Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Instant Classic: Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London

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Even Londoners are coming in to gawk at the views from the Shangri-La, on floors 34 to 52 of the Renzo Piano-designed Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. More than a thousand feet above the city, iconic sights like the Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral are laid out like a miniature movie set, whether you’re ordering a sundowner at the intimate GŎNG Bar, doing laps in the infinity-edged pool, or peering out the floor-to-ceiling windows from one of the 202 guest rooms and suites. Down on the ground, you’re in the heart of the city: the Tate Modern, Borough Market, and buzzy Bermondsey Street are just a short walk away. shangri-la.com. $$$$

Shangri-La at The Shard, London

It List 2015: the Best New Hotels on the Planet

Instant Classic: Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, London

Even Londoners are coming in to gawk at the views from the Shangri-La, on floors 34 to 52 of the Renzo Piano-designed Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. More than a thousand feet above the city, iconic sights like the Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral are laid out like a miniature movie set, whether you’re ordering a sundowner at the intimate GŎNG Bar, doing laps in the infinity-edged pool, or peering out the floor-to-ceiling windows from one of the 202 guest rooms and suites. Down on the ground, you’re in the heart of the city: the Tate Modern, Borough Market, and buzzy Bermondsey Street are just a short walk away. shangri-la.com. $$$$

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

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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