Barely into 2024, the American hotel landscape is already unveiling its new look, trading traditional luxe for a narrative-rich ambiance. Gone are the days when the zenith of luxury was defined by just plush beds and gleaming marble baths. Now, it’s all about immersive stays that weave a tale from the threads of a destination’s history and contemporary beat. This year’s most anticipated hotel openings are perfectly in tune, ready to satiate that craving with a sprinkle of historical charm and a dash of modern-day swagger.
In a year as unpredictable as a coin flip—or, say, a presidential election—the craving for escapism has never been stronger. Sure, urban sanctuaries in cities like New York and Miami are still jostling to out-luxe each other, but the real game-changers? America’s charming “second cities” flexing their design and storytelling muscles, from Richmond, Virginia, to Portland, Maine. Beyond the glamour of city retreats, the standout stars are the tranquil havens that offer more than just respite—they’re gateways to the essence of local culture, art and history. Handpicked for their “oomph” factor, each soon-to-open spot on this list promises to transform your stay into a weekend, week or month worth remembering.
24 Lee’s Wharf, Newport, RI 02840
Gardiner House was a five-year labor of love, meticulously crafted by local proprietors Howard Cushing and Wirt Blaffer. Drawing inspiration from Cushing’s grandfather, the renowned American impressionist Howard Gardiner Cushing, whose artworks adorn the walls of the Whitney in New York, the hotel weaves a story of artistic legacy. The hotel’s bar, Studio Bar, exudes a nautical sophistication, while its 21 rooms and suites strike a delicate balance between the old-money elegance of Newport’s iconic seaside mansions and a fresh, contemporary flair.
700 Drayton St, Savannah, GA 31401
In the heart of Savannah’s Forsyth Park, a 19th-century Southern Gothic structure has been brilliantly repurposed into an urban resort and private club. This project exemplifies the fusion of old and new, combining Savannah’s historic allure with modern, audacious design elements. Dubbed “riot clash,” Bardo’s style seamlessly integrates the classic Victorian-Romanesque facade with avant-garde, edgy design features. Spread over two acres, the resort boasts a rich display of local artistry, a serene courtyard centered around a majestic 82-foot pool and the exclusive Club Bardo, distinguished by its “Peach Fuzz” theme, offering a distinct social and membership experience.
754 Congress St, Portland, ME 04102
The Longfellow Hotel in Portland, Maine, offers more than just a stay—it offers inspiration. Named after the famed poet and Portland’s own, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, this 48-room boutique hotel is making waves as the city’s first new independent, full-service hotel in two decades. Alongside the rooms, the hotel will feature the Twinflower Café and the Five of Clubs, a salon-style lounge perfect for sipping on beers, wines, cocktails and enjoying light fare. For those seeking relaxation, the Nordic-inspired Astraea wellness spa provides a serene escape, complete with private infrared sauna rooms and spaces dedicated to meditation experiences.
414 N Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Thompson Palm Springs is gearing up to be the latest hot spot in the desert, attracting both local trendsetters and worldly travelers. This much-awaited destination will feature 168 bungalow-style guest rooms and suites, each with private balconies offering stunning views of the mesmerizing Palm Springs desert. The accommodations, a blend of sleek design and earthy tones accented with vibrant colors, some even boasting private pools, provide a modern oasis. Balconies fitted with lounge furniture overlook the picturesque San Jacinto Mountains, while the hotel’s two rooftop pools, surrounded by lush gardens and ample lounge areas, are perfect for basking in the desert sun.
150 Sterlington Rd, Sloatsburg, NY 10974
The Ranch Malibu, a jewel in the wellness retreat world and a favorite among the elite favoring discretion, is now expanding its realm of tranquility to the East Coast with The Ranch Hudson Valley, just a two-hour drive from New York City. This retreat, envisioned by the acclaimed Steven Gambrel of SR Gambrel, will feature 25 elegantly appointed guest rooms, each offering a peaceful view of the on-site lake and beautifully manicured gardens. The transformation of a majestic 2,000-square-foot ballroom into a state-of-the-art gym is just the beginning: guests can also immerse themselves in rejuvenating afternoon sessions of fitness, yoga and meditation, designed to renew and invigorate the body and mind. Adjacent to the estate, a magnificent 5,000-square-foot solarium awaits, providing year-round exercise options and a swimming pool.
1401 E. Susquehanna Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Fishtown’s rise to national prominence has seen a surge in hotel development, with Hotel Anna & Bel being the newest entrant in this emerging Philadelphia neighborhood. Rooted in history, parts of the hotel date back to the 18th century; it originally served as the Penn Asylum for Indigent Widows and Single Women before its transformation into a retirement home. This historic backdrop adds a unique character to the property. Hotel Anna & Bel will offer 50 stylish rooms, complemented by an array of amenities including a charming courtyard, an outdoor heated pool, and Mediterranean restaurant Bastia helmed by former Zahav chef Tyler Akin.
20 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
Get ready to witness the revival of an Upper East Side legend. Once a 1926 residence hotel and a hotspot frequented by the likes of JFK and Bette Davis, The Surrey is heading into its centennial with a mission: to recapture its old-school glam and strut into the future. Enter Martin Brudnizki, the design maestro behind the interiors, masterfully weaving modern luxury with ritzy historical nods across 70 guest rooms, 30 suites and 14 residences. Culinary magic comes courtesy of Casa Tua. Founded by Miky Grendene and Leticia Herrera-Grendene, this partnership means Casa Tua’s famed Italian fare and lively atmosphere are hitting New York for the first time.
1620 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL, 34228
The St. Regis Longboat Key graces the Gulf of Mexico’s azure waters and the pristine white sands of Sarasota’s most sought-after barrier island. Beyond the beach—which is private, by the way—The St. Regis Longboat Key boasts a family-friendly waterway and a unique saltwater lagoon, home to majestic Galapagos tortoises, blending luxury with natural wonder. For those seeking relaxation, the oceanfront spa, complete with rejuvenating vitality pools, offers a tranquil retreat.
211 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Just a flip-flop’s throw from Main Beach, this 70-room property promises to meld Mallorcan influences with the surf legacy of California’s coast. The interiors by Electric Bowery, featuring a palette of sandy tones, clay and soft seaside greens, offer a nod to the area’s history and bohemian charm. The hotel’s lobby bar and lounge will serve as a relaxed gathering space, accented with subtle clay tiles and plaster in sandy hues, while each room showcases thoughtfully crafted furniture and distinct lighting, reflecting the natural, oceanic surroundings.
3883 Betsy Kerrison Parkway, Johns Island, SC 29455
The Dunlin, with its nostalgic charm of bygone summer retreats, offers a picturesque escape with 72 cottage-style guest rooms and 19 white-washed villas dreamed up by Amanda Lindroth Design, all gazing out over the shimmering Kiawah River. This idyllic resort will be anchored by a main lodge, a true centerpiece where time slows down. Here, guests can sway in wicker chairs on the expansive wooden porch or sip cocktails from a pool cabana, all while watching the sun dip behind the marsh savannas.
501 N Allen Ave, Richmond, VA 23220
NYC-based hotelier Ash—you may know them from Hotel Peter & Paul in New Orleans and Baltimore’s Ulysses—is set to unveil Shenandoah Mansions, a distinctive 73-key boutique hotel in Richmond, Virginia. Occupying a six-story historic apartment building in the Fan District, this property promises to blend its rich history with contemporary hospitality. Retaining its classic red brick facade, Shenandoah Mansions will stand out as one of the tallest structures in the area, offering guests expansive views from its rooms and suites. The hotel will include a retail space and a hotel bar, along with the third installment of the sexy-swanky Ash–Bar, a unique blend of European café culture and Americana in the heart of Virginia’s capital.
363 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach, FL 33480
After purchasing the Chesterfield Hotel in Palm Beach, Oetker Collection is reviving the storied Vineta name, a moniker that graced the building for over five decades, marking a new era in its nearly century-old history. The hotel, with its elegant pale-pink façade, stands as a classic representation of Mediterranean Revival architecture, a style synonymous with Palm Beach, Florida. Undergoing a comprehensive renovation led by Parisian designer Tino Zervudachi, The Vineta Hotel undergoes a grand rebirth this year, restoring it to its original magnificence. The hotel’s dining and social spaces are set to captivate with four unique ambiances, including the once-famed Leopard Lounge, a former hotspot for celebrities and locals.