Hotels With Fresh Ideas, From Shanghai to Denali

Posted January 9, 2018 4:43 p.m. EST

Innovative design and other features that channel the destination unify the following coming and just-opened hotels, which are among the most promising debuts of the new year.


Amanyangyun, Shanghai

When a new reservoir threatened their destruction, an entire camphor forest and 50 Ming and Qing dynasty-era houses were moved 400 miles from the Jiangxi province to the outskirts of Shanghai and refashioned into Amanyangyun. After 15 years of conservation work, the 25-acre resort was to open Jan. 8, with 13 villas in the reconstructed houses featuring modern interiors and 24 additional suites. A cultural pavilion offers guests opportunities to practice calligraphy, watch an opera or partake in a tea ceremony. Rooms from CNY 6,900, or about $1,062;

The Murray, Hong Kong

Formerly home to Hong Kong government offices, the iconic 1969 white high-rise known as the Murray Building will reopen this month as The Murray hotel. The British architectural firm Foster & Partners has undertaken its transformation to a 336-room hotel spanning 25 floors. Among five restaurants and lounges, the rooftop bar will overlook the city’s business district and Hong Kong Park. Rooms from 3,850 Hong Kong dollars, or about $493;


Hotel St. George, Helsinki

Already a member of Design Hotels, the 153-room Hotel St. George will open in the spring in a historic building largely designed by the architect Onni Tarjanne and formerly home to the Finnish Literature Society. A ground-floor gallery will exhibit a large-scale sculpture of a dragon by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and an 18-foot-long brass bird by sculptor Pekka Jyllhä will hang from the glass ceiling of the winter garden. Expect two restaurants, a swimming pool and, of course, a sauna in the spa. Rooms from 220 euros, or about $265;


Calilo, Ios Island

The former Wall Street trader Angelos Michalopoulos has acquired about a quarter of the island of Ios in the Aegean Sea where his new 30-suite Calilo resort is expected to open next summer with solar power, geothermal cooling and building materials such as marble and granite quarried at the beachfront site. The 1,000-acre property will host six miles of trails, an open-air cinema and an organic garden providing food for the restaurant. Rooms from 680 euros;


Capella Ubud, Bali

The designer Bill Bensley, whose extensive résumé includes the Four Seasons Golden Triangle Tented Camp in Thailand, brings his romantic colonial style to the Capella Ubud in the upland rice-growing region of Bali. Opening in early 2018, its 22 tents and a two-bedroom lodge come with plunge pools on a jungle property where even the gym, library and restaurants are tented. Activities range from guided walks to chocolate-bar making. Rooms from $838;


Vista Palazzo Lago di Como, Como

In the town of Como, at the southwestern end of the villa-ringed Lago di Como, the new Vista Palazzo Lago di Como, set to open in June, will retrofit one of the lake’s 19th-century palaces, using marble, wood and fabrics all sourced in Italy, to hold 18 suites and the town’s first rooftop restaurant and bar. Guests can tour the lake by Riva speedboat or seaplane. Rates from 695 euros;


Mukan Resort, Sian Ka’an Biosphere, Quintana Roo

On Mexico’s southern Caribbean coast, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protects tropical forests, mangrove channels, lagoons and part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. To get to Mukan Resort, which opened on an islet in the preserve in December, guests of its four beachfront bungalows and five suites take a 45-minute boat ride from Tulum. Come to snorkel, paddle and fish. Rooms from $420;


Isla Palenque Island Resort, Gulf of Chiriquí

The eco-focused Cayuga Collection, which runs Lapa Rios in Costa Rica among others, plans to open Isla Palenque Island Resort in the summer. The 400-acre island in the Pacific already has a six-room villa and will add eight beachfront rooms. Guests can hike on land and explore the marine park off shore via kayak and paddleboard. Rooms from $600, including breakfast;


Illa Experience Hotel, Quito

Illa Experience Hotel, opened in December by the Ecuador-based tour operator Latin Trails, aims to immerse guests in the culture of Quito with daily activities such as coffee tastings, watercolor classes and lessons in making local sweets. Its 10 rooms occupy a former 18th-century house in the historic San Marcos neighborhood with a bar on the roof and the city’s acclaimed Nuema restaurant on the premises. Rooms from $459;

United States

Tiny Urban Escapes, Indianapolis

This summer, two shipping containers that have been remodeled with glass walls will open on 4 acres of private land adjacent to Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis as getaway cabins called Tiny Urban Escapes. Poised to draw nature-loving city-dwellers, the 160-square-foot rooms will each come with two bikes for exploring the nearby trails. Rooms from $179;

The Source Hotel, Denver

Coming this spring to the Source food market in Denver’s booming River North Art District, the Source Hotel will have its own microbrewery from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins and a rooftop space called the Woods after the 50 oak barrels stationed there to age its craft beer. Guests of the 100-room hotel will get a brew at check-in. Besides drinking, there will be a cantilevered pool and a barbecue restaurant. Rooms from $250;

Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito, Montecito, California

Long closed and its future in limbo, the landmark Miramar By the Sea Hotel has been redeveloped and will open in summer as the Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito in the affluent Montecito enclave near Santa Barbara. The 16-acre property, which its owners say has the only private beach in Southern California, encompasses some 161 rooms (many in cottages and bungalows), two swimming pools, six restaurants and bars, and a spa. Rooms from $825;

Sheldon Chalet, Denali National Park, Alaska

One might argue that any shelter in the Alaska wilderness is a luxury. But travelers to the Denali region will have a true luxury lodging option when the Sheldon Chalet opens in February. The five-bedroom lodge, 10 miles from Denali in a summit-ringed basin known as the Don Sheldon Amphitheater, promises running water and fine dining along with aurora viewing, skiing and guided glacier trekking. Rooms from $2,300;

Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas

In the first half of 2018 on the Las Vegas Strip, MGM Resorts International aims to replace the mundane Monte Carlo Resort and Casino with two flashier hotels in one tower: the 2,700-room Park MGM with an Eataly food market and the relatively boutique 292-room NoMad Las Vegas from the Sydell Group. With the latter comes a NoMad restaurant from the chef Daniel Humm and the restaurateur Will Guidara. Rates to be determined;


Azerai Can Tho, Can Tho

The hotelier Adrian Zecha, who created Aman resorts, founded a new hotel group called Azerai that made its debut in Luang Prabang, Laos, in 2017. Its second property, Azerai Can Tho, is slated to open by year-end on the Hau River, a Mekong tributary, in Vietnam’s fourth-largest city. The 60-room resort features a spa, tennis court and two restaurants. Excursions include visits to the city’s famous floating markets, bike trips and sampan boat tours. Rooms from $250;