April 20, 2021
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Exterior of Xigera Safari Lodge
Credit: Courtesy of Xigera Safari Lodge

Believe it or not, the past 12 months were big for hotel openings. Flinging open their doors for the first time, these new and revamped properties welcomed guests inside with a (masked) hello and a taste of travel's future. 

Our guide to the essential openings of the past year took us to 29 countries in pursuit of the unforgettable. Over the course of 2020, T+L writers and editors trekked to a remote Namibian tented camp in a vast nature reserve, surfed the waves at a boho-chic resort in Baja Sur, Mexico, and sipped Sazeracs on the porch of an 1891 former residence in New Orleans. While there are plenty of extravagant stays and familiar brands on the list, we committed to featuring properties that are the best at what they do while displaying a sense of innovation. Brand new builds, century-old architectural masterpieces, and family-run boutiques are all in the mix.

Ahead, you'll find a hotel or resort for every taste and travel goal. There's a 19th-century mansion in Jaipur, India, reborn as an intimate urban escape. A sleek getaway amid lush tropical forest on Malaysia's Desaru coast. A safari lodge in Botswana's Okavango Delta where African art is as big a draw as the wildlife. And a Massachusetts wellness retreat, set on hundreds of acres of wilderness in the Berkshires, where meditation, beekeeping, and organic food awaits. Read on for all 73 properties on the 2021 It List — your next adventure is a few clicks away.

Edited by John Wogan

AFRICA + THE MIDDLE EAST

Angama Safari Camp — Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Angama Safari Camp
Credit: Courtesy of Angama Safari Camp

Angama Mara is a clever distillation of everything that guests need to be delighted on safari, the result of a lifetime of learning by the owners, Nicky and the late Steve Fitzgerald, who have opened more hotels and safari camps across Africa than anyone else in the industry. From its bird's-eye view of the Mara triangle—a less crowded corner of the Maasai Mara—Angama is the rule-breaker that rewrote the script for contemporary, culturally cool and relevant safaris. It's located on community-owned land, and launched a foundation that continues to raise substantial funds to support core conservation work, education, health care, and small, local businesses. It did all of this without diluting any of its romantic credentials or skimping on its bold Maasai-inspired suites that sit 1,000 feet above the Great Rift Valley. The property's second act, Angama Safari Camp, is an even lighter-footprint camp for up to eight guests. Its tents are designed with high-tech canvas to ensure maximum coolness and cross-ventilation, and all come with enormous beds, a separate dressing room, and a bathroom with double bucket showers. The entire camp can be flat-packed within a couple of days and moved between prime sites, depending on the time of year and where the best game viewing is. What you get is all the up-close thrills of a mobile migration camp without having to forgo the fastidiously detailed and sophisticated style, design, service, and food of the mothership up on the hill. angama.com; doubles from $1237 per person, all-inclusive. —Jane Broughton

Arthaus Beirut — Lebanon

Arthause Beirut bedroom
Credit: Guillaume de Laubier/Couretsy of Arthaus

In an already challenging year, Arthaus Beirut's opening is all the more impressive. This 12-room boutique property (eventually, it'll expand to 23) is hidden off a side street in the city's lively Gemmayze neighborhood. It's an oasis-like complex that encompasses a renovated, art-filled 18th-century mansion and three other buildings, plus an expansive courtyard garden and pool. Despite all the city's calamities, the property's owners—philanthropists and art collectors Nabil and Zoe Debs—never stopped pushing courageously forward. They not only managed to repair extensive damages and reopen just months after August's headline-making port explosion, but have also created both a gallery and haven for the city's creatives, who flock there in the evenings for dinner and drinks among the courtyard's citrus and golden trumpet trees. In time, Arthaus Beirut will offer private tours to visit many of Lebanon's most celebrated artists and designers, from the atelier and private museum of Nadim Karam to the wildly joyful workshop of Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, the talented duo behind the international design brand Bokja. arthaus.international; doubles from $320. —Gisela Williams

Habitas Namibia

Habitas Namibia at golden hour
Credit: Courtesy of Habitas Namibia

Scattered atop a rocky kopje (Afrikaans for a small hill), Habitas Namibia's 15 tented rooms look over the expansive plains and rolling hills of a 115,000-acre private reserve. While the camp is less than an hour's drive from the capital city of Windhoek, the feeling is one of total isolation. Safaris are led by a team that represent some of Namibia's diversity: Periuri Uatokuja and Paulus Kambathi weave their respective Himba and Khwe Bushman cultures into the game drive, with conversation ranging from rhino facts to traditional hunting techniques. Wellness is a focal point, too. There's sunrise yoga, sound meditation in the bush, and treatments like the Himba-inspired ocher body mask and a knot-busting hot-stone massage. End the day with a bush braai (barbecue) under the stars, a visit from a drumming group, a peaceful new-moon meditation, or a vibey Sunday sunset session—a nod to Baja el Sol evenings at the original Habitas hotel in Tulúm, Mexico. ourhabitas.com; doubles from $587. —Heather Richardson

Jack's Camp — Botswana

Tent interior at Jack's Camp in Botswana
Credit: Courtesy of Jack's Camp

Fifth-generation explorer and naturalist Ralph Bousfield put Botswana's otherworldly Makgadikgadi salt pans on the safari map when Jack's first opened 25 years ago. And it's still the only safari operation for almost 100 miles. Over the years, the whimsical, explorer-style tented camp developed a cult following for its refreshingly unconventional approach to everything from the decadently styled, lamp-lit interiors—think Zanzibari four-poster beds, campaign chests, and Persian rugs—to the many madcap excursions led by Bousfield and his loyal band of equally maverick experts in everything from zoology and botany to paleontology and plant medicine. Adventures like searching the pans for fossils and elusive brown hyenas, traipsing through the veld in the footsteps of bushmen to learn ancient survival skills, and sleeping out under the stars have drawn a loyal following. A timely reinvention sees the new Jack's embracing the future with the latest in Tesla solar-energy tech, while adding nine dreamy 1,400-square foot tents (two were designed specifically with families in mind), each with a private pool, wood-burning stove, and indoor-outdoor shower. For all its modern comforts, Jack's is still a place to succumb to the total silence all around you, and to be humbled by the sheer luxury of space. naturalselection.travel; doubles from $1450. —Jane Broughton

Kruger Shalati — Kruger National Park, South Africa

Woman on bridge at Kruger Shalati
Credit: Melanie van Zyl

Suspended high above the Sabie River, in an engineering feat that balances heritage status with sound environmental management, Kruger Shalati feels like a total departure from conventional safari- lodge style. The hotel is actually a repurposed train comprising 24 glass-walled rooms set on former rail tracks. Romantic touches, like maroon leather headboards and a whimsical suite-numbering font, are complemented by vernacular motifs. A favorite example? In place of the regular waffle weave, silky bathrobes commissioned from rising textile-design star Bonolo Chepape riff on the bridge's angular arches. I wore one for an in-room spa treatment during which I could admire hippos and elephants in the river below. I then retired to my flawlessly positioned tub before setting off on a game drive. As part of the hotel's concession agreement, most of the guides and hospitality staff hail from communities surrounding the park. The commitment to economic impact and conceptual innovation is a welcome shake-up. krugershalati.com; doubles from $530 per person, all inclusive. —Melanie Van Zyl

Singita Sabora Tented Camp — Tanzania

Singita Sabora Tented Camp bathtub
Credit: Courtesy of Singita

Reviving the nostalgia of camping under canvas, Singita Sabora Tented Camp plunges guests into the thick of the action, with the sights, smells, and sounds of safari amplified to great effect. The first camp to open in the company's exclusive-use Grumeti Game Reserve 17 years ago, it relaunched in late 2020 following a major overhaul by design team Cécile & Boyd. Nine tents dressed in earthy hemp textiles and leather cascade across an open plain under gigantic skies. Thousand-strong herds of wildebeests arrive in May and late October during their migration circuit of the Serengeti. But wildlife sightings are excellent all year round. At night I listened to buffalo rub haunches against the ropes that held our tents to the ground, and through flickering campfire flames I watched lions stalk prey. Flexible all-day dining (by the pool, beneath a Balanites tree, or in your tent) is accompanied by a wine list with 100 bottles. Private meditation decks complete the picture of a safari that combines the best of the old and new worlds. singita.com; doubles from $1,650 per person, all inclusive. —Sarah Marshall.

St. Regis Cairo — Egypt

Exterior view of St. Regis Cairo, along the river
Credit: Courtesy of The St. Regis Cairo

Peace and calm define Cairo's latest high-end opening, where the double-glazed windows in guest rooms silence the nonstop action outside on the Nile Corniche. Serenity also reigns at the reflecting pools of the hotel's Water Garden, where you can sip mint tea or a Bloody Mary made with hibiscus-infused vodka amid design details like arabesque lanterns and decorative mashrabiyas (windows covered with latticework). When it's time to explore the city's extraordinary history, fuel up on some of Cairo's best falafel and ful medames (a classic Egyptian fava-bean stew with spices) at La Zisa—one of six restaurants on property—before heading off to experience the wonders of the Egyptian Museum, Khan el-Khalili bazaar, and the Pyramids, all a relatively short drive away. And for a glimpse of an unexpectedly bucolic side of the city, the hotel can arrange a speedboat up the Nile for scenes of palm groves, farms, and fishermen, complete with a picnic breakfast on a verdant stretch of the riverbank. marriott.com; doubles from $220. —Nicola Chilton

Xigera Safari Lodge — Okavango Delta, Botswana

Exterior of Xigera Safari Lodge
Credit: Courtesy of Xigera Safari Lodge

While you're likely to spot lions, white rhinos, herds of elephants, and even a leopard or two, wildlife isn't the only visual thrill at this Botswana lodge, which is perched on stilts above the Okavango Delta. Xigera teamed with Southern Guild, a Cape Town art gallery, to bring the work of 80 sub-Saharan artists and designers to the property, and each of the 12 tented villas could double as a gallery. Among the standout examples: ceramics from South African artists Andile Dyalvane and Atang Tshikare, wood benches and chairs crafted from fallen trees by Adam Birch, and a totemic sculpture by Conrad Hicks that encircles the crackling flames of the firepit. But the real showstopper is the three-story Baobab Treehouse, which sleeps two: The steel structure was inspired by a painting of the tree by South African artist Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef. The second-floor bedroom has a zippable canvas wall that can open to the starry night sky. And from the top-floor deck, guests can see the delta unfold all around them. xigera.com; doubles from $2,630, all-inclusive. — Travis Levius

ASIA

Ace Hotel Kyoto — Japan

Exterior of Ace Hotel Kyoto
Credit: Courtesy of Ace Hotel Kyoto

Ace Hotel Kyoto is a temple to craftwork from both edges of the Pacific. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium fame) collaborated with California's Commune Design on the 213-room property, which opened its doors last June. Part new build and part renovation of the former Kyoto Central Telephone Office from the 1920s, the design makes ample use of colossal wooden crossbeams and natural local materials. Case in point: the washi-paper walls and Shigaraki tiles fired in ancient kilns that adorn the lobby space. Witness the shimmering copper reception desk by Nousaku, a company better known for its metal fixtures for Buddhist altars (and one of around 50 artisans involved in outfitting the hotel). This is the American brand's first outpost in Asia, and its beverage and food offerings mark a number of other notable arrivals into Japan, including Portland, Oregon fan-favorite Stumptown Coffee Roasters; Piopiko, a taqueria and cocktail bar by Wes Avila of L.A. institution Guerilla Tacos; and an Italian restaurant, Mr. Maurice, by Chef Marc Vetri. acehotel.com/kyoto; doubles from $400 —Karryn Miller

Capella Bangkok — Thailand

Capella Bangkok pool
Credit: Courtesy of Capella Bangkok

Singapore-based hotel group Capella has opened what could be fairly described at the city's most beautiful hotel. The 101-key property sits along the waterfront of the Chao Phraya, Bangkok's great arterial river, using the city's most ancient landscape in a way that few others can. Most rooms and suites feature wide balconies with whirlpool baths that feel like seats at the opera—with the river as the stage. Down by the water itself, seven garden villas are arrayed among foliage, with the only sounds being the passing rice barges and the occasional singing from a karaoke boat. Capella aims to create an atmosphere of privacy, with sunlit open spaces, gorgeous tearooms and lounges, riverine parks, and grandiose reception areas. Outdoor pools are filled with rare birds washing and preening themselves. Of special note is Côte by Mauro Colagreco, the Franco-Italian restaurant run by chef Davide Garavaglia and sommelier Jay Thanathorn Bottorff. After sampling bottles of 2007 Lopez de Heredia Tondonia Riserva Blanco and an even rarer 2009 Donnafugata Passito di Pantelleria, I'm confident in calling this the best wine list in Bangkok. capellahotels.com; doubles from $413. —Lawrence Osborne

Higashiyama Niseko Village, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve — Hokkaido, Japan

Spa tub with snow view
Credit: COURTESY OF HIGASHIYAMA NISEKO VILLAGE, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE

In the mountainous, snow-globe village of Niseko on Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, Ritz-Carlton has debuted its latest ultrahigh-end Reserve. As with its sister properties, the vibe here is intimate, with only 50 guest rooms and an understated design scheme that mirrors its natural surroundings. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the peaks of Mount Yotei and Mount Annupuri, and rooms are decorated with delicate cherry-blossom motifs in a nod to the area's explosion of blooms every spring. Skiers will appreciate access to over 2,000 acres of terrain that gets some of the world's driest, fluffiest powder, with plenty of groomed runs and off-piste areas. Off the slopes, there are miles of hiking and biking trails, two 18-hole golf courses, and an onsen spa fed by Hokkaido's mineral-rich hot springs. The chefs, meanwhile, work with farmers and fishermen to incorporate the island's famous produce and seafood into such dishes as soufflé pancakes with yuzu custard and omakase sushi paired with regional sake. ritzcarlton.com; doubles from $710. — Selena Hoy

Hotel the Mitsui Kyoto, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa — Japan 

The Nijo suite living room at Hotel the Mitsui, Kyoto
Credit: Courtesy of Hotel the Mitsui, Kyoto

A welcome addition to Kyoto's high-end hotel scene (and the first under Japanese ownership) the Mitsui is emblematic of the city. Guests enter the property through a 300-year-old gate, and step into a property with design details that include a peaceful central courtyard garden by Tokyo-based landscape designer Shunsaku Miyagi and spaces decorated with works by local Kyoto artists. The hotel's 161 guest rooms feature huge sliding glass doors—in nice weather, they erase any barrier between outside and in, and all have views of either Nijo Castle (built in the 17th-century) or lush gardens. The Mitsui's two restaurants (one French-Japanese fusion, the other specializing in wood-fired pizzas) serve a relaxed afternoon tea service that encourages quiet contemplation, while an enchanted cavern-like thermal spa is fed by spring water from over 3,000 feet deep, offering the ideal way to end a day of sightseeing. hotelthemitsui.com; doubles from $872. —Selena Hoy

The Johri at Lal Haveli — Jaipur, India

The Johri at Lal Haveli Outdoor Courtyard
Credit: COURTESY OF THE JOHRI AT LAL HAVELI

On a side street in Jaipur's bustling Johri Bazaar (home of the city's fine-jewelry market), you might be surprised to hear contemporary jazz drifting out of a quiet courtyard. At the Johri—a boutique hotel set in a 19th-century haveli, or mansion—co-owners Abhishek Honawar, Naina Shah, and Siddharth Kasliwal have created a modern, welcoming retreat that pays homage to the area's history of craft. Johri means "jeweler"; accordingly, each of the five suites is modeled after a different precious stone or metal: ruby, sapphire, emerald, pearl, and gold. Guests can also expect a "high-chai" afternoon tea service and an in-room gin-and-tonic at dusk. While the verandas, spa, and lounge bar will be accessible only to hotel guests, the vegetarian Indian restaurant and cocktail bar are open to the public and are sure to become a magnet for the city's style set. thejohrijaipur.com; doubles from $300. — Prasad Ramamurthy

The Leela Palace — Jaipur, India

Courtyard at The Leela Jaipur
Credit: Courtesy of The Leela Jaipur

While the overall architecture and décor mimic tradition, the vibe at the Leela Palace Jaipur is distinctly contemporary. It's reflected in the visual mix: calming pastel shades, fabrics rich in color and texture, Venetian mirrors and sparkly chandeliers. It's also seen in the use of vintage buggies to transport guests, the complimentary mountain bikes, the discreet butler service, and the mean craft gin cocktails served at the bar. There's also a welcoming friendliness that's visible when staffers pause work to play with the youngest guests or to get them ice cream on demand. While it's certainly suited to vacationing families, the Leela—with its 200 rooms, suites, and villas—is a definite contender in the destination-wedding market. That it knows how to put on a show is obvious from the daily high-tea service, which includes folk dancers, fortune tellers, bangle makers, potters, and even a puppet show. And the Indian food is universally excellent (I ordered the mutton dish nalli ka salan twice). Even if you're not here for the food, though, book at least one dinner at Mohan Mahal. The restaurant is inspired by the nearby Amer Fort's Sheesh Mahal (a palace built in the 10th century), and is lit by 110 candles come nightfall. theleela.com; doubles from $220 — Prasad Ramamurthy

One&Only Desaru Coast — Malaysia

Pool view of One&Only Desaru Coast
Credit: Courtesy of One&Only

For its fourth Asian outpost, One&Only chose a pristine corner of coastal Malaysia about a 90-minute drive east of Singapore (the arrival point for most guests). One of the last projects of the late, great Australian architect Kerry Hill, known largely for his Aman properties, it's a study in clean lines and natural materials: wood and stone anchor contemporary cubic buildings, while reflecting pools are fringed by dense jungle. The overall effect— especially alongside the expanse of white sand and the South China Sea—is a feeling of being at one with the environment, but with every indulgence you'd expect from the luxury resort brand. Chief among them are an Olympic-size main swimming pool and a spa from Swiss wellness pioneers Chenot that offers sciencebased nutrition and fitness guidance, plus sound therapy and biofeedback sessions. oneandonlyresorts.com; doubles from $875. — Diana Khoo

The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon

Lobby of The Tokyo EDITION hotel with fireplace and dark hues with gold accents
Credit: Nikolas Koenig

A fashionable newcomer to Tokyo's vast hotel scene, the Edition Toranomon is a collaboration between legendary hotelier Ian Schrager and architect Kengo Kuma. Its design carries the signature look of the brand, with clean lines and wide views of the metropolis, with a soaring 31st-floor lobby ceiling that makes the most of the Tokyo skyline. Afternoon tea here had me feeling like a rarefied bird, nibbling on pastries while peering down onto the streets from a perch dense with foliage (the Lobby Bar and lounge area are decorated with hundreds of green plants). Of the property's 206 rooms (all of which are above the 31st floor) ask for one with a terrace, which comes with full patio sets—at night, the city unrolls at your feet like a glittering carpet. It's best enjoyed with a cocktail (or mocktail–try the daidai G&T, with non-alcoholic gin, Japanese citrus, carrot, and apple). It's steps from the subway, so you may spend your stay day tripping, but give yourself enough time to decompress from the buzz of the city with a dip in the lap pool or an organic massage or facial in the spa. editionhotels.com; doubles from $460. —Selena Hoy

Zannier Hotels Bai San Hô — Vietnam

Zannier Hotels Bãi San Hô - Paddy Field Villa
Credit: © Frederik Wissink for Zannier Hotels

The zooming motorbikes and frenzied pace of Vietnam's high-energy cities melt away at this off-the-grid resort in central Vietnam, where 71 villas are spread over 242 acres of lush greenery and rice paddies. Zannier honored the local ethnic groups and the nearby fishing villages by constructing three different types of Vietnamese-style villas, laden with bamboo ceilings, antique rice baskets, and colors that reflect the natural landscape. And the staff clearly takes pride in the regional seafood, which is on display at its breezy beach restaurant Làng Chài, and the traditional cooking techniques which are the focus at Bà Hai. The main draw for many travelers, though, might be the private, kilometer-long stretch of beach that teems with colorful coral just offshore. zanierhotels.com/baisanho; doubles from $240. —Katie Lockhart

AUSTRALIA

Crown Sydney

Interior of suite at Crown Sydney
Credit: Courtesy of Crown Sydney

How do you make waves in a city whose beaches are already the envy of the world? Sun, sand, and salty feet might be the hallmarks of a holiday Down Under, but the latest big hotel opening in Sydney has guests swimming among skyscrapers—that is, five levels up in an infinity pool overlooking a stylish new harborside district, with a Bloody Mary in hand. The glossy 890-foot Crown Sydney in Barangaroo brings with it a sense of opulence the harbor city has long lacked. The centerpiece is that pool, and it's a showstopper, with private cabanas, laid-back beats, and flawless service (it's a prime lunch-and-cocktail spot). Equally jaw-dropping are the floor-to-ceiling vistas of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the hotel's sprawling, tech-savvy suites. Among its 14 eateries and bars is Nobu's latest outpost, plus its 12-seater high-end sushi off-shoot Yoshii's Omakase and Cirq Bar, which holds court 26 floors up on the rooftop terrace. crownsydney.com.au; doubles from $514. —Jenny Hewitt

CARIBBEAN

Caerula Mar Club — Bahamas

Caerula Mar Club pool in the Bahamas
Credit: Courtesy of Caerula Mar Club

Beyond sunny skies and impossibly blue waters, the Bahamas also delivers blissful seclusion. And perhaps nowhere more so than on Andros, the largest and least inhabited of the country's 700 islands and cays. Known as the Sleeping Giant, it's home to fewer than 2,000 people, one gas station, and Caerula Mar Club, a boutique retreat that opened in February 2020. Owned by Bryan and Sarah Baeumler—Canadian HGTV stars who documented their transformation of the once-abandoned resort on their show Renovation Island—the beachfront hotel has 18 rooms and four villas. Each is decorated in contemporary Caribbean style, a mix of warm neutrals that soothe the senses and natural textures such as stone and straw that evoke the destination. At breakfast, decadent lobster Benedict encourages leisurely dining, and a quick stop for a slice of pizza with wild mushrooms and goat-milk cheese from the resort's brick oven can easily turn into a multi-hour feast as you try a little of everything on the menu. But resist the temptation to linger. Beyond Caerula's confines lie uniquely Androsian activities: snorkeling in mysterious blue holes; diving into the world's third-largest coral reef; and playing castaway on idyllic nearby islets you can claim for yourself, if only for a few precious hours. caerulamar.com; doubles from $385.  —Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Eclipse at Half Moon — Jamaica 

Eclipse at Half Moon in Jamaica
Credit: Courtesy of Eclipse at Half Moon

Half Moon is Montego Bay's iconic grand dame, founded in the 1950s. So the announcement of an addition to this iconic 400-acre resort (which opened in December) was big news. Eclipse's 57 rooms and suites are all outrageously spacious, with a fresh, island aesthetic (think hardwood floors, tropical print fabrics, and a soft color palette that's meant to reflect the sand and sea outside), and some of the best meals I had were spent on my patio while listening to the rustle of palm fronds while looking out at the Caribbean Sea. There are, of course, several reasons to leave your room, including Delmare, an Italian-influenced seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean (bonus: the calypso band that plays here in the evenings). There's also a spa and fitness center that offers yoga, pilates, and guided meditation—with nature's own soundtrack courtesy of the waves nearby—as well as more active pursuits like golf, kayaking and snorkeling. However I spent my time, though, I found that the best way to end the day was always with a rum cocktail at Lester's Bar, named after the Jamaican artist whose work adorns the walls. halfmoon.com; doubles from $699. —Sheryl Nance-Nash

Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf — St. Bart's

Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf bedroom in St. Bart's
Credit: Fabrice Rambert/ Courtesy of Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf

Even before Hurricane Irma battered the tiny Caribbean island of St. Bart's and most of its resorts in 2017, Le Carl Gustaf was undergoing a four-year restoration under the French hotel company Barrière. Its launch is part of a turning point for St. Bart's, where several properties have come roaring back to life. The palm shrouded grounds are set on a hill overlooking Gustavia, the main town, which is famous for its low-slung, red-roofed buildings. All of the hotel's 21 rooms are positioned to maximize the Caribbean views beyond—and each has a large terrace where guests can take their meals (particularly special during golden hour). And while there's plenty to do on-property (dips in your private plunge pool, massages and yoga at the spa and fitness center, Mediterranean style seafood at the beachside restaurant), Shell Beach, one of the most iconic on the island, is also just a short walk away. hotelsbarriere.com; doubles from $1,090. —Dan Koday

Rosewood Little Dix Bay — British Virgin Islands

Exterior view of Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Credit: Courtesy of Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Over the years, this iconic resort—established in 1964 by conservationist Laurance Rockefeller on 500 beach-fringed acres of Virgin Gorda—has come back better not once, but twice. The Caribbean hideout was already closed for renovations when Hurricane Irma ravaged the island in 2017. Over the next four years, Rosewood rebuilt the cottages, tree houses, and ridge-top pool suites overlooking the bay; created three distinct open-air restaurants; stocked the Rum Room bar with over 100 rare selections; and acquired catamarans for private shuttles from the Tortola airport (cocktails provided). Then, two months into its comeback, the pandemic hit, shuttering the 81-room resort and delaying its full unveiling until December. The wait was worth it. Though new offerings like secluded picnics and spa scrubs following swims at the famed Baths National Park are a treat, it's the way Little Dix Bay has perfected the art of island living that keeps guests coming back. rosewoodhotels.com; doubles from $850. —Elaine Glusac

CENTRAL + SOUTH AMERICA

Cielo Lodge — Costa Rica

Pool at Cielo Lodge in Costa Rica
Credit: Courtesy of Cielo Lodge

Silicon Valley transplants Nicole and Keith Goldstein have transformed a scarred logging site into an off-the-grid eco-lodge surrounded by 380 acres of rainforest. Cielo Lodge allows travelers to completely immerse themselves in nature—but in the comfort of its modern canopy suites, each of which include an outdoor rain shower and a terrace. They are situated 1,060 feet above sea level, which means guests can experience ocean breezes, fewer insects, less heat and humidity, and dramatic views of the mountains and the seaside town of Golfito. There is an open-air restaurant using fresh produce and ingredients sourced from local purveyors, farmers, and fishermen, and drinks can be taken at the infinity-edge saltwater pool while watching monkeys play in the trees. While Cielo Lodge offers nearby offsite activities (surfing; fishing; bird-, dolphin- and whale-watching; rainforest excursions), there are also waterfalls, natural swimming holes, and jungle trails to explore on property. cielolodge.com; doubles from $972. —Caryn Davis

Six Senses Botanique — Campos do Jordão, Brazil 

Six Senses Botanique
Credit: Courtesy of Six Senses Botanique

Forested mountain slopes, Alpine architecture, and small-batch breweries: the Serra da Mantiqueira range outside São Paulo often resembles Bavaria as much as Brazil. It's a favorite vacation spot for Paulistas, and thanks to the new Six Senses Botanique, it's now on the international wellness warrior's radar as well. The hotel, which first opened in 2012, was reflagged by Six Senses in February, marking the brand's first foray in the Americas. Staying there is all about easing into the Brazilian lifestyle at a hyper-local level and relaxed pace. Bottled water comes from springs on the property, and the recently expanded gardens provide most of the produce served in the restaurant. Guests are encouraged to explore, be it on horseback, mountain bike, or foot, the nearby waterfalls and the boutiques and gastronomy scene in town. Those fresh off a red-eye, especially, will want to spend a few hours in the spa, which will unveil a new look later this year, or laze around their villas, which have chocolate-slate baths and expansive decks suspended in the trees. Next to the fireplace, decanters stocked with complimentary cachaça and house-made honey liqueur offer the perfect nightcap. sixsenses.com; doubles from $403 —Mariano Leonhart

EUROPE

Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

Exterior view of Four Seasons Madrid
Credit: COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MADRID

It took eight years of painstaking refurbishment, the suspension of a subway line, and $700 million, but Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts' first venture in Spain finally opened in September as part of Centro Canalejas, a seven building complex off Puerta del Sol that also houses glitzy boutiques and private residences. Patience has paid off: behind the prowlike façade, marble staircases sweep up from the gilt-trimmed lobby to 200 spacious guest rooms that exude a sense of calm, with gauzy white curtains, tufted beige headboards, and bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. Bedside iPads connect you with the front desk via instant message; swipe to book a table at celebrity chef Dani García's rooftop brasserie (then say ¡Sí! to dishes like scallop tartare bound with an Iberian-ham emulsion and drizzled with basil oil) or to schedule a treatment in the four-floor spa, which has a glass-enclosed pool set amid the hotel's terracotta roofscape. fourseasons.com/madrid; doubles from $530. — Benjamin Kemper

Galleria Vik Milano — Italy

Galleria Vik Milano
Credit: Courtesy of Galleria Vik Milano

Alex and Carrie Vik are known for tapping renowned architects to create inspiring, art-filled hotels in Uruguay and Chile. The Milan outpost of Vik Retreats marks the brand's European debut, and while not immediately obvious from the blinkand-you'll-miss-it entrance (tucked on a quiet side street steps from the Duomo), Galleria Vik Milano continues this tradition. A massive cast of Rodin's The Thinker greets guests in the lobby, while the 89 rooms and suites feature a mix of contemporary, vintage, and antique furniture, plus works by Italian, Uruguayan, and international artists. Choose a room with a private balcony overlooking the glass-vaulted arcades of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy's oldest shopping mall. It's the ideal perch for people-watching and enjoying an Aperol Spritz before dinner at Vikissimo—which looks out on the Galleria's famous bull mosaic—or I Dodici Gatti, the rooftop pizzeria, for simple, perfectly executed classics like caprese salads, margherita pies, and tiramisu. galleriavikmilano.com; doubles from $600. —Rima Suqi

Grand Universe Lucca — Italy

Moon over terrace at Grand Universe Lucca
Credit: Courtesy of Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection

Lucca, Italy, was a strategic base during the Roman Empire and has been a wealthy merchant city since the Middle Ages—but the Tuscan city lacked a hotel worthy of its stature until now. Enter the Grand Universe Lucca, housed in a 16th-century palazzo once frequented by musicians like Puccini. A top-to-bottom renovation has made the property sing again: in the bright, airy spaces, the wood-beamed ceilings and other original architectural details (the wine cellar contains a fragment of a Roman wall) are complemented by modern furnishings. Many of the 55 rooms and suites look out on Piazza Napoleone, where the annual Lucca Summer Festival draws big-name musical acts. Guests can borrow bikes to get around town as the locals do, savor Tuscan specialties like chestnut-flour crêpes, try biodynamic wines in a tasting with the sommelier, and delve into the city's myths and legends with a local guide. In warm weather, the rooftop is the ideal spot to take in sweeping views of Lucca's terra-cotta rooftops with a glass of Chianti. granduniverselucca.com; doubles from $264. —Laura Itzkowitz

La Réserve Eden au Lac — Zurich

La Reserve Eden au Lac bedroom and terrace
Credit: Courtesy of La Reserve Eden au Lac

High-end hotels abound in Switzerland's largest city, though most are stuffy affairs aimed at visiting bankers on expense accounts. So this 40-room newcomer was a breath of fresh air when it opened in the former Eden au Lac Hotel in January 2020. The baroque wedding-cake palace, opposite Lake Zurich's historic swimming lido, was treated to a top-to-toe makeover by Philippe Starck, whose design inspiration was an imaginary yacht club. The rooms—available in eight categories, some with balconies and lake views—resemble a yacht's berths in that every inch is accounted for. Starck's touches are more evident in common spaces but still restrained, an apt nod to austere Zurich. Expect mirrored disco bathrooms, a secret fumoir, and a ground floor lounge and restaurant that's both clubby and cozy. Best of all is La Muña, a Japanese-Peruvian restaurant under the attic's exposed rafters where wooden walls are plastered with oil paintings of sailboats and waitstaff plate up truffled-sea-bass ceviche. In summer, La Muña's terrace fills with locals sipping cocktails and enjoying views of the adjacent marina and the distant Alps. lareserve-zurich.com; doubles from $500. —Adam H. Graham

Les Sources de Cheverny — Loire Valley, France

Les Sources de Cheverny bedroom
Credit: MP Morel/Courtesy of Les Sources de Cheverny

The châteaux of France's Loire Valley are among the world's architectural marvels, but you probably wouldn't want to live amid all that opulence. Fortunately, the elegant but low-key Sources de Cheverny is a perfect antidote to the grandeur fatigue that can set in after gazing at too many spires. The hotel is a charming hamlet of converted stone outbuildings and wooden cabins on the grounds of a modest château. Owners Alice and Jérôme Tourbier have followed the same blueprint they used at Les Sources de Caudalie, the hotel at their family's vineyard in Bordeaux: killer gastronomy, luxurious spa treatments (both hotels use products made with locally grown grapes), and cozy interiors with rooms clad in warm wood tones. Borrow a bike and pedal over to the 17th-century Château de Cheverny next door—the model for Marlinspike Hall in the Tintin books. Then come back to chef Frédéric Calmels's gigot d'agneau de sept heures (leg of lamb cooked for seven hours) and a bottle of fruity Loire Chinon. sources-cheverny.com; doubles from $280. — Joshua Levine

Loire Valley Lodges — Esvres-sur-Indre, France

Interior bedroom at Loire Valley Lodges
Credit: Courtesy of Loire Valley Lodges

You might think that a hotel named Loire Valley Lodges would be a fairy-tale thing of spires and turrets, in the spirit of the nearby Renaissance châteaux that draw tourists from around the world. The Loire Valley Lodges is actually a collection of large, extremely comfortable wooden cabins, each one built high on stilts and out of sight of its neighbors in a private 700-acre forest. Nature and splendid isolation are the joys here—and art. Anne-Caroline Frey, who created the place, is a transplanted Parisian who used to work in contemporary art. Here, she combined her two passions, and large sculptures commissioned by Frey keep popping up unexpectedly out of the dense woods. It's an unlikely and delightful formula. I spent an evening watching the sun sink over the forest from the hot tub on my spacious terrace. Leaves rustled. Birds swooped over a pond just below. When the dinner hour arrived, an elaborate, multi-tiered box was dropped off, filled with salmon and trout, fish rillettes, smoked eel, cheese, salad, and chocolate fondant (there's also a sit-down restaurant in the hotel's main house if solitude weighs too heavy.) This, I decided, is how modern kings live. loirevalleylodges.com; doubles from $462. —Joshua Levine

Maslina Resort — Stari Grad, Croatia

Bedroom terrace at Maslina Resort in Croatia
Credit: Courtesy of Maslina Resort

This sustainably-driven resort opened in August on the pristine Maslinica Bay, a sublime nook of the Adriatic with 33 guest rooms, 17 suites, and three villas that seem to float ethereally above the olive tree-lined pools. Among the many perks here? A restaurant helmed by Top Chef Patricia Yeo and a network of stone steps that connect the sophisticated beach bar and the "garden-to-skin" spa, the manicured outdoor lounging areas dotted with knotted rope hammocks, and intimate pebble beach alcoves. Days might begin with a waterside yoga session before a tour of the organic garden and an olive oil or wine tasting. You can also take one of the property's electric bicycles (made of reclaimed wood) into the neighboring, UNESCO heritage town of Stari Grad. maslinaresort.com; doubles from $318. —Renee Perenchio

The Mayfair Townhouse — London

Interior decor of Mayfair Townhouse in London
Credit: ADAM LYNK/COURTESY OF MAYFAIR TOWNHOUSE, LONDON

Town-house hotels are having a moment in the British capital, and this West End newcomer—comprising 15 adjoining Georgian buildings built in the 18th century—is perhaps the best example. Situated on Half Moon Street, where the first act of Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest is set, the 172-room property provides easy access to the best of central London, with Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Hyde Park all within walking distance. Long before hedge funders moved into the neighborhood, Mayfair was home to bohemian bons vivants (including Wilde and his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas), and the hotel pays affectionate homage to them. The Dandy Bar serves Victorian-inspired cocktails, including the Mr. Bosie, a vodka-and-gin-based affair that's a nod to Douglas's nickname. Richly layered materials like velvet and marble and a palette of deep reds, greens, and blues give rooms an era-appropriate feel. Meals are served anywhere on the property, including the Club Room or in guest rooms, and the lobster curry is a standout. themayfairtownhouse.com; doubles from $500. — Rebecca Rose

Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa — Ostuni, Italy

Bedroom at Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa in Puglia, Italy
Credit: Courtesy of Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

In the historic center of the "white city" of Ostuni (named for its ancient, uniformly whitewashed buildings) lies the region's newest oasis of tranquility, Paragon 700. Architect and interior designer Pascale Lauber (she's the co-owner of the hotel, along with Ulrike Bauschke) personally headed the restoration of the 18th-century palazzo, using traditional artisanal techniques and a dash of contemporary style. Eleven individually designed guest rooms have vaulted ceilings, period frescos, original fireplaces, and parquet floors. The property is wrapped around a flourishing garden with an orange grove and a swimming pool, where guests can unwind under the warm Puglian sun. They can also sip a negroni at the cozy bar, the Mixology House; get a massage at the spa; or have dinner beneath the centuries-old stone ceilings of Restaurant 700, which is headed by chef Giovanni Cerroni. paragon700.com; doubles from $356. —Gian Marco Tosti

The Pig - at Harlyn Bay — England

Aerial view of The Pig at Haryln Bay in the UK
Credit: Courtesy of The Pig at Harlyn Bay

The owners of the Pig "litter," as Robin and Judy Hutson jokingly call their seven English country-house hotels, clearly understand what guests want. Which might explain why they're almost always fully booked. The 26 rooms in the couple's new Cornish addition, a part-medieval, part-Jacobean manor house adjoined by farm-style buildings, combine 21st-century essentials (a great bed and bathroom, easy-to-use tech) with European antiques and local art. And the modern British meals—pickled mussels and garlicky roast lobster followed by rose sorbet—are made with fresh produce from Cornish farmers and fishermen. Set in fields between the popular beaches of Harlyn Bay and Constantine Bay, near well-marked walking paths and cycling trails and only a 15-minute drive from the acclaimed restaurants of Padstow, the latest Pig is set to be Cornwall's new summer hot spot. thepighotel.com; doubles from $208. —Lisa Grainger

Villa Copenhagen — Denmark

Dining at Villa Copenhagen
Credit: Courtesy of Villa Copenhagen

Near Copenhagen's 19th-century Tivoli Gardens amusement park, the new Villa Copenhagen is almost as old: the neo-baroque structure formerly housed the Danish Post and Telegraph office headquarters. It's a big property, with 390 guest rooms, but the feeling is more celebratory bustle than anonymous chain, and the lobby area—with its buzzing lounge and bar, a shop that sells the work of local artists, and a crystal-clear glass ceiling providing views of the sky—is one of the most cheerful hangouts in the city. There's also a rooftop swimming pool, which became a (socially distanced) hot spot when I visited this summer. The restaurant, Kontrast, meanwhile, lives up to its name with a menu inspired by all corners of the globe. The butternut squash risotto with deep-fried sage, brown butter, and hazelnuts was a standout. villacopenhagen.com; doubles from $182. —Lindsay Tigar

NORTH AMERICA

Adero Scottsdale, Autograph Collection — Arizona

Adero Scottsdale lawn lounge
Credit: Joshua Cadwell/Courtesy of Adero Scottsdale

Scottsdale's newest hotel is on the outskirts of town, but that's the secret to its magic. There's nothing to steal the spotlight from its majestic mountain views—until nightfall, when pink, sunset-washed peaks give way to dark skies and some of the best stargazing in the country. The Adero has 177 rooms, two pools, tennis and pickleball courts, a spa, and a 24-hour fitness center complete with a Peloton studio. The minimalist design is decidedly desert-inspired, and every room has private outdoor space that encourages guests to bask in the serenity of their surroundings (Corner suites come with expansive balconies and telescopes). As the only Dark Sky Zone resort in Scottsdale, the Adero takes stargazing seriously, and its scenic SkyTop cocktail lounge is the place to chat with local astronomers while sipping on an Old Astronomer gin cocktail. Bites served on the lawn include foie-gras potstickers, short-rib poutine, and decadent s'mores, though you'll want to save room for dinner at Cielo, where the comfort food includes coffee-rubbed filet mignon and lemon-and-garlic-roasted chicken. You could stay up all night eating, drinking, and staring at the sky, but be sure to get some shut-eye—a morning hike on one of the surrounding trails is worth an early start. aderoscottsdale.com; doubles from $249. —Nina Ruggiero

Camp Sarika by Amangiri — Canyon Point, Utah

Camp Sarika at Amangiri in Utah
Credit: Kyle RM Johnson

There is glamping, and then there is Utah's Camp Sarika, which stands in a class of its own. It's the neighboring offshoot of the ultra-luxe desert resort Amangiri, and is enveloped in dramatic canyon country near Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Its 10 canvas-roofed concrete pavilions allow for heightened privacy, and the main hub hosts indoor-outdoor dining spaces, a mesa-flanked outdoor pool, and two spa treatment rooms. But I found myself mostly cooling off in my own plunge pool or roasting post-dinner s'mores over a fire pit. Camp Sarika guests have full access to Amangiri's facilities (including their Insta-famous pool and spa) and roster of activities, which includes horseback riding, hikes, and helicopter tours of the Grand Canyon. In an era when secluded getaways are a prime commodity, the isolation and extravagance of Sarika might make it the world's most coveted new desert escape. aman.com; doubles from $3,800. —Travis Levius

Cara Hotel — Los Angeles

Courtyard at Cara Hotel in Los Angeles
Credit: Courtesy of Cara Hotel

California-cool meets Moroccan riad at the Cara Hotel in Los Feliz, where breezy indoor-outdoor spaces are awash in cool whites and wood—an unexpectedly serene oasis in one of L.A.'s hippest neighborhoods. Built on the site of a 1950s motel, the owners rethought every detail, from the steelwork, ceramics, and sconces to the photography that decorates the walls. The star of the show is the courtyard, where string lights adorn 100-year-old olive trees and palms line a tranquility pool that is lit by candles at night. Each of the 60 rooms has its own balcony, a plush bed dressed in Italian linens, and a mini-bar full of local snacks and beverages. Guests can feast on executive chef Michael Patria's dishes, made with ingredients sourced from biodynamic California farms, or sip coffee from Los Feliz favorite, Maru. If they want to venture out, they'll be less than 10 minutes from such iconic L.A. sights as the Griffith Observatory, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Greek Theater. carahotel.com; doubles from $199. —Nina Ruggiero

The Chloe — New Orleans

Interior of the suite at The Chloe in New Orleans
Credit: Paul Costello

There are hotels with the comforts of home, and then there are hotels like the Chloe, which were once actually lived in. Built in 1891 by Henry Picard, a prosperous merchant from Alsace, France, this former single-family mansion is now a 14-room property owned by restaurateur Robert LeBlanc and brought to new life by NOLA design powerhouse Sara Ruffin Costello. Each room has its singular charms, such as an armoire that you step into, like a secret passageway, to access a bathroom. Mine had a large window overlooking St. Charles Avenue, where the live oaks were still heavy with Mardi Gras beads and the whooshing sounds of the streetcar served as my soundtrack. In the afternoon, I sat on the front porch and sipped a martini, feeling like a character in a Tennessee Williams play. If the front of the house is straight-up Southern sophistication, the backyard—with its retro baby-pink loungers and heated pool—is its cooler sibling. thechloenola.com; doubles from $400. — Anne Roderique-Jones

Círculo Mexicano — Mexico City

Bedroom at Circulo Mexicano
Credit: Sergio Lopez/Courtesy Grupo Habita

Wedged between some of downtown Mexico City's most prominent historic sites, including the National Palace and the Templo Mayor Museum, this 19th-century building has been overhauled into one the city's swankest new stays. It's another project of the hotelier Grupo Habitas, which merges old-world Mexico with high design. The 25 rooms—on two floors connected by a zigzag staircase—are decked with warm wood and Mexican textiles in shades of flax and taupe. The lofty arched ceilings are exposed brick, and some of the rooms have French doors that open onto the bustling street below. On the rooftop, guests sip mezcal margaritas while gazing out over the ancient ruins, their feet dipped in the glimmering pool. The restaurant, Itacate del Mar, from Mexico City's much-loved chef, Gabriela Camara, serves soon-to-be legendary tuna tostadas. circulomexicano.com; doubles from $117. —Mary Holland

Columns Hotel — New Orleans

Bedroom suite at Columns Hotel in New Orleans
Credit: Alex Marks

This 1883 Italianate-style mansion was originally built for a well-to-do tobacco merchant, later serving as a boardinghouse during World War I. The latest iteration comes with an interior refurbishment that manages to preserve the integrity of the historic property while adding luxe upgrades. My room had a rose-colored velvet sofa, an original fireplace, a big, comfy bed, and a claw-foot tub. Spending time here felt like being on the set of a Southern version of Bridgerton. Most memorable, though, was the food and beverage program, helmed by Michael Stolzfus of Coquette fame. There's a menu of sophisticated dishes, plus a top-notch cocktail list. The restaurant's porch, flanked by the eponymous towering white columns, provides extensive outdoor space on sultry evenings. And visitors will appreciate Columns' location, one of the finest in New Orleans when it comes to hotels. It's far from the ballyhoo of Bourbon Street, but still close enough to walk to the action. Sip a Sazerac as you take in the live oak trees that drip down onto St. Charles Avenue and the clank of the streetcars as they trundle by—in this city, there's practically nothing better. thecolumns.com; doubles from $350. —Anne Roderique-Jones

Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection — Austin, Texas

Exterior of Commodore Perry Estate in Austin
Credit: DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN/COURTESY OF COMMODORE PERRY ESTATE, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION

The first urban hotel from Auberge Resorts Collection began as a grand Jazz Age residence for a wealthy businessman. The original 1928 Italianate mansion remains the centerpiece, but Auberge has added an adjacent three-story building with a similar feel (white stucco façade, arched hallways, a terra-cotta roof) that gives the whole 10-acre property a cohesive look. Interior designer Ken Fulk created a baroque world of dusty-pink walls and muraled ceilings and filled it with Spanish Revival–inspired furnishings sourced from the famed Round Top antiques fair nearby. Even with all the eye candy, the best part of a stay might be a few hours spent lounging poolside under a canopy of oak trees with lunch from chef Bradley Nicholson, who uses produce supplied by the estate's two-acre farm. auberge.com; doubles from $600. — Allison McNearney

Edgartown Inn, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts 

Guestroom at Edgartown Inn in Martha's Vineyard
Credit: Read McKendree

Unlike most Martha's Vineyard stays, this new 12-room spot takes its aesthetic inspiration from the island's inland agrarian landscapes rather than its coastline and maritime history. Boston-based interior designer Rachel Reider spun a story based on the beauty of local farmhouse architecture and flower gardens, decorating the late-18th-century clapboard former whaling captain's home with linen and rope pieces, Windsor chairs, and a living wall, as well as a farm-focused mural and black-and-white photographs by local artists. At the inn—Lark Hotels' fifth property on the island, and its fourth in tony Edgartown's historic village center alone—every stay includes complimentary daily breakfast (think overnight oats, baked egg bites, and bread and pastries, all made in-house), and each room comes with thoughtful amenities like beach bags and sand chairs. Relatively wallet-friendly starting rates make this a welcome addition to what can be a high-barrier-to-entry hospitality scene on the island. larkhotels.com; doubles from $209. —Andrew Sessa

Emeline — Charleston, South Carolina

Emeline hotel lobby in Charleston
Credit: Lindsey Shorter/Courtesy of Emeline

It's the little things that make a hotel memorable, and Emeline is an inspired newcomer (just off Market Street in downtown Charleston) that delivers pleasant surprises by the bushel. The experience begins in the Living Room, where guests and locals mingle on leather armchairs and sofas over locally roasted coffee by Second State and country ham biscuits and kombucha from Clerks Coffee Co., one of two on-site restaurants. A soundtrack of classic soul sets the mood as you sip a welcome punch cocktail and browse Keep Shop, an exquisitely curated collection of home goods and mementos on the ground floor. In your suite, spin a classic record on the turntable while your companion fills a carafe with chilled, filtered water (still and sparkling, on tap 24/7). Despite its former life as an anonymous chain hotel, the 212 rooms here make you feel like you're staying in a much smaller boutique hotel. Custom bookcases line the wall at the foot of king-size beds, maximizing every inch with ornate efficiency. Once refreshed, swing past the art collection a the Archive, descending the iron spiral staircase en route to Frannie & the Fox, an Italian-leaning eatery that draws jovial weekend crowds for its seafood, wood-fired pizzas, and cocktails. And in the morning, step outside directly into the heart of town—or take one of the complimentary beach cruisers for a spin to the waterfront Battery. In a city with excellent hotels by the dozen, Emeline rises above by considering its guests every moment—the epitome of hospitality. hotelemeline.com; doubles from $269.  —Stratton Lawrence

Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas — Mexico

Aerial of pool and basketball court
Credit: Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort

Less than an hour from the myriad resorts of Los Cabos that encircle the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, the quieter East Cape is home to the newest resort from Four Seasons. It's the first in a new beachfront community on the tranquil Sea of Cortés, with the Sierra de la Laguna as the background. Minimalist contemporary architecture and neutral tones blend with the surrounding desert landscape, and the property's 114 guest rooms and 27 suites come with spacious outdoor terraces that open to views of the sea. The signature restaurant, Estiatorio Milos, meanwhile, is an ideal shorefront spot with a menu that includes the day's catch artfully displayed on ice. Limón (an alfresco dining spot set in a lemon tree grove) and the poolside Casa de Brasa feature ingredients from the resort's organic farm. A superb golf course and spa complete round out activities on site, and staff can arrange sportfishing and snorkeling excursions for the more adventurous. fourseasons.com/loscabos; doubles from $919. —Pat Doherty

Harbor View Hotel — Martha's Vineyard

Exterior aerial view of Harbor View Hotel in Martha's Vineyard
Credit: Courtesy of Harbor View Hotel

No other property on Martha's Vineyard can lay claim to "center of gravity" status like the Harbor View Hotel. Towering over Edgartown's harbor and lighthouse, this grand dame has been a meeting place for islanders and visitors for over 130 years. In a $15-million renovation, the hotel's Historic Building has been given a chic, contemporary update, and a new four-room penthouse has been added to the top floor. The newer wing (fun fact: the production team of Jaws stayed here while filming on the island) has been rebranded as The Roxana, where 51 poolside rooms are clad in summery textiles and rattan accents. Food at the Harbor View punches way above its weight—my husband and I still reminisce about the lobster roll we ate from a sun lounger by the pool, while at the Bettini restaurant, Bernard's noodles—named after hotel owner Bernand Chiu, a Hong Kong native—were addictively smokey, sticky and sweet. Setting out to explore the island from the hotel is made easy, whether you're driven through the picturesque backstreets of Edgartown in a golf cart, or setting out on an evening cruise aboard a wood-lined Barton & Gray yacht with a hotel hamper of rose and a cheese board at your side. harborviewhotel.com; doubles from $275. —Flora Stubbs

Hew & Draw — Newfoundland, Canada 

Hew & Draw Hotel room in Newfoundland
Credit: Courtesy of Hew & Draw Hotel

In the western Newfoundland mill town of Corner Brook, the Hew & Draw Hotel takes its inspiration from Canada's logging industry. While that may not sound like an obvious design concept for a boutique hotel, the family owners (who themselves run a logging company) made it work by rebuilding a former Woolworths store into a 36-room inn with a rustic, industrial vibe. There's plenty of natural wood, of course, from the hickory floors in the minimalist guest rooms to the Douglas fir furnishings in the taproom. The wallpapers, from Ontario-based designer Kate Golding, feature tuckamore trees, caribou, and other regional flora and fauna. And what else would loggers—or hotel guests—need after a busy day, whether you've been kayaking on the Bay of Islands or adventuring through the Blow Me Down Mountains? A soak in the hot tub on the rooftop patio, and a pint of Wild Bologna IPA from the on-site Boomstick Brewing Co. hewanddraw.ca; doubles from $136. — Carolyn B. Heller 

Hotel Kansas City — Missouri

Lobby interior of Hotel Kansas City
Credit: RW2 Productions / Michael Robinson

What was once a private social club adjacent to Kansas City's popular Power and Light District is now a reimagined hotel under Hyatt's Unbound Collection. In a nod to its history, the Gothic Revival–style lobby lounge showcases busts of former club members like Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, who watch over visitors sipping cocktails. Tucked into another corner is the main restaurant, the Town Company, with a menu that infuses a contemporary twist to Midwestern comfort food, courtesy of chef Johnny Leach (of Momofuku fame). Leach makes full use of the region's local produce and farms, and has become such a hit that it can take weeks to snag a reservation. The real charm of the place, though, is in the anachronistic details: a vintage photo booth, stained-glass windows, and 144 Victorian-inspired guest rooms decorated with whimsical oil portraits and pale pink sofas. hotelkc.com; doubles from $199. —Ramsey Qubein

Hotel Magdalena — Austin, Texas

Exterior walkway of Hotel Magdalena in Austin
Credit: Nick Simonite/Courtesy of Hotel Magdalena

With four hotels within two blocks on popular South Congress Street, the Bunkhouse Group has become synonymous with a particular Austin aesthetic—one that blends a pinch of rock 'n' roll luxury with a dash of whimsy and a whole lot of groovy soul. Their latest offering—Hotel Magdalena—is on a site once owned by Willie Nelson, who welcomed musicians ranging from Muddy Waters to Patti Smith to take a turn on his Austin Opry House stage. Today, the 89-room property embraces this musical history and the city's love of watering holes by channeling the vibe of both a midcentury motor hotel and a '70s-era lake house. Lush outdoor spaces and retractable walls tempt visitors out of their rooms for a dip in the pool or a cocktail on the patio of its restaurant, Summer House on Music Lane. In-room comfort is complete with all the Bunkhouse signatures—thematic mini-bar, custom playlist streamed on vintage speakers, and iconic striped robes—bolstered by unique touches like gorgeous photography by local legend Scott Newton, whose camera has been a fixture in the city's music scene for decades. There's no better way to spend your day in Austin than waking up beneath a black-and-white shot of young Willie before lounging at Barton Springs or exploring the shops on bustling South Congress. hotelmagdalena.com; doubles from $229. —Allison McNearney

Hotel Sin Nombre — Oaxaca, México

Interior courtyard of Hotel Sin Nombre
Credit: Lexus Gallegos for Hotel Sin Nombre

You have to know exactly where to look for this impeccably designed hideaway in the middle of Oaxaca City—it's hidden behind a nondescript façade a stone's throw from the magnificent Oaxaca Cathedral. Conceived by Portuguese architect João Boto Caeiro and California transplant Elliott Coon (the cofounder of mezcal brand Gem & Bolt), the 20-room property exudes an air of hushed exclusivity and chilled-out cool, as if you're staying the weekend at the house of your coolest friends. In the soaring central atrium—which doubles as the hotel's vegan restaurant—handwoven textiles and potted cacti stand out against an all-white backdrop of imposing limestone columns and arched entryways. It's a killer spot to hang out and people-watch, but when the weather's nice (as it so often is), the place to be is the sunny rooftop terrace, which features a plunge pool and Oaxacan artist Sabino Guisu's neon take on a traditional Aztec shield. hotelsinnombre.com; doubles from $170. —Siobhan Reid

Hotel Ynez — Solvang, California

Deluxe bedroom with fireplace at Hotel Ynez
Credit: Courtesy of Hotel Ynez

Just far enough from L.A. to feel like a proper getaway, Hotel Ynez lies two hours north in the Santa Ynez Valley (of Sideways movie fame). While its bones are those of a roadside inn, the reimagined property feels equal parts sophisticated and mellow. The 22 rooms, each with an outdoor patio with a hammock, circle a central courtyard with pine and oak trees, inviting guests to sit under the stars with a glass of Syrah in hand. Inside, whitewashed rooms feel elevated thanks to details such as Moroccan textiles, artwork from Mexican artist Hilda Palafox, and small-batch bath products from Fable Soap. The most sprawling of the bunch, Room 21, even boasts a private firepit and hot tub. Come dinner, snag a table at S.Y. Kitchen for rustic Italian dishes such as wild mushroom pappardelle and salmon puttanesca that more than complement the wine country surroundings. hotelynez.com; doubles from $179. – Tanvi Chheda

Lake House on Canandaigua — Finger Lakes, New York

Blue bar at Lake House Canandaigua, New York
Credit: Courtesy of Lake House Canandaigua

The truth is, the Finger Lakes don't change too much — and that's exactly why people like to visit. These glacial lakes, first carved into Upstate New York around 65 million years ago, have been drawing visitors for generations not for what's new but for what's stayed the same: the chance to paddle a canoe, to hike to a secret waterfall, to taste a few Rieslings in the vineyard where the grapes were grown, and to grab a life-changing soft serve swirl cone at a roadside dairy stand.

Now, thanks to the new Lake House on Canandaigua, there's finally a pilgrimage-worthy hotel within striking distance of all those forever faves. It's a 125-room lakeside retreat that's both a supremely stylish, grown-up resort and a comfortable home base for those with kids looking to create new summer traditions. In fact, family is an essential part of the Lake House: The property is a passion project for developers Bill Caleo and Lyndsay Caleo Karol, of Brooklyn Home Company, who are part of the Sands family, a big name in this part of New York. In many ways, the Lake House feels like a super-sized vacation home, with an enviable location at the northern tip of the lake, with a swimming pool, a dock (boat rentals are available), a sprawling yard with fire pits and lawn games, and dozens of water-view suites with balconies. Studio Tack (now known as Post Company) designed the site plan and collaborated with Brooklyn Home on the interiors; rooms have just enough nautical inspiration without tipping into kitsch and lots of natural materials — wood, leather, wicker — that lend warmth.

During a pandemic-era visit, indoor dining was limited, but the Rose Tavern took full advantage of its screened sunroom for breakfast service. The waterfront Sand Bar had its rolling doors thrown open to lake breezes every night, doing crowd pleasers like shrimp po' boys and lobster mac and cheese alongside a long list of craft beers and cheeky cocktails like the Blue Whale, a local go-to with rum and Curaçao. Plans call for an on-site spa to open by Memorial Day 2021; there's plentiful wedding and event space to accommodate big groups when restrictions on gatherings ease. For all the amenities, though, the best reason to stay may be the simplest: To wake up with a view of the lake and to wander down, bare foot, for a swim. lakehousecanandaigua.com; doubles from $201. —Paul Brady

Life House Lower Highlands — Denver

Interior dining area at Life House Lower Highlands in Denver
Credit: Matt Kisiday/Courtesy of Life House

If Wes Anderson were to make a western, the set would resemble Life House Lower Highlands. Period details—opulent Louis XVI bergères upholstered in floral patterns; leather headboards and sofas—transport guests to the late 1800s, when industrialists were moving west to frontier outposts like Denver. Today Lower Highlands, known as LoHi, is the city's hippest neighborhood, home to stylish bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries—and Life House finally gives the area its first boutique stay. The American West narrative continues in the 16 rooms, each decorated with Navajo-style pillows and botanical paintings. Some rooms come with bunk beds inspired by 19th-century Pullman sleeping cars; they don't skimp on comfort, thanks to full-size mattresses and corduroy privacy curtains. The hotel restaurant, Wildflower, pays homage to the city's Mexican and Italian settlers with dishes like smoked-chorizo-topped chilaquiles and beet salad with burrata imported from Puglia. lifehousehotels.com; doubles from $190. —Jen Murphy

Life House Nantucket — Massachusetts

Outside patio at Life House Nantucket
Credit: Courtesy of Life House

A tufted tiger runner adorns the steep staircase at Light House Nantucket, offering a wild welcome to this fresh, beautifully designed retreat along the cobblestoned byways of New England's famed island seaport. And there's more than tigers at play in the 14-room inn: The Federalist bones of the circa-1830s sea captain's house have been updated with high-gloss paints in rich plum, mauve, and jade. Linen light pendants glow with hand-painted island flora; and wicker and raffia beds, chairs, and even daybeds in twin leafy courtyards nod to journeys among the tropics. Hearty complimentary breakfast surprises—like chia and oats or smashed berries with almond butter on toast—give way to evening cocktail hours and small bites, making Life House a comfortably modern way to inhabit a seafaring dreamscape. lifehousehotels.com; doubles from $399. —Tracey Minkin

The Maker — Hudson, New York

Guest suite at golden hour at The Maker in Hudson, NY
Credit: Courtesy of The Maker

The Maker is a tribute to the makers of the world, according to co-owner Lev Glazman. He will list plenty of them if you ask: master woodworker Gary Keegan, muralist Michael Allen, chef Michael Poiarkoff. Not to mention his partner, Alina Roytberg, with whom Glazman created beauty heavyweight Fresh nearly 30 years ago and with whom he envisioned the 11-room property. (She also designed nearly all of the wallpaper.) Where better to write such a love letter than Hudson Valley, known as a haven for New York's well-heeled set? The whole of the Maker, which the married duo designed from scratch alongside hospitality vet Damien Janowicz, is a tribute to beautiful things and how they are made. Every square inch of the turn-of-the-century complex is artfully crowded with one-of-a-kind furniture, vases and trays and pillows and tins sourced from local flea markets, and walls of books on aesthetics and craft. And the suites pay tribute to all those different types of makers that make life more interesting: the Gardener, with botanical drawings and fresh flowers; the Artist, all velvet, stained glass, and Belle Époque sumptuousness; the Writer, where the bookshelves are curated by the Strand; the Architect, with a bohemian Bauhaus look and a massive, showstopping black marble bathtub. They don't come cheap; the Maker is not destined to be a starving-artist haunt. But after a night here, even trend-chasing stockbrokers and Upper East Side aristocrats will find their creative wheels beginning to turn. themaker.com; doubles from $375. —Hannah Walhout

Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection — Washington, Connecticut

Lobby space inside Mayflower Inn & Spa
Credit: Courtesy of Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection

How do you transform a staid but storied country hotel into a destination for the modern age? First, Auberge Resorts Collection appointed interior design star Celerie Kemble to infuse character into the Mayflower's main building by replacing the damask and frills with one-of-a-kind pieces, including Turkish rugs, paper-flower arrangements, and a shoppable library of first-edition volumes from Johnnycake Books. Second, they rethought the food. When I visited in the fall, chef April Bloomfield had just begun a yearlong residency, bringing elevated field-to-fork cooking to the Garden Room restaurant. Finally, the spa was updated by the Well, the hot New York City health club. Neutral tones and natural fibers have freshened up the communal spaces, while a treatment program ranging from sound baths to tarot readings offers guests a taste of wellness culture at its most on-trend. aubergeresorts.com/mayflower; doubles from $890. — Flora Stubbs

Miraval Berkshires — Massachusetts

Lounge and fireplace at Miraval Berkshires
Credit: JAMES BAIGRIE/COURTESY OF MIRAVAL BERKSHIRES

The vibe is more summer camp than boot camp at the adults-only, 100-room Miraval Berkshires, which unfolds across 380 piney acres. Booze is generously available, and while baby-kale-quinoa bowls are offered at the smoothie bar, so is a sizable array of fresh-baked pastries. Aside from its easygoing ethos, the draw is Miraval's program of inventive, and decidedly active, wellness experiences. In the surrounding forest, you'll find hatchet throwing, ropes courses, and classes in primitive fire-building techniques, as well as workshops on beekeeping, rehabilitating birds of prey, and meditating with horses (a fascinating practice in which the horse responds to the guest's energy). Treatments in the 28-room Life in Balance spa—such as the Kombucha Facial, which uses a tuning fork to release jaw tension—are similarly imaginative. And the food is sourced regionally and from the resort's organic garden (my favorite dish: the Hudson Valley steelhead poke with crispy rice). miravalberkshires.com; doubles from $670 per person, all-inclusive. — Jancee Dunn

Montage Healdsburg — California

Montage Healdsburg interior
Credit: CHRISTIAN HORAN/COURTESY OF MONTAGE HEALDSBURG

Sonoma County's most significant hotel opening in years faithfully embodies the area's unspoiled, agricultural setting. Woods and plots of hillside vines blanket its 258 acres, while the Modernist, earth-toned guest suites seem to disappear into the landscape. Immersion in nature is a big theme: there are miles of hiking trails on the grounds, most rooms have outdoor showers, and the spacious decks seem to hover amid the towering oaks. Outdoor yoga classes take place in a garden framed by vineyards, and e-bikes are available to stop by roadside markets and to see the region's rural beauty up close, without having to get in a car. Nature informs the property's main restaurant, too. At Hazel Hill, chef de cuisine Jason Pringle uses the surrounding fields and nearby Pacific to full advantage—the best dishes I ate all year were a poached lobster tail with organic root vegetables from the kitchen garden and salmon, caught off the Sonoma coast, with sunchokes and wild mushrooms. montagehotels.com/healdsburg; doubles from $995. — John Wogan

The Newbury — Boston

Bedroom at The Newbury in Boston
Credit: Read McKendree

The Newbury Boston is the latest incarnation of the Neoclassical 1927 building that formerly housed the Ritz-Carlton. Adjacent to the Boston Public Garden, the hotel was given a top-to-toe renovation for a new generation of visitors: a palette of subtle dove gray, black and pearl marble flooring, plush orange couches, and contemporary art (like the striking photographs of Yousuf Karsh) offer a cozy but cool welcome for guests. Forty-two of the 286 guest rooms still have their original wood-burning fireplaces, and it's worth asking for one, particularly during those frigid winters when the perfect evening involves curling up by the fire with room service. It's also worth checking out the 17th-floor conservatory trattoria, Contessa, for some of the best views in the city. And don't miss afternoon tea in the Newbury Salon or drinks in the Street Bar—despite the hotel's modern refresh, you'll still find a distinct feeling of old Boston here. thenewburyboston.com; doubles from $600. — Linda Laban

Nobu Chicago

Nobu Chicago, Zen Suite with city views
Credit: Courtesy of Nobu Chicago

With more than a dozen hotels already open and half as many in the pipeline, the eight-year-old Nobu Hotel group is in acceleration mode. The newest addition to a collection that includes Newport Beach, Ibiza, and London's Shoreditch neighborhood is Nobu Chicago, set in the city's industrial West Loop. The hotel's brick-and-steel building knits into the urban fabric on the outside while offering guests in its 115 rooms and 23 suites a loftlike living experience on the inside—with a distinctive Japanese bent. You can't stay and not dine at Nobu (the black cod with miso is reason enough to make a reservation), where columns mimic samurai swords and resin leaves flutter above tables as if it's autumn in Kyoto. Once sated, head upstairs and wend your way back to your room through corridors that are lined with softly-lit wooden lanterns. Most quarters provide wide views of the cityscape (ask for one with a teak soaking tub—so worth the extra cost) and high concrete ceilings that lend a stark modernity to the otherwise cosseting, natural materials found throughout the hotel. Extend your stay with a swim in the tranquility pool and brunch on the roof, with the entire city and its best-dressed denizens serving as a backdrop. nobuhotels.com; doubles from $239. —Heidi Mitchell

One&Only Mandarina — Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Aerial view of One&Only Mandarina in Mexico
Credit: Courtesy of One&Only

Situated between a rain forest and the cliffs of the Riviera Nayarit coastline, One&Only's new Mexican sanctuary encourages guests to reconnect with nature. Its 105 villas and tree houses were built sustainably using indigenous materials and rooted in the spirit of the local Cora and Huichol cultures. Communing with nature reached a zenith for me during a walk to visit "La Abuela" (grandmother in Spanish)—a century-old tree on the property, while learning about the land and the endemic species from one of the resort's knowledgeable staff members. At Carao, the main restaurant, I tasted local flavors created by renowned Mexican chef Enrique Olvera and found a sense of peace by swimming in the Pacific or in one of the infinity pools that seem to hover in the sky. I also relearned how to properly breathe by taking one of the Alchemical Breath classes. Here, my soothing spiritual leader taught me the Pranayama method, which sent me home feeling revitalized in a profound way. oneandonlyresorts.com; doubles from $1,300. — Mariana Mijares.

Palmaïa, The House of Aïa, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Palmaia, The House of Aia beach view
Credit: Courtesy of Palmaia, The House of Aia

Transformation is the running theme at Palmaïa, The House of Aïa, set exactly halfway between Cancún and Tulum. Instead of a butler, there's a linen-clad "Nomadic Guide" who sends you WhatsApp reminders for your outdoor sound bath. Then there's the on-site shaman, who studies birth times and star coordinates to chart your future trajectory. Even the cuisine by chef Eugenio Villafaña is meant to jump-start a health transformation—there are four on-site restaurants, all primarily plant-based, with themes that range from Mediterannean- to Asian-influenced. The standout for me was LEK, which finds inspiration closer to home (the jackfruit empanadas and chaya tacos were the best things I ate during my stay). Despite its elevated Burning Man vibe (the resort calls its all-inclusive policy a "giving lifestyle"), the 234-oceanfront-suite property is firmly rooted in its Mexican soil. The spa, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows looking out to the surrounding jungle, makes the most of local ingredients like mezcal (the plant itself, not the smoky alcoholic spirit) and traditions like the sweat-inducing temescal ceremony. And while Palmaïa may offer all manner of ways to leave reality behind, the ultimate balm for the chaos of modern life just might be digging your heels firmly into the sugar-like sand on its beach before a dip in the translucent Caribbean water. thehouseofaia.com; doubles from $600. —Chaney Kwak

Paradero Todos Santos — Baja Sur, Mexico

Paradero Todos Santos
Credit: Courtesy of Paradero Hotels

The term immersive can feel like an overused buzzword these days, but Paradero Todos Santos excels at connecting guests to the best of Baja California Sur through deeply authentic experiences. Founded by Mexico City–based duo Pablo Carmona and Josh Kremer, the 35-suite hotel sits on five acres surrounded by the Sierra de la Laguna range, a cactus-studded desert, and family-owned farmland. Minimalist suites occupy low-slung concrete buildings decorated with furnishings sourced from artisans around the country. In the restaurant's open-flame kitchen, chef Eduardo Ríos celebrates local produce and seafood (the shrimp zarandeado is a standout, as is the spicy mezcal margarita). But the guided activities are what make the stay truly memorable. One morning, the team arranged yoga followed by surfing lessons with Mario's Surf School at nearby Cerritos Beach. Our pros, Martín and Rafael, patiently explained proper form, led us into the gentle waves, and cheered enthusiastically—whether we toppled off or, finally, caught a brief-but-victorious ride. paraderohotels.com; doubles from $550. — Sarah Bruning

Riggs Washington DC

Lobby of Riggs Washington, DC
Credit: Courtesy of Riggs Washington D.C.

Our nation's capital is home to more than 30,000 hotel rooms. Until recently, though, the big brands dominated the scene—especially in Penn Quarter, a commercial part of downtown between the White House and the Capitol. Riggs is changing that. The latest property from the London-based Lore Group quietly opened in February, a much-needed dose of warmth behind an imposing exterior (this landmarked 1891 building was once the headquarters of Riggs National Bank). The 181 jewel-toned guest rooms have safe-shaped mini-bars and psychedelic Voutsa headboards, and the Carrara marble bathrooms are stocked with amenities from fragrance house D.S. & Durga. Suites include four special spaces named after notable First Ladies; mine, dedicated to Caroline Harrison, was all cream and powder blue, with a wall of whimsical china nodding to Harrison's role in starting the tradition of White House porcelain. Downstairs in the former bank's main hall you'll find vaulted ceilings, original marble columns, and the elegant Café Riggs, already a favorite for both romantic dinners and cocktail meetings. Chef Patrick Curran, formerly of other District favorites like Momofuku CCDC, turns out immaculate Continental-ish fare: beef tartare with quail eggs, a perfect burger, and the alluringly named caviar grilled cheese, which is really a thick slice of brioche layered with buttery vache and a glaze of gleaming Ossetra. And like sister properties Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, Riggs will soon have a bar courtesy of famed mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana. riggsdc.com; doubles from $179. —Hannah Walhout

The Rockaway Hotel — New York City

Bungalow at The Rockaway Hotel
Credit: Kyle Knodell

Rising out of a funky, low-slung beach bungalow community, architect Morris Adjmi designed the Rockaway Hotel as a first for New York City: an upscale, design-forward beach hotel. New York- and Oslo-based firm Curious Yellow took the lead on its interiors, including 53 bright rooms (as well as eight longer-stay suites), warmed by teak paneling and curved cane furniture; bathrooms are stocked with products by NYC purveyor Goldie's. And the public spaces mix vintage Giovanni Travasa chairs with installation pieces curated by the hotel's Chief Social Impact Officer, Michi Jigarjian, including works by artists like Tom Sachs (a Rockaway local). Outdoor space is abundant, from a pool deck to a rooftop terrace that offers dual views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Manhattan skyline. Dining options include the Rooftop, where chef Barry Tonks presides over a seafood-inflected menu, and the forthcoming Margie's and Greenhouse Café. A spa, as well as a locker facility for surfboards, is in the works. therockawayhotel.com; doubles from $230. —Tom Austin

The Roundtree — Amagansett, New York

Lobby of The Roundtree
Credit: Courtesy of The Roundtree

When it opened in June 2020, in the midst of a pandemic that had many city dwellers chasing fresh air and open space, the Roundtree, Amagansett seemed made for the moment. It's one of only a handful of small, independent hotels in this tony stretch of the Hamptons, situated on a two-acre parcel whose history stretches back to the 18th century and the European settlement of the hamlet of Amagansett. The property is less than a mile from Indian Wells Beach, on the Atlantic, and a short drive from glittery Napeague Bay and the glorious state parks of eastern Long Island. The retreat has just 15 guest accommodations, a mix of attached rooms and suites plus stand-alone cabins scattered across the property. All have a cool, crisp décor, with Wishbone chairs, industrial accent lamps, and a soothing wood-and-slate palette. (Each is also equipped with Airthereal HEPA-filtration devices and UV sterilizer boxes for remotes, keys, and more.) Firepits and chaise longues dot the manicured grounds, under strings of Edison bulbs. A small pantry in the Main House offers refreshments throughout the day, including a continental breakfast and coffee from locally loved Jack's Stir Brew. While there's no restaurant on site, the Roundtree has partnered with area eateries to bring in elevated takeout, plated on Balinese ceramics and delivered like room service by the gracious hotel staff. They'll even set everything up outdoors so guests can dine under the stars. theroundtreehotels.com; doubles from $495. —Paul Brady

Stables Inn — Paso Robles, California

Tack room at Stables Inn in Paso Robles, California
Credit: Courtesy of Stables Inn

Reinventing an American roadside inn is hardly a novel concept, but few have the elegance and attention to detail of the Stables Inn, in Paso Robles. Owners Robert and Sherry Gilson (who also own the ivy-clad Hotel Cheval, nearby) gave the midcentury motel an equestrian-themed overhaul with farmhouse furnishings. The 18 guest rooms, including a bunkhouse that sleeps six, feature details like cowhide rugs and colorful Pop art by Anne Laddon. On a visit with my family, I was impressed by the perks and attentive service despite the reasonable price, including a complimentary breakfast of locally roasted coffee and pastries, served each morning in the Tack Room, a shared space with sliding barn doors, decorated with vintage black-and-white photos and an early 1900s galvanized-metal windmill tail vane. A towering magnolia tree anchors another communal area with a firepit and Adirondack chairs, where guests can station themselves for a glass of inky Syrah (from one of the region's wineries) before or after dinner. stablesinnpaso.com; Doubles from $155. —Casey Hatfield-Chiotti

Surety Hotel — Des Moines, Iowa

Lobby of Surety Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa
Credit: Joshua Foo

Des Moines' Surety Hotel is ideally situated in the downtown district of Iowa's capital, occupying the former home of the Iowa Loan & Trust Company. It's a prime example of the new sophistication that's changing the complexion of this Midwest city, and the revival of the 1913 Beaux-Arts high-rise includes a range of opulent materials and decoration—there are rich hardwoods, leather, and contemporary artwork, and the communal spaces and guest rooms feature mid-century-inspired details. The overall look is clean and crisp, with a serene palette of neutrals and views of the surrounding urban landscape. Mulberry Street Tavern, meanwhile, is the property's main restaurant, with a menu that takes its cues from simple, traditional British pub fare, including meat pies, roasted chicken, wedge salads, and grilled oysters. suretyhotel.com; doubles from $139. —Krissa Rossbund

Urban Cowboy Catskills — New York

Bedroom at Urban Cowboy Lodge in the Catskills
Credit: Courtesy of Urban Cowboy

There's a magic to New York's Catskill Mountains—old-school summer resorts and ski lodges in hidden valleys flanked by high ridges and adorned with lakes, creeks, and waterfalls. It's no wonder that creative hoteliers have leaped at reclaiming faded glory here in the past few years, and Urban Cowboy Lodge Catskills is the most recent—and most holistically rendered—entry on the sylvan scene. Taking over an alpine inn and 68 acres owned by the same family since the 1930s, owner/designer Lyon Porter and co-owner Phil Hospod (of real estate development company Dovetail + Co.) have deftly updated the main lodge and four chalet-style outbuildings with his now-signature rustic luxe touch. The result is Wes Anderson meets A River Runs Through It: Original furniture from the property and antique Americana blend with new additions like a river-stone hearth in the lodge, hand-printed wallpapers and Pendleton blankets in the guest rooms, and potbellied stoves and massive clawfoot tubs in select suites. Amenities like top-shelf soaking blends and local spirits showcase the best of the region, and the house bar and restaurant are destination-worthy in their own right. With a shingle-clad sauna, firepits, fly-fishing stream, and swimming hole, Urban Cowboy Lodge demonstrates how the Catskills may now be more magical than ever. urbancowboy.com; doubles from $225. –Tracey Minkin

Wander the Resort — Prince Edward County, Canada

Interior at Wander The Resort
Credit: Patrick Biller

In the past few years, Prince Edward County (about a two-hour drive east of Toronto) has become a coveted escape for city folks looking for the best of country life—wide-open spaces, lakeside trails, and the rolling vineyards for which the region is known. Now there's another reason to visit: Wander, a collection of 10 two-bedroom glass-and-timber cottages on the northern shore of West Lake created by designer Shannon Hunter. Her minimalist-yet-cozy style takes cues from nature, with rooms clad in warm wood and accented with jute rugs. Picture windows frame the calming landscapes; heated concrete floors and firepits on the private decks are especially useful in winter (the resort is open year-round). Families, meanwhile, will love using the full kitchens and dining areas for big sit-down dinners; staff can provide a stocked refrigerator with produce and wine. wandertheresort.com; cottages from $470. — Heather Greenwood Davis

White Elephant Palm Beach — Florida

Lobby of White Elephant in Palm Beach
Credit: Courtesy of White Elephant

This bijou 32-room property feels more like home than a hotel (guests are already booking monthlong stays), staffed by an accommodating team that promptly learns your preferences. It's the sister hotel to the Nantucket icon, and the Florida outpost sits just two blocks from the Atlantic and a mere five minutes' drive from Worth Avenue via one of its BMWs, which guests are free to borrow. Interiors are punctuated with art from the owner's collection, including whimsical black-and-white illustrations by 10-year-old prodigy Doodle Boy and Fredrick Prescott's striking seven-foot-tall elephant sculpture, which presides over the entrance. In guest rooms, the typical Palm Beach pastels are eschewed for a palette of soothing neutrals, with marble, rattan, and stone accents. Underbed drawers and motion-sensing bedroom lighting are thoughtful touches. The hotel's restaurant, LoLa 41 (another Nantucket-based staple), has swiftly become the town's hottest spot, complete with a buzzy after-dark scene to which hotel guests enjoy front-row seats, sheltered beneath a canopy of coconut palms strung with fairy lights. whiteelephantpalmbeach.com; doubles from $650 – Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

White Water Cambria — California

Bathtub with a view at White Water Cambria
Credit: Courtesy of White Water Cambria

There's no shortage of hotels in the quaint beach town of Cambria, on California's Central Coast (about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles). But the options have mostly leaned toward dated or unremarkable properties that rely on the region's natural beauty to draw guests in. With the opening of White Water Cambria, though, visitors get an aesthetically pitch-perfect environment indoors, too. The 25 guest rooms—conceived by L.A.-based designer and author Nina Freudenberger—epitomize the kind of effortless, high-bohemian style that seems to exist only in the Golden State. It's a combination of Scandinavian-inspired minimalism; earthy, neutral wood accents; and whimsical flourishes of indoor-outdoor living (my Ocean View King room came with a forest-green bathtub on the front porch). Though there's no formal restaurant, wine, craft beer, cider, spirits, and light meals are served in the living-room-like lobby lounge, where guests can catch the sunset over Moonstone Beach, right across the road. In the mornings, a thermos of coffee and croissants are delivered to the room—one of the many little touches (like the Aesop bath products, the genuinely friendly staff, and in-room snacks from the L.A. temple of healthy eating Erewhon) that make a stay here so memorable. whitewatercambria.com; doubles from $299. —John Wogan

Wylder Hope Valley — California

Wylder Hope Valley Airstream trailer
Credit: Ren Fuller

Situated at a 7,000-feet elevation in the Sierra Nevada, just south of Lake Tahoe, the 165-acre Wylder Hope Valley strikes a well-calibrated balance between nostalgic simplicity and contemporary comfort. The property is the second offering from start-up hotel group Wylder and a reincarnation of the beloved (but dated) local institution Sorensen's Resort. Accommodations range from 27 newly renovated cabins to yurts, campsites, and a groovy vintage Spartan trailer, all nestled among pine and aspen forest, with some overlooking the chilly Carson River. While the cabins' restful, Scandinavian-inspired interiors may invite lingering, the true advantage of Wylder Hope Valley is easy year-round access to the area's spectacular outdoor activities. Hike, fish, bike, ski, or snowshoe to your heart's content, and then refuel with a cocktail and hearty meal on the restaurant's scenic deck (Sorensen's famous berry cobbler is still on offer) before capping the day with a restorative stint in the wood-fired sauna. wylderhotels.com; doubles from $247. —Maggie Shipstead