The season's best new hotels are so damn good (seriously) that we can't help but judge if you don't plan a trip to see at least one this fall. From an opulent São Paulo mansion surrounded by dense Atlantic rainforest to a regal Shanghai retreat comprised of 400-year-old dynasty dwellings, here are 10 of the standouts.
Nobis Hotel Copenhagen
Set inside the former Royal Danish Conservatory of Music, this stylish Copenhagen stay fuses classical turn-of-the-century architecture with the best of Scandinavian design – clean lines, simple accents, and lots of natural light. The results are breathtaking: high ceilings, oversized Bardiglio marble bathrooms with egg-shaped bathtubs, chevron-patterned wooden parquet floors, and Danish furniture from Carl Hansen & Son, including the iconic CH25 chair. Once you’re finished taking design notes, tuck into local dishes at the Niels Restaurant, where French and Nordic dishes are the speciality, or hit the streets in the direction of Tivoli Gardens or the Radhuspladsen town hall square, just steps away.
Bulgari Hotel Beijing
Bulgari Hotel’s fourth property brings a slice of Italy to the banks of Beijing’s Liangma River. Featuring furnishings from the likes of B&B and Maxalto, food from Michelin-starred Italian chef Niko Romito, and a design courtesy of Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, Bulgari Hotel Beijing takes a page out of the book of the brand’s Milan flagship. Guestrooms are among the most spacious in the city, and look out over the Beijing skyline and the Tadao Ando-designed private gardens, though if you’re looking for heart-stopping views, pay a visit to the Oval Bar, which opens up onto an expansive outdoor terrace. After, get a different perspective by hitting the streets in the direction of Sanlitun, home to some of the city’s best bars, restaurants, and boutiques.
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Some hotels are built from the ground up; others set up shop inside pre-existing buildings. At Amanyangyun, the property is fashioned out of 400-year-old Ming and Qing dynasty dwellings that were uprooted from China's Jiangxi Province due to the threat from construction of a reservoir and transported to Shanghai. The rescued structures now sit on a serene plot of land on the outskirts of Shanghai, where they are embowered by sacred camphor trees (some over 1,000 years old and more than 100 feet tall) that were also transported from the eastern part of the country. Interiors are courtesy of Australian architect, Kerry Hill, whose inspired design—all bamboo surfaces, lattice screens, ornate carvings, and an earthy color palette—seamlessly marries the old with new. When guests aren’t relaxing in their “antique villas,” they can learn calligraphy, join a tea ceremony or unwind at the spa, with its Russian banya and a hammam.
Home to the largest population of elephants on the planet along with a thriving number of buffalo, lion, and game, Tanazania’s Ruaha National Park might just be one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. But thanks to the arrival of Jabali Ridge, in the northern part Ruaha, this part of the world isn't likely to fly under the radar for long. The luxury lodge is comprised of eight suites, built entirely from local wood, and spread out over the surrounding rock boulders and baobab trees. Spend your days going on morning game drives with breakfast in the bush, followed by lunch and R&R at your suite’s private pool and dinner under the stars.
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In September, the long-awaited MADE hotel debuted in New York City’s NoMad district, joining the ACE, The Nomad, and The James hotels. The LA-based design studio MAI is behind the earthy-meets-modern interiors—all hand-carved benches, polished stainless steel surfaces, exposed bronze light fixtures, and hand-woven fabrics. Upstairs, the 108 guestrooms have concrete and wood surfaces, floor-to-ceiling windows, and bathrooms with hand-painted wall tiles and carved stone sinks. Don't miss dinner at the hotel's New American restaurant Ferris and the rooftop bar, which serves craft beer and Tiki-inspired cocktails.
Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort & Spa
Waldhaus Flims Mountain Resort & Spa dates back to the 19th-century but has reemerged as one of Europe’s leading destination spas thanks to a recent $40 million renovation. The historic resort is set among fragrant buttercup fields, towering pine trees, and snow-peaked mountains in a wooden park above the Alpine village of Flims. The recently-revamped interiors were reimagined by German interior designer Peter Silling, who added high-style touches like Swiss modern art, glass-encased fireplaces, and Art Nouveau-style furnishings. But the property’s crown jewel is the 32,000-square-foot spa, which is built around a gigantic stone-and-glass-block pool and features a wraparound heated pool, wood-heated grotto, and heavenly treatments including a mountain crystal body exfoliation and a volcanic mud body wrap.
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Ritz-Carlton Koh Samui
There’s no shortage of jaw-droppingly beautiful hotels in Koh Samui, but for the height of luxury, look no further than the recently-unveiled Ritz-Carlton at Koh Samui. The dreamy resort is situated on 58 acres of dramatic coastline and lush gardens on what was once a former coconut plantation, and features 175 suites and pool villas with deep-soaking tubs and sweeping views of the emerald waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Spend your days tanning on the golden-sand beach, lounging poolside in a tricked-out cabana, or learning the basics of martial arts at the Muay Thai Gym. If you’d rather get off property, the resort can organize trips to the local market as well as traditional Thai cooking classes.
Grand Hotel Kempinksi Riga
If you’re looking for a reason to visit Latvia, consider the Grand Hotel Kempinski, the first five-star hotel in capital city Riga. Flanked by the Latvian National Opera House and the UNESCO-listed Old Town, the building has a long and storied history dating back to the 1880s, when it served as the grand Hotel Riga, home to the first-ever bar in Latvia and where the U.S.S.R.’s first cocktail was allegedly served. Guestrooms nod to the rich history with polished marble floors, French artworks, and ornate crown moldings, along with views of the Freedom Monument and the opera house. After a day of exploring, recharge at the subterranean spa---we love the “Rasul Mud Experience,” which uses Latvian mud famed for its healing properties.
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City hotels face the distinct challenge of making guests feel they’re in the center of the action, while at the same time, completely removed from all the less-than-desirable aspects of urban living like traffic, noise, and pollution. São Paulo’s new Palácio Tangará, a neoclassical mansion surrounded by dense Atlantic rainforest 10 miles from the city’s center, passes this test with flying colors, its serene atmosphere and opulent interiors setting a new benchmark for inner-city luxury. Once a riverside ranch owned by an Italian-Brazilian tycoon, the dilapidated structure was brought back to life by architect Patricia Anastassiadis and designer Bick Simonato, whose elegant designs blend an Old-World aesthetic with traditional Brazilian elements like hand-woven wool hangings, photographs of Brazilian landscapes, and coffee tables of inlaid bullhorn. When not bird-watching from your guestroom’s private balcony, lounge by the hotel’s indoor and outdoor swimming pools, indulge in a treatment at the Sisley-Paris spa, or dine at one of the hotel’s Jean-Georges Vongerichten-conceived restaurants.
Canopy by Hilton Washington DC
October 12th marked the grand opening of the Wharf, D.C.'s highly-anticipated mile-long, $2.5 billion promenade on the Potomac River. The mixed-use waterfront is home to some of the city’s hottest new restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and hotels, including Canopy by Hilton, the brand’s first North American property. The 175-guestroom propert puts visitors in the center of the action while offering plenty of luxe amenities like a rooftop bar and lounge, comfortable-chic guestrooms with nautical touches and sweeping river views, and a café with live entertainment and evening wine tastings. If you want to do some exploring, pedal down the waterfront on one of the hotel’s lender bikes or stroll to the nearby attractions like the US Capitol, Smithsonian and Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial, just 2 miles away.
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