, Bali, Jalan Raya Keliki, Kelusa, Payangan, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia; +62 361 2091888

22. AVANI Sunset Coast Samui Resort & Villas, Thailand

Opening: September 2018

Koh Samui is welcoming another newcomer in 2018. Come September, AVANI will unveil a pretty new property on the southwest coast – far removed from the main tourist drags on the opposite side of the island. Sitting along Pang Kha Bay, the 58-room hotel will include 19 villas – all with private pools and awash in soft white interiors.

As it’s far removed from the center of town, guests will have everything they need on site, including a few restaurants, gym, spa, pantry, watersports and a beachfront infinity pool.

Meanwhile, a daily schedule of activities will keep active types busy with kayaking, hiking, cycling and yoga.

Adding to the appeal, the resort will also offer day trips to the nearby Ang Thong National Marine Park and the technicolor coral reefs surrounding Koh Taen – just south in the Gulf of Thailand.

AVANI Sunset Coast Samui Resort & Villas, 3/5 Moo 4, Phang Ka, Tambon Taling Ngam, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand; +66 2 365 9110