Hot new hotels to check into in 2018

Just when you thought travel couldn't get any more luxurious, the newest batch of hotels and resorts have seriously upped the ante.

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Krisanne Fordham (CNN)
(CNN) — Just when you thought travel couldn't get any more luxurious, the newest batch of hotels and resorts have seriously upped the ante.

From ultraluxe mountain lodges in Bhutan to far-flung island hideaways in the Seychelles, there's something for all styles of discerning travelers when choosing a place to stay.

Here's our handpicked selection of incredible new hotels to check into in 2018:

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown

The newest luxury hotel in Los Angeles wows from the outset with its soaring 70th-floor sky lobby, which serves up jaw-dropping views of the city from the moment you check in.

Here, and in every one of its 889 plush guest rooms, you'll find Instagram-worthy vistas over the City of Angels, from the Hollywood sign to the Pacific Ocean.

With clever, LA-inspired design and six food and beverage options -- including Spire 73, the highest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere -- you've got yourself the hottest hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Rooms from $379.

InterContinental Los Angles Downtown, 900 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90017; +1 213 688 7777

Four Seasons Seychelles at Desroches Island

For the Four Seasons' second Seychelles venture, the luxury hotel group chose the island of Desroches, and no wonder: located 35 minutes' flight from Mahé, it's as unspoiled and secluded as can be.

The new resort, which opens in early 2018, will feature just 71 lavish lodgings -- a mix of bungalows, villas, suites and sprawling, multi-bedroom residences.

The vibe will be castaway-chic, with indoor-outdoor floor plans and private plunge pools just steps from the Indian Ocean.

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Desroches Island, Seychelles; +416 445-5050

Six Senses Bhutan

Slated to open in August 2018, the highly anticipated Six Senses Bhutan isn't your typical luxury resort.

For starters, it's actually made up of five separate lodges in five different locations across Bhutan, all of which collectively form the resort.

Each individual lodge will boast its own unique theme: the lodge at Punakha, for example, will be set within a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse, while the one in Bumthang was created to feel like "a forest within a forest."

In addition to dramatic backdrops and design, guests can expect signature Six Senses luxury -- plush accommodations, fine dining, a holistic spa and infinity pools with a view.

Six Senses Bhutan; +66 2631 9777

The Shore Club, Turks & Caicos

Opened in January 2017, this $100 million resort is the first and only development on Long Bay Beach, a two-mile stretch of white sand on eastern Providenciales.

It boasts six luxury villas and 106 sun-drenched suites, each outfitted with roomy terraces overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Property highlights include four pools, an all-natural spa and a complimentary kids' club outfitted with its own treehouse. Who said a secluded island getaway can't also be family-friendly?

Rooms from $480.

The Shore Club, Long Bay Beach, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos; +1 649 3398000

W Las Vegas

W Hotels' long-anticipated foray into the glitz of Vegas doesn't disappoint.

The property, opened in March 2017, is as fashionable as you'd expect, from its 289 art-studded rooms to its stylish Living Room bar, home to some of the best artisanal cocktails on the Strip.

Added bonus: The hotel's signature Extreme WOW Suite -- decorated in red velvet and marble, with sweeping downtown views -- was designed by rock star Lenny Kravitz.

Rooms from $100.

W Las Vegas, 2535 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV, 89109; +1 702 761 8700

Baglioni Resort Maldives

Slated to open in March 2018, the Italian luxury hotel group's first tropical island venture is one to watch.

Located on the remote island of Maagau in the Dhaalu Atoll, the eco-friendly resort will boast 96 elegant, whitewashed villas that blend classic Italian elegance with a breezy island vibe.

Other hotel highlights include a pool, three restaurants -- with a focus on Italian cuisine, naturally -- and a beachside bar that's perfectly placed for a sunset aperitif.

Baglioni Resort Maldives; +39 02 36661966

The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan, China

Located in the heart of the buzzy Jingan District, steps from the Natural History Museum, St. Regis' newest property is perfectly placed for exploring Shanghai -- not that you'll ever want to leave.

The hotel boasts six restaurants, an organic spa with a heated indoor swimming pool and 436 sumptuous rooms featuring decor inspired by Chinese palaces.

The hotel's pièce de résistance? Its Presidential Suite -- a 7,000-square-foot, three-story penthouse with a glass ceiling and unbeatable skyline views.

Rooms from $395.

The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan, 1008 Beijing West Road Shanghai, Shanghai 200041 China; + 86 21 6257 9999

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, London

On the heels of successful openings in Asia and the United States, chef Nobu Matsuhisa's fifth hotel -- and first foray into Europe -- might be his coolest yet.

Opened in July 2017, the 150-room London property is sleek, modern and feng shui to boot, with low-slung, minimalist furniture, black marble and sexy mood lighting -- and that's just in the lobby.

Looks aside, the food's good, too: at the onsite Nobu restaurant, guests can chow down on Matsuhisa crowd-pleasers like black cod miso and yellowtail sashimi topped with jalapeño.

Rooms from $470.

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch, 10-50 Willow Street, London EC2A 4BH, UK; +44 207 683 1200

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Australia

With a rooftop club lounge, three bars and an outdoor infinity pool overlooking Darling Harbor, the Sofitel is a welcome, if not much-needed, addition to the Sydney hotel scene.

The $500 million hotel, which opened its doors in October 2017, is one of the largest in the city with a whopping 590 rooms scattered over 35 floors.

Each room features sharp, modern design and is outfitted with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city of Sydney.

Its buzzy Darling Harbor location puts guests in the middle of all the action, but away from the noisy Opera House and Harbor Bridge crowds.

Rooms from $300.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, 12 Darling Drive, 2000 Sydney, Australia; +61 2 8388 8888

Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Maui

Set amid 16 acres on the tranquil northern end of Ka'anapali Beach, Maui's newest resort offers travelers peace and quiet in one of the buzziest and most visited parts of the island.

Its oceanfront villas, available in configurations of up to three bedrooms, are equipped with chef's kitchens and are perfect for families and large groups.

With three pools, several excellent dining options and a market where guests can purchase fresh meat and vegetables to grill by the pool, you might never want to leave.

Villas from $550.

Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, 45 Kai Malina Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI, 96761; +1 808 662 6300

Sable Alley, Botswana

Part of the Natural Selection portfolio of safari camps across Botswana and Namibia, Sable Alley -- which opened in May 2018 -- stands out with its sleek, sustainable design and sweeping views over a hippo- and elephant-frequented lagoon.

Its twelve chic tents, all raised on wooden platforms, offer spacious game-facing verandas, indoor-outdoor showers and all the (solar-powered) creature comforts you'd expect from a hotel stay.

Not that you'll be spending much time inside. The camp is located in the heart of a half-million-acre Khwai Private Reserve, which means epic all-day game-viewing through diverse landscapes in blissful, tourist-free seclusion.

Sable Alley, Botswana; +27 11 807 1800

Timbers Kauai, Hawaii

With a two-tiered infinity pool, beach club, multiple dining options and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, Timbers Kauai -- slated to open in spring 2018 -- is the most exciting luxury vacation rental offering on the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Its 43 dwellings, which will range in size from 1,600 to 4,900 square feet, will offer earthy, Hawaiian-inspired design, spacious lanais (balconies), and floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The resort, located within the 450-acre Hokuala oceanfront resort community, is also steps away from Kalapaki Beach and is perfectly placed to explore the pristine beaches and waterfalls of southern Kauai.

Added bonus: you can stay if you want.

Typical of all Timbers resorts, these rentals also double as residences (which are available for purchase now, beginning at around $350,000 for partial ownership).

Timbers Kauai, 3351 Hoolaulea Way, Kauai, Hawaii 96766; +1 808 720 6817

Hyatt Centric La Rosière, French Alps

Launching a French Alps ski resort was certainly an interesting move for the Hyatt Centric, a brand known for its trendy, millennial-focused city hotels.

But judging from its long menu of diversions (it's the only resort in the region to offer heli-skiing, for starters) and terrific location, just steps from the ski lifts and La Rosière's restaurants, bars and shops the resort, which opened in December 2017, is worth a look.

Also worth checking out (before everyone else does): three hot tubs, a 2,500-square-foot spa and a cozy fireplace bar specializing in mountain wines.

Rooms from $310.

Hyatt Centric La Rosière, Les Eucherts, La Rosière, Montvalezan - Savoie, France, 73700; +33 479 04 1234

Pod Times Square Hotel, New York

With three wildly successful Pod Hotels in New York City to date, the popular chain launched its newest -- and arguably its best -- hotel in Times Square in December 2017.

Like its sister properties on 51st St., 39th St. and in Brooklyn, Pod Times Square will offer ultra-efficient design and minimalist, millennial-focused luxury at an accessible price point (rooms start at just $140, which is unheard of in Times Square).

But it's the Pod Pads that make this hotel so special. There are 45 spacious, extended-stay living suites with kitchens, with monthly rates comparable to that of an average Manhattan one-bedroom apartment (without the hassle of a long-term lease).

Other highlights include a tiki bar, an Italian-American restaurant and a guest lounge with sweeping views over the city's west side and Hudson River.

Pod Times Square Hotel, 400 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036; +1 844 763 7666

AYANA Komodo Resort, Flores

Tucked away on the lush island of Flores, an hour's flight from Bali, the newest AYANA resort makes for the perfect tropical hideaway.

Each of the resort's 201 rooms will overlook the pristine sands of Waecicu Beach and the resort's own private pier, which boasts a scenic bar and floating deck.

Other hotel highlights include three swimming pools, a rooftop bar, four restaurants and -- most impressively -- its own cruise ship for exploring the island in the utmost luxury.

AYANA Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach, Flores; +62 361 702 222

Montage Los Cabos, Mexico

Though there's certainly no shortage of luxury resorts in Los Cabos, the Montage -- slated to open in spring 2018 -- is a welcome addition to the area's dramatic coastline.

For one, it's set upon the protected waters of Santa Maria Bay, meaning it's one of the few Cabo resorts able to offer a swimmable beach (most beaches in the area have rough ocean currents that make them too dangerous for swimming).

Then there's the refreshingly minimalist design, also rare in Cabo. Through the use of native desert materials and indoor-outdoor spaces, the resort is subtly luxurious without taking away focus from its stunning natural backdrop.

Montage Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico; +52 866 551 8244

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