2024's Latest Hotel Openings, Revamps, and Travel News


By Rina Chandarana

andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge, South Africa  

Nestled inside Africa’s last remaining dry sand forest, this refreshed eco-lodge is the answer for those seeking both safari and sea. The endangered and delicate ecosystem in KwaZulu-Natal is not only home to Africa’s Big Five, but also a large cheetah population and black rhino, unique plants, and many curious creatures beneath the canopy. Guests can assist in rhino notching, visit local communities, discover the underwater world on a scuba safari, or visit with night turtles depending on the season. The lodge itself has been meticulously redesigned, keeping in harmony with the forest without compromising on luxury in the 16 air-conditioned suites with floor-to-ceiling glass walls. A private veranda offers breathtaking views as the tiny duiker graze below, and the intimate wine cellar and relaxing wellness spa is a welcome treat after a day out.  

Zungulia Bushcamp, Zambia 

This is remote, classic tented safari camp just underwent a stunning redesign. The resulting efforts evoke a feeling of days gone by. Yet the camp has not scrimped on all the modern conveniences like en suite bathrooms with enormous bathtubs, solar power energy for hot water, and a beautiful dining area. Guests can therefore enjoy the creatures and creature comforts too. The game is plentiful, best seen on foot, although there are also day and night game drives. Elephants gather at the springs nearby, birds flock by the river, and on the plains, lions prowl large buffalo herds.  

Shinde Botswana Safari

Shinde Footsteps, Botswana 

After a recent rebuild and rebrand, this Okavango Delta camp in the Shinde Private Concession exudes a timeless appeal, offering guests the priceless opportunity to immerse themselves fully into nature’s wonders. Spend days encountering elephants, wild dogs, lions, and leopards on a walking safari with expert guides (a true safari experience) and by water in a mokoro after freshening up in the outdoor shower. Nights are for cozying up by the crackling fire. With only four canvas tents accommodating up to six guests, this is as intimate as it gets and is an ideal bucket-list experience for small groups or families.  


Sanctuary Tambarara Kenya

Sanctuary Tambarare, Kenya

The ultimate family escape with all the luxurious trimmings awaits in the shadow of Mount Kenya. Sanctuary Tambarare in the award-winning Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a Big Five playground, just added an indulgent private villa to its already exclusive offerings. The villa's two en suite “boutique-meets-bush" bedrooms enjoy floor-to-ceiling plains views from the super king beds, and the free-flowing indoor and outdoor lounge and dining area features teak floors and unique colors and textures reflective of the local culture and landscape. After a day exploring the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, where the only two remaining northern white rhinos on the entire planet reside, guests can retire to the villa for sundowners from the fully stocked bar and meals prepared by a private chef in the dining room or al fresco on the expansive deck. 

AmaMagdalena, Colombia 

All aboard for unparalleled experiences on the newly designed 60-passenger cruise ship launching on Colombia's Magdalena River in January 2025. Dip into the deck-side heated pool while gliding down the water or relax on the private French balcony soaking in Colombia’s fascinating places. Itineraries allow travelers to move to the rhythms of cumbia and vallenato in Palenque where women in daringly bright dresses balance traditional baskets of fruit on their heads and sell sweet treats like coconut cake and tamarind balls along the colonial streets. Drink in the vivid colors of Cartagena, once a hub for the Spanish crown who protected the city from pirate attacks with stone walls still seen standing today, and stop at Mompox known for its glitter of gold. Intrepid and inventive, this is epic river cruise promises a journey into the very heart of Colombian culture. 

Janu Tokyo, Japan 

Glistening Tokyo has no shortage of shiny structures, but it just received a new addition with Janu Tokyo from the Aman brand. Light-filled rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies, and Asian-inspired interiors with a European touch. Eight dining venues ranging from Cantonese to Italian complement the ample clubs, bars, art, and culture in buzzing Roppongi. After a night out, refresh in the expansive wellness center featuring the city’s largest gym, a long swimming pool, hydrotherapy, and hammam.  

Bhutan Punakha River Lodge

andBeyond Punakha River Lodge, Bhutan

Nestled in the Punakha Valley along the banks of the Mo Chu River sits this fall arrival: a cozy Bhutanese-style lodge surrounded by verdant paddy field expanses and forested hills. Punakha River Lodge features just six intimate luxury tents as well as two suites in one- and two- bedroom configurations.  It's the perfect launching pad to explore the last remaining Himalayan kingdom where prayer flags flutter, a testament to the country’s deep commitment to faith and bliss. But there is also lots of adventure here for thrill-seekers to go rafting, kayaking, and hiking. All of this movement warrants a pampering with wellness treatments and a hearty meal of Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan fusion to warmly fill the belly. 

Six Senses La Sagesse Grenada

Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada

With its tall mountains, colorful reefs, reggae beats, and sugar-sand beaches, Grenada is hard to resist. Just ask Six Senses: The iconic brand chose this spice island as the home of its debut resort in the Caribbean. Six Senses La Sagesse is perfectly situated between the ocean and a protected cove. The whole place—with its 56 suites and 15 villas, all boasting private plunge pools—feels like an expansive 38-acre village stranded in paradise. The real draw, though, is the diversity. The Great House promises a different dining experience every day, resort activities range from labyrinth walking to candlelight yoga and kids' programs, and the island boasts excellent waterfalls and dive sites (it is the shipwreck capital of the Caribbean, after all). Need another draw? The resort is self-sufficient and plastic-free. 

Ara Maris, Italy 

With the intense colors of the sunset over the Gulf of Naples unfolding before it, Ara Maris reflects the indulgent pleasures of the Italian coast’s art, culture, and stunning natural beauty. Rooms mimic the soothing sea with a blue palette. A bright lemon garden flanks the relaxing swimming pool. The pale pops of green olives delight the palette in the restaurant. And glittering stars twinkle in the deep blue sky above the lounge where cocktails are served generously by expert bartenders. There’s always time for a little dolce vita at this 2024 newcomer. 

Galaxy Sirius, Ecuador 

The latest and greatest in the Galapagos Islands comes in the form of an all-balcony super luxury catamaran accommodating just 16 lucky passengers. And while the two onboard Naturalist Guides invite travelers to tap into their inner Darwin in the wilds, the ship is a stark contrast to the tortured volcanic landscape with plentiful comforts and sophistication. The living room feels like it was plucked out of an interior design magazine with stylish seating facing incredible window views, and rooms with king-size beds and private balconies provide moments of respite, breathing in the fresh sea air. Expert chefs prepare elegant and elevated meals in the dining room where guests gather with an intimate group of newfound friends on a journey-of-a-lifetime. 

Exterior Suite Premium Pristine El Calafate Luxury Camp

Pristine El Calafate Luxury Camp, Argentina

Waking up to the sight of a glacier is one of those moments for the books. Gaze at the view of majestic Lake Argentino and Perito Moreno Glacier from heated tubs and cozy decks from one of six wood domes outfitted with the usual comforts like king bed, living room, and bathroom. But what will be seared into mind is the four elements so seemingly intertwined. The sky dances with thousands of stars, trek the wild paths of the Patagonia pioneers, and marvel at many glacial shades of blues and whites. 

Oneonly Kea Island Greecejpg

One&Only Kea Island, Greece

The location of this dazzling beachfront property couldn’t be better if Poseidon picked it himself. After all, the ancient temple in his namesake offers sparkling views of the island. Just a stone’s throw away from Athens by half an hour private boat or 15-minute helicopter ride, One&Only's newest outpost on Kéa island offers seclusion in pristine villas by the cobalt Aegean Sea. Overlooking a tranquil bay, the resort connects guests with the healing power of nature through encounters with Greek farmers and fishermen, nourishment from local produce for the delectable menu, and spa treatments inspired by the Cyclades island.

Southern Ocean Lodge, Australia 

After a devasting bushfire on Australia’s famed Kangaroo Island in 2020, the world-renowned luxury lodge is reopening its doors once more. Set on a clifftop overlooking the Southern Ocean, the new lodge is a masterpiece of sustainable design. The restored architecture takes its design cues from the rugged cliffs and temperamental ocean’s ever-changing hues. Only 25 suites decked out with limestone floors and blackwood feature walls effortlessly hug the curve of the island’s limestone cliffs. Sustainability and identity stand at the forefront with the lodge's solar panels, rainwater harvesting system, and waste-to-energy plant, as well as spa treatments guided by ancient First Nations lore which make use of the natural island bounty of lavender, eucalyptus, and honey. 

Heritage Line Anouvong, Laos 

The best way to access some of the most beautiful and remote areas of Laos is by boat. Drift down the Mekong River in this new small boutique luxury ship seamlessly blending traditional Laotian artwork with French-colonial touches. Passengers relish in lavish suites while meandering down the iconic river. Soak in the marvelous views from the wooden terrace deck and enjoy dance and musical performances from Laotian people as they generously share their culture and traditions with guests.  

Grand Hotel Central, Spain 

Right in the heart of Barcelona’s charming Gothic Quarter sits the refreshed and resplendent Grand Hotel Central. Following a five-month restoration, this historic 1920s Grand hotel reveals an all-new look and feel in its 146 rooms and suites and common areas. With a nod to its timeless elegance, the rooms now showcase a contemporary take on elegance, with exciting color palettes, sophisticated lines, and bright windows. Do as the locals do by sharing tapas and Spanish wine with friends in the reimagined streetside restaurant and hop up to the trendy rooftop terrace for infinity pool-side seats, cocktail in hand, at what is no doubt the latest and hottest gathering place in the Gothic Quarter. 

Spring 2024 Family Travelog
The Travelog

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