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Our Favorite Hotel Openings This Year

Scenes from Maroma.

William Jess Laird

Hot new hideouts in London, Mexico, and more.

Riviera Maya, Done Right

It’s hard to say if it’s the single-origin Mexican coffee that appears on suite terraces each morning, the octopus and lobster ceviches for lunch, or the chili-salt-rimmed mezcalitas at the shady palapa beach bar, but something about the hacienda lifestyle of Belmond’sMaroma resort is instantly addictive. Set on 200 acres of tropical jungle 25 miles south of Cancún, the 72-room property recently reopened after a two-year closure for renovations that highlight Mayan culture, handmade art and design, and flavors from the Yucatán and across Mexico.

Among the new additions to its whitewashed stucco facades: ten one- and two-bedroom beachfront suites, Latin America’s first Guerlain spa, and Curtis Stone’s open-fire restaurant, Woodend. (Stone’s grilled cowboy rib eye for two and charcoal-oven-roasted blue shrimp are review-worthy, but the sleeper hit is a simple cabbage heart charred directly in the coals and served with salsa macha.) Sipping, snacking, and hammock siesta-ing aside, guests have their run of the freshly raked beach, as well as diving and snorkeling outings on the world’s second-largest barrier reef, sunset cruises, and a host of activities such as a tortilla- and taco-making class and a half-day outing for a privately guided swim through an underground cenote. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.

John Athimaritis

Of Spies and Spa Treatments

From the 1906 London landmark known as the Old War Office, Winston Churchill strategized to defeat Adolf Hitler in World War II. Later, in James Bond films, it served as MI6 headquarters. Now, following an eight-year renovation, the stately Whitehall address has reopened as Raffles London at The OWO. The late, acclaimed designer Thierry Despont, known for his sensitive adaptations of such historic buildings as the Ritz Paris, transformed the Edwardian Baroque office with its two and a half miles of hallways and two-story marble staircase into a 120-room urban resort with a nine-treatment-room Guerlain spa and a 66-foot swimming pool. Dining options span three bars and nine restaurants – a Japanese rooftop spot with views of Buckingham Palace and a trio of dining spaces from Michelin-starred chef Mauro Colagreco among them. Corner suites named for notable British women, including Churchill’s wife, Clementine, occupy cupolas. With period oak paneling, grand fireplaces, and bathtubs designed for unwinding Churchill-style, larger suites such as the Granville, pictured above, pay homage to War Office spies and legends. Virtuoso travelers receive including breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.

Martin Brudnizki-designed furniture.

Fifth Dimension

The site of The Fifth Avenue Hotel, ten years in the making, holds more than a century of Manhattan history: First a Gilded Age socialite’s address, it then became a branch of the Second National Bank. Architects McKim, Mead & White, known for designing the original Penn Station, created the landmark at Fifth Avenue and 28th Street in 1907 in the style of a Renaissance palace. Now its decorative terra-cotta frieze has been painstakingly restored to welcome guests to the 153-room hotel in the former bank – with a 24-story addition. Commissioned wall tapestries, collections of crystal curiosities, and guest-room furniture such as pagoda-style lamps and custom Chinese-inspired wardrobes conjure the home of a well-traveled bon vivant. Chef Andrew Carmellini oversees hotel dining, including a greenhouse-style café; the mansion’s signature restaurant, ringed by mezzanine Juliet balconies; and private dining rooms in the original bank vaults beneath city sidewalks. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.

Sea-view style on the Riviera Maya.

Cosmic Cool

Encircled by a protected mangrove reserve along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, The St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya occupies a series of ring-shaped buildings, connected by elevated pathways leading to 12 bars and restaurants, seven pools, and a private stretch of white-sand beach. The new hotel’s otherworldly architecture pays homage to the region’s Indigenous history with a layout that channels the Mayan calendar and the star cluster Pleiades. In 124 sea-view rooms (including suites outfitted with private plunge pools and terraces), textile patterns reference ceremonial garments worn by the Maya. In the spa, therapists dispense traditional herbal cures in the form of scrubs and masks, obsidian hot-stone massages with scents coded to the phases of the moon, and botanical-filled, open-air baths. Come nightfall, bartenders serve up astronomy-inspired cocktails under the stars at the rooftop bar. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.

A reflective moment at the Peninsula Istanbul's spa pool.

Turkish Delight

At the mouth of the Bosporus Strait, a 1940s ferry terminal once greeted travelers arriving in Istanbul by boat. Today, The Peninsula Istanbul’s refurbished lobby and soaring 28-foot ceilings welcome visitors with the same water views – plus all-the-frills afternoon tea service. Part of a waterfront revitalization effort in the museum-centric Karakoy district, the recently opened 177-room urban resort sprawls among three historic buildings united by a glittering new ballroom and classic local design elements such as Marmara marble and kilim-style carpets. The 18,000-square-foot spa leans into traditional wellness with hammam rituals that refresh the skin through soaks and exfoliation, while a sleep treatment employs massage and a bronze kasa bowl technique to help rebalance rest patterns. In the nearly 5,500-square-foot Peninsula Suite, a terrace overlooks the Bosporus and the hotel’s lavish gardens, while a private hammam, gym, and screening room beckon from inside. At rooftop restaurant Gallada, opening in June, chef Fatih Tutak (whose namesake restaurant earned two Michelin stars) will serve Turkish and Asian fare in the mosaic-tiled dining room or alfresco beneath pomegranate trees. And guests contribute to a cause with every stay: For every night booked at any Peninsula hotel in 2023, the brand will donate ten euros to earthquake relief efforts in Turkey. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.

A seafront room overlooking the Hymettus mountain range.

Greece's New Classic

In the 1960s, the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Brigitte Bardot, and Frank Sinatra put the Athenian Riviera – a sun-washed stretch ten miles south of downtown Athens – on the map. Now a low-key beach alternative to bustling spots such as Sorrento or Santorini, Riviera town Glyfada welcomes the 127-room One&Only Aesthesis to its shores this fall. The resort, which recently began accepting reservations, pays homage to midcentury glam on 52 acres of beaches (one reserved for adults only) and pine forests. Minimalist furnishings and natural stone accents fill the waterfront bungalows and villas that welcome guests back from sunrise sea dips with private pools and outdoor fireplaces. Two restaurants showcase the bounty of Mediterranean cuisine with sustainably caught seafood and local wines, served at tables overlooking the Saronic Gulf. Just 20 minutes up the coast, travelers can explore the Acropolis in the morning before returning for a plunge in the thermal waters of nearby Lake Vouliagmeni, a walk in the resort’s 15-acre forest preserve, or a sunset yacht turn. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.

Atlantis The Royal Dubai.

Showstopper by the Sea

Drama is the byword at Dubai’s Atlantis The Royal, where the 24,294-square-foot Skyblaze Fountain greets each evening with a fire-and-water display, signature massages include volcanic rocks coated in 24-karat gold, and dolphins splash past oceanfront meditation sessions. The 795-room island resort opens in early 2023, crowned with a head-turning 22nd-story infinity pool and club. The rooms’ marine-inspired designs vary by category, from soft blues and gentle lines in entry-level Seascape rooms to pearlescent accents and coral-colored walls (plus terraces and private pools) in the penthouses. Dining options, 17 in total, range from Dubai’s first cevicheria to chef and television personality Ariana Bundy’s Persian Kitchen. Just be sure to save at least one happy hour for Heston Blumenthal’s bar, Resonance, where waiters sling modern molecular mixed drinks and 4,000 jellyfish float in the aquarium accent wall. Virtuoso travelers receive a bottle of wine on arrival, breakfast daily, and a $100 dining credit.

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