U.S. Hotel Openings
with each passing
year since the mid-1980s, the U.S. hotel scene has continuously
evolved, but this year’s eclecticism feels particularly
significant, from an upscale “dorm” in New
York City to an architecturally dramatic newcomer from
a classic luxury group in San Francisco. Although California
dominates our selections, we’re not playing favorites.
The Golden State just happened to have an unusually large
number of high-profile openings. That said, the rest of
the country made a valiant showing, particularly inland.
The prototype for a new chain from an Ian Schrager-empire
offspring popped up in Houston, and a long anticipated
extravaganza debuted in Las Vegas. Whether you’re
looking for a rural getaway or urban retreat, you’ll
find it on this list.
Chamberlain West Hollywood
the group that gave West Coast hipsters the Viceroys in Santa
Monica and Palm
Springs, this classy property showcases designer touches, beginning in the lobby, with
its herringbone patterned tile, drum-shaped bronze coffee
table, and oversized reception desk that recalls an ancient
Asian steamer trunk. The guestrooms are homey and residential—this
is a great place for a long-term stay, if you have the
bucks. In the bistro dining room, a twenty-foot wall of
windows looks onto the garden patio. For California dreamers, the rooftop terrace offers a heated pool, cabana
lounges and 360-degree views of the city.
gem of a hotel brings classy, boutique style to the Embarcadero Waterfront,
an area better known for luxurious behemoths. Although
the building is new, it blends nicely into its neighborhood.
Onsite Americano serves Italian cuisine with Northern California influences.
The menu takes full advantage of Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
produce across the street, and you can, too: Pick up a
tote bag at the concierge. Other customized goodies include
en suite signed copies of Food Lover’s Guide
to the San Francisco Bay Area. The penthouse level
is the place to be, with its terrace yoga studio and spa,
whose three treatment rooms offer Bay Bridge views.
St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco
meets new at the St.
Regis Hotel, San Francisco, which is comprised of
the historic, early 20th-century Williams building and
a new forty-story tower, inspired by Rodin's sculpture,
"Balzac.” This lavish property houses two significant
attractions: the 9,000-square-foot Remède
Spa, and Ame restaurant, operated by the chefs behind
Terra in St. Helena, which was ranked among our 2004 Top
40 Restaurants in the U.S. A refreshing, streamlined style
with an emphasis on white is used throughout the property,
which also includes three commissioned public art installations.
just three guestrooms, this Napa
Valley hideaway ensures a private, intimate escape. Accommodations range
from 850 to 1,450 square feet, and all have great views
over the Stags Leap District and Cliff Lede vineyards—the
inn is owned by the Cliff Lede winery. Highlights: private
balconies, wood-burning fireplaces, outdoor showers, Italian
linens, original artwork and colors in harmony with the
environment. A three-course breakfast is served daily,
and guests enjoy access to the inn’s private cellar,
which emphasizes Cliff Lede wines, including the Poetry
knew Hyatt could be so cool? The usually staid group operates
this flashy boutique,
which fuses South Beach Art Deco and Parisian styles.
All accommodations offer views of the Atlantic or South
Beach, along with custom-designed furnishings, open
bathrooms with rain showers and now requisite, massive
and flat, state-of-the-art TVs. VIX restaurant serves a Spice Route-inspired menu, and V Bar
and Lounge keeps you entertained with its live jellyfish
tank. Adjacent to the Versace Mansion, the hotel features
a raised rimless pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean,
and Spa V and Fitness Club.
Le Méridien Sunny Isles Beach
Isles may not be the country’s sexiest destination,
but this hotel doesn’t care. A member of the reliably sleek Le
Méridien group, it’s done up in a tasteful,
minimalist style featuring pale woods and frosted glass.
Sophisticated living rooms and kitchens equipped with
stainless steel appliances give this beach resort an urban
won’t be surprised when you learn that accommodations
are privately owned condos. Adding to the 21st-century
appeal: an open-air yoga platform, the two-level, 6,000-square-foot
Le Spa, and Bice, serving Milanese-inspired cuisine.
Wynn Las Vegas
anticipated, this hotel opened to exuberant fanfare that most likely won’t
die down soon. The reasons for this are plenty, beginning
with the lineup of restaurants from big names such as Daniel
Boulud and Eric
Klein. You’ll also find an eight story mountain,
three-acre lake and the only championship golf course
on the Strip.
At the 2,080-seat Aqua Theater, water surrounds audiences
from above and below, and at the Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati
dealership, it costs fifteen dollars simply to view the
cars. The 111,000 square feet casino offers the chance
to win back the dough you’re sure to blow during
your stay here.
The Whiteface Lodge
billed as a kind of old-fashioned camp for adults, this
Lake Placid property is in fact too classy to fall into
such a rustic category. Architecturally, it looks like
an archetypal National Park lodge, with its solid stone
pillars and shingle siding. All-suite accommodations and
a three-story Great Room with six granite fireplaces are
paired with such unique amenities as a sixty-seat movie
theater, ten-pin bowling alley and year-round skating
rink. Since staying here is all about getting back to
nature, there’s also a fully equipped marina on
the lake. In keeping with this year’s hottest hotel
trend, condo accommodations are available.
New York City
the buzz over the opening of this hotel,
the name is something of a misnomer. As is the term “dorm”
to describe the so-called hostel-style accommodations
with four bunks per room. The last time we checked, dorms
didn’t feature a flat-screen TV with each bunk.
Hype aside, this is a pretty cool hotel, jokingly referred
to as the “sub-Standard,” because it’s
from the creator of the Standard hotels in L.A.
You can pick up candy and booze at the check-in kiosk
at the lobby, and spy into the pool from the bar. With
steam rooms and a DJ booth in close proximity, the QT
will never be New
York City’s best kept secret.
first luxury boutique hotel in Providence, this property
takes its cues from the many museums and galleries in
the area. Antiques and oil paintings are highlights in
the modern Belle Epoch-style lobby of this restored building,
which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In guestrooms, you’ll find work by the chairman
of the Rhode Island School of Design grad school, as well
as limited edition intaglio prints on Japanese paper.
Nice variety, we think, for a traditional New England
town. The onsite L’Epicureo Restaurant is in fact
a transplant; this popular venue was originally located
in Federal Hill.
(Updated: 05/26/08 HC)