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The It List 2019: The Best New Hotels in the World


Every year, T+L editors scout out the most exciting, innovative, and downright breathtaking new and refurbished hotels. From historic haunts shining from so much more than a new coat of paint to debuts destined for iconic status, these are the very best of the best.

Published on Jun 19, 2019

 

Every year, T+L editors reach out to our network of hospitality professionals, trusted writers and hotel addicts in search of the finest new (and newly reimagined) properties around the globe. Then we log tens of thousands of miles checking in to dozens of them, from far-flung islands to mountain lodges (and this year, for our It List, more than one renovated church). Here, 19 of our favorites—find the full collection for 2019 at tandl.me/it-list.

Edited by Lila Battis, Siobhan Reid and Hannah Walhout

 

QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE
Capella Ubud, Bali
INDONESIA

Capella Ubud, Bali
Courtesy of Capella Ubud, Bali.

Hotel designer Bill Bensley has dreamed up some of Southeast Asia's most glamorous resorts, but his favorite travel memories are those of childhood camping trips. That love of nature, along with Bensley's obsession with old-world style, informed his vision for the first Balinese property from the Singapore-based Capella Hotel Group. The result is 23 of the most lavish and fantastical tents ever conceived, complete with copper tubs, saltwater pools and suspension bridges. Each has a theme—the Librarian's Tent, the Cartographer's Tent—and is outfitted with rich textiles and antiques from the owner's collection. The scenery is immersive: Bensley didn't cut down a single tree on the resort's four hectares of rainforest and rice terraces. And then there's Ubud, Bali's cultural center, which is a mere 20-minute drive away—that is, if you can bear to leave the Capella's little piece of paradise. capellahotels.com; doubles from $838.GISELLA WILLIAMS

 

FANTASY ISLAND
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans
INDIA

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans
Courtesy of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans.

Most island hotels boast about their seclusion, but the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, set on Havelock Island in India's far-flung Andaman Islands, doesn't need to bother. The journey to this 54-suite hotel on a remote archipelago usually includes an international flight, a domestic flight and a ferry ride, but the trek pays off when you arrive. Concealed in the rainforest on the edge of Rhadanagar Beach, Taj Exotica was built to accommodate its surroundings, with endemic plants and 13 hectares of untouched mangrove forest punctuating the 18-hectare site, as well as an organic garden that supplies the property's three restaurants. The eco-friendly villas are constructed from palmilla and coconut wood and raised on stilts—a nod to the traditional homes of the Andamans' indigenous people. The ocean is mere steps away for easy access to kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling, and though you can't see the beach from your suite, you can hear the rolling of the waves from almost every corner of the resort. tajhotels.com; doubles from $461.MARY HOLLAND

 

MERCHANT MANOR
Six Senses Duxton
SINGAPORE

Six Senses Duxton
Courtesy of Six Senses Duxton.

A study in updated nostalgia, the first urban hotel from the wellness-focused brand is a natural fit for Duxton Hill, where steely towers loom over Chinatown shophouses. Among them is this refitted row of several designed by London hotelier (and 1960s Bond girl) Anouska Hempel, who kept their intimate feel intact. Behind the stunning original façades, interiors echo Singapore's unique heritage: Chinese screens and calligraphy-patterned wallpaper, Portuguese shutters, Malay woodwork. In collaboration with the TCM practice across the street, a local doctor pays housecalls for consultations, and the mini-bars in the 49 guest rooms are stocked with botanical tinctures—in addition to locavore booze in an Instagram-worthy display. The hotel feels like an oasis, but the surrounding area, Tanjong Pagar, is one of the city's liveliest and most neighborly. In fact, sister hotel Six Senses Maxwell, which contains the joint-property's pool and spa, just opened a few blocks away. sixsenses.com; doubles from $288.CAREY JONES

 

CONCRETE OASIS
United Places Botanic Gardens
MELBOURNE

United Places Botanic Gardens
Courtesy of United Places Botanic Gardens.

Stymied by the city's lackluster options when trying to book a room for a friend, developer Darren Rubenstein decided to take action. The first- time hotelier spent years refining the vision behind the 12-suite United Places Botanic Gardens, where apartment-style amenities and seamless service deliver a sense of understated luxury. Rubenstein joined forces with designer Sue Carr to create the hotel, a purpose-built four-story structure opposite Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens, in the chichi suburb of South Yarra. The property is full of antipodean touches, from Grant Featherston Scape chairs in the living rooms to limited-edition Sullivans Cove whisky in the mini-bars. The garden-view suites have moss-green overtones and velvet drapes that close at the touch of a button, while the ones overlooking historic South Yarra are finished in a dusty pink. Butlers are on call around the clock—ask one to book a table at Matilda, chef Scott Pickett's fire-focused eatery downstairs. unitedplaces.com.au; suites from $466.CARRIE HUTCHINSON

 

LOG CABIN LUXURY
Caldera House
JACKSON HOLE, WYOMING

Caldera House
Courtesy of Caldera House.

Mere steps from the iconic, cherry-red aerial tram that shuttles skiers to the summit of Jackson Hole's Rendezvous Mountain, Caldera House has one of the most covetable locations in the area. But its refined interiors are what make the exclusive, eight-suite property stand out. Blond oak paneling and low-slung Scandinavian furniture lend a Midcentury European flair, while custom-made wooden headboards and textiles with Navajo motifs draw inspiration from the culture of the American West. The spacious rooms feel like penthouses (with a price tag to match), each with a chef's kitchen, fireplace and heated balcony with mountain views. A ski-valet service and an in-house ski shop run by local guru Gov Carrigan ensure that getting on and off the slopes is effortless. In the evenings, refuel for your next powder day with wood-fired pizzas, porchetta mac 'n' cheese, and other carb-heavy dishes at the hotel's outpost of the beloved Italian restaurant Old Yellowstone Garage. calderahouse.com; doubles from $2,600.JEN MURPHY

 

SAINT IN THE CITY
Hotel Peter & Paul
NEW ORLEANS

Hotel Peter & Paul
Courtesy of Hotel Peter & Paul.

Powder-blue and pine-green ginghams, handcrafted wardrobes, and a wooden chandelier from Sweden lend Hotel Peter & Paul a vibe that's somewhere between Swedish manor house and Italian palazzo. A colorful addition to the city's growing roster of outstanding (and affordable) places to stay, the property is made up of a former church, a schoolhouse, a rectory, and convent buildings that had been abandoned for more than a decade. Last year, prominent local resident Nathalie Jordi and design firm ASH NYC converted the complex in the artsy Marigny neighborhood into a 71-room hotel. Guest rooms occupy repurposed spaces like classrooms and the stage of the old auditorium. Many original details, including cypress-wood moldings, stained-glass windows, wainscoted corridors, and marble fireplaces, have been carefully preserved. The unusual mustard-yellow rectory serves as the Elysian Bar. Order their take on the Jack Rose. hotelpeterandpaul.com; doubles from$129.TANVI CHHEDA

 

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
Belmond Cap Juluca
MAUNDAYS BAY, ANGUILLA

Belmond Cap Juluca
Courtesy of Belmond Cap Juluca.

Cap Juluca was always considered the place to see and be seen in the Caribbean—but over the past decade, it faded in favor of newer, buzzier locales. Then, just months after the property had changed ownership, Hurricane Irma struck, putting a planned $121 million redesign on pause. Now the wait is over. Five new villas, set among the Moorish buildings arcing along Maundays Bay, bring the key count up to 66 rooms and 42 suites—with new perks like bathroom patios and Bluetooth speakers. A new spa offers treatments that draw on indigenous Taino knowledge, and Pimms restaurant has been given a seafood spin and a chef's table presided over by Londoner Andy Gaskin. Plus, the easygoing resort has put locks on its doors for the first time—an upgrade that has some regulars grumbling. That is, until they hit the beach: the Cap they know and love is alive and well. belmond.com; doubles from $725.HANNAH WALHOUT

 

MAGIC TREE HOUSE
Awasi Iguazú
MISIONES, ARGENTINA

You check in to this stylish, 14-villa property in the Argentinean jungle with one thing in mind: seeing Iguazú Falls, a series of 275 towering cascades on the Brazilian border that attract more than one million visitors every year. And you will see them, with early access to beat the crowds, and accompanied by a private guide, an expert naturalist assigned to you for the duration of your stay. But just as special is Awasi's roster of activities beyond the star attraction—all of which are included in the price of your visit. Kayak down the Yacuí River, through remote Atlantic rain forest; meet an indigenous Guarani community; and wander the ruins of the Jesuit mission at San Ignacio Miní, a unesco World Heritage site (the full-day road trip is well worth it). Each excursion brings a new perspective to this well-trodden destination, just as the thoughtful, seemingly effortless service from the Awasi team raises the bar for hospitality in an area long lacking in luxury hotels. awasiiguazu.com; from $1,050 per person, all-inclusive, two-night minimum.JACQUELINE GIFFORD

 

HELLENIC GODDESS
Istoria
SANTORINI, GREECE

Istoria
Courtesy of Design Hotels.

Far from the crowded corridors of major Santorini villages like Fira or Oia, Istoria sits above Perivolos Beach, one of the island's most serene stretches of volcanic black-sand coastline. The third Santorini property from husband-and-wife hoteliers Antonis Eliopoulos and Kalia Konstantinidou, this 12-suite retreat had a former life as a three- story Cycladic mansion—the domain of an eccentric Greek socialite with a passion for horses. Elements of the original estate can still be found throughout; the ground-floor stables have been converted into guest rooms, each with its own private patio and plunge pool or hot tub, and the interiors have been modernized with bespoke furniture, mosaic floors of locally made tile, handcrafted textiles and Aegean accents. The massive pool, which the resort claims is the largest at any on the island, and tranquil spa make it all too tempting to hunker down at the hotel—but one alfresco meal at the property's patio restaurant, or a short walk down to the private loungers on the secluded onyx beach, will remind you of the striking natural beauty at your doorstep. istoriahotel.gr; doubles from $448.JESSICA KLINGELFUSS

 

RIVE GAUCHE GRANDEUR
Lutetia
PARIS

Lutetia
Courtesy of Lutetia.

This Left Bank institution—opened by the Boucicaut family in 1910, across the street from their department store Le Bon Marché—has been restored to its former glory after a four-year closure and a $230 million revamp. The result is the epitome of understated luxury, with original stained-glass windows and Art Deco chandeliers tempered by sleek mirrored surfaces and custom-built furniture in dark blues and caramel. A new interior courtyard suffuses the common areas with light, while the all-marble subterranean spa—home to a hammam, a sauna and a 17-meter indoor pool—is an oasis of calm in the busy St.-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. Bar Joséphine, named for Josephine Baker, a frequent guest of the hotel, is the pièce de résistance: the frescoed Romanesque ceiling took a painstaking 17,000 hours to restore. hotellutetia.com; doubles from $836.SIOBHAN REID

 

URBAN SANCTUARY
The Jaffa Tel Aviv

The Jaffa Tel Aviv
Amit-Geron.

Built on the site of a 19th-century French hospital, the Jaffa now offers rehabilitation of a more luxurious variety. The John Pawson–designed lobby, hung with Damien Hirsts and punctuated by sections of an 800-year-old wall unearthed during renovation, puts the hotel's marriage of old and new into relief. The 120 rooms and suites, divided between the original building and a recently built addition, are united by clean design, with furniture conceived by Pawson. In the hospital building, an oak-tree- studded courtyard is surrounded by four stories of loggias leading to guest rooms—some with ceilings so high they're downright celestial. In the new building, windows look out onto the glittering Mediterranean. Add to that two restaurants by New York's Major Food Group (of Carbone fame), a subterranean spa, and the Chapel bar, with painstakingly restored stained-glass windows and a bona fide late-night scene, and the Jaffa has set a new standard for high-end Israeli hotels. thejaffahotel.com; doubles from $600.ADEENA SUSSMAN

 

RARE VINTAGE
Quinta da Côrte
DOURO VALLEY, PORTUGAL

Quinta da Côrte
Jean-Francois Jaussaud.

This whitewashed winery and guesthouse, overlooking the terraced slopes of Portugal's most picturesque wine region, is all about analog luxuries: reading antique books in the library; dining at communal tables; disconnecting from screens. The interiors have a spontaneous feel that belies the exacting eye of designer Pierre Yovanovitch, who oversaw every detail of the estate and its nine suites, from the custom ceramic tables and handblown chandeliers to the rotary phones on the nightstands. The wine is just as fastidiously produced: the vineyards are tilled by horses, and port is made only when conditions are ideal. quintadacorte.com; doubles from$195.G.W.

 

BLOOMSBURY BOUDOIR
L'oscar
LONDON

The general manager, Michael Voigt, puts it best: "If you don't like purple and peacock feathers, you better check out right away." He's only half joking. At this former Baptist church in central London, the effect is that of a posh country manor reimagined by Merchant Ivory by way of Stanley Kubrick. A butler is assigned to each guest; waiters effortlessly remember orders from the day before. The 118-year- old building's listed status means that original details like checkered marble floors and mahogany banisters remain— and the former chapel still soars toward the heavens at chef Tony Fleming's impossibly sexy restaurant, the Baptist, where the bar serves "biblical" cocktails with names like Chastity, Pride and Gluttony. The 39 rooms—designed by Jacques Garcia— have stone fireplaces, hand-embroidered headboards and baby- eiderdown duvets. During renovation, Voigt stayed at least one night in each of them—ensuring that, regardless of your feelings about purple and peacock feathers, this is a hotel you won't want to check out of. loscar.com; doubles from $576.REBECCA ASCHER-WALSH

 

INTO THE WILD
Mombo Camp
MOREMI GAME RESERVE, BOTSWANA

Mombo Camp
Dana Allen.

Botswana is home to about a third of the world's African elephants—and dozens of them, along with zebras and Cape buffalo, graze at the doorstep of Mombo Camp, a just-rebuilt lodge in the heart of the Okavango Delta. This tableau vivant is a fitting backdrop for Wilderness Safaris' most exclusive property, established in the 1980s, which sits on a plum 38,900-hectare concession in the Moremi Game Reserve. With just nine villas, the new camp maintains the ambience beloved by Mombo regulars, but also feels of-the-moment with its marriage of style, luxury and sustainability. The camp now runs entirely on solar power, and Wilderness employs a team of conservation scientists and rhino-monitoring officers. Enjoy a pink G&T in the lounge, a placid sanctum of flaxen fabric and blond wood, or walk the undulating boardwalk—at times pitched high enough for elephants to pass under; at others low enough for them to cross over—that curves past the spa to Little Mombo, the camp's smaller cousin. After lunch, it can be tempting to drink in the vistas from your private plunge pool, but don't miss teatime. It's a high art here, with chilled rooibos and lemon cakes that provide fuel for late-afternoon game drives. wilderness-safaris.com; from $1,990 per person,all-inclusive.MARCIA DESANCTIS

 

CAPITAL GAIN
The Line D.C.

The Line D.C.
Courtesy of The Line D.C.

The Sydell Group, known for the NoMad and Freehand hotels, has built its reputation on expertly distilling the essence of a neighborhood. Like the bohemian enclave of Adams Morgan, the 220-room Line D.C. is resolutely intelligent and consciously (occasionally self-consciously) cool. Situated in a former church with pews repurposed as lobby seating, the hotel features original art and micro libraries, compiled by local shop Idle Time Books, in every room. The food and drink lineup is in itself worth the stay, with six venues, including Erik Bruner-Yang's Spoken English, an intimate standing-only tachinomiya, and James Beard Award–winner Spike Gjerde's A Rake's Progress, the Baltimore chef's first foray into D.C. dining. In keeping with its community-focused vision, the Line is also home to an Internet talk radio station and the nonprofit incubator Adams Morgan Community Center. In the morning, grab a coffee at Gjerde's the Cup We All Race 4, then join the locals on the front steps taking in the parade of Adams Morgan commuters. thelinehotel.com; doublesfrom$268.TOM AUSTIN

 

BOHO BUNGALOW
Hotel Joaquin
LAGUNA BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Walking into this Robert McKinley–designed property is like stepping into the home of an eccentric artist. From the local artwork to the vinyl collection in the lobby "living room," every touch feels intentional and deeply personal. The 22-room inn on the Pacific Coast Highway is set inside a California bungalow that had a previous life as a motor lodge. It's centered around a courtyard pool, where plush daybeds and a massive bronze sculpture by former fashion designer Rogan Gregory set the scene for artful R&R. An in-house "adventure guru" organizes surfing lessons and snorkeling at idyllic Shaw's Cove, just steps from the hotel. But the real action can be found at all-day restaurant Saline, where Leo Bongarra, formerly of L.A.'s Sunset Tower Hotel, whips up SoCal dishes with the perfect degree of indulgence (order the Napa lamb chops with turmeric-dusted cauliflower). hoteljoaquin.com; doubles from $300.S.R.

 

DESTINATION CREATION
Anantara Quy Nhon Villas
VIETNAM

Anantara Quy Nhon Villas
Courtesy of Anantara Quy Nhon.

A key staging area on the central coast for the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, little-known Quy Nhon is blessed with a perfect parabola of white sand and, to date, minimal invasive tourism. Anantara has just opened the first luxury resort in the region, but with a mere 26 private-pool villas, they're thankfully still keeping things on the down-low. Marvel at local Cham ruins or doze off in Anantara's tree-canopy spa: life in this fishing-dominated town is a breeze. anantara.com; doubles from $470.JENINNE LEE-ST. JOHN

 

BEACH PARTY
Silversands Grenada

Silversands Grenada
Courtesy of Silversands Grenada.

Silversands, a just-opened resort on the northern end of Grand Anse Beach, is a game changer for the unspoiled island of Grenada. Split across two clean-lined, contemporary buildings clad in South American bulletwood, the 43 guest rooms and suites—plus nine residential villas—have private balconies with ocean views and a light palette of blond oak and Italian Calacatta marble. Locals are already flocking to eat at Silversands' two restaurants: Asiatique, a formal dinner-only venue, and the Grenadian Grill, which serves up a casual beach-club vibe, lobster rolls and catch-of-the-day ceviche, and evening DJ sets. Guests have access to a watersports center—equipped with stand-up paddleboards and kayaks with clear bottoms so you can spot starfish while gliding past—as well as a spa stocked with Espa products and Puro, a dedicated cigar-and-rum bar that serves up sunset tastings of the local spirit. silversandsgrenada.com; doubles from $850.EMMA LOVE

 

PRESERVATION PASSION PROJECT
Amanyanyun
SHANGHAI

Amanyangyun
Alejandro Scott.

It might take a village to raise a child, but it took just one man to raze several villages—only to gloriously resurrect them 700 kilometers away as the most ambitious luxury resort slash living museum you might ever have the pleasure of spending a small fortune to sleep in. In 2002, self-made billionaire Ma Dedong embarked on what many called a Quixotic quest to save a bunch of 500-year-old stone-and-wood villas and 10,000 revered camphor trees from an area of Fuzhou that was to be flooded for a reservoir. His workers took apart 50 houses piece by piece, dug up an ancient well, and destroyed a tollbooth so as to fit a fatty 2,000-year-old tree up the highway. The result: a serene, feng shui–masterpiece enclave outside of Shanghai that is imbued with the history of the royal scholars who originally lived in the 26 villas perfectly reassembled here and complemented by a throughline of minimalist Midcentury design. Whether you're practicing calligraphy at the on-site Chinese cultural study center or zoning out in the massive Aman spa that includes a Russian banya, Moroccan hammam, and two lap pools, the experience is the purest form of soulful rejuvenation. aman.com; doubles from $890, antique villas from $8,895.J.L.S.J.

 

The Oberoi New Delhi
  Courtesy of The Oberoi.
 
  Here are 55 more world-class properties on the list. Head to tandl.me/it-list
for our full gallery.

 
         
 

AFRICA
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island; Hoanib Valley Camp Kaokoland, Namibia; One&Only Nyungwe House Rwanda; Omaanda Lodge Windhoek, Namibia; Zuri Zanzibar Tanzania

ASIA
The Murray
Hong Kong;
 The Oberoi New Delhi; Rosewood Luang Prabang Laos; Shinta Mani Wild Kirirom National Park, Cambodia; Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

CARIBBEAN + BAHAMAS
O:LV Fifty Five San Juan, Puerto Rico; Rosewood Baha Mar Nassau, Bahamas; Skylark Negril Beach Resort Jamaica

EUROPE
Bank Hotel
Stockholm; Brach Paris; Château Lafaurie Peyraguey Bommes, France; Experimental Chalet Verbier, Switzerland; Fife Arms Braemar, Scotland; Hotel Mamá Mallorca, Spain; Heckfield Place Hampshire, England; Hotel St. George Helsinki, Finland; Hotel Vilòn Rome; Katikies Mykonos Greece; 

 

Kettner's Townhouse London; L’Arlatan Arles, France; Le Barn Bonnelles, France; Palazzo Bozzi Corso Lecce, Italy; Ottantotto Firenze Florence; Raffles Europejski Warsaw; Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland; Stamba Hotel Tbilisi, Georgia; University Arms Cambridge, England; Vista Palazzo Lake Como, Italy

THE AMERICAS
Bungalows
Key Largo, Florida; Carpenter Hotel Austin, Texas; Collective Hill Country Wimberley, Texas; Eaton DC Washington, D.C.; Francis House Napa Valley, California; Freehand New York City; Harbor House Inn Mendocino, California; Hotel Amparo San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Hotel Clermont Atlanta; Hotel Figueroa Los Angeles; The Hoxton Portland, Oregon; Inn at Kenmore Hall Richmond, Massachusetts; Janeiro Rio de Janeiro; Montage Los Cabos, Mexico; Noelle Nashville; The NoMad Los Angeles; Palihotel Seattle; Perry Lane Hotel Savannah, Georgia; Sheldon Chalet Denali National Park, Alaska; Sophy Hyde Park Chicago

AUSTRALIA
Calile Hotel
Brisbane; Paramount House Hotel Sydney

 
         

 

 

 

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Capella Ubud, Bali
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