In 2021 there was a re-imagination of the beach resort. Our favourite new beachfront properties have created their own style, marrying local sensibilities with new concepts in architecture and wellness.
This has been a year of travelling forward, developing sustainable five-star tourism in places where tourists didn’t venture before. These three new resorts have been a real inspiration for us.
3. JOALI BEING, Maldives
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Opened in 2018, the original JOALI is already established as one of the top 5 Maldives resorts. JOALI BEING is on a nearby island in Ra Atoll, 40 minutes by seaplane from Male.
The concept: wellbeing is a way of life, a way of being.
Their aim is for guests to return home feeling renewed, uplifted and “weightless.” This Maldives island is certainly different. It’s adults only, there is no alcohol, and it’s a minimum five-night stay. They have dedicated 5, 7 and 12-day wellness immersion programs and stays can also be combined with the original JOALI.
JOALI BEING opened on November 15th 2021. This is sure to become one of the world’s most celebrated wellness retreats.
2. One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro
In 2021, One&Only finally opened their first beachfront property in Europe. In Italy? No. Greece? No. In Montenegro.
One&Only Portonovi has its own harbour for super yachts, along with a helipad.It’s beachfront, close to a lot of attractions, and also very private. In the suites there’s the stylish charm that we also love about One&Only Le Saint Gerain in Mauritius.
The resort brings a very contemporary feel to Montenegro, with Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli in the kitchen and the brand’s signature Chenot Escape wellness concept. Suites are chic, very different to preconceived notions of Montenegro. And the infinity pool really does feel like infinity as it blends into the bay.
After a relatively quiet first summer in operation, we expect this to be one of Europe’s hottest properties next year.
1. Zannier Bai San Ho, Vietnam
Arnaud Zannier may just have opened Asia’s most stylish hotel and you could be one of the first ever guests.
We’ve followed Arnaud Zannier since he opened Phum Baitang near Angkor, in Cambodia. He then opened Omaanda in Namibia’s desert, further showcasing his ability to build five-star accommodation from local architectural principles.
On a remote Vietnamese peninsula, Zannier Bai San Ho takes this concept further. Paddy Field Villas resemble traditional Vietnamese fisherman’s huts, including reclaimed wood floors.
Hill Pool villas Borrow are based on local Ede architecture and are fashioned like traditional longhouses. Beach Pool Villas are in the building style of nearby Cham fishermen.
So three Vietnamese architectural styles, complemented by modern traveller vibes. What’s so cool about Bai San Ho is that nobody knows about it…yet.