There are not many things that captivate people as much as uncharted territory. For the discerning traveller, a place that has been on every guidebook and Instagram feed instantly becomes less intriguing. Somehow it just feels much more exciting to explore an off-the-grid or unconventional locale — not to mention the bragging rights you’d have when it comes to documenting your trip on social media.

When it comes to new destinations, Sri Lanka is the new mysterious kid on the block. Ever since it emerged from the civil war in 2009, the country has been opening up steadily to tourism — and with good reason. Boasting lush tea plantations, powder sand beaches and elephant safaris, what was once an ancient trading port is now Southeast Asia’s best-kept secret.

There have been many illustrious individuals in history who fell in love with the charm of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. An example is famed Italian explorer Marco Polo, who described Sri Lanka as the “best island of its size in the world.” He must have been onto something, as the island’s tourism numbers have been increasing over the years, alongside hotel chains launching new properties in the country.

There have also been news of a certain boutique hotel brand launching its first Sri Lankan hotel in 2018, but details are still kept under wraps. But if you’re already planning a trip to the region this year, there are many other hotels worth visiting. From stunning safari lodges to an idyllic wellness resort, check out these new hotels in Sri Lanka to book in 2017.