Hot new hotels

Unique locations define these properties opening this year

Hotel openings may seem like everyday events, but a handful come with more excitement and anticipation than the rest. They may be in a particularly notable building, bring a fresh concept to an already popular destination or have the potential to attract travellers to a location they may not have thought of visiting.

With these factors in mind, here are eight names worth checking into this year, picked by travel professionals who check out new properties for a living (excluded from the list are hotels that are reopening after a renovation, as with the Ritz Paris).

ROSEWOOD PHNOM PENH, PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Expected opening: Late this year

Cambodia's capital city will add luxury accommodations to its hotel roster when the 148-room Rosewood makes its debut in the Central Business District. The hotel will occupy the top 14 floors of the Vattanac Capital Tower One, Phnom Penh's tallest building, which is shaped like a rising dragon, and will provide panoramas of the city skyline and the Mekong River. Historic landmarks such as the Royal Palace are close by and amenities will include a spa, two restaurants and a bar on a cantilevered terrace.

THE SILO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Expected opening: Late this year

A city venture from The Royal Portfolio, a hospitality group with high- end properties in South Africa's countryside, this boutique hotel on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront is being built in the grain elevator of a historic silo complex and will occupy the six floors above what will be the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. The Royal Portfolio owner, Ms Liz Biden, is designing the 28 rooms, while notable London-based architect Thomas Heatherwick is in charge of transforming the building.

AMANEMU ISE-SHIMA NATIONALPARK, JAPAN

Expected opening: Next month

When Aman opened a Tokyo property at the end of 2014, it was the brand's first foray into Japan. Now comes a far more remote one in Shima, a city about a four-hour train ride from the capital. The resort is perched on the shores of Ago Bay within a national park and abundant hot springs are the draw: The 24 rooms and four villas have their own onsen, or mineral hot springs, and the spa has two onsen bathing pavilions.

PARK HYATT ST KITTS, ST KITTS

Expected opening: November

Set on Banana Bay in the south-east peninsula of St Kitts - an area with plenty of secluded white sand beaches - this property is the initial effort in the Caribbean from a brand known for sleek city hotels. It is also the island's first upscale beachfront resort. It will have 125 rooms, a 12-treatment-room spa and an aesthetic that combines contemporary architecture and a colonial feel reflective of the island's historic roots. Several of the suites will have a rooftop pool and unobstructed ocean views.

IL SERENO LAGO DI COMO, LAKE COMO, ITALY

Expected opening: Spring this year

The owners of the see-and-be-seen Le Sereno St Barth are hoping to bring some of that hotel's glamour to their luxurious Lake Como venture on a promontory a few miles from the town of Como. Notable Milan-based designer Patricia Urquiola has created a property with a contemporary, relaxed feel and, in keeping with the brand's philosophy of intimacy, it has just 30 rooms, each oversized and with lake views and terraces. There is also a restaurant, infinity pool and spa.

GRAND HYATT RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL

Expected opening: Spring this year

All eyes are on Brazil, the home of this year's Summer Olympics, and this 436-room Yabu Pushelbergdesigned oceanfront property is a needed addition to a city where full-service, family-friendly resorts are scarce. Although it is in Barra, a residential neighbourhood away from the crowds of Copacabana and Ipanema, guests will find all the amenities that come with a large hotel: three restaurants - Japanese, Italian and Brazilian, a large spa, a yoga studio, an outdoor pool and lounge area and two club floors.

1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, NEW YORK

Expected opening: Late this year

The third location for Barry Sternlicht's 1 Hotels brand, founded with a mission towards sustainability, this 194-room hotel is being built on a pier in Brooklyn's new riverfront park. It will have impressive views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline, several farm-to-table food outlets overseen by New York City chef Seamus Mullen and a rooftop plunge pool.

SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND HOTEL AND TOY STORY HOTEL SHANGHAI, CHINA

Expected opening: June this year

These two resorts are part of the excitement about the first Disney park opening in mainland China and are built right next to the fun. The Art Nouveau-inspired Shanghai Disneyland Hotel has 420 rooms, while Toy Story Hotel, inspired by the Disney Pixar series of Toy Story animated films, has 800. Both immerse guests in the world of Disney with character-themed room keys, bath amenities and family activity centres with crafts and games.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 28, 2016, with the headline 'Hot new hotels'. Print Edition | Subscribe