There’s nothing like taking a ride in a brand new car or vacationing at a glittering new hotel that’s been primped and polished to impress all who enter. While the slow economy has diminished the number of new hotel construction projects in recent years, the winter of 2012 will still see some impressive new additions.
Aulani Resort, Oahu, Hawaii
Disney Does Hawaii – The much anticipated Aulani Resort on the island of Oahu opened this past fall. The expansive resort executed in subtle earth tones (not the usual Disney primary colors) takes center stage along a calm half-moon bay in Ko Olina, a quiet community approximately 1/2 hour from Waikiki. Highrise towers offering impressive views and comfortable accommodations sit on either side of Waikolohe Valley, the heart of the resort.
Waikolohe Valley has a rambling water park with pools, shallows, and water slides. Float through the resort in the Waikolohe Stream, and snorkel in Rainbow Reef a mini aquarium filled with tropical fish. Keep a keen eye open for Aunty and Uncle, Disney characters that have been developed exclusively for this resort. Aunty’s Beach House is where kids gather to learn Hawaiian culture, hear stories of the islands and learn local crafts. This is a five-star resort designed for adults with children in mind.
Inn At The Presidio, San Francisco, California
It’s not often that a US National Park gets a new hotel, but 2012 will see Inn At The Presidio in San Francisco become the first and only hotel within the Presidio, an urban National Park at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The 1,492 acres that make up the Presidio were established in 1776 by Spain as their furthest outpost in North America. The Presidio is the site of the oldest military post in the United States. Pershing Hall, the former officer’s quarters, are being converted to a grand inn set to open on April 1, 2012.
The 22 room inn will feature historic memorabilia and amenities appropriate for “top brass”. The grounds within the national park will serve as a hidden getaway for guests with miles of walking trails and magnificent views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Sit for a bit in a front porch rocking chair, enjoy a blazing fire by the fire pit, or play a round of golf. Inn At The Presidio is within walking distance of the San Francisco marina district and other popular downtown attractions.
The Fishing Lodge, Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
While most Dominican Republic resorts vie for plane-loads of mid-market vacationers, The Fishing Lodge, at Cap Cana attracts guests seeking a more secluded and pampered vacation experience. The recently opened ultra-luxe 5 star resort features 298 Mediterranean-styled villas circling the largest inland marina in the Caribbean. Low-rise docks and private infinity swimming pools are unique highlights to many of the villas, as well as beautifully crafted Dominican inspired furnishings.
Villas at The Fishing Lodge can be reserved on an a la carte or all-inclusive basis and vary in size from executive to 3 bedroom. The resort which enjoys a dramatic waterfront setting, has amenities including a rustic Dominican stone chapel, secluded beach reached by water craft, boutique shopping along Maine Street and nearby famed Jack Nichlaus Punta Espada Golf Club. Spring and summer brings a number of celebrated sports fishing tournaments attracted by the local world renowned Billfishing waters. This is a resort where bathing beauties and sportsmen will feel right at home.
Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, Tobago
The island of Tobago located deep in the Caribbean is emerging as a destination to be discovered by adventurous tropical vacationers. Recently the island saw the opening its first new hotel project in a decade. The colonial style Magdalena Grand Beach Resort boasting 178 all ocean-front rooms and suites, is set on a sprawling former sugar plantation. Large terraces and balconies overlook a secluded beach 2 1/2 mile beach. The resort features 3 pools, 5 dining options, an English pub and piano bar, dive center and acres of nature trails. Tobago itself has the oldest forest preserve in the Hemisphere, and is lush with virgin rain forests, waterfalls, pristine beaches, picturesque boating grounds and offers many opportunities for eco-adventuring.
Emakoko Lodge, Nairobi
Africa luxury camps and lodge specialists, Bush and Beyond, are introducing a new Safari Lodge that sits at the border of Nairobi National Park in Kenya. The Emakoko Lodge sits on the banks of the picturesque Mbagathi River amidst 15 acres at the edge of Nairobi National park. It has long been a problem for vacationers arriving by plane in Kenya to access prime safari territory without enduring harrowing transfers through Nairobi. Emakoko Lodge solves the problem with it’s location just 20 minutes from the Nairobi airport, with the river creating a natural divide between city and park. Visitors to the Nairobi National Park can expect to see lions, zebra, hippos, rhinos, and giraffe, as the region has become home to a huge number of wildlife species.
Photo Credits: #1-TheDisneyBlog.com, #2- Artwork by Art Zendarski, #3 – Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, #4 – Magdalena Grand Beach Resort, #5 – Emakoko Lodge