The Best-Designed New Hotels in the U.S.

  • 8 min read

Despite the enormous hardship endured by the hotel industry over the past year, a surprising number of exceptionally designed hotels have popped up across the U.S.—with a few more to open their doors in the latter half of this year. As travel opens up, we’ve picked our favorite new properties to add to your summer bucket list. Whether you’re headed to Boston, Austin, or New Orleans, these hotels are not only stunning in terms of design, but they're also helping to transform the locations they call home for the better.

The Newbury - Boston

Contessa Restaurant Bar View on rooftop of Newbury BostonContessa Restaurant at Newbury Boston. Photo courtesy of Ken Fulk Interiors [Rendering].

Located in the building that formerly housed The Taj and The Ritz Carlton, this 94-year-old storied hotel property has been rechristened with a new name: The Newbury Boston, and a completely reimagined identity. Overlooking the Boston Public Garden, with a main entrance on Boston’s iconic Newbury Street, the property’s 286 rooms were drafted by the award-winning design firm Champalimaud Design, while Jeffrey Beers designed the public spaces. The rooms feature original artwork by illustrator Veronica Lawlor, Byredo bath products, and Frette robes and linens. Contessa, a dramatic 4,000-square-foot retractable glass rooftop restaurant on the 17th floor, offers sweeping, 360-degree views of Boston. The restaurant, operated by Major Food Group and designed by long-time Boston resident Ken Fulk (whose magic is found in many properties on this list), “conjures another era, when dinner and dancing, three-martini lunches, or high tea were the perfect excuse to dress up and enjoy the city.” thenewburyboston.com

Ace Hotel - Brooklyn, New York

View of Room Interior including bed at Ace Hotel
Photo courtesy of Ace Hotel.


This summer, Atelier Ace will debut the 287-room Ace Hotel Brooklyn in the infinitely strollable, tree-lined neighborhood of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Designed by longtime Ace collaborators Roman and Williams, the hotel features custom tile murals, original artwork by local textile artists, and floor-to-ceiling windows in guest rooms that reveal panoramic views of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Statue of Liberty. The hotel’s brutalist facade is an homage to the grit of Brooklyn’s shipyards, and its indoor garden features a double-sided fireplace and a generous skylight. Other amenities include indoor and outdoor workspaces, a fitness center, event spaces, and a lobby bar. Opening summer 2021, acehotel.com/brooklyn

Aman - New York, New York

View of New York City from room Aman Hotel New York which is flanked by a pool.Photo courtesy of Aman New York.

For those who worship the zen beauty found at Aman's global resorts (notably, Utah's iconic Amangiri): you are in for a treat. This summer, the 83-room Aman New York, situated in the iconic Crown Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan, will open its serenity-inducing doors. Designed by architect Jean-Michel Gathy at Denniston, the rooms, suites, and residences at Aman have a cool, relaxing look, but the hotel’s piece de resistance is a 25,000 square feet, three-story spa. Open to guests, residents, and Aman Club members, the spa features a dramatic 215-foot-long indoor swimming pool surrounded by fire pits and daybeds, which will undoubtedly become a destination in its own right. Two adjacent spas—which include hammams, steam saunas, Russian-style banyas, and seven treatment rooms—are positioned to provide guests with an all-encompassing wellness journey. Aman’s dining options are equally impressive: Nama will celebrate Japan’s washoku dining tradition; Arva presents a convivial Italian menu perched on a wraparound terrace with Central Park views; and The Wine Library will be used for private events. Separately, The Bar will focus on supporting local beer and spirits producers, while musically-minded guests can enjoy cocktails at a subterranean jazz club. Opening summer 2021, aman.com/hotels/aman-new-york

Six Senses - New York, New York

View of Six Senses Hotel and Hudson RiverPhoto courtesy of Six Senses Hotel.

For its first foray into North America, another wellness-focused brand, Six Senses, will bring its calming sensibilities to the city that never sleeps. Opening on the High Line in spring 2022 and located in the XI tower by Bjarke Ingels Group (with interiors by Gilles & Boissier), the 132-room hotel will dedicate a spacious 18,000 square feet to a spa. And let’s just say that this spa is nothing if not comprehensive, incorporating practices ranging from Ayurvedic wellness to Chinese medicine, and including a vibroacoustic meditation dome, a modern bathhouse, and a variety of fitness facilities. The property will also launch a buzzy, 45,000 square-foot new private social club, the Six Senses Place, which overlooks the Hudson River and will serve as a meeting place for the wellness-minded community. Opening in spring 2022, sixsenses.com/en/new-openings/new-york

Proper - Downtown LA

Room at Proper Hotel Downtown LAPhoto courtesy of Proper Hotels.

Downtown Los Angeles (aka DTLA) was once strictly a business district, with its streets abandoned on weekends and after 5pm. But that’s all changed drastically, with the dawn of a new downtown that includes a boom in restaurant, retail, and hotel openings. Designed by Kelly Wearstler, who imbues a spirit of freewheeling eclecticism in everything she touches, Downtown LA Proper is the latest project redefining this historic neighborhood. Under Wearstler’s direction, conversation starters throughout the hotel include a mosaic wall in the pool suite by Ben Medansky, artwork in the guest rooms by Jason Trotter, glass windows and doors by Judson Studios, and the occasional statement mirror by Matthew Morgan. The 148-room hotel also features an intimate library lounge, and a rooftop pool, and two eateries (Caldo Verde and Cara Cara) managed by award-winning restaurateurs Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne. In true Proper form, Downtown LA Proper will offer a complete local experience, from a partnership with the city’s emerging artists and talented artisans to some highly anticipated collabs with renowned local chefs. properhotel.com/downtown-la

Pendry - West Hollywood, LA

Rooftop Pool at Pendry West Hollywood Hotel

Photo courtesy of Pendry Hotel.

The third Pendry Hotel and the brand’s flagship, Pendry West Hollywood boasts some glamorous mid-century design by Martin Brudnizki, who was inspired by the city’s rich cinematic history. West Hollywood — or WeHo, if you're ready to commit to the Angeleno vernacular — is already an enclave of L.A. arts and culture, and this 149-room, 40-residence hotel is meant to be a full-blown representation of that, with rich finishes and bold colors that add a dash of drama. Starting with an illuminated, geometric sculpture by Anthony James that greets you in the lobby, the art collection, curated by Lendrum Fine Art, blends the talents of L.A. artists with impressive names from the global art community. For cuisine, Wolfgang Puck will head up the hotel’s eating establishments, which include a casual bistro, a sultry lobby bar, and the rooftop restaurant Merois, which is currently open to Pendry WeHo guests and members of their private Britely Social Club by reservation, and will soon open to the public. pendry.com/west-hollywood/

Commodore Perry Estate - Austin

Room at Commodore Perry EstatePhoto courtesy of Commodore Perry Estate. 

A member of the much-loved Auberge Resorts Collection—known for reimagining Hawaii's classic Mauna Lani and the Vanderbilt in Newport, Rhode Island—the Commodore Perry Estate conjures the atmosphere of a well-appointed, beautifully maintained historic European villa. Located just 10 minutes from the charming bustle of downtown Austin—and the first city-based retreat from Auberge—this property comprises two unique buildings: the Inn, a 42-room (plus seven terrace suites) all-new construction featuring a terracotta roof and classic arches designed by California-based architecture firm Moule & Polyzoides, and a historic five-suite Mansion (transformed into a social hub), nestled under giant oak trees shading with a restored 1928 Italianate façade. Powerhouse designer Ken Fulk spent two years conducting sourcing trips to Round Top—Texas’ famous antiques fair—to create rooms that meld sturdy Texan luxury with European elegance. Hand-painted walls covered in countryside landscape murals adorn the Inn’s lobby, and a relaxed Spanish-style interior courtyard with a fountain allows guests to gather and socialize. Guests are also free to stroll through both the Mansion (which serves playful culinary mashups for lunch and dinner) and the 10-acre property, which features English-style gardens, a swimming pool, and striped tents for private picnics. aubergeresorts.com/commodoreperry/

Hotel Grand Stark - Portland

Building view of Grand Stark Hotel in PortlandPhoto courtesy of Palisociety.

Known for their eclectic aesthetic and down-to-earth luxury, the LA-based Palisociety family of hotels is finally matching wits with a city that’s also defined by its eclectic and creative character: Portland. Located in the city’s vibrant Central Eastside, the Hotel Grand Stark is named for the intersection on which it stands. Unpretentious, warm, and quietly luxurious, each of the hotel’s 57 rooms is decked out in one-of-a-kind vintage textile and millwork art pieces, while the room amenities include Bellino linens, Diptyque bath products, and Nespresso machines (but do remember to check out Portland’s amazing coffee scene—it’s the birthplace of Stumptown and Heart among many other celebrated roasters). The hotel itself is envisioned as a communal, inclusive public space featuring a gallery-inspired central lobby, making it perfect for impromptu meetings. For nibbles, the Grand Stark Deli is an all-day eatery with gourmet sandwiches and pastries (plus a selection of European Tabacs) while Bar Chamberlain is a classic hotel bar and restaurant with a chic, early 20th century vibe. palisociety.com/hotels/hotel-grand-stark/

Life House - Chattanooga

Terminal Bar and Restaurant Lifehouse ChattanoogaTerminal Bar & Restaurant at Life House Chattanooga. Photo courtesy of Life House.

Life House already operates a handful of hotels in the U.S., and its recently opened and highly acclaimed Nantucket property has muscled its way onto many a hot list. Their upcoming project in Chattanooga, Tennessee, designed by Rockwell alum Jenny Bukovec, Sydell Group alum Henry Morris, and Rami Zeidan, will transform the city’s historic Beaux Arts train station into a destination hotel, featuring historic Pullman train cars reimagined as private guest suites. Opening this winter, the property highlights restoration details that pay homage to the exquisite locomotive designs, while an anticipated new wine bar and restaurant will celebrate the musicians who passed through the property during the 1920s jazz era. Set in downtown Chattanooga, the property will also boast a 1970s-revival lounge, a 40-seat cinema, a recording studio, and exterior courtyard lounges. Opening winter 2021, lifehousehotels.com/hotels/chattanooga/southside

The Goodtime Hotel - Miami

Pool deck at Good Time Hotel MiamiPhoto courtesy of Goodtime Hotel.

After the past year, one thing is for sure: we are ready for some good times. Enter the Goodtime Hotel Miami, tailor-made by none other than musician Pharrell Williams, who conceptualized this new hotel baby with Miami restauranteur David Grutman and developer Eric Birnbaum alongside interior designer Ken Fulk (him again!) and landscape architect Raymond Jungles. A nod to the Art Deco neighbourhood that surrounds it, hand-painted hothouse murals and Deco plasterwork recall the opulence and nostalgia of a time gone by, the corrugated façade and airy atrium serving as entrance to a “full on experience”. The hotel, which cost a cool $200 million to build, features a 30,000 square feet pool deck with cabanas, an outdoor bar with VIP seating, and a signature restaurant, Strawberry Moon, with Fulk's design concept channeling mid-century Caribbean and Central American resort towns (such as Havana and Acapulco in their throwback days). With 267 boutique-style guest rooms and an indoor and outdoor gym, the property also houses multiple recording studios in honor of its co-founder Williams, who says to expect “good vibrations, good energy, good space and a good time.” To us, the hotel feels like a Wes Anderson movie set, and we’re here for it. thegoodtimehotel.com

The Chloe - New Orleans

Front Porch of The Chloe Hotel New OrleansPhoto courtesy of The Chloe.

With just 14 guest rooms, The Chloe is a masterpiece of Victorian boutique hotel charm updated for contemporary tastes. Located on St. Charles Avenue in the city’s historic Garden District, the property is the brainchild of restaurant hit makers LeBlanc + Smith and New Orleans-based designer Sara Ruffin Costello—so expect food and finessed design to be at the forefront. Guests enter via a Spanish-tiled front porch full of rocking chairs (which set the stage for cocktail hour), and wind through several romantically low-lit parlors that lead to a backyard bar and lap pool. The on-premises restaurant has become a local hot spot known for perfect seafood preparations, while rooms feature turntables and records from New Orleans music retailing mecca Peaches, as well as skincare products from the city’s Oxalis Apothecary. thechloenola.com

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Cover photo: Commodore Perry Estate in Austin Texas. Photo courtesy of hotel.

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