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In an era when hotels have moved beyond mere places to sleep to become experience unto themselves, it takes a lot to stand out. These eight attention-grabbing properties opening in 2020 have us ready to pack our bags, Jenn Smith Nelson writes

Arctic Bath Hotel, Swedish Lapland

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The innovative Arctic Bath Hotel is a floating, spa-centric property.JOHAN KAUPPI/ARCTIC BATH

Making a splash in the village of Harads, the Arctic Bath Hotel will be open for business in February, 2020. A nod to nature and the bygone Swedish logging era, the innovative floating hotel, open year-round, is a spa-centric property featuring a hearty mix of luxury and wellness. Guests can embrace the north’s spa ritual by dipping into the open-air cold bath in the central area, which also happens to be the perfect spot from which to view nightly Northern Lights. Visitors can sleep in one of six floating cabins anchored in the Lule River or, stay in one of six onshore rooms, all of which are clad in sustainable materials and luxurious textiles such as leather, stone and wood. In addition to high-end spa services, experiences such as ice fishing or dining with a reindeer herder/storyteller are offered.

Lady Musgrave Island Underwater Accommodations, Lady Musgrave Island, Queensland, Australia

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The three-level Lady Musgrave will offer underwater accommodations with 360-degree views of the Great Barrier Reef.Chapman Leijenaar

Speaking of floating hotels, an underwater property has been announced for Lady Musgrave Island in Queensland. Set to open in April, 2020, it will offer guests the opportunity to experience the island and region in a whole new way. The three-level, 36-metre floating pontoon will have room for 24, with underwater accommodations providing access to incredible 360-degree views of the Great Barrier Reef. It will also feature an observatory complete with UV lighting to accommodate night viewing and decks that provide guest access for diving and snorkelling.

The Hilton Garden Inn, Faroe Islands

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Hilton will be the first international brand to set up shop in the Faroe Islands when its hotel in the capital city of Torshavn opens in the latter half of 2020.

Normally the opening of a Hilton Garden Inn wouldn’t have us this excited (let’s face it – they are everywhere, with more than 100 in development), but in this instance, location is everything. Hilton will be the first international hotel brand to set up shop in the Faroe Islands, in the capital city of Torshavn. Known for stunning, dramatic landscapes and rare wildlife, the 18 islands found between Norway and Iceland are a huge draw for nature lovers. The sustainability-focused, 131-room hotel will offer guests sea views, be within walking distance of the harbour and boast an onsite restaurant and spa. Currently under construction, it is scheduled to open in the second half of 2020.

Six Senses Fort Barwara, Rajasthan, India

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The Six Sense Fort Barwara will transform a 14th-century fortress into a 48-suite hotel with a 30,000-square-foot spa.

Not only is this the first resort property in India for the group, the Six Sense Fort Barwara will transform a 14th-century fortress once owned by the Rajasthani Royal Family into a 48-suite hotel. Fresh design perspective and preservation of the historic structure will aim to reclaim original beauty and create a regal ambiance befitting forts and palaces. A 30,000-square-foot spa with wellness, meditation and Ayurveda programs along with two swimming pools, fitness centre, a bar and lounge, restaurants, a kids’ club and more will make this hotel a draw for the whole family.

Soneva Fushi, Maldives

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This flagship private-island eco-resort is in the Maldives's Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

If there was ever a time to save your pennies for a luxurious hotel stay, this may just be it. Though the property has been around since 1995, Soneva Fushi’s new (and first-ever) one- and two-bedroom overwater villas are scheduled to open in April, 2020. The flagship private island eco-resort is found in the Maldives’ Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Luxury limits have been pushed with the creation of eight uber-private, massive retreats (one bedroom: 6,300-square-foot, two bedrooms: 9,200-square-foot). Sustainably built from sources such as reclaimed driftwood, each retreat features a private pool, a slide into the Indian Ocean, catamaran nets that hang over the water and even a retractable roof making stargazing from the comfort of your bed a thing.

Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, Versailles, France

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The Airelles Château de Versailles will be the first hotel inside the palace grounds.

Fit for a queen, and once home to one, the Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle, will be the first hotel to open within the perimeter of the immaculate Parisian palace grounds. Guests can spend their days taking in spectacular garden views that come complete with privileged access and experiences at Château de Versailles. The latest for the luxury hotel collection Airelles, the property will fittingly be adorned in 18th-century style, holding faithfully true to the period, with design of the 14-room hotel overseen by architect and interior designer Christophe Tollemer. Plans also include a private spa and a signature Alain Ducasse restaurant. Opening spring 2020.

Zedwell Hotels, London

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The Zedwell Hotel will be focused on promoting well-being via the perfect night's sleep.Will Scott

Sometimes, it really is all about the sleep. Finding the calm amidst an amazingly busy location isn’t always easy – especially in a major metropolis such as London. However, in 2020, one property is up for the challenge. The landmark London Trocadero building is set to take on a new life as the snooze-centred Zedwell Hotel. With a promise to promote positive health and well-being via the perfect night’s sleep, guests will be able to deeply doze after a long day of sightseeing thanks to their investment in innovative soundproofing, comfort, minimal distractions and darkness (no windows – sleep the day away if need be). The flagship property will feature more than 700 guestrooms on an estimated 10 levels, and is located in one of London’s most central areas, accessible via the Piccadilly Circus Underground station.

Kwessi Dune Lodge, Namibia

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From the Kwessi Dune Lodge, visitors will take in desert vista views and a variety of outdoor experiences.

Take notice, all you luxury-loving, star-gazing, dune-seeking travellers: Safari company Natural Selection is set to open Kwessi Dune Lodge in Namibia in March, 2020 on the (200,000-plus hectares) NamibRand Nature Reserve. A protected wilderness area, the vast Reserve is a model of conservation success. From the lodge, guests can enjoy desert vista views and take in a number of outdoor experiences, such as accessing the iconic rusty red Sossusvlei sand dunes. At night, it’s all about the skies. Located on an official Dark Sky Reserve, each 88-square-meter thatch-and-canvas rooms – there are 12 – features the possibility of taking in the universe (and sleeping under the stars) from an attached open-sky room. Each room also includes air-conditioning, an ensuite bathroom, and indoor and outdoor showers, plus a shaded, outdoor veranda.

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