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.

La Suite, Rio de Janeiro
La Suite, Rio de Janeiro
This seven-room hotel offers an alternative to the jam-packed Ipanema and Copacabana.

Location: Set in a former private house, 165 feet above the Atlantic, in Joatinga, a gated community 10 minutes' drive south of Rio.

Pedigree: Created by former investment banker Francois-Xavier Dussol, who opened La Maison, Rio's first boutique hotel, in 2004, quickly garnering a fan base of fashion and beau monde types.

Style Design: Each of La Suite's rooms is painted a different shade--acid green, poppy pink, lavender, saffron--with an überluxe bathroom clad in matching marble (yes, yellow and purple marble). All have private terraces with sea views. There's a small plunge pool, two cabanas, and an infinity pool on the way.

Service Amenities: Either Dussol or his partner, Rodrigo Harold, is always on site to greet guests; other staffers are eager and friendly, but speak only Portuguese. The dreamy breakfast includes exotic tropical fruits, smoothies, and house-made French pastries.

Rooms to Book: Our favorite is the spacious Black Suite, where cascading bead curtains surround the platform bed. The suite features two black-marble bathrooms and a generous terrace. It's also the only room with two huge walls of windows facing the sea.

501 Rua Jackson de Figueiredo, Joatinga; 55-21/9557-5986; doubles from $390.

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