Rounding up the coolest new design hotels. Here’s the ultimate travel wishlist with 12 dream destinations.
It’s impossible not to fall in love with the colorful, preppy-meets-glamorous revamp of this island favorite. Auberge Resorts spent 18-months on the renovation with Todd-Avery Lenahan of TAL Studios (who also did the amazing Hotel Jerome in Aspen). Between the stunning design and the sweeping ocean views—it’s almost too much beauty for one place. Two beaches, two infinity pools, and a delightful spa are bonuses. With only 44 rooms, the hotel also has the advantage of being more intimate than competitors Viceroy and Cap Juluca —it’s a total gem.
Hotel Urso Madrid, Spain
Set in a 20th-century Neoclassical former palace—this gorgeous new boutique hotel in Madrid is showcasing the best of Spanish design, beauty, and food. Each month, their pop-up restaurant concept is helmed by a different Michelin-starred chef. Their spa features Spanish beauty brand Natura Bisse. And local designer Antonio Obrador, the mastermind behind Cap Rocat in Mallorca, has given the spaces a sophisticated look that pairs chinoiserie wallpaper with local antiques.
Luxury Safari brand Andbeyond has done a spectacular revamp of their safari lodge in Botswana. Eight suites adjacent to the Moremi game reserve feature plunge pools, roomy terraces, and a breathtaking, crisp contemporary design.
The first 5-star hotel in the idyllic Italian ski town of La Thuile, has everything you would want—and starts at less than $250 a night. The 55-room property is steps from the slopes. The Nordic-inspired design features that hipster birch wallpaper that everyone loves, and the hotel includes a spa, technogym, and indoor pool. La Thuile, which is in the Italian Alps is two hours from Geneva or Milan,and links to French ski resort La Rosière, offering just under 100 miles of trails.
“We’re here to wake up this industry and bring back the fun,” declares Virgin Hotels on their website. With the first property opening up January 15th in Chicago, New York to follow this fall, and Nashville next year, the brand is primed to make waves. In a nod to brands like Soho House, there is a hybrid bar/lounge, study/restaurant called Commons Club designed to “have the vibe of a private members club.” Except–you don’t have to be a member. Hotel guests enjoy free cocktails from 6 to 7 and rates start at $200 a night. Way to get the party started.
Marlon Brando’s private island retreat has been reborn as a stunning eco-friendly resort. There are 35 villas, each boasting their own plunge pools and private stretch of sand. But in keeping with the star’s wishes, the island is not all about vacation –it is also the setting for scientific research involving preservation and environmental solutions.
All the SLS hotels inherently have that Vegas flair—theatrical design, restaurants helmed by celebrity-chefs, and a vibe that’s buzzy, fun, and party-ready. So it’s no surprise the new 1600-room SLS is the hotel-of-the-moment in Vegas. Highlights include the pool /nightclub, an outpost of L.A.’s trendy Fred Segal and a mecca for carnivores, Bazaar Meat by José Andrés
A former private residence on 25,000 conserved acres along the Pacific Coast of Mexico—Casa Cuixmala is a dream destination. There are four oversized suites in the main house which was originally designed by Robert Courturier in a sort of exotic Morocco-meets-Mexico scheme. If you are looking for more privacy, their are 7 smaller casitas. Heaven for those looking for unspoiled, uncrowded stretches of sand—there are 2 miles of private beaches.
The former beachfront Ritz Carlton was just re-launched as the Eau Palm Beach. The cheery preppy redo of the 300-plus guest rooms by designer Jonathan Adler is reason alone to book. The rooms capture that zany, colorful, Hollywood Regency style that Palm Beach is known for. If you fall in love with anything in your room, from the Slim Aarons photographs to the Sputnick chandeliers—you can purchase it all through Adler’s eponymous stores.
Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Hoteliers Carrie and Alex Vik, originally opened Estancia Vik, their first art-filled boutique hotel on a 4000-acre ranch, to introduce the world to this idyllic part of Uruguay. Now the former sleepy fishing village of Jose Ignacio has turned into a boho-chic beach escape and the Viks have just opened their third hotel in the area, a beachside retreat called Bahia Vik. Their latest hotel includes 11 contemporary bungalows nestled in the dunes pairing one-of-a-kind art, modern design, and a fun beach scene.
Another total wishlist destination (it starts at $20,000 for a week for a 3-suite villa). The entire experience is over-the-top—each villa comes with its own spa therapist and 6-hours of spa treatments a day. Plus there is a butler, cook, and driver. Then there is the unbelievable, cutting edge design. 10 different designers added their stamp to the resort creating some of the coolest hotel rooms ever. Oh and there’s also the stunning Natai beach out front overlooking the Andaman Sea.
The Peninsula Paris, Plaza Athenee
With the Ritz revamp finishing up this fall, the Plaza Athenee blooming from a facelift, and the spectacular new Peninsula in Paris–the Right Bank has never had more grand and glamorous hotels to choose from.