The 2023 Stay List

Our picks for the 15 best new hotels in the world.

Every day at AFAR, we think deeply about what makes a hotel experience truly extraordinary. The hotels we love don’t just wow us with their outstanding locations, design, and service. They’re continually looking to reduce their carbon footprint, benefit communities in meaningful ways, and connect guests to biodiverse landscapes. We showcase these values each year on our Stay List, AFAR’s compendium of the world’s best new hotels. The 15 properties featured here—vetted by our trusted network of editors, writers, and travel advisors—range from an idyllic farm retreat in upstate New York to a palatial, locally run hotel on Italy’s Lake Como. With choices like these, which will you book first? —Jennifer Flowers

Hippos at andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge

Open year round, all 10 suites at andBeyond Grumeti offer shaded private verandas.

Courtesy of andBeyond/Andrew Morgan

andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge

  • Location: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
  • Book now

The andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge reemerged in 2022 after a stem-to-stern renovation and a mindful rethink: Its 10 rebuilt canvas-walled rooms feature sustainably sourced local hardwood and regional kitenge fabrics, and the property now runs on 80 percent renewable energy. It sits by a seasonal hippo pool where lions frequently come to drink and is near a major river crossing for the Great Migration of wildebeests. But viewing wildlife from a safari vehicle isn’t the only activity—staff-led experiences bring guests deeper into nature in unexpected ways. That might mean spotting elephants on a walking safari with head ranger Nadhir Waziri or visiting fishing communities on nearby Lake Victoria to understand the local economy. Whatever you choose, it’s just a short drive away. Jennifer Flowers

Two people performing a ritual at Klahoose Wilderness Resort

Klahoose Wilderness Resort is completely Indigenous owned and operated.

Photo courtesy of Destination Canada

Klahoose Wilderness Resort

  • Location: British Columbia, Canada
  • Book now

One luxury of this wilderness retreat owned by the Klahoose First Nation is its location. Accessed via a 60-minute seaplane ride from Vancouver or 45-minute boat transfer from Lund, B.C., the resort is surrounded by more than 2,500 acres of Klahoose territory that the community has protected for centuries. Here, glacial waterfalls plummet down snowcapped mountains and evergreens border the Homfray Channel. The four lodge rooms and three cedar cabins all face the sea, where guests might glimpse humpbacks blowing at sunrise. Activities include Indigenous-led grizzly bear tours, wood-carving lessons from Klahoose interpreter Klemkwateki Randy Louie, and—perhaps the most meaningful experience—a participatory smudging and brushing ceremony around a fire. Kathryn Romeyn

An aerial view of Coulibri Ridge

Coulibri Ridge is set on 200 acres of lush wilderness in Dominica.

Photo courtesy of Coulibri Ridge

Coulibri Ridge

  • Location: Petit Coulibri, Dominica
  • Book now

Coulibri Ridge sets a new sustainability standard for the less-visited Caribbean isle of Dominica. The 14-suite off-the-grid hotel, situated on the southern tip of the island, uses solar panels and wind turbines for electricity, and pure rainwater is harvested and filtered on site. (Visitors can learn more on a tour around the property.) Nearby Martinique is visible from the rooms, which include full kitchens, terraces, and recyclable or renewable materials in their decor, such as hand-chiseled stone on the walls and recycled teakwood light fixtures. The 285-acre resort offers endless ways to commune with nature, whether by stargazing from chlorine-free infinity pools or enjoying yoga in the open-air pavilion surrounded by tropical plants. Kristin Braswell

The interior of a room at Flockhill Lodge.

Flockhill’s striking, minimalist design is inspired by the landscape that surrounds the lodge.

Photo by Barry Tobin


  • Location: Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Book now

Among the pastures and dramatic peaks of New Zealand’s Southern Alps lies Flockhill, a unique homestead that’s also a gateway to one of the country’s most secluded landscapes. A 90-minute drive from Christchurch, the four-bedroom property is set on a 36,000-acre, high-country sheep station. The limestone floors are juxtaposed with welcoming plush sofas from Kiwi designer Simon James, tables made from native trees, and, in a nod to the surroundings, sheepskins and lambswool throws. New Zealand–born chef Craig Martin emphasizes local ingredients in his meals: Périgord black truffles foraged in Canterbury one night, followed by fresh-caught hapuku from Rakiura the next. Even with these luxuries, the retreat’s best asset is its access to adventures. Guides can take guests snowboarding at the nearby Broken River and Craigieburn ski areas or fly-fishing in Winding Stream. —Jessica Beresford

A member of the staff arranging books at Raffles Udaipur.

Raffles Udaipur is located about nine miles from Udaipur City and is set on a 21-acre island.

Courtesy of Raffles Udaipur

Raffles Udaipur

Udaipur has plenty of palatial stays, but the Raffles Udaipur captures the opulence of this historic kingdom, while giving guests an opportunity to fully unwind. A visit begins with a zero-emission boat ride to the property, located on a private island in the middle of Udai Sagar Lake. Grand architecture and interiors welcome guests, with details including 16-foot-tall hand-painted murals, manicured gardens that are home to 30 bird species, and a lavish spa. The 101 spacious lake-view rooms feature marble-inlay cupboards and intricate woodwork. Pay close attention to the menu at Sawai Kitchen, where dishes including masaledaar bharwan kachhe tamatar (green tomato in Rajasthani spices) and dhungaar murgh (country chicken cooked with whole spices) are a lesson on regional heirloom recipes.Sarika Bansal

View of the harbor from the Muir Hotel.

Rooms at the Muir Hotel feature Quebec-made furnishings and tartan blankets designed exclusively for the hotel.

Photo by Nicole Lapierre

Muir Hotel

  • Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Book now

While modern Halifax has grown beyond its nautical roots, the 109-room waterfront Muir—a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of independent hotels and part of the city’s new $200 million Queen’s Marque district—offers a peek into its maritime past. In the lobby, walls of glass from an art installation glow like a lighthouse, and more works continue the theme throughout. Rooms are outfitted with midcentury modern–inspired furniture and custom-designed tartan blankets that nod to the province’s Scottish history. The restaurant serves Nova Scotia classics such as hodge podge, a hearty stew, and the hotel’s speakeasy BKS references the region’s rum-running past in cocktails like Her Majesty’s Displeasure. Aislyn Greene


View of the grounds and Lake Como at Villa Passalacqua.

View of the grounds and Lake Como at Villa Passalacqua

Photo by Stefan Giftthaler

Villa Passalacqua

Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, and Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini were all guests at Lake Como’s neoclassical Villa Passalacqua long before it was reborn as this exquisite 24-suite hotel. Owner Valentina De Santis—whose family has run the region’s Grand Hotel Tremezzo for 49 years—reimagined the terraced estate for the 21st century down to the slightest detail, from custom Bottega Conticelli steamer trunks in the guest rooms to the curated antique oil paintings adorning the hallways. Have breakfast at noon overlooking the 18th-century gardens, laze away an entire day by the pool under a colorful parasol designed by Milan’s J.J. Martin, or cozy up in a velvet chair in the wood-clad library with a book and a spritz.—Jackie Caradonio

An overwater bungalow at Nayara Bocas del Toro

The tree houses at Nayara Bocas del Toro were constructed from reclaimed wood sourced from the Panama Canal.

Courtesy of Nayara Resorts

Nayara Bocas del Toro

  • Location: Frangipani Island, Bocas del Toro, Panama
  • Book now

Nayara Bocas del Toro makes a stunning impression: 16 overwater bungalows and two tree houses all hovering above a turquoise-blue sea on a deep-green private island in a Central American location that you might not expect—Panama. But the more impressive story is behind the scenes: The resort is 100 percent rainwater supplied and mostly runs on solar energy. There’s even a beach built on stilts to safeguard the flora and fauna, where you can sip rosé from a chaise or descend the steps to float in the warm protected waters. For more active endeavors, guests can kayak to spy starfish among the isle’s mangroves, zoom to the bay with a private captain to watch dolphins play at sunset, and swim with bioluminescent plankton at night.—Billie Cohen


The poolside view at Habitas AlUla.

Dining options at Habitas AlUla mix Middle Eastern fare with international influences.

Photo by Kleinjan Groenewald

Habitas AlUla

  • Location: Ashar Valley, Saudi Arabia
  • Book now

No matter the hour, when you arrive at Habitas AlUla, a desert retreat in the Ashar Valley of northwest Saudi Arabia, a welcome ceremony commences. “We are brothers and sisters now,” a staff member will tell you. “Welcome home.” Here, “home” is one of 96 villas nestled in a canyon of rust-red sandstone cliffs. Each room uses organic material—bamboo, canvas, and responsibly sourced hardwood—that blends into their surroundings. “Celestial” villas each have their own telescope, evoking the Bedouin experience of stargazing in the Arabian desert. But the real draw is the surrounding area’s deep cultural history: Tours are available to AlUla’s tombs, ancient marketplaces, and archaeological sites, including Hegra, parts of which date to the 1st century B.C.E. —Laura Dannen Redman

The entrance to intercontinental Khao Yai Resort.

Intercontinental Khao Yai Resort is minutes away from the UNESCO World Heritage site, Khao Yai National Park.

Courtesy of IHG Hotels & Resort

Intercontinental Khao Yai Resort

  • Location: Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
  • Book now

This new hotel offers another compelling reason to explore the area around biodiverse Khao Yai, Thailand’s oldest and third-largest national park located three hours north of Bangkok by car. In a lake-dotted patch of former farmland where guests can spot hornbills and giant fig trees, the InterContinental Khao Yai’s 45 rooms are spread over three buildings. Renowned designer Bill Bensley took inspiration from the nearby 19th-century Pak Chong railway station, decorating each accommodation with wall-mounted luggage racks and clerestory ceilings to mimic train cabins. But the resort’s French restaurant, spa, and 19 villas and suites (five with private pools) deliver the upcycling masterstroke: Each one is set in a meticulously renovated railway car salvaged from junkyards across the country. Chris Schalkx

Pictures of the bar and cocktails at the Hotel Chelsea.

The Hotel Chelsea is back and better than ever.

Photo by Joe Thomas (left) and Eric Medsker (right)

Hotel Chelsea

The Hotel Chelsea has always been more than a place to sleep. Before it shuttered in 2011, it had played host to some of New York City’s most colorful guests and residents for decades—many of them cultural icons. Within these storied walls, Andy Warhol filmed Chelsea Girls, Dylan Thomas penned poetry, and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious allegedly stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Now, hoteliers Sean MacPherson, Ira Drukier, and Richard Born have launched a new chapter for this 139-year-old institution. In the 155 guest rooms, cheeky details tie past to present: Digital keys hang from red-tassel fobs, automated curtains are speckled with punk-rock holes, and tiger-print chairs pop next to regally fringed sofas. (You also might end up with one of the hotel’s decades-long tenants as your neighbor; their apartment doors stand out with bright paint or stickers.) Downstairs, the Lobby Bar is a throwback to the city’s Gilded Age, with classic cocktails inspired by other celebrated hotels of the world, such as the Singapore sling and Dukes martini. Billie Cohen


Murals at the eating area at Sommerro.

The building that houses Sommerro was once the head offices for the city’s electrical company.

Courtesy of Sommerro


The 1930s headquarters of Oslo’s electric company has been sustainably revamped to serve the city in a different way: Sommerro is not only a 231-room hotel with neoclassical and art deco trimmings but also an urban social hub where locals and travelers mingle. They can chat over a raspberry and elderflower cocktail or a reindeer udon noodle bowl at TAK (the hotel’s Nordic Japanese fusion restaurant) or visit the building’s public cinema, theater, and rooftop pool (Oslo’s first). Afterward, when Oslovians head home, hotel guests can unwind in one of Sommerro’s lofts and suites, designed with rich woods and jewel-toned accents. —Amanda Ogle

Poolside view at Pa.te.os.

The architecture at Pa.te.os is designed to connect visitors with the landscape.

Photo by Francisco Nogueria


  • Location: Melides, Alentejo, Portugal
  • Book now

Designed by the Lisbon-born architecture star Manuel Aires Mateus, Pa.te.os’s four brutalist concrete houses seamlessly invite the surrounding oak grove in: Giant glass doors disappear at the touch of a button and pateos (Portuguese for “patios”) are filled with plants to deflect the winds coming in off the Atlantic. Inside, skylights in the bathrooms allow for starlit bathing, and rooms are furnished in a Scandinavian-inspired style (think light woods and pale linens) to help you focus on what’s outside. One house has a well-equipped kitchen, where a private chef can prepare Alentejo-inspired feasts, including fresh-caught fish with couscous. —Lisa Grainger

An interior and exterior photo of a room at Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape.

At Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, guests can find a waterfall, firefly nursery, and open-air spa on property.

Photos by Muhammad Fadli

Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape

In the thrumming jungle 40 minutes north of Ubud, Buahan is reshaping the high-end hotel experience into one without walls. Nature is the star attraction in this remote, crowd-free part of Bali, where guests stay in one of 16 open-air bales, or villas. Each room is encircled by flowing curtains (fear not—ample space between the bales ensures plenty of privacy), includes a private infinity pool and hammered-copper bathtub, and incorporates wood salvaged from boat jetties in the Kalimantan region of the island of Borneo. Guests can visit the property’s waterfall, firefly nursery, and open-air spa, then end the day with a meal prepared by Bali born chef Eka Sunarya using foraged ingredients and produce from the on-site farm and local growers. Kathryn Romeyn


An interior and exterior photo of a cabin at Wildflower Farms.

Wildflower Farms has a working farm on the property that supplies the kitchen with fresh produce.

Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection

  • Location: Hudson Valley, New York
  • Book now

Wildflower Farms is just a 90-minute drive north of Manhattan, but thanks to its location on a former tree farm below the Shawangunk Ridge, it feels worlds away. Guests staying in one of the 65 freestanding cottages decorated with local mementos (like custom-made quilts) have access to three miles of trails and a farm that provides seasonal vegetables—plus wildflowers in summer—to the on-site fine-dining restaurant, Clay. The Thistle spa offers facials and massages using local, hand-harvested oils and scrubs. But wellness here is more than just a spa treatment (or two). It’s also a chance to connect with the rhythms of the environs around you, whether you’re forest bathing down near the Shawangunk Kill or picking your own eggs from the chicken coop for breakfast each morning. Lyndsey Matthews


Jennifer Flowers is an award-winning journalist and the senior deputy editor of Afar.
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