Courtesy of W Hotels Worldwide
Raul Barreneche Mario R. Mercado

Around the world, hotels are putting art and design at the forefront. In Uruguay, the seaside Playa Vik José Ignacio (doubles from $900), by Montevideo-born architect Carlos Ott (best known for Paris’s Opéra Bastille), is filled with works by James Turrell, Anselm Kiefer, and contemporary homegrown talent.

Milan-based Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola has transformed a Wyndham property on Vieques, Puerto Rico, into the colorful W Retreat & Spa (doubles from $599), with locally inspired art, multihued woven loungers, patterned walls, and steel bathtubs.

In London, the Connaught (doubles from $390) has a new wing with prints by Josef Albers and an Asian-inflected moon garden.

Playa Vik

This seaside property, by Montevideo-born architect Carlos Ott (best known for Paris's Opéra Bastille), is filled with works by James Turrell, Anselm Kiefer, and contemporary homegrown talent.

W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island

The W’s first Caribbean foray elevated the area’s design factor, thanks to the whimsical Technicolor space created by Spanish superstar Patricia Urquiola. Polished cement floors contrast with bright geometric patterns, and high-design furnishings mix with playful elements—a rope lamp here, a rainbow-hued swing there—throughout the hotel, set within a series of low-slung beachfront structures. The 30-acre property leaves plenty of room to spread out, from two secluded beaches to a bi-level infinity pool, tennis courts, and a spa. Guests convene for pre-dinner drinks around the cliff-top fire pit before ordering Vieques-style Mofongo at the new Sorcé restaurant.

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