Those who say travel is about the journey, not the destination, obviously haven’t chosen the right destination. And while we’re all in favour of getting out and exploring, sometimes — with the right hotel — all you’ll want to do is stay in. From Europe to South America, here are five of the hottest new hotels on our Wanted hit-list for 2024.
Bangkok: Aman Nai Lert
If you’ve stayed in an Aman hotel before, you’ll know their vibe is usually all about hyper-personal service and Zen-like calm in staggeringly beautiful natural locations. Think Amangiri in the deserts of Utah, or Amanjiwo in the heart of central Java. But Aman Nai Lert is a different beast altogether: a deeply urban hotel set slap-bang amid the buzz of Bangkok. This striking tower rises from the heart of the historic Nai Lert Park, with just 52 suites — and 50 residences — spread across the 36-story hotel. Expect al fresco terraces and sprawling city views, along with a memorable design by Jean-Michel Gathy, the Belgian architect behind One&Only Reethi Rah and Cheval Blanc Randheli.
Buenos Aires: Hotel Casa Lucia
The recent plunge in the value of the peso has made Argentina one of the few long-haul destinations where your randelas will go far. And while Buenos Aires is never short on charm, the January 2024 opening of Hotel Casa Lucia has ensured you’ll have a chic urban bolthole to retire to after a day exploring the boulevards and boutiques of the “Paris of South America’”.
This is the first venture beyond Spain for Único Hotels, and they have been quick to make their mark in opening Hotel Casa Lucia in one of the city’s landmark buildings; the historic Edificio Mihanovich. Once the tallest building in Latin America, today it still offers spectacular views of the Río de la Plata, while its location close to Recoleta and the Plaza San Martin puts travellers at the heart of the city’s most elegant districts.
Indoors, it’s a property with a deep sense of place, from the murals and works by local artists Cristina Codern and Cristián Mohaded, to the modern take on Argentine cuisine at Cantina. Upstairs, 142 rooms and suites offer immersive, contemporary luxury, with many boasting balconies with outdoor showers, sun loungers and outdoor dining spaces, allowing you to soak up the urban energy from on high.
Okavango Delta: Tawana
There was a flurry of activity in the Okavango Delta in 2023, with a raft of exciting new openings on the slate for 2024. African Bush Camps have Atzaro Okavango on the way, and Wilderness is breaking new ground in the Mababe grasslands with Mokete. But all eyes should be on Tawana, the latest premium camp from conservation-minded tourism operator Natural Selection. Built as a partnership with the local chief of the BaTawana tribe, this 12-suite camp rests in the shade of towering ebony trees on the banks of the Gomoti River, which ensures unforgettable water-based activities and a passing parade of wildlife. But it’s not all about the water at Tawana: its location in the wildlife-rich Moremi Game reserve ensures that game drives are as thrilling as mokoro excursions. And, you can even reach the lodge in your own 4x4, cutting out the need for pricey charter flights.
Ras al Khaimah: Anantara Mina Al Arab
Move over Dubai, Ras al Khaimah is claiming its share of the limelight. And while Dubai is known for its glitzy, glamorous appeal, Ras al Khaimah — RAK for short — has staked its name on being the outdoorsy adventure destination in the United Arab Emirates. The brand-new Anantara Mina Al Arab dovetails perfectly with that, set on a mangrove-fringed island in a lagoon where you’ll spot turtles, flamingos and dolphins as you indulge your choice of myriad water sports. Across the 174 rooms, there’s a welcome focus on sustainability, from upcycled fabrics to sustainable hardwoods in the custom-built fittings. Want to up the luxe? This is the first resort in RAK to offer over-water villas.
The third outpost of the Mollie’s brand — which falls under the Soho House portfolio — sets up shop in the original Granada Studios in Manchester, offering yet another reason to visit England’s vibrant culture-rich ‘northern capital’. The Beatles made their TV debut within these walls, as did The Sex Pistols, and that sense of cultural abandon happily informs the vibrant look and feel of this 130-room hotel. As with other Mollie’s locales, expect a vibrant clash of colours and styles and a retro-Americana feel across the bars and restaurants. And, of course, there’s a Soho House on-site with the usual work-and-play accoutrements of a globally-minded private club.