While we were mostly—let’s face it—not traveling, these remarkable hotels opened or were preparing for their debuts. Some are in cities—because an urban fix can be just the ticket. Others are full-service places in gorgeous natural settings—think country, but with a whole lot of culture (and much else besides) going on. There are island hotels, of course—who doesn’t dream of that this time of year (and, well, always)? And then there are the truly remote retreats—because we all have a yen sometimes for the wild.
Some of the hotels we chose are legends reimagined—fabled places that underwent fundamental redos during the last two years. Others are fresh contenders for star status. And all are worth whatever hassles the ever-changing travel protocols may bring. Just being there is its own reward.
Navigate down to these sections:
Will nothing but a CITY satisfy?
These urban masterpieces are also first class oases.
Have the heart of Paris at your feet:
This LVMH-owned French resort group’s previous “maisons” are in, well, resort locations: St. Bart’s, the Maldives, Courchevel, St.-Tropez. Its first urban foray partakes of the vibe. First and foremost is its location: not just right on the Seine (it occupies an Art Deco landmark built in 1926 to house part of the fabled La Samaritaine department store) but also with stellar views of the river and its bridges from countless bay windows and terraces. Its interiors are the vision of celebrity designer Peter Marino and some 600 French artisans. There are four restaurants, a kids club (rare in Paris), and, the pièce de résistance, a Dior spa with a 100-foot infinity pool that is one of the largest at any hotel in France and (neat trick) is at the same level as the Seine. Also—how invigorating is this?—you can literally roll out of bed and shop; an interior elevator connects the hotel to the gorgeous Art Nouveau precincts of the reborn La Samaritaine. chevalblanc.com
Commune with Somerset Maugham:
The writer Pico Iyer said that “people come to Singapore to visit Raffles as much as they come to Raffles to enjoy Singapore.” Which is why the hotel’s much needed three-year renovation, completed not long before Covid hit and the city-state closed down, had some in a tizzy. Would the place, which opened in 1887 (named for the founder of colonial Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles), be stripped of its retro soul? It has been modernized, for sure. All 115 rooms are now suites with their own verandas. The Long Bar, where the Singapore Sling was invented in 1915, has had a refresh and now competes in popularity with the expanded Writers’ Bar (many scribes have stayed here). And there are three new restaurants from internationally acclaimed chefs. But: The white plaster and columns are all there. So are the glistening teak floors, the ceiling fans, the carpets, and the afternoon tea ritual in the Grand Lobby (reserve a month ahead). The driveway is still gravel, and green lawns stretch away from almost every room. In this modern city of business and perpetual movement, you can still sit in the Palm Court of an evening and feel the wind coming off the sea. raffles.com
Channel Marie Antoinette:
Le Grand Contrôle, Versailles.
So what if it’s 12 miles outside Paris? This 14-suite hotel comes with the rarest amenity: time travel. Built in 1681 as a ducal residence on the grounds of Versailles, then housing in the 18th century France’s ministry of finance, Le Grand Contrôle has been restored so meticulously that the 21st century has in effect ceased to exist (except for its comforts). The benchmark is 1788, the year Marie Antoinette renovated the Petit Trianon, her private Versailles residence. Her (and Louis XVI’s) well-documented taste informs every detail of the restoration: stonework, parquets, and wall paneling; antique furnishings and artifacts; light fixtures and fabric patterns. There’s an Alain Ducasse restaurant, where meals are 18th-century-style performances, and an indoor pool. But the best bit? Having the gardens of Versailles to yourself after hours. airelles.com
Visit With Velazquez:
Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid.
Hemingway once said of Madrileños’ late night bar and restaurant crawls, “Nobody goes to bed until they have killed the night.” Which might partly explain the original narrow (i.e., discreet) entrance to the Ritz, a Belle Epoque beauty steps from the Prado built by King Alfonso circa 1910 to house wedding guests—and barely touched by renovation since then (a fact partly attributable to four decades of Franco’s hidebound rule). “Los otro museo,” as it was called by locals, opened last April after a $115 million redo and is an exemplary combination of contemporary and Old World: no-expense-spared suites with buffed marble and gold fixtures, five bars and restaurants overseen by three-Michelin-star chef Quique Dacosta (one of the biggest names in Spanish food), a wellness wing, and a vast new glass entrance that opens onto an enfilade of lobbies with, visible beyond them, the façade of the Prado. It’s a reminder not to depart without spending time in the Velázquez rooms (though it’s not so great for making an unobserved 2 a.m. post–flamenco bar entrance). mandarinoriental.com
On Our Radar
Calling all Aman junkies: Aman New York is finally opening in 2022, and the wait will have been worth it: a serene sanctuary in the heart of Manhattan, with a three-story spa, a 66-foot pool with daybeds and firepits, and a wraparound garden terrace with views of Central Park for outdoor dining. aman.com
What’s Your Mood? COUNTRY? Culture?
These resorty enclaves in fabled places have something for everyone.
Be king of the castle:
Hotel Castello di Reschio, Umbria.
Thirty-five years ago, Count Antonio Bolza purchased a 3,700-acre estate in the Umbrian hills on which were scattered, in various states of picturesque disrepair, some 50 structures (including a 1,000-year-old castle). Twenty-six have now been restored as private homes by Antonio’s son Benedikt, a London-trained architect and designer, and his wife Donna Nencia. Nine of them are available for rental, and the castello recently opened as a 36-room hotel. Designwise it is something entirely new under the Umbrian sun. Velvet sofas in sorbet colors, wicker armchairs, and lamps in steel and brass are juxtaposed against centuries-old backdrops and the rustic Umbrian country side. Beyond those allurements there are two farm-to-fork restaurants, two bar/cafés, a spa, hiking and biking trails, truffle hunts, a cooking school, a lake, a pool, tennis courts, and a top notch equestrian center. As you return from a ride, the forever views recalling Renaissance paintings, you will think seriously about one of those private villas. reschio.com
Book a 12-bed bunkhouse in O’Keefe country:
Bishop’s Lodge, New Mexico.
A new resort in the U.S. isn’t news, unless it’s in Santa Fe, the self-styled “different” city of artists, adventurers, and spiritualists. Before Bishop’s Lodge (an Auberge property) opened last summer, on 317 acres bordering Santa Fe National Forest, the vibe here was mostly in-town inns. The site was previously occupied: In the 1850s the first archbishop of Santa Fe, Jean-Baptiste Lamy, built a retreat and chapel here; in the early 1900s, the Pulitzer family constructed a private home (now the main lodge building). There are also stand-alone casitas—adobe walls, kiva fire places—a 12- bedroom “bunkhouse,” restaurants, stables, a pool, a trout stream, and a healing arts studio. All of it is less than four miles from the town’s creative ferment, and it comes, naturally, with those impeccably blue skies and the scent of sage and burning piñon. bishopslodge.com
Play Italian socialite:
Borgo SantAndrea, Amalfi Coast.
The sea views along Italy’s Amalfi Coast are eye-watering everywhere, but this new cliffside hotel, with 29 rooms and 16 suites, has something the others do not: a private beach with a jetty, from which boats take you on excursions along the shore and to Capri. The decor is pure white and blue (why distract from the heavenly vistas?), and there are three restaurants, two bars, and something else that has our party planner friends excited: “the best event spaces in the area,” including a rooftop terrace that can hold 120 and another—ahh, the views!—that can fit 60. Intimate wedding? Birthday? Party or not, the negronis are outstanding. borgosantandrea.it
Live the modernist dream on the Med:
The Maybourne Riviera.
Where to begin? It looks like a glittering glass lighthouse perched 1,000 feet up on a rocky peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean in the French town of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (with panoramic views, from all 45 rooms and 24 suites, of Menton, Monte Carlo, and San Remo, in Italy). The cantilevered infinity pool is the Côte d’Azur’s most dramatic. The interiors are inspired by the work of pioneering modernist Eileen Gray, whose 1920s villa is nearby. (Visits book up months in advance, so get the Maybourne’s concierge on it.) Restaurants include two by three Michelin-star Mauro Colagreco, of Mirazur, one from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and a sushi bar by Hiroyuki Sato. The service is, in “soft opening,” already nonpareil. Why? Because the Maybourne Riviera has the same owners as Claridge’s in London. And, yes, there is a beach club—below. maybourneriviera.com
On Our Radar
A 96-acre piece of Stanly Ranch, a 700-acre spread in south Napa, opens in February as an Auberge Resort, with 78 stand-alone cottages and suites made for indoor/outdoor living: private terraces, firepits, outdoor showers, and rows of vines at your doorstep. aubergeresorts.com/stanlyranch
Who Doesn’t Love an ISLAND?
These choice spots combine sea, sun, and sand with a big splash of style.
Go a bit British aristo:
Cobblers Cove, Barbados.
Colonial vibes in the Caribbean? You might think, “Ho-hum.” Not so at Cobblers Cove. Yes, it has been around since 1968, the year its central Great House on Barbados’s sunset-facing west coast was turned into a hotel with 40 cottages by Alan Godsal (a sometime walker for Princess Margaret). Still family-owned (by Godsal’s son and his designer wife), it has just emerged from a five-year renovation in partnership with the fabric and furniture house Soane Britain. Call it nouveau colonial: The pinks and whites have been jazzed up with blues and greens, hand-printed linens, and whimsical island-made rattan furniture. The beach here is narrow, but the sea- facing swimming pool, surrounded by chaises longues and jaunty striped umbrellas, is a millennial’s retro dream. There are tennis, yoga, and water sports, a challenging surfing hotspot called Bathsheba nearby, and a new series of strenuous guided hikes. Still, après sport, you might want to dress a little for dinner. cobblerscove.com
Sleep with art on the Adriatic:
Lopud 1483, Croatia.
What a pedigree: A 15th- century Franciscan monastery and surrounding 16th-century fortress on the small, beachy island of Lopud (where many of the ships used in the Spanish Armada were built). Lopud 1483 has been restored and transformed by the London-based art lover Francesca Thyssen- Bornemisza into a remarkable five-suite retreat decorated with pieces from her family’s private collection, including Gothic and Renaissance furniture, decorative arts, and paintings. (The bulk of the collection, said to be the largest privately held one after that of the queen of England, is housed in the eponymous museum opposite the Prado, in Madrid.) None other than Frank Gehry blessed the project. (“Take your time,” he said—she took 20 years.) The complex, which is also available for takeovers and private parties of up to 250, has 21st-century technology and amenities, of course, and it includes a contemporary art pavilion. But the experience is still a kind of time travel. Lopud, planted with orange, lemon, and olive trees, is car-free (you walk, bike, or kayak), and the views are Old Master– perfect. From the four-poster daybeds on the rooftop “sunset terrace,” all you see is islands in the Adriatic—including, on a clear day, Korcula, reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. lopud1483.com
Live like The Leopard :
Villa Igiea, Sicily.
Over the ages, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Arabs, Normans, and Spaniards have yearned for Sicily, conquered it, and left their marks. Which is why the island’s capital, Palermo, is such a magnetic millefeuille of architecture, culture, and gastronomy. In the first decades of the 20th century, the place to stay was the rose-colored, castle-like, Art Nouveau–ish Villa Igiea, the private mansion and then the grand hotel of the socially ambitious Florio family. (And everyone came: royals, industrialists, international celebrities.) The villa was built in a garden on a promontory spilling down into the Tyrrhenian Sea, yet conveniently just 1.8 miles from downtown. Postwar decline turned its glamour a bit tatty, but it has just reopened after an admirably sensitive restoration by Rocco Forte hotels. What was beautiful still is: frescoes, furnishings, gardens, even the pseudo–Greek temple folly by the pool (beyond which lie a beach and a marina). As one high-end Italian travel adviser exclaimed, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” roccofortehotels.com
Revisit a classic:
Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda.
We covered this famed 1960s Rock Resort after it reopened in early 2020 as a renovated Rosewood—and closed shortly there after for Covid. Consider this a reminder. Go for its idyllic half-mile crescent of palm-fringed beach, the elan of its open-air main pavilion, and the way-before-its-time environmental consciousness of its creator, Laurance Rockefeller. rosewoodhotels.com
On Our Radar
If you fancy a Slim-Aarons-photo-come-to-life vibe, the legendary Hotel La Palma on Capri is your spot come April. Steps from the Piazzetta, it is being recreated as an Oetker “masterpiece hotel,” sister property of Hotel du Cap in Antibes—with a new beach club and more. oetkercollection.com
Do you hav a yen for the WILD?
These remote retreats will make you feel lost in space—on planet earth.
Walk with Bushmen:
Jack’s Camp, Botswana.
Back in the 1960s, a fourth- generation hunter-explorer, Jack Bousfield, built a rough camp for friends and family near the Kalahari Desert’s 10,000-square-mile Makgadikgadi salt pans—the remains of an ancient lake where Homo sapiens began to evolve. After his death in a 1992 plane crash, his son Ralph built a lodge in his name—all 1940s safari-style glamour amid mesmerizing badlands, and the cognoscenti have flocked to it for decades. It reopened last winter in an opulent and 100 percent solar-powered iteration: nine 2,900-square-foot sleeping tents, Persian rugs, antiques, and, in protective cases, the Bousfields’ collection of Kalahari artifacts (designated an official natural history museum in Botswana). Walkabout with Zu/’hoasi Bushmen, quad-bike on the pans, go riding, track the black-maned Kalahari lion. Then contemplate from your private plunge pool, beneath spectacularly starry skies, just how far—personally and evolutionarily—you’ve come. naturalselection.travel
Play like Tarzan:
One&Only Mandarina, Mexico.
Technically, it’s not that wild—just a one-hour drive from the Puerta Vallarta airport. But if you lack the time for true remoteness, this has all the trappings. You’ll stay in one of 105 treehouses or villas made for outdoor living, some elevated above dense rainforest canopy (the Nayarit Riviera, as it’s called, is volcanic and has rich soil), others on dramatic clifftops. The Pacific surges below, and the Sierra de Vallejo mountains, which feature a 212-square-mile biosphere reserve, loom nearby. When you’re not feasting (on views or food), you can hike, birdwatch, mountain-bike, surf, ride (there’s a state-of-the-art equestrian center), and much more. The gym overlooks the jungle, and the 42,000-square-foot kids club, which has treehouses connected by suspension bridges as well as climbing walls and a butterfly sanctuary, is pure Swiss Family Robinson. oneandonlyresorts .com/mandarina
Bed down in a baobab:
Xigera Safari Lodge, Botswana.
Top safari lodges pride themselves on their proximity to wildlife. Xigera—12 suites on two adjoining islands in the wildlife-rich wonderland that is the Okavango Delta—adds sustainable design to the mix. No colonial “great white hunter” aesthetic here: Every surface and object (many made from reused materials) was commissioned from 80 African artists and artisans (from Botswana, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, and Eswatini), a disruptive feast of human creativity to match the displays of nature’s bounty all around. Game viewing is done from mokoro canoes, as well as land vehicles and a boat; sundowners are often “feet-in-the-water” (heaven), and a remote baobab treehouse sculpture awaits the brave: Its open-air master bedroom has 360-degree views, and you can spend the night up there. Alone. In the bush. By candlelight. xigera.com
Feel all Lawrence of Arabia:
Six Senses Shaharut, Israel.
The desert, as you know if you’ve spent time in it, is as restorative as the sea. No wonder the wellness brand Six Senses chose the Negev Desert—cinematic dunes and rocky buttes marching to the horizon—for its 60-room Israeli outpost. The stone, teak, and glass look is soothing, eco-correct cream-and-white minimalism (with Bedouin touches). There are pools, saunas, hammams, a gym and yoga studio, and six treatment rooms (with an array of practitioners). And then, of course, there’s the Negev. Go on guided treks, mountain-bike rides, or daytrips—to the Dead Sea, Red Sea, or Petra (three hours by car). Or for your own cinematic moment, swathe yourself in desert robes and walk off with your camel into the sunrise or sunset; there are eight beasts on the property just for that, and you can camp if you wish. sixsenses.com
On Our Radar
A top Tanzanian lodge is being rebuilt by the conservation-led travel company andBeyond. Opening in June, Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge will be feel-good (eco-compliant to a high degree), chic (rustic yet stylish), and a prime spot for viewing the Great Migration (teeming with wildlife). andbeyond.com
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io