Laura French scouts out some of the hottest openings of the year
If all-inclusive resorts once meant towels on beds and queues at buffets, they’re now just as likely to be about exclusive excursions, watersports programmes, fine-dining menus and sunrise yoga sessions – as the host of new properties opening this year testifies.
And whether it’s a luxury escape to the Maldives for a couple, an active family holiday in Spain or an exclusive Caribbean getaway that sways clients, you aren’t short on options to sell for the year ahead and beyond.
We’ve rounded up some of the most exciting openings of the year to put on your radar for a booming summer and beyond.
1. Sandals Royal Curaçao
Sandals’ first foray into Curaçao came on June 1 with the opening of this property of 351 rooms and suites, a two-level infinity pool, eight restaurants, 10 bars and a spa. Guests can also enjoy a round on the neighbouring 18-hole golf course, sample the area’s 70 dive sites, hire a bike or, if they’re staying in one of the Kurason Island Suites or Awa Seaside Bungalows, explore the island in a complimentary Mini Cooper.
It’s all set within the Santa Barbara private estate, a 3,000-acre protected nature reserve, surrounded by desert, ocean and mountains.
Book it: A week in a Carisia Luxury Room costs from £2,115, including flights from Heathrow and transfers, in September 2022.
2. Club Med Magna Marbella
Club Med has returned to Spain for the first time in 20 years with the opening this month of its new Marbella outpost, located just outside the city centre and a short stroll from the beach. It boasts expansive gardens, five pools, two restaurants, three bars, a family waterpark and adult-only zone, plus children’s clubs offering Andalusian-inspired cultural activities.
There’s also golf, archery, tennis, a flying trapeze and padel tennis court, and a Family Fun Zone complete with mini-golf, a zipline and water games. If all that means you need a little downtime, there’s a spa too, of course.
Book it: A week starts from £2,002 per person based on two sharing, including transfers and flights from London on June 25.
3. Oblu Select Lobigili
The latest adult-only property from Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts opened in the Maldives in March, with 68 beach and water villas overlooking a turquoise lagoon and various dine-around experiences included in its ‘Lobi Plan’ – from an underwater restaurant to a grab-and-go food truck specialising in game meat grills.
Activities span sunset cruises, fishing excursions, kayaking, snorkelling, beach yoga and fitness sessions in an overwater gym, while the spa offers Maldivian-inspired massages and couples’ treatments.
Book it: Premier Holidays offers 10 nights from £3,699 per person, based on two sharing and including one fine-dining meal at the underwater restaurant, a complimentary excursion and a sunset fishing trip. Price based on travel in September and October, with flights from Heathrow and speedboat transfers.
4. Domes Aulus Zante
Domes Resorts has taken over Zante Beach Hotel and will be opening the newly renovated property next month with a luxury ‘Cool Inclusive’ concept that includes four restaurants, three bars, a spa and kids’ club. There’s also an outdoor Family Zone with climbing parks and a splash pool, an array of watersports on the beach and an adult-only wing with its own pool and bar.
It’s all located on a protected turtle sanctuary, so guests can expect to see loggerheads wandering the shore, while pine forest and sand dunes make up the backdrop.
Book it: Olympic Holidays offers seven nights in a Tropical Nest from £1,332, including flights from Gatwick in July 2022.
5. Secrets Moxche Playa del Carmen
Seven pools, three man-made cenotes and a private beach are among the standouts at Secrets’ latest adult-only property, which opened on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula in April. Its 485 suites are set within Corasol, a gated residential community home to an 18-hole golf course designed by former world number one Nick Price.
Other facilities include 11 restaurants, a theatre, rooftop wedding gazebo and Preferred Club infinity pool, and it’s all surrounded by tropical greenery. Fifth Avenue, the heart of Playa del Carmen, is on the doorstep, and the dive-friendly island of Cozumel is close by too.
Book it: Lead-in rates for a Junior Suite Tropical View start at $167 per night.
6. Barcelo Lanzarote Active Resort
Newly opened in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, as an amalgamation of the former Occidental Lanzarote Mar and Occidental Lanzarote Playa, this four-star resort targets active families with three pools – one of them Olympic-sized – a climbing wall, outdoor play area, football table, fitness studio and open-air training box, as well as bikes on hand for those wanting to explore the local area.
Dining options include several buffet restaurants as well as an à la carte option and three bars, while day-long entertainment spans team games to live evening shows. If all that’s not enough, there are five beaches in the area – among them Playa Teguise, a hotspot for windsurfing – as well as historic sights aplenty in capital Arrecife, which is a 15-minute drive away.
Book it: Jet2holidays offers a week’s stay from £829 per person based on two sharing, flying from Manchester on September 29.
7. Dreams Cofu
Dreams is making its Greek debut in July with a beachfront setting in the traditional town of Gouvia, just five miles from the airport, Corfu Town and Corfu port. Facilities include a private pier for watersports, a spa and fitness facilities, three pools and two kids’ clubs – Explorer’s Club for younger kids and the Core Zone Club for teenagers.
Dining options span five spaces, including three à la carte restaurants, plus an impressive range of bars. Along with the standard accommodation options of Garden View Double and Family Sea View rooms, suites and townhouses, guests wanting an extra dose of luxury can opt for Preferred Club accommodation, which includes swim-up rooms and bungalows with direct access to an exclusive Preferred Club shared pool.
Book it: Caribtours offers a week from £1,425 per person, based on two sharing, including flights, UK lounge passes and transfers.
8. TRS Ibiza
Direct couples and groups to this adult-only five-star in San Antonio, Ibiza, which reopened in May after a rebrand and large-scale renovation. Amenities include the Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre, multiple pools, four bars and a comprehensive activity programme, ranging from wellness options such as yoga and pilates to games and pool activities.
Among three dining venues is the El Capricho Showcooking Restaurant. There are seven room categories, while guests splashing out on the Signature Level have access to swim-up suites and roof-level terrace suites set over two floors, as well as exclusive drinks, a secluded pool area with hammocks and access to the Gravity roof bar and infinity pool.
Book it: Rates start at €258 per room per night.