Courtesy of 25hour Hotels

Scene Maker: 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin

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Signs that this isn’t your normal hotel: 10-speed bikes dangle from hallway ceilings, The Far Side comic books are stashed in guest bathrooms, and hammocks line the third-floor lobby. Quirkiness is in the DNA of the German 25hours hotel brand, and it’s on full display at this 149-room property, set in the landmark Bikini Haus building in suddenly-cool-again West Berlin. Design quirks aside, this is a comfortable place to stay. Spacious rooms feel youthful and modern, with their polished concrete floors, colorful throws, and black-tiled showers. Go for a room facing the city zoo for the novelty of watching apes play. They’re also on view at the aptly named rooftop Monkey Bar, which has turned into a magnet for fashionable Berliners—who know a good party when they see one. 25hours-hotels.com. $

It List 2015: the Best New Hotels on the Planet

Scene Maker: 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin

Signs that this isn’t your normal hotel: 10-speed bikes dangle from hallway ceilings, The Far Side comic books are stashed in guest bathrooms, and hammocks line the third-floor lobby. Quirkiness is in the DNA of the German 25hours hotel brand, and it’s on full display at this 149-room property, set in the landmark Bikini Haus building in suddenly-cool-again West Berlin. Design quirks aside, this is a comfortable place to stay. Spacious rooms feel youthful and modern, with their polished concrete floors, colorful throws, and black-tiled showers. Go for a room facing the city zoo for the novelty of watching apes play. They’re also on view at the aptly named rooftop Monkey Bar, which has turned into a magnet for fashionable Berliners—who know a good party when they see one. 25hours-hotels.com. $

Courtesy of 25hour Hotels

It List 2015: the Best New Hotels on the Planet

It looks like a concrete-and-glass spaceship touched down amid the lush hills of Chilean wine country. In fact, it’s Viña Vik, a new retreat that’s thrillingly original and opening up the Millahue Valley to more travelers.

Wine-country hotels the world over tend to follow a few familiar themes—intimate scale, lots of stone and rough-hewn beams, expansive views, good food—and if they often deliver a high degree of comfort, they also rarely offer many surprises.

Viña Vik is the opposite, from its curvilinear winery designed by Smiljan Radic to rooms that pursue an idea (say, an homage to Piero Fornasetti) down to the smallest detail. It’s the kind of hotel that can singlehandedly make a trip memorable.

After all, there are great new hotels, and then there are game changers. For our 10th annual editors’ choice awards, we picked 43 transformative properties—and vetted each one with a hotel stay.

Our search took us from Anguilla to Australia, from India to Italy. In Florida, we followed the cool crowd to the Miami Beach Edition, the latest scene-maker in Mid-Beach. The party begins in the lobby, with its all-white billiards table, and overflows into a nightclub, a bowling alley, a Jean-Georges restaurant, even a skating rink.

In Portugal, the arrival of Sublime Comporta opens up a stretch of coastline that’s been a longtime getaway for Lisbon’s smartest families. The husband-and-wife owners make guests feel like instant insiders, pointing out the best beaches and arranging scenic horseback rides.

These remarkable newcomers are a reminder that a great hotel can be a destination unto itself. They provide not just a place to rest your head but also an entire rationale to get on a plane and explore someplace new.

So check out this year’s It List and get planning.

Hotel Pricing Key
$ Less than $200
$$ $200 to $350
$$$ $350 to $500
$$$$ $500 to $1,000
$$$$$ More than $1,000

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