Thirty-five years ago, when Travel + Leisure was launched and the prefix mega had not yet been attached to resort, Las Vegas was a neon-lit desert oasis with gambling entertainment, and strippers; Dubai was garnering attention as a member of the just-formed United Arab Emirates; and Walt Disney World was the largest resort in existence. Back in those days, before romance and technology concierges—not to mention bath butlers and videos on demand—the menu of guest activities was more limited, and earth sciences and anthropology were not regularly taught in children's programs at five-star properties.
Each June, in our annual Hotels Issue, we examine the emerging trends within the industry. This year, you'll find them highlighted throughout T+L—from supersuites to micro hotels to hotels with a curatorial approach to contemporary art. We also offer the It List, our guide to the new openings that will be attracting buzz in the coming months, featuring 15 hotels in places ranging from northern Thailand and Bali to Chicago. We head down to the Dominican Republic to report on its latest crop of luxury resorts, in "The New Gold Coast." For a fresh take on the cloistered life, we visit a handful of European monasteries that have been transformed into stlyishly modern hideaways without losing their inherent sense of peace. Indeed, hotels can be such good shelter that some people never want to leave them—our story on real-life Eloises chronicles this trend toward hotel living. Who wouldn't mind having turndown service and a concierge on call every day?Certainly not T+L editors, who one again share their favorite outposts and amenities around the globe.
Given how much hotels and destinations have evolved over the past 35 years, we can be sure that there are many more unimaginable changes to come.