As if the holidays weren’t filled with enough choices (Which cookie recipes to try? What to wear on New Year’s Eve?), a new crop of hotels that’s sprung up like gifts under a Christmas tree has suddenly made vacation planning a lot harder. In a good way.
These new properties run the gamut — from over-the-top to affordable, from boutique to gargantuan. And they’re set in some of the world’s most spectacular locales (some well-known, others that many of us haven’t heard of — yet).
Luxury-loving hedonists will find an alluring array of new hotels vying for their attention this season. Among them are the St. Regis Bali Resort — which brings its airy, indigenously decorated villas and private butlers to the swanky beach community of Nusa Dua — and the slick, opulent Mondrian Miami, designed to evoke a mod-whimsical “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” on South Beach.
More outrageous than either of these, though (perhaps more outrageous than both of them put together) is the 114-acre, 1,539-room Atlantis Dubai — which, like its sister property in the Bahamas, is part posh resort and part extravagant aquatic theme park.
Culture vultures have a plethora of new lodging options too. There’s the Four Seasons’ latest Istanbul property, set right on the Bosporus; Mandarin Oriental’s outpost in the style-and-shopping mecca of Boston’s Back Bay; and W Hotels’ new location in Hong Kong’s bustling West Kowloon district.
Some of the most enticing new hotels, however, are in spots just off the beaten path. Grupo Habita — which runs properties in Mexico City and the Riviera Maya — has opened its newest hotel in the up-and-coming desert city of Monterrey, just north of the starkly beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains. And the Valle Perdido Wine Resort, in the Nequén province of Argentine Patagonia, has a spa where the treatments incorporate wine from the vineyards abutting the property (most of them Malbec grapes).
A Malbec massage ... is it too late to add that to our Christmas list?