Hotels + Resorts
After a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, it caused widespread damage—leaving a reported 200,000 dead and 1.5 million homeless, not to mention costly physical destruction. An influx of aid and NGO organizations, along with nearly $4 billion from the U.S., came in for support, but reports of slow progress and recovery plagued the country for several years. But today, on the fifth anniversary of the earthquake, Haiti has transitioned from a post-disaster state to one supporting long-term planning and growth.
The U.S. State Department reports that 90 percent of residents who had been displaced in tent camps now have more permanent housing. Trash and debris from the disaster have been cleared. Job growth and a country-wide campaign promoting tourism, from beautification projects to new flight options to new resorts, is designed to lure visitors and boost economic independence (we included the destination in our Best Places to Travel in 2015 story).
One project, the Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel, opens February 24 and stands out for the innovative ways it works with the surrounding community.
If you’ve ever wanted a close-up with your baseball team’s history, this January is your chance. The Inn at Cooperstown is getting into the swing of things in 2015 with a new partnership with the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The island’s crown-jewel resort sparkles once again.
Set on a postcard-perfect bluff, the 20-acre Malliouhana—now a part of the Auberge portfolio—just went through a much-needed reboot. Pastels liven the interiors and the restaurant has shed its dress code, but the stunning view of Meads Bay beach remains.
A new breed of vacation-rental owners is taking a page from hotels and bringing more polish and professionalism to the industry.
Two years ago, when Jeremy Braud started renting out his shotgun house in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans to Super Bowl fans, the property was simple and spartan. Braud used his own sheets; he stocked the bathroom with big bottles of shampoo and conditioner. But now that vacation rentals have become more popular and competitive through online-booking sites, Braud has refined his approach. He now offers small, single-use shampoo bottles and high-thread-count Egyptian-cotton sheets. On the living room table, there’s a fan of tourism brochures and a free bottle of wine for his guests. Braud’s house is no longer just a home. Nor is it a short-term rental in the old-fashioned sense. It’s now a competitor to the B&B down the street.
Niche rental companies are cropping up to address travelers’ hyper-specific needs, whether that means a house with a high chair or a condo with a concierge. Here, four we love.
For the first-time renter: BeMate
If you can’t give up daily housekeeping and a concierge, consider Room Mate Hotels’ new peer- to-peer site, which lists rentals in 150 cities so far. Each shares resources with one of the company’s hotels or partners.
A surge in investment has given San Juan newfound sophistication.
The revamped 319-room Condado Vanderbilt Hotel—a 1919 Spanish Revival landmark where Charles Lindbergh, FDR, and Bob Hope stayed—adds some glamour to the beach strip with 108 roomy suites, butler service, a farm-to-table restaurant, and the island’s only hammam.
Around the corner, O:live Boutique Hotel has 15 small but stylish rooms with sleigh beds and Moroccan throws, as well as a rooftop terrace with a bar, plunge pool, and views over the Condado Lagoon.
Chef-driven restaurants and hotels with distinct personalities are proving that this Arizona resort town offers more than just spas and sunshine.
The hacienda-inspired Bespoke Inn has become downtown’s top address since it opened in 2013. The four rooms come with freestanding tubs and cozy patios, the roof has a lap pool fringed by daybeds, and the adjacent bicycle shop lends out English Pashley cruisers for exploring the neighborhood’s galleries. Nearby, the sceney Hotel Valley Ho is a Midcentury time warp. Spacious rooms have oak credenzas and Saarinen chairs, and the spa specializes in detox treatments.
3:46 p.m.: The raw-concrete wall before you signals the stark divide between art and nature. Amid the cactus-studded dunes of coastal Oaxaca, with the Sierra Madre del Sur in the distance, lies Casa Wabi, a new fortress of creative solitude designed by architect Tadao Ando as a foundation for the Mexican artist Bosco Sodi. You’ve walked here along the beach from your bungalow at the Hotel Escondido to view an installation by French artist Daniel Buren. Later, you’ll attend a film screening and visit with the international artists here for a residency. And who knows? That beachcomber you saw earlier sketching wind-bleached driftwood may have been one of them. You certainly couldn’t ask for a more inspiring setting.
Shane Mitchell is T+L's lifestyle correspondent.
Photo by Nicholas Alan Cope
With its antebellum charms, picturesque waterfront, and spectacular restaurant scene, it’s no wonder Travel + Leisure readers have ranked Charleston as the nation’s top city in our annual World’s Best Awards for the last two years. That’s why I’m thrilled that from May 1 to 3, we at T+L are heading down to this alluring city, along with a few fellow Time Inc. editors at Food & Wine, Southern Living, Coastal Living, and Departures, for a fun-packed weekend filled with only-in-Charleston experiences. And we’re hoping you’ll join in on the fun.
A highly subjective survey of the latest design features, amenities, and quirky little touches we heartily approve of.
British sculptor Antony Gormley’s geometric suite, simply called Room—at London’s Beaumont Hotel—is equal parts accommodation and art installation. You emerge from a narrow staircase into a dark, fumed-oak space with nothing but velvet blackout curtains and a powder-white bed—the effect is an allenveloping emptiness that’s enhanced as you stargaze through the high window. $$$$