The hospitality industry has never been more creative than it is right now. Whether they’re reimagining a Brazilian hospital, opening on the grounds of Versailles, or erecting new towers on the beach in Tel Aviv, hoteliers around the world have raised the global standard for a special stay. We were spoiled for choice, but here are our 20 favorite properties that opened in the past year.
For the Oenophile
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley
Wine is Napa’s calling card, and this 85-room Four Seasons caters to oenophiles with an on-site winery, Elusa, helmed by superstar winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. Aside from popping the corks on the bespoke blends in the rooms, guests can book an immersive experience at the winery that includes a tour of the vineyard, tank room, and barrel cellar and culminates in a tasting. Want to compare and contrast? Book a dinner at Truss Restaurant + Bar, where the wine list has a special focus on Calistoga-made offerings. And when you need to recover from all that, book a vineyard scrub treatment at Spa Talisa.
From $1,600, fourseasons.com
For the Urban Explorer
São Vicente Alfama
Few neighborhoods in the world can match the charm of Lisbon’s Alfama, with its cobblestone alleys, red-tile rooftops, and fado bars. The São Vicente Alfama, tucked down one of those narrow streets, perfectly captures that vibe. The 22-room hideaway from the Portuguese brand Trius Hotels is in a building that was once the Institute of Arts and Crafts, and guests can hear the chatter of pedestrians outside yet still feel completely serene in their rooms. The friendly hotel staff will furnish you with neighborhood recommendations; we can guarantee you’ll get lost trying to find those spots, but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it?
From $220, triushotels.com
For the Southern Nostalgist
Charleston, South Carolina
The Holy City epitomizes idealized Southern charm and gentility, and this 50-room boutique hotel, set in a historic building just a block from the Charleston City Market, captures that spirit. The vibe is particularly evident in the lobby, which has a cute porch swing, a pastoral Lowcountry landscape painting by local artist Linda Fantuzzo, and most crucially, the Veranda Lounge. Grab a barstool and sip a craft cocktail—we recommend ordering The Garden, a bartender’s choice based on available local botanicals. Happy hour, indeed.
From $409, theloutrel.com
For the Independent Spirit
Hotel Grand Stark
Portland’s hotel stock has always been downtown, in the Southwest quadrant of the city, but the hip kids have long congregated on the other side of the Willamette River. Palisociety’s 57-room Hotel Grand Stark now offers suitably stylish lodgings there, in the burgeoning Central Eastside district. The 1908 building, which for decades housed a furniture manufacturer, has been transformed with the help of local design firm North 45 Projects into a modern space that retains the Rose City’s quirky quality with vintage lighting, rugs, and the most nostalgic of all fixtures—an East Coast–style deli. Of course, this is PDX, so local coffee and wine are on the menu.
From $185, palisociety.com
For the Curious Eater
Kimpton Alton Hotel
New hotel openings are rare around San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, so Kimpton had to make a splash with this 248-room reimagining of a 1970s motor lodge. The brand does so with a diverse contemporary art collection, a music program that includes a vinyl library to go with Victrola turntables in every room, and its restaurant, Abacá. Filipino cuisine is new to America’s fine-dining scene, but chef Francis Ang is staking its claim with his elevated versions of dishes such as lumpia and kinilaw (Filipino spring rolls and ceviche). The criterati have taken notice: Abacá was named a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant.
From $200, altonhotelsf.com
For the History Buff
Airelle Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle
Hotels often claim to treat guests like royalty, but here that feeling is inevitable. Louis XIV built Le Grand Contrôle in 1681 on the grounds of the palace of Versailles, and over the years it has hosted dignitaries, luminaries, and now—thanks to a meticulous four-year, €50 million renovation—you. The 14-room hotel is decorated with nearly 1,000 pieces from the 18th century (chairs, chandeliers, art, books, and more). The staff, too, wear period clothing and are walking encyclopedias of Versailles history. Among the experiences on offer are a theatrical “grand feast” from Alain Ducasse (yes, the cake is delicious), unparalleled access to the 2,000-acre grounds, and after-hours tours of the palace. To twirl around the Hall of Mirrors by yourself and imagine being at one of Marie Antoinette’s fêtes? Marie may have said, “I have seen all, I have heard all, I have forgotten all,” but that’s something you’ll never forget.
From $2,077, airelles.com
For the Techie
Lake Nona Wave Hotel
Orlando is known for its kid-friendly resorts, but the Lake Nona Wave Hotel uses tech savvy to make travel easier on adults. View Smart Windows control their own level of tinting based on the sun and weather conditions; autonomous shuttles whisk guests around the grounds; and some rooms are equipped with a collection of smart amenities that encourage better sleep, such as The Restorative Bed by Bryte, which rebalances itself during the night to reduce the number of times you wake up. It beats counting electric sheep.
From $329, lakenonawavehotel.com
For the Budding Artist
Hôtel Madame Rêve
Paris is always a good idea, sure, but it’s an even better idea when you’re staying just a five-minute walk from the Louvre, with views of the Eiffel Tower from your room. It’s hard not to feel inspired at this artsy hotel, built within an 1888 post office that was restructured by Dominique Perrault Architecture. The 82 rooms and suites are golden-hued, with walnut-paneled walls, telegram-themed rugs, and mosaic-tiled bathrooms. Dinner at the moody French-Japanese restaurant La Plume is a must, but the space is even more alluring at breakfast, when you can sit outside on the terrace and soak up everything the hotel, and the City of Light, has to offer.
From $467, madamereve.com
For the Remote Worker
Pendry Manhattan West
New York City
There’s a hum of activity outside the curved glass windows of this stunning new tower, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. A stone’s throw from Hudson Yards and a short walk to the High Line, the hotel is surrounded by some of NYC’s most frequented attractions, yet it’s surprising how effectively the design creates a respite from the whirlwind outside. Golden wood interiors, soundproofed suites primed for WFH (work from hotel), a discreet bar, and soothing light installations by artist John Wigmore transport guests to a quiet retreat—even as the Statue of Liberty rises into view.
From $701, pendry.com
For the Romantic
Conca dei Marini, Italy
It’s rare for new properties to open on the Amalfi Coast; in fact, the Borgo Santandrea, which opened this spring following a four-year renovation of a 1960s building, is the first new five-star hotel here in 15 years. It was worth the wait: Perched on a cliff 300 feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea, this intimate getaway amplifies the expected views with terraced gardens, an outdoor pool, a private pebble beach, bespoke tilework and furniture, and three restaurants. For a true taste of la dolce vita, book a boat trip from the private dock to explore the remote coves carved into the coast.
From $1,045, borgosantandrea.it
For the Sophisticated Skier
The Cloudveil, an Autograph Collection Hotel
Named for Cloudveil Dome, a 12,000-foot peak in the Tetons, this 100-room-and-suite hotel tastefully incorporates the Wyoming outdoors into its design. Touches include a three-story granite wall and a front desk fashioned from a 3,000-pound boulder in the lobby, as well as custom wood and leather furnishings in the guest rooms. The Bistro, from local restaurateur Gavin Fine, features an oyster bar and views of the Town Square and Snow King Mountain. Speaking of which: The property’s ski valet will deliver your gear directly to its private Ski Chalet in Teton Village.
From $450, thecloudveil.com
For the Environmentalist
1 Hotel Toronto
Toronto is one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cities, making it a perfect fit for the über-sustainable 1 Hotels brand. The 112 rooms and suites are stocked with live greenery, organic cotton bedding, reclaimed glassware, and more. Public spaces include a Garden Pavilion that helps supply the on-site restaurants, and the design features locally quarried stone, upcycled wood from an old Ontario barn, and native trees throughout. “Oasis” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of Canada, but the 1 Hotel shows just how bountiful the north can be.
From $449, 1hotels.com
For the Architecture Aficionado
Rosewood São Paulo
More than half a million Brazilians were born at the Matarazzo Maternity hospital, and now a new era in hospitality has sprung to life there. With the help of Philippe Starck and Pritzker Prize–winning architect Jean Nouvel, Rosewood took over the old hospital and added on a scene-stealing vertical garden tower. The 160-key hotel features more than 450 works by 57 Brazilian artists and emphasizes sustainability—appropriate for the country that has the world’s largest swath of rain forest—with initiatives such as setting a goal of using 100 percent renewable energy. It’s the best of old and new Brazil, all packaged together.
From $530, rosewoodhotels.com
For the Caribbean Club-Swinger
Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club
Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla
Sprawling across 300 acres, this paradisiacal place has everything you’d expect from a new Caribbean resort: expansive views of the deep blue sea, seven restaurants and bars that incorporate island influences into their high-end cuisine, holistic treatments at Sorana Spa, and 178 splendid suites that wouldn’t look out of place in Santorini. The real draw for many, though, will be the Aurora International Golf Club, whose 18-hole championship course has been overhauled by Greg Norman Golf Course Design. Want to get the kiddos in the swing of things? Norman’s firm has also designed a nine-hole, family-friendly short course. Fore!
From $749, auroraanguilla.com
For the West End Worshipper
Beaverbrook Town House
Already known for its posh Surrey estate, formerly the home of Churchill compatriot Lord Beaverbrook, this boutique British brand goes urban with its second property, spread across two late-18th-century Georgian townhouses in Chelsea. The 14 suites, each named after a famous London theater, are rife with stageworthy Art Deco elements—statement wallpaper, collections of vintage prints and posters, antique chairs and ironwork, and more. Japanese touches also appear throughout, from bonsai trees in the garden to ukiyo-e woodblock prints inside the Fuji Grill and Omakase Sushi Bar. The details are all so dramatic they’ll have you jumping in the next black cab to the Adelphi Theatre.
From $475, beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk
For the Sunset Seeker
The David Kempinski Tel Aviv
A brand-new tower along Tel Aviv’s beach promenade, Kempinski’s first hotel in Israel has all sorts of eye-catching amenities. The 250-room-and-suite property boasts an infinity pool; a full-service spa with 11 treatment rooms; five dining venues, including a high-end kosher fish restaurant; a Cohiba Atmosphere cigar bar and a House of Macallan whisky bar in the lobby; and a 34th-floor nightclub. The best experience, however, is the simplest one: sliding open the glass doors in your room to take in the sun setting west across the Mediterranean.
From $550, kempinski.com
For the Reformed Reveler
Six Senses Ibiza
People go to Ibiza to go out, but guests who set foot on this spectacular property might have second thoughts about their all-night plans. Seven years in the making and rumored to cost $100 million, this 116-room, village-like resort on the island’s unspoiled northern tip is setting a new standard of luxury in a destination best known for its celebrity DJ sets. The amenities include an on-site farm that supplies a restaurant from celebrity chef Eyal Shani; a 12,900-square-foot, world-class spa; and jaw-dropping ocean views best enjoyed from the infinity pool. Nightclub? What nightclub?
From $823, sixsenses.com
For the Gangnam Go-Getter
Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel
The Luxury Collection makes its Korean debut with this opulent, contemporary tribute to the Chosun Hotel, which opened as Korea’s first Western-style luxury hotel in 1914 and hosted everyone from General Douglas MacArthur to Marilyn Monroe to Seo Jae-Pil, who published the first newspaper in Korea to use Hangul. The Josun Palace invokes all the grandeur of its muse with impressive sculptures and a Grand Reception hall at the entrance, a gorgeous heated indoor pool, five bar and restaurant options, and 254 rooms and suites that look out over the trendy Gangnam district. It turns out Gangnam Style is more than just a fad.
From $273, marriott.com
For the Amateur Cartographer
The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City
Seventy-six percent of The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City’s 153 rooms have sweeping views of Bosque Chapultepec, CDMX’s sprawling, museum-studded urban park. (And of those rooms, two out of every three have terraces.) What this swank hotel knows, though, is that the one thing better than a room with a view is a room with a perspective. Taking in the neighborhoods flowing into each other, the purple ribbons of blooming jacaranda trees along the avenues, and the park’s cultural oases (the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Anthropology, and more), you’ll be reminded how small a gap there is between looking out upon a city and looking forward to it.
From $759, ritzcarlton.com
For the Red Rock Rambler
The Wilde Resort and Spa
You go to Sedona to revel in the wild of the red rock backcountry, and a stay at this aptly named property, set at the base of Thunder Mountain, offers just that— plus all the pampering you need. After a morning hiking Devil’s Bridge, soak your muscles in the heated pool and then visit the calming Wilde Haven Spa for a facial that incorporates Southwestern plants and wildflowers. For dinner, you can’t beat barbacoa paired with a prickly pear margarita at Rascal. Take another cocktail up to the Rangeview Rooftop Terrace to marvel at the stars before calling it a night.
From $219, thewilderesort.com