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41 Best New Hotels in the World 2024

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A truly great hotel can’t be measured solely by the fancy soap in the marble bath, the plushness of the bed, or the quality of the chocolate provided with turndown service. We all love these little touches of luxury, of course. But they’ve become standardized—a way of offering the predictability that many travelers crave. Forgive us, but that’s not a very exciting way to explore the world. The most memorable travel experiences are the ones we didn’t expect and can’t replicate anywhere else.

The properties on this year’s Best New Hotels list, our third, prove that a hotel that goes against the grain of ho-hum luxury can change the vibrations of its neighborhood and its city. More importantly, it can change the way you see a place. At Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island, we fished in the same ponds as people did centuries ago and drank at the same bar as Jim Morrison did in the sixties. The hotel is located on a calm beach with warm, clear water. You could put pretty much any kind of property there and it would be successful. But it’s the respect for how this land was used long ago as well as how it will be used in the future—it operates completely on solar energy—that connects with us on a deeper level. Staying at the Sea Ranch Lodge in California will give you an appreciation for how modernist design can meld with nature. And Rome’s Bulgari Hotel helps to redefine what Italian opulence means. Perhaps no property we visited will change the way you think about a city more than our Hotel of the Year: The Lafayette serves as an ambassador to the richness of San Diego’s culture. And it does so with a range of nonstop hospitality options that include incredible cocktails, a vibrant pool scene, a twenty-four-hour diner, and even bowling.

The thing is: You need to have your mind open to change. If all you really want are fancy soaps and soft sheets, that’s all you’ll get out of an experience. A hotel can only do so much. But when you change your receptors to a more receiving frequency and visit a place vibrating on a different level, that’s when travel magic happens. Sometimes a great hotel can change the way you see yourself in the world. —Kevin Sintumuang


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THE LAFAYETTE

San Diego

You don’t expect it to be just past a Denny’s and a McDonald’s on El Cajon Boulevard, but there it is, a neon sign that glowingly announces “The Lafayette” in a grand, old-timey typeface. The valet, who is dressed in a Wes Anderson–meets–skate punk uniform, greets you as you make your way up the checkered tiled stairs and then pull open a door with a brass snake for its handle. The maximalist design of the lobby and, if you arrive on a Friday evening as I did, the big-night-out energy of the place hit you immediately. Locals are sipping highballs and sitting on couches upholstered in stripes and animal prints, the golden light of glass palm-leaf chandeliers glowing above them. You go up to the café to check in—order an espresso martini if you’d like—and head through the property’s ornate, circular main bar, centered on an immense statue of Atlas, past the twenty-four-hour diner (superb patty melt), past the pool bar (killer Painkiller), and enter your room. It is similarly wild: a velvet couch with tassels and zebra-print cushions, several types of wallpaper depicting various vignettes, and, in the bathroom, a hand-painted Talavera ceramic toilet. Everything clashes, but it all works.

The connective tissue between all the disparate elements of this fever dream of a party palace is obsession and iconoclastically superb taste. That is the MO of CH Properties, the company responsible for the majority of San Diego’s coolest bars and restaurants, from Youngblood to Raised by Wolves. Unlike most hotels, the Lafayette does not feel as if it were made by committee. No corporate board or focus group is going to tell you it’s a good idea to reassemble an abandoned Mexican church for the interior of an on-site Mexican restaurant or to build a two-lane bowling alley in your basement bar in homage to the final scene in There Will Be Blood. It’s these outlandish ideas that have transformed a property that started its life in the forties as a hotel serving the likes of Bob Hope—and, it’s rumored, Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy—into a prime example of what a hotel can be when it thinks of hospitality not as giving the guests what they think they want but as showing them what’s pretty damn cool. And it turns out, a hotel in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood is pretty damn cool. Rooms from $248K.S.


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a bed with orange pillows

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THE GLOBAL AMBASSADOR

Phoenix

The Global Ambassador is less a hotel than a collection of places to eat with a place to sleep between meals. This is the first project of James Beard Award– nominated restaurateur Sam Fox, who It’s a Small World’s the place with the French steakhouse Le Âme, the Mediterranean rooftop restaurant Théa (flaming saganaki against the sunset), and a pink poolside bar called the Pink Dolphin. Rooms from $700Joshua David Stein


a room with a view of the ocean and a deck

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DILLON BEACH RESORT

Dillon Beach, California

Was scrappy luxury already a thing or did Dillon Beach Resort invent it? You (and your family, or your dog, or your five best buds from college, or just your surfboard) will sleep in one of a collection of tiny homes dotting the hillside overlooking the mouth of Tamales Bay, or a larger “coastal cabin” that sleeps up to six, with a private firepit and yard for grilling. The cypress-surrounded perch in this town of three-hundred-odd full-time residents was once a park for mobile homes with a surfin’ U.S.A. vibe. The new resort respects the site’s easygoing heritage but ditches the vinyl siding, trading it for eco-friendly building materials and unobstructed views of the Pacific. The Coastal Kitchen, attached to a general store and surf shop, is a gathering place with an approachable wine list from the legendary wineries of surrounding Sonoma County and an unmissable clam chowder. Tiny homes from $199; cabins from $599Kelly Stout


a table and chairs in a room

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DAWN RANCH

Guerneville, California

Located just a few miles west of Napa Valley is the town of Guerneville, a bohemian enclave that sits upon the banks of the Russian River and is quite possibly one of the most fun places in all of California. Breweries, wineries, restaurants, and diners dot the town, while the nearby Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve is home to some of the finest hiking on planet earth. The river is perfect for kayaking, fishing, or just chill inner-tubing, and in the summer the town hosts Lazy Bear Week, a lively, boisterous LGBTQ+ gathering. It’s a wonderful little community but with only a few cool, hip hotels. One of those was Dawn Ranch, which operated from 2005 to 2019, when it was seriously (some thought irreparably) damaged by a flood. After a lengthy multimillion-dollar renovation, Dawn Ranch finally reopened last year with a host of massive upgrades. The entire property retains a warm, summer-camp feel with an array of cabins, cottages, and glamping tents. The on-site spa offers everything from sports massages to sound baths, along with a steam room, outdoor soaking tubs, and an infrared sauna. The crown jewel of Dawn Ranch, though, might be the Lodge, a homey restaurant and bar where chef Fernando Trocca has designed a menu that melds traditional Argentine and Uruguayan dishes with almost unbelievably fresh ingredients from northern California. Be sure to get a bottle from the wine list, which is robust and features more than a few spectacular choices from the Sonoma coast. Hell, make some new friends and get two. Rooms from $299Daniel Dumas


a fire pit with chairs and a gazebo in the background

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THE INN AT MATTEI’S TAVERN, Auberge Resorts Collection

Los Olivos, California

In the newly buzzy Santa Ynez Valleywith its destination French-ish restaurant Bell’s (an Esquire Best New Restaurant in 2020), more chill vineyards than you’ll find up north in Napa, and the charming main drag in Los Olivosthe Inn at Mattei’s Tavern is the perfect base for living out your SoCal wine-country dreams. The ranch-style property, which dates back to the 1800s, has recently become an Auberge Resorts Collection hotel, meaning it is now an impeccably designed retro fever dream with a gorgeous pool and a bar, a coffee shop, and a restaurant to indulge in. You pass herb and flower gardens on the way to your guesthouse, painted a brilliant white. There is a water tower in the middle of the property; next to that, Adirondack chairs and a firepit on a great lawn, the ideal place to watch the sun go down before heading to dinner at the bustling Tavern. Have an old-fashioned in front of the fireplace at the bar before returning to your room. If you haven’t been transported back in time yet, that moment will do it. Rooms from $950 K.S.


a swimming pool surrounded by trees

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PENDRY NEWPORT BEACH

Newport Beach, California

If your reason for being in Newport Beach is to shop ’til you drop, sip summer-inspired cocktails in a stylish pool cabana, and enjoy a few very good meals, book a stay at the Pendry. The pool is outside, the restaurants are in-house, and the Fashion Island shopping center is literally across the street. (Another good one: Disneyland—it’s not far, for those with kids in tow.) The hotel has 295 rooms, 114 of them suites. They’re not the most luxuriously appointed lodgings you’ll find on this list, but they are spacious and stocked with everything you need to be comfortable. Plus, how much will you really be in your room? There’s the expansive Bar Pendry in the lobby, SET Steak & Sushi right next to it, and Tree Shack Grill along the walk to the pool. The menu at each is uncomplicated but delicious, and the bar program is undeniably fun. It’s clear that locals agree: Each buzzes nightly with a population that comes from all over town. As for the spa, it isn’t grand, but the services are creative and well done. And, if you can believe it, there’s more: Also on-site is the Elwood Club, a membership club with its own pub, the Italian-meets-California restaurant Viamara, and a cabaret venue. Rooms from $395Madison Vain


a fire pit with chairs and a fire pit in a yard with trees

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LODGE AT MARCONI

Tomales Bay, California

The Lodge at Marconi might have one of the wildest pedigrees of any hotel. Located some sixty miles north of San Francisco, it started out in 1915 as a radio receiving station and hotel for, you guessed it, employees of Guglielmo Marconi, one of the inventors of the radio. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the headquarters of the violent Synanon cult, whose members practiced something called “attack therapy” and were recruited to be extras in George Lucas’s THX 1138 because of their shaved heads. By the 1990s, it was abandoned and had fallen into disrepair. Today, after a lengthy renovation, it has been reborn as the Lodge at Marconi, a collection of funky-cool cottages perched on a verdant, secluded hillside overlooking Tomales Bay. The vibes are easy-breezy California coastal, with comfy Adirondack chairs, cozy firepits, and inviting common areas sprinkled throughout the grounds. The decor has a retro seventies feel with thoughtful accents from Bay Area stalwarts like Heath Ceramics. Some of the world’s best hiking, oysters, and cheesemakers are a couple minutes’ drive away. But the best thing about the Lodge might be the silence. At night, the splashes from the bay and the gentle sounds of the woods will lull you into a deep sleep. Rooms from $245 —D.D.


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DRIFT PALM SPRINGS

Palm Springs, California

A few years ago, the Palm Springs city council put a choke hold on short-term housing rentals (sorry, Airbnb!) and helped pave the way for a new generation of hip, cool hotels. And it was about damn time. Situated a block from Palm Springs’ sometimes mild, sometimes wild downtown, the Drift is a decidedly chill oasis that strikes a careful balance between mid-century cool and desert weirdness. The rooms range from cozy studios to cavernous four-bedroom suites, while the neutral decor—concrete floors, light woods—keeps things feeling calm. Each suite is also packed with genuinely useful items like a full-sized fridge, a standard dishwasher, and a Balmuda toaster oven. While there’s no front desk—you check in via text—Maleza, the Baja-inspired in-house bar, buzzes with positive energy (and a killer playlist) day and night. Get the Paloma. Get the fish tacos. And don’t be afraid to get a little rowdy. Rooms from $265 —D.D.


a room with a desk and a chair

Chase Daniel

THE LINE SAN FRANCISCO

San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco can feel a bit beleaguered these days, but the built-from-the-ground-up Line hotel is a bright spot with the clean, angular lines of its exterior. The inside follows the aesthetic of the other Line hotels: ample, clean-lined rooms that are a touch industrial yet have plenty of warmth. Many of the suites have deep soaking tubs—a rarity these days, especially at this price. The rooms are some of the nicest in San Francisco outside of the big luxury brands. What makes the Line truly hum, however, are the bars and restaurants overseen by chef Joe Hou and veteran barman Danny Louie. Start at Dark Bar, in the lobby, which specializes in fermentation and Asian ingredients, and end the night at Rise Over Run, the hotel’s rooftop bar, where you can get some of the best crudo in the city alongside a bucket of fried chicken. Rooms from $225 —K.S.


a living room with a green couch and a large window

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THE SEA RANCH LODGE

Sea Ranch, California

Not to take away from Big Sur, but Sea Ranch, a few hours north of San Francisco, feels even more like the isolated, craggy end of the earth. It’s harder to get to. You won’t find many day-trippers clogging Highway 1, where the twists and elevation changes aren’t for the faint of heart. As you arrive at the very northern reaches of the Sonoma coast, just before the Mendocino county line, you’ll start to see the timber-frame structures that make up the town, a sixties modernist utopia. Its heart is the recently renovated Sea Ranch Lodge, which is a hotel, yes, but also the town’s post office, coffee shop, bar, and restaurant. You’ll notice it immediately from the distinctive logo, designed by Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, the inventor of “supergraphics,” which are used throughout the town, from the men’s locker room at the community pool to a recently commissioned design in the lodge’s lounge.

The Sea Ranch Lodge is that rare place that attracts those with an affinity for nature, modern architecture, and design and an appreciation for how all of these things can be inspirational in their own right and downright spiritual when combined in the right ways. The rooms are serene, like modernist cabins. The restaurant and bar are delightful and fun, but it all feels like a bonus. You don’t come here for the luxury. At the end of a day of hiking, hitting the community pool, walking the beach, and observing the way sea-foam can float into the air, all eyes look out toward the horizon and the setting sun, which will eventually give way to a pitch-dark night of stars. You leave with an appreciation for fonts and graphics, for the smell of fresh cedar, for sea-foam. This is why you came here. Rooms from $500 —K.S.


a bedroom with a large window

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MOLLIE ASPEN

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen has a lot of great hotels. Do any cost less than a mortgage payment? Not really—until now. Enter the Mollie, a boutique hotel that is stylish and inviting, all for a fraction of the price of the big players in town. Cozy rather than grand, the guest rooms favor a minimal Scandi and Japanese design, and the lobby café/restaurant is bursting with comfortable seating—shearling chairs, relaxed leather sofas, velvet-covered stools. A crackling fire serves as the first-floor centerpiece, but the real star is the bar program, curated by Gin & Luck, the team behind famed Manhattan speakeasy Death & Co. So what’s the rub? Well, it’s at the edge of town, so you’ll need to get dropped at the base of the mountain each morning; the hotel’s house cars make it easy. But anywhere you want to shop or dine is just a five-minute walk away. Rooms from $500 —M.V.


a room with a staircase and plants

Nikolas Koenig

TAMPA EDITION

Tampa, Florida

If you crave sophistication with sunshine but want it to be someplace a little more chill than Miami, Tampa just might be for you. And the number-one reason for that just might be the Tampa Edition. Much like the brand’s spot in Reykjavík (a 2023 Esquire Best New Hotel), this Edition has had a way of weaving itself into the fabric of a city that may not be used to this level of chic luxury. You’ll find locals and travelers alike taking in the sunset from the rooftop pool bar or posing for photos by the grand spiral staircase or the yellow pool table in the lobby, with its junglelike feel. The rooms are an exercise in lush minimalism, while the rest of the spaces are dense with textures and color. At night, the hotel makes a very good case for staying in. There are seven bars and restaurants on the property. The gems are the Punch Room, a punch-only bar that celebrates the spirits of the Caribbean, and chef John Fraser’s Lilac, where Champagne-cocktail carts and tableside Portuguese-style bouillabaisse will make you wonder if Tampans know how good they really have it with this hotel. The way the room was buzzing, I have a hunch they do. Rooms from $499 —K.S.


a house with palm trees and a pool

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KONA VILLAGE, a Rosewood Resort

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This magical stretch of coast, with warm swimmable waters, a black-sand beach, and, like much of the Big Island, black volcanic rock, was home to a fishing village in the year 1000. In the early 1960s, it became Kona Village, a resort founded by a California oil executive with joie de vivre, but it felt more like a community of kauhale (Hawaiian for “houses”), where a coconut outside your door was your “Do Not Disturb” sign and a wrecked boat was turned into a makeshift bar. This bohemian yet exclusive getaway gained a loyal clientele—Jim Morrison drank here, and it was one of Steve Jobs’s hideouts—before it was severely damaged by a tsunami in 2011. Last year, it was resurrected by the real estate company Kennedy Wilson, which leased the property from the Kamehameha Schools, and developed by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts with the guidance of a cultural committee made up of descendants of inhabitants of the original village. The result is one of the most authentic-feeling Hawaiian resorts on the island.

Many places on the island are ultimately big buildings from big brands that have Hawaiian touches here and there. Hawaii-themed, if you will. But Kona Village is the kind of place where ancient sites and trails and ponds are preserved and feel incorporated into this land’s legacy in a more intrinsic way. It is still a Rosewood, however. Luxury abounds. There is a gorgeous spa that overlooks the lava fields; kauhale can come with multiple bedrooms and outdoor showers; each guest gets their own bike; a spectacularly large infinity pool awaits. But there’s still the shipwreck bar and, of course, the “Do Not Disturb” coconuts. Rooms from $1,800K.S.


a large window overlooking the ocean

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ST. REGIS CHICAGO

Chicago

The Windy City has no shortage of tower hotels, but this undulating glass one stands out for being the tallest designed by a female architect (Jeanne Gang) and for its views of both the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Its location on the east side of the Loop and steps from the Riverwalk make it a convenient base for exploring downtown, yet it feels like a private enclave at the same time. All rooms come with a butler who will offer to unpack your bags. (Say yes, because you’re certainly not going to do it.) The rooms are elegant, large, and subdued, with lots of deep blues to echo the color of the lake, and it’s worth springing for the Caroline Astor Suite for its circular soaking tub alone. A meal at Miru is a must for the views—it’s a destination for locals in the evening but much more subdued for lunch. And just recently opened: Evan Funke’s first steakhouse, Tre Dita. Rooms from $534 —K.S.


a living room with green couches

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HOTEL GENEVIEVE

Louisville, Kentucky

A hotel bathrobe is many things: a signifier of leisure, a lazy room-service outfit, cosplay for a better life. But until I slipped on the kimono-style robe at the new 122-room Hotel Genevieve, in Louisville’s NuLu neighborhood, I didn’t know it was possible to fall in love with a hotel (a city? a region? life itself?) thanks to the vivacity of a bathrobe. This one, a brightly colored collaboration with L.A.’s Block Shop Textiles and inspired by Kentucky’s quilting history, is vibrant blue, gold, and orange. One can’t help but swoon in the similarly brightly outfitted rooms (millennial pink! powder blue! marigold!) with their undulating lines and embarrassment of velvet. Everything at the hotel—the rooftop bar, the art-filled lobby, the banana-yellow mini-mart, the hidden speakeasy (it’s behind the mini-mart, silly!)—is lush and a little louche and sexy as hell. As sexy, that is, as a barely closed bathrobe. Rooms from $179 —J.D.S.


a room with a chandelier and chairs

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FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BOSTON

Boston

You get a real sense of joy and whimsy when you step into the new lobby of the Four Seasons Boston. Recently reimagined by designer Ken Fulk, it has more of a living-room feel. Coterie, the hotel’s new bar and restaurant, is adorned with botanical illustrations, but the highlight of the space is behind the check-in area: a hand-painted mural reflecting the fauna of the Public Garden, located right across the street. Arrive with kids in tow and they’ll be given a key to a secret door hidden in the mural that leads to a room filled with toys. On each floor, there’s also a space called the Vault, which is stocked with snacks and candy for the taking. Go ahead and grab that extra box of M&M’s. You can work it off with a few laps in the heated pool on the eighth floor, overlooking Boston Common. Kids know what’s up. They love it here. And the kid in you will, too. Rooms from $900 —K.S.


a living room with a large window

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RAFFLES BOSTON

Boston

Boston, Emerson’s “happy town beside the sea,” is perhaps most charming from a distance. It’s all skyline and pleasant reverie from the three-story lobby of the new Raffles, the hotel brand’s first foray into America. It occupies the middle nine floors of a thirty-five-story tower, with the lobby starting on the seventeenth. Hotels-as-aeries can be vaguely dystopian, but here peace reigns. Each of the 147 rooms, inspired by Boston brownstones but groovier, are compact cocoons of luxury. George Mendes, the tremendously talented Portuguese-American chef, runs Amar, a soaring fine-dining restaurant devoted to the sea: ember-grilled carabineros, arroz de mariscos, cute pineapples flown in from the Azores. A hidden-ish speakeasy called the Blind Duck serves the Back Bay’s best cocktails. It’s enough to make you feel like a Brahmin, peering down at the cobblestones and the ant-like Bostonians far below. Rooms from $1,095 —J.D.S.


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21C ST. LOUIS

St. Louis

Breathtaking moments at hotels are rarer than free-use minibars. But standing in a hushed restored basketball court turned art gallery at the 21c—walls hung with work by Kehinde Wiley, Esiri Erheriene-Essi, and Simone Elizabeth Saunders; wooden floors refinished and unscuffed; light streaming through the windows—is transcendent. It changes the way you think about art, hotels, and, hell, St. Louis itself. Per 21c’s mission, the former YMCA has been reborn as a 173-room hotel with a sprawling, free 24/7 museum; one of the city’s brightest restaurants, Idol Wolf, by St. Louis chef Matthew Daughaday; and a fitness club. (It was, after all, a Y.) Touches throughout nod to St. Louis’s former glory, including a magnificent Renaissance Revival pool, while the life that thrums through the lobby bar points to the city’s promising future. Rooms from $169 —J.D.S.


a room with a large glass ceiling and a pool

Mark Mediana

THE FONTAINEBLEAU

Las Vegas

At the fifty-five-thousand-square-foot Lapis spa, in the sixty-seven-story Fontainebleau (the tallest hotel on the Strip), there is a large co-ed sauna where a dancer moves heat and aromas around the room to the sounds of new-age music and meditative scenes projected onto a screen. I could have spent my entire day at this spa, going from cold plunge pool to salt cave to herbal inhalation room, but I also wanted to put in some time at the gym, one of the swankiest I’d ever set foot in—with a room dedicated to stretching and an area for flipping tractor tires—and at the restaurants and bars, of course. There will be thirty-six in total (I’ll need to come back to try more), but the current highlights include pasta maestro Evan Funke’s Mother Wolf and the discreet lobby bar Collins. You can reach the rooms, many with soaking tubs and views of the Sphere, without stepping into the casino, which has natural light and soaring, curving ceilings. A rarity in Vegas. All of this feels like a rarity in Vegas. Rooms from $300 —K.S.


a tall building with a pool in front of it

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ARLO WILLIAMSBURG

Brooklyn, New York

The brand’s three Manhattan locations have long been the smart traveler’s pick for affordable city lodging, and now, like so many city people, the Arlo group has made the jump into Brooklyn. On the site of the former Hotel Williamsburg, the most eye-catching of the luxury hotels to hit the hip hood in the 2010s, Arlo Williamsburg is the exact right home base for a New York City getaway. Brooklyn buzzes outside each room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, while a rooftop pool and a bar and event space inside the Arlo’s landmark water tower offer views of the full sweep of Manhattan’s skyline. It seems so close you could touch it, but with all of Billyburg’s bars, restaurants, shops, and general people-watching just steps from the front door, you may decide to skip the quick trip on the L and stay local. The company’s focus on art and interesting programming has survived the trip across the river. And out here you can stand in the middle of your room, extend both arms, and not touch a wall. Try that in Manhattan. Rooms from $400 —Dave Holmes


a patio with tables and chairs with a city in the background

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MOXY WILLIAMSBURG

Brooklyn, New York

If you want to understand the kind of vibe that the Moxy Williamsburg tries to channel, just take a look at the walls on the way to your compact yet functional room: monkeys with cocktails and bottles of vodka. This hotel is in Williamsburg, after all, one of the best bar neighborhoods in New York, and located right near the Williamsburg Bridge, which leads to the Lower East Side, the other N.Y.C. hood that can make for a very big night out. That said, you would do very well at the hotel itself. There are three restaurant/bars conceived by Bar Lab, the folks behind the Broken Shaker bars, as well as Mesiba, a Levantine restaurant on the ground floor. Mesiba means “party” in Hebrew; as with everything else at the Moxy, they certainly got the memo. Rooms from $200 —K.S.


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Lawrenece

CAMPTOWN LODGE

Leeds, New York

The name is apt: a little collection of spiffed-up cabins, anchored by a revived motor lodge with snug, smartly designed rooms. It’s like summer camp for grown-ups. Camptown is refined but feels rustic and honest, too: There’s a new pool with a bar, and you can get artisanal meats and sausages from the pantry for the grills placed throughout the property. It’s a place where you’ll want to sit out on your porch or gather around the firepit—every location seems to have areas where you can just lounge and listen to the birds or to the water from last night’s rain dripping from the trees. It also happens to be home to Casa Susanna, where chef Efrén Hernández, Esquire’s 2023 Rising Star of the Year, cooks some of the best Mexican cuisine in America. To begin the day with scrambled eggs on red corn tortillas with salsa macha and end it with a low-intervention Mexican wine and duck leg confit with mole negro isn’t really roughing it, but who’s keeping score? Rooms from $199 —K.S.


a hallway with a rug and flowers

William Abranowicz

THE FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL

New York

The Fifth Avenue Hotel leans into what New Yorkers with good taste who live in small spaces know is the secret to making their apartments feel luxurious: Love every single piece of furniture, adore every square inch. Nothing is wasted. If you’re lucky, you’ll get something like the rooms and hallways of the Fifth Avenue Hotel. It’s like rich-aunt maximalism: Missoni-style upholstered chairs and couches, an armoire that’s actually a giant bar adorned with dragons and birds. The wallpaper looks as though it’s hand-painted. Lots of tapestries and tufted pink walls. Unlike in many N.Y.C. apartments, you’ll get a great night’s sleep here—the room feels pin-drop quiet, and the bathrooms are serene marble white. This is New York, but you might not leave the hotel. There’s in-room martini service, and downstairs is one of the city’s best new restaurants, the old-school-luxe Café Carmellini, as well as the Portrait Bar, home to some of the town’s best martinis (outside of your room). Rooms from $895 —K.S.


a living room with a large window

Kira Turnbull

MAISON HUDSON

New York

Hotels where you pay by the month can be dicier than a Vegas craps table. But Maison Hudson is the polar opposite. Located on the banks of the Hudson and at the fringe of the West Village, the property straddles a blurry line between ultra-luxurious hotel and supremely plush apartment. The minimum stay is a month, and the price starts at thirty g’s. Sounds absurdly high? Maybe. But when suites in N.Y.C. go for several thousand dollars per night, a stay at Maison Hudson can feel kind of like a good deal over time. Boy math! Okay, so say you hit it big on a stock investment/crypto/inheritance and want to live like a 0.01 percenter in New York’s coolest neighborhood. Here’s what you get: a chic, tastefully decorated, ridiculously massive thousand-square-foot living space, complete with heated bathroom floors, automatic shades, a fully stocked kitchen, and an in-unit washer/dryer. The concierge—who is really like your own personal assistant—will get you anything you could possibly desire. (Think concert tickets, a rare bottle of wine, an endangered animal to eat for dinner—kidding!) There’s an in-house spa that offers massages, facials, and antiaging treatments in a zen-like setting. Marius, the French-inspired restaurant helmed by Michelin-star chef Sébastien Sanjou, feels intimate with only a handful of tables. While the eatery is open to the public, don’t worry: Maison Hudson guests get first priority for seatings, natch. Rooms from $32,500 per month —D.D.


a room with a couch and chairs

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VIRGIN HOTEL

New York

Virgin Hotels are known for their edgy cheekiness, but what makes the brand’s first New York property a standout is that it feels stylishly mature. The suites are vast, with changing rooms, kitchen areas, and living rooms. The beds have a quilted headboard and a one-corner footboard, making them another space to lounge—great for folks who want to be in bed all day without feeling like they’re in bed all day. Opt for one of the suites that face north and you can get a view of landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, or the twinkling lights of Times Square. Everdene, the hotel’s bar and restaurant, has several private nooks for nightcaps, and in the warmer months there’s an outdoor pool deck and lounge, a rarity for NoMad, an area that, because of its excellent hotels and chic bars and restaurants, has become one of the city’s most surprisingly cool neighborhoods. Rooms from $595 —K.S.


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Lawrence braun

EASTWIND OLIVEREA VALLEY

Big Indian, New York

With its triangular cedar bungalows, Eastwind Oliverea Valley creates a beautiful image at night: Fires blaze, the windows emit a golden light, folks get ready for nightcaps in the buzzing restaurant, which doubles as the hotel’s bar and lobby. There are lodge-style rooms if you want a bit more of a rustic hotel experience, but the cabin suites are more private and have nooks that serve as perfect little offices, a terrace, a shower with a skylight, and a lofted bed that makes you feel as though you’re sleeping in a tent. It will have you wondering: Is this the Catskills or Scandinavia? Rooms from $329 —K.S.


a room with a pool and chairs

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THE RITZ-CARLTON PORTLAND

Portland, Oregon

The question a lot of folks ask when they hear that there’s a Ritz-Carlton in Portland is: How does luxury work in one of the crunchiest cities in America? Very well, actually. Portland has also been known for decades as one of the best restaurant towns in the country, attracting a good many food-centric tourists from across the globe who want to get a taste of places like Le Pigeon, Han Oak, Oma’s Hideaway, or Esquire’s number-one restaurant in America in 2022, Kann. With the Ritz-Carlton, those sophisticated travelers finally have a hotel that feels world-class as well. This gleaming tower offers little nods to the area: The lobby bar resembles a terrarium; the crystal light fixtures allude to the legendary crystal cave said to be located nearby; the wallpaper design in the executive-suite minibars features cannabis plants. But most significantly, you can see the mountains from the upper floors, which feature a restaurant and spa areas. Gazing at Mount Hood while sipping a martini or spotting Mount Rainier from an infinity pool is definitely a vibe. The Ritz-Carlton, Portland, will make you see this city in an entirely different light. Rooms from $525 —K.S.


a pool with a deck and chairs

Chase Daniel

THE LOREN AT LADY BIRD LAKE

Austin

Breakfast tacos, smoky barbecue, and live music beckon in Austin. But the 108-room Loren gives you just as many reasons to stay put (especially when it’s blazing outside). Cool down in the café with a margarita or a frozen espresso martini, or admire the sweeping skyline from the rooftop pool or from the restaurant Nido as you indulge in an octopus carpaccio, or take in Lady Bird Lake through the floor-to-ceiling windows of your stylish mid-century-modern room. Rooms from $270Omar Mamoon


a room with a staircase and chairs

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HÔTEL SWEXAN

Dallas

Everything is bigger in Texas, even its boutique hotels. And that’s a good thing: Hôtel Swexan is the swanky new spot where you’ll want to lay your head to rest next time you find yourself in DTX. Should you book one of the top-floor suites, know that they are spacious enough for the whole family. But it’s not the large size that matters so much as the small details: You won’t have to ask for a toothbrush and toothpaste because you forgot to pack them—they’re already in the bathroom waiting for you. The minibar? It’s stocked with both Burgundy and good California pinot (made in Burgundian style, of course). Whether you dip into the rooftop pool or slip into Babou’s downstairs on Live Jazz Night, the Swexan doesn’t miss from top to bottom. Rooms from $625 —O.M.


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THE THOMPSON HOUSTON

Houston

There’s a space-age modernity to the exterior of the Thompson Houston, which is fitting for a building where you can arrive and depart via the roof’s helipad. The modernity of the interior is warmer, with brass and green-leather accents throughout the rooms, big marble baths, and a large outdoor infinity pool, where you can see the skyline of downtown Houston in the distance. That’s one of the Thompson’s best selling points—that it’s not directly downtown. Instead, it’s right across the street from the vast Buffalo Bayou Park, which you can explore on one of the hotel’s e-bikes. Opening soon are Chardon, a French bistro, and Buck 40, an upscale supper club, but for now there is Sol 7, a lively lobby bar and restaurant that embraces the outdoors with its vast floor-to-ceiling windows, which open up when the weather’s nice. For as modern as this place is, there are reminders everywhere that being outdoors in Houston can be pretty outstanding. Rooms from $379 —K.S.


a living room with a staircase

Matt Kisiday

FIELD STATION MOAB

Moab, Utah

This one is for the adventurers. Field Station Moab is central to the best trailheads in town. Whether you mountain bike, rock climb, hike, or off-road, this modern hotel was designed to get you to play harder and stay longer in the wild. There’s a pool, hot tub, firepit, espresso bar, and game room, but what makes Field Station truly stand out are its rentals, curated retail gear shop, educational programming, and professional guide services. The rooms are thoughtfully designed for relaxation as well as creative gear-storage solutions. Some rooms feature Black Diamond portaledges, letting guests experience what it feels like to sleep in a hanging bed used by rock climbers on cliff faces. There are also “van life” posts available for those who are always on the go. Rooms from $127Mike Kim


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a living room with a large window

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THE DORCHESTER

London

There are just a handful of hotels in London with histories as rich as their decor— and the Dorchester has long been on that list. Sitting next to Hyde Park in one of the city’s most scenic areas is a hotel that defines British class to a T. It recently underwent a significant renovation, which included additions to its iconic places of leisure, like the James Bond–themed Vesper Bar, named for its connections with 007 over the years. Upon passing through the Dorchester’s famous revolving doors, you’ll walk straight through the Promenade, the heart and soul of the space, ideal for a classic afternoon tea. But that only leads you directly to the Artist’s Bar, decked out with Lalique crystal designs and, of course, Liberace’s legendary mirrored piano. The property exudes English elegance, but thanks to its head-to-toe facelift, it really shines as a modern piece of British history. Rooms from approx. $1,200Krista Jones


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BULGARI ROME

Rome

Opulent doesn’t even come close. The marble bathrooms. The plush linens. The floral-patterned breakfast china. Proudly occupying a corner of the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, it’s just steps from everywhere you’ll want to be. The newest Bulgari hotel—the brand’s ninth, with 114 rooms and suites right in the luxury house’s hometown—doesn’t miss. It’s flush with modern amenities (like WhatsApp-supported butler service), but its design (think heavy stones and earthy tones) seeks to blend in with the icons of its surroundings. It works: Spend more than a few hours on-site and suddenly it’s amazing to think it wasn’t always here. What’s more, for all its gilded trappings, Bulgari Hotel Roma is remarkably comfortable. It’s nearly impossible to leave. But of course you must; Rome itself beckons. Then again, the Eternal City isn’t going anywhere. Rooms from $1,750M.V.


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MAISON DELANO FRANCE

Paris

In a city brimming with the finest hotels on planet earth, Maison Delano is a cut above its competition in a couple of petit but key ways. First you have La Chambre Bleue, the on-site restaurant where three-Michelin-star chef Dani García crafts complex but comforting French-Andalusian dishes. Then there’s the hotel itself, a staggeringly beautiful neoclassical eighteenth-century mansion situated in the Eighth Arrondissement, only a few steps from some of the finest shopping (bonjour, Hermès flagship store!) this side of the Seine. But really, the semisecret sauce of the Delano is the service. Want a reservation at an impossible-to-get-into Parisian restaurant? Phone calls will be made and a seating will likely be procured. Got a hankering for a particular kind of croissant? It’ll be delivered to your door in the morning. Eleven-hour flight got your lower lumbar barking for a massage? Don’t be surprised if a spa reservation has your name on it. Maison Delano is the rare place where the staff can deliver exactly what you want before you know you want it. Rooms from $700 —D.D.


a patio with a view of a city

LUDOVIC BALAY

HOTEL DES DAME DES ARTS

Paris

Opened in early 2023 in the Six (better known as Saint-Germain or the Left Bank), Hôtel Dame des Arts offers 109 rooms designed by Raphael Navot with charming quirks like a font named after Jean-Luc Godard on the merch and a high bed that lets you store your luggage underneath. A third of the rooms have terraces, most with views of the Eiffel Tower. There’s a bar with a DJ on weekend nights and a restaurant with Mexican-inspired food (a rarity in Paris hotels). Stay here before they hike the prices. But when they do, look to its sister property, Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs, which opened last fall. Rooms from approx. $337K.J.


a room with tables and chairs

Kate Devine

HÔTEL DES GRANDS VOYAGEURS

Paris

Hotels that don’t quite seem like hotels are sometimes exactly what you need, especially in a city such as Paris. If you want to escape the tourist vibe and feel as if you’re returning to a little apartment after your day of sightseeing, Hôtel des Grands Voyageurs offers you just that. The charismatic staff can provide you with a quick recommendation without breathing down your neck. Pop to your room for a serene break in a classic Old World-style bedroom—and by Paris standards, it’s on the large side. While the atmosphere is relaxed, you still get the luxury of a bar and restaurant downstairs, offering an American-French blended menu. (Told you you’d feel at home.) Another great perk is the gym, outfitted with high-tech equipment next to stunning tile art by Italian artist Osanna Visconti di Modrone. A combination of modernity and old-school charm is in every room of this place. All that said, this is also one of the more affordable options in the City of Light. An added bonus: There’s a top-secret bar, Poppy, under the main bar during select hours of the week. And fun fact: It features original lithographs by Marc Chagall—but don’t touch them or an alarm will ring. Rooms from approx. $327 —K.J.


a room with a couch and chairs

Jérome Galland

LA FANTAISIE

Paris

The highly anticipated La Fantaisie feels like a vision in the Faubourg-Montmartre neighborhood of Paris’s Ninth Arrondissement. Befitting its name, the whimsical floral design, by Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, has surprises in every corner, from the large rooms (some with balconies) to the beautiful restaurant covered in flowers, led by Dominique Crenn, an Esquire Best Chef and the only female chef in America to earn three Michelin stars. The underground spa, with four baths, is made for replicating ancient healing rituals and for the curative power of subterranean springs. It’s shocking that it lies under one of Paris’s most bustling streets. Rooms from approx. $595K.J.


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THE ST. REGIS KANAI RESORT

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Kanai means “paradise on earth”—and let me tell you, the Mayans were onto something when they named this greener-than-green region. The beach stretches nearly two miles, while a lush jungle and a mangrove forest take up the rest of what your eye can see. Between inlets emerge stately, standalone buildings that serve merely as accents. By rule, the hotel could use only 10 percent of the acreage; nature had to be given room to do its thing. It makes for a remarkable swirl—the regal St. Regis experience blending in with untamed Mexico. Rooms from $1,100M.V.


a bathroom with a tub and sink

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RIVIERA MAYA EDITION AT KANAI

Riviera Maya, Mexico

It may share a view with the next-door St. Regis, but that’s it. With architecture meant to echo the region’s famous cenotes, the Edition brings the outdoors in. The lagoon-sized pool runs right into the jungle, and the designers knew better than to try to outdo Mother Nature, so the rooms favor a white-stone palette, which encourages you to stare at the vibrant surroundings. The five dining options are undeniably sexy, but budget a long time for the spa. With hydrotherapy pools, a Turkish hammam, and indoor/outdoor treatment rooms, it’ll become a focus of any visit. Rooms from $729M.V.


a small house with palm trees

William Jess Laird

MAROMA, BELMOND

Riviera Maya, Mexico

If there is such a thing as one perfect spot to relax in this world, my guess is that it’s right here at Maroma. In the 1970s, it served as the private home of architect José Luis Moreno, a man who loved to entertain. He kept adding cottages and other structures so more and more of his friends might come stay. That got wiped away by a hurricane in the eighties, and the property has lived other lives since. Now it is a jewel in the crown of high-end hospitality’s king, Belmond. The energy of a place that’s perfect for entertaining remains. Guests mingle, with each other and the friendly staff. Celebrate—anything, really. Most crucially, this feels like an ode to Mexico. A celebration of its food and design, of the Mayan culture that first defined the area and the craftspeople currently reinventing the local style. At Casa Mayor, one of two on-site restaurants, 90 percent of the ingredients are sourced from Mexico. At Bambuco, the sexy inside bar, you’ll find a cocktail menu inspired by Mayan legends. Of course, some delights come from abroad, and that’s all right: Australian chef Curtis Stone brings his open-flame style to Woodend, and the spa marks Guerlain’s first opening in Latin America. Rooms from $1,095M.V.


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a staircase with potted plants

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AMARLA

Panama City, Panama

Panama City is a bustling modern metropolis within one of the world’s most vibrant tropical landscapes. If you want to explore both, the adults-only boutique hotel Amarla, located in the historic district of Casco Viejo, is an ideal place to set up camp. The property’s history stretches back to the seventeenth century, but it opened as a hotel in 2022 with an updated interior that marries a 1921 building with modern details. The eight rooms (including two suites) are perched around an open-air tropical garden and filled with the work of local artists. The on-site restaurant, Kaandela, puts a modern spin on traditional Panamanian cooking methods, including wood fires and fermentation using locally sourced ingredients. Grab one of the refreshing rum- or mezcal-based cocktails and head up to the rooftop lounge to sip it while taking in stunning views of the city. For beach days, the concierge can arrange day trips to nearby islands, such as Taboga and Las Perlas, as well as mainland beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Of course, no trip to Panama is complete without checking out the namesake canal, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The ingenious system of locks sees up to thirty cargo ships each day, some as long as the Empire State Building is tall. Rooms from approx. $198 —Justin O’Neill

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