The world's best new hotels

Hundreds of hotels open their doors each year, but how many open your eyes? Travel Leisure's Guide to the best new hotels showcases the newcomers that are redefining service and design -- and even the way we travel.

The Cloister at Sea Island, Sea Island, Georgia
The Cloister at Sea Island, Sea Island, Georgia
One of America's oldest oceanside escapes reopens its main building after a $500 million renovation.

Location: Eighty miles south of Savannah, the offshore resort is flanked by a five-mile beach and a marshland nature preserve.

Pedigree: Designed by Florida visionary Addison Mizner in 1928, the Cloister has attracted well-heeled families and more than a few world leaders (Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Margaret Thatcher). Four generations and one G8 summit later, the hotel caters to a loyal, Lilly Pulitzer-clad clientele who still dress for dinner and bingo.

Style Design: Dripping with Spanish-revival style: voluptuous bouquets, Turkish rugs (678 of them, to be exact), and 17th-century tapestries adorn stately stone and polished wood -- an opulence rivaled only by the lush landscaping.

Service Amenities: Old-world details are the emphasis: gadgets are hidden inside armoires, stationery is personalized, and butlers are on duty around the clock. The new 65,000-square-foot spa includes a state-of-the art-gym, yoga classes, and a meditation garden.

Rooms to Book: Though River View rooms in the main building lack a separate sitting area, they tend to feel as large as the suites (at about half the price).

100 Cloister Dr.; 888/732-4752;; doubles from $595.

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The Cloister at Sea Island

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