Welcome to Checking In, our monthly column in which our lifestyle editor-at-large, Monica Mendal, shares the best in hotels and other luxury destinations. Comprising the latest and greatest before everyone else is talking about them, the chic locations you'll discover here belong at the top of your travel bucket list.
A new year brings a new crop of design hotels to fill your Instagram feeds and provide you with all sorts of travel envy. And with a new decade having just arrived, now is an even more exciting time to explore the latest offerings and check a few aesthetically pleasing getaways off your bucket list.
Taking notice of the preferences of millennial travelers, many new hotels are hoping to attract a young and influential crowd with Instagram-worthy nooks and wellness programming. Some are even feeding into the current climate with their own social networks, available upon check-in. So whether you’re seeking a quick weekend getaway in the Catskills, a week of alpine and après (let's be honest, mostly après) in the Swiss Alps, or a few days of Vitamin D with a dunk in the Caribbean, we’ve got you covered with the 10 best hotels you’ll love in 2020– especially if you’re a millennial.
Urban Cowboy Lodge (Catskills, NY)
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait long for Lyon Porter and Jersey Banks’ new Urban Cowboy Lodge in the Catskills, as its soft opening is set for January. Both hoteliers are known for their Urban Cowboy hotels in Brooklyn and Nashville. For this project, they worked with hotel developer Phil Hospod, most recognized for his work on Freehand, LINE, and NoMad hotels, on this 68-acre wilderness retreat set just 2.5 hours from New York City. It’s the perfect winter retreat for New Yorkers looking for a weekend getaway.
Palm Heights (Grand Cayman)
Late into 2019, we saw the fashion crowd flocking to this swoon-worthy new Caribbean hotel in Grand Cayman. Palm Heights is a retro dream with a wellness backbone—though if you choose to opt out of the wellness activities, the hotel boasts plenty of Insta-worthy photo ops at every corner.
Dive (Palm Springs, CA)
The newly opened Dive Palm Springs is a luxury boutique hotel inspired by the bohemian glamour of 1960's French Riviera and fused with whimsical stylistic elements of Palm Springs.
Experimental Chalet (Swiss Alps)
For the ultimate ski weekend in the Swiss Alps, Experimental Chalet by renowned hospitality brand Experimental Group is one of the first boutique hotels in the ski category. The hotel is perfectly located in the heart of the town, and the food and cocktail menus will make your après-ski festivities a touch more glamorous than beer at the ski lodge.
Life House Collins Park (Miami Beach, FL)
At the beginning of 2019, we saw the opening of new age, tech-driven hospitality group Life House’s first property, with Life House Little Havana. This year, Life House Collins Park is bringing a breath of fresh air to Miami Beach with its second Miami property (a third is coming soon as well, as Life House South of Fifth is slated to open late February). Life House Collins Park is just as cool as the Little Havana location, boasting a relaxed bohemian vibe, communal workspaces, and international clientele, but this time, it’s a stone’s throw from the beach.
Chapter Roma (Rome, Italy)
There are few cities cooler than Rome, and the 2019 opening of Chapter Roma made that point easier to prove. This is the first location for the new Chapter Italia Portfolio, a hospitality group developed by Marco Cilia of Hotel Americano in New York City. The hotel fuses grit and glamour in a befittingly seamless way—evoking a new way to experience a luxury hotel.
Shou Sugi Ban House (Hamptons, NY)
For a wellness retreat just outside of New York City that’ll immediately transport you into a wabi-sabi dream world, head to Shou Sugi Ban House in Water Mill. The holistic property features a spa, as well as nutrition, fitness, and meditation experiences that’ll encourage you to slow down.
If you’ve ever imagined having your own home in Portugal’s seaside Algarve region, let Casa Mãe be your introduction. This small, seaside sustainable retreat in Lagos was once an abandoned estate that was quickly turned into a dream holiday home where life is slow and scenic.
Le Coucou (Méribel, France)
As if the ski-in-ski-out aspect of Le Coucou wasn’t enough, world-renowned architect and interior designer, Pierre Yovanovitch created a modern oasis that reinterprets Alpine chic with his play on French minimalism, color, plaids, and wintery textures.
Casa Pueblo Boca Paila (Tulum, Mexico)
Tulum has seen its fair share of dreamy hotel openings, from the highly Instagrammable Casa Malca to the design haven Hotel Esencia. The newest kid on the block is Casa Pueblo Boca Paila, a three-story oceanfront property with 14 rooms and a restaurant. The colonial, Caribbean design is a new take for Tulum, as it’s slightly more retro and elevated than its more bohemian neighbors and thus provides a sophisticated appeal.