“Finish what you start,” may be the motto for hotel development this year when it comes to hotel openings. Despite the worldwide closure of borders, several luxury hotel groups – most notably in Southeast Asia where the coronavirus appears to have been better contained – are pressing ahead with development and plans for Grand Openings in the months ahead.
From a spectacular beachfront resort on a private island in the Maldives to a contemporary Khmer-French colonial inspired property in the Cambodian capital, some international hotel brands are diversifying their portfolios and expanding into new cities. Hoteliers like The Chedi, Banyan Tree, Hyatt and Azerai are looking to the future – and it’s a rosy vision where travelers can revisit their trusted favorites or explore their tropical dreams.
Here are four of the most anticipated hotel openings in Asia to look out for in the coming months…
Hotel Openings | Banyan Tree Krabi
Slated for a festive Grand Opening on October 24th, Banyan Tree Krabi fronts powdery white sands and the shallow-shelved coast of the Andaman Sea. Currently undergoing some final landscaping touches, this resort occupies a serene location on Tubkaek Beach, a scenic 35-minute drive from Krabi Airport. Nestled into a hillside where it commands a direct view of a dozen spectacular karst limestone towers protruding from the sapphire sea, this luxury hotel offers 72 pool suites and villas, among them seven 2-bedroom options and one three-bedroom villa.
Facilities include all-day dining, a ballroom, MICE/ conference facilities, a wedding chapel, a beach club, a kids’ club, a fitness center, and – in keeping with Banyan Tree’s wellness branding – a rainforest-themed spa.
Perhaps one of the most dramatic features will be the four “Bird’s Nest” tables perched precariously among the trees around the resort’s highly elevated signature restaurant, Saffron. Commanding a verdant jungle scene as a backdrop, and a sea vista of Krabi’s world-famous limestone wonders, this romantic dining spot will undoubtedly make for some memorable 360-degree Instagram moments.
Hotel Openings | The Chedi Kudavillingili
Located on a 1-kilometer coral island in the Maldives, the 99-villa Chedi Kudavillingili by GHM plans to open later this year with 36 overwater villas, a 150-meter-long central pool, and desirable proximity to the Malé International Airport, a 25-minute speedboat ride away. While the overwater villas fishtail off one end of the island, a bridge on the opposite end leads to the spa on a kidney-shaped islet where 8 – 10 treatment rooms each occupy a waterborne perch of their own.
In between are a variety of health and wellness venues including a long pool segmented for privacy, a basketball court, a football pitch, courts for tennis, badminton and volleyball, a yoga pavilion, secret garden and water sports centre. There will be a library and cigar lounge for the more passively inclined; a health club and gymnasium for the fitness-minded; and a potpourri of dining options, from a beach club and bar, an all-day dining restaurant and the Hawker Restaurant with four live cooking stations plating up Indian, Chinese, Thai and international dishes. We have been watching this property throughout the year, and looking forward to seeing the final product when The Chedi Kudavillingili open their doors.
Hotel Openings | Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh
Set to open its doors in early 2021, Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh will be the first Hyatt hotel in the Cambodian capital and will mark the debut of the Hyatt Regency brand in the country. Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, within a short walking distance to the Royal Palace, National Museum and the riverside, the hotel will provide leisure guests and business travelers with modern comfort and convenience alongside warm Cambodian hospitality. With 247 guestrooms including 43 residential-style suites, the new property is set to become the largest internationally branded hotel in the city.
Conceived by award-winning Singapore-based SCDA Architects, the interiors of the hotel will reflect Cambodia’s diverse heritage, seamlessly blending Khmer architectural accents, French colonial influences, and specially commissioned artworks by contemporary Cambodian artist, FONKi. For instance, the hotel lobby is repurposed from a beautifully restored French heritage building.
Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh will feature five dining venues including FiveFive Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, which is set to become a social hotspot where guests can enjoy impressive views of the Mekong River, the Royal Palace and the city skyline alongside refreshing cocktails and energizing DJ performances. In addition, the hotel will feature 1,400 square meters of meeting space as well as a slew of recreational facilities including a 24-hour fitness center, tropical infinity pool, spa and the Regency Club Lounge.
Hotel Openings | Azerai Ke Ga Bay
Azerai Ke Ga Bay, an elegant and secluded oceanfront retreat in southeastern Vietnam, is set to launch later this year as the third property in Azerai Hotels & Resorts’ growing portfolio. The 46-key resort, a combination of villas and suites, succeeds Princess D’Annam Resort & Spa on the same site following an extensive renovation, and is located 180km east of Saigon on a sweeping five-kilometer white sand beach overlooking the East Sea. Framed to the north by Hon Ba Island, with its historic 1899-built colonial French lighthouse, and to the south by soaring sand dunes, the property cultivates one of the most naturally splendid oceanfront settings in the country.
The guest suites and villas at Azerai Ke Ga Bay evoke a contemporary aesthetic defined by elegance and minimalist design, with 21 units boasting either plunge pools or larger private pools. The resort’s three main swimming pools include an oceanfront pool with sunbeds positioned on terraces, a free-form sanctuary pool set back from the beach and surrounded by tropical gardens, and two square pools set within mirrored courts, flanked by guest rooms.
“Azerai Ke Ga Bay offers much that travelers would look for in a secluded beach resort—panoramic ocean views, lush ginger gardens with tropical trees and flowers, and a location that’s close enough to be easily accessible but far enough away to offer real privacy,” said Azerai founder Adrain Zecha.