Travelling is rarely about where you sleep. You go somewhere to discover heritage and the local culture and most of the time all you need is just a bed, you’re gone all day anyways, so as long as there’s clean bedsheets, not much else matters. However, every once in a while, we all like to take our vacation to the next level and go all out on treating ourselves to a really nice stay. If you need some ideas for where to take that slightly extravagant trip this year, below are some of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2024.
1. Matca, Transylvania, Romania
Matca means the bee queen in Romanian and this brand-new, luxurious hill-top sanctuary, nestled between the Carpathians in Transylvania, aims to emulate the symbols of wealth, good luck and prosperity associated with bee queens.
Matca offers 16 exclusive guest rooms and junior suites plus 10 private villas overlooking the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului mountains. Guest rooms feature a perfect combination of authentic Transylvanian style and contemporary elegance and comfort. The hotel is complete with a spa and restaurant “inspired by the new local culinary awakening”.
True to its namesake, among other activities such as hiking, mountain biking, sightseeing or visits to the Bran castle, Matca organises beekeeping workshops at its own colony, where those interested can learn from the head beekeeper everything from how the colony works to how honey and nectar are extracted and turned into produce.
Rooms start at €378 per night for two people.
2. Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Having just opened this month, the Anantara Mina Al Arab Ras Al Khaimah Resort is situated on a private peninsula with golden sands and natural mangroves. With 174 rooms, suites and overwater pool villas, the resort features the UAE’s first overwater villas, each of them coming with an outdoor deck, a private plunge pool, views of the Arabian Gulf and the natural mangrove lagoon and a reserved cabana on the villa-only beach.
There are 6 restaurants on the premises, showcasing Antara’s signature Asian and Mediterranean styles. The resort is of course complete with a spa, offering traditional Thai healing and wellness journeys. The resort also offers a variety of water sports and leisure facilities, including an infinity swimming pool, a fitness centre overlooking the mangroves, a padel court, a yoga pavilion, kids’ and teens’ clubs, along with a variety of recreation activities for both adults and children.
Signature experiences include hiking on nearby Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest mountain, with a gourmet picnic along the way, kayaking in the surrounding mangroves, home to flocks of flamingos and herons, as well as luxury cruising in the Arabian Gulf with a sunset dinner onboard prepared by a personal chef.
Prices start at €300 per night for two people.
3. Banyan Tree Veya, Baja California, Mexico
Opening on 15 February, Banyan Tree’s Veya is a wellness retreat resort, encompassing 30 villas, nestled in the hills of a vineyard in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe. “The Veya experience is built on Banyan Tree’s proprietary 8 pillars of wellbeing with an emphasis on embodiment therapies and somatic practices. The journey is led by certified multidisciplinary wellbeing hosts around a 3-step protocol of Awareness, Discovery and Sustenance”, the resort says.
Prices start at €360 per night for two people.
4. Borgo Tre, Lake Garda, Italy
Nestled above the blue waters of Italy’s largest freshwater lake, Borgo Tre is a restored 18th-century farmhouse. A rural sanctuary, boasting complete privacy and 6 luxury apartments; each with a private outdoor dining area and garden or terrace. This silent refuge offers an outdoor pool and sauna with magnificent panoramic views of blue waters, mountains and the historic town of Torri del Benaco.
There is a minimum stay of 6 nights and prices start at €690 per night for two people.
5. Gundari, Folegandros, Greece
Opening from May to October starting this year, Gundari is a luxury resort wrapped in 80 acres of nature on the Greek island of Folegandros. Set high on rugged, soaring cliffs overlooking the azure depths of the Aegean Sea, the resort encompasses 27 suites and villas. “Designed with intimacy, serenity and elegance in mind, Gundari is the epitome of understated luxury”, the hotel boasts on its website.
The menu of the restaurant on the premises is curated by Michelin-starred chef Lefteris Lazarou, “uniting the fruits of both sea and land with a true passion for refined Greek cuisine”, while the spa offers sound baths, energy healing and yoga and meditation workshops, while incorporating native herbs and tonics in the treatments.
Prices start at €449 per night for two people.
6. Voaara, Sainte-Marie, Madagascar
After staying in hundreds of hotels around the world, Philippe Kjellgren decided to open his own. Expected to open in March, the Voaara currently has 8 bungalows and one villa, but plans to expand to 45 rooms. The resort, on the island of Sainte-Marie, promising to be a “barefoot luxury” oasis, already has an infinity pool while a spa will be opening later in the year.
Prices start at €700 per night for two people.
7. Romeo Roma, Rome (Italy)
No exact date has yet been confirmed for the latest addition to the Romeo Collection, but the 16th century palazzo, carefully transformed by Zaha Hadid Architects into a luxury hotel, promises to be the “Italian getaway to caput mundi”. The hotel boasts 74 rooms and suites, a poll, a 1,000 square metre spa and 5 restaurants, including Il Ristorante, overseen by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse and a terrace “at the very top of Roma”.
“The basis of the Romeo Collection is built on creating spaces that masterfully integrate worldly art collections, contemporary design and breath-taking architecture, so once we came upon the noble Serroberti-Capponi family’s former 16th century palazzo, we knew this was the perfect space to house the collection’s next project. The history naturally built into the palazzo and the city of Rome itself became the perfect canvas for Zaha Hadid to create a unique intersection of the past and present”, said Alfredo Romeo, President and CEO of the Romeo Collection.
8. The Vineta, Palm Beach, Florida
Set to open in the second half of 2024, the Vineta will be Oetker Collection’s first hotel in the United States. Situated in the heart of Palm Beach, the hotel is located just two blocks off Worth Avenue – famed for its designer boutiques, restaurant scene and noteworthy galleries, and mere minutes away from the beach. Paying homage to the hotel’s legacy, Oetker Collection will restore the Vineta name, which it held for over five decades, heralding a refined new chapter in the property’s nearly 100-year history. As part of the restoration work, the aim is to bring the hotel back to its original splendour, especially preserving its distinct pale-pink façade.
Reducing the room count from 57 to 41 to allow for a more generous sense of space, the hotel will offer a range of accommodations and encompass an elevated restaurant and bar concept within the existing spaces of the Vineta Hotel, including the intimate courtyard and former Leopard Lounge.
9. Kibale Lodge, Kibale National Park, Uganda
The 5th location of Volcanoes Safaris, a gorilla and chimpanzee ecotourism agency in Uganda and Rwanda, Kibale Lodge will be opening in May. Perfectly positioned for chimpanzee trekking, the lodge is set in Uganda’s Kibale National Park, one of the best parks to view chimpanzees in Africa, with a community of 1,500 chimps. The 150-acre site will comprise eight deluxe rooms and a villa, plus a spa, sauna and pool. Three deluxe bandas will be open by May and five more by the end of 2024.
Rates for Kibale Lodge start from $1,200 (€1,100) per person per night and include accommodation and meals, all soft and alcoholic drinks (except French champagne), including cellar collection wines, cocktails and single malt whiskeys, laundry services, lodge activities, massage and spa treatments.
A $50 (€46) per person per night community fee is applied and donated to Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), which was established in 2009 as a non-profit organization to support long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities and institutions to reduce human wildlife conflict.
10. Hotel Casa Lucía, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Freshly opened in Buenos Aires and still offering a 25% opening discount, Único Hotels’ latest establishment boasts 142 suites, ranging from 25 m2 to 60 m2, for the 2 residence suites, and a 70 m2, two-level penthouse.
The Cantina Restaurant offers Argentinian cuisine, while the Le Club Bacan will be waiting guests for cocktail hour with Argentinian wine and signature cocktails. The hotel has an infinity pool, spa, complete with a sauna and 3 treatment rooms, and a fitness centre.
Prices start at €670 per night for two people.