Seven must-visit luxury hotspots for 2019
Seven must-visit luxury hotspots for 2019
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Seven must-visit luxury hotspots for 2019

With 2019 promising exciting new openings, lavish hotel refurbishments and major global events, sporting and otherwise, we’ve curated a list of the best places to explore in the year ahead

Sp at MO London

London, UK

While London will always hold an allure, there’s even more reason to visit in 2019, not least for culturists. From the V&A’s stunning retrospective of Christian Dior and the biggest show on Van Gogh for a decade at Tate Britain to Cate Blanchett making her debut at the National Theatre, the capital is set to buzz. If that doesn’t entice you, then the multi-million pound renovation of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London surely will. Visitors can get a sneak preview of the hotel’s new look when it throws open the doors to Dinner by Heston, Bar Boulud, The Rosebery, Mandarin Bar, and The Spa (pictured above) this month – and with the refurbished guest rooms and suites reopening in the spring, you can expect a whole new level of London luxe.

Dubai

Dubai, UAE

Everything about Dubai is designed to dazzle. The UAE emirate is home to the tallest buildings on earth (whizz up to the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck for breathtaking views); the city of superlatives is also home to the world’s largest man-made island, its most colossal shopping mall (pictured above), and a record-breaking performing fountain. Not to be outdone, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is set to exceed all expectations when it opens in early 2019. Overlooking the pristine waters of the Arabian Gulf, this beachfront resort has six restaurants, including Tasca from Portuguese wunderchef José Avillez, a spa of epic proportions and meticulously appointed rooms.

Doha

Doha, Qatar

Qatar may be the wealthiest nation per capita, but it is also a country rich in culture. The breadth of art on display in the capital of Doha is astonishing, whether at starchitect Jean Nouvel’s shiny, new National Museum of Qatar or the Museum of Islamic Art (pictured above). For a lesson in Qatari history head to the oldest part of the city, Msheireb Downtown Doha, where four historic houses celebrate the country’s past, and its future. A ten-minute stroll through this regenerated neighbourhood will bring you to Mandarin Oriental, Doha, which, when it welcomes guests from early 2019, promises a blend of Middle Eastern charm and legendary MO hospitality. And surely the perfect base if you’re planning to catch the IAAF World Championships in September and the Fifa World Cup in 2022.

Lake Como

Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como (pictured above) ranks as one of Italy’s most famous holiday destinations and not just because it draws A-list crowds. Nestled in the shadow of the Rhaetian Alps and engulfed by forested hills, the Lake has enchanted travellers for centuries. The clear, blue water and glorious sunshine make for a dreamy combination, but it’s the tiny sandy beaches, photogenic palazzo and bougainvillea-strewn villages along the shoreline that captivate. Situated in one of the prettiest villages, Blevio, you’ll find CastaDiva Resort & Spa, which becomes Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como in spring 2019. Magical location aside, expect a hotel with romantic interiors and impeccable service – the secluded garden is the perfect spot to order an aperitivo and watch the setting sun catch the water.

Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

All eyes, sporting ones in particular, will be on Japan in 2019 (and, again in 2020 when Tokyo welcomes the Olympic Games) as it hosts the Rugby World Cup. And Tokyo Stadium will be at the heart of the action hosting matches including England versus Argentina, the mighty All Blacks as they take on Namibia, and the Quarter Finals. The atmosphere is likely to be electric and after all that heart-pounding, nail-biting action, you’ll need somewhere to unwind. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo – located in the exclusive Nihonbashi district near Ginza – is the place. Led by Japanese designer Reiko Sudo, the five-star hotel is inspired by the idea of a ‘vast, living tree’, with the rooms as its branches, and it exudes serenity. Not least in the Spa (pictured above), which offers a truly Zen experience.

Andes, Chile

Santiago, Chile

Millennial glaciers, enchanted forests, desert oases, smoking geysers and flamingo-strewn mud flats… Chile’s landscape could not be more beguiling ­– or more diverse. The same can be said of its capital, Santiago, where the dynamic barrios (neighbourhoods) offer up a vibrant mix of galleries and markets, restaurants and Latino nightlife. This is a city where the good times flow as freely as the world-class Chilean wine. And in the midst of this colourful metropolis stands Hotel Santiago, which is currently being restyled as a Mandarin Oriental hotel. With its award-winning restaurants, elegant rooms and lagoon-style outdoor pool, it’s the ideal spot from which to explore – or, if you’re looking for a ski holiday with a difference, the ideal jumping-off point for a trip to the towering, snow-capped peaks of the Andes (pictured above).

Beijing

Beijing, China

China’s capital city will be full of green-fingered folk next year, all of whom will be making a beeline for Beijing Expo 2019 – an enormous horticultural show taking place between April and October. The displays promise to be quite something, from The Garden of Peach Blossom Land to a design depicting the journey of time. But this isn’t just a city for keen gardeners. Here, cutting-edge infrastructure sits happily alongside an impressive seven UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Summer Palace (pictured above) and Great Wall of China. Located in the city’s prime shopping district, and close to some of China’s most famous heritage sites, including the Forbidden City, is Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing, Beijing. This about-to-open boutique hotel will have two stylish restaurants, a bar complete with rooftop garden views over the Forbidden City, and the requisite flawless MO Spa.

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