Luxury hotel brands are firmly entrenched in big cities and popular getaways, but in recent years, they’ve ventured farther afield, too—adding outposts in far-flung destinations. From southwest India to Australia’s Barossa Valley, Forbes Travel Guide rounded up five new hotels in exotic locations—check out which ones caught our eye.
Vivanta By Taj – Bekal, India
Set on 26 lush acres in Kerala— known as “God’s Own Country”—in southwest India (an 80-minute flight from Mumbai), Vivanta By Taj – Bekal is made up of 71 villas and rooms that take design cues (thatched roofs and domed, thatched ceilings) from local Kettuvallam houseboats. Some rooms have private pools complete with plush daybeds for lounging. For those venturing out, the concierge can set up activities like a visit to the market in the Kappil fishing village with the resort’s chef (he’ll cook up your picks afterward), and a picnic at nearby Bekal Fort.
Pulling inspiration from traditional Turkis architecture, Aman Resorts’ newest property sits on a hillside just outside Bodrum—a little more than an hour’s flight from Istanbul— on the Aegean Sea. Amanruya’s 36 cottages measure around 807 square feet and are outfitted with traditional Turkish accents—white marble floors and charcoal fireplaces—alongside modern conveniences such as private pools and espresso machines. The resort’s stone buildings and green marble pool add to the Turkish charm, and a nearby beach club lets you explore the pebble beach and jetty.
Palacio Nazarenas, Peru
Housed in a former 16th-century convent in Cuzco, Orient-Express’ newest hotel is surrounded by Inca ruins—including some discovered during the building’s restoration. The 55-suite hotel marries Incan history with contemporary amenities, including an in-room cocktail set complete with a recipe book of Andean libations and customized perfume made from indigenous plants and rare herbs from nearby Ollantaytambo. Since Cuzco sits 11,200 feet above sea level, it’s handy that the suites are equipped with oxygen-enriched air conditioning.
Kingsford Homestead, Australia
Once a working sheep station, this boutique hotel in South Australia’s Barossa Valley opened this month as a romantic getaway with just seven suites, including a separate cottage. The secluded location (a 90-minute flight from Melbourne) gives Kingsford Homestead unrivaled views of Barossa Valley and the North Para River—take them in from an outdoor bathtub with a bottle of champagne. Notable vineyards surround the property—try their wines (and local beers) alongside the multi-course dinners included in your stay.
Dusit Thani Maldives
Luxury hotels continue to pop up throughout this island nation, but the Maldives’ newest resort claims a private island as its own. Circled by a coral reef, Dusit Thani Maldives is made up of 100 villas and residences with thatched roofs. The enormous rooms—the smallest is 1,313 square feet—have outdoor rain showers, flat-screen TVs (not that you’ll need it), and wine coolers, plus most have their own pools. Don’t miss getting a massage in the spa’s treetop treatment pods, or taking a dip in the infinity pool—thought to be the largest in the Maldives.