Apr 22, 2022
DESPITE THE TUMULTUOUS TRAVEL LANDSCAPE of the last few years, the hotel industry has remained resilient, and the pace of openings and renovations hasn’t slowed down. That’s why Travel+Leisure has spent the last year obsessively tracking debuts and major overhauls, consulting our trusted network of travel pros and globe-hopping writers, and crossed the world in search of the best, most memorable, game-changing new and reimagined hotels of the year for our annual It List for 2022.
This year, our guide to the essential openings (and reopenings) of the past year took us to 35 countries in pursuit of the unforgettable. T+L writers and editors have visited an ancient former palace in Sicily, a cutting-edge wellness center in Qatar, a working farm in South Africa, and a Miami hot spot from Pharrell Williams. This isn’t merely a list of the most high-end resorts, nor is it a who’s-who of major hotel chains, though you’ll find both indulgent stays and familiar brands in the mix. Instead, we’ve aimed to showcase the properties that are at the top of their game and adding something new to the conversation, whether they’re century-old stalwarts fresh off a major reno or intimate family-run boutiques that hit the sweet spot between hotel hospitality and vacation-rental hominess.
Ahead, you’ll find a stay for every style and mood. We’ve got a former set of temples in India, far-flung escapes in Argentina and the Maldives and creatively sophisticated city hotels in Madrid and Hanoi. There’s a classic Mid-Century Palm Springs getaway that’s been updated for a new generation. A series of ryokan-style cabins in the Canadian wilderness, a sleek New York City newcomer, and an opulent Parisian stunner. Read on for all 100 properties on the 2022 It List — your next vacation spot awaits.
All prices in U.S. dollars for ease of comparison.
Asia-Pacific, It List 2022
Silky Oaks Lodge
Daintree Rainforest, Queensland
LONG-KNOWN AS THE LUXURY SPOT in which to position yourself for maximum access to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation, Silky Oaks Lodge just completed a major A$20-million renovation that introduced clean lines, high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling glass with the aim of fully immersing guests in the lush nature surrounding them. The Healing Waters Spa is inspired by ancient Indigenous beliefs that the water in the Mossman River is a renewing and life-giving force. Thrill seekers will be psyched to book private helicopter tours, driving safaris, indigenous guided walks, and snorkeling and diving.
silkyoakslodge.com.au; doubles from $495 per person, all-inclusive.
The Tasman, a Luxury Collection Hotel
THE APPLE ISLE’S MOST ANTICIPATED stay of the year opened in December on Salamanca Place in Hobart. The 152-room property is right next to the Tasmanian parliament building and the latest addition to the island-state’s ascendance into the premium-travel market. The first ever Luxury Collection hotel in Australia is a delightful fusing of a heritage-listed, hand-hewn, sandstone Georgian building dating to the 1840s, an Art Deco-era wing begun in 1937 to for Tasmania’s departments of taxation, public works, forestry and agriculture, and shiny glass-and-steel modern renovations. Rooms feature Frette linens, state-of-the-art tech, and high ceilings, some with beautiful Tasmanian blackheart sassafras wooden paneling.
Six Senses Fort Barwara
BUILT IN THE 14TH CENTURY, the original Barwara Fort was owned by a royal family in Rajasthan and forms the core of Six Senses Fort Barwara. The property contains two original temples and 48 suites all hugged by the 700-year-old walls. Apart from being a massive conservation project—a direction considered more eco-conscious than an entirely new build—a lot of effort was put into preserving the land surrounding it. Conservation experts including landscape designer Savita Punde and horticulturist Pradeep Kishen worked to retain the site’s traditional gardens and water features, as well as create conditions to help the local native flora and fauna thrive—which is in line with the Ayurvedic focus of the resort. They’ve also embarked on the restoration project of Barwara Lake, aiming to remove invasive species of plants and instead introduce endemic plant species to create natural harmony amongst all living creatures, visitors and permanent residents alike.
PERCHED ON THE EDGE OF Lake Chezenji and looking towards Mount Nantai, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko, boasts one of the most picturesque spots in a crazy-picturesque country. Might we tempt you out of your 277-square-meter Ritz-Carlton suite into the warm embrace… of the hotel’s Yumoto onsen? Soaking in their indoor and outdoor hot spring baths is therapeutic for mind and body, as are—in our humble opinion—Champagne, which piles on the bubbles party in your ‘Luxury Escape’ package, an intimate kaiseki dinner, and stargazing on a shamelessly romantic moonlit lake cruise. A tour of the adjacent UNESCO World Heritage-listed shrines and temples of Nikko, and a Shugendo religious experience that helps channel the mountain’s spiritual energy complete the most magical days.
Roku Kyoto, LXR Hotels & Resorts
ARTIST KAZUYA YAMAGUCHI IS eyeing my technique. Moments before, I pounded bark from a mulberry tree with a mallet and now, in an attempt to make washi paper, I’m sieving the pulp through a mesh frame. “Don’t shake,” he cautions. “Don’t try to even it out.” He reminds me that its beauty comes from its irregularity. Yamaguchi is one of several artists offering experiences that are tied to the land of the new ROKU KYOTO resort, Hilton’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property in Asia Pacific. The 114-room resort draws on a history that extends much further back. More than 400 years ago, this was the place of an artists’ village where craftsmen from various traditions came together. To read our full story on Roku Kyoto, LXR Hotels & Resorts, click here.
THE MALDIVES HAS WELCOMED a new resort that will not only allow you to immerse yourself in Mother Nature but will also help you to reconnect with your inner being. JOALI BEING, a brand-new wellness resort and part of the Joali Maldives family, officially opened its doors on November 15, 2021, with the goal of creating truly transformative personal journeys. Located on the secluded island of Bodufushi in the Raa Atoll, the resort features 68 private beach and water villas, along with a robust culinary arts program and in-depth immersion programs tailored to each guest’s individual goals. To read our full story on JOALI BEING, click here.
joali.com; doubles from $1,499. — Stacey Leasca
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
FOR DESIGN-LOVERS AND travelers seeking a sense of place, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, offers a truly elevated way to immerse oneself in the culture and natural splendor of this archipelago nation. From the moment guests arrive, they’re welcomed with a traditional Sangu horn greeting, a nod to a centuries-old local tradition. To extend the sense of local hospitality, your in-villa butler will offer up a “Kashikeyo” welcome drink made with local screw pine sweet juice. To read the full story on The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, click here.
ritzcarlton.com; doubles from $1,825.
WOULD THIS EVEN BE AN IT LIST if there weren’t one of Bill Bensley’s wildly inventive creations on it? Inspired by the proximity of the grand Hanoi Opera House, Asia’s luxury hotel king created a stunning oasis inspired by the glitz and glamour of the Roaring Twenties. There are plenty of gilded, Gatsby-worthy details here, but the true jewels of the place are the four individually designed Opera Suites, each of which pay subtle homage to legendary divas of a bygone era.
Africa-Middle East, It List 2022
Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som
ZULAL WELLNESS RESORT by Chiva-Som marks the first foray by the storied Thai wellness retreat into a foreign market. On the northernmost peninsula of Qatar, from which might think you could squint and just barely make out Bahrain across the sea, it is the world’s first wellness resort dedicated to traditional Arabic and Islamic medicine, for which they have an on-site expert who is both medical doctor and an Ayurvedic doctor, and has rich expertise in various global health traditions. Holistic-health programs include a spa with a massive aqua therapy circuit, personal training in such techniques as Motr Pilates and electromagnetic suit workouts, and a dedicated high-tech aesthetics clinic. They also have the first Gyrotronic machine in the Middle East. This digital-detox destination about 45 minutes from Doha is separated into an adults-only all-villa resort and a family wing, and a family and child psychological specialist works on staff developing age-appropriate wellbeing, fitness and mindfulness activities.
THE LANDSCAPE OF THE LARGELY uninhabited Nhamabwe peninsula in southern Mozambique is both the location and the design inspiration for Sussurro owners Sarah Birkett and Adam Humphreys. The result: pared-back, sustainably minded structures that demonstrate a respect for nature and the region’s architectural vernacular. There are six bungalows, each with an open-air tub and shower, built using stone, simbiri (ironwood), and makuti (dried palm leaves plaited to make thatched roofs). The feeling is as much art gallery as hotel, thanks to decorative pieces—thrown earth pots, woven mats and baskets, and hand-carved wooden furniture—sourced from African nations, including Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Cameroon. I spent meditative hours swimming in the saltwater lap pool, sailing in a traditional dhow along the Mozambique Channel, and fishing on the lagoon. The highlight, though, was the hospitality of the Sussurro team, all of whom hail from nearby villages and have been working with the property since long before it officially opened. And despite the remote setting, the staff produces culinary wonders from the open kitchen, including a delicious curried mangrove crab and a wild-granadilla martini, thanks to an organic vegetable garden and the bounty of the sea.
sussurro.co; doubles from $1,023, all-inclusive. — Jane Broughton
AN HOUR EAST OF CAPE TOWN, this 125-acre regenerative agriculture farm centers on a 1694 main house that’s framed by mountains and the fertile Franschhoek Valley. Wellness and renewal are central themes of the 11-room hotel, with offerings like hypnotherapy, sound bathing, equine therapy, and massage techniques that incorporate botanical-infused oils mixed in Sterrekopje’s own apothecary. I also found a sense of healing whilewandering through the fragrant medicinal gardens, harvesting the organic vegetables that grow on site, hiking in the hills, and swimming in the crystal-clear streams that cut through the property. But the most restorative aspect of my stay was sleep, an easy thing to do, thanks to the organic linens that swathe the custom-made four-posters and the daybeds that beckon beneath centuries-old olive trees, with the soft chorus of birdsong the only sound.
sterrekopje.com; doubles from $1,270. —Jane Broughton
Others in the region
Eden Nairobi, Kenya
Kisawa Sanctuary, Mozambique
Puku Ridge, Zambia
Six Senses Shaharut, Israel
Europe, It List 2022
Beaverbrook Town House
TOWN-HOUSE HOTELS CONTINUE to pop up all over London, especially in central neighborhoods like Mayfair and Chelsea. Beaverbrook Town House, an urban sibling of the sumptuous Beaverbrook Estate in Surrey, is possibly the best example of the genre. I was offered a whiskey when I checked in; then I got to explore the thrillingly maximalist interiors by designer Nicola Harding. The overall feeling is akin to arriving at the house of a well-heeled yet eccentric uncle. Each of the 14 rooms is named after a London theater: mine—called the Royal Opera House—was dressed in a palette of sage, soft red, and pink. The free mini-bar was stocked with chilled kombucha as well as ingredients for fixing a pre-dinner espresso martini. Arrive hungry for the 20-course omakase feast at the tiny sushi bar at the in-house restaurant, Fuji Grill. Sushi master Jan Horak prepares the freshest fare from the British Isles for just six diners each evening.
beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk; doubles from $420. — Rebecca Rose
A FORMER OFFICE BUILDING on the Right Bank’s Avenue George V is now home to Bulgari’s newest hotel. Designed by the Italian architecture firm of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, it channels an urbane sleekness: black lacquered walls frame the lobby; vintage steamer trunks are repurposed as in-room mini-bars; bathrooms are clad in travertine marble; and, as a reminder of the company’s roots, vintage photographs of Bulgari jewels hang on the walls throughout. While the Paris hotel brings the 138-year-old Italian jewelry firm’s portfolio to seven properties, located in places as far-flung as Bali and Dubai, its roots are always front and center. Il Ristorante, helmed by Niko Romito, is a prime example. The chef, who is originally from Abruzzo, has created a menu that includes a vegetarian lasagna and a risotto that are worth making the trip for. And to work off some of that decadent meal, I took a dip in the hotel’s 82-foot subterranean swimming pool—the longest in Paris.
bulgarihotels.com; doubles from $1,478. — Deanne Kaczerski
IT’S NOT EASY FOR A NEWCOMER to make an impact on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, an area known for iconic hotels that date back to the 1960s era of La Dolce Vita. But Borgo Santandrea—one of the few five-star properties to open on this stretch in the past decade—fits right in. Managed by hoteliers from nearby Ischia, it occupies a privileged position on the cliffs just outside the town of Amalfi. The resort’s Midcentury Modern–meets-Mediterranean design pays homage to legendary Italian architect Gio Ponti, whose ceramics decorate the blue-and-white lobby: the floors of the hotel are tiled in more than 30 different geometric patterns. Throughout the property, custom-built furnishings sit alongside vintage pieces such as a concierge desk by Carlo Mollino. I started my day with breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, then moved to the hotel’s beach club, which happens to be on the only private strip along the coast. The club’s restaurant was perfect for a leisurely lunch that included spaghetti alle vongole and a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio.
borgosantandrea.it; doubles from $1,050. — Laura Itzkowitz
Others in the region
Airelles Langa Château de Versailles, France
Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de la Messardière, France
Bethlen Estates, Romania
Ca’ di Dio, Venice
Casa di Langa, Italy
Cheval Blanc, Paris
Coco Hotel, Copenhagen
Dimora Palanca, Florence
Hotel Motto, Vienna
Il Tornabuoni, Florence
Kalesma Mykonos, Greece
Kempinski Palace Engelberg, Switzerland
La Ponche, France
Madame Rêve, Paris
Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid
Masseria Calderisi, Italy
Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest
Maybourne Riviera, France
One&Only Portonovi, Montenegro
The Place Firenze, Italy
Reykjavik Edition, Iceland
The Rooster, Greece
Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid
Rusacks St. Andrews, Scotland
San Domenico Palace, Taormina, a Four Seasons Hotel, Italy
Six Senses Ibiza, Spain
Splendido Mare, a Belmond Hotel, Italy
Villa Igiea, a Rocco Forte Hotel, Italy
The Woodward, Geneva
North America, It List 2022
TRANQUIL, FLUID, RENEWING. The adjectives that come to mind during a stay at Kitoki Inn might just as easily describe a Japanese ryokan, and the stylistic elements feel appropriate because this site has a similar topography. Its bathhouse and three cabins, set on three hillside acres, are linked by a stone walking path and designed in a way that seems to mimic the curve of neighboring Mount Gardner, Bowen Island’s highest point. Each cabin comes with a kitchenette and a deck backed by tall Douglas firs. But the centerpiece of the inn is the bathhouse. Step through the curtain of hand-braided ropes, latch the fragrant cedar doors behind you, sink into the open-air onsen, and wash away the worries of modern life.
kitoki-inn.com; doubles from $415. — Sheila Lam
Turks and Caicos
IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA, keeping a secret can be hard. But Pine Cay, a private island and hotel in the Turks and Caicos, remains, for now, a sublime in-the-know spot. A 20-minute boat ride from Providenciales—the country’s most populous island, which has direct flights from the U.S.—delivered me to this hideaway, which was bought by an Austrian aristocrat in the 1950s. He died in 1966, and since the 1970s, it’s been home to a low-key group of families, who built villas on 800 acres surrounded by white-sand beaches. It’s possible to rent a few of these residences as vacation houses, but for something more traditional, the homeowners’ original clubhouse has been turned into a small hotel. Its 10 beachfront rooms have a color scheme of bright sea blues and soothing neutrals (plus private patios and outdoor rainfall showers), while two newly built cottages are tucked away in dense greenery for an extra layer of privacy. At the center of things (and overlooking a sparkling freshwater pool), the restaurant serves local snapper and conch. All of these luxe details have earned it the distinction of being a Relais & Châteaux property.
pinecay.com; doubles from $1,525, all-inclusive. — Tracey Minkin
JUST AS WE WERE STARTING to get glamping fatigue, the folks at luxe camping pioneer the Resort at Paws Up have reinvented the trend. Its new, adults-only sister property, the Green-O (about a 40-minute drive east of Missoula, Montana), takes a refreshingly grown-up approach to the outdoors with 12 freestanding avant-garde structures designed to immerse guests in the surrounding pine trees and sagebrush. My favorite was perched 25 feet above the forest floor: a two-story, window-wrapped tree house with 180-degree wilderness views. Decks with sunken hot tubs give new meaning to the term forest bathing, while skylights and rooftop lounges encourage stargazing: an awe-inspiring experience in this region free of light pollution. Guests have little reason to leave their cabins, except for meals at the Social Haus, in the center of the resort. From the open-fire kitchen, chef Brandon Cunningham serves refined riffs on breakfast classics (Wagyu beef with fried quail egg) and nightly five-course tasting menus that feature ambitious dishes like dry-aged duck breast with sour huckleberries. Amid the silence and solitude, it’s hard to believe all the action of Paws Up ranch—including wrangling cattle and riding ATVs—is just a short drive away.
thegreeno.com; doubles from $2,400, all-inclusive. — Jen Murphy
Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection
Santa Fe, New Mexico
IN 1860, JEAN-BAPTISTE LAMY, THE ARCHBISHOP of Santa Fe, bought some land for $80 and built a small chapel. Bishop’s Lodge now uses it for weddings. This mountain hideaway has had multiple hotel lives; after a two-year renovation, it reopened last summer as part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, with 100 rooms, suites, and stand-alone casitas dotted across 317 acres in the Sangre de Cristo foothills. Although it’s just three miles from downtown Santa Fe, outdoorsy pursuits are the real draw here. Horseback riding, hiking, and trout fishing combine natural immersion with Auberge’s signature high-end aesthetic. There’s also a taste of the local: at SkyFire, Southwestern tradition is central to a menu that includes a flawless huevos rancheros at breakfast. And New Mexico makers like Whiskey & Clay, which crafted the dishware, showcase the region’s creative talent. Nights are chilly in the desert, so I bundled up in a Pendleton blanket beside an outdoor fireplace and sipped a warming Mezcalito cocktail as the fading light bathed the 19th-century adobe chapel in gold. I felt about as close to heaven as I ever have.
aubergeresorts.com; doubles from $799. — Elizabeth Hightower Allen
Hotel Saint Vincent
IN 1864, AMID A YELLOW FEVER epidemic in New Orleans, philanthropist Margaret Haughery funded the construction of the Saint Vincent Infant Orphan Asylum. More than 150 years later, during another epidemic, another visionary woman transformed the red-brick Italianate building in the Lower Garden District into a different kind of sanctuary. At Hotel Saint Vincent, Texas hotelier Liz Lambert—who introduced the hipster-hotel concept to places like Austin’s South Congress Street and Marfa—brings her signature sense of nostalgia to the Big Easy. The 75-room retreat has a Southern Gothic vibe, from the gargoyles that creep along the clock tower to Purgatory of Nuns, a series of prints by Julie Speed, which guide you up the main staircase. Most rooms have balconies and deep soaking tubs, and guests can surely find a treasure at By George, the tiny boutique, which carries things like face glitter, vintage Rolexes, and Dries Van Noten swimwear (for those late-night dips in the courtyard pool).
saintvincentnola.com; doubles from $230. — Heidi Mitchell
Pendry Manhattan West
THIS HOTEL OCCUPIES A SKIDMORE, Owings & Merrill–designed tower on Manhattan’s Far West Side, but once I stepped behind the façade, I felt like I had wandered into the home of a Laurel Canyon interior designer. At the first N.Y.C. location from California-based Pendry Hotels, the West Coast sensibilities are palpable: Gachot Studios, which did the interiors, cites the Light and Space movement of 1960s and 70s southern California as inspiration. The 164 rooms and suites lean heavy on both elements, with wide entryways, expanses of white oak, curvaceous furniture, and floor-to-ceiling windows. And while the killer views beckon you to hit the town, the property offers plenty of excuses to stay in: Bar Pendry, a jewel-box lobby lounge with a gilded ceiling and a massive nacre-and-gold-leaf piece by New York painter Nancy Lorenz over the bar; the Garden Room, where dishes are served among billowing tropical flora and translucent panels by Los Angeles–based light artist John Wigmore; and the hotel’s restaurant, Zou Zou’s, where chefs Madeline Sperling and Juliana Latif collaborate on a Middle Eastern–inflected menu in a space accented with blue and green tiles.
pendry.com; doubles from $745. — Hannah Walhout
Others in the region
Ace Hotel Brooklyn
All Marea Beach Resort, California
Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix
Baja Club Hotel, Mexico
The Boca Raton, Florida
Casa Silencio, Mexico
The Claremont, Maine
Clayton Hotel, Denver
The Cloudveil, Autograph Collection, Wyoming
The Colony Palms Hotel & Bungalows, California
Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel
Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection, Mexico
Four Seasons Resort & Residences Napa Valley, California
Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans
Habitas Bacalar, Mexico
Heights House Hotel, North Carolina
Hotel Grand Stark, Portland, Oregon
Hutton Brickyards, Kingston, New York
The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail, Colorado
Goodtime Hotel, Miami
Guild House Hotel, Philadelphia
Inness, Accord, New York
Kaimana Beach Hotel, Honolulu
The Langham, Boston
The Loutrel, Charleston, South Carolina
Marram, Montauk, New York
Montage Big Sky, Montana
1 Hotel Toronto
Palihouse Santa Barbara, California
Pendry West Hollywood, California
Piaule Catskill, New York
Post House, South Carolina
The Stavrand, California
Thompson Savannah, Georgia
Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu
Central and South America and the Caribbean, It List 2022
Rosewood Sao Paulo
THE ROSEWOOD BRAND’S SOUTH AMERICAN debut in Brazil’s largest city is fittingly splashy. The Jean Nouvel–designed tower, located a stone’s throw from fashionable Avenida Paulista, has a façade enshrouded by a cascading vertical garden that’s meant to echo the nearby rain forests. French interiors superstar Philippe Starck directed every aspect of the physical and sensory experience within, from the bathtubs (each carved from a single piece of marble) to the decorative guitars (signed by Brazilian music legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil) that hang on some guest-room walls. More than 450 pieces of art were commissioned for the hotel, including works by São Paulo–born Vik Muniz. The food and beverage offerings include a speakeasy-style jazz bar, Rabo di Galo, and Taraz—an indoor-outdoor restaurant that overlooks an interior courtyard shaded by century-old olive trees. At breakfast there, with a bowl of sheep’s milk yogurt, nectarines, and bee pollen in front of me, I found it to be the most peaceful place in the entire city.
rosewood.com; doubles from $250. — Julianna A. Saad
GUATEMALA’S LUXURY HOSPITALITY scene isn’t as high-profile as those of neighbors Mexico and Belize, but there’s ample potential at places like Villa Bokéh. The team behind the Lake Atitlán–facing Casa Palopó just expanded its reach with this 15-room retreat on the outskirts of the historic city of Antigua. Bokéh’s six-acre estate features bougainvillea fringed gardens, a man-made lagoon for afternoon rowing, a serene swimming pool, a glass-enclosed structure for yoga and meditation, and a small spa. These amenities orbit a two-floor hacienda that has been brought to life by some of the country’s most talented young artists; yours might include a multimedia installation by Clara de Tezanos or a sculpture made from corn husks by Fernando Poyon. Instead of Nespresso machines, Bokéh stocks its in-room cupboards with a French press and ground beans from local producers. The best way to start a day is to bring a fresh pot out to the patio, from where, if the clouds cooperate, you can see Volcán de Agua in its perfect, conical glory.
villabokeh.com; doubles from $226. — Chadner Navarro
Others in the region
Golden Rock Dive & Nature Resort, St. Eustatius
Lovongo Resort & Beach Club, St. John
Rosewood Le Guanahani, St. Bart’s
Soho Beach House Canouan
For full descriptions, visit travelandleisure.com/it-list.