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From a spectacular cruise ship with all the bells and whistles, to a bijou inn in Hawaii, 2019 is a year of exciting travel possibilities. We've scoured the globe for the best of the new and the now to offer a list that goes from the sublime – a a year of celebration in Berlin to mark the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus – to the ridiculously fun: a new Jurassic Park feature at Universal Studios. Across the gamut of travel interests: hotels, ships, buildings, festivals, airports, art galleries, food, drink and more, here's a taste of what the year in travel has in store.
After a massive 12-plus-month reno, a stellar line up of famous chefs are putting their names to its restaurants and the famous Long Bar – home to the Singapore Sling – lovingly restored, is already open, But there's more to love: the 1889 hotel's myriad new suite types are designed to make the most of the National Monument's many charms. See www.raffles.com
AMERIKALINJEN, OSLO, NORWAY
While a decidedly modern project, this independent hotel in the old Norwegian America Line HQ pays homage to the nautical spirit of both the building and the city. Details include the reproduction of glassware used on mid-century ships. Expect maritime elegance when it opens in April. See www.amerikalinjen.com
INTERCONTINENTAL SHANGHAI WONDERLAND, CHINA
This 336-room hotel took more than 10 years to develop – that's because it inhabits an abandoned quarry at the base of the Sheshan Mountain range, outside Shanghai. With just two floors above ground and 15under, including two that sit below the old mine's waterline, it's a feat of engineering and determination. See www.intercontinental.com
ROSEWOOD, HONG KONG, CHINA
In March, the Rosewood opens, occupying 42 floors of a 65-storey centrepiece to the redevelopment of Hong Kong's Victoria Dockside. Promising a new luxury benchmark in a city already well serviced in that department, it will feature the largest and highest number of luxury suites in the city with more than 80 per cent of accommodation offering harbour views. See www.rosewoodhotels.com
HARD ROCK HOTEL, LONDON, ENGLAND
In a rock star location close to Marble Arch and Hyde Park, the 900-room, lacklustre Cumberland creaked with history – and it was the last address of guitar god, Jimi Hendrix. That's fitting, because the property is now London's first Hard Rock hotel, with a sexy do-over worthy of its glamorous address. See www.hardrockhotels.com
BULGARI HOTEL, MOSCOW
A mere stroll to the Kremlin and the Red Square and adjacent to the Moscow State Conservatory P. I. Tchaikovsky, the next Bulgari-branded ultra-luxury hotel will have 65 rooms and suites, but the real jewel will be the 300-square metre Bulgari Suite with a private 600-square metre rooftop terrace looking out onto those landmarks.
FAIRMONT CENTURY PLAZA, LOS ANGELES
The 1966, Minoru Yamasaki-designed curved form of the old Century Plaza hotel will remain despite a multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of the site upon which it sits: the former backlot of 20th Century Fox. But when the hotel component of the redevelopment reopens this year, it will be a Fairmont. Celebrities, royalty and US presidents have graced the mid-century halls. Expect more of the same.
TWA HOTEL, NEW YORK, US
Flight nerds rejoice: 2019 marks the opening of the much-anticipated TWA Hotel by Beyer Blinder Belle and Lubrano Ciavarra Architects in the landmark 1962 TWA Flight Centre at JFK Airport. The complete refurbishment features 512 guest rooms with interiors by Stonehill Taylor that go for a thoroughly Mad Men vibe. No smoking allowed, but there is an in-room cocktail bar, complete with martini glasses. See www.twahotel.com
Take a look inside the TWA Hotel in the photo gallery above.
APURVA KEMPINSKI, BALI, INDONESIA
Kempinski Hotels' second Indonesian property is a 475-room resort in Nusa Dua, Bali, promising theatre and luxury. Architects Denton Corker Marshall and Trivium design Group have created a mix of Indonesian tradition and glam modern resort with two swimming pools, a substantial spa and wellness offering, and all-important ocean adjacency. It's scheduled for a first quarter opening. See www.kempinski.com
AVANI+ SAMUI, KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
The fast-growing Avani brand, aimed firmly at Millennials, takes a step forward with an upscale Thai resort, the second bearing the Avani+ moniker, signifying something special afoot. With an emphasis on nature and eco principles, the resort hideaway on a secluded bay has 25 guestrooms, 27 private pool villas and six beachfront pool villas. See www.avanihotels.com
DAYDREAM ISLAND, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
After delays and budget blowouts, the much loved Whitsundays island resort, which was forced to close after Cyclone Debbie, welcomes back guests from April 10, with what many saw as a much needed refurbishment even before the disaster. It has 277 rooms and suites, new choices in signature dining, bars and an underwater observatory. See daydreamisland.com
WHITE SANDS HOTEL, HAWAII, US
Nostalgia and a yearning for the simpler things drive the new look for this 1960s' affordable throwback, one of the few walk-up hotel-motels left in Waikiki. Featuring fun twists on mid-century style and an F&B concept by the popular local Fete restaurant group including a hot tub by the bar, it's a funky budget alternative. See aquaaston.com
HAYMAN ISLAND INTERCONTINENTAL, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Another Whitsundays victim of Cyclone Debbie gets a new lease of life. Opening mid-year as an Intercontinental, the 166-room hotel has undergone a $100 million redevelopment, promising world-class luxury across its offerings including new food and beverage experiences and a kids' club. Arrive by luxury vessel, helicopter or seaplane. See ihg.com
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM, UK
Europe's longest bar and largest football merchandise store are just some of the features of this near 63,000-seater in North London, the first stadium in the world with a retractable real-turf surface. The brief called for meticulous attention to detail and the Populous design delivers in spades. It will start hosting games this year. See www.tottenhamhotspur.com
ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES, LOS ANGELES, US
Conceived by Renzo Piano in collaboration with Gensler, LA's new museum will be a striking spherical structure designed to provide visitors with dramatic views. As well as documenting Tinsel Town's mainstay industry, the immersive, entertaining and educational museum will include a large movie theatre and an open-air terrace. It will open by the end of the year. See www.academymuseum.org
LUMA ARLES, FRANCE
Frank Gehry has caused controversy yet again with his audacious vision: the LUMA Arles art complex. Well advanced and taking shape in abandoned rail yards near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Arles, it's divided opinion. It won't open till early 2020, but the amazing 56-metre, aluminium-clad tower, designed to resemble local rock formations, is already a showstopper in itself. See www.luma-arles.org
HUDSON YARDS, NEW YORK, US
At the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, several mixed use skyscrapers by various renowned architectural firms are completion as is the complex's retail and restaurant facilities and its vast public squares and gardens. See www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com
CALGARY CENTRAL LIBRARY, CANADA
In recent times, Alberta's so-called Cow Town has welcomed starchitects leaving a mark, from the Calatrava-designed Peace Bridge to the Willis Tower by SOM Architects. The new library building by Snohetta and Dialogue may trump them all, hailed by Architectural Digest and others for its ambition and style. See www.calgarylibrary.ca
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
JEWEL CHANGI AIRPORT, SINGAPORE
Those who already think Singapore's Changi is the best airport in the world, prepare to be wowed. The Jewel is a vast pod that not only links terminals one, two and three, but is an airconditioned indoor garden, home to shopping, dining and Yotelair, a funky airside hotel concept with meeting spaces and 130"cabins". See www.jewelchangiairport.com
LATAM, SOUTH AMERICA
As of January 1, LATAM Airlines Group has increased direct flights between Melbourne and Santiago, Chile, from three to five per week, in response to growing demand for travel to South America. The route gives access to LATAM's South American network of more than 120 destinations. The airline also flies Sydney-Auckland-Santiago return, seven times a week. See www.latam.com
LAGUARDIA AIRPORT, NEW YORK, US
Photo: Grimshaw Architects
Rated the worst airport in America, New York's LaGuardia, which services 31 million passengers a year, has just unveiled its new Terminal B concourse, part of an $8 billion makeover that will eventually include six new concourses, 72 gates and better transport links. Meanwhile, JFK will undergo a $13 billion transformation by 2025 and Newark is also getting a new terminal. See www.laguardiaairport.com
DAXING AIRPORT, BEIJING, CHINA
Turkey's recently opened airport is the largest in the world but by end 2019, it will be the second largest, as China's eight-runway, 1-million-square-metre Daxing opens to an anticipated 100 million passengers a year. The Zaha Hadid-designed facility is due to open October 1, joining Beijing International to handle China's increasingly mobile population.
A test program of biometric identification is being carried out across the first half of 2019, on flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and London. A collaboration between American Airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Hilton and MSC Cruises, the tech will be used at airport security and check in. LATAM and Emirates have also made forays into biometrics.