Los Angeles Montage Beverly Hills,Scott Frances
In compiling Travel + Leisure’s
fourth annual It List, our editors once again visited hundreds of new hotels
around the globe. What makes 2009 different? Properties closer to home really
caught our attention: there are a record number in the United States alone.
Take the Montage in Beverly
Hills, where a Maybach parked out front sets the tone. Despite the fact that
the hotel opened last fall in the midst of a major economic downturn, it oozes
glamour, mixing Old Hollywood feel with New Hollywood perks (a rooftop pool and
a Pilates studio).
On the East Coast, it’s
affordable style that’s making waves. André Balazs’s fourth Standard hotel, a
glass-and-concrete edifice towering over New York City’s Meatpacking District,
has fast become a destination for international travelers. The walls of windows
showcase postcard views of midtown in one direction and the Statue of Liberty
in the other—and doubles start at an un-Manhattan-like $195.
Miami Beach is stocked with a
slew of new hotels, including Dutch designer Marcel Wanders’s
Baroque-minimalist Mondrian; a David Rockwell–designed branch of Canyon Ranch;
and the legendary Fontainebleau, expanded and revamped from its Rat Pack days.
In other great news for
travelers, Banyan Tree has ventured into North America for the first time, with
a resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. The Firefly Bequia is turning the Grenadines
into an up-and-coming Caribbean destination. Across the Atlantic, the
glass-and-steel ME Barcelona has added another layer of sleekness in that
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And far-flung locales also
caught our eye. The island of Mauritius added to its luxury quotient with the
Four Seasons Resort at Anahita, which offers views of either a crystal-blue
lagoon or the Bambou Mountains. And for true exotica, try the Six Senses
Hideaway at Zighy Bay, in Oman, on the Arabian Peninsula. Just getting there is
an adventure—whether by a dirt road cresting a jagged mountain, by speedboat,
or by paraglider. But once you’ve arrived at this hideaway and its white sand
beach, you may not ever want to leave.
Whether you’re looking for a
quick getaway or hoping to get away from it all for a while, we’ve found the
place for you.
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