The most exciting new hotels for 2020

Ianthe Butt
Arctic Bath: Visit Sweden

From Lebanon to Denmark, Botswana to Sri Lanka, here are the most exciting new hotel openings for 2020.

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Arctic Bath, Swedish Lapland

Opening: January 2020

One of the 12 Arctic Bath cabins (Visit Sweden)

The hotel most anticipated by design buffs is the long-awaited Arctic Bath, the latest project from the team behind the innovative Treehotel in Harads. The property’s eye-catching Polo mint-shaped spa centre either floats or is frozen in the waters of the Lule river, depending on what time of year it is. There are 12 zen-feel cabins to stay in – some float by the water, while others line the shore.

Rooms from £775

Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Opening: January 2020

Rosewood Little Dix Bay reopens post-Hurricane Irma (Rosewood)

It’s a quiet year for smart Caribbean openings, but well worth a mention is the reopening of this classic escape. Founded by conservationist Laurance Rockefeller in 1964, it opens after a four-year closure and refurbishment (during this time, the British Virgin Islands were hit hard by Hurricane Irma). There’s a cliffside spa, half a mile of sandy beach to enjoy, and NYC’s Meyer Davis has designed 82 glorious rooms, suites and villas – including some cool treehouse numbers.

Rooms from £658

Arthaus Gemmayze, Beirut, Lebanon

Opening: February 2020

Arthaus Gemmayze opens in Beirut’s trendiest neighbourhood (Guillaume de Laubier)

Culture fiends continue to flock to Beirut, a city which thrums with creativity. The new place to stay is this 19-room property, opening in bohemian Gemmayze. Set across four houses, which once made up the family home of well-connected art collectors Nabil and Zoe Debs, the vibe is old-school Lebanese palazzo. Expect lush gardens, restored antique floors and pieces from the Debs’ own art collection. Food will be by on-the-rise chef Rouba Khalil, there will be an underground lounge for salon-style events, and insider access to local artists’ studios can be arranged.

Rooms from £210, B&B

BOOK1 Design Hostel, Aarhus, Denmark

Opening: April 2020

BOOK1 Design Hostel (BOOK1 Design Hostel)

Brøchner Hotels, the folks behind sci-fi sleek Hotel Herman K (inside an old transformer station in Copenhagen), will open a funky hostel in Aarhus in spring. The flashpacker’s delight takes over the city’s former library in Mølleparken, with 444 beds on offer – from suites to pod or bunk dorm rooms – as well as hip bars, a sauna, social spaces and a food court offering Nordic pizzas, wood-fired dishes and more.

Single beds in dorm rooms from £30

The Pig at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall, England

Opening: June 2020

Harlyn House is the latest Pig to join the group (Harlyn House)

Hot on the heels of its hit Kentish opening, the Pig at Bridge Place, rural trendsetters Robin and Judy Hutson have cast their eyes to Cornwall for the next in the litter. Just in time for summer, a 16th-century house and stables will be transformed into a 26-room bolthole with a clutch of Shepherd’s Huts and duo of spa rooms. Expect eclectic decor, garden-to-table dining as well as beaches and great surf at nearby Constantine Bay.

Rooms from £155

Xigera Safari Lodge, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Opening: June 2020

Spot lions in Moremi Game Reserve (Xigera)

Africa’s most interesting opening comes from the family behind much-loved Red Carnation Hotels (Twelve Apostles, The Oyster Box). Set in the western Moremi Game Reserve, as well as being a luxe place to wildlife-spot, Xigera will also be a unique art gallery with specially commissioned artworks by South African talent. Look out for Porky Hefer’s human-sized woven nests, and panels by Stanislaw Trzebinski reminiscent of fossilised sea beds. The suites’ architecture is inspired by an owl in flight, and there’ll be a spa, plus masses of adventurous excursions on offer.

From £2,048pp per night, full-board, including activities

Harding Boutique Hotel Ahangama, Sri Lanka

Opening: Summer 2020

Ahangama is on the southern Sri Lanka coast (ANARCHITECT)

After 2019’s Easter terrorist attacks, tourism in Sri Lanka suffered a real blow. In 2020, however, things are set to pick up. Those in the know are heading to Ahangama, where affordable crashpad PALM recently opened and where the first property from Harding Boutique Hotels – founded by entrepreneur Paul Harding – will arrive. Set among palm groves, architecture by Jonathan Ashmore of ANARCHITECT takes inspiration from traditional tropical modernism. There will be just six light, bright, white-paletted rooms with knockout Indian Ocean views half an hour from Galle.

Rooms from £tbc

Bai San Ho, Phu Yen, Vietnam

Opening: August 2020

Zannier’s new Vietnamese bolthole (Zannier Hotels)

Zannier hotels – of cool Namibian newbies Omaanda and Sonop fame – has picked Phu Yen province, 200km south of lantern-filled tailoring town Hoi An and 200km north of beachy Nha Trang, for its first Vietnamese venture. Meaning “Bay of Corals”, Bai San Ho will have a kilometre-long beach and 71 villas – inspired by a range of traditional dwellings, over half of which will have private plunge pools – surrounded by hills and paddy fields. Exploring this untouched coastline will be a scuba divers’ must-do.

Rooms from £tbc

Sequoia, Adelaide, Australia

Opening: September 2020

Sequoia will have just 14 suites (Sequoia)

Move over Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s latest hip hotspot – with a fantastic wine and dining scene and scores of creative startups – is Adelaide. Come autumn, the team at world-renowned Mount Lofty House – in the rolling Adelaide Hills – will open Sequoia. The ultra-luxe 14-suite affair will sit in the property’s grounds, and rooms will be kitted out with sandstone-clad fireplaces and free-standing bathtubs. Best of all? Wonderful panoramas of the Piccadilly Valley.

Rooms from £tbc

Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel, Arizona, USA

Opening: Winter 2020

Ambiente is calling itself the US’s first ‘landscape hotel’ (Ambiente Sedona)

Forty blink-and-you’d-miss them cube-shaped rooms and a spa will arrive in the wilds of Sedona. Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel will be the first hotel in North America designed to landscape architecture principles – to blend into and enhance the natural environment, with as little disturbance during development as possible. Each cleverly designed dwelling will be mirror-clad to blend into the surrounding rust-red vistas. The trailhead of the scenic Adobe Jack Trail is on the property, and – making the most of its dark sky reserve location – many rooms will have rooftop decks.

Rooms from £tbc

Best of the rest

Other exciting UK openings include cute-as-a-button boutique hotel the Harper in north Norfolk and Hotel Brooklyn in Manchester, which will channel NYC-cool in its design-led rooms, a 10th of which will be fully accessible for disabled people (with features such as hoist assists and 360-degree turning circles for wheelchair users). In London, there’s The Mayfair Townhouse from the same owners as Cliveden House and Chewton Glen.

Further afield, eco-friendly island escape Kisawa Sanctuary arrives on Mozambique’s Benguerra Island, and Asilia will open a new camp on Rubondo Island in Lake Tanzania.

In the US, CitizenM touches down in Washington DC, the luxperts at Aman will open a big-hitting New York number inside the Crown Building, and Pendry West Hollywood will open in LA. Ace Hotel will ramp up the funky factor in Kyoto, while green-faves 1Hotels will open in Toronto.

Fancy regal living? Guests will be able to sleep inside palace grounds at Airelles Chateau de Versailles, Le Grand Controle, while over in Umbria, a 36-bedroom hotel will open at the 10th-century castle, Castello di Reschio.