While upgrading bathroom toiletries and expanding menus are noteworthy changes, they simply don’t wow in the same manner that complete room revamps or restaurant remodels do. The following high-end hotels understand the importance of keeping things fresh for their guests — multimillion-dollar makeovers are also necessary so older properties don’t get lost in the mind-boggling blitz of new builds — so they’re expanding in amazing ways this year. From St. Martin to Singapore, these are the renovations that have us really excited in 2019.
Singapore’s grand dame will reopen its doors Aug. 1. Inside, you’ll find the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star all-suite hotel added some shiny new features, including a 300-person ballroom, 115 refreshed accommodations with updated technology, a spa and restaurants from noted chefs Alain Ducasse, Anne-Sophie Pic and Jereme Leung.
Be sure to stop by the 1887 hotel’s restored Long Bar, which recently reopened in its original Raffles Arcade location, for the original Singapore sling.
Belmond Cap Juluca
This Anguillan beauty has returned from its post-hurricane renovation with a turquoise-hued glow that can be seen from across the Caribbean. U.S. designers Rottet Studio wisely retained the Greco-Moorish architectural vibe that guests have long adored at the property; only now the team has enhanced the resort’s barefoot brilliance with an infinity-edge pool, the stylish Maundays Club eatery and 108 rooms bathed in botanical prints and natural light.
Hotel Okura Tokyo
When this Tokyo wonder is reborn as The Okura Tokyo in September, the news will be as welcome for high-end travelers as it is for newlyweds-to-be and the business sect. The former will appreciate how the property will divide its appeal between Okura Heritage Wing’s traditional elegance and Okura Prestige Wing’s more contemporary appeal. The latter groups’ collective imagination will run wild with the possibilities in the hotel’s 20 banquet areas, including the stunning, 21,000-square-foot Heian Room. All parties will appreciate the return of the 2,500-piece Okura Art Museum that will sit in the remarkable Okura Square entrance.
San Ysidro Ranch
Mudslides crushed this celebrity Santa Barbara hideaway last January. But San Ysidro Ranch is making a comeback. The hotel’s Stonehouse and Plow & Angel restaurants reopened for dinner Jan. 23 (brunch and lunch service will follow soon). You’ll be able to stay the night by June 1. By then, the secluded boutique hotel’s cottages, public spaces and more will be restored to their original splendor.
MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa
Just in time for the property’s 150th anniversary, MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa will debut in March. Originally a vineyard and ranch, the Sonoma parcel was converted into an inn in 1997. Now new management is returning the 64-room hotel to its agricultural roots with a stylish, modern farm aesthetic and a garden spa with botanical-filled treatments.
Given the hotel’s history and its Sonoma location, food should be a highlight — and with chef Cole Dickinson, formerly of Acacia House in Napa and protégé of chef Michael Voltaggio, overseeing the three dining venues (celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Zakarian Hospitality also assisted with the concept), we’re sure it will be.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
With enhancements underway for its picturesque overwater bungalows and ravishing restaurants, this gorgeous island retreat remains open to provide you with signature Four Seasons service and French Polynesian sunsets.
If you plan to visit the resort during the renovations (expected to be completed in October), you can receive up to a $340 credit to use on exciting experiences like a two-hour snorkeling tour, 45-minute jet ski excursion or Polynesian dinner show for two.
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
Following Hurricane Maria in 2017, this Five-Star Puerto Rico stunner has bounced back in spectacular style. The island icon debuted a $60 million renovation in December 2018, boasting 139 refreshed guest rooms in a contemporary blue-and-white color palette, two new casual eateries (Beach Shak and Paros) and a re-envisioned Iridium Spa.
Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London
Be the first to check into this revamped Knightsbridge favorite when it debuts its newly renovated rooms this spring. The posh Four-Star property was forced to close after a fire in June, but rebounded with grace over the holidays, reopening its two beloved restaurants, gorgeous event spaces and reinvigorated Five-Star spa.
Belmond La Samanna
Following a $25 million renovation this past December, this Four-Star 83-room stunner has made a resounding return to the white sands of St. Martin. London design firm Muza Lab retained the luxe address’ island identity through playful pastels and the beautiful Beach Bar, but it’s all done with a sophisticated sway. Even more remarkable, the kitchen in the just-debuted L’Oursin restaurant shows off a culinary finesse you’d find in Europe, yet it does so with undeniably Caribbean ingredients.
InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa
Paradise is about to get a lot more posh as this French Polynesian property undergoes a year-long renovation of its overwater bungalows. The two-phase plan (to wrap up in December) will only affect half of the resort’s villas at a time, so you can linger in island luxury without having to worry about canceled plans.