It List: The Best New Hotels 2014

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It List - The Best New Hotels: Fogo Island Inn
Iwan Baan

Introducing the 70 coolest new hotels that are changing the travel landscape, from Aruba to Zambia.

If the sun rises over the misty Umbrian hills and there’s nobody there to Facebook it, do the birds still tweet? You bet. And it’s a revelation. By deftly turning the ascetic tradition (monk-size single rooms, no Wi-Fi or TVs) into something decadent through fine linens and fine wines, the postcard-perfect Italian newcomer Eremito Hotelito del Alma is a cozy European hideaway that made us take note—by hand, of course.

Vetting the top contenders for the definitive roster of the world’s best new hotels saw us not just surrendering our phones, but logging thousands of miles from Patagonia to Palm Springs, CA. Researching Travel + Leisure’s ninth-annual It List isn’t a task we take lightly.

At the far-flung Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland—a 1,750-mile plane-car-ferry from Toronto—we discovered Modernist craftsmanship and a tight-knit community in a remote, art-filled outpost. While we crossed the world between Hotel Escondido’s pared-down Mexican palapas to the Cheval Blanc Rendheli’s over-the-top (overwater) Maldivian villas, a sophisticated clutch of new-wave beach resorts turned our heads.

Getting the details right separated exceptional hotels from merely excellent ones, like New York City’s The Quin, an urban trendsetter that has Bergdorf Goodman on speed-dial, and Tel Aviv’s Alma Hotel, a new design haven that crafted deer-head wall sculptures out of local seashells. Reflexology sessions at Vivanta by Taj–Gurgaon in New Delhi epitomize the playful perks of a next-gen business hotel.

Top hotels also changed the game this year, be it putting a new neighborhood on the map, like Mama Shelter Istanbul in Beyoglu, to reimagining the safari lodge. Richard Branson injected space-age whimsy into the tent design of his Mahali Mzuri camp on the Masai Mara in East Africa.

Our favorite new hotels didn’t skimp on scene either, whether that meant creating Chateau Marmont–level cool in Santa Monica, CA or après-ski glamour in the Swiss Alps. When it came to historical landmarks reborn, standouts included a 300-year-old Neoclassical palace in St. Petersburg, Russia that went so far as to include heated terraces off the suites.

Read on to find the 70 properties that are changing the travel landscape. —Justin Ocean

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

Edited by Jennifer Flowers, Jacqueline Gifford, and Nikki Ekstein.

Reported by Christine Ajudua, Bahar Akıncı, Tom Austin, Aimee Lee Ball, Vinita Bharadwaj, Amy Brownlee, Aric Chen, Jay Cheshes, Fiona Donnelly, Stephen Drucker, Amy Farley, Ozgur Gezer, Sarah Gilbert, Adrien Glover, Adam Graham, Darrell Hartman, Jimmy Im, David A. Keeps, Stirling Kelso, Rebecca Kleinman, Peter Jon Lindberg, Naomi Lindt, Alexandra Marshall, J.J. Martin, Mario R. Mercado, Sarah Miller, Shane Mitchell, Reggie Nadelson, Sheila Pierce, Kathryn O’Shea-Evans, Caroline Phillips, Brooke Porter, Kathy Roberson, Sophy Roberts, Bruce Schoenfeld, Clara O. Sedlak, Andrew Sessa, Patrick Sheehan, Gail Simmons, Samai Singh, Emma Sloley, Aatish Taseer, Laura Teusink, and Penny Watson.

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Beach Resort 2.0: Amanoi, Vinh Hy Bay, Vietnam

It List - The Best New Hotels: Amanoi
Christopher Wise

Hidden in a bay in Nui Chua National Park, one of Vietnam’s largest nature reserves, the newest hotel from Amanresorts seduces with its off-the-radar feel and minimalist design. Vietnamese-style sloping rooftops peek out from the sea of forestry, with all 31 guest pavilions comfortably spread apart and equipped with outdoor decks. During the day, we made a beeline for the 20,000-square-foot-spa, set at the base of a lotus-filled lake, and The Beach Club, overlooking otherworldly granite cliffs. $$$$

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Urban Trendsetters: Rosewood London

It List - The Best New Hotels: Rosewood London
Courtesy of Rosewood London

Set in a 1914 Belle Époque building, with 262 modern rooms and 44 suites, this Tony Chi–designed newcomer is poised to entice Mayfair regulars over to Holborn. From the glitzy bath amenities by Czech & Speake to the 1,000 books, handpicked by a Portobello antiques dealer, lining Scarfes Bar, the attention to detail is immaculate. And with just the right dash of playful whimsy (note the young, mustachioed bartenders shaking your martini), this is a refreshing turn for the brand. $$$$

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Safari Lodge Reimagined: Mara Toto, Kenya

It List - The Best New Hotels: Mara Toto
Courtesy of Maratoto

One of the reasons we love this new camp from sustainability-minded Great Plains Conservation? Having access to Kenya’s game-rich Masai Mara reserve as well as Mara North, where visitor numbers are capped. Another? The five canvas tents, on a riverine bend, offer all the trappings of a high-end safari stay—Persian rugs, brass chandeliers, en suite bathrooms. All-inclusive. $$$$$

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Neighborhood Game Changer: 21C Museum Hotel, Cincinnati

It List - The Best New Hotels: 21C Museum Hotel
Courtesy of 21C Museum Hotels

A decade of combined efforts has glammed up Cincy’s historic urban core; the 21c Museum Hotels Group did its part by turning a neglected 100-year-old downtown building into a hotel and contemporary art space with rotating exhibitions. Ever true to its mission, the brand’s founders, Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, preserved many of the original details—mosaic tile floors, large-scale arched windows—and filled each of the 156 modern rooms with original works. $$

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Next-Gen Business Hotel: Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai

It List - The Best New Hotels: Mandarin Oriental Pudong
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai

In the Pudong financial center, where high rises seem to multiply by the minute, visiting bankers now have a posh place to stay—and play. Mandarin Oriental’s first Shanghai property gives the business hotel a sybaritic twist: the 362 guest rooms all have deep soaking tubs, and most have Huangpu River views; the 13-suite spa extends over 26,000 square feet; and even the club lounge offers a laid-back, residential feel, with its extensive breakfast menu (try the locally made yangmei jam on your toast). Downstairs, restaurants such as Yong Yi Ting, headed by Shanghai celebrity chef Tony Lu, are already drawing regulars. $$$

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Landmark Reborn: D.O.M Hotel Roma

It List - The Best New Hotels: D.O.M Hotel Roma
Courtesy of D.O.M.

The prestigious Via Giulia, a leafy residential street for local aristocrats since the Renaissance, now has a hotel worthy of its pedigree. At the D.O.M Hotel, you feel both the past and present at once: a 17th-century former convent now houses a noirish, black-and-platinum lounge, a bistro-style restaurant with crystal chandeliers and Andy Warhol silkscreens, and 24 champagne-colored rooms that combine Art Deco and Midcentury Modern influences. Cross-vaulted corridors lead to a rooftop terrace bar, which serves up cutting-edge cocktails and charming rooftop views. $$$$

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Scene Maker: Topping Rose House, the Hamptons, New York

It List - The Best New Hotels: Topping Rose House
Michael Weber

Though the first-floor restaurant of this hotel, run by celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, is packed with a who’s who of Manhattanites, the overall atmosphere is still refreshingly low-key. You can idle away in the saltwater lap pool or roam the property’s crab apple orchards. Stay in the 1842 Greek Revival main house, reimagined with a modern twist by design maven Champalimaud Design, or in one of the four sleek stand-alone cottages. $$$$

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Remote Outpost: Cresto Ranch, Colorado

It List - The Best New Hotels: Cresto Ranch
Josie Parden/Courtesy of Cresto Ranch

The owners of Dunton Hot Springs, a once-abandoned mining town turned luxurious, high-altitude lodge, recently opened a permanent camp, just four miles down the trout-filled Dolores River. Eight sumptuous tents offer high-end touches while keeping the outdoors front and center, with gas stoves, full bathrooms, and handwoven Bolivian blankets. We spent our days hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and taking in valley views from the room’s private porch. All-inclusive. $$$$

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Cozy European Hideaway: Alavya, Turkey

It List - The Best New Hotels: Alavya
Courtesy of Alavya

It’s easy to see why Istanbul’s beautiful people are heading to Alavya, in Turkey’s summer playground of Alaçati. Located on the main drag of this coastal village, the 25-room retreat is in the heart of the action while managing to feel blissfully removed: each of the 25 rooms, housed in six stone mansions surrounding a shaded pool, is designed individually with contemporary regional art and handmade furnishings, and all feature stonework fireplaces and private patios. Don’t miss Mitu, a café-bar-bistro that also sells the eclectic clothing and accessories line of Turkish fashion editor Fatos Yalin. $$$

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Stylish Ski Resort: W Verbier, Switzerland

It List - The Best New Hotels: W Verbier
Courtesy of W Verbier

Starwood’s saucy-but-sophisticated W brand is perfect for laissez-faire Verbier, which previously had no five-star hotels, let alone a ski-in/ski-out resort at the base of this Swiss Alpine resort’s prime lift. The ultra-sportif destination also lacked chic après-ski offerings, butthis 123-room contemporary chalet-style spot has changed that, too. We loved the lighthearted décor by Dutch firm Concrete, the nightclub carved into the mountain, and the soothing spa—our go-to spot after a day on the slopes. $$$$

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High-Design Haven: Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Cambodia

It List - The Best New Hotels: Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Courtesy of Park Hyatt Siem Reap

Best known for high-style urban hotels, Park Hyatt is now dipping into the resort world with its first property in Cambodia. The brand asked Bangkok-based designer Bill Bensley to repolish one of his original works, the Hôtel de la Paix, adding two rooftop garden suites and contemporary Khmer-inspired art. From the soothing, open-plan guest rooms to the blissfully chill pool with an infinity edge, you’ll feel as if you’re staying in a hushed oasis—though Angkor Wat is just a 15-minute tuk-tuk ride away. $$

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Beach Resort 2.0: Bedarra Island Resort, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

It List - The Best New Hotels: Bedarra Island Resort
Courtesy of Bedarra

Damaged in 2011 by Cyclone Yasi, this private island resort is back with an eco-conscious focus after a top-to-bottom makeover. The old diesel generator was replaced with solar power; the number of rainforest villas was reduced from 16 to seven—all with a more modern look—to cut down on energy consumption (and add to the castaway feel). Spend your days lounging on the daybed by your room’s infinity-edge pool, stand-up paddleboarding, and picnicking on deserted islands. All-inclusive. $$$$$

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Urban Trendsetters: Ace Hotel London Shoreditch

It List - The Best New Hotels: Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
Michael James O-Brien

In the heart of London’s booming East End, this edgy urban hotel—the first overseas property for the American brand—is drawing a cool tech crowd for work and play. The 250 rooms, which have a gray, navy, and black color scheme, are lightened up with fun diversions (Rega turntables, Penguin Classics hardcovers, and, in some, Martin & Co. guitars). Downstairs, the lobby is equally engaging, with a communal table, photo booth, and of-the-moment Modernist brasserie, Hoi Polloi. $$

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Safari Lodge Reimagined: Mahali Mzuri, Kenya

It List - The Best New Hotels: Mahali Mzuri
Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Strung along a ridgeline in the Masai Mara, the latest property from business magnate Richard Branson is a futuristic riff on the classic East African lodge. The 12 tents—which resemble spaceships—mix traditional details (canopied beds, claw-foot tubs, handmade Kenyan textiles) with playful elements (spiky, sea urchin–style lights, rubber duckies in Masai garb). Guests spot game from the cliff-edge infinity pool, while a central fire pit is a hub for swapping safari tales over sundowners. All-inclusive. $$$$$

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Neighborhood Game Changer: Arts Boutique Hotel B, Lima, Peru

It List - The Best New Hotels: Arts Boutique Hotel B
Courtesy of B Arts Boutique Hotel

A gallery scene led by fashion photographer Mario Testino and his cultural space, MATE, is booming in Barranco, Lima’s former summer colony by the sea. Now you can stay in the neighborhood in style thanks to this 17-room jewel, which features major contemporary Latin American works in collaboration with the Lucía de la Puente Gallery next door. Curator Carlos Jiménez will arrange visits to all the area’s top art spaces. $$$

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Next-Gen Business Hotel: Conrad Beijing

It List - The Best New Hotels: Conrad Beijing
Courtesy of Conrad

The distinctive, honeycomb-like exterior by Ma Yonsong of MAD Architects is a perfect antecedent to the streamlined interiors of this business-focused hotel in the Chaoyang district. The 289 rooms offer creature comforts such as leather Eames chairs at the writing desks and heated marble bathroom floors. Positioned above the lobby, the red-and-black Whisky Bridge bar has fast become an insider’s favorite for drinks. $$

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Remote Outpost: Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel, Selfoss, Iceland

It List - The Best New Hotels: Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel
Courtesy of Ion Iceland

Day-trippers en route from Reykjavik to the Golden Circle—a trio of nearby natural attractions including the dramatic Gullfoss waterfall—finally have a place to stay the night. Design lovers will surely appreciate the concrete-and-glass structure at the lava-strewn base of the Hengill volcano: the 45 rooms feature neon sheepskin throws and local artwork; the geothermal spa is lined with blond wood; and the bar has floor-to-ceiling windows for views of the northern lights. $$

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Cozy European Hideaway: Wild Rabbit, the Cotswolds, U.K.

It List - The Best New Hotels: Wild Rabbit
Courtesy of The Wild Rabbit

Well-heeled Cotswolds regulars are raving about this village pub from local tastemaker Lady Carole Bamford—which now has 12 compact but comfortable rooms for visitors in addition to its light-filled 30-seat restaurant. Each is named for a woodland animal and features limed oak floors and chestnut and elm furniture. We were pleased by free Wi-Fi and well-placed outlets; dog-lovers will be delighted that canines are welcome. $

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Landmark Reborn: The Langham, Chicago

It List - The Best New Hotels: The Langham, Chicago
William Zbaren/Courtesy of The Langham, Chicago

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1972 IBM building is now a sumptuous hotel, featuring floor-to-ceiling views of the Chicago River or downtown from each of the spacious, high-tech rooms—and even some of the bathtubs. Expect detail-oriented service—everyone from the receptionist to the porter got to know us by name—and don’t forget to pack your bathing suit: the pool at the Chuan Spa is a welcome oasis in the Windy City. $$$

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Scene Maker: Palihouse, Santa Monica, CA

It List - The Best New Hotels: Palihouse
Courtesy of Palihouse Santa Monica

Hollywood types are championing this 1920s hotel, poised to be the new Chateau Marmont by the sea. The Mediterranean Revival building—two blocks from both the ocean and the Third Street promenade—maintains its storied charms, from stained glass windows to soaring beamed ceilings. The light-flooded lobby is equal parts workspace and hangout, and the loft-like rooms, with their Dean & DeLuca provisions and fully equipped kitchens, lend a decidedly residential feel. $$

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Beach Resort 2.0: Andaz Maui at Wailea

It List - The Best New Hotels: Andaz Maui at Wailea
Andaz Maui

It’s hard to believe that this property off Mokapu Beach—a four-and-a-half-mile stretch of golden sand—lay shuttered for years. Enter Andaz, which has transformed the former Renaissance into a chic resort with 297 minimalist rooms, three infinity pools, and a well-run spa. The overall vibe feels refreshingly modern, from the hosts greeting you in the open-air lobby, iPads in hand, to the farm-to-table restaurant, Kaana Kitchen, which serves a hearty Kalua pork Benedict. $$$$

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Remote Outpost: Gangtey Goenpa Lodge, Bhutan

It List - The Best New Hotels: Gangtey Goenpa Lodge
Chris Caldicott/Courtesy of Gante Goenpa Lodge

It takes a six-hour drive on a bumpy road from Paro to reach Bhutan’s Phobjikha Valley, a land of black-necked cranes, leopards, and 17th-century monasteries. The payoff: full immersion into Bhutanese culture and geography, with this 12-room lodge as your base. The luxury wood-and-stone retreat, a traditional farmhouse with painted ceiling beams, will soon launch hot-air balloon rides—a first for Bhutan—delivering a bird’s-eye view of the glacial valley. $$$$

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Stylish Ski Resort: Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland

It List - The Best New Hotels: Chedi Andermatt
The Chedi Andermatt

Switzerland’s rugged, lesser-explored Lepontine Alps, 70 miles south of Zürich, is home to a new ski resort that’s adding a much-needed dose of style to the former military town of Andermatt. The first European property for Singapore-based GHM Hotels blends Asian touches such as onsen-style baths with Modernist surfaces made of petrified wood and marble. Upstairs, the 104 enormous rooms each have window-through fireplaces, deep soaking tubs, and Hästens beds that make even the coldest nights feel inviting. $$$$

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High-Design Haven: Mira Moon Hotel, Hong Kong

t List - The Best New Hotels: Mira Moon Hotel
Courtesy of Design Hotels

The one thing great designers know? It’s all in the details. At this 91-room hotel, Dutch interiors whiz Marcel Wanders considered every inch of space—in each corridor, tiny backlit silhouettes of rabbits channel the Chinese Moon Festival fairy tale. The service is attentive, yet discreet—fitting for a place that despite its over-the-top design (think overscale peonies, splashy chinoiserie, and crystal-cut mirrors galore) feels refreshingly relaxed. $$

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Beach Resort 2.0: Cheval Blanc Randheli, the Maldives

It List - The Best New Hotels: Cheval Blanc Randheli
Cheval Blanc

Leave it to luxury-goods group LVMH to raise the bar in a destination already filled with high-profile retreats. Set on Noonu atoll, the brand’s second resort features 45 palatial villas designed by starchitect Jean-Michel Gathy: think 23-foot ceilings, private pools, and indoor-outdoor living rooms. Some are set over-the-water, and all come with butlers. Other decadent trappings: a spa on its own island and moonlit dinners set up on a floating pontoon. $$$$$

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Safari Lodge Reimagined: Chinzombo, Zambia

It List - The Best New Hotels: Chinzombo
Micky Hoyle

In an area of Zambia famously dense with hippos, Chinzombo stands out not only for its location along the Luangwa River, but also for its stylish austerity: sawhorse tables and white campaign chairs lend an upscale military feel to the main lodge, where you’ll see vintage photos of safari legend Norman Carr. The true gem, though, is Abraham Banda, the head guide, who led us to unforgettable wildlife encounters. All-inclusive. $$$$$

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Remote Outpost: Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland

It List - The Best New Hotels: Fogo Island Inn
Iwan Baan

It takes some legwork to get here: multiple flights, a drive, a ferry, perhaps even an overnight in tiny St. John. But Fogo Island Inn is worth the effort. Set on a remote island in the North Atlantic, the 29-room hotel—a pair of modern white rectangles on stilts by Newfoundland native Todd Saunders—is filled with locally crafted furnishings made in collaboration with international designers. No detail is overlooked, from the cozy wood-burning stoves to the pro binoculars for spotting breaching humpbacks, but Fogo’s heart and soul comes courtesy of its community hosts, each equipped to unlock the rich traditions of this tight-knit fishing town. $$$$

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Neighborhood Game Changer: InterContinental Marseille–Hotel Dieu, France

It List - The Best New Hotels: InterContinental Marseille
Courtesy of InterContinental Marseille - Hotel Dieu

Marseilles’s emerging art hub, Le Panier can also lay claim to the city’s first real grande dame of a luxury hotel. A three-year renovation of a landmark 12th-century hospital, the InterContinental has a splendid location, with sight lines to the Vieux Port and across the water to the cathedral, known locally as La Bonne Mère. Everyone in town gathers for craft cocktails on the 8,000-square-foot terrace, with somewhere to be seen at last. $$

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Urban Trendsetters: ME London

It List - The Best New Hotels: ME London
ME London

Foster + Partners’ first hotel in the U.K. is a fabulously futuristic addition to the area around Covent Garden. For the lobby of this triangular building, once the Gaiety Theatre, the architectural firm created a phenomenal nine-story, white marble–lined pyramid atrium. All 157 of the modern rooms are flooded with light, and the rooftop bar, Radio, commands sweeping city views, from Nelson’s Column to the Shard. $$$$

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Next-Gen Business Hotel: Vivanta by Taj–Gurgaon, NCR, India

It List - The Best New Hotels: Vivanta by Taj-Gurgaon
Courtesy of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

Business hotels today are just as much about fun as they are about work, and this newcomer to New Delhi’s suburban business district, from Taj Hotels & Resorts’ lifestyle brand, is no exception. The 208 light-filled guest rooms, punctuated with local details such as intricate jaali wood screens, are a welcome respite for weary travelers. Guests with spare time between meetings can recharge with a reflexology session at Jiva Spa, schedule a free workout with a personal trainer, or have the concierge arrange a number of experiences—a guided street-food tour, access to private art collections, or even a lesson in the esteemed art of kabootar bazi (pigeon flying). $

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Scene Maker: Redbury Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach

It List - The Best New Hotels: Redbury Hotel South Beach
Courtesy of Redbury South Beach

The latest entry from the SBE Group lures the gliteratti thanks to its sexy, Rat Pack–does–SoBe vibe. The visionary behind the glamorous look: photographer and music video director Matthew Rolston, who filled the rooms with 1960s Fillmore theater concert posters and vintage record players (yes, old-school albums are included). Though the hotel isn’t on the beach, guests have access to a massive rooftop pool deck and sister hotel the Raleigh’s happening oceanfront club, just a short stroll away. $$$

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Landmark Reborn: Aman Canal Grande, Venice

It List - The Best New Hotels: Aman Canal Grande
Simon Watson

Palazzo Papadopoli, the longtime residence of a noble family from Bergamo, now doubles as an exclusive, 24-suite retreat with original frescoes, intuitive service, and a waterfront entrance off the Grand Canal. And if the newly redone interiors bear more than a hint of history, there’s good reason: a staff of 100 spent a good 18 months restoring all the original furnishings, Murano chandeliers, and intricate crown moldings. Spend afternoons sipping wine in the waterfront garden—it’s the epitome of Venetian exclusivity. $$$$$

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Remote Outpost: Outlook Lodge, Colorado Springs, CO

It List - The Best New Hotels: Outlook Lodge
Courtesy of Outlook Lodge

Set off a dirt road nearly 8,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains, this six-room inn in a converted parish house has the feel of an Eisenhower-era residence in suburban Chicago—only the Modigliani print is missing. A local host will greet you on property, but other than that, you’re on your own. After a day spent hiking the area trails, head back to lounge by the outdoor fire pit, sit on the wraparound porch, and prepare dinner in the shiny communal kitchen. $

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Cozy European Hideaway: Domaine de la Baume, Provence, France

It List - The Best New Hotels: Domaine de la Baume
Domaine de la Baume

An 18th-century mansion near the town of Tourtour strips away the Provençal sage and lavender clichés to expose the colorful, passionate spirit of the original owner, expressionist painter Bernard Buffet. In the 15 rooms, French interior designer Jocelyne Sibuet mixes bright sunflower yellows and reds with antiques and lithographs. Guests can explore the 99-acre estate with one of the resident horses, or try a restorative after-sun neroli treatment at the Pure Altitude Spa. $$$$

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High-Design Haven: The Sparrows, Palm Springs, CA

It List - The Best New Hotels: The Sparrows
Roger Davies

Architect Douglas Smith and his hotelier wife Josie, who sold their Palm Springs Moroccan oasis, Korakia, in 2007, play host to a design and movie industry crowd at this one-acre, palm-and-citrus-dotted compound offering 20 spacious but sparsely furnished rooms—most with private outdoor spaces. Serenity prevails by the saltwater pool, while the restored 1950s barn is a more sociable hangout, with a bar serving California wines, Lillet, and Red Stripe. $

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Stylish Ski Resort: L’Apogée Courchevel, France

It List - The Best New Hotels: L'Apogée Courchevel
Courtesy of L'Apogee Courchevel

This stylish new retreat from the Oetker Collection—the group now behind Paris’s beloved Le Bristol—has brought understated elegance back to Courchevel, the French ski retreat more recently known for its overabundance of oligarchs. Iranian architect India Mahdavi partnered with Paris-based Joseph Dirand to design the retreat in a sophisticated residential style (velvets and leathers, black marble, brushed brass) to create a cozy atmosphere in the 20 rooms and 35 suites, the casual bistro-bar, and the formal French restaurant. Travel light if you’d like: the hotel has a top-flight gear-rental shop with ski-in/ski-out access to the region’s 375 miles of piste. $$$$

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Remote Outpost: Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort and Spa, China

It List - The Best New Hotels: Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort and Spa
Courtesy of Anantara

China’s tropical Dai prefecture, located in the southernmost corner of Yunnan Province, is a culture-rich region seldom visited by foreigners. That’s about to change with the arrival of this 80-suite, 23-villa resort that’s adding a much-needed dose of luxury to the area. Set along a wide river bend that feeds into the Mekong, the resort takes its design cues from the local Dai tribe, with pitched teak ceilings and bright native fabrics. Book one of the courtyard-style villas with a private swimming pool. $$$

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Beach Resort 2.0: Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

It List - The Best New Hotels: Eden Roc at Cap Cana
Courtesy of Eden Roc at Cap Cana

With its white Côte d’Azur–style buildings and Mediterranean restaurant, Eden Roc could easily be mistaken for a resort on the French Riviera. Look closer, however, and this is pure Caribbean: powdery white sand, lush jungle, and 34 villas and suites done up in tropical shades. The area offers plenty to do (ATV riding, cave diving), but we were happy to stay put at the hotel and zip around in a private golf cart from the small but lovely beach to La Palapa bar come evening. $$$$

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Urban Trendsetters: London Edition

It List - The Best New Hotels: London Edition
Simon Watson

The latest collaboration between legendary hotelier Ian Schrager and Marriott International is luring a high-gloss crowd (George Clooney, Kate Moss) to Fitzrovia. The lobby wows with its large Ingo Maurer egg chandelier, glamorous bar, and billiard table; turn right and you’re in portrait-lined Berners Tavern, a modern British restaurant helmed by chef Jason Atherton. Away from these very social spaces, the 173 rooms are wood-paneled havens, with custom Le Labo bath amenities and rainforest showers. $$$$

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Neighborhood Game Changer: Mama Shelter Istanbul

It List - The Best New Hotels: Mama Shelter Istanbul
Francis Amiand/Courtesy of Mama Shelter Istanbul

Craving an alternative to the touristy zones around Hagia Sophia? This 81-room hotel has set up shop along bustling Istiklal Caddesi, in trendy Beyoglu. Expect the same winning mix of high style and low prices from the French brand, with colorful interiors by Philippe Starck (superhero masks by the bed, map-print carpets emblazoned with “Constantinople” and “Byzance”) and a restaurant conceived by notable French chefs Alain Senderens and Jérôme Banctel. $

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Next-Gen Business Hotel: Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers, Azerbaijan

It List - The Best New Hotels: Fairmont Baku, Flame Towers
Courtesy of FRHI Hotels & Resorts

From the two-story Espa spa to the 20-foot custom chandelier in the lobby, the Fairmont Baku, part of the monumental Flame Towers complex, exudes luxury—no doubt for the oil tycoons checking in. Adding to the allure: the hotel houses the first French restaurant in the city (an all-white bistro with an open kitchen, where Baku society go to people-watch) and a standout club floor with a magnificent library—you’ll find more than 200 books in English, Russian, French, and Azerbaijani. $$

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Landmark Reborn: J.W. Marriott Cusco, Peru

It List - The Best New Hotels: J.W. Marriott Cusco
Courtesy of Marriott

After a painstaking six-and-a-half-year restoration, with intermittent halts as Inca and pre-Colombian artifacts were excavated, this former 16th-century convent has finally opened. The property manages to respect Spanish colonial elements (brick colonnades, an interior cloister, flagstone patios) while providing modern comforts (enormous beds, rain showers, Wi-Fi). The hotel is set within the landmark district, a definite advantage for exploring the hidden squares and steep cobbled streets of the city center. $$

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Scene Maker: Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya, Israel

It List - The Best New Hotels: Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya
Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Herzliya

This $180 million hotel opening, five years in the making, has upped the ante on luxury in Israel’s Silicon Valley, delivering a level of white-glove service that’s seldom found in the Holy Land. Case in point: inside the 197 rooms you’ll find Frette linens, Studio Gaia tubs, and mini-bars stocked with Max Brenner pralines. Head for the rooftop pool deck, where locals sip spice-infused cocktails while watching the sun dip behind the country’s largest marina. $$$

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Remote Outpost: Nayara Springs, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

It List - The Best New Hotels: Nayara Springs
Blasius Erlinger

Proof you’re in paradise: 16 airy villas, set along a jungle-swathed ravine, fitted with Venetian mirrors, hand-loomed rugs, and greenstone-lined plunge pools filled with mineral-rich spring waters, courtesy of the adjacent Arenal Volcano. Ask your personal host to arrange a tour with one of the expert local guides, who will lead you to spot howler monkeys, metallic blue morpho butterflies, and mimosa plants that snap shut when touched. $$$$

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Cozy European Hideaway: Orsone Ristorante, Taverna e B&B, Friuli, Italy

It List - The Best New Hotels: Orsone Ristorante
Courtesy of Orsone Ristorante e B&B

Famous for their stateside temples to Italian cuisine, mom-and-son restaurateurs Lidia and Joe Bastianich looked to the motherland for their first hotel. On the family wine estate in Friuli, a 19th-century farm building now houses six wood-beamed rooms, a casual tavern focusing on American gastropub fare (lobster roll, anyone?), and an elevated restaurant whose chefs trained at Joe’s Michelin-starred Del Posto in New York City. Here, you can tuck into white-truffle-topped agnolotti with the Italian Alps in clear view. $$

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High-Design Haven: Dusit Devarana New Delhi

It List - The Best New Hotels: Dusit Devarana New Delhi
Ashish Chawla

The sleepy 20-mile stretch linking India’s capital to its Gurgaon business district now has a sumptuous oasis worth stopping for. Dusit Devarana is the first Indian outpost for family-owned Thai hotel company Dusit International, and also marks the debut of the group’s Devarana luxury brand, which caters to power brokers and sybarites alike. To wit, there are 50 light-filled rooms, a 330-foot black tiled pool, acres of manicured gardens, and three ambitious restaurants that are drawing in locals. Our favorite detail: a massive wall of metal ficus leaves in the lobby, with each leaf individually crafted by designer John Bowman. $$

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Beach Resort 2.0: Hotel Escondido, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

It List - The Best New Hotels: Hotel Escondido
Courtesy of Hotel Escondido

As a five-time It List winner, Mexico-based brand Grupo Habita knows a thing or two about buzzy hotels. Its latest property—set amid nopal cacti on an empty stretch of beach—is just north of the laid-back surfing town of Puerto Escondido. It’s all about relaxing here, whether it’s by the minimalist oceanfront infinity pool or in one of the 16 airy, thatched-roof bungalows—which also come with private pools. At night, head to the central pavilion, where there’s a restaurant serving Oaxacan moles. $$$

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High-Design Haven: J.K. Place Roma

It List - The Best New Hotels: J.K. Place Roma
Matthieu Salvaing

Like its sister hotels in Florence and Capri, this intimate, 30-room property is destined for a connoisseur traveler with impeccable taste—someone who appreciates a library curated like a museum bookshop, free in-room drinks, and an elevator with a luscious velvet couch. But despite the sophisticated design (architect Michele Bönan custom-commissioned everything, down to the gilded mirror frames), this is a cozy, inviting hotel with staff that is eager to please. $$$$

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Urban Trendsetters: Viceroy New York

It List - The Best New Hotels: Viceroy New York
Courtesy of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

One of the sleekest Manhattan openings might just be the Viceroy, a black brick-and-steel tower offering a glimpse of Central Park from its upper floors. The narrow lobby—Pavonazzo marble, polished brass fittings—evokes an Art Deco club, and the soon-to-open rooftop bar is poised to be a hot ticket. Though some of the 240 rooms are on the small side, all are beautifully outfitted with West African iroko wood and buttery tufted-leather settees. $$$

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Next-Gen Business Hotel: The Oberoi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

It List - The Best New Hotels: The Oberoi, Dubai
Courtesy of The Oberoi, Dubai

In a city obsessed with superlatives, the India-based hotel group’s Middle East debut is a statement-making, gleaming steel-and-glass high-rise, located in Business Bay, a developing business district where an emerging cadre of luxury hotels try to outdo each other. The Oberoi’s approach? A slew of pampering amenities, from butler-delivered chocolate truffles to complimentary yoga classes. And don’t forget the airy, ayurveda-inspired spa: it’s the only one in Dubai with 24-hour service. $$

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Landmark Reborn: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, The Caledonian

It List - The Best New Hotels: The Caledonian
Courtesy of The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Edinburgh’s former Victorian railway terminal has been reborn as an inviting escape, thanks to Waldorf Astoria. Among the brand’s achievements: converting the fifth-floor servant’s quarters into character-packed suites with sloped ceilings, and bringing in London’s acclaimed Galvin brothers to run the ambitious bistro downstairs. The many reasons to stay include unparalleled views of Edinburgh Castle and a well-vetted selection of scotch (ask for a guided tasting in the Caley Bar). $$

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Remote Outpost: Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort, United Arab Emirates

It List - The Best New Hotels: Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort
Courtesy of Anantara

Only an hour’s flight from the vertiginous towers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Anantara’s Al Sahel Villa Resort feels worlds away, thanks to its location amid the savanna-like grasslands of Sir Bani Yas Island’s famed Arabian Wildlife Park. Game drives and sunrise treks through the island’s valley offer chance encounters with native gazelles and oryx, while the 30 African- and Arab-inspired villas are fitted with private plunge pools and shaded verandas. $$$$

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Cozy European Hideaway: Quartopiano B&B de Charme, Modena, Italy

It List - The Best New Hotels: Quartopiano B&B de Charme
Courtesy of Quatropiano

The culinary mecca of Modena finally has a proper place to recover from that Parmigiano-Reggiano-induced food coma. Located atop an apartment building, the two-room Quartopiano feels like your own Italian pied-à-terre, with white-linen sofas, locally made bedding, and—a treat—freshly baked pastries delivered each morning. Both rooms come with access to your two new Italian best friends, owners Alessandro Bertoni and Antonio Di Resta, who will point you to the region’s best foodie experiences. $

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Beach Resort 2.0: Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

It List - The Best New Hotels: Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Aruba

A quiet haven on bustling Palm Beach, the Ritz-Carlton is redefining luxury for this popular Caribbean island. No flimsy loungers here: the seaside chairs and cabanas are plush and perfectly spaced; the spa is Aruba’s largest; and all 320 rooms (earth-toned, with pops of blue and yellow) have ocean views. The staff is unfailingly gracious: we watched them surprise a little girl with a crown and cake for her birthday. She had turned four—and a half (!). $$$$

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Urban Trendsetters: The Refinery, New York City

It List - The Best New Hotels: The Refinery, New York City
Rick Lew

This 197-room hotel is breathing new life into the gritty Fashion District. The turn-of-the-century building—once a hat factory—now embraces a darkly gothic look of antiqued bronze fittings, oak hardwood floors, and gray tweed upholstery. After dinner at the in-house restaurant, Parker & Quinn, a throwback tavern that serves unapologetically basic fried oysters and juicy rib eyes, head for the rooftop bar, already an instant hangout for citizens of Gotham who appreciate a skyline view. $$$

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Next-Gen Business Hotel: Thompson Chicago

It List - The Best New Hotels: Thompson Chicago
Thompson Hotels

With floor-to-ceiling lobby windows overlooking one of the busiest corners of Chicago’s tony Gold Coast, the newly rechristened Thompson Hotel Chicago (formerly Sutton Place) doesn’t have to try hard to be noticed. Under the care of British designer Tara Bernerd, the interiors are all Midcentury Modern, with curving lines, cream leather couches, and deliciously tweedy fabrics. As for the lobby fireplace: practically overnight, it has become the spot for sipping whiskey before an oh-so-Mad Men backdrop. $

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Remote Outpost: Sala Lodges, Siem Reap, Cambodia

It List - The Best New Hotels: Sala Lodges
Courtesy of Sala Lodges Hotel

Visitors to Siem Reap flock to the jungle-covered, centuries-old temples such as Angkor Wat. Now you can experience another, quieter side of Cambodia at Sala Lodges, a countryside retreat one mile outside of the city. The 11 stand-alone villas, fashioned from restored wooden Khmer houses, each have ornate, clay-tiled roofs, latticed exteriors, sprawling verandas, and rustic, rough-hewn beds. We appreciated a sunset dip in the infinity-edge pool—a welcome respite from the tropical climate. $$

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Landmark Reborn: Prince de Galles, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris

It List - The Best New Hotels: Prince de Galles
Courtesy of The Luxury Collection

This 1928 Art Deco hotel, originally built for the eponymous Prince of Wales (once an annual guest), has become Paris’s new see-and-be-seen spot. Modern-classic master Pierre-Yves Rochon has filled the lobby and rooms with giltwood, Macassar ebony, and black marble, creating an old-meets-new vibe that honors the property’s past and ushers it into another golden age. Try the smoked blue lobster at La Scène, the downstairs restaurant by French Top Chef winner Stephanie Le Quellec. $$$$

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High-Design Haven: Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul

It List - The Best New Hotels: Shangri-La Bosphorus
Courtesy of Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul

Just outside the financial district, this 186-room spot from the Hong Kong–based hotel group sparkles with handmade Czech chandeliers and Turkish marble floors—in keeping with the property’s East-meets-West style. Just over half of the airy, light-filled rooms feature sweeping views of the strait. Be sure to book time at the hammam and a table at the signature Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace, which serves faultless Peking duck and dim sum. $$$

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Beach Resort 2.0: Ritz-Carlton, Naples, FL

It List - The Best New Hotels: Ritz-Carlton, Naples
Courtesy of Ritz Carlton

The Gulf Coast grande dame that awakened southwest Florida from its hotel slumber more than a quarter century ago is making waves again. The contemporary guest rooms, which now have a residential feel, are newly punctuated with pops of citron and have fun touches such as mirrors framed in oyster shells. Naples insiders are raving about the balanced craft cocktails and out-of-this-world sushi at Dusk, the hotel’s new lobby-level lounge. $$$$

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Cozy European Hideaway: Eremito Hotelito del Alma, Terni, Italy

It List - The Best New Hotels: Eremito Hotelito del Alma
Courtesy of Eremito

The Umbrian hillside retreat’s digital detox policy: No Wi-Fi, no TVs, and no phones. It’s all part of the rejuvenating experience encouraged by this monastery-style stay 90 minutes north of Rome, where 14 cell-like single rooms (that’s right, no doubles), vegetarian meals (eaten largely in silence), yoga, meditation, and a thermal spa allow for blissful removal from the daily grind. Eremito never feels ascetic, however: the food (and even wine!) is richly delicious, the linens extra soft, the views postcard-worthy. $$$$

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Landmark Reborn: D’Angleterre, Copenhagen

It List - The Best New Hotels: D'Angleterre
Courtesy of D'Angleterre

Once a meeting place for Enlightenment-age statesmen and European royalty, the D’Angleterre has become the city’s most exciting place to stay, newly renovated with Dux beds in the rooms and a Warhol portrait of Denmark’s queen in the lobby. Also included in the two-year, top-to-bottom refresh: a New Nordic restaurant headed by Ronny Emborg, one of the country’s most exciting young chefs, and a swanky champagne bar, where 160 varieties of bubbly can be paired with oysters, caviar, and local cheeses. $$$

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Urban Trendsetters: St. Regis New York

It List - The Best New Hotels: St. Regis New York
Courtesy of The St. Regis New York

Though the renovation of this 238-room landmark may appear subtle—brightened color schemes, updated furnishings—we hear it cost a whopping $90 million. Part of the price tag: a reimagined King Cole Bar & Salon, now under the dual direction of the hotel’s executive chef Baasim Zafar and New York heavyweight John DeLucie, who have transformed the once-stuffy Astor Court into a modern lounge with a menu that skews global. Don’t miss the Italian meatballs and masala-crusted lamb chops. $$$$$

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Beach Resort 2.0: Nizuc, Cancún, Mexico

It List - The Best New Hotels: Nizuc
Courtesy of Nizuc

In a resort scene where form often lags far behind function, Nizuc shows off a cool minimalism that is at once understated and luxurious. With a muted, masculine palette of charcoal and dark burnished wood, interiors skew more TriBeCa loft than Caribbean holiday; stepping from the blazing heat into your room is like a dip in a cool cenote. Outside, you’ll find two beaches and six restaurants—the best of them, Ni, serves standout Peruvian ceviche. $$$

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Beach Resort 2.0: The Cove Eleuthera Resort & Spa, the Bahamas

It List - The Best New Hotels: The Cove Eleuthera Resort & Spa
Courtesy of The Cove

Set on a secluded stretch of pink sand on the Caribbean side of Eleuthera, the Cove always had a spectacular setting. But after a top-to-bottom renovation, including the addition of a second beach—the 40-acre property now sports a sleeker look: 60 whitewashed rooms with travertine floors, an infinity pool, and an open-air sunset bar, our favorite hangout. Order the local Goombay Smash cocktail and watch for the elusive green flash as the sun sinks behind the horizon. $$

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Landmark Reborn: Four Seasons Lion Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia

It List - The Best New Hotels: Four Seasons Lion Palace
Peter Vitale/Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg

Russian socialites gathered at this palace in the 1800s. Three centuries later, it’s a haven of modern comfort (heated terraces off the suites, acres of marble in each bathroom), all behind a signature yellow Neoclassical façade. But this updated landmark still offers a window into the imperial past, with service fit for a queen, a coveted location (just a stone’s throw from the Hermitage Museum), and those twin lions—immortalized in a famous Pushkin poem—still guarding the entrance. $$

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Urban Trendsetters: The Quin, New York City

t List - The Best New Hotels: The Quin, New York City
Courtesy of Quin

Occupying a prime corner on Sixth Avenue and 57th Street, the Quin is an urbane newcomer with the reverent style of a gallery. The soaring gold, white, and gray marble lobby has a 15-foot photo wall, which rotates contemporary works every 90 days; permanent pieces from Blek le Rat and Wulf Von Treu (considered the German Basquiat) are on some of the guest room floors. But it’s the staff that really shines, from the plugged-in concierge team to the doormen happy to tote shopping bags back to the hotel. $$$$

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Remote Outpost: Awasi Patagonia, Chile

It List - The Best New Hotels: Awasi Patagonia
Courtesy of Awasi Patagonia

The end of the earth feels closer to home at this boutique property, set in the southern province of Última Esperanza, where gauchos on horseback still drive cattle along the roads. Designed by noted Chilean architect Felipe Assadi, the lodge’s 12 contemporary villas face glacial lakes and the snowcapped Torres del Paine massif. Constructed from indigenous lenga wood, each has a fireplace, sheepskin rugs, and a hot tub for soaking after treks with your personal guide on the windblown pampas. All-inclusive. $$$$$

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Cozy European Hideaway: Castell son Claret, Majorca, Spain

It List - The Best New Hotels: Castell son Claret
Courtesy of Castell Son Claret

In a less-visited corner of Majorca’s Tramuntana range, the limestone Castell son Claret is delightfully discreet for a destination chock-full of high-profile resorts. Inside an 18th-century building, 38 rooms and suites are outfitted with large armoires and soft leather headboards. (Book a room facing the Versailles-style front garden.) Between day trips to the area’s white-sand beaches, we sampled partridge terrine with foie gras and bream confit at the hotel’s experimental Michelin-starred Zaranda restaurant. $$$

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High-Design Haven: Alma Hotel & Lounge, Tel Aviv

It List - The Best New Hotels: Alma Hotel & Lounge
Courtesy of Alma Hotel

Run by siblings Adi and Irit Strauss, Tel Aviv’s coolest new boutique hotel is an elegantly renovated townhouse of 15 stylized rooms, each designed with quirky objects such as leather-drum coffee tables and deer head wall sculptures made out of seashells. Its celebrity chef, Yonatan Roshfeld, concocts Mediterranean tapas for the hotel’s buzzy restaurant, Alma Lounge: he’ll also conduct a cooking class upon request. $$$

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