This December, Banyan Tree will be opening the first Banyan Tree Escape in Bali in a secluded spot in Ubud. Dubbed Buahan, Banyan Tree Escape, its "no walls, no doors" concept comprises only 16 villas and a zero-waste philosophy designed to deliver a sustainable yet immersive holiday experience in the rejuvenating embrace of untouched nature.
About 20 minutes away in the coastal town of Sanur, Andaz opened its first property in Bali in April. The Hyatt-branded hotel features a rustic contemporary design with a Village Square dedicated to cultural experiences.
Ritz-Carlton can finally boast of an address in Maldives with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands. Located in the North Malé atoll, it has 100 villas set above the crystal clear ocean or along the beach, designed by Kerry Hill Architects. Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed Wink Hotel Saigon Centre, which holds the highest certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, Gold v4 in Vietnam. The Vietnamese hip hotel is located in one of the most vibrant parts of the city, perfect for the urban explorer with an eco-conscious mindset.
As exciting as all these sound, it's almost unfathomable to think that they were launched or will be opening during a pandemic when leisure travel restrictions are still very much in place. They may feed our already pent-up desire to travel but we can't yet plan a visit to any of these destinations.
So who are they opening for? Most likely domestic tourists. How long is that sustainable? And what is the long-term outlook for these brand new vacation abodes?
We check in with Renyung Ho, vice president, Brand HQ of Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts; Mark Hehir, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives Fari Islands; and Michael Piro, CEO of Wink Hotels for their thoughts.