At Kenwood Travel we take pride in bringing the art of escape to your holiday. Our unparalleled destination expertise is derived from in-resort experience and a real passion for travel. Keeping abreast of what’s new in travel is a big part of what we’re about, and ensures our holidaymakers get the most up-to-date advice and personalised recommendations available.

So as the heatwave finally starts to run out of steam sparking thoughts of where to chase the sun, our destination specialists tell us what to look out for in Arabia, Caribbean, Europe, Florida, East Asia and the Indian Ocean this year. From brand new boutique hotels to luxury refits, this is what’s new in travel 2018.

All new Arabia

We start in the UAE where futuristic cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to lead the way for exciting new building projects. With so many new hotels and resorts cropping up in Arabia, the competition to be noticed leads to some really innovative designs. But as these newbuild hotels jostle for space in these ever-changing skylines, it might be difficult to know which ones deserve your attention when on holiday in Arabia. That’s where Kenwood Travel’s recommendations come in. Firstly in Dubai, look out for new kid on the block, W Dubai the Palm.

What we said: “The leading lights in music, design, fashion and food combine at this this hip new hotel on Dubai’s iconic Palm Island. W Dubai the Palm is an A-list oasis where glistening gulf waters and a broad private beach meet the geometric architecture and looping swimming pools of the resort grounds.”

In UAE capital Abu Dhabi meanwhile, we recommend checking out the soon-to-launch Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island and Rixos Saadiyat Island for their traditional Arabesque styling, superb wellness centres, upscale luxury amenities and eclectic global cuisine. Each of the three new UAE hotels mentioned here are due for November 2018 openings.

Away Spa, W Dubai the Palm's futuristic wellness centre

Away Spa, new hotel W Dubai the Palm’s futuristic wellness centre

News from the Continent

When it comes to our Europe holiday portfolio, two brand new hotels and a new rooftop bar & pool have caught our eye this year. The historic island of Kos is the setting of the new Ikos Aria hotel, which has been tipped to attract the it-crowd with its Michelin-starred food, generous all-inclusive plan and classic hospitality.

Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Cyprus impresses with its tiered facades, sprawling gardens and 300m beach. Also, don’t miss Kalloni Spa – reportedly 3,000 square metres in size – where a Russian Banya, whirlpools and saunas are on hand to deliver total holistic bliss. Staying in Cyprus, Annabelle Hotel maintains its return to the golden age of Mediterranean glamour with its new rooftop venue. Opened in May 2018, Ouranos is the first of its kind for a five-star hotel on the island. Swim, dine, and socialise in style before a backdrop of sweeping sea views.

An overview of Ikos Aria, one of the best new hotels on Kos

An overview of Ikos Aria, one of the best new hotels on Kos

Contemporary Caribbean

A destination as authentic as Jamaica could be content with its established hotels. But it’s testimony to the enduring popularity of the island as a holiday hotspot that hoteliers continue to invest here. Pristine beachfronts like the two-mile plot snapped up by Excellence Oyster Bay are still available, allowing this ever-popular destination to meet the demand for new accommodation on the island. Opened in June 2018, this brand new adults-only resort is the first of its kind for holidays to Jamaica. Its Victorian style and luxury setting have created an idyllic retreat, stretched over two miles of Jamaica’s most pristine powder sand beaches.

Each of the 315 suites offer breath-taking views, including private pool suites and those with rooftop terraces. The oceanfront beach houses are the latest luxury concept. They were developed exclusively for Excellence Oyster Bay and impress guests with romantic views directly from the beach. Resort-wide, amenities include eight world-class restaurants, nine bars, two beachfront swimming pools, lounge with rooftop, a spa and much more. Excellence Oyster Bay is conveniently located 35 minutes from Montego Bay’s international airport.

Jamaica's latest luxury hideaway is Excellence Oyster Bay

Jamaica’s latest contemporary luxury hideaway is Excellence Oyster Bay

Fresh look Florida

From its shiny, curvilinear exterior to its on-trend interior colour palette, Universal’s Aventura Hotel brings a sleek, modern vision to Universal Orlando Resort™’s wonderful range of on-site accommodations. Welcome to a new way to stay for your Florida holiday.

Only 15 miles from Orlando airport and 12 miles from the city centre, Universal’s Aventura Hotel is an affordable option for your family break to Universal™, and features bright, airy interiors and lots of laid-back comfort. Guest rooms total 600 and are appointed to a very high standard with an emphasis on cool, contemporary design. In-room wifi is provided free for all your connectivity needs, while hotel-wide wifi is also complimentary. Other guest amenities include car rental, self-parking (daily fee) and a Universal Orlando™ ticket desk.

The space age exterior at Universal’s Aventura Hotel reveals what's new for Florida holidays

The space age exterior at Universal’s Aventura Hotel reveals what’s new for Florida holidays

Island innovations

Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia, is a one-island resort with a distinctive boardwalk that traces the island perimeter and creates a unique dialogue between land and water. The lines are similarly blurred between inside and outside too, with floor to ceiling windows and sliding glass walls a common interior design feature – from restaurants to guest rooms – showcasing the lush jungle scenery and inviting lots of natural light into each bright, airy space.

For an exciting new resort like this, it’s a suitably modern design solution. Something we’re seeing more and more as artists and architects find innovative ways to hone the natural beauty of a hotel’s setting. It really does add a new perspective to the guest experience; essentially bringing the outside world in, and makes new hotels like Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia a must-visit for any savvy holidaymaker keen to experience what’s new in travel on their Far East holiday. 

Sliding doors… the boundaries between outside and in are blurred at Six Senses Krabey Island

Sliding doors… the boundaries between outside and in are blurred at Six Senses Krabey Island

Indian Ocean inspiration

New properties in the Maldives cause quite a stir among luxury travel aficionados for the anticipation they tend to create. Always pushing the boundaries of luxury, always exclusive… Will their over water villas (for which these lagoon waters are so famous) feature an innovative new design? Oblu Select at Sangeli was no exception when it opened on 1st July this year. The Stand Alone Beach & Water Villas (with and without private pools and complete with an upgraded all-inclusive that includes fine dining and daily refreshed mini bars) are some of the best new villas in the region.

Billed as an island paradise and offering no small amount of value with its deluxe amenities (look no further than the excellent Premium All Inclusive package, The Serenity Plan™, to make your money go further), this blissful new resort in Maldives’ North Male Atoll combines all-out in-resort luxury with underwater adventure at some of the Male Atoll’s premier dive spots. The prefect combination to discover the best of what’s new for Indian Ocean holidays this year.

The new water villas at Oblu Select at Sangeli are some of the Maldives' finest

The new water villas at Oblu Select at Sangeli are some of the Maldives’ finest

Featured image – Spa reception detail, W Dubai the Palm

About The Author

Since leaving a role in local broadcasting, Ken spent six seasons working on cruise ships before turning his experiences into a popular travel blog and pod cast. But it wasn’t long before wanderlust came calling again, and after travelling extensively throughout Asia and the Americas, the time has come for this roving writer to tell the tales of his adventures once more.

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