If you didn’t get to head Down Under or to the South Pacific during 2016, don’t worry. A variety of new properties opened this year that will make a trip there during 2017 even more worthwhile. Take a look at what we think are just some of the top Australian and South Pacific hotel openings of 2016.
Having only recently opened this past September, QT Melbourne is the newest of the seven hotels QT Hotels & Resorts operates across Australia. The 188 guest roomed property offers a number of destination eateries, including Pascale Bar & Grill, a French style brasserie; The Cake Shop, located in the hotel’s lobby; and Hot Sauce, a cocktail bar which features a number of hot sauce varieties from across the globe. Designed by architect Angelo Candalepas, the new property sits in the city’s Central Business District. Interior designer Nic Graham and architectural and design expert Shelley Indyk are responsible for the hotel’s industrial design aesthetic, created using steel, stone and timber.
St. Regis Langkawi
Guests in Malaysia can now enjoy luxury in the UNESCO’S World Geopark, thanks to The St. Regis Langkawi. Surrounded by white sand beaches and emerald green waters of a swimmable lagoon, it’s easy for guests to forget they’re just a 30 minute drive from the Langkawi International Airport. The St. Regis Langkawi is the first all-suite luxury resort in the archipelago, featuring four private over water villas and 85 luxury suites. Each suite offers guests views of the sea from a private terrace. The resort’s Iridium Spa spans more than 8,600 square feet and offers guests a salon, an infinity pool, a natural salt-water lagoon and an athletic club. For events, guests can utilize over 10,000 square feet of private event space, including an outdoor wedding pavilion and The Astor Ballroom. The property marks the 37th St. Regis address and the brand’s first ever property in Malaysia.
From the minds behind Bali’s famous Potato Head beach club, 2016 brought us the new Katamama Hotel, a 57-room boutique property located on Seminyak Beach. Marketed as “a boutique hotel made by artisans,” every detail at Katamama has been handmade or handpicked using timeless and ancient Indonesian traditions. Each private suite comes with balconies or outdoor space, large bathrooms with monsoon showers and soaking tubs, and cocktail bars stocked with fruit-infused spirits and more. Besides the luxury accommodations of the hotel, guests of the hotel are treated to luxury amenities as well. Beach goers are entitled to a complimentary day bed and use of the beachside facilities at Potato Head. Within the resort, guests can use the facilities gym or swim at a palm-lined swimming pool. A variety of lounges, bars and eateries are at guest’s disposal as well.
Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila
For some of the highest views in the Philippines, check out the new Shangri-La at the Fort in Manila. Raising 820 feet high, the new building (which is LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] gold-certified) is one of the tallest towers in the Philippines. The top floor of the building features the Shangri-La Residences, Horizon Homes. The hotel features 576 contemporary guestrooms and suites, each with a minimum of 485 square feet and views of the bay or the city, as well as 97 one, two or three bedroom residences, equipped with kitchenettes, a living room, walk-in wardrobe and modern amenities. Athletes won’t want to miss Kerry Sports Manila, Manila’s most comprehensive indoor lifestyle and leisure club located eon levels five and six of the Shangri-La at the Fort. The 8,000 square foot space offers guests an indoor basketball court, two tennis and squash courts, an outdoor lap pool, gym facilities, yoga studios, Pilates, dance, spinning, kickboxing and mixed martial arts classes, a wellness spa with 10 treatment rooms and an Adventure Zone for kids.
To really escape, arrive by private seaplane from the international airport in Malé to Soneva Jani, the newest luxury property on Medhufaru Island in the Maldives. Surrounded by a three and a half mile private lagoon, the resort offers a completely remote experience on the 150 acre island, situated in the Noonu Atoll. After a celebrating a soft opening in October, the resort officially opened its doors in December of 2016. Unique to Soneva Jani is a not to miss experience at The Observatory. The first over water observatory in the Maldives, the experience provides a sophisticated telescope for users to enjoy the night sky with, surrounded by four dining tables with screens equipped to link the view from the telescope. An in house astronomer gives a quick over view about the observatory, but is available for private astronomy sessions as well. Another unique treat is Cinema Paradiso, the first overwater silent cinema in the Maldives, offering guests Bluetooth headphones to watch movies with under the stars. Private screenings can also be arranged.
The fall of 2016 saw the opening of New Zealand’s Helena Bay. Located on the North Island, the exclusive property only hosts up to five couples at a time. The lucky couples will enjoy one of the property’s five private villa suites, which offer plenty of living space. Each of the accommodations comes with a balcony and views of the South Pacific Ocean. Helena Bay sits on two miles of private coastline, providing guests exclusivity both inside and out of the resort. Onsite, guests will find a library, a freshwater swimming pool and a restaurant run by Michelin-starred chef Ernesto Iaccarino. Because of the property’s unique small size, every aspect of a guests stay at Helena Bay is customizable, from what’s on the menu, to where you eat, to what you do. We suggest taking a cultural tour conducted by a leader of the local Maori tribe to explain the area’s history.
Primus Hotel Sydney
Though having opened in December 2015, this new 172-room, five star hotel really got to shine during 2016. Following a two year restoration by Woods Bagot architects, the Primus Hotel Sydney still channels the 1939 art deco vibe that the building once had when it was the headquarters of the Sydney Water Board, but with all the modern upgrades of a luxury hotel. The six-story hotel is adorned by a rooftop bar and lap pool, a rare feature in the Sydney city. The cocktail bar and hotel restaurant, The Wilmot, is son ground level near the phone charging station and concierge’s desk. Below deck guests will find a fitness center, though other onsite amenities include complimentary internet, 24-hour room service, laundry and dry cleaning services, valet car parking, a business center and more. Located just a walk from Town Hall, Hyde Park, Queen Victoria Building, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, there’s plenty to do near by.Though we suggest o really feel royal heading to the restaurant’s high tea.
With 2016 closing, we can’t help but look ahead a little, too. Here’s a peak at some of the South Pacific’s most anticipated hotel openings of 2017.
Six Senses Fiji
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Grand Hyatt Manila
Citadines Millennium Oritgas Manila
Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay
Kokomo Yaukeve Fiji