It’s easy to return to your favorite travel destinations year after year. But this summer is packed with new hotel and restaurant openings, renovations and much more. Venture out and visit somewhere new this season, and let our Forbes Travel Guide editors show you the way.
After an extensive four-year renovation, which included delays from a January fire, Paris’ grand hotel finally reopened in early June. It was worth the wait — the 1898 icon debuted pastel rooms steeped in their original splendor, suites dedicated to famous former guests (Marcel Proust, Coco Chanel), the world’s first Chanel spa, a French garden with a retractable glass roof and three new kitchens at the L’Ecole Ritz Escoffier cooking school (for culinary dabblers and advanced chefs alike).
This Houston boutique hotel seems made for millennials — it has a step-and-repeat station that lets you upload selfies to Facebook and a pop-up craft beer bar — but its six newly refreshed terrace suites transcend age demographic.
Of course, they maintain the edgy vibe of the rest of the property, and each has its own distinctive design with a Texas twist. The bold Freedom Suite, for example, pays homage to the state’s Mexican roots with graphic plum wallpaper and eye-catching contemporary canvases featuring vaqueros (cowboys).
The Inn at Dos Brisas
An hour north of Houston, this Four-Star hotel just reemerged from a five-month renovation. One of the biggest changes can be found in its Five-Star restaurant, where noted toque Jonathan Cartwright (formerly of The White Barn Inn Restaurant) serves as “visiting chef in residence” alongside new executive chef Matt Padilla (who recently left Five-Star Element 47 at The Little Nell in Aspen).
Cartwright’s residency is open-ended, but book now to ensure a spot in the intimate dining room to sample his creative American cuisine featuring ingredients from the restaurant’s expanded farm.
As if a romantic vineyard-laden landscape wasn’t enough to draw you to the Carmel Valley, the Four-Star hotel’s 14 new suites and villas make it a must-visit summer stop when they debut August 1.
The 1,050- to 2,100-square-foot accommodations have luxurious touches, such as outdoor fire pits, bathrooms with hammered copper freestanding tubs, wet rooms with wall and rain showers, radiant-heat floors, double-sided fireplaces and private bath patios and terraces offering vineyard or Santa Lucia Mountain vistas.
Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta
Travelers to Jakarta were likely disappointed when Four Seasons shuttered back in 2014, after 20 years in the area. But they needn’t fret any longer, as a brand-new Four Seasons opens June 20 in the business-centric Capital Place development.
The 20-story all-suite hotel got a glamorous, neo-classical look from designer Alexandra Champalimaud. Rooms boast wall-to-wall windows, elegant chinoiserie wall panels and shiny white-marble-filled bathrooms. Also on our radar: the 20th-floor rooftop Italian restaurant and a tropical outdoor pool with hanging daybeds.
Monarch Beach Resort
A $40 million makeover helped shed this former St. Regis’ traditional, formal environs in favor of a beachy, casual-chic aesthetic. Ocean inspiration infuses everything from the lobby’s color palette to the seagrass wallpaper in the 400 guest rooms. The independent hotel also added a new 24-treatment-room Miraval Spa.
Thankfully, the Orange County hotel kept some things the same, namely the excellent Stonehill Tavern restaurant from chef Michael Mina and the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Monarch Beach Golf Links.
Montage Beverly Hills
We’ve had our eye on another trip to this Five-Star hotel ever since celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian took over our Instagram account for a behind-the-scenes peek at his new restaurant Georgie, which is now open for dinner.
Inside the garden-inspired space, enjoy pasta (hen egg tagliolini with sea urchin, Meyer lemon, chive blossom), meat (N.Y. strip) and seafood (roasted scallops with grilled leeks, chanterelles), along with playful cocktails, like the Engaged & Cant-Aloupe (Barsol Pisco Mosto Verde, fresh cantaloupe, lime juice, beet sugar syrup, egg white, angostura bitters).
InterContinental New York Barclay
Open since 1926, the Midtown Manhattan hotel poured $180 million into a top-to-bottom restoration. And after 20 months, it debuted in May with 704 modern guest rooms and 31 suites with details like Hudson River School-style landscape murals. Though the most covetable accommodations will be the Penthouse Sky Suite, which comes with a 1,500-square-foot terrace overlooking the Chrysler building.
Don’t forget about the amenities, including a large Club InterContinental, a VIP club-level lounge, and The Gin Parlour, which serves 88 different varieties of its namesake spirit.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
Those in the know will while away hot summer days at this Five-Star gem. Hidden among begonias, clematis, salvias and jasmine, you’ll discover the London hotel’s secret champagne garden. Under a golden umbrella, sip a refreshing Veuve Clicquot Rich, a new bubbly served over ice with your choice of garnish (grapefruit, pineapple, cucumber, celery, pepper or Earl Grey tea).
To accompany the drinks, the hotel crafted a fresh menu of light bites, including a Portland crab tortellini with lobster jus and courgette.
Topping Rose House
The Hamptons is one of our favorite warm-weather escapes, but we have an extra incentive to visit right now. The charming Bridgehampton hotel tapped superstar chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten to take over its restaurant.
To prepare for Vongerichten’s Memorial Day weekend debut, the hotel freshened up the dining room by eliminating the stiff white tablecloths and adding bright green banquettes. We look forward to seeing what Vongerichten does with the local catch and the hotel’s own bounty from its one-acre farm each season.