City Escapes

Photo by Adrian Gaut

Eaton DC

Washington, D.C.

Located just a few blocks from the White House, the Eaton DC is geared toward the socially conscious crowd. The 209 guest rooms and suites are styled for a vaguely bohemian feel, with vintage turntables, Himalayan salt lamps, and tarot cards in the minibar. The attached Eaton House offers hotel guests and locals alike many shared and private working spaces; a yoga studio; and an in-house cinema, which hosts screenings of progressive documentaries such as She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry. The restaurant, American Son, is a celebration of immigrant culture by Chinese American chef Tim Ma, who fuses Asian flavors with American comfort food to create such dishes as shrimp and grits cake and Chinese five-spice fried chicken. From $199. –LAURA ITZKOWITZ

Courtesy of Autograph Collection Hotels



An antidote to the glitzy shopping malls of Gangnam, the Hongdae neighborhood of Seoul, home to the country’s best art school, is the city’s creative center, and young residents flock here for the edgy galleries and clubs. The stylish new Ryse, a member of the Autograph Collection, reflects the spirit of the area: In a lobby on the ground floor of a 20-story concrete high-rise, the hotel showcases the work of local artists such as Kyunghwan Kwon, whose massive brightly colored steel sculpture spans four stories. In the 272 guest rooms designed by Michaelis Boyd, oversize windows face cityscapes with a river on one side and mountains on the other. At night, join residents as they sing along to thumping K-pop beats in the area’s best shops and bars, just a short walk away. From $215. –CHANEY KWAK

Photo by Adrian Gaut

Freehand New York

New York City

Guests of the Freehand New York, just north of Gramercy Park in the Flatiron District, can feel the buzz of the city from the moment they check in. That’s because the hotel’s public spaces have become regular stops on New York’s eating, drinking, and scene-making circuits. Locals congregate in the Broken Shaker rooftop bar for cocktails indoors or out year-round; at shared tables in the sunny second-story eatery called Studio; over inventive American cuisine at Simon & The Whale; and in the mahogany-paneled George Washington Bar, a proper entertain-the-parents spot. Guest quarters, designed by trendsetting New York firm Roman & Williams, range from budget-friendly bunk rooms to spacious suites. The mood is arty and cheerful: chunky wood furniture, handblown glass light fixtures, woven wall hangings, and murals painted by students from New York’s Bard College. But it’s the simple luxurious touches—a linen throw, a well-curated stack of art journals and monographs—that define the hotel’s indie spirit. From $199. –ANN SHIELDS

Photo by Chase Daniel
Courtesy of The Carpenter Hotel/Alex Lau

The Carpenter Hotel


The new Carpenter Hotel, located steps from downtown Austin next to leafy Zilker Park, manages to be hip and welcoming at the same time. You could describe the look of its guest rooms as “hardscape boutique,” with lots of industrial concrete and tile. Designed by the Mighty Union, a Texas-based team with members involved in Portland’s Ace Hotel, the 93 smallish spaces are mostly bed, and they all have outdoor balconies with blackout shutters to let you sleep in. Guests and Austinites alike gather in the coworking-friendly lobby; in Hot L Coffee, which serves tacos and kolaches (sausage-filled pastries); and in Carpenters Hall, the restaurant overseen by noted local chef Grae Nonas. The late-night menu offers country ham, burgers, and caviar with potato chips to guests returning to the hotel after checking out the city’s music scene. From $225. –JASON COHEN

Katherine Lu/Breathe Architecture

Paramount House Hotel


Sydney has long needed more independent hotels with local character. Enter Paramount House Hotel, located in a landmark building that puts guests in the center of the perennially cool Surry Hills area. The former site of the Australian headquarters of Paramount Picture Studios, the 29-room property taps into the district’s exciting restaurant and café culture. Paramount Coffee Project, a top vendor, has even set up shop in the lobby. Guest rooms have modern twists that can sacrifice practicality for style. (In the Loft room, the double bed lies on a “mezzanine” floor up a short flight of stairs.) But that is more than made up for by Aesop bath products, quality furnishings by local designers, and, best of all, the chance to stay in the middle of the city’s social scene. From $171. –DAVID PRIOR

Courtesy of NoMad/Benoit Linero

NoMad Las Vegas

Las Vegas

In a city where glitz is the norm, the moodier, more understated NoMad Las Vegas is a welcome addition. A hotel-within-a-hotel, the NoMad occupies the top four floors of the new Park MGM at the south end of the Strip. The brainchild of the Sydell Group, the team behind the NoMad hotels in Los Angeles and New York, the hotel has a sophisticated, residential feel in its 293 guest rooms, thanks to their hardwood oak floors, custom furnishings, palm plants, and art curated by the Be-poles design studio. That intimate feeling carries over into the thoughtful service. Bellmen greet all guests upon arrival, and in the NoMad Restaurant, a friendly staff prepares tableside steak tartare and baked Alaska flambé, as dreamed up by the New York–based hospitality team Make It Nice. From $199. –MATT VILLANO

Design Havens

Courtesy of Shinola/Nicole Franzen

Shinola Hotel


Shinola put Detroit on the modern design map, and now the maker of watches and leather goods is bringing its homegrown aesthetic to a namesake hotel in the city’s revitalized downtown. Since it opened in January, the Shinola Hotel has been a draw as much for locals as for visitors, whom you’ll find camping out in front of the fireplace in the lobby lounge. Interiors are nods to the history of the hotel’s buildings, which once housed the T.B. Rayl & Co. department store and a Singer sewing machine factory. The wallpaper mimics marble from the Rayl store, and the “Shinola blue” hallways were inspired by a paint chip unearthed in the Singer factory. Detroit gallery Library Street Collective curated the art hanging throughout, and each of the 129 residential-style rooms, fitted with green velvet couches, soft leather armchairs, and bronze fixtures, has a custom-made Shinola clock by the bed. From $235. –NATALIE BEAUREGARD

Courtesy of The Calile/Sean Fennessy
Courtesy of The Calile/Sean Fennessy

The Calile Hotel


Australia’s third-largest city, Brisbane has been referred to ironically as “Brisvegas,” mocking the city’s lack of razzle-dazzle. But in recent years, the subtropical city filled with jacaranda trees and tin-and-timber structures has received a jolt of sophistication. The Calile, a new hotel in the chic James Street precinct, is a bright case in point. Local architects Richards and Spence created a resort where marble slabs in pinks, blues, and greens and subtle brass fixtures are offset by wood paneling in a modern riff on the neighboring homes. It’s minimal but cheery. Large windows, open spaces, and a pool show off the city’s biggest asset: year-round sunshine. From $185. –DAVID PRIOR

Courtesy of Rooms of Rome

The Rooms of Rome


When the Alda Fendi Foundation handed the renovation of the 17th-century Palazzo Rhinoceros to Jean Nouvel, something special was bound to happen. The renowned French architect transformed the historic palace near Rome’s birthplace on Palatine Hill into a sanctuary with an Old-World-meets-New aesthetic. Each of the 24 apartments has a unique layout. Some are graced with sliding steel walls that can close off the living room from the bedroom or open to create one massive space. All have well-equipped kitchens designed for guests who want to live the way locals do. Contemporary materials and furnishings are juxtaposed with original paint and decaying frescoes. The location is the clincher: The sixth-floor terrace offers front-row seats to the Roman Forum. From $284. –LYNDSEY MATTHEWS

Courtesy of Capella Ubud

Capella Ubud


If every new hotel on the Indonesian island of Bali were as conscientiously developed as Capella Ubud, we wouldn’t have to worry so much about the effects of overtourism on the island. The rain forest retreat, designed by Bangkok-based architect Bill Bensley, leaves a light footprint. Located 4.5 miles from the ever-more-crowded village of Ubud, Capella sits along a quiet river embankment in the traditional rice-farming village of Keliki. Not one tree was felled to erect 23 tented, teak-floored accommodations that allow in the sounds of the surrounding rain forest. Doors and headboards were carved by Balinese artisans, and private plunge pools are clad in natural stone. There’s a vast, aboveground saltwater pool, and perhaps the first hotel fitness center that could be called exquisite, thanks to its soaring draped-fabric enclosure and its dramatic hand-painted columns. Elsewhere, Indonesian artworks—batik fabrics, intricate paintings from the nearby village of Kamasan—add to the effect. From $838. –KATHRYN ROMEYN

Courtesy of Hotel Lutetia

Hôtel Lutetia


There’s something magical about Saint-Germain-des-Prés: the architecture, the family-run restaurants and shops, the literary history. Now, a reimagined grande dame hotel is bringing back an erstwhile era of elegant hospitality in the neighborhood. The 1910 Hôtel Lutetia reopened its doors in July 2018 after a four-year refurbishment, which restored its gleaming white art nouveau facade, original frescoes, and stained-glass windows to their former glory. They serve as a foil to a sharp contemporary aesthetic inside: light-filled suites decorated with Murano glass wall lights and bathrooms clad in marble. In the fresco-covered Bar Joséphine, a new generation of Parisians unwinds over glasses of champagne, proving the hotel’s glory days are far from over. From $975. –MARY HOLLAND

Beach Resorts

Courtesy of Skylark/Michael Condran

Skylark Negril Beach Resort


The appeal of this beachside resort in the Jamaican town of Negril is reflected in its name, which in island slang means “to laze about.” The retreat is the ideal place to do just that: Whitewashed walls and pastel accents lend a relaxed, beach bungalow feel that attracts an artsy, social crowd. The 28 colorful bedrooms, set around a palm-shaded courtyard, are decked out with wood-frame beds, vintage radios, and artwork from reggae album covers. Make new friends over coconut shrimp and callaloo at Miss Lily’s, an outpost of the popular New York City restaurant, or settle into one of the hotel’s white-and-blue-canopied beach chairs on Jamaica’s iconic Seven Mile Beach. From $145. –EMILY O'DELL

Courtesy of Montage Los Cabos

Montage Los Cabos

Los Cabos

Cabo has long had its share of alluring resorts, but now, thanks to new openings such as Montage Los Cabos, it has a fresh sheen. Set along the crescent of Santa Maria Bay, on the Pacific Ocean, the 122-room resort melds desert and sea with open-air structures. Subtle contemporary interiors keep the focus on nature; sliding glass doors reveal alfresco showers and private patios with daybeds that beckon for afternoon naps. The restaurants Marea and Mezcal serve finely crafted modern Mexican fare. And at the 40,000-square-foot spa, guests can book the two-hour Jewel of Baja treatment, which starts with a foot soak and botanical wrap and ends with a four-hand massage. The best part of all? Being able to stroll into the sea for some of the best snorkeling in southern Baja. From $525. –IRENE EDWARDS

Courtesy of Isla Palenque/The Cayuga Collection

Isla Palenque

Gulf of Chiriquí

On this jungle island off Panama’s Pacific coast, you’ll likely spot a monkey or a whale before you see another human. And now you can responsibly visit the pristine area, thanks to the arrival of the new ecofriendly Isla Palenque resort. The 400-acre property’s sustainability efforts go far beyond the solar panels that heat the showers. Furniture is crafted out of fallen Santa Maria and white cedar trees, and cocktails are sipped out of straws made on-site from papaya tree leaves. Ninety-five percent of staff were hired from the nearby town of Boca Chica, and seafood such as crevalle jack, red snapper, sea bass, and lobster is sourced from community fisheries. The resort’s green efforts do not sacrifice style or comfort: The eight spacious oceanfront casitas feature luxurious linens and local crafts, along with outdoor showers and expansive decks that look out over secluded Playa Palenque. From $780. 

Rustic Getaways

Courtesy of Heckfield Place

Heckfield Place

Hampshire, England

It took close to 10 years to complete Heckfield Place, a grand Georgian mansion located 50 miles outside of London in Hampshire. The wait was worth it: Ben Thompson, who worked with British designer Ilse Crawford on the Ett Hem hotel in Stockholm, designed the 45 guest rooms with impeccable nuance. Each room features a different color palette and is furnished with a tasteful mix of one-off modern pieces and antiques sourced from around the British Isles. London chef Skye Gyngell (from the acclaimed Spring restaurant) helms the kitchen of the two on-site restaurants, bringing her elegant touch to bear on everything from afternoon tea to grand dining by a hearth. Almost every ingredient comes from the property’s own farm, which is hemmed by a woodland that is home to some of England’s most majestic trees. All signs point to Heckfield enjoying a place in the English hotel landscape for a long time to come. From $450. –DAVID PRIOR

Courtesy of Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara

Kai Sengokuhara

Hakone, Japan

Near Japan’s pampas grassland—65 miles southwest of Tokyo—the 16-room Kai Sengokuhara adds a welcome new lodging option in northern Hakone for travelers in search of the country’s wilder side. Inspired by traditional ryokans, the structure is built discreetly into a hillside. Airy sun-filled guest rooms feature checkerboard tatami-mat floors, and sliding doors lead to terraces with wicker chairs. Private onsen tubs in each room are framed with fragrant cypress wood and filled with milky volcanic waters from the surrounding Owakudani Valley. Between hikes along the region’s many idyllic paths, structured art pursuits such as Japanese tenugui (towel) painting deepen the cultural experience, as does the food (regional delicacies of beef and abalone, grilled on hot stones). From $333 per person, including two meals. –ADAM H. GRAHAM

Courtesy of Casa Caminada/Gaudenz Danuser
Courtesy of Casa Caminada/Gaudenz Danuser

Casa Caminada

Fürstenau, Switzerland

One of the culinary crown jewels of Switzerland’s canton of Graubünden—an area 30 miles from the Italian border—is the three-Michelin-star Schloss Schauenstein restaurant, located in a historic castle. But since last October, in-the-know travelers have been flocking to a pair of former stables nearby. That’s where, in the shade of quince and pear trees, Schloss Schauenstein’s 41-year-old chef, Andreas Caminada, quietly opened Casa Caminada, his casual new 10-room guesthouse and restaurant. Architect Gion A. Caminada (a distant cousin) incorporated bright colors and rich textures into the guest rooms and public spaces. Custom-made orange sofas and mauve linen and brass loungers face the Alps, and the larchwood parquet floors, with their Swiss precision, will have you counting rings like a dendrochronologist. But the food, which eschews Swiss fine dining in favor of soulful regional classics, is the main draw. Expect fortifying oatmeal soups and creamy hay-milk cheeses, along with rustic farm breads and crunchy walnut tortes baked by a spruce wood fire in a volcanic stone oven. From $199. –ADAM H. GRAHAM

Courtesy of Blue Lagoon Iceland

The Retreat at the Blue Lagoon

Grindavík, Iceland

The drawback to Iceland’s booming popularity among travelers? The crowds at its natural wonders—including the Blue Lagoon, located in the Reykjanes Peninsula. But now there’s a way to experience the mineral-rich geothermal spa without the selfie stick–wielding throngs: the Retreat at the Blue Lagoon, located next door to the main lagoon amid newly created pools that only guests of the hotel or the spa can access. The 62 minimalist rooms, with their private balconies and deep stand-alone tubs, all have floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing the surrounding bright blue waters and moss-covered lava fields to set the visual tone. It’s easy to spend an entire day floating in the geothermal pools, but when you’re ready to go farther afield, guides can take you on a hike up the dormant volcano behind the hotel. From $1,178. –LYNDSEY MATTHEWS

Courtesy of Rosewood Luang Prabang/Owen Raggett

Rosewood Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

The UNESCO-protected town of Luang Prabang is considered Laos’s spiritual and cultural center. But those who find their inner peace in nature—and who want to get away from the tourist trail—should head into the dense jungle. Just a 10-minute drive outside of town, the new Rosewood Luang Prabang offers a calming respite within its riverside rooms and suites, waterfall pool villas, and six distinctive hilltop tents. Each accommodation showcases a one-of-a-kind design. The hilltop tents, festooned with fringed lanterns and antique tribal decorations, are surrounded by teak forest and hill views. The mostly Laotian staffers, some of them former monks, take guests on boat rides across the Mekong River to get a glimpse of rural life in nearby villages, offering personal conversations about Buddhist doctrine. From $532. –KATHRYN ROMEYN

Foodie Retreats

Courtesy of Beit El Tawlet/Tanya Traboulsi
Courtesy of Beit El Tawlet/Tanya Traboulsi

Beit El Tawlet


When Lebanese slow-food guru Kamal Mouzawak opened his restaurant Tawlet in Beirut 10 years ago, it became a destination for homestyle Lebanese cooking. Now, Beit El Tawlet, a guesthouse five floors above the kitchen, is allowing visitors to extend their experience of Mouzawak’s hospitality into an overnight stay. Embracing the spirit of its sister restaurant, the 10-room guesthouse immerses visitors in the country’s rich culture, but this time through local craftsmanship: Embroidered pillows decorate some rooms, and antiques picked up at markets in Beirut’s Basta neighborhood can be found throughout. During check-in, a welcome snack such as namoura (semolina cake) offers a preview of the hearty breakfast—eggs cooked in a clay pot and cheese with za’atar herbs—served to guests in the morning. From $120. –LINDSEY TRAMUTA

Courtesy of Skyview Los Alamos

Skyview Los Alamos

Los Alamos, California

Road-trippers who enjoy good food and wine should make haste to Los Alamos, a tiny central California town (population: 1,890) located off Highway 101, between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. First on the itinerary? Check in to the Skyview, a new roadside-motel-turned-boutique-hotel that makes a prime base for exploring the casually cool wineries and restaurants in this off-the-beaten-path part of the state. In low-slung buildings overlooking the five-acre property, the Skyview’s 33 guest rooms are decked out with midcentury modern−inspired furnishings. But this isn’t your grandma’s motel: Impeccably remodeled suites feature hardwood floors, indoor fireplaces, and private patios with views of the surrounding vineyards. Don’t miss the cute pool or the pan-seared scallop tostadas at the Skyviewʼs stylish restaurant, Norman, open for brunch, happy hour, and dinner. From $159. –JULIA COSGROVE

Courtesy of Casa Teo/Maureen Evans

Casa Teo

Mexico City

Located in Mexico City’s posh Polanco neighborhood, Casa Teo is an epicurean’s dream. When local celebrity chef Enrique Olvera moved his iconic flagship restaurant, Pujol, 10 blocks away, he transformed parts of the original location into a two-bedroom retreat. The modern-feeling space mixes light wood furniture with gray textiles; it’s punctuated by Oaxacan handicrafts (woven straw side tables) and Japanese-inspired touches (dried corn husks twisted into cranes). With your morning cup of coffee, watch resident chef Jesús Durón in the open kitchen as he prepares your inventive breakfast, perhaps chilaquiles or mole verde, always with fresh fruit and homemade bread. After a mezcal-fueled night on the town, tuck into house-made snacks in the rooms, such as chile-laced sunflower seeds or amaranth chocolate bars. From $400. –ALLEGRA BEN-AMOTZ

Remote Hideaways

Courtesy of Shipwreck Lodge/Shawn van Eerden
Courtesy of Shipwreck Lodge/Shawn van Eerden

Shipwreck Lodge

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

At Shipwreck Lodge, 10 chalets in the form of miniature wooden ships spring out of the sand dunes of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, a haunting name derived in part from the remains of hundreds of ships that have run aground there. Dense mist often shrouds the wooden cabins, all furnished with wood-burning stoves, daybeds, and slanted picture windows that offer wide views of the ever-shifting skies and seas. Every brush with life in this seemingly desolate terrain feels like a small miracle. On a game drive, you might come across a herd of desert elephants, their quiet footfalls almost deafening in the silence that surrounds you. From $750, all inclusive. –KATHRYN ROMEYN

Courtesy of AndBeyond/AM Lopez

andBeyond Vira Vira

Lake District, Chile

Chile’s Lake District is an adventure lover’s utopia, thanks to its patchwork of ancient coniferous forests, ice-melt lagoons, and snow-dusted volcanoes. The pristine landscape is what lured the Africa-based safari lodge company andBeyond to bring its conservation-driven hospitality formula to this remote corner. A working farm and dairy, andBeyond Vira Vira is composed of six suites, one five-bedroom hacienda, and 12 split-level villas with outdoor fireplaces and whirlpools that face the scenic Liucura River. Expert guides take guests by foot or bike to see frogs, pumas, armadillos, and foxes and by kayak and sailboat through waterways filled with trout and salmon in nearby national parks. Pilots fly skiers by helicopter over a smoking volcanic crater to ski slopes in Villarrica National Park. The lodge also offers visits to the indigenous Mapuche community, where guests can see a weaver work with her loom and have lunch at a traditional home. From $685. –NORA WALSH

Courtesy of Mombo Camp/Crookes and Jackson
Courtesy of Mombo Camp

Mombo Camp

Okavango Delta

Mombo Camp is one of Botswana’s most iconic safari retreats. The remote location in the Moremi Game Reserve offers a deep experience with the wildlife-rich Okavango Delta, and the sustainable architecture treads gently on the landscape. In fact, thanks to the recent multimillion-dollar rebuild by Wilderness Safaris, an ecoconscious outfitter, the lodge now runs on 100 percent solar power. Builders took care to fit into the same footprint as the previous incarnation of the camp, and arborists worked to protect existing trees. The environmentally sensitive measures have not sacrificed any luxury: Each of the nine tents now has a handsome lounge area with leather sofas and a well-stocked bar cart, plus a private veranda with a plunge pool facing the floodplains. Between game drives, guests might be able to catch glimpses of wildlife from the new 41-foot pool. From $1,990 per person. –LINDSEY TRAMUTA

Courtesy of Sampi Nature Camp/Lennart Pittja

Sápmi Nature Camp

Laponia, Sweden

It takes an hour and a half to fly from Stockholm to Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost town, and another two and a half hours to drive to Sápmi Nature Camp, deep in the heart of Laponia, a UNESCO-protected wildlife area in Swedish Lapland. But the camp, located in a boreal forest 124 miles above the Arctic Circle, is well worth the trek for travelers seeking a full immersion into the region’s endangered landscape and indigenous Sámi culture. The camp was founded by Lennart Pittja, a Sámi from a reindeer herding family who is passionate about sustainable tourism because he has seen firsthand the havoc that climate change can wreak. He keeps his operation intentionally small—just five Sámi-style tents, most with queen-size beds. Guests bathe in a wood-fired sauna and use outhouses or visit a heated central toilet room. But what the camp lacks in classic comforts it makes up for with its singular experiences. By day, visitors go snowshoeing and ice fishing. Meals are feasts of traditional Sámi fare—fish, smoked reindeer—with plenty of meatless options. At lunch, Pittja often gathers everyone around a crackling fire and tells stories of his ancestral heritage. From $785. ASHLEA HALPERN

Courtesy of The Lindis

The Lindis

Ahuriri Valley

On New Zealand’s South Island, the Ahuriri River flows past the sheep stations of the Ahuriri Valley beneath some of the darkest, clearest night skies in the world. Few tourists visit the valley, a 2.5-hour drive from Queenstown, but as of last November, there’s a new reason to go. The Lindis, a five-suite lodge, faces the winding river and looks out at peaks that soar above the lodge’s wavy roofline. Guests enjoy laid-back Kiwi hospitality as they go on guided hikes, try fly-fishing, ride horses along trails lined with wildflowers, or simply take in the unmatched views. At dinner in the bluestone-lined dining room, chef Cesare Stella’s locally sourced dishes, such as anchovy-glazed Te Mana lamb cutlets, pair with New Zealand wines. This spring, three new pod-style wood-and-glass rooms will open near the lodge. From $1,380, including dinner and breakfast. –AFAR STAFF