A hotel is a lot more than where you rest your head at the end of the night. A good hotel is central to a great travel experience, a place that enriches your perspective on a destination. Each year, we identify the greatest new design hotels, art boutiques and creative lodges throughout the world. These 10 represent the most exciting new hotels for the design-minded traveler for 2015. From Beijing to Berlin, Ontario to Florida, these travel hotspots will all but guarantee an eye-opening, exciting experience. So if you could use a vacation, it’s never too soon to start planning.
The Brice Hotel – Savannah, Georgia
No flash, no exuberance, just good design. That’s what makes The Brice Hotel look like a centerfold from the pages Architectural Digest. The Brice Hotel of Savannah, Georgia is a new design-minded boutique hotel operated by Kimpton Hotels. Its location and staff are as friendly as the design itself, even offering accommodations to the furry members of the family. If you bring Fido, he’ll be treated to walks, grooming, even massage and acupuncture by a Brice Hotel specialist. Since Savannah is already a design travel destination, The Brice is high on our itinerary in 2015.
- Opened: Summer 2014
- Rates: from $219/night
- Booking: The Brice Hotel
The Brice Hotel – Savanna, Georgia | Gallery
Sunrise Kempinksi Hotel – Beijing
An unusual, futuristic hotel now stands on the edge of a peaceful lake to the north of bustling Beijing. The Sunrise Kempinski Hotel is a five-star luxury retreat that offers a rural escape from urban living in a design-friendly environment. The design of the Sunrise Kempinski Hotel emphasizes elegance and refinement, but it’s the space itself that is truly remarkable. The disc-shaped exterior and architectural details within make it worth the trip from Beijing. Starting at $200 a night, it’s also a relatively affordable reason to leave the city and refresh for a weekend.
- Opened: February 2016
- Rates: from $200/night
- Booking: Sunrise Kempinski Hotel
Sunrise Kempinksi Hotel – Beijing | Gallery
The Exhibitionist Hotel – London
A row of restored townhouses in South Kensington are now home to a fresh and dynamic art hotel. The Exhibitionist Hotel is a new boutique that tastefully blends Victorian era architectural influences with vibrant and progressive design. It’s one part Churchill, one part Warhol, one part acid trip. The Exhibitionist Hotel is a new boutique design hotel movement that is likely to expand elsewhere in the coming years. And we fully support that idea.
- Opened: Fall 2014
- Rates: from $340/night
- Booking: The Exhibitionist Hotel
The Exhibitionist Hotel – London | Gallery
Cabanas no Rio – Portugal
Okay, so Cabanas no Rio, an unique vacation rental project by architect Manuel Aires Mateus, isn’t really a hotel. There’s no lobby, no swimming pool, no fellow guests. Given the design sensibility and the uniqueness of the project, we’re inclined to include in on this list anyway. Cabanas no Rio is a pair of old fisherman’s cabins that have been restored into a hotel room for two. One cabana serves as the bedroom, the other is a daytime living space. The cabanas are tended to once a day by staff, while the rest of the time is left to the cabin’s occupants. It’s a remarkable design in our eyes, and it makes for one of the best new design “hotel” experiences for 2015.
- Opened: Spring 2014
- Rates: from $230/night
- Booking: Cabanas No Rio
Cabanas no Rio – Portugal | Gallery
Photos by: Nelson Garrido
El Blok – Vieques, Puerto Rico
This concrete contemporary boutique hotel features a stunning panoramic view of the beaches of Vieques. Vieques is a smaller island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, one far less developed than its national mainland. El Blok is a shapely modern structure, one progressive in design but surprisingly natural in spirit. Its natural stone colored interiors feel right at home in Puerto Rico, and even provide a cooling effect for guests. It’s tropical modernism in the Caribbean, a rare example of contemporary excellence in a much more traditional resort environment.
- Opened: Fall 2014
- Rates: from $218/night
- Booking: El Blok Hotel
El Blok – Vieques, Puerto Rico | Gallery
Soho House Chicago
Part member’s club, part boutique hotel, Soho House Chicago is a stylish retreat in the second city. It’s the kind of place where you want to retire for a few months and take a crack at that novel you’ve been outlining in your head. It feels as if it were designed in the 1920s, but is entirely relevant to today’s creative trends. It’s an authentic, young and masterfully-styled overnight hotspot and an instant contender for design hotel of the year. Bonus points for the rotating gallery of art from local artists throughout Chicago’s creative scene.
- Opened: Fall 2014
- Rates: from $240/night
- Booking: Soho House Chicago
Soho House Chicago | Gallery
Design Hotels – 25 Hours Hotel Bikini – Berlin
It’s fresh, imaginative and playful — and one of the most remarkable works of hotel interior design of 2014. 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is a mouthful to say, but its character is quite easy to remember. Every surface at The Bikini sports a deliberate design element that yields an incredible eye-opening experience. From the beveled white subway tile on one surface to the hanging gardens growing from the ceiling, there are so many visual forces at work here. The result isn’t cluttered, it’s just right. And it’s giving us yet another reason to want to visit Berlin this year.
- Opened: 2014
- Rates: from $120/night
- Booking: 25 Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin
25 Hours Hotel Bikini – Berlin | Gallery
Le Meridien Hotel – Tampa, Florida
A century-old court house has been restored into a high-design boutique hotel in sunny Tampa, Florida. This old architectural marvel is contrasted with bright, contemporary interiors that present a delightful design experience for warm-weather travelers. The building’s original elements, from court rooms to judges chambers, have been maintained as guest rooms and banquet halls with a classical appeal. Beyond the hotel, design travelers will want to see the incredible Salvador Dali Museum, the historic cigar district of Ybor City, plus Bern’s Steak House, a national treasure boasting the largest private wine collection in the world.
- Opened: Late 2014
- Rates: from $269/night
- Bookings: Le Meredien Tampa
Le Meridien Hotel – Tampa, Florida | Gallery
Dean Hotel – Dublin
It might surprise you, but Dublin is in the middle of a hotel renaissance of late. New design-friendly hotels are popping up around this young, progressive city on the rise. The latest is Dean Hotel, a no-nonsense, forward-thinking hotel south of Dublin’s Trinity College neighborhood. Its rooms are fun, funky and affordable, ranging from compact “mod pods” to bunk bed sharing rooms to some pretty sweet suites. It’s located right where you want to be in Dublin for great food, strong drink and friendly company. Our tip? Walk over to Damson Diner for lunch, tell him Seamus from TheCoolist sent you. And try dinner at Coppinger Row. You’ll thank us.
- Opened: Fall 2014
- Rates: from $100/night
- Booking: Dean Hotel Dublin
Dean Hotel – Dublin | Gallery
Drake Devonshire Hotel – Prince Edward, Ontario
On the friendly side of Lake Ontario, just far enough away from Toronto, a special kind of lost paradise can be found. Prince Edward County has become a weekend destination in Ontario, a rich food and wine escape akin to the Hamptons of New York. Its latest attraction is the Drake Devonshire hotel, a new boutique lodge that feels like grandma and grandpa’s cabin. If grandma and grandpa were Charles and Ray Eames. It’s the kind of place where you can dine on locally-sourced cuisine, drink local wine and strum an old acoustic guitar at the lakeside campfire. In a word? Paradise.
- Opened: Fall 2014
- Rates: from $249
- Booking: Drake Devonshire
Drake Devonshire Hotel – Prince Edward, Ontario | Gallery
The Best New Design Hotels for Creative Travel 2015