The Hottest Hotel Openings This Spring—At Every Price Point
For most travelers, spring means tulips, cherry blossoms, and a jump-start on beach season. At Travel + Leisure, it means all those things—and peak season for hotel openings. Come April, hoteliers all around the world are flinging open their doors, hoping to capitalize on the busy season ahead. Which means that you, dear jetsetters, get to be among the first guests in gorgeous resorts where the paint has just barely dried. Bragging rights? You bet. This is the stuff that Instagram dreams are made of.
RELATED: The Best Places to Travel in April
So what’s piquing our interest this spring? There’s a safari lodge in Nepal’s Himalayan Mountains by Taj Hotels where you can see tigers and sloth bears (a real species!) and enjoy sundowners in your minimalist villa, complete with private plunge pool. There’s a high-design twist on the bed and breakfast in Napa Valley, where punchy aesthetics and affordable prices are as much of a draw as proximity to the best wineries. And then there’s the most ambitious hotel to ever open in Brooklyn, with a food and beverage dream team (hello, Andrew Carmellini!), a 60-foot-long rooftop pool, and views of the Manhattan skyline.
This season’s best openings truly span the globe, from Prince Edward Island, Canada to Botswana’s Okavango Delta and beyond—but they also span in price point and accessibility. Getting to Katamama, in Bali, might require a full day’s worth of flights, for instance—but it’s a new standard setter for Indonesian luxury at a reasonable $350 a night. And the Coachman Hotel, in South Lake Tahoe, offers a wallet- and design-conscious way in to a booming ski destination (which happens to be gorgeous come green season). It’s one of many great values on this list.
So, where will you head next?
Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania
Safari-goers may be used to canvas and thatch, but luxury outfitter Asilia Africa is taking a different turn for its modernist camp in the lion-rich Ngorogoro Crater Conservation Area. Its eight tents are geodesic domes inspired by Maasai bomas, complete with wood-burning stoves for cold nights (you are, after all, at altitude). Also meant to keep you warm after days trekking and big game spotting: the best whiskey collection in all of southern Africa, according to the owners themselves.
The Coachman Hotel
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Ski season may be winding down, but it’s still worth planning a trip to the new Coachman Hotel, right at the base of Heavenly Mountain. A reimagining of a 1960 motel—built originally for the Tahoe Olympic Games that year—it’s now been outfitted with Frette linens and Apple TVs in the 42 rooms, a Stumptown coffee bar, outdoor fire pits, and a massive poolside lawn for grilling and games. Come summer, it’s a perfect launch pad for hiking, biking, rock climbing, and tons of other outdoorsy pursuits—you might just think you’re at summer camp for adults.
Napa Valley, CA
We adore Lark Hotels for their vibrant design and intimate feel, but the small company has almost exclusively concentrated on New England. Now it ‘s bringing its knack for high-concept inns to Napa Valley, with just 17 rooms in a white-columned building that looks like a shrunken down version of 1600 Penn—hence the name. It’s affordable, and not just for Napa (rooms start at $209 a night), and within walking distance of the best tasting rooms and restaurants in town.
This King Street spot is equal parts high end and Lowcountry: guests get Beekman 1802 bath amenities and complimentary breakfast baskets delivered to their rooms, and the rooftop restaurant stands out for its gorgeous city views and exemplary shrimp and grits. If it looks a bit familiar, that’s because the property is a reboot of the old Restoration on King, completely redone and reopened by a new team.
New York, NY
Raising the bar in New York City is no easy feat, but real estate mogul Aby Rosen has put himself up for the challenge. His first solo hotel venture, 11 Howard, has soaring ceilings, an Alexander Calder mobile in the lobby, a dramatically sculptural staircase, and the first U.S. restaurant by Paris’ darling chef, Daniel Rose. Despite a location in low-rise SoHo, the rooms benefit from iconic views: the Empire State building from one vantage, or the Brooklyn Bridge from another. And in a novel twist to the now-ubiquitous hotel bike program, 11 Howard offers its guests Boosted longboards to explore the city in the trendiest possible way.
The William Vale
New York’s latest crop of openings has been centered in the strangest of neighborhoods: Midtown. So the arrival of the William Vale, a gleaming new high rise in Williamsburg with ambitions to be Brooklyn’s first urban resort, is especially refreshing. The 183 rooms will have private balconies and floor-to-ceiling views of the East River and Manhattan skyline; a pedestrian plaza will cut through the indoor-outdoor lobby; and the 20,000-square-foot rooftop will have a 60-foot-long swimming pool, a bar by Andrew Carmellini’s NoHo Hospitality Group, and year-round programming. Come fall, Carmellini will christen another on-property restaurant, Leuca, with a focus on wood-fired Southern Italian eats. By then, it’ll be a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.
Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills
Los Angeles, CA
This iconic Beverly Hills hotel has gotten a top-to-bottom refresh courtesy of Viceroy Hotel Group and SFA Design. Given that the rooms were once actual residences, they’re extremely spacious—even the basic rooms start at 650 square feet, with separate dressing areas and vanity spaces that’ll make you feel like Hollywood royalty. Add to that a stunning rooftop pool with views of the Hollywood Hills and you’ve got L.A.’s hottest new place to stay.
Ace New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
This 1928 building—the former Barnett’s Furniture Store—has been reimagined by Roman & Williams to have French Deco interiors (including window seats in many of the rooms), a vintage-looking bar with brass access and tons of antiques, and a wood-paneled music venue called Three Keys. It’s every bit as atmospheric and hip as any Ace or Roman & Williams project that has come before it, in a corner of downtown New Orleans that befits the vibe.
The Surfjack’s tribal-meets-mid-century-modern look takes a sharp turn from what you may be used to in Hawaii, but this quirky little property stands out more for its food than it does for its cool vibes. It’s the newest home to Ed Kenney, Honolulu’s trailblazing chef, who will doubtless be feeding the creative masses with inventive poké and tropical produce galore.
The Inn at Bay Fortune
Prince Edward Island, Canada
What happens when a Canadian TV chef and his Maritime innkeeper wife take over a somewhat-obscure playwright’s 46-acre summer home? The most charming summer retreat in the north with an organic farm and herb garden, that’s what. The rooms are a streamlined vision of the traditional bed-and-breakfast, some with gabled ceilings and wood fireplaces. And of course, the food will be no joke: celebrity chef Michael Smith himself will oversee the live-fire cooking restaurant, Fireworks, and PEI oysters will be just one of his many locally sourced ingredients.
Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
It sounds like a tough sell: a resort branded after the kids’ channel that brought you SpongeBob Square Pants. But the first location of this new brand has 208 rooms and four villas (only one of them inspired by the yellow cartoon character), along with every conceivable service to keep kids entertained and parents relaxed. Strollers, toys, formula—the hotel will provide everything so you don’t have to overstuff your suitcases. Room service goes around the clock. And the best restaurant on site is shockingly ambitious—a spinoff of Playa Del Carmen’s molecular gastronomy spot, Le Chique.
Most travelers think of going to the Amalfi coast, but the Adriatic can pull out just as many stops. Add this one the list: La Peschiera, an intimate, 12-room inn in oh-so-trendy Puglia where four-poster beds are draped in flowing ivory fabric and the outdoor restaurant focuses on fresh-from-the-sea ingredients. It’s a quieter, but equally beautiful, way to experience Italian summer.
Domes of Elounda
Jennifer Anniston, Brad Pitt, and Rihanna have all vacationed at this iconic Crete resort, which is fresh off a multimillion-dollar expansion. Now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the property has added 28 freestanding villas in two- and three-bedroom configurations, with full kitchens (and a direct line to the chef), private outdoor hot tubs, and a VIP beach section. Also part of the refresh: a “Domesland” kids’ club, three new pools, and a redone restaurant and bar.
Barcelona has been bringing its A-game when it comes to new hotels—see last year’s hot debuts, the Cotton House and the Serras—and now it has another feather in its (brimming) cap, courtesy of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. Behind its historic neo-Gothic façade, the Monument is perhaps the city’s sleekest hotel yet. Its 84 high-design rooms have oak-paneled ceilings and walls, original brickwork, parquet floors, and freestanding bathtubs outfitted with Jo Malone toiletries. The terrace has a solarium with hammocks (so you can partake in the local siesta tradition), the rooftop pools has views of the Paseo de Gracia, and a redone version of the two-Michelin-star Lasarte Restaurant is right on property.
Park Hyatt Mallorca
An hour from Palma in an undiscovered corner of Mallorca, the first Park Hyatt in Europe will feel like a hilltop village unto itself, with five restaurants centered around a square and access to a private beach club nearby. The rooms are gracious, all in dark wood and ivory tones—and each one has its own terrace facing the Balearic Sea or the lush Canyamel valley.
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest
While everyone waits on baited breath for the re-opening of the Ritz Paris in June, another Ritz-Carlton is taking its turn in the spotlight. The Budapest opening—a former Le Meridien—is in a historic 1914 building, with 200 cream- and pastel-toned rooms, straight-on views of St. Stephen’s Basilica, and a location that’s smack in the middle of downtown Pest. Just like the imperial city itself, the hotel is equal parts regal and modern; the main restaurant Deak St. Kitchen, for instance, balances industrial lighting and mid-century tufted banquettes with toile wallpaper and traditional Hungarian fare. It’s a mix that works—and feels right at home—in this stunning Danube city.
This 58-suite property comes courtesy of the Potato Head group—a budding hospitality empire that’s slowly but surely upping the cool factor of Seminyak, Bali’s main resort town. Their existing Potato Head Beach Club plays host to Indonesia’s stylish set, and Katamama is sure to follow in its footsteps: the resort has the island’s first vegan café and juice bar, and the rooms are among Bali’s biggest, with a modern twist on local design vernacular that incorporates Balinese bricks, teak, Javanese tiles, and other handcraft traditions. Expect more from this enterprising hospitality group, as they’re slated to open two more beachfront hotels by 2019, one designed by Rem Koolhaas.
Meghauli Serai, A Taj Safari Lodge
Chitwan National Park, Nepal
A year after a major earthquake devastated Nepal, the country is once again open for tourism—and now also for luxury safaris in the Himalayas. Among the species you’ll see with Taj’s naturalist guides (who were all trained by safari specialist AndBeyond): tigers, endemic Ghariyals crocodiles, elephants, sloth bears, and one-horned rhinoceroses. Then you’ll retreat to your own minimalist villa with a private plunge pool and hammock-like daybed for the ultimate in R&R.
Grand Hyatt Rio
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Olympic fever is taking over Rio, and the most exciting hotel opening ahead of the games is this newcomer in Barra de Tijuca, an up-and-coming neighborhood that’s drawing comparisons to Miami for its ritzy high-rises, upscale shopping, and pristine (but crowd-free) beaches. The look is far more sophisticated than what we’ve seen from Grand Hyatt in the past: that’s thanks to design work by Yabu Pushelberg and vertical landscaping by local legend Burle Marx. Consider the fact that you’re a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of Rio’s main sites to be part of the appeal of this little Rio oasis.
Duba Expedition Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana
When intrepid wildlife conservators Dereck and Beverly Joubert decided that it was time for a new-and-improved version of their most classic camp in the Okavango Delta, they decided to look back to the 1920s for inspiration. The spinoff lodge, on a slice of the Delta just downstream from the original Duba Plains Camp, harkens back to a traditional expedition aesthetic (hence the name), with ivory canvas walls and campaign furniture in each of six tents. And just like the original, you can expect to see large herds of red lechwe, leopards, and giraffes from the comfort of your room’s private deck.