We’re creatures of habit. Especially when it comes to traveling. More often than not, when we find an airline or destination type we like, we tend to stay with it for future vacations.
The same goes for hotels. We like the beds. We like the service. We really like the loyalty points.
Every once in a while, though, something new comes along that causes our eye to wander at decision time. These 17 just-opened (or about-to-open) hotels are the latest high-end culprits. These sparkling beauties are so well designed and packed with so many luxurious touches that any brand loyalty you thought you had will be challenged.
Ladies and gentlemen, our Forbes Travel Guide editors present the summer debuts that will almost certainly become your favorites by fall.
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Cuba
Why you need to go: Book passage to Cuba while you still can and check into its first luxury hotel. White and dusty gray make a soothing room canvas for violet or aqua accents. A rooftop terrace entices with an infinity pool and excellent vistas of Old Havana. Visit the tobacco lounge where a sommelier will pair some of the country’s best cigars with just the right food and spirits.
Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
Why you need to go: The esteemed hotel brand’s first foray on the West Coast was worth the wait. If the 170 brilliantly appointed rooms at the June-opened property in Beverly Hills don’t get you to second the sentiment, we’re confident that the Jean-Georges Vongerichten-helmed restaurant, 5,000-square-foot La Prairie spa, and ultra-chic rooftop pool and lounge will.
NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans
Why you need to go: NOPSI (New Orleans Public Service Inc.) is pumping new life into NOLA. Site of the city’s former utility company and transit operator, the July-debuted hotel has already managed to energize the streets with its 217 refined rooms, a retro-inspired eatery (Public Service) and a spot-on location near Lafayette Square.
Why you need to go: Fairmont Austin is going to be huge — even by Texas standards. The city’s largest hotel will come with a $350-million-plus price tag and an inventory of more than 1,000 rooms. There will also be nearly 140,000 square feet of meeting space. And save a few gasps for five dining options, including future hot spots Revue, which will have casual, communal feel, and Garrison, a fine-dining venue.
Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, Paris
Why you need to go: Paris’ 18th-century classic emerged from a four-year-long renovation with contemporary flourishes. It remains grand and gilded, but now boasts a glass-ceilinged indoor pool surrounded by ocean-inspired ceramic-relief walls, a men’s grooming salon, a courtyard where you’ll want to linger and two Karl Lagerfeld-designed suites, one of which has a dramatic two-ton marble tub.
Park Hyatt St. Kitts
Opening: Fall 2017
Why you need to go: Park Hyatt’s first Caribbean hotel lands in St. Kitts’ secluded Banana Bay. Look forward to a contemporary take on colonial style, beachfront rooms, suites with private pools, a rum bar, a spa with Watsu therapy and “Journeys” that acquaint you with local life, such as walks with an island historian and rainforest excursions.
Fairmont Empress, Victoria, Canada
Why you need to go: Victoria’s grand dame hotel has undergone a renewal with a refreshed Willow Stream Spa, pool, gym, guest rooms and lobby. Don’t miss a meal at the new Q at the Empress restaurant, which specializes in Pacific Northwest cuisine. We’re glad one thing did not change: the Tea at the Empress remains an afternoon tradition.
The Dossier, Portland, Oregon
Opening: August 1
Why you need to go: Portland’s newest luxury hotel aims to be like a private club of yesteryear. Rooms have a Mad Men-like feel with Slim Aarons photos of 20th-century celebrities and aristocrats and Tivoli clock radios. To continue the retro vibe, Lightning Bar Collective’s Opal will serve classic cocktails, and Omertà will dish out old-school Italian-American cuisine.
El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, Puerto Rico
Why you need to go: This renovated Puerto Rico hotel opened in February, but updates continued until just recently. Your itinerary: unwind on poolside day beds at the El San Juan Beach Club, dine at native Puerto Rican chef Juliana Gonzalez’s Caña restaurant, dance the night away at Brava Nightclub and then retire to your contemporary Jeffrey Beers-designed room.
The Adelphi Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York
Why you need to go: This 140-year-old boutique hotel will transform from a Victorian favorite to a modern classic. Elegant guest rooms will have bedside control panels and marble bathrooms with standalone tubs and heated floors (a godsend during chilly upstate winters). Housed in a glass-walled conservatory, The Blue Hen will be a light, airy place to dine.
Why you need to go: Ensconced in Santa Barbara’s hot Funk Zone neighborhood, this revitalized 1925 hotel was one of the city’s first Spanish Colonial Revival structures. It will reopen with Moorish-themed interiors; a fourth-floor outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and deck with coastline panoramas; and a 2,500-square foot, Moroccan-inspired spa with a fetching geometric blue-and-white-tiled lounge.
The Tennessean, Knoxville
Why you need to go: The Tennessean technically debuted this spring, but its opening continues to make a splash in Knoxville. The locale influences the décor, with locally made furniture and area maps adorning the walls. Upgrade to a suite for butler services and pop into the Drawing Room for the city’s largest selection of Tennessee small-batch whiskey — a must stop for anyone wanting to tipple some of the state’s best spirits.
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Bahamas
Why you need to go: The Baha Mar resort complex finally saw its first hotel open. Classic luxury pervades in the Nassau hotel’s 1,800 rooms. Plus, there are the amenities: a 100,000-square-foot casino; a 30,000-square-foot ESPA spa; more than 20 restaurants and bars; a tennis club; a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course; six pools; and the endless sand of that Bahamas beach.
The Loren at Pink Beach, Bermuda
Why you need to go: Bermuda welcomed its first new-build hotel in 45 years on its southern coast. The all-suite oceanfront gem stands out with its clean, contemporary design, seen in the glass spiral staircase and the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby and dining areas. Each of the 45 rooms comes with Atlantic vistas and 150-square-foot balconies.
Belmond Cap Juluca
Why you need to go: Anguilla’s Cap Juluca joined the Belmond collection in June. While you can enjoy the Greco-Moorish hotel and its pair of crescent-shaped coves now, Belmond will launch an extensive renovation after the December holidays. Plans include 25 new beachfront villas or suites, new restaurants focusing on local food and spa upgrades.
Palácio Tangará, São Paulo
Why you need to go: Nestled in Burle Marx Park, Oetker Collection’s first Americas hotel, Palácio Tangará, provides a nature-filled respite in São Paulo. Take in the tropical surroundings from the balcony of your sumptuous room or from the outdoor pool. But don’t overlook the heated indoor pool, Sisley spa, kid’s club or famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first South American restaurant.
Rosewood Puebla, Mexico
Why you need to go: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, colorful, culture-rich Puebla inspires the hotel's look with arched entryways, 18th-century ceramic floors, local art, copper tubs and the city’s famed patterned Talavera ceramic tiles. Check out the rooftop bar, which serves margaritas as tasty as the views of volcanoes and downtown.