Looking for a hotel that really stands out from the crowd? Travel magazine Travel + Leisure, www.travelandleisure.com, has come up with its third annual list of the top 30 best new hotels of 2008. These include:
Banyan Tree Maldives Madivaru (beach hotel): Banyan Tree, accessible by seaplane, is built in safari style: elaborate tents, a jungle setting, and its own aquarium lapping from the shore. The price is steep, but this is a camping trip without comparison with staff to indulge your every whim.
J.K. Place Capri, Italy (beach hotel): Surely one of Europe’s most stylish recent openings, this nautical design hotel feels like staying at a chic friend’s house. Drink Bellinis on the terrace while watching the beach below.
Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya, Mexico (beach hotel): One of the most anticipated hotel openings this year, the winning Mandarin formula of exemplary service, forward-reaching design, a first-rate spa-has taken root in a pristine Mexican coastal environment. Acres of mangrove forest surround 128 boxy white villas.
Six Senses Hideaway, Yao Noi, Thailand (beach hotel): All the beauty of a remote destination without the hassle of being entirely off the grid. On the island of Yao Noi, 45 minutes by boat from Phuket, guests are surrounded by lush jungle, tiny fishing villages, and untouched beaches.
Regent Bal Harbour, Florida (city hotel): Regent’s first property in the United States has got the beautiful beachfront, the country’s first Guerlain Spa and a $4 million art collection. It’s all about the signifiers of luxury: Anichini bedding, plasma televisions embedded in bathroom mirrors, and a crystal chandelier.
Hotel Fasano, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (city hotel): In his second property, restaurateur Rogerio Fasano has designed spare, breezy rooms environments with leather-upholstered Mies daybeds, Amazonian wood side tables.