Table of Contents
The past year was transformative for hotels around the world.
In 2022, we discovered an array of new and reimagined properties poised to unlock destinations with points and miles, remake neighborhoods and reinvent the very concept of a hotel stay.
These hotels included exciting luxury arrivals from some of our favorite hospitality brands, such as an architecturally striking Conrad outpost in Los Angeles, a design-forward Edition in Madrid and a decadent Rosewood in Vienna.
We saw the Park Hyatt Chicago emerge from a brand-redefining renovation, while in the Galapagos, a boutique eco-lodge was reborn as a Hilton Curio Collection property.
At the edge of a Florida theme park, meanwhile, our stay at the immersive Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser transported us to the edge of a galaxy far, far away.
Related: The 18 best places to travel in 2023
Throughout the year, our team visited as many of these properties as we could, and we also tapped our network of incredible contributors around the world to pull together this list of the most exciting and significant hotel openings and reopenings of 2022.
From world-class service to Instagram-worthy views, these are the hotels we couldn’t stop talking about this year. We also share our tips for how to spend a perfect day at each.
Ace Hotel Sydney
1 of 2
ACE HOTEL SYDNEY/ACEHOTELS.COM
Ace finally landed Down Under in Surry Hills, one of Sydney’s coolest neighborhoods.
Sign up for our daily newsletter
First impressions: A photo booth under the stairs, a live DJ and the thrum of activity from the early afternoon onward make the lobby feel more like a lounge or bar.
Wake-up call: Waking up here is a quick reminder of the building’s previous life as a brick factory. The terracotta brick walls infuse the room with a warmth that’s matched by a cozy daybed with a wool comforter. Tune in to Smooth 95.3 on the retro-style Tivoli radio to get your groove on for the day.
Explore: Discover the continent’s rich culture at the nearby Australian Museum before a stroll through verdant Hyde Park. To see more of the city, the Central and Museum train stations are around the corner.
Afternoon break: Grab a table in the lobby (come on the early side) and enjoy the burger from Loam with blue cheese mayo and sweet-and-sour zuni pickles. Don’t miss the signature olive leaf martini; its relatively small size and high price are well worth it once you get a taste of the heady concoction.
Evening in: Book a table at Kiln, Mitch Orr’s latest restaurant that just opened on the hotel’s 18th floor. Order the prawns — a serving of jumbo crustaceans butterflied and cooked in garlic butter. Wash it all down with The Tourist, a Japanese whisky-based cocktail.
Upgrade your stay: Stick to a “medium” category room or above if you’re not staying alone since “small” rooms feel cramped with a travel partner.
Perfect soundtrack: Staying at the hotel felt like living in an episode of “MTV Unplugged” — complete with an acoustic guitar in each room ready for you to play.
Check out: “Small” rooms from $381 Australian dollars (about $262). — By Ethan Klapper
Waldorf Astoria Cancun
1 of 2
VICTOR ELIAS/WALDORF ASTORIA CANCUN/FACEBOOK
Gilded Age glamor sets a new standard for luxury in Cancun.
First impressions: Behind colossal cedar doors, the Waldorf’s emblematic Peacock Alley lobby bar has Jazz Age allure — with a Caribbean twist. All around the property, jewel motifs and undulating lines (there’s barely a right angle in sight) reflect the oceanfront setting.
Wake-up call: With knockout views from every room and marble bathrooms shimmering with mosaic tiles, you’ll want a leisurely morning. Watch the dawn light brighten the resort’s terraced, palm-fringed infinity pools from your outdoor soaking tub, then salute the sun during morning yoga on the white-sand beach.
Explore: Don’t head home without seeing at least one Mayan archaeological site: Tulum’s beachfront temples, Cobá’s jungle-clad pyramids, Chichén Itzé and lesser known Ek Balam are all feasible day trips.
Afternoon break: Stop by the cenote-inspired spa for a massage that incorporates traditional Mayan healing techniques, then lounge beside the beautiful hydrotherapy pool. After, feel the tropical vibes at JA’O, the lively poolside palapa serving cantina-style Mexican fare. Order the piquant fish-of-the-day tacos (usually sea bass or grouper) and a Don Julio passionfruit margarita.
Evening in: Dinner at the Waldorf’s marquee restaurant, Malpeque, is an epic culinary event. Helmed by chef Stuart Roger, it specializes in seafood served sashimi-style or “al carbon” (over a charcoal grill). Sink into a white armchair on the terrace decorated with Mayan-inspired artifacts and dine on hamachi tiraditos and chargrilled octopus.
Upgrade your stay: If you really want to push the boat out, upgrade to a 675-square-foot Swim Up Pool Room with a prime location near the beach and infinity pools.
Order this: For breakfast at Chaya, order avocado toast drizzled with lavender agave syrup and topped with poached eggs and pickled radish.
Check out: Rooms start at around $572 per night, but expect to pay around $800 during the peak season. Or, redeem Hilton points; off-peak reward redemptions start at 95,000 points. — By Caroline Lascom
Conrad Los Angeles
Finally, a hotel that makes downtown LA feel cool and luxurious.
First impressions: The street-level entry betrays little until you ascend to the 10th-floor lobby, where light from heaven-high windows illuminates tessellating rugs and glinting Art Deco light fixtures. Welcome to LA, baby.
Wake-up call: Your studio apartment-style room nods to the Pacific coast with a dark blue bedframe, textured wood wall and sea-colored rug. Have breakfast in bed: fried eggs and ox heart tomato slices doused in olive oil and a side of avocado (you’re in SoCal, after all). Wash it down with a carafe of La Colombe coffee.
Explore: Spend the morning hopping around nearby contemporary art museums The Broad and MOCA, an artist-founded creative sanctuary with a collection of over 7,000 thought-provoking works of art.
Afternoon break: Grab a table at Agua Viva, the hotel’s alfresco rooftop restaurant by chef José Andrés specializing in Latin and Asian-style dishes. Then slip into a swimsuit for a dip in the adjacent pool. Don’t say no to a platter of root vegetable chips and a spicy shiso margarita when a server comes by with a complimentary bottle of cold water.
Evening out: Book an outside table for magic hour at San Laurel, another José Andrés restaurant at the hotel with a distinct Spanish perspective. Start with the sea bass crudo, and end with the Basque-style cheesecake, tarta de queso. Then, saunter over to the Mark Taper Forum at The Music Center down the street for a theater performance.
Upgrade your stay: Splurge for a 60-minute high-tech circuit in a private Recovery Cabin at the Conrad Spa (think: meditation, compression therapy, LED light therapy and more) from $75.
For your feed: Wake up early to snap the morning light as it winks across the contours of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Check out: Rooms from $500, or 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night. — By Melanie Lieberman
Hyatt’s first hotel in the Czech Republic seamlessly blends history and modernity.
First impressions: Located in the neoclassical Sugar Palace — constructed in 1916 for the Sugar Industry Insurance Association — the ultra-modern interiors feel like a blend of a WeWork and an art gallery, with free barista-made coffee and a Czech-Japanese fusion restaurant.
Wake-up call: Get a room on the south side of the building, and you’ll wake up to a stunning view of the Gothic Church of St. Henry And St. Kunhuta. Take in the city’s medieval rooftops as you make a Nespresso and relax on the Art Deco-style couch while you decide whether to visit Old Town Square or Prague Castle first.
Explore: If you’re visiting in the summer, take the tram up to Letna Park, one of the city’s largest green spaces, for a walk and enjoy a pint at its beer garden. Then, head to the nearby Kavárna Liberál for a snack or a light lunch.
Afternoon break: The spa in the hotel’s basement has a sauna and an extensive treatment menu incorporating products from Czech cosmetic designer Klára Rott. It’s the perfect place to relax after a long day exploring the city on foot.
Evening out: Start with a draft beer from Pioneer Beer — one of many Czech craft breweries — at the hotel bar, Mez, and walk to Masaryčka for an upscale Czech dinner; try the beef goulash for a local treat. Afterward, take tram 6 north to the steampunk-trippy Cross Club, where you can watch bands and DJs perform until the wee hours.
Upgrade your stay: Junior suites have separate working and living areas with huge bathrooms. If you’re paying with points, a standard suite will cost between 36,000 and 44,000 points per night, though a Hyatt Suite Night Upgrade will also do the trick.
Order this: The hotel serves excellent in-room breakfasts (get the eggs Benedict with salmon), so if it’s included with your room rate or you have Globalist status, skip the restaurant one day and order room service instead.
Check out: Rates at this Category 6 property start at $350, or between 21,000 and 29,000 World of Hyatt points per night. — By Andrew Kunesh
Park Hyatt Chicago
A stay here is anything but staid, thanks to a recent makeover that spells exciting changes for the luxury label.
First impressions: Beaming doormen bedecked in sharp black uniforms seem to await every guest’s specific arrival. Step into the lobby, and you’ll be met with the cool, sleek vibes of a check-in area decked out in soaring gray stone columns.
Wake-up call: The $60 million renovation gave guest rooms a much-needed brightening. That makes it pretty inviting to just call up room service and spend the morning reading the news from an iPad while soaking in the free-standing bathtub and sipping your coffee.
Explore: Shop ‘til you drop at the boutiques lining Michigan Avenue and neighboring Oak Street. Those not in the mood to make a dent in their wallet can hop aboard one of the many Chicago architecture tours by boat on the nearby Chicago River. For active travelers, the convenient location also makes running along the Lake Michigan waterfront a must-do.
Afternoon break: NoMI is the name of many Park Hyatt Chicago food, fitness and spa offerings, and NoMI Garden is the place to be for lunch and happy hour. Dine and sip on the seventh-floor open-air deck — as long as you aren’t visiting in the middle of a Chicago winter.
Evening out: Plan an early dinner at NoMI for rillettes and scallops, but head out for a Windy City evening. A comedy show is a must at Second City, a training ground for many “Saturday Night Live” cast members and only an eight-minute taxi ride back to the hotel.
Upgrade your stay: Hyatt Globalists are privy to some incredible suite upgrades here based on availability, as well as free daily breakfast at NoMI (the eggs shakshuka is divine … and a little spicy).
For your feed: Parker, a one-eyed pug who has lived at the hotel since the team here rescued him, is the Park Hyatt Chicago’s most beloved resident and happy to pose for Instagram posts. Between naps, of course.
Check out: Depending on the time of year, starting rates range from around $400 to $650 a night or 21,000 to 29,000 World of Hyatt points a night. — By Cameron Sperance
Related: A luxe city legend reborn: Two nights at the renovated Park Hyatt Chicago
Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo
1 of 2
CHRISTIAN HORAN PHOTOGRAPHY/FOUR SEASONS/FACEBOOK
A secluded paradise on Mexico’s wild and rugged Costalegre, this luxurious hideaway feels truly immersed in nature.
First impressions: Carved into the cliffside at the end of a jungle-fringed road, this 3,000-acre property blends Pre-Columbian, Spanish colonial and contemporary Mexican design (lava stone walls and native wood details). But in the main reception area, all eyes are drawn to sublime views of the Pacific.
Wake-up call: Linger in your room with its custom-made wooden furniture, locally produced paintings and ceramics, and large bathroom with double vanities and an oversized soaking tub. Enjoy an herbaceous smoothie and tropical fruit grown at the on-site farm on your furnished terrace before joining a resident biologist for a leisurely hike to the coastline.
Explore: Don your snorkel gear at one of the resort’s three swimmable beaches (which extend for six miles) or sign up for a scuba or freediving tour with the concierge.
Afternoon break: Sign up the kids for Caramelo, a fully supervised children’s program, while you tee off on the David Fleming-designed El Tamarindo 18-hole golf course. Or, sequester yourself in a private cabana at the resort’s striking, multi-tiered infinity pools and order classic Mexican dishes from Nacho, the oceanfront taquería.
Evening in: Each of the hotel’s restaurants incorporates fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs from Rancho Ortega (the resort’s 35-acre on-site garden). Dine on nouvelle Mexican cuisine at Coyul, which showcases the culinary wizardry of renowned Mexican chef Elena Reygadas. Or, when it opens in 2023 overlooking Majahua Beach, Sal will specialize in seafood.
Upgrade your stay: Even base-level nature rooms are spacious (710 square feet). However, for sheer drama, a one-bedroom, adults-only Cliffside Suite has ocean views, a separate living area, indoor and outdoor showers and a private 43-foot infinity pool.
For your feed: At magic hour, take a surfboard out on Tamarindo Beach and watch as shades of pink and purple illuminate the wild coastline.
Check out: Beachfront rooms start at $2,312 per night. A one-bedroom Cliffside Suite with an infinity pool starts at $2,448. — By Caroline Lascom
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
1 of 3
First impressions: Step aboard the Halcyon Starcruiser for a two-night space adventure where your “cabin” has a droid available by video chat, bunk beds and a window to the stars so you don’t miss a single jump through hyperspace.
Wake-up call: Order the Chandrilan waffle with rolled omelet and roasted sausage from the Corellia Dining Room before embarking on your first mission. You’re now a character in this Star Wars story, after all. Participate in lightsaber training, navigate a flight from the bridge or help Chewbacca save his friends from the First Order.
Explore: Enjoy a seamless trip to Batuu (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) with cut-the-line access to attractions, important character meetings and achievements toward your Starcruiser mission.
Afternoon break: Between the missions and secret messages on your datapad (phone) stop by the Sublight Lounge for a hologram game of Sabacc and a cocktail. We recommend the Cloud of Bespin with lemon, orgeat, passion fruit and falernum-lemon foam.
Evening in: Feast on pan-seared dumplings and “bantha” beef tenderloin while an extraterrestrial performer, Gaya, enchants with song and dance — she’ll even teach a traditional Ryloth dance to her hit, “Rockstar Queen.” Don’t miss a moment when the First Order appears for the final showdown; head to the main atrium right after the second dinner seating on your last night.
As seen on: You don’t have to be a Star Wars superfan who knows all the lore, but it does help to have reference points. At least watch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015) and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017) — the latter is roughly when, in the Star Wars timeline, your voyage on the Halcyon takes place.
Check out: Space travel isn’t cheap. Rates start at $4,809 (plus tax, based on double occupancy) for the two-night journey and $5,999 for a family of four, but also include meals, entertainment, tickets to Hollywood Studios and most nonalcoholic drinks. — By Summer Hull
Related: Bookings are open: How to get a reservation for the new Star Wars hotel at Disney World
Alila Kothaifaru Maldives
The only thing more stunning than the spa-like villas are the turquoise waters and sweeping Maldivian sunsets.
First impressions: After a 45-minute seaplane flight from Male (MLE), you’ll motor up to a white-sand beach — this resort is a remote slice of paradise. Each overwater and beach villa has a private pool, soaking tub and intimate seating areas with views of the atoll and Indian Ocean.
Wake-up call: Order breakfast at your villa and enjoy it Instagram-style in the pool, or arrange for a sunrise spread served by a private attendant on a traditional Maldivian dhoni boat.
Explore: Experience the natural beauty of the Maldives by snorkeling through the reefs surrounding the resort. Or, join an excursion to Hanifaru Bay, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve where manta rays and whale sharks abound.
Afternoon break: Get shareable Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes that rotate daily at Seasalt for lunch, then take a kayak out for a midafternoon paddle before relaxing by the main infinity pool. Or, head to the Alila Spa for the 2.5-hour “Maldives Indulgence” with a honey-coconut body scrub, a coconut oil massage and a mini facial.
Evening in: Reserve a beach table at Umami for the freshest sushi and sashimi of your life. If sunsets are the key to your perfect vacation, book a Sunset Water Villa to watch the sky glow from the privacy of your deck, then head to Yakitori Bar for craft cocktails and sake.
Upgrade your stay: Book an all-inclusive package (from $1,275 per night, based on double occupancy with a four-night minimum) that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner at Seasalt, one 60-minute spa treatment per adult, unlimited beverages including select wines, beers and spirits, and a $100 daily dining credit.
For your feed: For a romantic evening, you can request a private dinner on the beach set up on a table sunken in the sand with a menu of your favorite dishes from the resort.
Check out: Rooms from $722, or 25,000 to 35,000 World of Hyatt points per night. — By Tanner Saunders
The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad
Bold design and a star chef attract a young crowd to Ritz-Carlton’s newest Manhattan property.
First impressions: You’ll barely step foot out of your taxi before being welcomed to the Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad by an accommodating doorman who will escort you through a lush, plant-filled anteroom to the lobby. Sip a glass of complimentary prosecco while checking in.
Wake-up call: From the oversized picture window in your room, admire the gasp-worthy views of lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center cutting a striking silhouette in the morning glow. Head down to the lobby for complimentary coffee or Barney & Sons tea in the lobby lounge, which is replete with chartreuse and sage-hued velvet.
Explore: NoMad is a small neighborhood but not short on attractions. Grab a bench in Madison Square Park for prime people-watching, tour the Empire State Building and peruse the wholesale flower shops on West 28th before returning to the hotel.
Afternoon break: Zaytinya, a lobby-level Mediterranean restaurant from chef José Andrés, has fast become a hotspot for New York power lunches. Pair the cured carp roe-topped taramasalata with fresh-baked pita bread and an assortment of other small mezze; the afelia-style Brussels sprouts with coriander, tart barberries and garlic yogurt is a knockout.
Evening in: Choose your own adventure with an evening in at the Ritz-Carlton. Opt for either a night at Nubeluz, a swanky bar concept with club chairs and 270-degree panoramas from the 50th floor (if you can snag a mandatory reservation), or a relaxing bedtime soak in the oversized soaking bath in your terrazzo marble bathroom.
Upgrade your stay: Book the 90-minute Rose Quartz Remedy, a spa treatment worthy of the city’s famous flower district. Frangipani, rose geranium and palmarosa star in the botanical-based body exfoliation and massage ($425).
Order this: Save room for an assortment of theatrical tapas from the third culinary space opening soon at the Ritz-Carlton: The Bazaar by José Andrés.
Check out: Cash rates start around $1,000 per night, or you can redeem between 90,000 and 120,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. — By Melanie Lieberman
Related: A new Ritz-Carlton just opened in New York City — and we got a sneak peek
The Schoolhouse Hotel
1 of 4
THE SCHOOLHOUSE HOTEL/FACEBOOK
Feel like the head of the class at this historic West Virginia schoolhouse turned hotel.
First impressions: Full accessibility in every space is the north star for the world’s first all-ADA-compliant hotel. The entrance has synthetic grass for service pets, the floor beneath the bar is lowered so bartenders are at eye level with guests, and bathrooms have hydronic body lifts for the tubs or roll-in showers.
Wake-up call: Fill up for a big day out with a leisurely in-room “breakfast of champions” (two eggs, bacon or sausage and home fries). Afterward, stretch it out in the hotel’s serene meditation room with yoga equipment and overstuffed floor pillows.
Explore: Check out the 18-mile trail system within the Greenbrier State Forest or, if the outdoors aren’t your thing, peruse the boutiques, antique shops and galleries around historic downtown Lewisburg.
Afternoon break: Grab a bite at the property’s main restaurant, The Varsity Club, where Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and other scratch-made Southern classics will make you wish the cafeteria lunches of your childhood were half as tasty.
Evening out: Splurge on the seafood blanquette (poached lobster, bay scallops, peekytoe crab and caviar in a creamy stew) at the iconic Greenbrier Resort, less than a mile from the hotel. Later, head to Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall to catch a Black Opry performance of country, blues, folk and Americana music.
Upgrade your stay: Level up your getaway with the hotel’s romance package, complete with Champagne, flowers and a $100 dining credit.
For your feed: Watch the sunset douse the surrounding mountains with color at the hotel’s rooftop, where menus have a composition notebook design.
Check out: Room rates start at $110 per night. — By Kristy Tolley
The Ritz-Carlton, Amman
1 of 2
In Jordan, this contemporary hotel blends modern hospitality with timeless grandeur.
First impressions: If the towering columns of the porte-cochère aren’t indication enough of this hotel’s opulence, wait until you enter the white-marbled lobby centered around a larger-than-life crystal chandelier by Preciosa.
Wake-up call: Mornings must start at Soleil, where breakfast is served in a greenhouse-like atrium with potted plants and trees creating discreet seating areas. On the table, healthy dishes such as acai bowls and avocado toast are as colorful as the interiors.
Explore: Have the concierge arrange a half-day tour of the city’s ancient citadel, and get your cardio climbing the steps of the Roman amphitheater. Afterward, peruse the boutiques on Rainbow Street, nicknamed for its colorful hanging baskets, flowers and umbrellas.
Afternoon break: Hit the hotel’s outdoor pool (there’s also an indoor one) for a refreshing dip and a light lunch at the Pool Grill accompanied by craft cocktails. Later, visit one of the spa’s six treatment rooms for a body scrub with salt from the nearby Dead Sea.
Evening in: Watch twilight settle over the city from the 20th-floor outpost of Roberto’s, which serves Italian cuisine. Later, enjoy shisha and Arabic coffee at Sarab Garden, where a towering waterfall and glass-topped gazebos create a magical scene reminiscent of “One Thousand and One Nights.”
Upgrade your stay: Club-level rooms come with exclusive access to the third-floor Club Lounge and its terrace, as well as perks such as daily breakfast, lunch, light snacks, dinner and dessert, plus unlimited alcohol. Guests also have a private check-in area and concierge.
Drink this: Stop by the clubby Founder’s Room whisky and cigar bar and order the Smoked Pudding Pipe cocktail: Have your phone ready for an Instagram-worthy smoke show in the glass.
Checking out: Rooms from $287, or 42,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. — By Tanner Saunders
1 of 4
CONRAD TULUM RIVIERA MAYA/FACEBOOK
A stylish, bohemian haven inspired by Tulum’s Mayan culture.
First impressions: Discreetly tucked into mangrove forests alongside a horseshoe bay, the open-air lobby’s magnificent carved doors, serene reflective pools and unique collection of Mayan-inspired artworks and artifacts set the stage for a luxurious retreat with a true sense of place.
Wake-up call: Stroll along forested trails to the hotel’s pristine white-sand beach, where hidden coves are scattered with driftwood and seashells — as well as resident iguanas and lizards — before enjoying a leisurely breakfast on the leafy terrace at Arbolea. The hotel’s bountiful buffet features local produce and Mexican specialties like chilaquiles and ceviche.
Explore: It might be hard to drag yourself from the resort’s five meticulously landscaped pools, but Tulum’s cenotes (El Gran Cenote and Cenote Dos Ojos are two of the most famous for snorkeling) warrant a half-day’s excursion.
Afternoon break: Head to the central infinity pool where cocktails flow and a DJ spins classic tunes (but this is no wild Ibiza party). For a light lunch, try the tuna tiradito or shrimp ceviche and then, if the water is calm, take out a complimentary paddleboard and explore the bay.
Evening in: Start with a zesty mezcal, lime and ginger Coyota cocktail and live music at the open-air Ultra Mar (the hip pool bar) where guests mingle against a backdrop of fire pits, white sofas and a black-tiled ornamental waterfall. For dinner, there’s imaginative Mediterranean cuisine (like tuna and watermelon tartare) and impeccable service at Maratea — Conrad’s culinary highlight.
Upgrade your stay: If money is no object, book the 1,065-square-foot Ocean View Suite with a separate living and dining area and some of the resort’s best bay views.
For your feed: Indulge in a Mayan-inspired massage at the hotel’s immersive, namesake spa, designed to resemble a cenote.
Check out: Off-season rates start from $395 per night, or 90,000 Hilton Honors points, but expect to pay around $700 during peak winter months. Ocean View Suites start at over $1,100 per night. — By Caroline Lascom
Botanika Osa Peninsula, Curio Collection by Hilton
1 of 3
BOTANIKA OSA PENINSULA/FACEBOOK
La Pura Vida gets a luxury spin at this Costa Rican rainforest resort.
First impressions: Shrouded in foliage, it’s hard to tell where this hotel ends and the rainforest begins. Don’t expect a rustic jungle lodge, though — modern light fixtures, mosaic tilework, floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek lines give the property an upscale feel.
Wake-up call: The calls of monkeys and macaws are your alarm clock at this eco-friendly property. Since many of the suites have kitchens, enjoy breakfast and coffee on your balcony, which overlooks the dense flora. Don’t leave any food out, though, or you may end up with some uninvited guests.
Explore: Fly along the jungle canopy near Corcovado National Park via zip line — just watch out for jaguars and pumas. Spot monkeys and reptiles along the wild sands of Puntarenitas or hit up Matapalo for surfing.
Afternoon break: Start with fresh ceviche or the local catch of the day at Tierra a la Mesa, the hotel’s sustainable restaurant that supports local farms. For a private, lazy afternoon, grab a cabana by the lagoon-style pool, circled by jungle greenery, to enjoy the rainforest’s sights and sounds.
Evening out: Start with a sunset Guaro sour (a local cocktail made from sugar cane liquor, lime juice and club soda) by the pool. Then head to the town’s main drag for beers and casado (a hearty plate of rice, beans and meat) at a no-frills Costa Rican soda (mom-and-pop restaurant).
Upgrade your stay: Book and stay by New Year’s Eve and get a $150 food and beverage credit and a $100 activity credit.
For your feed: Head to the pool at sunset for a medley of changing hues – and a possible fleeting toucan in the background.
Check out: Rates start at $160 or 45,000 Hilton points per night. — By Lori Zaino
Magma Resort Santorini — The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
1 of 3
An oasis of calm away from the sunset-seeking hordes of Santorini with a volcanic-inspired aesthetic.
First impressions: When you reach this new Hyatt hotel near Thira, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Bond villain’s lair. The obsidian-black materials are a visual tribute to the island’s volcanic geology, and the staff combines classic Greek hospitality and modern runway style in their trim black uniforms.
Wake-up call: Greet the sun at first light from your east-facing room by opening the floor-to-ceiling blackout drapes with a button. Wander down to the oversized infinity pool to enjoy your choice of cooked-to-order “egg stories” with an assortment of fruits, nuts, seeds and, of course, Greek yogurt.
Explore: Work on your tan on plush sunbeds suspended over the pool with the southern Aegean sea in the distance. Cool off by raising your hand for a frappe iced coffee. After all, when in Greece, do as the Greeks do.
Afternoon break: Order a Greek salad to your sun bed — it’s an eruption of cucumber, tomato, red onion, purple kalamata olives, barley rusks and crumbled local kefalotyri cheese. Sample local varietals, like Assyrtiko (Santorini’s predominant grape) at Vassaltis vineyard, a 15-minute stroll away. After, sweat it out at the Lava Spa’s dry sauna or steam room, which are free for hotel guests.
Evening out: Skip the madness of Oia for nearby Thira, where you can still witness those famous sunsets across the caldera with fewer crowds. Return to Magma for a smoky margarita cocktail with mezcal around the firepit before joining chef Arnaud Bignon, of Michelin acclaim, for a six-course tasting menu with Greek wine pairings overlooking the ocean.
Upgrade your stay: Massages and facial treatments at the hotel spa start at $69 — a bargain for this destination. Splurge for a 75-minute golden veil bodywrap therapy ritual with 24-carat gold sheets that create an intensely hydrating, velvet-like mask.
Drink this: Most Thira restaurants have a high minimum spend for sunset views, so look for casual clifftop bars where you can soak it up for the price of a beer instead.
Check out: Rooms from $235 in April and October, or 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night. — By Ben Smithson
Hotel La Compañia — The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
French, Spanish and American influences blend at this landmark hotel in Panama City’s Casco Antiguo.
First impressions: The combination of a sprawling 334-year-old convent, the ruins of an 18th-century church and a once-thriving early 20th-century department store compose a visual history lesson of Panama as you enter the flower-filled lobby and venture to the grassy courtyard beyond.
Wake-up call: Meander through the different annexes of the hotel (the Belle Epoque French wing, the Spanish wing with its Colonial-era artifacts and the Beaux-Arts American wing) before sitting down for breakfast beneath the stained-glass windows at El Santuario.
Explore: Sightsee in Panama City’s historic Casco Antiguo district, admiring the Santa María La Antigua Cathedral and Plaza De La Independencia. Then, visit the Panama Canal Museum.
Afternoon break: Enjoy a cafecito in the hotel’s charming gardens. The hotel has the largest courtyard in the Casco Antiguo — it’s also home to a 90-year-old avocado tree. Later, head to the rooftop spa for a facial with luxurious Germaine de Capuccini products.
Evening in: Although La Compañia has five restaurants and two bars, head to 1739 (located in a 300-year-old wine cellar) for elegant French fare. Don’t skip the succulent short rib. Then, make your way up to Capella for sunset and an evening of rooftop cocktails featuring Seco, a typical Panamanian spirit distilled from sugarcane.
Upgrade your stay: Spend extra for a room overlooking the Casco Antiguo — some include French doors and Juliet-style balconies from which you can view the vibrant energy of Panama’s most historical corners.
Perfect soundtrack: Tune in to Muerdo, a Spanish artist whose evocative, low-key beats are perfect for lounging by La Compañia’s pool or while packing your suitcase.
Check out: Rates start around $270 per night or 12,000 to 18,000 Hyatt points. — By Lori Zaino
1 of 2
Thought Vienna didn’t need another glamorous hotel in a historic bank building? You were wrong.
First impressions: Vienna has no shortage of picturesque platzes, but the Petersplatz may be the prettiest, especially with the 19th-century facade of the former Erste Group Bank, now the Rosewood. Instead of stepping up to stodgy teller desks, guests enter an airy atrium and take the elevator (or spiral staircase) to reception for check-in along with a welcome glass of Louis Roederer Champagne.
Wake-up call: Hit a button to raise the shades from the floor-to-ceiling windows of your Art Deco-inspired room. Brew an in-room espresso into a cut-crystal glass for a taste of Vienna’s cafe culture, then head upstairs for breakfast at the hotel’s light-filled Neue Hoheit Brasserie (the Viennese set with pastries and a poached egg with toasted brioche is great preparation for gallery-hopping).
Explore: The spires of St. Stephen’s Cathedral are just two blocks away, while museums like the Albertina and the Kunsthistorisches, and the Hofburg complex of palaces and galleries (including the Imperial Treasury with the Habsburg crown jewels) are a 15-minute walk.
Afternoon break: Nibble on artisanal cheeses and sausages, contemporary Thai and Middle Eastern mezze at the bustling Naschmarkt, an open-air food court. If shopping’s your bag, the fashion boutiques of Vienna’s so-called Golden Quarter are around the corner from the hotel.
Evening out: Book an early table for dinner at the brasserie because you’ve got tickets for a concert at the Musikverein. Order the dry-aged beef fillet seared to sizzling succulence over charcoal on the Josper grill and paired with a glass of berry-forward Zagersdorf Sankt Laurent.
Upgrade your stay: If the cobblestone streets take a toll on your legs and back, book a fascia massage created by biomedical expert Augustinus Bader at Rosewood’s Asaya Spa.
Order this: Claim a table on the outdoor terrace at the top-level Neue Hoheit Bar for sunset skyline views accompanied by one of the region-inspired cocktails like the beet-forward Burgenland.
Check out: Rooms from 800 euros ($850) per night. — By Eric Rosen
Aman New York
First impressions: Pass the black-velvet ropes guarding the entrance to one of the city’s most expensive hotels and feel the fatigue of Midtown melt away. With the street noise muted, the only sounds you’re likely to hear are well-heeled guests fawning over the 14th-floor lobby’s Japanese Ikebana-inspired floral arrangements.
Wake-up call: Watch the city wake up outside your windows, then close the curtains, light the fireplace and draw a bath to ease yourself into the day as you contemplate the life-size reproduction of a 16th-century Japanese masterpiece, “Pine Trees,” painted on the wall panels across from the bed.
Explore: Outside the 1921 gold-topped Crown building housing the Aman, iconic stores like Bergdorf Goodman are steps away. Also nearby, the Museum of Modern Art has hundreds of thousands of treasures, like van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”
Afternoon break: The Aman’s pearl is its three-story, 25,000-square-foot spa, where treatments range from massages and facials to nonsurgical facelifts and cryotherapy. After, relax in a cushioned lounger by a fireplace lining the 65-foot indoor swimming pool, or sip an Aperol spritz under the retractable glass roof of the Garden Terrace.
Evening in: Decide between dinner at Arva, the hotel’s rustic Italian spot, or its intimate omakase restaurant, Nama, with a Japanese hinoki wood counter. Later, head to The Jazz Club downstairs to hear the city’s best musicians while sipping cocktails inspired by other Aman properties. Just don’t forget to make a reservation well in advance.
Upgrade your stay: For a more exclusive spa experience, reserve a full- or half-day private “spa house” for your treatments with a living room area, an outdoor terrace with a hot bath and cold-plunge pool and either a hammam or banya, starting at $6,200.
For your feed: Pause in the Lounge Bar to contemplate artist Peter Gentenaar’s absolutely stunning paper-and-bamboo installation floating like a jellyfish from the ceiling.
Check out: Rooms start around $2,600 per night. — By Tanner Saunders
Oslo’s new Sommero is an art-filled antidote to your average historic European hotel.
First impressions: Feel transported to a 1930s artists’ enclave in this reborn landmark, complete with a massive wall fresco, ceiling mural and mosaics by Norwegian artist Per Krohg. Even in the rooms, Art Deco details abound, like polished Hilding Anders bedframes with checkerboard details and molded ceilings.
Wake-up call: Grab coffee at Kafe Lucy in the lobby, and retreat to the library, a cozy reading corner with blush-velvet sofas, expressive floral motifs and a collection of books ranging from classic 20th-century novels by Norwegian author Johan Falkberget to contemporary fiction by international writers Sally Rooney and Haruki Murakami.
Explore: With the Solli tram stop just across the street, visitors are less than 15 minutes from Oslo’s most famous art institutions, including Vigeland sculpture park, the National Museum and the Munch Museum.
Afternoon break: Partake in a traditional Nordic wellness experience at the restored Vestkantbadet, including the 15,000-square-foot underground public baths, the year-round rooftop pool, a series of saunas, plunge pools and more. Carve out time for a workout in the sprawling subterranean fitness center, too.
Evening in: Ascend a spiral staircase to Tak Oslo, the rooftop restaurant that crowns Sommerro and serves Nordic-Japanese fare like beetroot-marinated salmon with rye bread, shiro miso and fennel salad, or Norwegian pork belly with cinnamon teriyaki, parsley root puree and daikon salad.
Upgrade your stay: Suite bathrooms are clad in a mix of colorful marbles and come with deep tubs, so you can continue your wellness soaks in the privacy of your room.
As seen on: With its turn-of-the-century design elements, Sommerro could be mistaken for a Wes Anderson film set, complete with neon signage and highly stylized logos.
Check out: Rooms start from $250; be sure to join the Preferred Hotels & Resorts loyalty program, I Prefer, for instant member perks like an upgrade on arrival, when available, and daily breakfast. — By Melanie Lieberman
The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon
1 of 3
A cool boutique brand goes global with a towering presence over the Thai capital.
First impressions: Maybe it’s because it’s in one of Thailand’s tallest, most architecturally daring skyscrapers. Or, maybe it’s the hip design with its funky color palette and the collection of distinct places to eat, drink and be fabulous. Either way, the Standard Bangkok shows that a luxury hotel doesn’t have to be so … beige.
Wake-up call: Roll over, open the curtains with the push of a nightstand button and let the sun in to beat the jet lag. Head to the pool as early as possible for skyline views, a green apple cold-pressed juice and a few laps before the afternoon flood of guests arrives to take Instagram photos.
Explore: Bangkok’s financial district isn’t as scintillating as the beaches of Phuket, but some of the city’s best restaurants, like Gaa and the Bo.Ian food center are just a 15-minute drive away — as is the Grand Palace, one of the nation’s biggest attractions.
Afternoon break: The Standard Gym’s impressive lineup of fitness classes might beckon travelers craving physical activity before a night out. However, it’s also hard not to succumb to the temptation of an al fresco cocktail like the gin and yuzu-forward Rhythm on a cozy lounger at The Parlor, an all-day space that’s a mix of a cafe and lounge indoors with a cozy terrace off the hotel lobby.
Evening out: It’s a tough call on dinner: Mott 32 Bangkok, on the hotel’s second floor, serves Cantonese creations in a dimly lit dining room, while Ojo Bangkok on the 76th floor serves upscale Mexican. The uninterrupted views are the main dish (nab a table on the outdoor patio for the ultimate sky-high experience).
Upgrade your stay: Regular guest rooms are spacious, but consider splurging on a Balcony Suite (typically starting at 28,000 Thai Baht or about $810 per night) for a more decadent bathroom with a separate rain shower and soaking tub as well as your own private outdoor space overlooking the Bangkok skyline.
For your feed: The Standard’s Sky Beach bar shares space with an often crowded public observation deck on the 78th floor. Be patient for sunset photos of Bangkok’s bristling skyline and Chao Phraya River.
Check out: Depending on the time of year, room rates start as low as 6,000 Thai Baht, or about $173 per night. — By Cameron Sperance
1 of 3
Who says history can’t be chic? This luxury hotel superbly straddles both by bringing a burnished brand to Edinburgh.
First impressions: Friendly door attendants and classical statues guard this private club and luxury hotel hybrid. Beyond the imposing columns is a welcoming lobby with a grand staircase and crackling fireplace.
Wake-up call: Take breakfast in bed after waking in a room that feels befitting of a Scottish castle. Head downstairs to the gym to get the blood flowing, either from the actual workout or spotting the Gwyneth Paltrow “Goop”-worthy design with farmhouse sinks at the hydration station.
Explore: Visiting another luxury hotel might seem like blasphemy, but have afternoon tea in the Palm Court at The Balmoral, where J.K. Rowling completed the Harry Potter series.
Afternoon break: Unwind at Lamplighters, the rooftop bar open only to Gleneagles members and hotel guests — keeping things intimate enough to let your hair down. Cocktails like the oolong tea-infused Eventide, mocktails and everything in between taste even better with the view that extends all the way to the Firth of Forth.
Evening in: Look no further than the Spence, the hotel’s restaurant with soaring ceilings, ornate crown moldings and a theatrically lit center bar. Your jaw might drop just as easily over decadent courses like juicy chateaubriand and roasted fish. We’re a long way from haggis.
Upgrade your stay: The Gleneagles brand is known for its spa treatments, and the Townhouse spa facilities are in the hotel’s well-decorated basement. Prices start at 95 British pounds, or $117, for a 50-minute personalized massage.
For your feed: There’s no need to keep your fitness routine under lock and key, but the gym at Gleneagles Townhouse is housed in what was once a vault when the building was a bank. These days, the steel vault door is just a great photo backdrop.
Check out: Rooms start at 550 pounds (around $680). Gleneagles, while part of Accor’s Ennismore collection of lifestyle hotels, does not accept points redemptions. — By Cameron Sperance
Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape
1 of 4
BANYAN TREE ESCAPE BUAHAN/FACEBOOK
Reconnect with nature (and yourself) at this Balinese jungle hideaway.
First impressions: See why they call Bali the Island of the Gods after winding through the rice terraces and banana plantations an hour north of Ubud to Buahan’s welcome pavilion, where a spirited bang on the wooden kulkul gong announces your arrival.
Wake-up call: Days start early with the chirping of birds and the gush of the Ayung River (without doors or walls, forest sounds — and a few bugs — are part of the ambiance). Join the riverside sunrise yoga session, or sip pour-over locally grown coffee as you watch the mist lick the treetops from your bale’s private deck.
Explore: Choose an activity from the daily calendar, like a hike to the resort’s private waterfall (sans throngs of would-be Instagram influencers), a vigorous bike tour past Hindu temples and through fruit plantations, or a class where you mix your own detoxifying body scrub.
Afternoon break: Spend the afternoon snoozing by the main infinity pool, fringed by red-umbrellaed loungers, or your bale’s private pool, then make your way down to one of the spa pavilions for a signature treatment like the 90-minute sound healing and chakra balancing experience.
Evening in: Soak in your hand-beaten copper tub as the jungle settles down for the evening, then feast on a multicourse meal (all sourced locally, much of it plant-based) of dishes like grilled baby cabbage with miso and mushroom tempeh with grassy kai lan stem powder.
Upgrade your stay: Spend the predawn hours hiking with a private guide up the steep slopes of sacred Mount Batur for a spectacular sunrise some guests describe as transcendent.
Order this: The Botanist Bar’s Boni cocktail is a tangy but strong mix of berry kombucha, house-made orange liqueur and locally distilled Kaja vodka.
Check out: Rates at the adults-only (ages 18 and up) Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, start at $580 per night (you can use Accor Live Limitless points to offset some of the cost of your stay). — By Eric Rosen
Royal Palm Galapagos, Curio Collection by Hilton
An eco-friendly boutique hotel is reborn as a Hilton — so you can finally use points to visit the Galapagos.
First impressions: Board the ferry from Seymour Ecological Galapagos Airport (GPS) on Baltra to Santa Cruz Island, where a car brings you the rest of the way to the hotel, which occupies over 550 acres in the Miconia Highland Forest. If you booked a villa, check out its amenities, which might include a private garden, a sauna or an open fireplace.
Wake-up call: Throw back the covers and head to the hotel’s eponymous restaurant. Here, you can assemble a breakfast featuring plenty of fresh fruit and international breakfast staples before an active day in the Galapagos.
Explore: Guests at the Royal Palm are there to discover the incredible scenery and biodiversity of the Galapagos (think: marine iguanas, tortoises, sea lions and blue-footed boobies). Ask reception for help arranging activities like kayaking and snorkeling at Tortuga Bay.
Afternoon break: Take a refreshing dip in the hotel’s pool, which will undergo a transformation in 2023, before watching the sunset with the hotel’s signature Highland Mist drink (with notes of white ginger, lemongrass, sour orange, blackberry and peppermint) in hand.
Evening out: Sure, you could retreat to your room for the evening — but why truncate your time in nature? Spend a night sleeping beneath the equatorial stars, listening for the rare calls of the short-eared owls living on the estate. Your campsite will include tents with sleeping bags, firepits, cocoa with marshmallows, and you can even have dinner delivered.
Upgrade your stay: Next year, you can reserve a table for a six-course dinner at the fine-dining restaurant in one of the lava tubes looping beneath the property for an “extra-immersive” culinary experience.
Buy the book: Round out your discovery of the archipelago by reading Charles Darwin’s seminal work, “The Galapagos Islands.”
Check out: Cash rates for a standard room start around $255 per night, while award nights start at 68,000 Hilton Honors points. Meals and off-property excursions are not included. — By Melanie Lieberman
Related: Hilton just opened the first points hotel in the Galapagos — and it has a restaurant in a lava tunnel
1 of 2
Ian Schrager minimalism meets warm Madrileño hospitality at the Madrid Edition.
First impressions: A floating corkscrew staircase rises from the hotel’s moodily lit entrance. At first, the lobby feels like other white-on-white Edition lounges, but look closer for historic touches like textiles from Madrid’s Royal Tapestry Factory.
Wake-up call: Traditional Spanish breakfast is usually coffee and toast, but at Enrique Olvera’s Jerónimo restaurant, there’s Mexican coffee and hearty huevos rancheros. Next spring, the restaurant’s outdoor terrace should open so guests can enjoy the Mexican-rooted fare al fresco.
Explore: Located in Madrid’s historical center, the hotel is close to the city’s most emblematic sites: Plaza Mayor, the Golden Triangle of Art’s museums and the bustling thoroughfare of Gran Vía.
Afternoon break: During Madrid’s swelteringly hot summer, skip a sweaty afternoon of museum-hopping. Instead, refresh with a dip in the Edition’s inviting swimming pool, which is the largest rooftop hotel pool in the Spanish capital.
Evening out: Evenings out in Madrid start and end late. The Edition’s rooftop should be your first stop for una copa among the greenery. Follow it up with dinner at chef Diego Muñoz’s Peruvian rooftop restaurant, Oroya, where dishes like ceviche and sizzling lomo saltado taste as good as they look.
Upgrade your stay: For a VIP experience, book one of two penthouses, complete with private pools, huge terraces and ensuite kitchens. The catch? Penthouses start at 20,000 euros ($21,253) per night.
For your feed: Madrid’s golden hour starts as late as 10 p.m. in summer — enjoy a tangerine-hued sunset from the pool while most guests head for dinner.
Check out: Rates start at 390 euros ($414) per night or 71,000 Bonvoy points, though on peak dates, both points and cash rates can be much higher. — By Lori Zaino
The David Kempinski Tel Aviv
1 of 4
DAVID KEMPINSKI TEL AVIV/FACEBOOK
Kempinski just raised the bar for beachfront luxury in Tel Aviv.
First impressions: As you approach the flower-filled lobby, you’ll feel the sea breeze from the Mediterranean, which is just steps from the front door. The Kempinski’s prime waterfront location in the center of Tel Aviv is as good as it gets.
Wake-up call: Israeli breakfasts are always decadent, but with six buffet-style food stations at the beachfront restaurant, you’ll be full until dinner. Don’t pass up the freshly baked pastries — the croissants and cinnamon rolls are divine — and get there early to secure an outdoor table facing the Mediterranean.
Explore: Visit Tel Aviv’s famous 100-year-old Carmel Market, and once there, don’t miss Panda Pita for an award-winning local sandwich. Feeling adventurous? Try the Tunisian ceviche pita. You’ll thank us later.
Afternoon break: The fifth-floor outdoor terrace is where it’s at. With two heated pools, seven rows of loungers, a trendy bar and sea views, be sure to pack your swimsuit, book and appetite. Stick around for sunset to catch some perfect shots for your Instagram grid.
Evening out: You know you’re at the hotel when guests are waiting to snag a table at The Common, the resort’s lobby bar. Order a spicy, tequila-based Juarez Kick, then explore Tel Aviv’s bustling culinary scene. Save room for dessert because Anita Gelato is just a few blocks away.
Upgrade your stay: Book a signature suite or pay a daily fee to access the 22nd-floor lounge, which has soaring ceilings, free snacks and drinks, plus large windows that let in ample light.
For your feed: Cloud51, the hotel’s rooftop day and nightclub, will make its grand debut next year — and the views are sure to be worth the wait.
Check out: Rooms from $500, or book through the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts portal (coming soon) for added benefits. — By Zach Griff
Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort & Spa
1 of 3
HILTON AMINGIRI MALDIVES/FACEBOOK
This new Hilton resort proves the Maldives can be a great destination for families, as well as couples.
First impressions: Hop off the scenic 20-minute boat ride from Male International Airport (MLE) and head right to your villa, where you can spend a few moments deciding whether the ocean-facing soaking tub, your private plunge pool or the hammock is your top spot to unwind.
Wake-up call: Perfect your warrior stances with sunrise yoga on the beach before heading to the open-air, open-kitchen concept Habitat, where dishes range from chocolate pancakes to Maldivian-inspired mas-huni omelets with tuna, grated coconuts and a local blend of spices.
Explore: No trip to the Maldives is complete without a snorkel or dive trip — and there happen to be 30 dive sites nearby, including shipwrecks. Glass-bottom kayaks and paddleboards are available, and guests can even join the resort’s biologist on a traditional Maldivian boat to spot and learn about green sea turtles.
Afternoon break: At Beach Shack, meat- and seafood-focused dishes are served alongside kid-approved pizza at tables in the sand. After, drop the tykes off at the Krakengiri kids club for supervised arts and crafts or beach fun while you hit the Amingiri Spa for a massage or hammam ritual. Or, little ones can get pampered too, with the Young Zen menu for health and wellness programs for kids ages 5 to 18.
Evening out: A dolphin cruise is the most magical way to experience a Maldivian sunset before a family-friendly dinner or an upscale meal at Origin, with tasting menus showcasing lobster and snapper. On certain evenings, the whole family can gather for an outdoor movie night.
Upgrade your stay: For the ultimate family splurge, book the Amingiri Residence, a six-bedroom villa with a private arrival pier, spa room and gym.
For your feed: Private photo session packages are available with a photographer to make sure you leave with that frame-worthy shot by the time you embark on the journey home.
Check out: Rooms from $832, or 110,000 Hilton Honors points per night. — By Tanner Saunders
Regent Phu Quoc
1 of 3
REGENT PHU QUOC/FACEBOOK
This opulent yet approachable resort makes Vietnam’s tropical Phu Quoc island even dreamier.
First impressions: Upon arrival, guests pass between pools of lucky, swirling koi fish and vases overflowing with orchids. After a welcome glass of icy ginger-lemongrass tea, admire the mesmerizing blown-glass coral installation en route to your sumptuous suites or green-roofed villa.
Wake-up call: Early morning gym rats score superior panoramas of the aquamarine sea from the glass-enclosed fitness facilities on the top floor or, if swimming laps is your thing, from the rooftop pool. Next up: The best breakfast spread ever. Don’t sleep on the spicy Lamian noodles or made-to-order banh mi.
Explore: There’s no real reason to leave the Regent, which sits on idyllic Long Beach. Take a barefoot walk or paddle around, then settle into hammocks where attentive beach butlers surprise you with refreshing treats like passion fruit sorbet.
Afternoon break: Stay close to the water at Ocean Club, which serves hedonistic seafood towers and chargrilled Phu Quoc rock lobsters along with sea-themed cocktails like the Coral Reef (rum, pineapple, kumquat and chili salt). After, treat yourself to a realigning four-hand Quartz Poultice Therapy at the spa.
Evening in: It’s time to feast on Vietnamese fare at Rice Market, where Phu Quoc blue crab fried rice is served in gorgeous Karin & Krisa ceramic bowls alongside Iberico pork char siu with Phu Quoc honey and five spice.
Upgrade your stay: Splurging on a Club Pool Villa is like an all-access pass to limitless Champagne and cocktails, a parade of gourmet bites all day, exclusive activities and spaces including a rooftop lounge, and private culinary experiences.
For your feed: It’s a toss-up between the shimmering, cabana-lined pool or your fruit-topped Fugroni (a Vietnamese twist on a classic negroni) backdropped by a quintessential island-pink sunset at gin-focused rooftop Fu Bar.
Check out: Rooms from $340, or 45,000 IHG Rewards points per night. IHG members receive 20% off food at restaurants. — By Kathryn Romeyn
Related: Glamorous yet intimate: The new Regent Phu Quoc in Vietnam
Voco Johannesburg Rosebank
1 of 3
VOCO JOHANNESBURG ROSEBANK/FACEBOOK
Design-forward luxury in the heart of South Africa’s Johannesburg.
First impressions: IHG’s vision for its new boutique Voco brand are evident from the black-and-gold colors of the lobby to the comfortable rooms, which have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Rosebank, plenty of space to relax and unique Art Deco-inflected furniture with funky couches in the rooms and gold-trimmed chairs at the bar.
Wake-up call: Head downstairs to Proud Coffee, the hotel’s in-house coffee shop, and nibble on a French pastry along with a fresh-pulled shot of espresso to start your day. The coffee shop opens right into the lobby, but also has a sidewalk ordering counter with an outdoor dining area. Drink your coffee outside if the weather permits — and maybe opt for a cold brew if it’s hot outside.
Explore: Take an Uber to the Blairgowrie suburb and stroll around Delta Park, one of Johannesburg’s largest parks, with numerous walking trails and a bird sanctuary. Later, head to Mad Giant Brewing’s taproom to chat with locals and enjoy excellent Pilsner beer and brisket.
Afternoon break: Have lunch (try the just-spicy-enough Moroccan chicken) delivered to your hotel room, then walk around the Rosebank Mall that surrounds the hotel, stopping into outposts of Woolworths and Cape Union Mart.
Evening out: Start your night at Proud Mary, the hotel’s on-site restaurant and wine bar. Enjoy a glass of South African Chenin Blanc and order the roasted line fish — prepared with lemon and dill beurre blanc — for your entree. Then, walk a few blocks north to the Turbine Art Fair to see works by South African artists. Just make sure to check beforehand if there’s a current exhibition.
Upgrade your stay: Pay up for a premium room that features a separate sitting area and a large workspace great for relaxing or working remotely. These rooms are usually just $40 to $60 more expensive than a standard room.
Drink this: Heading downstairs for brunch but want to skip the booze? Try the Valentina at Proud Mary, a nonalcoholic mocktail with a refreshing mix of bubbles, cranberry and orange juices.
Check out: Rooms start at $160 or 25,000 IHG One Rewards points per night in early 2023. — By Andrew Kunesh
Kimpton Margot Sydney
1 of 4
KIMPTON MARGOT SYDNEY/FACEBOOK
With its Art Deco lobby and hopping rooftop pool, this hotel will put you up and over Down Under.
First impressions: Just because the Kimpton’s home is the city’s former Water Board headquarters, doesn’t mean it’s your average municipal building. The skylit two-story lobby is punctuated by pink Scagliola pillars and anchored by a massive limestone reception desk.
Wake-up call: Throw open the curtains to let the subtropical sunlight filter through your room’s huge windows and soak in the red granite as you fire up the DeLonghi espresso maker for a jolt of caffeine. The avocado sourdough toast sprinkled with savory dukkah at Luke’s Kitchen is a not-to-miss Sydney staple.
Explore: You’re far from touristy Circular Quay, but you can still sightsee. Wander through manicured Hyde Park and continue to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Later, admire the flora at the Royal Botanic Gardens before a stop at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair for Opera House views.
Afternoon break: Set yourself up at one of the loungers at the hotel’s rooftop pool and order a drink and the prawn toast with chipotle aioli from The Wilmot Bar as you soak in the Sydney sun between dips.
Evening in: Dine in since one of Australia’s best-known chefs, Luke Mangan, helms the restaurant here and serves up delicacies like ultra-fresh Spencer Gulf kingfish sashimi served with tangy shiso and juicy Brooklyn Valley grilled sirloin from Victoria’s Gippsland region.
Upgrade your stay: Impress your Aussie mates and book the 1,720-square-foot Hammond Suite. Use the private kitchen and dining room to throw a party, then retire to the palatial bedroom, whose decor palette is more subtle and sophisticated (think marcasite rather than jewel-toned) than you’ll find in the hotel’s other guest rooms and suites.
Order this: Try the cocktails infused with native botanicals at the lobby’s 1930s-inspired Wilmot Bar — the Chancellor with whisky, vermouth, Drambuie, Port and chocolate bitters is served in a smoke-filled glass case.
Check out: Rooms from $231 or 39,000 IHG points per night. — By Eric Rosen