Well. Looks like someone has taken advantage of the pandemic to develop hotel projects for the future. Or, more accurately, lots of someones, by the look of our new hotels 2021 global forecast, which includes 150 hotels, 27 independent standouts among them. Some projects are delayed 2020 openings; all are interesting in their own ways. If all signs point to travel coming back with a vengeance once Covid vaccines have been widely distributed and life returns to (a new) normal, then when we're ready to go, these hotels and their teams will be more than ready to welcome us.
Where: Greenough, Montana
Why We're Excited: The OG glampsters who created The Resort at Paws Up, forever redefining luxury camping, are unveiling their latest in western Montana: Year-round glamping in a dozen "hauses" built for two in four different styles (Tree Haus, Glass Haus, Round Haus, Light Haus) on 37,000 wooded acres. No trees were harmed in the development of the sustainability-minded project, and no gas-powered vehicles will be allowed on the property.
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Why We're Excited: Built in 1883, the 20-room historic hotel in the vibrant Garden District has has many lives: as a private residence, a World War II bunker, and a family-run bed and breakfast whoss porch bar became a local refuge for decades. This year sees a new chapter for the beloved mainstay, with a thoughtful renovation that added a private garden, rooftop sundeck and bar, and a Southern-style restaurant from the James-Beard-awarded Coquette restaurant on Magazine Street.
Where Chattanooga, Tennessee
Why We're Excited: Immortalized as a 1941 tune, now it's quite possibly the coolest location for a hotel ever: the 1908 Chattanooga Choo Choo, the first train to run nonstop from Ohio to Florida, and its Beaux Arts terminal. The Pullman sleeper cars are being transformed into suites with French textiles and Art Deco furnishings; the dining car will debut as a '70s cocktail bar. Rather than walking down a hallway to your guest room, you'll stroll the train platforms. Also inside the terminal, an intimate cinema will stream black-and-white movies, a recording studio will host local musicians, and a spirited wine bar and restaurant will anchor it all to a bygone era of luxury steam travel.
Where: Kingston, NY
Why We're Excited: If there's ever been a time where weekend jaunts to Hudson Valley and the Catskills were an essential for New Yorkers' sanity, it's now. Set on 73 acres of rolling hills and flower-filled meadows, Salt Hotels is transforming the last standing brick manufacturing yard on the Hudson River, with 31 waterfront glass cabins, a restaurant, and indoor/outdoor spa. Elements of country escapism, childhood fun, and simple living are everywhere: croquet sets, archery range, hiking and ski trails, kayaks, and cozy bonfires. The events calendar will include outdoor concerts, food and wine festivals, writing and film workshops, movie screenings, and culinary-themed weekends with top New York chefs. Guests will have a range of transportation options to access the property: Amtrak, seaplane, helicopter, car, or private boat up the Hudson.
Feel-Good Factor: The hotel is offering a free tuition hospitality school to attract local talent and train rising professionals in the hospitality industry.
Where: Mount Tremper, NY
Why We're Excited: Million Dollar Listing agent Steve Gold has teamed with interior designer Samuel Amoia to bring a 6,000-foot, Roman-style domed hammam spa and wellness hotel near Woodstock, New York. Stand-alone bungalows will feature private bathing gardens tucked into the mountainside, along with a Sicilian-style farm-to-table restaurant.
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Why We're Excited: Liz Lambert, the visionary behind Bunkhouse Group hotels, will launch Hotel St. Vincent, her first hotel with Lambert-McGuire Design. She's keeping a tight lid on things — there are no photos yet — but here's what we do know: The 75-room hotel in a landmark 1861 building has moss-draped outdoor verandas, an interior courtyard, and a member’s club with a guest-only lounge, pool, and bar. The hotel will also be home to the second outpost of Austin’s French-Vietnamese Elizabeth Street Cafe and a new coastal Italian restaurant.
Where: Escalante, Utah
Why We're Excited: So much to love, starting with the beautiful natural setting — twenty acres within Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — and the founders — a father-son team. Stay in a tricked-out Airstream or in a chic cabin, or just pull up in your own RV. We also dig the outdoor showers, bonfire pits, and the drive-in movie theater.
Where: Raleigh, North Carolina
Why We’re Excited: A labor of love conceived and executed by a husband-and-wife team, who for years walked past the 1860 Italianate mansion imagining what it could become. They injected new life into the historic home, converting it into what looks like a gorgeous hotel and events space.
Feel-Good Factor: As stated on their website, their core values of authenticity, generosity, sustainability, and inclusivity drove every decision. We wish every business would pledge not to discriminate on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital, family, pregnancy status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran, or citizenship status.”
Where: Umbria, Italy
Why We're Excited: Three generations of the aristocratic Bolza family have spent the past decades transforming a village of old farm buildings and a 1,000-year-old papal castle into an Italian country estate so grand and picturesque we wouldn't believe it if we saw it in a movie. And while the ultimate #lifegoal might be to own one of the 25 private homes on the property, until we can rob a bank we'll be blissfully happy as guests at the new 36-room hotel. More reasons never to leave: two restaurants (ingredients are sourced from the on-site organic farm and vineyards), the Bathhouse spa (located in the castle's ancient wine cellar), and the pool bar (in the former watch tower).
Where: Mallorca, Spain
Why We're Excited: Don't call this 25-room retreat in the Mallorcan countryside a mere hotel. The nature-based experience includes gardens, yoga, spa, and hiking in the adjoining reserve. The property was born as a finca producing olive oil and ice in the 15th or 16th century. They're not sure which, but at Roots, their restaurant (one of three) built into a mountain, an ancient olive oil machine bears a label with the year 1645.
Feel-Good Factor: Their sustainability bona fides are strong: The mountain provide all the water they need — for everything from drinking to showering. Coffee cups are made from coffee grounds (cute!). And any trees that were cut from the reserve were used to make amenity boxes and do not disturb signs. We especially applaud their goal of reaching full sustainability, and wish all companies charted their progress so transparently.
Where: Amalfi, Italy
Why We're Excited: A from-scratch build on the Amalfi Coast isn't something we see often. And while this 29-room, 16-suite newcomer ticks all the right boxes — sea-front location, elevators down to a private beach, five restaurants and bars, magical gardens, striking hand-made tiles everywhere, and (of course) breathtaking views — the brother hoteliers added a sophisticated, mid-century modern twist to the decor.
Where: Formentera, Spain
Why We're Excited: With Ibiza's party on pause, beachgoers flocking to its little sister island Formentera will have a new place to go: a14-room beachside property on majestic Migjorn beach. Views of the Med frame the organic and minimalist interiors (concrete floors, neutral textiles, tropical plants, and lots of rattan). A basket of organic breakfast will be waiting at your door every morning; aperitifs and cocktails will be served on the terraces at sunset. A rooftop will host sunset concerts, yoga classes, and wellness-focused gatherings.
Feel-Good Factor: A commitment to sustainability includes plastic-free amenities and dining, as well as participation in environmental programs through the Ibiza and Formentera Preservation Foundation.
Where: Versailles, France
Why We're Excited: The 14-room hotel filled with of-the-era furniture, art, and decor occupies three 17th-century buildings WITHIN Versailles palace, overlooking the Orangerie, the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses, and the Palace. Full stop. Full fantasy. This means that when the tourists leave, you can have a moonlit frolic the gardens, channelling your inner Marie Antoinette (minus that whole beheading business). The project is a pretty epic collaboration by French giants: hotel by Airelles, restaurant by Alain Ducasse, spa by Valmont.
Where: Mykonos, Greece
Why We're Excited: A trio of well-connected locals transformed a group of whitewashed houses into a mini village spread along five hillside acres leading down to the sea. The accommodations, 25 suites and two villas, all have private pools and minimalist decor made from natural materials. Speaking of well connected, Kalesma is the first hotel in the world to have furniture by fashion designer Rick Owens. It's in the lobby. If it's all starting to sound a little mythic, there's more: According to legend, Mykonos is where Aeolus, Greek god of the winds, was born, and this area of the island is where Apollo stabled the horses he drove through the skies.
Where: Florence, Italy
Why We're Excited: We fell in love with J.K. Place Florence when it opened in 2003, for the refined and welcoming way it felt more like a home than a hotel — a trend it (and all the J.K. Hotels) helped establish. And we can't wait to see how general manager Claudio Meli will breathe new life into the next phase of the hotel when it relaunches as The Place.
Where: Budapest, Hungary
Why We're Excited: In 1902, Her Imperial and Royal Highness Maria Klotild of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha commissioned two neo baroque, Belle Epoque palaces at the base of Elizabeth Bridge to evoke two ladies welcoming guests to the Pest side of the city. Now UNESCO World Heritage Sites under monumental protection, Matild is being reborn as a 111-room stunning and sustainable Breeam-certified hotel (part of The Luxury Collection) that's an homage to Hungarian craft and culture, as seen in everywhere from hand-crafted headboards and artwork reflecting Hungarian literature to bathrooms inspired by Budapest's legendary baths. And while the Maria Klotild Royal Suite, at 250 meters with a private entrance, three bedrooms, may be the largest presidential suite in town, we have our eye on the funkier loft rooms that were once the ateliers for the artists Maria Klotild, who loved to entertain.
Where: Piedmont, Italy
Why We’re Excited: Elegant sustainability has been a guiding principle in the design and construction of the sophisticated, 39-room boutique property two hours from Milan. Soaring views from the windows include rolling hills and tidy vineyards. Guests can try out the restaurant and bar, as well as wine workshops, cooking classes, and spa treatments without leaving the gorgeous grounds.
Feel-Good Factor: A commitment to eco consciousness includes using locally sourced materials, geothermal heating, 100-percent recycled water for irrigation, solar panels, a commitment to carbon neutrality, and zero single-use plastic.
Latin America + The Caribbean
Where: Todos Santos, Mexico
Why We're Excited: The debut property from an emerging Mexican hotel company overlooks the high-desert mountains and Las Palmas Beach in the Pueblo Mágico (magic town) along Baja California Sur. Paradero's 35 bohemian suites extend into the landscape and feature suspended hammocks (they call them "star nets"), soaking tubs, garden nooks, and indoor/outdoor showers. Clean lines and natural textures in handmade Mexican furnishings create open-air spaces, as do the half-moon shaped pool, communal living area with billowing curtain walls, long dining tables, and floor cushions strewn in front of the wood-burning fire. Many experiences are included in a stay — surf sessions, private beach picnics, farming and gardening tutorials, and a Baja taco tour.
Where: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Why We're Excited: It's rare on Turks & Caicos' beautiful Grace Bay to be perched on the cliffside and not have to share the precious white-sand real estate with several all-inclusive neighbors. These are but two of the luxuries found at the new Mediterranean-inspired resort with 42 spacious studio suites and homes, the new project by TCI's Grace Bay Resorts. Take in the views from the private over-water beach club jetty, the clifftop restaurant, and the 100-foot infinity pool. If you do want to leave the compound, the hotel's private excursion boat will take you snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear bay.
Where: Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Why We're Excited: A dozen responsibly designed suites overlooking the floodplains of the Okavango Delta extend over two islands and showcase the best of African craftsmanship — from the building architecture (inspired by the wingspan of the Perl's Fishing Owl) to commissioned artwork, ceramics, and decor pieces from 80 artists across the continent. Guests create individualized programs based on their interests, schedules, and who they're traveling with (kids over 12 are welcome).
Feel-Good Factor: The lodge has a number of state-of-the-art, first-of-its-kind sustainable infrastructure measures. The lodge is powered by the sun, free of single-use plastics, and temperature-stabilized with tinted glass. There are sophisticated systems for managing water (thermodynamic geysers) and waste (Earth Cycle composter; gray water irrigation), responsible building practices, and partnerships with the local community.
Where: Benguerra Island, Mozambique
Why We're Excited: Guests who stay in one of the serenely designed thatched-roof bungalows in this subtropical marine park have their own private pools and private beaches on the Indian Ocean. Besides full board and spa treatments, there's tons of personal space and lots of family-friendly programming.
Feel-Good Factor: Kisawa is guided by its local ecosystem, built with a light footprint by skilled artisans from the area. Non-profit sister organization Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies is the first ocean observatory dedicated to multi-ecosystem research in Africa and welcomes scientists and volunteers.
Where: Nkombo Island, Rwanda
When: By the end of the year
Why We're Excited: Sextantio made its name by reviving near-abandoned living structures in forgotten villages in Italy and turning them into the best possible example of preservation for modern living. Using historical sources from the local ethnographic museum, they will recreate structures to reorient travel to a forgotten island.
Feel-Good Factor: The goal, though challenging, is to reduce the cultural impact that African resorts have on local places and people. The entire project "will not have any profit purpose" and will fund Sextantio Onlus, a non-profit organization for social utility that helps the most deprived people seek affordable healthcare and effective treatments for treatable diseases in Rwanda.
Where: Linyanti Concession, Botswana
Why We're Excited: Africa's eco lodge pioneer Wilderness Safaris is opening two new wellness-centric lodges on the Osprey Lagoon, which is famous for its healthy population of roaming elephants. The twin-tented camps will accommodate groups of four and seven, each with a private plunge pool, indoor/outdoor showers, and shared access to the wellness center and spa. Sleep-outs under the stars can be arranged by both lodges following an after-dark safari at the nearby Zibadianja Lagoon.
Where: Lombok, Indonesia
Why We're Excited: Just a 40-minute flight from Bali, 46 spacious suites overlooking the ocean have sensational views of the Gili Island triplets, beloved by divers for the shipwrecks and thriving sea turtle population. Guests can choose a day of adventure or chill out on the pristine beach in the two-tiered infinity pool or on the international championship 18-hole golf course. Three restaurants (including a vegetarian option) make the most of the hotel's organic fruit and vegetable gardens. Personalized wellness programs, a wellness garden, and an apothecary bar showcase local healing ingredients and treatments.
Where: Inabe, Japan
Why We're Excited: A Danish and Japanese design team collaborated on a regenerative hotel project as part of a unique public-private project between outdoor company Nordisk, architectural company Third Nature, and the City Council of Inabe. The sustainable glampsite in the foothills of Inabe includes riverside sleeping structures, an area for pitching tents, a “learning field” for educational excursions in nature, and a central lodge for reception and workshops. Everything is based around the principle of the circle and generating, as the name suggests, major cozy vibes.
Feel-Good Factor: The project's aim? To develop a sustainable regional tourist attraction that can be used as a blueprint for other regions in Japan. Everything has been made from renewable materials and repurposed building waste.
Where: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Why We're Excited: Iconic Mount Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills is expanding with 14 new treehouse-style villas, an infinity pool, and two Japanese hot springs perched on the edge of the estate with sweeping views of Piccadilly Valley. Moon windows in the ceiling allow for nightly galaxy views, while personalized aromas and soundscapes are triggered when guests enter. Also worth noting is the on-site spa, which will be the second place in the world where the Jurlique rose is planted (the other on the nearby farm).
Even More — 123, to Be Precise — Great Expectations
The hotels listed above are primarily independent properties that will be unknown to most travelers. 2021 will also be a busy year for the properties below: some from bold and interesting newcomers and many more from hotel companies with established track records and well-earned reputations for delivering beautiful spaces, wonderful service, and the warm welcomes that result in memorable experiences. It's almost like we're catching up on a year spent cooped up, huh? We are also looking forward to:
Colton House Hotel
Now open on South Congress, with suites ranging from studios to three bedrooms with stay-a-while facilities like kitchens and laundry. Other perks include cabanas at the pool and Peletons in the gym. (January)
Moxy South Beach
The team behind our favorite Moxy Hotels in NYC have built a playful — and really affordable! — charmer steps from the beach, filling the indoors-meets-outdoors spaces with whimsical collaborations with local street artists, a cheeky custom rooftop foosball table, a secret bar off the outdoor restaurant, beautiful tiles everywhere, and Cuban touches like the treats in the lobby bodega-cum-taco eatery. (February)
Providence, Rhode Island
An impressive glass atrium and a rooftop lounge anchor this 47-room boutique hotel in the former 1887 Exchange Building, located near the local universities and attractions. (February)
Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas
The Asian luxury eco-minded hotel company launched their first new build in the U.S. in the cool SoCal surfer town that desperately needs a cool place to stay. (Early 2021)
Fort Worth, Texas
The new Autograph Collection hotel in the Mule Alley neighborhood is a "rustic-luxe" homage to cattle-driving cowboys of yore. (Early 2021)
Four Seasons in Napa Valley
Luxury and service are de rigueur at a Four Seasons, as are mountain and vineyard views in Napa Valley. But here's the detail we like best: The spa will have hammocks perched above geo-thermal pools. For maximum steam absorption, of course. (Spring 2021)
Aman New York
Ever wished you could just move into an Aman hotel forever? Now you can. Aman's midtown Manhattan hotel (their first in a US city) includes 22 private residences (from one to six bedrooms) with access to outdoor heated pools and Central Park views. The three-story spa has a banya (Russian-style sauna), hammam, and hydrotherapy offerings. (Spring)
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Auberge Resorts Collection took over the former Pulitzer family residences bordering the Santa Fe National Forest, adding a healing arts studio and private bunkhouses ideal for multi-generational families and friend getaways. (March)
The newcomer in the Detroit suburbs mixes handsome design with striking art and decor. (March)
The Ryder Hotel
Charleston, South Carolina
While there's not much to see on the website, its "come for the vibes" message sets a welcoming tone. Plus, we just love Charleston. (Spring)
The Newbury Boston
Major Food Group (the New York restaurateurs behind Carbone and The Grill) are partnering with Highgate Hospitality on a renovation of an iconic 1920s Newbury Street landmark near the Boston Public Garden. (March)
Pendry West Hollywood
Los Angeles, California
Does LA need a new hotel? Of course not. We don't need a new comic book-inspired Hollywood blockbuster either. But we'll watch the movie and we'll stop into this Hollywood Hills newcomer for the sophisticated Martin Brudnizki design, the rooftop pool, the entertainment venues, and the bowling alley. (March)
Also from Pendry Hotels this year:
Pendry Chicago in the iconic 1929 Art Deco Carbide & Carbon Building in the Loop (Spring)
Pendry Manhattan West in the overhyped Hudson Yards development. (Summer)
Pendry Park City, Utah's new ski-in, ski-out resort, with 153 rooms and suites and serviced residences, will open just in time for next winter's season. Expect that its rooftop bar and pool, the only one in town, will be totally booked by the Sundance Festival crowd. (Winter)
Palihouse Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
After a series of openings in southern California and Miami, the preppy-meets-salty boutique hotel company brings an inexpensive option to ritzy Santa Barbara. (Spring)
The Eldred Preserve
Eldred, New York
A local couple is restoring three mainstays on 600 bucolic acres in the Sullivan County Catskills: The Old Homestead Restaurant + Lounge, The Preserve Weddings + Events, and The Bradstan Boutique Hotel, which will have 28 cabins and suites.
High Hampton Resort
Cashiers, North Carolina
The longtime mountain getaway has been converted into an 18-room inn with cottages, all designed by the team behind Blackberry Farm. Come here to hike the Nantahala National Forest trails, kayak and swim in Hampton Lake, or just chill in a rocking chair. (April)
Ace Hotel Brooklyn
That most cool boutique hotels open in Williamsburg makes Ace Hotels' decision to open in brownstone-rich Boerum Hill extra noteworthy. (Spring)
The Langham Boston
The hotel housed in the original Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has undergone a multi-million-dollar, head-to-toe renovation. And, yes, they kept the N.C. Wyeth paintings (a gift from the bank) in the Wyeth Room. (Spring)
The Residences at Zero George
Charleston, South Carolina
If you're ready to take your work-from-home show on the road and want to live in cool Southern style, chic boutique hotel Zero George is launching five residences available for up to a year. (Spring)
New York, New York
The microchain adds a Midtown location to its portfolio of cute, affordable NYC hotels in SoHo and NoMad. (Spring)
The design references the city's industrialist past — lots of steel and metal throughout the historic 1902 building — while the cocktail program at the bar is as of-the-moment as can be. (Spring)
The glamping company that creates sustainable camps in stunning natural locations adds two options in time for warm-weather jaunts in the great outdoors: In April, Under Canvas Lake Powell - Grand Staircase opens on 220 acres of Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument in Utah. In May, Under Canvas Acadia, sets up on the waterfront near Acadia National Park in Maine.
For the many, many appealing qualities of Jackson Hole — insane skiing, a thriving arts and culture scene, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone — the city doesn't have lots of hotels, making this new, Western-inspired, 100-room option in Town Square a welcome addition to the scene. (Spring)
Wild Rice Retreat
An all-inclusive wellness retreat that cares less about weight loss and more about creativity, where programs are based on the self-care principles of Nourishment, Movement, and Expression, and accommodations are Ricepods, Nests, and Treehauses. (May)
The Chatwal Lodge
The Catskills, New York
The sister property to the midtown Manhattan hotel is perched along 60 acres overlooking the Toronto Reservoir and is set to deliver the best of Adirondack lodge living, from the fireplace to the farm-to-table cuisine. (May)
Southwest Harbor, Maine
Although there are few images as appealing as "summer in Maine," we'll up the ante by adding these details: the only fjord on the East Coast, a dozen cottages, and a croquet club. (May)
The Fifth Avenue Hotel
New York, New York
The NoMad neighborhood gets ever more sophisticated as boutique hoteliers continue transforming neglected buildings into highly designed attractions (see: Ace Hotel and the original NoMad). Old will meet new at sumptuous The Fifth Avenue Hotel, which will have 24 suites in The Mansion, the 1907 McKim, Mead & White building that once housed the Second National Bank, and 129 more rooms in The Tower, a sleek new skyscraper. (Fall)
Montage Big Sky
The first super luxe resort located in the mountains in Big Sky has skiing, golf, and fly fishing — and is less than an hour from Yellowstone. (November)
Six Senses New York City
New York, New York
It's big news that the luxury resort and wellness brand known for its hotels and spas in most serene and beautiful spots around the world has decided to open its first city hotel in Manhattan, in a mixed-use, block-long development along the Hudson River overlooking the High Line. (Winter)
Foster Supply Hospitality
The company behind upstate NY inns we love (like Kenoza Hall, as seen on our World's Best New Hotels list) is branching out, with Hotel Darby in Beach Lake, Pennsylvania, their first hotel outside New York, this spring, and their first wellness resort across the Delaware River in Neversink this winter. One more reason to love them: They provide meals to food insecure families and teach students about nutrition through their non-profit A Single Bite.
The Black Isle, Scotland
18th-century farm buildings have been carefully restored — and beautifully decorated — into five cottages and four suites arranged around a quad. Go big and buy out the whole place (they have an airfield, if you really want to go big) and spend your holiday exploring the rugged Scottish Highlands. (February)
Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel
The Rocco Forte family (and it really is a family affair at their hotels) restored an historic villa on the Gulf of Palermo, preserving the frescoes in the bar and the mirrors in the ballroom, ensuring the 104 rooms are just the right mix of modern and classic. (Spring)
Expect lots of buzz for NoMad's first overseas location, a renovated a 19th-century police station and courthouse in Covent Garden designed by Roman and Williams. Expect the NoMad signatures: sumptuous decor, a noteworthy restaurant, and a busting cocktail scene. (Spring)
The Mayfair Townhouse
The hotel company behind the grand English country hotels Cliveden House and Chewton Glen channeled the spirit of Oscar Wilde at smart their new Mayfair hotel, forgoing a restaurant (we will sustain ourselves on wit!) and naming the bar The Dandy. (Spring)
Beaverbrook Town House
Another grand English country hotel, Beaverbrook, will open a city outpost in Cadogan Place Gardens in Chelsea. The fourteen suites were inspired by London theaters; the restaurant by a 19th-century Japanese woodblock artist. (Summer; no website yet)
And three makes it a UK trend, when the renown Gleneagles moved into the city, converting the former Bank of Scotland into 33 unique rooms and one great rooftop bar. (Autumn)
Cashel Palace Hotel
In 1734, it was a grand country house for archbishops. In the early '60, it became a hotel that hosted Liz Taylor and Jackie O. After a major renovation this year, it will evolves into a Relais & Châteaux escape with 42 bedrooms (including six suites), a ballroom, spa, and lush gardens. (Spring)
Stunning Palma hotel Sant Francesc Hotel Singular welcomes a sibling in Santanyí in southeast Mallorca. It's another impressive conversion, this time of a 17th-century mansion, surrounded by nature with easy access to nearby beaches. (March)
If you're feeling self-inflicted pressure to take your first post-pandemic trip to a dramatic and remote location that none of your friends will have visited, three newly restored country houses in a Carpathian Mountains wilderness should fit the bill nicely. (Spring)
In what seems to be an emerging trend, the hotel that used to be Le Meridian Picadilly is leaving the Marriott Hotel group and going independent, with a zippy new name to show for it. (Early 2021)
Beautiful Ringstrasse boulevard has an impressive new address, with 111 rooms and suites, a concept shop, restaurant, and events space. (Early 2021)
The cute mini chain establishing a foothold in college towns across the United States will hits its biggest city yet with Graduate Roosevelt Island on the Cornell Tech Campus on the quirky island between Manhattan and Queens. Even bigger news is its big Oxbridge leap across the pond with the openings of Graduate Cambridge and Graduate Oxford. (Spring for all three)
Nobu Hotel London Portman Square
The striking hotel that will become the new Nobu Hotels flagship is making great eco strides by eliminating 80 percent of all printed matter throughout the hotel: menus, door keys, and more. (Spring)
The Chiado hotel inspired by two explorers is just one more reason to come to Portugal. And we're extra intrigued by the promise of "a bar where vermouth grows from the trees." (March)
We're digging the pop vibe of this welcoming hotel in the cool 9th arrondissement, where the 51 rooms and suites were designed to evoke a home-away-from-home feeling. (March)
One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro
The luxury resort company looked to old Venetian palaces as inspiration for their beachfront European debut. (March)
Belmond Splendido Mare
The first Belmond hotel to open under new LVMH ownership is a gut renovation of the 14-room property in the postcard-perfect Italian riviera town. The new design includes local and nautical touches in everything from the design to the room names. (April)
What claims to be the world’s first “super boutique hotel” will open in Leicester Square, the busy heart of London’s Theater District. What makes it super? Its size (350 rooms and suites), facilities (six eateries), structure (much of it is underground), and investment (more than £300 million). (April)
Add a strong does of Japanese wabi-sabi to Ibiza's inner hippie, and you'll end up with this hillside hotel with four swimming pools. (April)
Banyan Tree's first European property will be perched on an idyllic hilltop overlooking the turquoise waters in the majestic bay of Benitses in Akra Punta. (Spring)
London's ultra-cool hotel chain debuts their first Italy outpost in Salario, the under-explored residential neighborhood known for its funky bistros, leafy parks, and salumerie. (Spring)
Mandarin Oriental Ritz Madrid
Planted in the prestigious Golden Triangle of Art near the city’s most important museums, the five new restaurants and bars at the new MO are overseen by celebrated Spanish chef Quique Dacosta. (Spring)
The cool Curtain Hotel will be refurbished and reconceived as a London’s sole Mondrian-branded hotel. (Hotels like a makeover: The original London Mondrian is now Sea Containers Hotel.) (Spring)
Ca' di Dio
Art lovers have a dreamy new home base for the Biennale, overlooking the lagoon near the Arsenale. So too do history buffs, who will love knowing that property, which dates back to 1272 once welcomed weary Crusaders. Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola oversaw the redesign of 66 rooms and suites, as well as the wellness spa and boutique, which will sell Murano glass pieces made just for the hotel. (May)
A converted 800-year-old farmhouse anchors this new 12-room hotel, with a spa and Michelin-starred chef in wine country. (Spring)
Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia
If you're looking for a European mountain adventure with an unexpected twist, skip the Alps and make your way to Serbia. (Serbia! Bet you haven't been there yet.) Surrounded by a biodiverse natural park and promising 200 days of sunshine, the Kopaonik Mountains are a playground for all seasons, whether you're skiing a slope or paragliding from a summit. Soothe whatever aches at the end of the adrenaline-filled day at the hotel's hammam. (Spring)
Outposts of two Robuchon-family restaurants — L'Atelier du Joël Robuchon and Le Jardinier — will be but a few of the swank amenities at Oetker Collection's new all-suite lakefront hotel. A Maison Guerlain spa and the longest indoor pool in Geneva are just a few more. (Spring)
Locke Hotels has been made great strides in the contemporary apartment-hotel model with its comfy-cool locations in England, Scotland, and Ireland. This year will see five new openings, including two in Munich, where WunderLocke will be a hospitality ecosystem, with 360 rooms, an outdoor pool, an urban farm, a wellness center, and cultural programming. (June)
Callow Hall Hotel
The new Wildhive Collection promises to open sustainable and affordable retreats in natural settings around the United Kingdom. Their first will be a converted Victorian house in ancient woodlands. If you'd rather stay in even wilder accommodations, book one of the cabins or treehouses. (June)
In addition to 37 rooms, a vegetable garden, and a spa, the nature-based, sustainable luxury hotel on the coast near Lisbon will have its own beer and surfboard production studios. The project is the handiwork of a team of Portuguese creatives, including a perfumer, a sound designer, and a Michelin-starred chef. (Early summer)
Val d'Orcia, Italy
The medieval village-turned-resort that we love (read more about it on Fathom) is expanding, adding new suits, a spa, a casual eatery, an event space, and refurbishing the art gallery. (June)
The glorious (and still pretty new) country estate The Newt at Somerset will expand its offerings, adding 17 rooms and suites in the picturesque-sounding Cyder Mill, Apple Loft, and Cheese Barns. (Summer)
Cheval Blanc Paris
The iconic Art Deco landmark that was La Samaritaine department store along the Seine is being transformed by LVMH's Cheval Blanc group into a 72-room hotel with floor-to-ceiling windows (oh, those Paris views...) and a Dior Spa. It's so fantastically French it hurts. (Summer)
The Grand Mazarin
French hoteliers Maisons Pariente will open their first city hotel near Hotel de Ville, promising 63 unique rooms and suites and an underground bar. (This year)
No website yet here either, just a lot of advance buzz for the Martin Brudnizki-designed hotel that's billing itself as "your eccentric godmother's Soho townhouse." (September)
Hôtel Belle Plage
A chic new boutique hotel in the city's medieval Le Suquet neighborhood. (October)
The gatekeepers Parisian cool at EVOK Hotels are crossing the Alps and opening their first Italian outpost in the former Chamber of Commerce near Piazza San Marco. (Late 2021)
Cardigan, West Wales
The art-school couple behind fforest — a high-concept, simple-living development that includes a farm, cottages, bespoke "shacs," geodesic domes, and pubs — are converting two riverfront warehouses into a 23-room hotel, preserving historic touches like 19th-century maritime graffiti. (Sometime this year)
The Accor Group's youth hostel-meets-hotel "open house" concept is adding branches to its three French outposts: in Vienna (on the top two floors of a new IKEA — handy, should they run out of bunk beds), Budapest, and Rio de Janeiro.
The hotel company will have a big year, with openings opening in North and South America, the Middle East, and Asia. Europe will see two entries: In the fall, Six Senses Ibiza opens on Cala Xarraca Bay with townhouses, pool suites, and beach caves (love the sound of that!). Six Senses Rome will open in a restored,18th-century UNESCO-listed building near the Pantheon.
The Ian Schrager hotel company also has a big pipeline for the year, with openings scheduled in Rome, Reykjavik, Madrid, Tokyo Ginza, Dubai, Riviera Maya, and Tampa.
Latin America + The Caribbean
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Old San Juan typically likes to keep things, well, old. So it's news when a newcomer to the hotel scene arrives after nearly a decade. Set inside a light-filled Colonial-style building, the hotel is steps away from the neighborhood's colorful streets and historic landmarks. (January)
If nature travel is the name of the for the foreseeable, Explora hotels have a bright future. Located in some of the most picturesque spots in South America, their latest in Los Glaciares National Park offers prime hiking and trekking access to the Electric Valley and Marconi Glacier. (February)
Baja Club Hotel
La Paz, Mexico
It's a safe — and stylish — rule of thumb: When in Mexico, stay in a Grupo Habita hotel. Ever a step ahead of where travelers want to be, it's no surprise they're opening in La Paz, the sea-meets-desert-meets-mountains destination on the Gulf of California poised to be the next Baja hotspot. (March)
Six Senses Botanique
São Paulo, Brazil
Six Senses will open its first hotel in the Americas on 700 acres where three rivers converge in the Mantiqueira Mountains, midway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The seven suites and eleven villas used to be Botanique, which we rated one of the world's most romantic hotels. In addition to the Six Senses Spa, experience here will include bird watching, horseback riding, and forest foraging, as well as local artisan, winery, and farm tours. (February)
Italian designer Piero Lissoni brings a Mediterranean flair to the brand's fifth North America property on a stunning oceanfront in Puerto Cancun with a private beach club and yacht-friendly docks near high-end boutiques. (Early spring)
Community-driven and sustainably-focused Habitas, the hotels and experiences company that calls itself "a global home for a global community," has two Mexico openings this year: With Habitas Bacalar, they're the first hospitality group to land on the Mexico-Belize border at Laguna Bacalar, a lagoon of seven colors and white limestone sand. At beachfront Habitas Todos Santos, guests have access to diving, trekking, sunset bonfires, and soundtrack of breaching whales. (Summer for Bacalar; late 2021 for Todos Santos)
Auberge Resorts Collection
It's a busy year for the hotel company, not only in the US (see above) but also in Latin America. Opening this year in Mexico are Etéreo in Riviera Maya and Susurros del Corazón in Punta de Mita. Hacienda AltaGracia will open in San Ysidro, Costa Rica.
Belmond La Samanna
The grand hotelier opens on the white sands of Baie Longue on the French side of the Dutch-French island, with private villas and the biggest wine cellar in the Caribbean. (February)
Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth
The island will sparkle a little brighter with Rosewood's revitalization of the fabled property shuttered indefinitely after Hurricane Irma. On deck: 66 rooms and suites, private pools, and beachfront dining. (Summer/Fall)
Rosewood Sao Paulo, Brazil
São Paulo, Brazil
The luxury hotelier makes it debut in South America in a former hospital reconceived into a hotel and residences by starchitect architect Jean Nouvel and designer Philippe Starck. (Fall)
Lovango Resort & Beach Club
US Virgin Islands
The private island resort will be adding bungalows, tents, and villas to its existing restaurant and beach club offerings throughout the year. Props to the hotel for partnering with University of the US Virgin Islands on a coral restoration project. (Winter)
Hoshino Kai Kirishima
The latest hot spring ryokan in the Suskino meadow has floor-to-ceiling views of Mt. Sakurajima. (January)
A sustainably-minded resort with 25 suites (seven in treehouse canopies) set amid a waterfall and jungle, close to Canggu and Ubud and a quick stroll to the beach. (January)
RAKxa Wellness & Medical Retreat
Whatever ailments you have in life (or from 2020 alone), there's a cure at this health and wellness oasis on the protected jungle island across from Bangkok. Programs range from one to fourteen days with highly personalized treatments that mix Eastern and Western medicines and practices with the goal of improving immunity, gut health, detoxing, de-stressing, and strength building. Accommodations include 60 private villas in a serene garden setting with adjoining living rooms, outdoor terraces, and private plunge pools. (Early 2021)
Desa Potato Head
Indonesian hotelier Ronald Akili unveils his decade-in-the-making vision for a sustainable hotel-meets-creative village, complete with a conservation research lab, recording studio, and and subterranean discotheque. (Early spring)
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives
Fari Islands, Maldives
No, there's nothing particularly innovative or original about a luxury hotel with overwater bungalows in the Maldives. That doesn't mean this one isn't pretty stunning, as you'll see when you click on the website. (March)
Notable Asian hospitality is apparent at all points at this sleek business hotel. There are check-in services and limo transfers at the airport; at the hotel, there's luggage forwarding (one of our favorite amenities) and shower suites for freshening up during early check-in or before take-off. (March)
Sustainability and local culture are the main drivers of this forthcoming property in the happiest country on earth. (Tentative for 2021, but we're hoping!)
The Westbund Hotel, a Rocco Forte Hotel
The hotel will occupy the top floors of a sleek new mixed-use structure on the riverfront, injecting Italian style into the emerging West Bund neighborhood. (Later this year)
Situated on the banks of the Shouxi River in the Fujian province, the architecture and interior design of the business hotel pays tribute to local culture and history (Putian was once known as the "State of Literature.")
Six Senses Fort Barwara
The domes of a 14th-century palace once owned by the Rajasthani royal family have been converted into a 48-suite wellness sanctuary. The spa will specialize in Ayurvedic treatments; the restaurant will serve ingredients from local farms in private dining areas in the old observation tower. (Late 2021)
Africa and the Middle East
A visit to the website feels like a travel experience in itself, but we applaud this resorts strong eco commitment to be "100 percent African sourced and made, community built and serviced, powered by renewable energy, and organic wherever possible, and supporting only sustainable artisanal fishing and local farming." Yeah! (January)
Fynbos Family House
Simondium, South Africa
Babylonstoren, the beloved garden, winery, estate, and hotel, is adding a Cape Dutch style standalone house for up to ten guests. (January)
The Mighty Fine
Johannesburg, South Africa
The charming, community-minded newcomer near the CBD will have 61 rooms, from studios to three bedrooms with kitchens, designed for short or long-term stays. On-site amenities like the lobby/co-working space/gallery, a podcasting studio, a community cafe, and a treehouse bar were designed to appeal to the creative class. (March)
Six Senses Shaharut
Negev Desert Israel
The ancient Negev Desert is so expansive, the Six Senses resort and its 60 suites and pool villas almost appear as a supernatural mirage on the landscape. (June)
Mantis Kivu Queen uBuranga
Lake Kivu, Rwanda
In recent years, Rwanda has topped the must-go list in Africa, in no small part due to incredible support from the government and new luxury hotel options from Singita and One&Only. And while these are glorious hotels, they're hardly inexpensive. Which brings us to the more budget-friendly option for visiting this rich country: the Mantis hotels collection. Their newest option is a ten-room floating hotel that will cruise Lake Kivu, stopping to visit an island inhabited by the Idjwi tribe, to see the active Nyiragongo volcano, and to walk the high canopy or (awesome alert!) do a chimpanzee trek at Nyungwe Forest National Park. (July)
The new 50-room resort is a short drive from Mosi-oa-Tunya, the astounding waterfalls with the unfortunately drab English name Victoria Falls. (The poetic name in Lozi translates to "The Smoke Which Thunders.")
Mama Shelter Bahrain
How will the irreverent and whimsical, joyful and eclectic boutique hotel work in Bahrain? We can't wait to find out.
We've never understood how a city as cool as Melbourne had so few cool hotels, but that starts to change with the opening of W Melbourne on Flinders Lane. (February)
The Tasman, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Tassie's modern city center will take a genteel stroll back in time when this 128-key hotel opens full of Georgian and Art Deco touches. (October)
Ace Hotel Sydney
Sydney, New South Wales
The brand known for turning up-and-coming neighborhoods on their heads is headed to Sydney’s culinary melting pot of Surry Hills with a rooftop restaurant that's set to be a stunner. (Late 2021)
The reliably funky hotel company is adding two hotels to its Aussie portfolio: QT Newcastle in Newcastle, New South Wales, will be a conversion of a century-old building; QT Adelaide is the boutique hotel the awesome South Australia capital city so totally needs.