The hotel world is emerging from lockdown with gusto, as evidenced by the exciting crop of hotels that have opened so far this year. You may remember several of these from our preview, The World's Best Hotel Openings in 2021: 150 to Look Forward To! Whether you're ready to travel far and wide or would rather keep it close to home, you'll find lots of reasons to check into these winners.
NEW HOTELS IN THE USA
Where: Kingston, New York
Why We're Excited: Hospitality developer Charles Blaichman teamed up with restaurateur Taavo Somer (of Freeman’s fame) to turn a collection of four 17th- through 19th-century buildings in Upstate New York into a series of beautifully designed and decorated guest rooms with a restaurant and bar. The second (ambitious!) restoration after the flagship Wall Street building (a former bank) is the newly opened 1770-era Georgian building at 41 Pearl Street. Hand-painted tiles flank original fireplaces, custom headboards are upholstered in gray wool, and vintage chairs are covered in modern textiles. The look is subdued, sophisticated, and scholarly — lots of clean lines and slender silhouettes, big windows, and crown moldings. The bar and restaurant are a draw for the artsy local and visiting crowds of Kingston, one of the buzziest communities in the Hudson Valley.
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Why We’re Excited: The 1883 Garden District Italianate mansion that has lived many lives, (as a private residence, a World War II bunker, and a family-run bed and breakfast) has been reimagined by hotelier Jayson Seidman and is now open with a lovely private garden, rooftop sundeck, dining and cocktail menus executed by James Beard Award-nominees, and 20 sleeping chambers done up in a theatrically gentile Southern way by designer Lorraine Kirke. Start your night (or day?!) in New Orleans with a Lavender Cold Press (Japanese whisky, cream, coffee) and you'll be well on your way to letting the good times roll.
Where: Escalante, Utah
Why We're Excited: If your craving a great-outdoors getaway but without quite as much dirt, hit the open road to this new 20-acres resort set within Grand Escalante National Park. Built on the grounds of a drive-in theater, guests can stay in a vintage Airstream trailer or a Western-inspired A-framed cabin with comfy beds and private patios to stare out at the vast desert expanses and starry skies. There are also 67 hook-up sites for the RV crowd, each with a private firepit and access to the bath houses with outdoor rain showers. Listen to vintage records, sunbathe, or playing a board game in the expansive open-air Clubhouse and fuel up with coffee and picnic goods at the general store. Spend the days exploring, soak in the pool at sunset, catch a classic movies at the weekend drive-in.
Read More on Fathom: Who Needs Glamping When Your Cool Airstream Comes with a Drive-In Movie?
Where: Miami, Florida
Why We're Excited: If you come to Miami to play, you'll want a hotel to match your mood. Step right up to the funhouse of delights that you'll find at this charmer steps on Washington Avenue, a few blocks from the beach. The hotel's indoors-meets-outdoors spaces brim with joy, as seen in whimsical collaborations with local street artists, in a cheeky custom foosball table, the secret bar off the main restaurant, an outdoor rooftop movie screening area, those beautiful tiles everywhere, and Cuban touches like the treats in the lobby bodega-cum-taco eatery. That it's all so affordable only adds to the appeal.
Where: Miami, Florida
Why We're Excited: For starters, it's all in the name. The South Beach newcomer has all the characteristics of an of-the-moment micro hotel: compact rooms with clever space-saving furnishings and fun and punchy decor, and lively public spaces designed for primo Instagramming. What it has that others don't is Pharrell Williams, who is partners in the project with Miami nightlight king David Grutman. The design is striking — with florals galore, animal prints, and pink on pink on pink everywhere.
Where: Raleigh, North Carolina
Why We're Excited: First time hoteliers Sarah and Jeff Shepherd lovingly restored Montfort Hall, a pre-Civil War mansion (a National Historic Landmark), in their neighborhood, converting it into a nine-room hotel filled with vintage and modern furnishings, beautiful objects and artwork, and striking chandeliers. The ceilings are high, the columns in the foyer are grand, the fireplaces outnumber the bedrooms, and the event space is ready for a celebration. Welcome to the new Southern hospitality.
Where: Kingston, NY
Why We're Excited: While most of New York's industrialist past and Gilded Age era have all but vanished, Salt Hotels lovingly restored the last standing brick manufacturing yard on the Hudson River into a bucolic getaway and adult summer camp. 31 waterfront glass cabins dot the 100-acres flower-filled property with unobstructed river views and minimalist decor. Invitations for fun and adventure arrive at every turn with kayaks and paddleboards to cruise the river, several hiking trails, outdoor yoga, croquet sets and an archery range. Wood-fired ovens and grills are the centerpiece of the outdoor kitchen at The River Pavilion, the property's new restaurant by chef Dan Silverman of Minetta Tavern. Honoring the bedrock of Hutton Brickyards as a unique gathering and retreat space, a forthcoming 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. And while most New York getaways involve a heavily-trafficked highway trek, guests can access the property via Amtrak, seaplane, helicopter, car, or private boat up the Hudson.
Where: Kenmore, Washington
Why We're Excited: We're suckers for the Pacific Northwest — the geek style! the food and wine! the forest-ocean-mountain vibe! — and also for a historic renovation. So sign us up for the restored landmark hotel on more than 300 lakefront acres in a state park on Lake Washington, just under a half hour from Seattle. Spend the days hiking and biking the trails and forest bathing amid the old growth trees, then relieve any aches with nature-infused treatments at the indoor/outdoor Vita Nova Spa. The hotel was originally a seminary, whose history you can learn in detail on the self-guided tour or just absorb through a drink at Father Mulligan’s Heritage Bar, which was named for the seminary’s first president, or at The Tonsorium, the speakeasy in what used to be the barbershop.
NEW HOTELS WORLDWIDE
Where: Versailles, France
Why We're Excited: This may be one of the most hotly anticipated and grandest openings of the young decade. 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 in 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: Todos Santos, Mexico
Why We're Excited: Though a virgin beach is just down the road, Paradero chose this location because it wants to direct travelers’ attention to the distinct ecosystems of the area, which, in addition to beaches, includes incredible 200-year-old cacti, the Sierra de Laguna Mountains, an oasis of 5,000 palm trees, and fertile farmland. The small property of 35 bohemian suites offers suspended hammocks (they call them "star nets"), soaking tubs, garden nooks, indoor/outdoor showers, half-moon shaped pool, and a 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, further attracting travelers who are interested in minimalist, sustainable luxury, and seeking out a different side of Mexico.
Read More on Fathom: Experience the Best of Baja at Paradero Todos Santos
Where: Baie Longue, St. Martin
Why We're Excited: We just may have found the Holy Grail of Caribbean resorts. For so many reasons, starting with how easy it is to get there from the East Coast of the US. Once there, it's a toss-up what's best: the swimmable waters, the vast beach, the terrific staff, the French-with-an-Italian accent style, or the wine cellar, the biggest in the islands.
Read More on Fathom: Is La Samanna the Ultimate, Please-Everyone Caribbean Hotel?
Where: Florence, Italy
Why We're Excited: When the hotel first opened as J.K. Place in 2003, it ushered in the trend of boutique hotels that feel like homes — a movement that resonated not only locally and throughout Italy but worldwide. Nearly two decades later, the original team (owner Carlo Babini and general manager Claudio Meli) is at it again, reconfiguring the space as The Place Firenze. An elegant and homey warmth remains throughout is made even warmer with a palette of greens, golds, and reds that reflect the colors of facade of Santa Maria Novella church across the piazza. Of special note are the plant-filled Glass House atrium space and Lo Studiolo, a jewel box with hand-painted vaulted ceilings that recalls a 15th-century study. A cornerstone of the hotel's mission is supporting local artisans of all trades, through exclusive guest experiences and a special fund, to ensure the city's rich legacy endures. Florence, remember, is the town that invented the Renaissance. The Place Firenze is the hotel for its city.
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: 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: Formentera, Spain
Why We're Excited: This is what happens when Ibiza's club kids grow up, have kids, and invest in savings and retirement accounts: They head to Formentera, the smaller and quieter island next door and open a warm and low-key 14-room inn 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: Setoda, Japan
Why We’re Excited: The Setouchi region around Japan’s Seto Island Sea has become the country’s calling card for off-the-beaten-path travel. There’s Naoshima, one of the “art islands,” in the east, and the Shimanami Kaido cycling route in the west. The peaceful ryokan Azumi Setoda is in the middle, a cute port town with citrus groves and calm waters. It is here that Adrian Zecha, founder of Aman, worked with Japanese hospitality group Naru Developments to reimagine the estate of 19th-century salt barons. The supreme bones of the building have been restored in the flexible sukiya style, which incorporates wood, stone, and soil and is rooted in the aesthetics of the tea ceremony. Rooms have small gardens or terraces and cypress bathtubs. Breakfast and dinner incorporate ingredients from the region and are served on antique plates, and the water in the bathhouse is scented with local lemons.
Where: La Paz, Mexico
Why We’re Excited: As we’ve said before, it's a safe — and stylish — rule of thumb: When in Mexico, stay in a Grupo Habit hotel. The latest is a sea-meets-desert-meets-mountains destination on the Gulf of California. Located on the Malecón, the restored colonial-inspired villa has 32 coolly decorated guest rooms (swoon, the tiles!), a rooftop bar, a spa, and a central patio with a pool and seriously photographable brick work as its backdrop. What a chic way to start your year of revenge travel.
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. Poised to open in 2020, they were delayed by a certain pandemic, which may make the wait even more worthwhile. 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: 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.
Why We're Excited: Located on a secluded peninsula in Southern Mozambique, Sussurro is a prime example of how luxury, design, and responsible, sustainable travel can co-exist when done properly from the start. Designed and masterminded by power couple Sarah Birkett and Adam Humphreys, the six expansive bungalows (which are larger than many city apartments) exhibit Mozambican architecture and exude warm minimalism. Rooted in authentic artisanal design, every single item was either carved on site or personally sourced across Africa. And every single view is perfectly framed as if in a photograph.
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: Rome, Italy
Why We're Excited: London's ultra-cool and wildly affordable hotel chain debuts its first Italy outpost in Salario, the under-explored residential neighborhood known for its funky bistros, leafy parks, and salumerie. The 192-room hotel offers its signature room sizes (Shoebox, Snug, Cozy, Roomy) and bold design choices; and adds a buzzy all-day cafe and outdoor terrace serving snacks for aperitivo hour.
Where: Paris, France
Why We're Excited: Cinephiles will flock to the 12 arrondissement for the world's first ever "cinema hotel," where 36 guest rooms include a nine-foot-wide screen projector that descends at the foot of the bed for all-night classic movie marathons. An attached six-screen theater also shows films from dusk 'til dawn, but to truly set the scene for La Vie en Rose, head up to the open-air grassy rooftop cinema and terrace with a cocktail bar and sweeping views of the city. The La La Land karaoke suite will appeal to songbirds, with more than 10,000 songs on deck. All-day room service can be ordered from the in-room tablet or take a matinee brunch at the downstairs cafe serving bagels and pancakes.
Where: Portofino, Italy
Why We're Excited: 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. Yes, Belmond already had a glorious hotel in the small port town, the grand Splendido uphill, but Splendido Mare is an altogether more relaxed option what pays homage to the town's maritime culture and artisanal traditions.
More Openings of Note
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.
The Newbury Boston
Major Food Group (the New York restaurateurs behind Carbone and The Grill) partnered with Highgate Hospitality on a renovation of an iconic 1920s Newbury Street landmark near the Boston Public Garden.
New York, New York
The former James Hotel in SoHo has been reconceived and redone. In addition to a fresh design that includes artwork by Calder and Dubuffet, new additions include Jumpin Jacks, a breakfast area and cocktail lounge, and Veranda, the indoor/outdoor restaurant with a retractable roof overseen by beloved local Michelin-starred chef George Mendes. Very wisely, Jimmy, the awesome rooftop bar with the killer downtown views run by nightlife impresario David Rabin, is still there.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The first new hotel in the French Quarter has loft-like rooms with a warm, industrial feel.
Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas
San Diego, California
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.
Fort Worth, Texas
The new Autograph Collection hotel in the Mule Alley neighborhood is a "rustic-luxe" homage to cattle-driving cowboys of yore.
Thompson San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
The newcomer on River Walk in the Arts District has a Middle Eastern-inspired rooftop restaurant, original works by local and global artists, and city and Texas Hill Country views.&
The newcomer in the Detroit suburbs mixes handsome design with striking art and decor.
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.
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 check into this Hollywood Hills newcomer for the sophisticated and retro-glam Martin Brudnizki design, the checkerboard plaza off the cool driveway (cars are a big deal in this town), the rooftop pool, and the super silent rooms (yes, on Sunset Boulevard).
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 has five residences available for up to a year.
The Ryder Hotel
Charleston, South Carolina
A fun new entry in the Southern city that just gets better and better.
The glamping company that creates sustainable camps in stunning natural locations adds two options in time for warm-weather jaunts in the great outdoors: Under Canvas Lake Powell - Grand Staircase on 220 acres of Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument in Utah and Under Canvas Acadia on the waterfront near Acadia National Park in Maine.
Rivers, waterfalls, jungle, sea, dolphins, mangroves, rain forest, views: This new eco lodge is exactly why you come to Costa Rica.
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.
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.
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Part resort, part beach club, all private island.
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.
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.
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.
Locke Hotels, the company making great strides in the contemporary apartment-hotel model in comfy-cool Euro towns, has a busy year of openings planned, starting wit Kingsland Locke in the cool London neighborhood Dalston.
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.
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.
The luxury resort hotelier looked to old Venetian palaces as inspiration for its beachfront European debut in the buzzy port town Boka Bay, where the Black Mountains meet the Adriatic Sea, with UNESCO national parks scattered for idyllic nature therapy. Sabbia, the in-house restaurant, will be overseen by superstar Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli,
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.
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. The Caretaker’s House (four bedrooms) and Depner House (two bedrooms) are now open; the Corner Barn (four bedrooms) will debut in September.
Mandarin Oriental Ritz
The Belle Époque masterpiece opened in 1910 by pioneering hotelier César Ritz will get a new — and suitably grand — new life under Mandarin Oriental. Planted in the prestigious Golden Triangle of Art near the city’s most important museums, the hotel's five new restaurants and bars are overseen by celebrated Spanish chef Quique Dacosta.
Not new, but totally renovated from top to bottom in partnership with safari outfitter Natural Selection.
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.
Patina Maldives, Fari Islands
Fari Islands, Maldives
The four islands in the Fari Islands group are seeing a lot of action this year, with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives and, even more interesting and subtle, the gorgeous Patina Maldives from the team behind Capella Hotels.
Hoshino Kai Kirishima
The latest hot spring ryokan in the Suskino meadow has floor-to-ceiling views of Mt. Sakurajima.
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.
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.