Each year we see more and more luxury hotels popping up, urging us to plan our next getaway. Some have been on our radar for a few years, while others seemed to appear out of thin air. From a Parisian legend reopening after a two-year overhaul to a glitzy New York high rise, a spate of new glamorous hotels will welcome guests this year. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors scoured the globe to curate a list of 15 of the top hotel and resorts debuting in 2014.
A record 55 million tourists are expected to storm the Big Apple this year. Of that jaw-dropping number, you’d have to guess that a respectable portion wants to be at the center of the city’s action—no matter the cost. That’s where this newly polished Midtown pearl will come into play when it opens in mid-2014. Envisioned as a modern structure that makes thoughtful gestures to New York City’s glorious past (see: sleek furnishings, architectural nods to the mid-20th century), this 210-room wonder in a 90-story, mixed-use tower will have a cosmopolitan air, but will feel unapologetically comfortable at the same time. Just two blocks from Central Park, the address couldn’t be more convenient either. Oh, the fun Park Hyatt staffers are going to have watching those aforementioned visitors painstakingly decide between taking a horse-drawn carriage ride or staying at the hotel and simply relaxing by the 20th-floor pool.
Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York
Commemorating the famous crystal company’s 250th anniversary, this dazzling 50-story hotel will open its doors in late 2014. The moment you walk in, you’ll be greeted with elegance—in the form of 12,000 Baccarat glass pieces, of course. The opulence is seamlessly woven throughout the 114-room hotel: The Grand Salon will flaunt handmade custom chandeliers and custom Baccarat-designed club chairs, while the guest rooms feel more like a modern Parisian apartment than a New York City hotel room, thanks to the abundant seating and Baccarat pieces made exclusively for the hotel. Unwind in the private spa and you’ll be transported from the hectic city life to the serene Côte d’Azur. Located next to Rockefeller Center, just off Fifth Avenue, it’s only proper that Baccarat Hotel & Residences boast a divine restaurant; a fine-dining eatery is in the works and will be situated off the entrance lobby.
Set to open in March near Bryant Park, Archer Hotel New York is a boutique property with a big personality—the brand is personified as Archer, a “storyteller and adventurer, connoisseur and consummate host” who is filling his 21-story, new-build hotel’s 180 guest rooms with carefully curated art. Each room will also feature Malin+Goetz bath products, Frette linens, a Nespresso machine and nightly turndown treats. There are four distinct design palettes, and while colors and fabrics vary, expect bold nods to Garment District style, such as subway-tiled bathrooms and exposed bricks. In a playful move, the hotel will gift guests a “Destination Joker” playing card upon check-in; collect two or more and begin earning upgrades and perks. Archer’s signature restaurant will be a rustic American concept from Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker David Burke—with in-room dining by Burke in the Box—and the 21st floor will house a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings. Look for the Archer brand to follow its New York debut with a second hotel in downtown Napa.
Hotelier Ian Schrager returns to Miami exactly two decades after opening Delano South Beach to make yet another splash on the trendy hotel scene. Slated to debut in October, the sleek hotel will be comprised of 294 rooms (including bungalows) with residences gracing the top floors. Housed in a 1950s landmark building (and a new tower), which was once home to the Seville Beach Hotel, Edition Miami will feature interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg, who worked with Schrager on the sophisticated Public Chicago. The chic hotel will be outfitted with a year-round ice-skating rink (in case you get tired of that endless Miami sun), a bowling alley, a nightclub, multiple bars, two pools, a spa and a Jean-Georges restaurant.
When Donald Trump does something, he tends to do it pretty big. So, when it was announced back in July 2012 that Trump Hotel Collection was taking over South Florida’s iconic Doral Golf Resort & Spa, most folks knew that some major rumblings would be on Miami’s horizon. What we actually got felt more like a 7.5 earthquake at the epicenter of the hospitality universe: a new name and a $250 million re-visioning project for the entire resort. The facelift for the 693-room property—though the renovation won’t be complete until fall 2014, Trump National Doral Miami will remain open during construction—will consist of completely refashioned guest rooms, revamped public spaces and five expanded golf courses. BLT Prime was recently announced as the resort’s new signature restaurant, bringing with it a cosmopolitan aesthetic and a menu filled with elegant cuts of beef and seasonal vegetables when it opens its doors in February.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Forget having to compromise luxury for family fun; the newest Four Seasons Resort is set to open in summer 2014. The 444-room resort echoes the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture reminiscent of swanky Boca Raton, and the guest rooms will feature luxe amenities (think in-mirror TVs and marble bathrooms). The whole clan will have a blast at Four Seasons Resort Orlando: The kids will love Explorer Island—the five-acre area includes two waterslides, a lazy river, a massive family pool, basketball and sand volleyball courts, and even a rock climbing wall—while grownups can sneak away to the adults-only pool for a little peace and quiet. Golfers can hit the Tom Fazio-designed championship course, which will debut in the fall, while leisure travelers can relax in the full-service spa. If you don’t want to battle the crowds at Magic Kingdom, head up to the 17th floor for dinner at Capa and enjoy the nightly fireworks while savoring a sizzling steak. The resort will also offer its own transportation system to the nearby theme parks.
Famed entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has chosen Chicago as the first location for his lifestyle hotel brand, Virgin Hotels. A 27-story Art Deco building—home of the former Old Dearborn Bank building—was selected as the site for the hotel, and is conveniently poised at the corner of Wabash Avenue and Lake Street in the city’s Loop neighborhood. While specific details are rather sparse at this point, we do know the new hotel will boast 250 guest rooms and offer meeting spaces, restaurants and lounges that are aligned with Virgin’s recognizable stylish vibe. Keep an eye out for more on what’s sure to be a Windy City hotspot.
Carving a space in a paradise already proliferating with high-end hospitality options isn’t a task for the faint. But Montage Hotels & Resorts has been spreading its wings in swanky areas for some time now—Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Montage Laguna Beach celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2013—so it makes sense that the brand would eventually set up shop on Maui. Part residence (56 units of permanent blissfulness) and part resort (50 suites for temporary pleasure), Montage Kapalua Bay will focus all of its attention on you when it opens in the spring. Personal quarters will feature private lanais, fully equipped kitchens and refined master suites. A multitiered lagoon pool will be the centerpiece of the resort, while a host of restaurants and lounges will dot the property. If the 30,000-square-foot spa resembles the Beverly Hills dazzler that is Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Spa Montage in any fashion, though, we may never leave our massage table long enough to experience any of it.
Slated to open this fall, SLS Hotels’ Las Vegas outpost promises to be every bit the celebrity magnet the Sahara Hotel and Casino was when it opened on the same site in 1952—and every bit the hotspots SLS Hotel Beverly Hills and SLS South Beach are today. Like its sister properties, SLS Las Vegas will be a luxe, design-driven resort as imagined by hospitality impresario Sam Nazarian, Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker and James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés, and Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker and design star Philippe Starck. Here, though, there will be a casino, along with 1,622 guest rooms and a roster of Los Angeles-based tenants that already includes Fred Segal (which will operate seven on-site retail experiences), The Sayers Club and the restaurants Cleo, Katsuya by Starck, Umami Burger, 800 Degrees, The Griddle Café and The Bazaar by José Andrés. This north Strip hotel isn’t the only SLS to put on your radar; New York, Philadelphia, Shanghai and Seattle are among the other cities set to welcome an SLS within the next two years.
The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage
Southern California can add another luxury resort to its list when The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage opens this year. While details on the official opening month are currently under wraps, there are still plenty of exciting tidbits to share. Blending in well with its desert surroundings, elements such as natural stone, wood and fire will be used throughout the spaces, and many of the hotel’s 244 guest rooms and suites will boast patios and terraces for spectacular panoramic vistas of Coachella Valley and the San Jacinto Mountains. Indulge in California cuisine at State Fare Bar + Kitchen or steaks and seafood at The Edge, and relax in the sprawling 25,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa, complete with waterfalls, terraces and outdoor fireplaces.
After closing its doors in August 2012 for the first time in its 116-year history, the legendary hotel will reopen in late 2014. Famed interior designer Thierry W. Despont is leading the soup-to-nuts renovation. Nothing will be left untouched during the makeover, though you can rest assured that it will still be the same Ritz Paris that we’ve known and loved for years—just updated. The hotel is keeping much of the details under wraps, but we do know that there will be an addition to Bar Vendôme, in the form of a winter garden with a retractable sliding glass roof; an extension to the ballroom; and a new kitchen for the Ritz Escoffier cooking school. Don’t worry; Bar Hemingway (and head bartender Colin Field) will be back in full force when Ritz Paris reopens.
Originally set to open in 2013, we’ve been eagerly awaiting The Peninsula’s first foray into the European market. Situated in a beautiful, century-old Beaux-Arts gem that was once home to the Majestic Hotel just off the famous Champs-Élysées, The Peninsula Paris will house 200 guest rooms when it opens in late summer 2014. Known for its innovative technology and unparalleled luxury, you can count on the rooms at this hotel to showcase high-tech amenities such as bedside tablets that control the lights and temperature as well as allow guests to stream TV channels from around the world. Outside of your room, you can expect five dining outlets, including The Lobby, a Chinese restaurant and a rooftop eatery serving modern French cuisine. The Peninsula Paris will also be complete with an 18,000-square-foot spa with an indoor pool and fitness center.
Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London
Another hotel we’ve been waiting for since 2012, Shangri-La will finally open at The Shard this year. Occupying floors 34 to 52 of the Renzo Piano-designed building, the luxury hotel will be the group’s first property in the United Kingdom. If there’s one thing we know this Shangri-La will have, it’s stunning scapes of the London skyline. The 202 rooms and suites don floor-to-ceiling windows (complete with a sun shielding panel and blackout shutters), while the indoor infinity pool on the 52nd floor is bound to have inspirational vistas. When it opens, GŎNG will be the highest bar in London on the 52nd floor. The main restaurant, TĪNG, will sit on the 35th level, serving locally inspired dishes with an Asian twist.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts takes its tagline, “A Sense of Place,” seriously, and for the luxury brand’s first venture in Asia, that means infusing its modern Beijing tower with traditional Chinese concepts such as mountain-village hospitality, one of the inspirations behind Rosewood Beijing’s design and service. When it opens this spring in the Chaoyang business district, the 283-room hotel will offer the continent’s first Sense spa; six restaurants and lounges with specialties ranging from hot pot to Cantonese cuisine; and an indoor pool, gym and yoga studio. Guest rooms, which will boast floor-to-ceiling windows and views of Rem Koolhaas’ CCTV building, recall a private residence; book-filled shelves and original cloisonné paintings will complement modern luxuries such as Frette linens and robes, custom bath amenities by Italian perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi and the latest TV, Blu-ray, Bluetooth, speaker and control-panel technologies.
Beijing’s Wangfujing district is prepping for the arrival of one of Waldorf Astoria’s three new outposts for 2014 when it opens on April 1. The luxury hotel’s 176 rooms, outfitted in soothing tones of turquoise, cream and gold, won’t shy away from top-notch amenities such as Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries and pillow menus. Harkening back to Chinese traditions, you can even book one of the hutong-style rooms, suites or two-story villa for a residential feel, too. Grab a meal at Brasserie 1893, inspired by the famous maître d’, Oscar Tschirky, who served as a powerful figure at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Waldorf Astoria New York in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, or opt for afternoon tea at Peacock Alley. When it comes time to unwind, head to the Waldorf Astoria Spa for an energizing body treatment, and make time to swim a few laps in the serene, heated indoor pool.
Photos Courtesy of Four Seasons, Baccarat New York, Trump National Doral Miami, SLS Vegas, The Peninsula Paris and Rosewood Beijing