New hotels to check out in 2016: ​Luxury lodges, Rat Pack hangouts and elegant wellness retreats

Our roundup of innovative and inspiring hotels opening soon

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The Independent Travel

Limalimo Lodge Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

This 14-room luxury lodge looking out over the peaks and plateaux of the Simien Mountains will be a first of its kind when it opens in March in northern Ethiopia. Trek through Unesco-protected parkland and camp under the stars as part of your adventure in this rugged landscape that's akin to the Grand Canyon in texture and tone. Contemporary architecture employs traditional materials such as rammed earth, wood and thatch to complement the soul-stirring World Heritage setting.

Brody Villa Budapest, Hungary

The sister property of bohemian bolthole Brody House, this 19th-century villa in the hills above the Hungarian capital is scheduled to open on 1 May. Original features of this six-room historic home include stained-glass windows, Transylvanian marble and parquet floors. Add to this the creative spirit of a team behind the city's hippest hotel and the kind of cocktails that win its arts club, Brody Studios, awards, then throw in a charming winter garden and an indoor swimming pool. Where do we sign?

The Pig at Combe

The Pig at Combe Devon, UK

Fans of the farm-to-fork formula of this boutique-brand will snort with delight when Combe House in Devon reopens in June as a Pig hotel. The Grade-I listed Elizabethan Manor, stable block and centuries-old thatched longhouse were ripe for hotelier Robin Hutson's attentions. Expect great estate-to-plate creations from the Georgian kitchen; ingredients are as local as can be with a kitchen garden and 3,500 acres to forage.

CalNeva Lake Tahoe, US 

Nevada's first casino, once owned by Frank Sinatra, reopens in late spring after a lengthy and costly makeover. It straddles two states; spy the Nevada/California border marked throughout, right down to the mosaic tiles in the swimming pool. Its classic glamour has been lovingly retained – including, we hope, the secret underground passages built for bootleggers and later used for secret affairs – most famously between Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy.

The Katamama Bali, Indonesia

Traditional art and craftsmanship are the hallmarks of this upscale resort coming to Seminyak, Bali's prestigious parcel of southern coastline, in January. A first foray into accommodation by local party hangout Potato Head Beach Club, this 58-suite stay is intended to be a stylish home-from-home for creatives. Design, fashion, music, gastronomy and mixology are themes, and you can bet the one-bedroom penthouses will be the biggest hits with visiting glitterati.

Casa Bonay Barcelona, Spain

Fashion designers have styled the wallpaper, tiled floors and fireplaces have been restored, coffee beans are roasted in-house, an indie publisher has curated the books and there are cold-pressed juices and vegan snacks for sale. Detect a hint of Brooklyn in this 1869-built beauty in architecturally interesting Dreta de l'Eixample? That's because Studio Tack, a collective from NYC, is behind the interiors of this soon-to-open 67-room hotel. There will also be Elephant-Crocodile-Monkey, a “Mediterrasian” restaurant, and a rooftop equally as suited to cocktails as to pilates.

Delano Cartagena Colombia

A new beach development, Mar de Indias, on the outskirts of colonial Cartagena, is the latest target on Morgans Hotel Group's radar. When this 186-roomer opens in late 2016, it will come complete with luxe ocean-side bungalows and a Caribbean coast beach club to rival its sexy South Beach sibling. The hotel will share the use of Mar de Indias's golf club and spa, too.

Hotel Luciano K Santiago, Chile

The Chilean capital's Art Nouveau heritage is celebrated at this new boutique address in Barrio Lastarria, opening on 1 January. The name of this chic 38-roomer is taken from architect Luciano Kulczewski, who was behind the original 1920s apartment block. The old-fashioned lift, marble staircase and hand-laid tiles have been beautifully preserved alongside modern-day perks such as a heated pool, spa and rooftop terrace bar.

Generator Amsterdam Netherlands

Hip hostels are more in demand than ever, and budget-minded, style-seeking travellers can set their sights on these designer digs opening in the Dutch capital in the spring. Overlooking Oosterpark, the University of Amsterdam's health sciences and zoological department will be reborn as 168 twin and quadruple bunk rooms. The lecture hall will play lounge bar; the library is the new private meeting space, and the boiler room will be a secret space for cocktails. Student life has never been so swanky.

Martinhal Cascais

Martinhal Lisbon & Martinhal Cascais Family Resort Hotel Portugal

This spring, the chic Chiado district of Portugal's capital launches the second outpost of the Sagres resort that has proved such a huge hit with discerning families. Then comes a new resort in the pretty seaside town of Cascais, half an hour from the city. Both luxury hubs will be a dream ticket for parents who want a grown-up getaway with all the child-friendly trimmings.

Le Gray Amman, Jordan

After the success of its Beirut hotel, which opened in 2009, Le Gray Hotel will be breathing new life into the Jordanian capital's historic downtown area in late 2016 with 180 bedrooms and 68 apartments designed by Martin Brudnizki. Of the five restaurants, the sun-drenched terrace of Indigo by the Pool is likely to be the most in-demand, though there are two additional swimming pools to languish in if it proves too popular.

Williamsburg Hotel

The Williamsburg Hotel New York City, US

North Williamsburg's Wythe Avenue is fast becoming a strip of hip Brooklyn hangouts. The 150 rooms and suites opening in spring have been designed by Britain's Michaelis Boyd, of Babington House and Soho House Berlin acclaim, with leather furniture from London's Bill Amberg. Manhattan skyline lovers have a rooftop pool to pose in and it will bring the area's first ballroom, a restaurant and three bars. We're keen to try the one created in a replica water tower which pays tribute to this once-industrial NYC hub, where those famed wooden water towers were originally constructed.

Amastan Paris, France

A cultured new lifestyle hotel between rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées will be a welcome addition to the 8th arrondissement when it opens in February. It's creative in spirit, with considered interiors from NOCC design studio, and of the 24 bedrooms be sure to bag one with a private balcony. If you're keener to see and be seen, make your way to Anouk, the exclusive bar and nightspot. Alternatively, hide away with a book from the double-height library or admire the pop-up art installations in the project space.

Arovada by Akaryn

Arovada by Akaryn Koh Krabey, Cambodia

When Cambodia gets its first private-island wellness retreat in June it won't be your usual spa scenario – for a start, the interiors have been overseen by Kenzo Takada. The Japanese-French fashion designer has even hand-made many of the artworks. The feel is intended to be spiritually uplifting, with fancy medical facilities teamed with a holistic attitude. And all in a five-star tropical context, a 20-minute boat ride from Sihanoukville.

Los Angeles Freehand California

Having been treated to an impressive new Ace and The Line in Koreatown, Downtown LA will welcome, next summer, a 1920s steel-and-concrete office block that's being converted into a branch of this budget brand currently flourishing in Miami and Chicago. What gives Freehand an edge? “It is designed as a place for people who want to interact with other guests and with locals,” says CEO Andrew Zobler. “It's set up for people who want to have experiences as opposed to people who just want to sleep and get in and out.”

The Fort Bazaar Galle Fort, Sri Lanka

One of Sri Lanka's most popular tourist landmarks, the Dutch Fort, is the location for this brand new, 18-room boutique hotel in the heart of centuries-old, history-steeped streets. Opening on 1 January, The Fort Bazaar comes care of the same hoteliers who were behind The Wallawwa near Colombo, so expect style with substance – plus a swimming pool, small cinema and spa.

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, London

Cutting a sharp silhouette on Willow Street, this contemporary steel-and-glass 156-room hotel, which opens later in the year, will be the first in Europe for a group that's already made its mark in the Middle East, the Americas and Asia. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is, of course, in charge of what's on the menu – reason alone to stay, but backing also comes from Robert De Niro.

Entamanu Ngorongoro Tanzania

Eight tastefully designed tented suites comprise this camp that's 20 minutes from the Seneto Descent road, opening in June. The biggest attraction will be Ngorongoro Crater wildlife drives, though viewings from the lodge itself are impressive: guests can look north-west towards the plains of the Serengeti, Olduvai Gorge and the Gol Mountains. It's from the creators of Lamai Serengeti, Greystoke and Chada and is bookable through Expert Africa.

Six Senses Zil Payson

Six Senses Zil Pasyon Félicité, Seychelles

Palm-fringed alabaster-white shores provide the setting for this Indian Ocean sanctuary, poised to welcome sybarites in the spring. Sustainable, secluded and seriously relaxing – that's the shtick of this spa-hotel group which has positioned its latest postcard-perfect retreat on a private island a short hop from Mahé, the capital of this 115-island nation.

Great Scotland Yard Hotel London

In a historic Georgian-brick seven-storey building in St James, towards the end of the year, you'll be able to rest your head where PCs investigated the Jack the Ripper case and the Ministry of Defence placed its library. When the first headquarters of the Metropolitan Police reopens in Westminster for paying guests, Steigenberger Hotel Group will be running things, and the whisper is that some of the five-star suites could cost up to £10,000 a night.