Hotels & Resorts

The T+L Guide to Top-Tier Hotel Openings in Southeast Asia in the Second Half of 2021

We preview 23 of the most outstanding luxury hotels and resorts coming to the region.

By Uracha Chaiyapinunt and David Ngo

Jul 19, 2021

AS IF WE WEREN’T ALREADY FEELING the wanderlust, this region has a string of truly spectacular five-star hotel openings in the pipeline. Whether you’re in desperate need of sand and surf or are seeking more of a lush, leafy getaway, luxury-resort developers are plowing ahead to help you out and check you in in several countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Maldives, Thailand and Vietnam. Here are the top-tier newcomers to look out for, some which will keep us in suspense until the tail-end of 2021.

CAMBODIA

Angsana Siem Reap

A blend of classic Khmer culture and contemporary style, Angsana Siem Reap will open its doors for the first time this fall. Guests will find its proximity to Siem Reap International Airport, Cambodia Cultural Villa and the UNESCO World Heritage Center — including the famed Angkor Wat (we’re looking forward to the first few months back at these marvelous complexes before mass tourism returns) — a huge draw. The hotel will offer 158 rooms, including 19 villas that come with its own private pools, innovative dining options and modern event spaces. 

Opening November 2021
angsana.com/en/cambodia/siem-reap

INDONESIA

The Langham, Jakarta

Courtesy of The Langham, Jakarta (3)

The Langham has great expectations for its newest outpost in Jakarta, and when you look at the facts, it’s not hard to see why. Unrivaled location? Check. Shopping malls, restaurants, a park, a museum, galleries and the convention center are a walk or short drive away. Exceptional restaurants and bars? You bet. On-site eateries will include Tom’s by Chef Tom Aikens — widely regarded as one of the most creative and talented chefs Britain has ever seen —as well as T’ang Court, the three-Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant from The Langham, Hong Kong. Langham British charm to top it all off? But of course. Old-World glamour meets urban sophistication in the 223 guest rooms and suites that the hotel will boast. 

Opening September 9, 2021
langhamhotels.com/jakarta

Kimpton Naranta Bali

Southern Bali’s Nusa Dua is what family vacation dreams are made of: sandy beaches, world-class golf courses and luxury spas. It is also the location of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ first resort in Bali, Kimpton Naranta Bali. Set to open later this year, the boutique property is a tropical paradise made up of 50 stunning villas, designed to showcase traditional Balinese elements in a contemporary bohemian setting. Villas range from 115 to 375 square meters with amenities like outdoor rain showers, private saltwater plunge pools, bales and lush gardens and oceanscape views. We’re convinced even long-stay guests won’t run out of things to do here, what with the beach club, artist studio, library, pools and five on-site restaurants and bars. 

Opening November 2021
kimptonnarantabali.com

Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape

Courtesy of Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape (3)

Seminyak, Ubud, been there, done that. Banyan Tree’s latest project takes place in Buahan, one of Bali’s most untouched regions. The resort has already made waves with its ‘no walls, no doors’ concept — that’s right, none of the villas have solid barriers, only a thin veil separate to give guests the ultimate indoor-outdoor living experience and the rare opportunity to fully connect with nature. The details of the villas themselves are impressive. All boast 180-degree views over lush jungles and mountain peaks and, when possible, are made using locally sourced materials, such as “Ulin” wood salvaged from boat yards. As part of the eco-conscious efforts for which Banyan is known, Buahan also features a zero-waste farm-to-table dining concept where the menu is 70-percent plant-based and ingredients are sourced from within a one-hour drive from the resort.

Opening September 2021
escape.banyantree.com

Angsana Saranam

Located among the mountains and lakes, Angsana Saranam Wellbeing Resort sits between Bali’s more popular Denpasar and Singaraja regions. Here, nature is your playground. The famous Bratan Lake — a 15-minute drive away — provides plenty of outdoor activities, such as farming, trekking, yoga and golfing. The resort’s 70 rooms and 10 villas feature expansive views of lush tropical Balinese jungle, swimming pools, green rice terraces and mountains. Opening its doors in late 2021, Angsana Saranam will capture the imaginations of guests looking for peace and solitude away from Bali’s tourist hot spots. 

Opening end of 2021
angsana.com/en/indonesia/saranam

MALDIVES

Joali Being Maldives

At Joali Being, it’s all about wholeness and balance — from the structure, which has been built using biophilic design principles to seamlessly integrate architecture with nature, to the hotel’s mission to transform guest’s wellbeing with four key programming pillars: mind, skin, microbiome and energy. Located on Bodufushi island in Raa Atoll, the retreat houses 68 private beach and water villas that arrive with their very own personal butler, or as Joali Being calls it, Jadugar (“skilled magician” in Dhivehi). You can bet that the treatment rooms and wellbeing experiences here are state of the art (hydrotherapy hall, salt inhalation room, Russian Banya, intelligent movement analysis tool; you name it, they’ve got it). Sounds intimidating? Don’t worry — all guests will be assigned their own personal wellbeing consultants to help them through the transformative process. 

Opening late 2021
joalibeing.com

Hilton Amingiri Maldives

The upcoming Hilton Amingiri is the company’s fourth property under its portfolio of brands to open in the Maldives, a country in which the group apparently sees excellent growth potential even in a pandemic era. Part of a growing trend of new Maldivian resorts eschewing seaplane transfers, this Hilton is a quick 15-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport. It will be home to 109 beach and water villas, each with a private pool. A spa, gym, salon, pool and six restaurants and bars will also be ready to welcome guests.

Opening late 2021
hilton.com

Le Meridien Maldives

The new 154-villa Le Méridien Maldives Resort & Spa hopes to draw in creative-minded travelers looking for an island escape. The secluded location of the hotel — a southeastern pocket of Lhaviyani Atoll on Thilamaafushi island — will allow for full privacy and the opportunity to get up close with vibrant Maldivian marine life, including pods of manta rays and turtles. Le Meridien has made it their mission to build sustainably and protect the indigineous flora and fauna on the nine-hectare premise; renewable materials can be seen in the architecture of the resort and its villas. Accommodations range from one- and two-bedroom villas on land and above water, as well as three-bedroom villas set in its own alcove on the beach for families and larger groups.

Opening September 1, 2021
lemeridien-maldives.com

THAILAND

InterContinental Khao Yai National Park

We might not be traveling much by train these days, but sleeper cars are still having a moment (witness: Kruger Shalati in South Africa, on this year’s It List). Renowned hotel designer Bill Bensley brings his signature out-of-the-box flair, exceptional, slightly quirky touches, and penchant for upcycling to the InterContinental’s 16 plush, 80-square-meter suites inspired by vintage train cars—a sophisticated nod to the golden age of luxury rail travel. With its lush, rolling hills populated by lumbering elephants, it’s hard to believe that Khao Yai National Park is just an easy drive away from Bangkok. An abundance of upscale places to drink, dine and stay make this region popular with the capital’s uppercrust, who are certain to approve of this 61-key resort. 

Opening November 2021
No website as of press time

Kimpton Koh Samui

This 138-key resort on the sandy shores of Choengmon Beach will be the second Kimpton hotel to open up in Thailand. Like its Bangkok counterpart, the Kimpton Koh Samui will be all about the boutique experience. Everything is about taking familiar things up a notch, whether by adding a distinctly unique touch or by elevating the experience. Details are still rolling out about the four restaurants and bars, pool, spa, fitness center and meeting space, but if its predecessor is anything to go by, this is definitely one to watch.

Opening late 2021
ihg.com/kimptonhotels/content/us/en/stay/boutique-hotels-in-koh-samui

Hyatt Regency Koh Samui

While this Thai island hardly lacks for swish resorts, the new Hyatt Regency — which opened just in time to welcome vaccinated visitors from abroad under the Samui Plus program — stands out thanks to its striking design and artistic inclinations. Billing itself as a “vacation gallery,” the resort features eight sites dotted around the property that qualify as serious Instagram bait. From the longest lobby arrival point in Koh Samui, which features plenty of skylights to let the sun and moon shine in, to the freeform pools surrounded by lush vegetation, eye-candy is everywhere you turn. Don’t miss a bite at Sesun Grill & Beach Bar, where the seafood comes with a view, or Yangna, an all-day dining eatery. Kube, located at the highest point in the resort, is perfect for an evening tipple.

Opened July 2021
hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/thailand/hyatt-regency-koh-samui

Centara Reserve Samui

If we’re keeping count in Koh Samui, this is three new hotels, and what an impressive showstopper the very first of Centara’s ultra-luxe Reserve collection looks to be. The resort occupies the space that was previously the Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, but aside from the unbeatable location on Chaweng Beach, has little to do with the former property. Everything about the 184-key space has been fully redesigned from the ground up. The Reserve brand’s commitment to flexibility means you can have your breakfast any time anywhere, and check in whenever for up to 36-hour stays. We doubt you’ll want to leave your 500-square-meter ocean pool villa with private beach access, and minibar and amenities customized for you based on a chat you had with your “Reserve Host” (aka private butler) before arrival.

Opening August 2021
centarahotelsresorts.com/reserve

The Standard, Hua Hin

This resort in Bangkok’s favorite roadtrip-able beach town is all about laid-back cool. It’s set to be the first outpost in Southeast Asia of the modish Standard brand, which first eased its disco-ball bathrooms into this hemisphere in the Maldives in 2019. The Standard, Hua Hin’s aesthetics draw reference from the Lido’s Mid-century Miami roots. There will be 178 guestrooms and 21 pool villas, and a stunning main pool area inviting all-day lounging, grooves and drinks among plush green grass set right by the beach. Look out for destination-worthy dining, an all-day Mediterranean eatery, plus The Juice Bar, for guests working on their glow — something you’ll also be able to enhance at the in-house spa and gym. In true Standard style, expect cultural programming and plenty of surprises to instill a sense of place. 

Opening end of 2021
standardhotels.com/properties/upcoming

V Villas Phuket – MGallery

Courtesy of V-Villas Phuket – MGallery (4)

Perched on a private hilltop overlooking the azure waters of Ao Yon Bay, this intimate resort features just 19 private pool villas, all of which come with round-the-clock, personal butler service. The pampering doesn’t stop there—everything from the Hermès toiletries to the private infinity pools and en suites with twin spa baths screams luxury here. Don’t miss a sundowner or nightcap at the dazzling AKOYA|Star Lounge, a rooftop bar located 50 meters above sea level with unimpeded views in all directions. It’s hard to imagine a more romantic place for a glass of champagne beneath the stars.

Opening soon
vvillasphuket.com

Avani+ Mai Khao Phuket Suites & Villas

With 100 stylishly appointed suites, pool suites and pool villas, the first-ever Avani+ on the Pearl of the Andaman is already turning heads. The pool villas range from spacious one-bedrooms to the positively sprawling four-bedroom, which boasts a whopping 530 square meters of space and seems like the perfect place for up to 12 adults to throw a spectacular weekend party. Since it’s located just steps from the famous Mai Khao Beach, getting around the island is a breeze. Just be warned: after seeing the swim-up pool bar and Jacuzzi, you may find yourself never wanting to leave. 

Opened July 1, 2021
avanihotels.com/en/mai-khao-phuket

Avani+ Koh Lanta Resort

Situated a stone’s throw from the perpetually popular white-sand beaches of Krabi, Koh Lanta is comparatively green and serene. This 87-key oasis promises to be just as delightfully laid-back as its surroundings when it opens around the end of the year. Reggae Bar, one of three on-site spots to drink and dine, promises chilled-out beach vibes and plenty of beats to unwind to at the end of the day. Nestled on a secluded peninsula with a heart-stopping view of the sunset over the ocean, the private pool villas are definitely worth the splurge.

Opening late 2021
avanihotels.com/en/koh-lanta-krabi

Avani+ Khao Lak Resort

This 328-key beach resort is raising the bar when it comes to being green. Not content with the usual token eco-efforts, Avani+ Koh Lanta Resort has implemented all sorts of innovative initiatives, including a circular zero-waste food system that transforms leftover food into nutrient-rich compost for the resort’s own organic garden. A strong emphasis on the abundant local seafood and produce on the menu helps keep the kitchen’s carbon footprint low. During construction, the landscape architects were careful to preserve 500 trees, while saving another 100 by replanting.

Opening late 2021
avanihotels.com/en/phang-nga

Grand Mercure Khao Lak Bangsak

Courtesy of Grand Mercure Khao Lak Bangsak (3)

With 195 stylish guestrooms and suites featuring private terraces overlooking the central canal that winds through the resort, this resort in an unspoiled stretch of Phang Nga is ideal for travelers hoping to get away from it all. The interior design team drew inspiration from the culture and architecture of Southern Thailand to imbue each room with a sense of place. Green Mango, one of the resort’s three restaurants and bars, is a celebration of the region’s cuisine, with fiery, sour and incredibly complex recipes handed down through generations of grandmothers.

Opening Q4 2021
grandmercurekhaolakbangsak.com

Meliá Chiang Mai

With 260-keys, this five-star on the River Ping marries classic Lanna style with the brand’s Spanish origins. The signature restaurant adds a subtle Meditterannean twist to the curries and grilled dishes beloved around northern Thailand. There’s a lot to look forward to here, from the penthouse views in the 113-square-meter The Level Presidential Suite to the two interconnected rooftop bars connected with a glass bridge with a panoramic view of the legendary Doi Suthep Temple. Expect to see a ton of selfies cropping up on all the social media platforms from here.

Opening November 2021
melia.com/en/hotels/thailand/chiang-mai/melia-chiang-mai/index.htm

VIETNAM

Regent Phu Quoc

On a lush isle off the southwest coast of Vietnam, neighboring a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve, is Regent Phu Quoc, the latest resort from the Regent group, which has been acquired by IHG and is stepping out with a brand-new, thoroughly contemporary look here. The resort has been designed to take full advantage of its natural surroundings and the hidden treasures of Phu Quoc. Guests can choose to take to the ocean with the help of the hotel’s water sports center, roam the land with a personal local guide or relax within the walls of Regent and its highly anticipated spa. A destination for couples and big groups alike, the hotel offers up to seven-bedroom accommodations.

Opening November 2021
phuquoc.regenthotels.com

Grand Mercure Hanoi

With the soon-to-open Grand Mercure Hanoi, those visiting the city will have an easy time discovering Vietnam’s bustling capital that’s known for its vibrant culture and laid-back nightlife. It’s hard to ignore the hotel’s killer location: Right in the middle of Hoan Kiem, the soul of the city where the historic Old Quarter is located, and Ba Dinh, a neighborhood where many of Hanoi’s most visited attractions lie. But after a long day out exploring the streets, Grand Mercure Hanoi hopes to make guests feel right at home in one of its 181 rooms that comes complete with modern amenities. The hotel will also have four signature dining offerings.

Opening late 2021
grandmercure.com/city/hanoi

InterContinental Grand Ho Tram

The Grand Ho Tram strip is Vietnam’s version of a mini Vegas. Just two hours from Ho Chi Minh, the Grand offers a series of restaurants and bars, casinos, swimming pools, award-winning spas, event venues, fountain shows and an international-standard golf course, The Bluffs, designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman. With the opening of InterContinental Grand Ho Tram in Q3 of 2021, the strip will now have a large 541-suite, world-class resort to help establish itself as Southeast Asia’s up-and-coming entertainment destination. Each room at the InterContinental features stunning views over The Bluffs or East Sea.

Opening Q3 2021
thegrandhotram.com/intercontinental

Pullman Hai Phong

Hai Phong, Vietnam’s major industrial center in the country’s northern region, is getting its own Pullman hotel. The first international five-star hotel to arrive in the city, Pullman Hai Phong is looking to elevate business and leisure trips to the area. For that reason, the hotel is designed to serve as an upscale cosmopolitan hub. The bold Pullman energy is reflected in the 373 modern rooms, dining venues and comprehensive wellness center that includes a gym, spa and a 330-square-meter swimming pool and pool bar.

Opening late 2021
No website as of press time

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