Explore emerging locations and revisit timeless destinations in 2021
Miss travelling back to your favourite cities or itching to go off the beaten track? IHG Hotels & Resorts curates the top ten destinations to visit when we’re ready to travel again, along with new luxury and lifestyle hotel openings in 2021 in these new and iconic destinations.
Why now? One of the lesser-known European capitals, Belgrade has so much to offer. It is built on the confluence of two rivers, the Danube and Sava rivers, which split the city up into the traditionally more attractive Old Belgrade, and New Belgrade, defined by its post-war brutalist architecture. With mid-century design and architecture increasing in popularity, the Serbian capital is proving a hit with Gen Z and Millennials looking to capture for their feeds. Amateur photographers will enjoy a visit to the “House of Flowers” – a mausoleum to the divisive former communist leader of Yugoslavia, Marshal Tito. Although a rather unorthodox tourist attraction, the site, with its modern marble and glass architecture filled with tropical planting, it’s not too far removed from London’s Barbican and has proved a hit with the social media savvy.
Where to stay: Like its Old Town surroundings, Hotel Indigo® Belgrade’s architecture will showcase the mishmash of cultures and styles born from the neighbourhood’s fascinating history that stretches back for millennia when it opens in Q2. Sitting above luxury retail stores, the 44 boutique bedrooms on the upper floors take their design inspiration from the local neighbourhood of Doréol. This neighbourhood offers a mix and match of styles, wearing its history firmly on its sleeve. Tour the grand Belgrade Fortress, Church of Saint Sava, Republic Square and in the evening the National Theatre or the exciting nightlife with its booming indie scene. The regeneration of every corner of the district, leaving it teaming with new possibilities.
PHU QUOC, VIETNAM
Why now? Never has the remoteness and privacy of island living been more appealing. Recognised by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2006, and with half of the island covered by a National Park, Phu Quoc provides the perfect canvas for an idyllic holiday. The island sits 10 degrees north of the equator and enjoys an average temperature of around 27°C, making it a perfect year-round sun trap. All that and Phu Quoc is home to around 20 unspoilt beaches.
Where to stay: Set on the waterfront, Regent® Phu Quoc will open in Q2 along the pristine white sands of Long Beach with views of the calm waters in Bai Truong’s Phu Quoc Marina, off Vietnam’s southwest coast. The resort has been designed as a sublime haven, infused with the soul of the island, with suites, villas and facilities, world-class dining experiences, private beach, spa,pool and gym facilities. Nourishment is key, with six dining experiences which celebrate a world of culinary tradition – including authentic Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine; Oku, a Franco-Japanese Salon de Boeuf; and apothecary-inspired cocktails crafted with fresh botanicals and an abundance of local Vietnamese herbs at Bar Jade.
RAS AL KHAIMAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Why now? While Dubai and Abu Dhabi have migrated from well-trodden paths on the layover routes to destinations in their own right, Ras Al Khaimah is the lesser-known emirate with a lot to offer. It is becoming one of the fastest-growing destinations in the world, with an approach based around sustainable tourism, built around the highest mountain in the UAE, Jebel Jais; the sun and 64km of beachfront; as well as the 7,000-plus years of culture and heritage offered. The ruins of the 16th Century Dhayah Fort and the crumbling ruins of ‘Sheba’s Palace’, which is said to be the oldest palace in the UAE are two of the gems of the emirate, just 45 minutes’ drive from Dubai.
Where to stay: InterContinental® Mina Al Arab will welcome guests to Ras Al Khaimah, one of the lesser-known Emirates in Q2, with 350 guest rooms and suites, health club, spa, two swimming pools and several restaurants. Covering an area of 43,770 sqm, the resort is a short drive Dhayah Fort and Sheba’s Palace. Set on a headland surrounded by protected coastal wetlands with lush landscaping fronting a sweeping beach on one side and a manmade waterway on the other, the guest rooms, suites, and chalets offer panoramic water views.
NEGEV DESERT, ISRAEL
Why now? Largely untouched by mass tourism, Shaharut (which translates as the moment just before dawn) sits on the Arava Valley in the Negev desert, where traditional desert hospitality is expressed by the generosity of spirit and influenced by the abundance of history in this region, home to the ancient Midianites and their fascinating tribe people. You can be transported to another world, just a 45-minute drive from Ramon International Airport. Buried in the desert lie several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Shivta and Avdat which form part of the Nabatean spice route which continues down to Petra.
Where to stay: Six Senses Shaharut opens in Q1, nestled in a dramatic cliff at one with the almost-supernatural panorama of the Negev Desert. The site occupies a footprint of approximately 46 acres (18 hectares) but just 40 villas and suites lend a sense of wilderness, including a Six Senses Spa. The resort is integrated into the surrounding landscape and built using materials sourced from the local area to help it blend with the desert. Buildings were designed to be reminiscent of the structures inhabited by the Nabataeans – a nomadic community that lived in the desert 2,000 years before. Walls are made from rough-hewn limestone and flint, while thatched roofs shade terraces. The landscaping features regional cacti and indigenous desert blooms and thoughtful exterior lighting to avoid light pollution at night, preserving the pristine clarity of the desert’s starry sky.
BRICKELL, MIAMI, FLORIDA
Why now? While South Beach and Wynwood have drawn the majority of visitors over the years, Brickell, Miami’s financial district, has proved popular with transplants from other cities and countries and has seen it transform into a destination in its own right in recent years. The new shopping centre, Brickell City Centre is perfect for retail therapy to ensure you’re dressed to the nines like the locals as you hit the many buzzing bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood, where you’ll feel like you’re stepping onto a movie set.
Where to stay: Hotel Indigo® Miami Brickell opens in Q1, with a story inspired by the Brickell neighbourhood’s history – from its native Tequesta heritage to entrepreneurial pioneers like Mary and William Brickell and Julia Tuttle. Internationally recognized designer Angel Sanchez of Sanchez and Coleman Studio designed the interior aesthetic, including an inviting lobby that radiates the quintessential tropical Miami feel. Colourful contrasts and classic and contemporary design reflect the lively neighbourhood, and this mix can be experienced in each of the 140 rooms which feature spectacular views of the Miami skyline and turquoise ocean. A 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness centre and pool are perfect for re-energising and on the ground floor, El Patio restaurant offers local and international flavours, excellent coffee, and craft beer in a casual indoor and outdoor garden.
ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Why now? While many travellers have gotten to know Sydney, Melbourne and even Brisbane, Adelaide is the gem of South Australia. Stretching from the coast to the foothills of the Mount Lofty Ranges, it offers natural beauty, a wealth of culture and acclaimed wineries including those along the Barossa Valley. To truly get to know a city, it’s best to start where the locals do and Adelaide Central Markets, with its maze of 80 stalls brimming with everything from fresh fruit and veggies to sumptuous artisanal food products has been the hub of culinary culture in the city since it opened way back in 1869.
Where to stay: Hotel Indigo will make its Australian debut with the opening of Hotel Indigo® Adelaide Markets in Q1. Located on Market Street – a vibrant culinary hub in the heart of the city and seconds from the iconic Adelaide Central Markets – the 145-room hotel brings the best of the outdoors, indoors. Colourful wall art pays homage to the culture of neighbourhood festival posters, while tessellated tile patterns of Adelaide with copper fixtures are a nod to South Australia’s copper mining history. The restaurants and bars tap into the best of Adelaide Market’s wonderful produce for seasonal appeal. Market & Meander is a modern Australian restaurant and bar, touting multicultural influences from Grote and Gouger Street, while on the rooftop, guests will experience the spectacular raw food bar, Merrymaker.
NUSA DUA, BALI, INDONESIA
Why now? Nusa Dua is a world away from much of the rest of Bali. Art lovers will be drawn to the Pasifika Museum with galleries dedicated to local painters, an Indochinese gallery and a Polynesian exhibit. As if that wasn’t enough you will even find pieces from greats such as Paul Gauguin, Rudolf Bonnet, and Emilio Ambron. For a natural wonder – water blow is one of the most impressive sights in Nusa Dua. Large waves of seawater from the Indian Ocean continually crash against jagged limestone edges of a cliff and narrowing funnels create giant, irregular saltwater funnels that can reach several metres into the sky-high across a 240-degree view above the dramatic seascape.
Where to stay: Kimpton® Naranta Bali is the perfect gateway to the Island of the Gods, opening in Q2 to enable human connection alongside coastal luxury and famed Balinese warmth and service. The resort sits on the southeastern corner of the island, alongside Nusa Dua beach and is cradled in unspoiled nature and embraces a free-spirited design with winding paths leading adventure-seeking guests to spectacular hilltop vantage points, alive with sculptures at every turn. 50 villas blend contemporary design, rich textures and earthy tones with traditional accents and a luxurious patina.
Why now? Manhattan’s New West Side is a hotbed of retail, leisure and property development, easily traversed on foot via the High Line as it weaves seemingly organically alongside high rises, parks and modern landmarks. Chelsea, surrounded by the bohemian mecca of Greenwich Village and Hudson Yards, whose faded industrial glory has been reinvented as a hub of chic art galleries, luxury shopping, international design and the best new food and drink. Truly the newest New York, this area has all the buzz of a Brooklyn hotspot with all the grandeur you’d expect from Manhattan.
Where to stay: Six Senses New York, the brand’s first North American property is set to open in 2021. The hotel forms part of The XI – two unique, twisting towers designed by world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels in an unparalleled location in between Manhattan’s Hudson River and The High Line. Guestrooms and suites designed by celebrated Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier are contemporary in style, offering every modern convenience wedded to a calm ambience of natural-hued fabrics and furnishings. Two restaurants and a Six Senses Spa will complete the noted intuitive and holistic approach to wellness which the brand is famed for.
Why now? The Collection Morozov at Paris Fondation Louis Vuitton which was due to show in 2020 has been postponed to open in February until the end of June 2021, allowing you to visit this exhibition focusing on French and Russian works of art gathered in the early 20th century by two Moscow patrons and collections, Mikhaïl and Ivan Morozov. And for fans of French fashion, the Paris Palais Galliera presents its first retrospective devoted to designer Gabrielle Chanel March, while the Paris Musée des Arts Décoratifs will welcome the Thierry Mugler: Couturissime exhibition in 2021, as well as Luxes, exploring perceptions of luxury through the ages and from all corners of the world. Showcasing over one hundred objects, the majority of which come from the permanent collections of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
Where to stay: Opening in Q2, Kimpton® St Honoré Paris will be in the famous Opéra District in a heritage building with extraordinary Art Nouveau and Art Deco facades along the Boulevard des Capucines. Famed French architect and designer Charles Zana is transforming the building to bring Kimpton’s elegant and playful design to France for the first time, with 149 guestrooms, including 24 suites, an indoor swimming pool and luxury treatment rooms, a light-filled ground-floor restaurant and bar, and a mezzanine tea lounge. From 1917 to 1981, the historic property was the luxury department store Samaritaine de Luxe, and an original elevator will transport guests to a vibrant rooftop terrace café and bar with 360-degree views of the City of Light.
Why now? The legendary Torlonia Collection, considered by many as the world’s most important private collection of ancient marble sculptures, will at long last go on public display in Rome in 2021. Delayed due to closures in 2020, the Palazzo Caffarelli at the city’s Capitoline Museums will display 96 pieces from the priceless collection of 620 ancient sculptures in the exhibition The Torlonia Marbles: Collecting Masterpieces.
Where to stay: Six Senses Rome will open in late 2021, set around the Palazzo Salviati Cesi Mellini on Piazza di San Marcello, with 95 distinct guest rooms and suites, a spa, restaurant, events terrace, outdoor courtyard garden and a rooftop terrace with a 360° view of the city and monuments. Built in the 18th century by Tomaso De Marchis, who adorned it with windows representing the epitome of Baroque motifs for Cardinal Mario Mellini, the palazzo was protected by the Roman municipality and UNESCO-listed. InterContinental® Rome Ambasciatori Palace opens in Q4 on the iconic Via Veneto, in the Ludovisi area of the city, close to the Villa Borghese. The existing property – which includes 160 rooms and suites, panoramic rooftop, a restaurant, bar and a spa – will be restored to create a sense of discreet, modern luxury for visitors and locals alike. Designed in the early 1900s by architect Carlo Busiri Vici in the neo-renaissance style, the palazzo building was originally home to ambassadors staying in Rome. It later became the US Embassy’s library, before opening as a hotel in 1993.