It List 2020: Our Editors' Picks of the Best New Hotels in the World

Camissa House in Cape Town, South Africa
Photo: Courtesy of Camissa House

A great hotel offers more than merely a place to rest your head and stow your stuff between sightseeing excursions. A truly standout property can offer new insight into a beloved place; bring fresh energy to a been-there, done-that neighborhood; even become a destination in its own right. That’s why we here at T+L spend months obsessively tracking new openings and major overhauls, consulting our trusted network of travel pros and jetsetting writers, and traversing the globe in search of the most memorable, game-changing hotels of the year for our annual It List.

This year, our guide to the essential openings (and reopenings) of the past year took us to 32 countries in pursuit of the unforgettable. Over the course of 2019, T+L writers and editors have trekked to a remote West Texas escape that feels like a supersize Donald Judd sculpture, hooked trout at a fly-fishing retreat in remote Patagonia, and soaked in the spring-fed baths of a Taiwan resort until their fingers went pruney — tough work, but we’re just that committed to the cause. This isn’t merely a list of the most high-end resorts, nor is it a who’s-who of major hotel chains, though you’ll find both splurgey stays and familiar brands in the mix. Instead, we’ve aimed to showcase the properties that are at the top of their game and adding something new to the conversation, whether they’re century-old stalwarts fresh off a major reno or intimate family-run boutiques that hit the sweet spot between hotel hospitality and vacation-rental hominess.

Ahead, you’ll find a stay for every style and mood. There’s a Loire Valley château, reborn as a grande dame for the modern era. A sleek beach retreat in Asbury Park challenges the notion that the Jersey Shore is merely a regional summer hang for the tri-state area, and in Queens, the converted TWA terminal has thrown down the gauntlet for airport hotels the world over. We’ve got end-of-the-world escapes in Bolivia and Namibia, chic city hotels in Cape Town and the UAE, and wellness resorts that will suit both hardcore health nuts and the merely spa-curious. Read on for all 72 properties on the 2020 It List — your next vacation spot awaits.

Edited by Lila Harron Battis & John Wogan


Jao Camp (Wilderness Safaris) — Okavango Delta, Botswana

Guest tented room at Jao Camp, Botswana, Africa
Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris

In 2019, Wilderness Safaris’ Jao Camp — in the 150,000-acre Jao Reserve, a private concession in northern Botswana’s wildlife-rich Okavango Delta — went through its first rebuild since it opened in 1999. The result is light and modern, with two villas and five large, open-plan suites done in shades of amethyst, tan, charcoal, and gray-blue. Heavy thatch has been switched out for low-maintenance, recycled-plastic strips that look like the real deal from afar, and swing chairs dangle from lofty rafters. A giraffe skeleton stands in the “knowledge center,” a gallery/museum hybrid. Between private game drives, mokoro (dugout canoe) excursions, helicopter flights, and sundowners in the bush, you can chill in your private plunge pool and watch impalas, elephants, and swooping woodland kingfishers. Doubles from $1,285 per person, all-inclusive. — Heather Richardson

The Oberoi Marrakech — Marrakesh, Morocco

Oberoi Hotel in Marrakech
Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Marrakesh offers an embarrassment of riches when it comes to upscale resorts, but few can now compete with the Oberoi, which is set on 28 acres of olive and orange groves with views of the Atlas Mountains. Its central building is modeled on one of the city’s most famous historic sites, the 16th-century Meder­sa Ben Youssef, with ornate stucco and zellige tiles, cedar ceilings, and reflecting pools that seem to extend all the way to the horizon. I found enough to do on site that I almost forgot about the city beyond: each of the 84 guest rooms and villas has a private terrace and swimming pool, and there are fitness classes, hammam and spa treatments, falconry, wine tastings, and an ayurvedic wellness center that offers weeklong retreats. And — should you choose to stray off-campus — the enchanting medina is accessible via the house Mer­cedes at a moment’s notice. Doubles from $760. — Paul Brady

Zannier Hotels Sonop — Karas, Namibia

Sonop in Karas, Namibia
Courtesy of Zannier Hotels Sonop

From out in the Namib Desert, Sonop is almost invisible, so well camouflaged are its 10 spacious tents on their hill of sun-warmed boulders. From inside my tent — a vintage-safari fantasia with a four-poster bed, a claw-foot tub, and pith helmets — the desert enfolded me in a vast, silent emptiness, with herds of oryx wandering the land and velvety pastels washing the sky at sunset. Days were spent exploring the desert with guides, lounging by the pool, or indulging in a spa treatment. Dinner was an elegant affair at a long communal table, followed by stargazing or billiards in the bar tent. The mostly local staff suffused even the smallest interactions with warmth. “Maybe you would like something?” they’d ask, and whether the something was a cocktail or a private alfresco movie screening at dusk, it was provided with a smile. It’s that meeting of the human and the sublime that makes Sonop so memorable. Doubles from $693 per person, all-inclusive. — Maggie Shipstead

Magashi (Wilderness Safaris) — Akagera, Rwanda

Tented camp at Magashi Camp, Akagera, Rwanda, Africa
Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris

From the first glass of sparkling tree-tomato juice, Magashi sets out to impress. The latest opening from ecotourism operator Wilderness Safaris disrupts the notion that Rwanda is a destination only for costly primate trekking, offering travelers a front-row seat to see the comeback of sole savannah ecosystem, Akagera National Park, where the large mammal population has ballooned from 4,000 to 14,000 in the past decade. That’s plenty to wow guests, who have the exclusive on intimate, unhurried Big Five sightings by boat or adapted vehicle within a lush private concession. Six solar-powered tents, with king beds draped romantically in rose-colored mosquito nets, hug Lake Rwanyakazinga. Abundance is a theme that spills into cuisine, with family-style lunches and three-course dinners drawing from indigenous ingredients and tradition. When night falls around the fire pit, G&Ts and Virunga Mist beers fuel breathless tales of the day’s encounters — and build anticipation for the next. Doubles from $470 per person. — Kathryn Romeyn

One&Only Gorilla's Nest — Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

One&Only Gorilla's Nest, Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Courtesy of One & Only Hotels

Travelers making the trek to see Rwanda’s mountain gorillas are now spoiled for choice thanks to several new luxury lodges. And those seeking outright opulence will be thrilled with One&Only Gorilla’s Nest. The property’s 21 rooms and suites are built tree-house style in a lush landscape created with thousands of plants and flowers tended to by a team of staff gardeners. The décor throughout is rich and textured, mixing African textiles and art with contemporary furniture and finishes. Every room has a fireplace and a deck, and the one- and two-bedroom suites have outdoor showers (the Virunga suite even has an open-air soaking tub). The food, in the hands of the talented husband-and-wife chefs Bryan and Louise English, is equally sophisticated, blending African and international techniques into daily-changing menus. After a long day mucking through the jungle, few things are better than a pair of slippers (provided while your boots are cleaned) and Louise’s pastries. Doubles from $3,485— James Rumney

Singita Kwitonda — Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Singita Kwitonda Lodge
Courtesy of Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Among the most striking symbols of Rwanda's unlikely transformation into one of the world's leading ecotourism destinations is the new Singita Kwitonda Lodge. The expansive property sits at the base of the extinct Virunga volcanoes, where the central African nation's most renowned natural attraction — the 340-odd endangered mountain gorillas — live in jungles protected from poachers by armed rangers. The lodge feels as if it sprouted naturally from the location itself: Each of the dozen free-standing suites is handcrafted from locally made bricks and quarried stone, with interiors decorated with works by Rwandan artists, private hot tubs, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views of jagged Mount Karisimbi. But the highlight of any stay is the hike to meet the majestic primates face-to-face in Volcanoes National Park. Every piece of trekking equipment can be provided by the lodge, from state-of-the-art footwear to trousers and walking sticks. After the day hike, the return to the lodge has its own otherworldly air with a fireside glass of bubbly, a gourmet meal (needless to say, the chefs are local and the ingredients come from nearby farms and the lodge's own garden), or a massage on the table that sits in every suite. Doubles from $1,650 per person, all-inclusive. — Tony Perrottet

Camissa House — Cape Town, South Africa

Camissa House in Cape Town, South Africa
Courtesy of Camissa House

What gives this eight-room bolt-hole an edge in a town packed with great hotels? To start, an exclusive address in Oranjezicht, one of Cape Town’s loveliest residential neighborhoods, right at the foot of Table Mountain. Then there are the quirky design details, including custom wallpaper depicting Cape flora and fauna in each room and rows of black-jacketed books in the library. Before heading out of Camissa House each morning, I feasted on banana-bread French toast, omelettes, or pumpkin pancakes with maple syrup and cinnamon-coconut cream. A complimentary shuttle service whisks guests to the beach, cableway, V&A Waterfront, or any of Cape Town’s host of excellent restaurants — and the general manager has many of the top spots on speed dial, which makes snagging reservations a breeze. Service, meanwhile, strikes a balance between formal and laid-back: mix your own negroni from the library bar if you choose, or have a butler whip up the perfect local craft gin cocktail for a sundowner on the top-floor terrace. Either way, you’ll feel less like a hotel guest and more like you’re staying in the home of a (very stylish) friend. Doubles from $605. — Jane Broughton

Lekkerwater Beach Lodge — De Hoop, South Africa

Beachside guest room exterior at Lekkerwater Beach Lodge, De Hoop, South Africa
Courtesy of Natural Selection

It’s all about location at this off-the-grid, solar-powered beach lodge in the 75,000-acre De Hoop Nature Reserve, 160 miles east of Cape Town. The property’s seven cabins, outfitted with bright, beachy décor and nature-inspired accents, sit in a row just 800 feet from the water’s edge — and that pristine beach is all yours. Between June and October, hundreds of southern right whales swim into the shallows to calve, making this the best spot in all of Africa for land-based whale watching. The rest of the year, other whale species, large pods of dolphins, and seals frequent De Hoop’s marine protected area, which extends three miles offshore. Days at Lekkerwater are jam-packed with activities, but there’s plenty of time to dip in the pool or ocean, whale watch from the deck, and follow up a beach barbecue with a soak in the wood-fired hot tub, where you can sip local wines under the stars. Guests have private access to four miles of the reserve’s 37-mile coastline, with in-house guide Billy Robertson at the ready to interpret the marvels of the intertidal zone’s rock pools, take you snorkeling at high tide, or explore the archaeologically rich sea caves. His secret power? Being able to summon the resident, territorial octopus in every rock pool. He’s also a botany geek, which makes hikes through the indigenous coastal fynbos feel as enriching as they are invigorating. Doubles from $253 per person, all-inclusive. — Jane Broughton

Mandarin Oriental, Doha — Doha, Qatar

Guest room at Mandarin Oriental Doha, Qatar
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

As a city hurtling toward the future, Doha has perfected the art of combining the modern and the historic. Take, for example, the still-developing Msheireb district, where a just-inaugurated tram makes it easier to zip between traditional textile and gold souks, cultural institutions like the newly opened National Museum of Qatar, and the elegant Mandarin Oriental, Doha. The 158-room property has a playful sense of place, with swaths of marble in the lobby etched to suggest sand dunes and light fixtures that evoke the air bubbles expelled by Qatari pearl divers. In the spa, you can alternate between the pools and treatment rooms while enjoying facials and massages that incorporate local ingredients like frankincense and crushed pearls. And the lavish breakfast spread is inspired by the flavors of the Silk Road, with some of the best meze I’ve ever had. Doubles from $412. — Danae Mercer

Al Bait Sharjah — Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Al Bait Sharjah courtyard in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Courtesy of Al Bait Sharjah

A camel-milk soak in a standalone brass bathtub? Now, there’s a story. Similarly memorable experiences abound at Al Bait Sharjah, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, which recently opened in Dubai’s smaller, artsier, more traditional neighboring emirate. The resort's 53 guest rooms are spread across 19th-century houses that were once owned by prominent families—including the Al Shamsi pearl-trading clan. The rooms are like exhibits themselves: four-poster beds with intricately carved wood; heavy goblets brimming with dates; low majlis-style seating that beckons you to lounge with a cup of saffron coffee. At the two restaurants, menus combine fanciful dishes like kangaroo katsu with Middle Eastern specialties — try the camel, which is braised for 24 hours. Head to the on-site post office turned museum for a lesson on Sharjah's history, or wind through the same alleys and interconnected souks that once welcomed Bedouin traders on camelback. If you want to see more, the hotel will shuttle you around by Mercedes. Al Bait means “home” in Arabic; at Al Bait Sharjah, you’ll feel at home, but you will live like royalty. Doubles from $323. — Sara Hamdan


Six Senses Bhutan — Bhutan

Six Senses Paro Bhutan
Christopher Wise

If time allows, you should complete Six Senses Bhutan’s five-hotel circuit of contemporary lodges in Bumthang, Gangtey, Paro, Punakha, and the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu, which are situated near some of the kingdom’s most stunning valleys, pine forests, and mountains. (That’s what happens when the king’s brother-in-law, Sangay Wangchuk, is leading the project.) But if timing is tight, it’s worth prioritizing Thimphu for the magical way the Himalayas are mirrored in the outdoor reflecting pools. The views seem to go on forever — or at least as far as Tibet — and I could have happily sat watching the clouds and the quicksilver light for an entire day. At all five, Six Senses rightly places sustainability at the forefront: water is purified on site, organic gardens supply the kitchens, and the soothing, neutral-toned rooms are clad in local timber and stone. Doubles from $1,500. — Kendall Hill

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong — Shanghai

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong
Courtesy of JW Marriott

High above the Huangpu River and a stone’s throw from the Bund, Marriott’s latest Shanghai property occupies a 60-story skyscraper. The glass-and-steel structure is fitting for this futuristic metropolis, and the floor-to-ceiling windows in all 515 guest rooms of the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong offer some of the best bird’s-eye views of the city. But the main reason to book a room is for easy access to the hotel’s four restaurants, including the soaring French-Cantonese eatery Le Manoir Ling — the seafood hot pot was a standout, as was the marble bar overlooking the river for cocktails. Luckily, there’s also an indoor lap pool to work it all off. Doubles from $226. — Robyn Dutra

Rosewood Hong Kong — Hong Kong

Rosewood Hong Kong
Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

It’s no mean feat to make a 413-room skyscraper hotel in one of the world’s busiest cities feel intimate, but Rosewood Hong Kong, the new Kowloon flagship from the luxury hotel brand, does just that. The secret lies in designer Tony Chi’s affinity for plenty of nooks and crannies and softening touches. Little doorside consoles and comfy chairs make even the hallways feel warm and welcoming, and the guest rooms are deeply livable, with a patchwork quilt of colors, patterns, and textures that prompts you to let go of any stiffness or formality. The hotel’s whopping eight F&B venues double as art galleries (I spy Damien Hirst, Wang Keping, Joe Bradley…), which feels fitting in Victoria Dockside, where art venues of every stripe are popping up right and left. The views from the gym might actually inspire you to work out on vacation; if not, a lounge chair by the outdoor infinity pool overlooking the harbor is a worthy perch. Doubles from $394. — Claire Dixon

Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa — Uttarakhand, India

Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand in India
Courtesy of Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa

In Hindu mythology, when a river loops and flows back toward its origin, the land around it is considered blessed. By this measure, the Taj Rishikesh was auspicious from the start. Flanked by the dramatic Rajaji Forest in the Himalayan foothills, the Taj’s serene wood-and-slate structures, which house 79 rooms, dot a hillside that rises from a private sandy beach on the Ganges. The river runs fresh and green at this spot, not far from its glacial origins and 25 miles upriver from the holy but chaotic city of Rishikesh, where the Beatles sought wisdom in 1968. The eye is drawn to the Ganges from nearly everywhere in the resort, and the view, shot with sunbeams in the daytime hours, is spectacular to behold: from the outdoor yoga studio; from the terrace of the Rock Flour restaurant, where the chef serves Himalayan lentils and grains simmered with regional spices; from a hike along ancient pilgrim footpaths. Taj’s branded Jiva Spa halfway down the hill dispenses wellness with the Indian authenticity that resort properties in the West only dream of emulating. But perhaps the most singular remedy of all for today’s tech-weary traveler is to simply watch the holy Ganges and gulp from the Taj’s pocket of pristine air, just an hour by plane from New Delhi. Doubles from $300. — Marcia DeSanctis

Aman Kyoto — Kyoto, Japan

Aman Kyoto, Japan
Courtesy of AMAN

Far from the anonymous urban grids of central Kyoto and the manicured tourist neighborhoods of Gion and Higashiyama, the new Aman Kyoto sits in a small valley surrounded by forested foothills in the northeastern suburbs. Around it lie winding mountain roads edged with bear-warning signs, little-known temples, and serene cedar groves. The hotel is built on the Asimono estate, where a wealthy obi collector once hoped to build a textile museum. Instead he left behind something equally enduring: a meandering garden of huge boulders and flagstones, now covered with moss, which give the illusion of an ancient ruin. The Aman's guest pavilions, all minimalist in style and largely made of cedar, are set along a mountain stream. The surrounding garden is landscaped with monumental stone walls and pathways. At night they are dimly lit, and you can feel the forest close by. The onsen is outdoors, surrounded by ornamental boulders, and the guest rooms overlook trees glittering with fireflies; the ofuro tubs in the bathrooms are made of aromatic cypress. The Aman aims higher than merely cosseting guests in luxury — it gives them a window into Kyoto's past. Doubles from $1,015. — Lawrence Osborne

Shishi-Iwa House — Karuizawa, Japan

Shishi-Iwa House, Nagano, Japan
Hiroyuki Hirai/Courtesy of Shishi-Iwa House

The mountain resort town of Karuizawa lies about 90 minutes north of Tokyo by train, but feels much farther. It’s a fitting home for one of Japan’s best new getaways: Shishi-Iwa House, a 10-room sanctuary designed to stimulate creativity in an isolated, rural setting. Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban prioritized the preservation of the densely wooded site: the two-story timber building was carefully angled to eliminate the need to cut trees while maximizing the views of surrounding greenery. Ban also designed the custom furniture for the spare, monochrome guest rooms, which provide a tree-house-style setting in which to bliss out. Doubles from $363. — Catherine Shaw

The Chow Kit — Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur
Courtesy of Ormond Group

Chow Kit was once synonymous with the seedier side of Kuala Lumpur. But with the opening of a namesake hotel last December, its transformation into the city’s hippest new neighborhood is complete. Rather than shying away from its sordid past, the Chow Kit, the 113-room debut property from Malaysia-based Ormond Group, celebrates it, thanks to the design vision of Brooklyn's Studio Tack (Anvil Hotel, Scribner's Catskill Lodge). Snug suites — some just 220 square feet — are meant to evoke gambling dens, while vanities and armchairs sport copper trim that recalls the area’s 18th-century history as a metal-mining boomtown. Even the coziest rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows to optimize sight lines in a building that stands only five stories tall. Downstairs, the ground floor lobby connects contemporary sleekness with local vernacular: the front desk, bar, and public space surround an open kitchen that offers new riffs on Malaysian street food. Doubles from $85. — Brad Japhe

Raffles Singapore — Singapore

Raffles Hotel Singapore
Courtesy of Raffles Singapore

At the legendary Raffles Singapore, the walls practically hum with history — Raffles opened as the island’s first hotel in 1887. It's no wonder, then, that the property's reopening last fall after a multi-year overhaul was so hotly anticipated. The 133-year-old property has emerged looking lighter and brighter, with its timeless design details scrubbed and polished to a like-new sheen. Enter through a set of palatial front doors tended by liveried doormen and walk into a glistening foyer. From there, wood-paneled corridors accented with lush greenery lead to stately spaces, including the Palm Court and the Jubilee Ballroom, and to the 115 suites, which have elegant sitting parlors and clawfoot bathtubs. The property’s longest-serving staff member, resident historian Leslie Danker, will be happy to tell you about the hotel and may suggest that you sit at the Long Bar, home of the original Singapore Sling — considered by many to be the national cocktail. Doubles from $582. — Ellie Storck

HOSHINOYA Guguan — Taichung, Taiwan

Hoshinoya Guguan garden, Taiwan, China
Sean Marc Lee

The thing that sticks with you long after leaving Hoshinoya Guguan is the sound of flowing water. Hot springs feed this 49-room property developed by Japan’s Hoshino Resorts, which sits near the Dajia River in a remote valley of northern Taiwan. You’re reminded of these springs at every turn. Small canals run through a garden of towering Luanta firs and white pines; a dip in the outdoor pool feels like you’re swimming in a forest. Each suite has a screened terrace with a soaking tub, which burbles away at around 106 degrees. It’s impossible not to feel at one with nature as you wade into the spa’s outdoor heated pools, which zigzag through heliconia, lilies, and maples. (The baths open at 5 a.m., in time to watch the sun rise over Lishan Mountain.) Once you’ve been soothed by the sound of the valley, you can taste it, too: the spa’s tea lounge serves bowls of shaved ice topped with a sweet powder made from pine needles, a local delicacy that’s the perfect treat after a steamy soak. Doubles from $598. — Alex Schechter

Hotel de la Coupole — Sapa, Vietnam

Lobby at Hotel de la Coupole, Sapa, Vietnam
Courtesy of AccorHotels

The grand newcomer to Vietnam’s popular mountain town, Sapa, has hotel designer Bill Bensley’s fingerprints all over it. Bensley collected antiques from Parisian flea markets for years before the opening of Hotel de la Coupole, a palatial resort inspired by 1920s French haute-couture and the textile traditions of northern Vietnamese hill tribes. His groundwork shows -- a stay here is like a night at the museum: 500 vintage spools serve as backdrop at the concierge station,1920s sewing patterns are pasted on walls, lampshades resemble hill tribes’ headwear and jewelry. The 249 rooms go beyond luxury to offer a decadent sense of place — think jewel-tone walls, claw-foot tubs, and occasional views of cloud-cloaked Fansipan, the highest peak on the Indochinese peninsula. (You can, and should, take the cable car connected to the hotel all the way to the mountaintop.) The vast indoor heated pool, complete with green marble columns, towering bronze divers, and 20s-era murals, offers a steamy retreat after a day of trekking. At fine-dining restaurant Chic, executive chef Basha Shalik has created a menu that celebrates Sapa and French cuisine in equal parts — the sturgeon hot pot is comfort food made as special as its surrounds. Doubles from $152. — Eloise Basuki


Mount Mulligan Lodge — Mareeba, Australia

Mount Mulligan Lodge deck, Mareeba, Australia
JASON IERACE/Courtesy of Mount Mulligan Lodge

The phrase “outback” often conjures mental images of Australia’s far-flung Red Center and its famed monolith Uluru — a three-hour flight from the nearest major cities. With the opening of cattle ranch turned resort Mount Mulligan Lodge, located a 3-hour drive (or 35-minute helicopter ride) from the Great Barrier Reef hub of Cairns, travelers now have a way to experience a rugged heritage region with greater ease. One of the newest additions to the Luxury Lodges of Australia portfolio, the secluded property stretches across almost 70,000 acres and accommodates just 16 guests at a time. Days are spent enjoying outdoor pursuits that take advantage of the tropical climate. Travelers can search for wildlife on guided ATV tours (wallabies are among the common sights), learn about the area’s Gold Rush history at a local mine, or try their hand at catching barramundi in the nearby weir. In an effort to preserve the surrounding ecosystems, sustainability features prominently: Chefs supplement locally sourced ingredients like tiger prawns with seasonal produce from the onsite garden and fruit trees, and solar power not only provides electricity for the main lodge, but also heats water for the guest rooms. Doubles from $1,150, all-inclusive. — Carrie Rossi


La Finca Victoria — Vieques, Puerto Rico

Hammock on deck at Finca Victoria, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Soraya Matos

In the two years since Hurricane Maria ravaged the tiny island of Vieques, Sylvia de Marco — the Puerto Rican designer behind Dreamcatcher, in San Juan — has transformed the bones of a funky, 40-year-old communal guesthouse into this luxe destination for modern Puerto Rican hospitality, sustainability, and wellness. Remote black-sand beaches are a main attraction on this sleepy isle, but La Finca Victoria bathes its guests in the forested seclusion of the Vieques hills. Guests stay in one of 12 private suites, each with its own unique décor hand-selected from De Marco’s collection of antique furniture and contemporary Puerto Rican art. The guiding principle is rejuvenation: house-made aromatherapy diffusions and herbal teas, outdoor showers, and private porches with woven hammocks are standard. After an (optional) morning yoga class, guests are treated to a gorgeous, vegan, poolside breakfast made with local ingredients — many grown on property. In the coming months, De Marco will expand La Finca’s offerings to include ayurvedic consultations and treatments, as well as evening tapas and live music open to the public. Doubles from $139. — Sara B. Franklin

Eden Rock — St. Bart’s

Eden Rock, St Bart's
Noe DeWitt

Like a swanning diva making her long-awaited comeback, the Eden Rock has reopened after a two-year renovation in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Glamorously nipped-and-tucked, full of verve and luxury and winking self-regard, the hotel is ready to reclaim its title as the island’s sexiest, buzziest, see-and-be-seeniest hotel place to stay. What’s new? An open-air bar/lounge that overlooks the Sand Bar restaurant, with interiors by Martin Brudnizki at his most tropical-louche; three signature suites on the rock, replacing the formal dining room; a spa featuring fragrant Ligne St. Barth products. What’s the same? Rooms and suites (37 total) that are spacious, residential, and well-thought-out, cuisine overseen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, prime people-watching on the beach, and the assurance that you’re staying at the island’s de facto social hub. Doubles from $1,860. — Peter J. Frank

Ambergris Cay — Turks and Caicos

Guest room at Ambergis Cay
Courtesy of Turks & Caicos Collection

If, for you, hell is other people and a true vacation means getting as far away from them as humanly possible, then you’ll love Ambergris Cay, a new private-island resort in Turks and Caicos. The minute you take off from the main island of Providenciales in the resort's eight-seater Piper Navajo, the rest of the world falls away in a blissful blur; touching down on the 1.7-square-mile island twenty minutes later, you’re given the keys to a golf buggy and that’s it. You have the run of the place. And what a place it is: There are 10 dreamy guest villas, each with a private pool, dotted along a screensaver-worthy white-sand beach. Inside, the feel is beach hut luxe — pitched white ceilings, ikat pillows, Acapulco chairs. Make sure you keep an eye on the doors, though, because the island’s population of rock iguanas love to supplement their regular diet (the fruit of the native Turk’s Head Cactus) with the occasional helping of room service breakfast. Wildlife sightings continue on the island’s rugged eastern shore, where guests can snorkel and spot whales migrating along the Turks Island Passage. Doubles from $4,200, all-inclusive. — Flora Stubbs


Kachi Lodge — Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Deck at Kachi Lodge, Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
Courtesy of Amazing Escapes

Off-roading across the vast, blinding-white salt flats of Salar de Uyuni in southwestern Bolivia is a bumpy, exhilarating experience: glittering water, lakes mirroring the bright blue sky, and cactus-filled islands. And when six white-and-clear geodesic domes seem to appear out of nowhere, near the foot of the imposing (but dormant) Tunupa Volcano, it's perfectly normal to think they’re a mirage. Thankfully, the gleaming suites of Kachi Lodge are entirely real, providing the first permanent accommodation located directly on the salt flats. The property, by Swiss glamping company Amazing Escapes, was designed to have minimal impact, so the domes are heated by energy-efficient pellet-fed stoves, use solar energy to heat well water, and rest atop sustainably sourced Almendrillo-wood platforms. Still, there are plenty of luxurious touches, like soap studded with locally grown quinoa (the perfect exfoliant); colorful sculptures, paintings, and photographs by Bolivia’s most famous artist, Gastón Ugalde (with whom guests can arrange a master class); and nightly turndown featuring freshly brewed coca-leaf tea, handcrafted Bolivian chocolate bars sprinkled with Uyuni salt, and a hot-water bottle hidden between the sheets. A stay includes three meals a day from Sucre restaurant Proyecto Nativa and activities like hiking Incahuasi island, harvesting quinoa, and llama herding. Doubles from $2,280. — Devorah Lev-Tov

Rio Palena Lodge — Patagonia, Chile

Rio Palena Lodge, Los Lagos, Chile
Courtesy of Eleven Experience

The newest spot from Eleven Experience, experts of high-end nature-focused resorts, is isolated in the best sense, down a dirt road in the dramatic Los Lagos region of Chilean Patagonia. Rio Palena Lodge is a place for anglers — they’ll find immense trout in the nearby rivers and lakes, some of which are accessible only by helicopter. But there’s more than that: rafting the Futaleufú River, hiking, and wine tastings. At day’s end, return to the seven-room lodge for a pisco sour and a soak in the hot tub as you watch the river roll by. Service is friendly and polished, the look stylishly sylvan. It’s a good equation — one made even better by asado dinners under the stars. From $5,200 for five nights. — David Coggins

Nayara Tented Camp — La Palma, Costa Rica

Exterior of Nayara Tented Camp, La Palma, Costa Rica
Charissa Fay

It’s fair to say Costa Rica has nothing else like Nayara Tented Camp, the 31-suite eco-retreat that opened in December near sister properties Nayara Gardens and Nayara Springs. Floating on stilts among the treetops, these are tents in name only: fully climate-controlled, with wood floors, king-size canopy beds, freestanding tubs in the marble bathrooms, and two-headed outdoor showers. Handloomed rugs, leather-strap chairs, and a steamer trunk reimagined as a fold out bar allude to colonial-era safari lodges. Yet the effect is lighter, airier—not least because of the tents’ sheer size and the wall of glass that opens onto the private deck, where a spring-fed plunge pool hovers between 82 and 94 degrees. From that lofty perch one can gaze across the canopy of trees to the water’s source: the steep charcoal slopes of Arenal Volcano. But the star attraction is the enveloping green and all that dwells within it. A simple walk to breakfast is soundtracked by the chatter of parrots, the thrum of hummingbirds, the hhhwwwaaammp of howler monkeys. Orchids and heliconia seem to bloom as you watch. That’s just on the property itself—beyond the gates, the rain-forested expanse of Arenal Volcano National Park contains countless bird species, rivers, waterfalls, and the near-perfect cone for which it was named. Doubles from $1,200. — Peter Jon Lindberg

Cirqa — Arequipa, Peru

Cirqa hotel in Arequipa, Peru
Courtesy of CIRQA ©

The layers of history embedded in the white sillar rock of this 1583 building add character to the new 11-room Relais & Châteaux hotel, nestled in a narrow street at the heart of the colonial city of Arequipa. The décor at Cirqa epitomizes organic luxury; each of its rooms is uniquely outfitted with sculptural wooden furnishings, linens in earthy hues, and contemporary fixtures; superior rooms have standing bathtubs and barrel-vaulted ceilings. Cocktails and alfresco meals are served on the arched lounge patio, with its alpaca-throw-laden sofas and pit fires; follow the terrace and you'll come to a glass-walled restaurant nestled alongside a wine cellar and smaller private dining area. The cuisine is fresh and Peruvian-inspired, featuring dishes like river crayfish ceviche and yellow chili quinotto. The ambiance is appropriately meditative and peaceful for a place that was once a monastery, and it would be easy to breeze through a stay alternating between dips in the plunge pool, expert massages, and sunset cocktails on the soon-to-open rooftop bar — but you'd be remiss to skip the singular discoveries to be had on one of the property's bilingual guided tours. Doubles from $370. —Juliana A. Saad


August — Antwerp, Belgium

August, a Design Hotel
Courtesy of Design Hotels

Despite its status as a hub of cutting-edge fashion and design, Antwerp was sorely missing the kind of hotel that drew in denizens of those worlds. But the opening of August last spring changed all of that. The 44-room property is carved out of an abandoned, 19th-century Augustinian convent in the Green Quarter, a newly gentrified neighborhood. The building’s dramatic transformation is thanks to a world-class creative team, including Belgian architect Vincent van Duysen, whose other projects have included Alexander Wang’s London store and Aesop’s Hamburg outpost. The former chapel is now a buzzy public café and bar, crowned by a massive sculptural metal and glass chandelier, and overseen by Nick Bril, one of Antwerp’s most respected chefs. The bedrooms are stamped with van Duysen’s signature sparse-yet-comfortable aesthetic and designed with bespoke materials like Belgian linen bedspreads and hand-glazed bathroom tiles. Each room contains a single piece of art: small paintings of the Flemish landscape that van Duysen himself found around Belgium — one of the carefully considered details that gives Hotel August its sense of place. Doubles from $184.— Gisela Williams

Belmond Cadogan — London

Belmond Cadogan hotel
Courtesy Belmond Cadogan Hotel

A year on from its lavish reopening, the 54-room Belmond Cadogan is already very much part of the Belmond firmament, as well as a hot new neighborhood destination for cocktails and dinner at top chef Adam Handling’s in-house fine dining restaurant. A famed Chelsea haunt for luminaries such as Oscar Wilde (who was arrested in Room 108) and socialite actor Lillie Langtry, the hotel occupies a prime corner of Chelsea real estate, equidistant to Sloane Square and Knightsbridge. Décor is understated, with original wood-paneled hallways and rooms in sand, stone, and accents of teal, while bathrooms have that classic Belmond touch: plenty of marble, gold taps, and high-end products. In-room extras such as a yoga mat add to the sense that the hotel really knows its clientele. From the fifth-floor penthouse suite, you can step out onto a balcony that looks over the red-brick Cadogan estate to the London Eye and Houses of Parliament beyond. The hotel has keys to the estate’s lush private gardens across the road, where guests can play tennis or picnic under the trees with a hamper — luxuries few Londoners will ever experience. Doubles from $523. — Rebecca Rose

The Standard — London

The Standard in London
Courtesy of The Standard, London

An overlooked Brutalist masterpiece, long overshadowed by the Gothic splendor of neighboring St. Pancras, is now the hottest hotel in London. When you walk into the Standard, you are hit with a dose of hipness unparalleled in the capital. The décor, from the carpeted walls in the lounge to the sequined hallway, has been variously described as Bond-like, Austin Powers-ish, Mad-Men-esque — in other words, 1960s/70s psychedelia meets 21st-century cool. It attracts a suitably hipster-ish crowd of after-work cocktail drinkers, as well as an international clientele who welcome its proximity to the Eurostar terminal. The concrete exterior has been sandblasted back to its original gleaming gray, and a funky red elevator was installed that zips right up the front of the building to the hotel’s 10th-floor restaurant, Decimo, where a Spanish-Mexican theme, mezcal-infused cocktails, and plenty of cacti and open-fire cooking signal that this is not your typical London dining experience. Doubles from $222. — Rebecca Rose

The Stratford — London

The Stratford, London, England
Courtesy of The Stratford

Resembling a Jenga tower frozen mid-game, the SOM-designed Manhattan Loft Gardens — and the 145-room Stratford, housed in its lowest seven floors — are the most exciting things to arrive in London since 2012’s Olympic Games. The building itself is all cantilevers and chameleonic facades that flicker kingfisher blue or blush pink depending on your vantage point. The vibe is New York swagger meets Scandi-cool, thanks to interiors by Space Copenhagen; think potted plants, white linens, and slate-hued furnishings complemented by triptych mirrors, deep tubs, and REN amenities in the bathrooms. At the ground-floor Stratford Brasserie, tuck into straight-outta-Little-Italy cacio e pepe and sip Stratford Pilsner underneath a birdlike flock of monochrome paper sheafs by artist Paul Cocksedge. Or make for Allegra, for modern European fare. Doubles from $189. — Ianthe Butt

The Newt in Somerset — Somerset, England

The Newt in Somerset, UK
Dookphoto/Courtesy of The Newt in Somerset

If the pleasures of the landlocked, cider-producing county of Somerset were ever a secret, then the arrival of the Newt — one of the most eagerly anticipated British hotel openings in years — is likely to change that. It’s clear from the minute you drive through the discreetly signposted gateway and round a corner to find a scene from a BBC costume drama: the classical Georgian façade of the 23-room hotel’s main building, Hadspen House, flanked by lawns, topiary, and perfectly graduated evergreens. For all its history, the Newt manages to feel distinctly up-to-date. Take the bar, a wood-paneled salon painted deep Prussian blue and hung with a collection of gilt-framed portraits. The effect could be fusty, were it not for the shocking-pink and orange woven chairs and the chic brass shelving. The spa wouldn’t be out of place in an Alpine retreat, with a hammam, thermal mud chamber, and indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool — where I soaked in steaming water. There’s a full-fledged cider mill and accompanying bar; a Victorian greenhouse; a farm-goods shop; even a high-tech mushroom house. But it’s the gardens that feel like the true heart of the Newt. By the time I’d finished breakfast each morning, the grounds would be buzzing — toddlers splashing in the fountains, retirees doing the free tour, and everyone polishing off their visit, in true British style, with tea and cake at tables set out in the sun. Doubles from $360. — Flora Stubbs

Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé — Loire Valley, France

Hotel Chateau du Grand Lucé in Le Grand Lucé
Roberto Frankenberg

The Neoclassical Château du Grand-Lucé has had many lives in the past century alone: as a military hospital, a sanatorium, a forgotten government holding, and until 2017 the passion project of an interior designer, who lavishly restored the 18th-century landmark. Now, thanks to the new owners, the hoteliers behind Utah’s Washington School House, travelers can join the ranks of Mozart, Rousseau, and Voltaire, all of whom stayed at the 80-acre estate in its heyday. The Pilot Hotels team sourced archival French wallpaper for most of the 17 rooms and reupholstered antique furnishings in lush fabrics by Pierre Frey, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and Christian Lacroix. There’s no check-in desk; rather, guests are welcomed as they enter the courtyard gate. From there, it’s off to embrace timeless pleasures, like strolling through manicured gardens dotted with statues given by Louis XV, swimming in the fountain turned pool, and savoring pains au chocolat and other Gallic specialties at the restaurant Le Lucé. Doubles from $531. — Laura Itzkowitz

J.K. Place Paris — Paris

Sitting area at J.K. Place, Paris, France
Courtesy of J.K. Place Paris

Some might call a classical nude standing on a geometric color-block carpet or a marble claw-foot fireplace flanked with salvaged red-leather wall sconces a little extra. But at this new Rive Gauche hotel, which combines Italian opulence with Left Bank eccentricity, the design motto is precisely mixed and matched. This is the fourth J.K. Place outpost from hotelier Ori Kafri and the first outside Italy — and like its sisters in Florence, Capri, and Rome, it was designed by Florentine architect Michele Bönan, who scoured the flea markets of Paris to furnish the hotel. The former European Consulate building in the Seventh Arrondissement has 29 rooms and suites with walk-in closets, heated slate floors in the bathrooms, and beds handmade in Italy. It’s also home to a sultry outpost of Miami restaurant Casa Tua, where chef Michele Fortunato serves Italian-ish dishes with a delicate touch: ricotta gnudi with pine nuts and velvety black-eyed peas or a bistecca crowned with caramelized foie gras. Other amenities include a subterranean Sisley spa, complete with marble-and-tile pool, and the property’s own bateau mouche, or Seine riverboat. But it's the staff who shine brightest, whether they are booking a behind-the-scenes tour of the Louvre or joining you for crémant and truffled peanuts at the bar. La belle vie, meet la dolce vita. Doubles from $885. — Hannah Walhout

Lily of the Valley — St.-Tropez, France

Pool at Lily of the Valley, St.-Tropez, France
Courtesy of Lily of the Valley/The Leading Hotels of the World

In a town that’s synonymous with super yachts and bottle-popping beach clubs, Lily of the Valley — a new wellness retreat in St.-Tropez — is something of an anomaly. Even Philippe Starck, the design mastermind behind the hotel, raised an eyebrow when he was first approached about taking on the project. That is, until he visited the site where the hotel would eventually live. It’s perched on a hilltop overlooking the beaches of Gigaro, a 30-minute drive from the port, but exists in a world all its own. Starck’s vision was simple: everything would blend harmoniously with the environment, and nothing could be taller than the surrounding trees. He drew inspiration from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon — greenery is everywhere. The overall experience, meanwhile, is focused on wellness, and guests have access to expert-led programs (ranging from 4 to 28 days) that zero in on naturopathy, osteopathy, and dietetics for a holistic approach to health. And while there’s no shortage of veggie, farm-to-table fare, the wine list and cheese selection are equally robust. It’s still France, after all. Doubles from $414. — Lindsay Silberman

Plage Palace — Palavas-les-Flots, France

View of sea from guest room at Plage Palace, Palavas-les-Flots, France
Alex Profit/Courtesy of Plage Palace

Hidden from the street by a thick garden and weathered wood fences, the 72-room Plage Palace has become an improbable Cubist-style landmark in the old-fashioned Languedoc beach resort of Palavas-les-Flots since it opened last June. Since Palavas-les-Flots has more in common with a Jersey Shore beach town than it does St.-Tropez, many wondered why Guy and Jean-Louis Costes — the minds behind fashion-pack favorite Hotel Costes and a flock of see-and-be-seen restaurants in Paris — made it the location for their first hotel outside the French capital. The first reason is nostalgia (this is where they spent their childhood summers), and the second is a shrewd bet that the western half of France’s Mediterranean coastline is ready to be spruced up. The guest rooms — all of which have private outdoor terraces — recall East Coast summer-house style, with shades of sand, oyster, and white; wood-paneled and gray-tile baths are equipped with custom amenities by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. In the louche bar and restaurant, the menu nods at the Languedoc with dishes like gardiane, or bull’s meat stew, and red mullet with pesto sauce. A 90-foot saltwater pool overlooks the private beach, where the sand is as white and silken as any you'll find in more established Gallic coastal enclaves. Doubles from $216. — Alexander Lobrano

Purs — Andernach, Germany

Purs in Andernach, Germany
Courtesy of Purs

In the five decades of his wildly successful career, the 72-year-old Belgian designer Axel Vervoordt has created minimalist, wabi-sabi interiors for projects ranging from European castles to Kim Kardashian’s house in Los Angeles. But he had never designed an entire hotel — until now. Purs is located in the small German town of Andernach, about 80 miles north of Frankfurt. The 11-room property is housed in an expanded 1677 chancellery building, now with beautiful repurposed wooden floorboards and stone tiles sourced to look straight out of the 17th century. The public spaces include a restaurant that’s earned two Michelin stars under chef Christian Eckhardt; rooms offer a delightful mix of antiques (sourced by Vervoordt himself) and works from the Zero group, a famous 1950s experimental-art collective. For design and art lovers — not to mention Vervoordt disciples — Purs is a worthy new European pilgrimage. Doubles from $312. — Gisela Williams

Parilio — Paros, Greece

Parilio, Paros, Greece

The sun shines more brightly on some places than others, and Páros, the second largest of the Cycladic islands, is one of those lucky spots. With beaches, restaurants, clubs, and rustic architecture to rival the best in other parts of Greece, plus a chic summer crowd, the only thing the island lacked was a world-class hotel. Last summer, that problem was solved when the husband-and-wife team of Kalia Konstantinidou and Antonis Eliopoulos, known for three impeccable properties on Santorini (including Istoria, on last year’s It List), opened Parilio. Thirty-three suites, each with private patio, decorated in cool and soothing earth tones, with furniture made by local carpenters, offer shelter from the sun, with views of nearby hills — including one topped by a Mycenaean acropolis. A refined and lilting sense of occasion pervades the vast pool area; and the restaurant, Mr. E., fuses Parian and French cuisine with joie de vivre. The perfect base from which to explore the island’s riches, Parilio is also a place you may never want to leave. Doubles from $275. — Michael Joseph Gross

Mezzatorre — Ischia, Italy

Terrace at Mezzatorre, Ischia, Italy
Giada Mariani/Courtesy of Mezzatorre

Italy’s Pellicano Hotel group — overseen by the eminently stylish Marie-Louise Sciò — has long been synonymous with Il Dolce Far Niente–era glamour. But it had no toehold in southern Italy. That changed last April with the Mezzatorre Hotel & Thermal Spa, on Ischia island in the Gulf of Naples — a 16th-century watchtower that had been turned into a hotel in 1981. When Sciò assumed management in late 2018, she oversaw a renovation of the 57 rooms, two restaurants, and jewel-box thermal spa, giving them her signature sleek lines and flamboyant palette. The beach bar and restaurant, cast in shades of languid blue and serving elevated comfort food, are the real win. The ultra-private setting, on a wooded promontory, makes for prime sunset viewing. Doubles from $264. — Maria Shollenbarger

Casa Maria Luigia — Modena, Italy

Casa Maria Luigia, Modena, Italy
Marco Poderi/Courtesy of Casa Maria Luigia

What’s next for a chef once his restaurant has been anointed the best in the world? If you’re Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy, the answer is “open a hotel.” Or, perhaps more accurately, an inn. Casa Maria Luigia, which opened in 2019 and is a joint project with his wife, Lara Gilmore, occupies a renovated 18th-century manor house. The décor draws on art from the couple’s collection — original works by Joseph Beuys, Ai Weiwei, Andy Warhol, and many others — and each luxurious room has its own distinct personality: on one balcony, twin gelato scoop sculptures by Giorgio de Palma drip from the railing; another room’s deep claw-foot tub hides behind a screen. The real draw, though, is the restaurant, which serves a nightly tasting menu of dishes that have made Bottura famous, but that are now retired from Francescana’s menu. If you were hoping to try Oops! I Dropped the Lemon Tart — essentially an upside-down and smashed lemon tart — or Five Ages of Parmigiano Reggiano — an all-white fantasia of different ages of the cheese (24-month, 36-month, etc.) turned into a demi-soufflé, a cream sauce, a chilled foam, a crisp galette, and a kind of ethereal cloud — Maria Luigia is now the only place you’ll be able to do so. And while the dinner is an extraordinary experience, even the breakfast spread shows Bottura’s deft touch; a sweet-and-savory slice of cotechino sausage with zabaglione and sbrisolona cake, for instance, is an inspired (and delicious) way to start the next day. Doubles from $510. — Ray Isle

Masseria Torre Maizza, a Rocco Forte Hotel — Puglia, Italy

Pool at Masseria Torre Maizza, Puglia, Italy
Courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels

Masseria Torre Maizza, near the town of Fasano, is at once hushed and lively — consisting of a blistering-white 16th-century farmhouse, a golf course, a pool, a beach club, and, after an overhaul courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels, 10 new garden rooms, which brings the total up to 40. Sir Rocco’s sister and the brand’s chief designer, Olga Polizzi, added restrained, thoughtful doses of color and texture throughout that enhance the lived-​in, residential feel of the place. A vase of wildflowers decorated the hearth of our suite; a plate from the nearby town of Grottaglie, painted mustard and maroon, was mounted on the wall above. The real show, however, occurs outside — the wild herbs, the flowers, the people-watching. Rosemary, citronella, and myrtle line the pathway that separates the main restaurant, Carosello, from an annex with a small bar and patio, where pianist Carmelo Padellaro holds court from a baby grand each night. At Torre Maizza, it’s easy to forget what you did five hours ago — hell, five minutes ago — and surrender to life in a bubble. Doubles from $367. — Jacqueline Gifford

Hotel de la Ville, a Rocco Forte Hotel — Rome

Terrace at Hotel de Ville, Rome, Italy
Courtesy of Rocco Forte Hotels

There is no better start to a Roman holiday than heading to Hotel de la Ville immediately upon landing. Then make your way to the courtyard for breakfast and down an espresso before taking a fat bite of maritozzo. It feels so utterly...Roman. Red-and-white-striped umbrellas shade you from the early morning sun; dusty-orange walls rise up to reveal a rectangle of bright-blue sky. In fact, the entirety of Hotel de la Ville feels as Roman as can be. Surrounded by icons of the city — Hotel Hassler on one side, the Trinità dei Monti church on the other — the 6th property from Italian brand Rocco Forte occupies an 18th-century palazzo at the top of the Spanish Steps. Inspired by the Gran Turismo of that era (during which the neighborhood would, no doubt, have been an essential stop), the 104 rooms combine contemporary shapes and state-of-the-art tech with jewel-toned velvet, damask wallpaper, architectural sketches, and classical busts. The flavors of the historical Roman Empire, with influences from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, are the focus at the new restaurant, Mosaico. More modern Roman specialties abound at sister restaurant Da Sistina: cacio e pepe, puntarelle, spaghetti alla gricia, saltimbocca. At the rooftop bar, sip a bay-leaf-infused Caput Mundi — an old nickname for Rome, which translates literally to “head of the world” — and take in the Eternal City in all its glory. Doubles from $553. — Hannah Walhout

AD 1768 Boutique Hotel — Sicily, Italy

a-d-1768 Boutique Hotel passage way in Ragusa RG, Italy
Gianfranco Guccione/Courtesy of a.d. 1768 Boutique Hotel

In the Val di Noto of southeastern Sicily, there is a region sometimes called the Baroque Triangle: a UNESCO-protected smattering of towns that, in rebuilding after a devastating 1693 earthquake, pioneered the Sicilian Baroque style and became one of Italy’s richest destinations for art and architecture. Here, in the comune of Ragusa — set on a limestone ridge in the foothills of the Hyblaean Mountains — a decidedly more modern icon is now in the spotlight. In this Baroque town of Baroque treasures in the Baroque Triangle, the upper floors of a historic Baroque palazzo have been transformed into a high-design boutique hotel called a.d. 1768. Many elements of the original aesthetic remain: restored ceramic floors, decorative friezes, vaulted ceilings covered with fading frescoes. But in the hotel’s seven rooms and three suites, Sicilian antiques intermingle with velvet poufs, leather sling chairs, and modern art, from neon signs to pop prints by Italian artist Max Ferrigno to the Seletti monkey lamps that hide, shimmying, around the property. Guests can look out at the Piazza del Duomo from a private balcony, or lounge in La Carretteria, the old carriage house, where breakfast of spremuta, salumi, local olive oil, and colorful Sicilian pastries is served in the morning, and cocktails and passito in the evening. Doubles from $119. — Sasha Elsberry

St. Regis Venice — Venice

The St. Regis Venice
Courtesy of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts

There are many good reasons to check into the St. Regis Venice, but here are three of the best: location, location, location. The 169-room hotel sits right on the Grand Canal, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from some of the city’s most famous sights — slip on your shoes and be at Doge’s Palace in less than ten minutes, or Piazza San Marco in less than five. But while the hotel’s address oozes old-fashioned Venetian appeal (the edifice was originally built to be the Grand Hotel Britannia in 1895) inside is a different story. Guest rooms have a vintage-meets-modern look — slim-legged benches and tables, serpentine sofas, and pops of ochre, pale pink, and steely blue — that feels downright sprightly for a property with such gravitas. This being the St. Regis, the service is seamless, and your personal butler is at the ready whether you need trousers pressed, espresso fetched, or an emergency fregoletta fix. If you can, book one of the suites with a private terrace facing the nearby Basilica — the bar has equally prime views, but sipping coffee in your bathrobe and taking it all in is hard to beat. Doubles from $371. — Angela Peterson

Britannia Hotel — Trondheim, Norway

Britannia Hotel
Courtesy of Britannia Hotel

Trondheim, Norway’s third-largest city, had much to recommend it before the Britannia Hotel opened last April, including a blossoming food scene and charming, old-world neighborhoods. But the Britannia has made this fjord-side town a destination. Thanks to a top-to-bottom overhaul, this 1870 property, which once catered primarily to English visitors, feels both palatial and down-to-earth. The guest rooms are a study in tranquility: subtle colors, plush fabrics, soft Hästens beds, shelves of Taschen books, deep bronze bathtubs. The staff is warm and helpful but unobtrusive. And the food is stellar, from the Brasserie Britannia, which gives its Parisian equivalents a run for their money, to the newly Michelin-starred Speilsalen, a jewel-box room serving Christopher Davidsen’s 10-course seafood-centric tasting menu. Located in Trondheim’s peaceful center, the Britannia should put the city squarely on any Scandinavian itinerary. Doubles from $252. — Peter Terzian

Palacio Solecio — Malaga, Spain

Palacio Solecio, Malaga Spain
Courtesy of Marugal Hotel Management

Once merely the gateway to the Costa del Sol, Málaga has become one of the trendiest and most culturally relevant destinations in southern Spain. This new vitality and sophistication are finally reaching the hotel sector with the opening of the city's first true boutique hotel, Palacio Solecio. An 18th-century nobleman's palace, nestled on the enchanting narrow streets of the city's ancient center, had been abandoned for nearly 80 years, so it was ripe for a restoration that preserved the florid architectural charm and extravagant decorative details typical of the period: a colorful tile-encrusted Andalusian patio, colonnades and archways, a grand staircase. Each of the 68 rooms and suites — each custom-designed to adapt to the palace's layout — feature bold fabrics inspired by antique patterns and top-quality furnishings by local artisans. Just off the cozy lobby, private meeting rooms have been tucked underneath the stairs, and nearby is the new bar and restaurant, Balausta, by chef José Carlos García, whose namesake restaurant earned a Michelin star. A pioneer of "new Andalusian" gastronomy, Garcia here offers a more relaxed and informal tapas ambience where guests can sample dishes like carabinero carpaccio and puchero croquettes. A new building offering more rooms as well as a rooftop pool and terrace bar should open in late 2021. Doubles from $217. — Alvaro Castro

Finca Serena — Mallorca, Spain

Finca Serena in Montuïri, Mallorca
Courtesy of Finca Serena

As the name suggests, Finca Serena (Serene Estate) offers a superbly tranquil place to sleep in the scenic interior of Mallorca, just a 20-minute drive from Palma. Beyond peace and quiet, the 100-acre property provides much of the charm that often gets squeezed out of more congested coastal resorts. There are acres of vineyards, lemon and olive groves, romantic cypress-lined pathways, and gardens perfumed by pine and lavender. The original 13th-century building has been updated with a rustic-contemporary aesthetic: its 25 guest rooms are a study in soothing neutrals, done up with pale wood, crisp linen, and Egyptian cotton. Dining in this Mediterranean paradise is truly a local experience — the estate uses its own olive oil and produce to enhance seasonal menus at Jacaranda restaurant. An outdoor pool is the perfect spot for enjoying the area's 300 days of sun, but should the weather turn, the indoor pool area includes a fireplace, hammam, treatment rooms, and a fitness center where you can post up and await blue skies. Doubles from $321. — Alvaro Castro


Glacier View Lodge — Jasper, Canada

Sitting room at Glacier View Lodge, Jasper, Canada
Courtesy of Glacier View Lodge by Pursuit

With its reopening last summer, Glacier View Lodge has turned a beloved road-trip stop on the scenic drive linking Banff and Jasper national parks into a chic overnight destination. The 32-room property’s location on the edge of the Columbia Icefield affords visitors exclusive access to the scenery, including a private after-hours tour of the Athabasca Glacier. Not that you have to brave the elements: guests can also appreciate the icy wonder through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the lounge, a glass of Riesling from British Columbia’s own Okanagan Valley in hand. Interiors by Dialog are decidedly contemporary, with a heavy dose of Scandinavian hygge — think light wood, fireplaces, and faux-fur throws. After a night of feasting and stargazing, hit the Columbia Icefield Skywalk, a cantilevered glass bridge 918 feet above the Sunwapta Valley. Doubles from $375. — Julia Eskins

Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve — Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico

Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Mexico
Courtesy of Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

At the southern tip of Baja these days, it’s all about dodging the crowds. Luckily, Zadún is set on 20 acres of private beach just far enough from go-go Cabo. Even the smallest of the 115 rooms are a generous 750 square feet and have ocean views, terraces, and plunge pools. The 30,000-square-foot spa pulls out all the stops to ensure relaxation: if hydrotherapy doesn’t lull you into a dreamy daze, the gently vibrating Savasana Sound Room will do the trick — as I found when I dozed off while waiting for a massage. My seven-year-old daughter, meanwhile, had a blast mowing through kid-friendly activities, like a property-wide scavenger hunt. But what really sets Zadún apart is the personal touch: a tosoani, or private attendant, stands ready to meet your every need, whether that means delivering extra (glass!) water bottles or planning excursions — though with a resort this chill, who wants to brave the masses? Doubles from $959. — Shivani Vora

Sofitel Mexico City Reforma — Mexico City

Sofitel Mexico City Reforma
Christopher Amat/Courtesy of Sofitel Mexico City Reforma

Built in the heart of Mexico City, the newly opened Sofitel Mexico City Reforma is the ultimate modern CDMX experience, marrying the brand’s French roots (don't sleep on the fresh croissants and macarons) with influences from the surrounding capital. Featuring breathtaking views of the city, the Angel of Independence, and Paseo de la Reforma, the property is well-situated whether you'd prefer to shop or sightsee. The 275 guest rooms, 56 of which are suites, are understated and sleek, with simple white-and-gray decor that's zhuzhed up by colorful patterned carpets and textured walls. Three bars (the Freehouse Bar is especially memorable) and an indoor pool on the 38th floor ensure there’s no shortage of ways to relax. And while it's a tough sell to dine in a hotel restaurant with culinary options like Mercado La Merced waiting beyond the doors, Bajel's seasonally driven menu pairs traditional Mexican flavors and contemporary influences so cleverly you won't feel you're missing out. Satisfy your late-night cravings at Cityzen on the 38th floor, the highest bar in all of Mexico City, where you can catch a glimpse of the Chapultepec Castle while sipping cocktails and noshing on Mexican comfort food favorites. Doubles from $278. — Deanne Kaczerski

Casa Adela — San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Casa Adela, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Courtesy of Casa Adela

Casa Adela combines the seclusion of a Mexican countryside retreat with proximity to San Miguel de Allende, twice named Travel + Leisure’s best city in the world. The sharp architectural edges and polished concrete of the David Howell–designed property are softened by an earthy peaches-and-cream décor, and fragrant lavender permeates the resort, reappearing in everything from the artisanal ice cream to the toiletries. Floral pops of color, hand-painted masks from Guerrero, and local artwork add individual flair to the hotel’s six spacious suites, but the real visual appeal lies beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows — the panoramic views of the cactus-studded surroundings and the Sierra Guanajuato. Experience-wise, it's all about indulging: in private hot-air balloon flights; in deep-tissue massages on the terrace; in lazy soaks in the hot spring-fed outdoor pool; and, naturally, in chef Vanessa Nava’s Guanajuatean cooking. Doubles from $299. — Lauren Cocking

Juana Bautista — Tlaquepaque, Mexico

Guest room at Juana Bautista Hotel Boutique, Tlaquepaque, Mexico
César Béjar/Courtesy of Juana Bautisa Boutique Hotel

It’s hard to believe that Tlaquepaque, an idyllic small town, is just a 20-minute drive from Mexico’s second-largest city, Guadalajara. But the recently designated pueblo magico is worth a trip in its own right — all the more so since the opening of Juana Bautista, the town's premiere boutique hotel. Follow the pedestrian-only Calle Independencia, shaded by a rainbow canopy of eminently Instagrammable umbrellas, and you'll land at the property, set within a 16th-century mansion. Seven richly colored suites encircle the courtyard; below, centuries-old trees and fountains lend the lively ground-floor restaurant a sense of history. The town’s artisan culture comes through in every room, with blown glass lamps and hand-carved wood furniture, but despite the elegance, the hotel retains the intimate feel of a private home — albeit one with a second-floor pool and craft cocktails. Book the bi-level Nube Viajera suite, with a spiral staircase and a private sundeck. Suites from $210. — Carey Jones

Asbury Ocean Club — Asbury Park, New Jersey

Asbury Ocean Club, New Jersey
Nikolas Koenig/Courtesy of Asbury Ocean Club

Salt Hotels' newest addition, Asbury Ocean Club and Residences, brings a five-star experience to the Jersey Shore — starting with the glass-walled drawing room, designed by Anda Andrei. Velvet armchairs and a baby-grand piano grace the midcentury-style lounge, where guests can order smoked oysters Kilpatrick or a decadent dinner of osso buco by executive chef Michael Dunston, served by staffers clad in 60s-era uniforms. The adjoining seaside pool deck, meanwhile, could very well be mistaken for one in Miami or Los Angeles. It’s all a colorful contrast to the hotel’s 54 rooms and suites, where a calming palette of creams and sandy tans — plus floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces in every room — make the nearby ocean the star. An airy spa rounds out a luxe long weekend. Next year, a restaurant will move into the ground level of the glassy tower. Doubles from $295. — Madeline Bilis

Shinola Hotel — Detroit, Michigan

Shinola Hotel, Detroit
Nicole Franzen/Courtesy of Shinola Hotel

Detroit’s Shinola Hotel was designed with the same built-to-last ethos of the brand’s timepieces, offering a comfortably sleek place to recharge in the heart of a revitalized downtown. Craftsmanship abounds: millwork adorns the common areas, and each of the 129 rooms and suites is kitted out with Shinola products, from desk clocks and throw blankets to leather goods and power strips. (An attached Shinola retail store offers more opportunities for browsing.) The five-building complex is a fitting gateway to the new-and-improved Motor City, giving guests a taste of the flourishing art and food scenes. Pieces in the hotel’s “living room,” like fluorescent works by painter Beverly Fishman, are curated by Library Street Collective, a gallery just around the corner, and six restaurants and bars, from a beer hall to a fried-chicken joint, grace the development. Off of the lobby, San Morello rivals the best Italian spots in the city, serving sheep’s milk ricotta with hot honey and garlic, plus a long list of pastas and wood-fired pizzas. The no-reservations Evening Bar, meanwhile, is an intimate, 39-seat hideaway that’s well worth the wait. Doubles from $265. — Madeline Bilis

Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, a Sensei Retreat — Lanai, Hawaii

Garden at Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, Lanai, Hawaii
Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, A Sensei Retreat

After a $75 million renovation, the former Lodge at Koele, on the tranquil, stoplight-free Hawaiian island of Lanai, was reborn in November as the Four Seasons Hotel Lanai at Koele, a Sensei Retreat — the brand’s first adults-only, all-inclusive wellness retreat. Nestled in the piney mountains, Sensei is the brainchild of Oracle founder Larry Ellison (who owns most of Lanai) and leading cancer researcher David Agus. The opposite of an ascetic medi-spa, the resort has an easygoing mantra of Rest, Move, Nourish, courtesy of a personal wellness guide who crafts a tailored plan with a team of experts. At Sensei by Nobu restaurant, a sleek glass box overlooking a serene fish pond, Nobu Matsuhisa’s menu offers clean but richly satisfying dishes, from Hawaiian pink-snapper tacos to quinoa-flour chocolate croissants. The 96 light-suffused rooms and suites are done up in creamy white, with private balconies and patios that face the orchid-bedecked grounds. The activities are the star of the show, with a dozen complimentary fitness, yoga, and meditation classes available daily. There’s a vast stable of horses for riding, a nearby beach, even an aerial adventure park. Treatments like the life-changing lomi lomi massage take place in one of 10 blissfully secluded personal hales ("house" in Hawaiian). The price is steep enough to induce vertigo — even with as much Billecart-Salmon brut rosé as you can tip back and intra-island private air transport on a Four Seasons–branded plane — but the experience at this plush, idyllic hideout is unforgettable. Doubles from $4,500, all-inclusive. — Jancee Dunn

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection — Hawaii

Mauna Lani’s lower lobby level, Big Island, HI
Courtesy of Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

Although the former Mauna Lani Bay Hotel was beloved by its loyal guests, the resort — which opened in 1983 — had been looking a little tired of late. Enter Auberge Resorts Collection, which just completed a yearlong, top-to-bottom, $200 million upgrade to turn this icon into a true high-end player on the Big Island (and finally give the neighboring Four Seasons Resort Hualalai and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel some competition). The new look at Mauna Lani is all about clean-lined Tropical Modernism inspired by the hotel’s natural surroundings, with plenty of hardwood accents, neutral tones, and artwork that nods to the island’s ancient culture. (A delicate framed featherwork piece on the wall of my room brought to mind the capes and cloaks of the alii, or Hawaiian royalty.) One thing that hasn’t changed? Canoe House, the resort’s open-air, palm-fringed beachside restaurant, still has the best sunset views on the Kona coast. Doubles from $499. — John Wogan

Soho Warehouse — Los Angeles

Soho Warehouse, London
Jessica Sample

Groucho Marx famously wisecracked that he wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have him as a member. He might revise that edict were he around for the debut of Soho Warehouse, the new downtown L.A. hotel and from global members club Soho House. A few moments behind this metaphorical velvet rope would convince any skeptic of in-crowd appeal. The service is warm and easygoing, with none of the airs you might expect of a model-stunning, fashionably dressed staff, and the drinking and dining spaces in the converted industrial building are breezy and fun, outfitted with art by locals like Blanda and Paul Davies, plus remnants of graffiti from the years the warehouse sat abandoned. The 48 sun-soaked rooms have a residential feel — parquet floors, patterned-textile lampshades, quirky geometric coffee tables — with Cowshed toiletries and wet bars stocked with fresh citrus and bottled cocktails. Be sure to stake out a day bed by the rooftop pool for sunset viewing. Yellow canopies and teal metal coolers create a summer-in-Amalfi vibe — but the skyline views confirm that this place is 100 percent Angeleno. Doubles from $190. — Lila Harron Battis

Palihouse Miami Beach — Miami

Palihouse Miami Beach
Courtesy of Palisociety

The Mid-Beach stretch from 23rd Street to 63rd Street continues its ascent as one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods with the October opening of Palihouse Miami Beach. It’s the latest venture (and first on the East Coast) from the L.A.-based Palisociety, which has brought its colorful, whimsically retro aesthetic to a restored Art Deco gem from the 1940s. My guest room felt more like a studio apartment, complete with a kitchenette, vintage oil portraits, and antique rugs. For food and cocktails, there’s Greenbrier Swim & Social, which essentially uses the entire hotel as its dining room — servers would bring me a breakfast wrap, kale salad, fish tacos, or a bottle of rosé whether I chose to lounge poolside or hang in the light-filled lobby. The hospitality is on-point and breezy, and though the property isn’t oceanfront — it’s on Indian Creek, two blocks away from the sand — you can request beach butler service, which includes chairs, umbrellas, and picnic lunches, all laid out at the water’s edge. Doubles from $250. — John Wogan

Maison de la Luz — New Orleans

Maison de la Luz interior, New Orleans, LA
Stephen Kent Johnson/Courtesy of Maison de la Luz

Many hotels talk up their residential feel, but Maison de la Luz, the new 67-room luxury outpost from Atelier Ace, comes by it honestly: The property’s look was dreamed up by interior designer Pamela Shamshiri, who works primarily on homes rather than hospitality projects. Shamshiri’s touch has transformed a grand building — the 1906 city hall annex in the Central Business District, just around the corner from Lafayette Square — into a place that feels human, like the private home of some charmingly eccentric, fabulously wealthy grande dame. The lobby lounge is the heart of the hotel, with clusters of seating and a hodgepodge of vintage and contemporary art and artifacts: A Keith Haring-esque painting of cattle brands, kudu antlers strung with beads, colorful rugs printed with leopard faces. During the day, a dispenser full of iced tea awaits; the selection shifts to cheese and charcuterie in the afternoon, an honor bar in the evenings, and milk and cookies on deck come nighttime. Upstairs, the rooms are generous and sumptuously furnished, with lavender-gray walls, panel moldings, and scalloped blue-velvet headboards, with flourishes (snake sculptures that serve as shower handles, hand-woven iron bags) that belie an obsessive attention to detail. Don’t miss a stop at neighboring Bar Marilou’s Maison-guests-only annex: The intimate library space is secreted away from the rest of the bar by a door hidden in a bookcase; flip a switch on the wall and a picture frame swings open to reveal a tiny window for ordering a slushy tequila-and-Lillet Paraiso State or a spicy, amaro-spiked What We Do in the Shadows. In a hotel rich with moments of surprise and delight, it’s perhaps the most surprising and delightful space of all. Doubles from $269. — Lila Harron Battis

Equinox Hotel — New York City

Equinox Hotel, New York City
Courtesy of Equinox Hotel

Plenty of hotels have taken up the wellness mantle in recent years, revamping their rooms and programming to include holistic philosophies and good-for-you amenities. In some cases, that approach can feel forced — but not at this newcomer in Manhattan’s posh Hudson Yards development. As one might expect from a luxury fitness brand turned luxury lifestyle hotel, health is baked in to every aspect of the Equinox Hotel experience in ways that feel both fresh and authentic. Each of the 164 guest rooms and 48 suites is designed to rejuvenate: double blackout curtains seal out city lights; a medical-grade filtration system eliminates microbes and allergens; and the Apple TV is preprogrammed with two sets of guided stretches and breath work (one to pep you up in the AM, another to wind down at night). Food at the two on-site restaurants — Electric Lemon and an outpost of fast-casual spot Broken Coconut — incorporates ingredients that help promote energy or rest, depending on time of day. Same goes for the room service menu, which offers snacks and smoothies that aid in the production of sleep-supporting magnesium and melatonin. Though the gym and spa will be familiar to Equinox regulars, both feel amped up here. The former stretches out across an impressive 60,000 square feet, so you won’t be competing for your preferred equipment, even during the morning rush. And the latter complements standard treatments like massages and facials with technology-driven options, including cryotherapy — a surprisingly refreshing way to start your day. Doubles from $519. — Sarah Bruning

The Times Square Edition — New York City

The Times Square Edition in New York City
Courtesy of The Times Square EDITION

Between the flashing lights and tourist-packed streets, most New Yorkers go out of their way to avoid Times Square. But ever since hospitality impresario Ian Schrager took a bet on it and opened the city’s second Edition hotel in the neighborhood’s beating heart, more locals than ever are braving the crowds. In true midtown fashion, the Times Square Edition is a whopper, with 496 guest rooms spread over 26 floors. But you’d never guess it from the intimate and supremely stylish public spaces, which borrow design cues from the other Edition properties: abundant greenery, black-and-white surfaces, statement-making staircases. The biggest lure, however, is the nightlife. The Terrace Bar is a candlelit “gastro-club” with red velvet seating and a bar made from Saint Laurent marble, while the Paradise Club, which bills itself as a modern-day cabaret, has staged performances by legends like Diana Ross and Nile Rodgers, all masterminded by cult-favorite Brooklyn nightclub House of Yes. It’s so cool, you’ll swear you’ve traveled back in time to Studio 54’s glamorous heyday. Doubles from $242. — Siobhan Reid

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center — Philadelphia

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia, PA
Courtesy of Four Seasons

The highest hotel in North America is in Philadelphia. Not Chicago, New York, or even Miami, all of which are in a constant race to build ever more fanciful aeries. The Four Seasons, which occupies floors 48 through 60 of the Comcast Technology Center, is at once reshaping the Philly skyline and giving this city the over-the-top hotel it deserves. Arrival begins with a stomach-flip of an elevator ride, 60 stories up to the lobby, where towering pink-and-cream floral arrangements by Jeff Leatham provide a welcome hit of color. A dramatic black marble staircase bookended by walls of falling water leads to Jean-Georges, now the nexus of fine dining in the city, with its $38 caviar bites and $135 rib eye for two. It’s pricey, but aside from the food (which is excellent), think of it as a cover charge for the greatest show in town. From every table, you get full-on city views, particularly gorgeous at sunset. The rooms themselves? Understated, modern, and comfortable, albeit very beige. But that fault can be forgiven, because you’ll be distracted by everything else: the infinity pool on the 57th floor, the memorable Vernick Fish restaurant (don’t miss the trout BLT), and, most of all, the thoughtful staff, who never miss a beat. Doubles from $585. — Jacqueline Gifford

TWA Hotel — Queens, NY

TWA Hotel, New York City
David Mitchell/Courtesy of TWA Hotel

They don’t make ’em like this anymore. After a two-and-a-half-year, $265 million refurbishment, architect Eero Saarinen’s groundbreaking TWA Flight Center is now the centerpiece and lobby of what has to be the world’s coolest airport hotel. The property, on the grounds of New York’s JFK International, is nothing short of spectacular. The soaring concrete arches and crimson-red carpet of the Flight Center are as evocative as ever, and the Jet Age terminal now thrums with life. Travelers in a hurry, off-duty flight crews and, yes, even NYC locals mob the TWA Hotel’s numerous cocktail bars — including one inside a refurbed 1958 Lockheed Constellation plane — the gorgeous Jean-Georges restaurant, and a rooftop infinity pool with runway views. There are 512 pocket-size (and blissfully quiet) rooms in two newly built towers alongside the main building. Each is a study in stylish efficiency, with motorized blackout shades, a decadent bed, finely crafted accents (including Saarinen Womb chairs and Tulip tables), and terrazzo-clad bathrooms that are, like the TWA Hotel writ large, way better than they need to be. Doubles from $239. — Paul Brady

Santa Monica Proper Hotel — Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica Proper Hotel, California
Courtesy of Design Hotels

Walking into my suite at the Santa Monica Proper, I felt like I was entering a squiggle. The floor-to-ceiling windows form a gracious, wave-like curve, offering sun-saturated views on three sides in the daytime, and at night, with the curtains closed, making the room feel like a cocoon. Located a 10-minute walk from the Pacific Ocean, the hotel, with its undulating surfaces and airy courtyards, wouldn’t feel out of place on a Brazilian beachfront. The 271 rooms have spare but comfortable interiors by Kelly Wearstler (including, in the public spaces, some furniture from her own home). Padded sunbursts radiate from above each bed; the bathrooms are lined with travertine, with spacious showers stocked with Aesop products. Onda, the hotel’s much-anticipated restaurant, is a marriage of two of the food world’s brightest bulbs — Gabriela Cámara of Mexico City’s Contramar and Jessica Koslow of Silver Lake’s Sqirl — who give Mexican cuisine a bright L.A. twist. Doubles from $368. — Peter Terzian

MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa — Sonoma, California

MacArthur Place, Sonoma, CA
Courtesy of MacArthur Place Hotel & Spa

For a long time, the town of Sonoma has been the sleepy spot you visit on your way to or from Healdsburg, which several years back managed to become Sonoma County’s premier destination for wine travelers. But the multimillion dollar restoration of MacArthur Place, four blocks off the Sonoma town square, may disrupt that situation. The six-acre, 64-room property has a history going back 150 years, but once inside you might not guess that: The airy, light-filled rooms feature enormous walk-in showers (many with open-air outdoor showers as well), heated floors, fireplaces, and amenities from Grown Alchemist (and, if you book one of the rooms with an outdoor soaking tub, CBD bath bombs from Onyx & Rose). And chef Cole Dickinson’s Mediterranean-influenced cuisine at Layla is worth a visit even if you don’t stay at the hotel: order wild Pacific black cod with harissa cauliflower and Greek yogurt together with a side of his take on patatas bravas (crisp-fried perfect potato cubes drizzled with whipped garlic aioli — basically tater tots that have gone to heaven) and you will be a happy person indeed. Doubles from $509. — Ray Isle

Willow House — Terlingua, Texas

Willow House in Terlingua, TX
Jen Judge

Deep in West Texas, first-time hotelier Lauren Werner has made her mark with Willow House, a boutique retreat that debuted on 287 acres last spring. Set in the tiny artists’ community of Terlingua, the property consists of 10 concrete casitas that look plucked from a Donald Judd installation, all arranged in a crescent shape for unobstructed views of the Chisos Mountains. The sleek main house, with its earth tones, oversize dining table, and sunken lounge pit, is the center of the action. Communal hospitality is the name of the game: guests can cook and mix cocktails together if they wish, then convene by the crackling firepit for conversation under a blanket of stars (nearby Big Bend National Park is an International Dark Sky Place). The casitas, which put a Texan spin on understated Scandi style, are a treat to come home to, with cloudlike beds, vintage furniture, handcrafted alpaca throws, and shaded patios. If Marfa’s getting too crowded for your taste, this is just the place to go. Doubles from $265. — Jonathan Thompson

Posada by the Joshua Tree House — Tucson, Arizona

Posada by the Joshua Tree House
Margaret Austin Photography/Courtesy of Posada by the Joshua Tree House

First, there’s the getting there — and in this case, it really is half the fun. Once you’ve driven 30 minutes through the Looney Tunes–like cacti of Saguaro National Park, you’ll snake down a dirt road, likely miss the turn that leads to a solar-powered gate (just me?), and finally arrive at a 38-acre property that’s unlike anything else in Tucson. The five-suite haven of your desert dreams is washed in soothing white and tan, with a sunken living room, a yoga studio, local coffee, and morning pastries from the nearby Rise Above bakery. Posada has the easy energy of a casual hang at a friend’s place, especially when guests convene for weekly movie nights. (Wes Anderson flicks have been in heavy rotation.) Then again, if you just want to hide out in your room, that’s cool, too — the balcony of the in-demand Agave Suite gives pinch-me views over those funky-looking cacti. Doubles from $240. — Julie Vadnal

Blackberry Mountain — Walland, Tennessee

Blackberry Mountain resort, Tennessee
Ford Yates/Courtesy of Blackberry Mountain

Fans of Blackberry Farm—a mecca for fine dining, Southern outdoor culture, and convivial group weekend parties, all beautifully captured on Instagram—now have a new reason to celebrate. A companion property, Blackberry Mountain, has opened just 15 minutes from the Farm, but with more of a wellness focus and even more spectacular Smoky Mountain views from the 30 spacious guest cottages and six rustic-luxe Watchmen’s Cabins. (If you want a digital detox, the latter, which are strategically placed at a higher elevation, have no TVs or WiFi) Will you spend time in those rooms? Sure, but you’ll also be busy exploring the Smokies: There are 25 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, and a center called the Hub, made up of contemporary, streamlined spaces for hot yoga, rock climbing, pottery, TRX, and more. The instructors are all excellent: don’t miss a hike with Boyd Hopkins, a Tennessee native and resident naturalist with an encyclopedic knowledge of the woods. Doubles from $895. — Jacqueline Gifford

The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection — Wanship, Utah

The Lodge at Blue Sky guest room in Wanship, Utah
Courtesy of The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection

Auberge Resorts Collection’s new Utahn retreat knows how to make a first impression: The entrance is oriented so arriving guests can take in uninterrupted vistas of the sagebrush-studded hills. Step into the lobby and you’re greeted with a towering slab of striated marble running floor-to-ceiling over the fireplace, and two-story windows that face out on the ridges and ravines of the property, which feels a world away from nearby Park City. Despite the high-drama beginning, the Lodge at Blue Sky isn’t a place that makes its name on splashiness — here, it’s all about quiet perfection. There are 3,500 acres of rolling hills, dense with wildlife and zigzagged by a creek teeming with trout, and rooms with rough-hewn stone walls and earth tones that ground you in the environment. Activities are guided with such care and expertise that you could go in with zero interest in sporting clays or riding or fly-fishing and leave ready to devote yourself to your new hobby full-time. The staff has the kind of easy warmth and polish that makes you think running a hotel must be effortless and fun (it is not, they’re just very, very good at their jobs). Merely being on property has the kind of soothing effect you’d usually have to spend hours at a spa to achieve; naturally, that’s an option here, too, and a Whiskey Rubdown at the creekside Edge Spa is as relaxing as they come. Any one of these elements, taken alone, would be enough to make a run-of-the-mill resort memorable — presented together, they make for a heady experience, and one of the most standout hotels you can reach without a passport. Doubles from $800. — Lila Harron Battis

Captain Whidbey Inn — Whidbey Island, Washington

Captain Whidbey Inn, Washington
Alexandra Ribar/Courtesy of Captain Whidbey

If Wes Anderson and Ernest Hemingway ever collaborated on a hotel, it would resemble the Captain Whidbey Inn. The brothers behind Joshua Tree's Pioneertown Motel partnered with a former Ace Hotel creative director to update this 1907 property on Whidbey Island, a gem of Washington State wilderness in Puget Sound. Marrying nautical history and summer-camp nostalgia, the log-and-stone building remains a place to gather — be it around the original fireplace or the new horseshoe-shaped bar emblazoned with a verse from local poet David Whyte. Creaky stairs lead to 12 rooms with shared bathrooms, plus a maritime-themed library and a rotary phone with a direct line to the bartender. Across the road, 14 cove-facing Lagoon Suites feel like Scandi cottages with white-washed walls, Mongolian cashmere carpets, and retro Daewoo mini fridges. And four cabins have been curated by Pacific Northwest style experts, with pieces from Whidbey’s own modern home goods store, Edit. Hammocks, lawn games, and fire pits hidden among old-growth firs beckon guests to slow down. At dusk, locals and guests gather on the deck for cocktails and Penn Cove mussels pulled straight off the hotel dock. Doubles from $216. — Jen Murphy

Canyon Ranch Woodside — Woodside, California

Canyon Ranch Woodside
Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

There’s only one thing to do at Canyon Ranch Woodside, the third property from the legendary wellness brand: slow down and embrace introspection. Nature sets the tone and rhythm of the 38-room property, composed of a lodge, stand-alone treehouses, and 16 acres of redwoods, madrone trees, Douglas firs, and oaks. The spa offers treatments using Pacific sea salts and botanicals from Northern California; the fitness room, with yoga and Bosu balance classes, is equipped with circadian lighting; fireside chats feature wellness advisors, from singing bowl practitioners to life coaches; and the kitchen sources ingredients from nearby farms (lamb kebabs with chermoula and pomegranate; choux farci with mixed mushrooms and smoked tomato sauce). The outdoors strongly influences the indoors too, with sky- or foliage-themed rooms dressed in subdued hues and natural fabrics. Get a good night’s sleep courtesy of a white-noise machine and temperature-controlled pillow-top mattresses, then awake from your slumber to the curtain-free view of the sun peering through the redwoods. Doubles from $899 per person, all-inclusive. — Lisa Cheng

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles