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.

Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya
Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya
The Riviera Maya's first environmentally conscious golf-and-spa complex is an eco-friendly alternative to the Cancún strip on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.

Location: The debut hotel in the four-resort Mayakoba development is laid across 50 acres of carefully preserved mangrove swamps, a network of freshwater lagoons and canals, and a 700-foot-long sugary white-sand beach--all just a 50-minute drive from Cancún.

Pedigree: Greg Norman designed the Audubon-certified golf course, his first in Mexico; Maxime Cormier, a thalassotherapy expert from nearby Paraíso de la Bonita, is at the helm of the Willow Stream Spa.

Style Design: Rooms have a Maya-goes-Zen aesthetic that pairs thatched roofs and splashy green-and-red fabrics with serene touches such as slatted wooden doors and cool marble floors. But the real masterpiece is the mangrove-and-flower landscaping.

Service Amenities: All the usual perks of a self-enclosed resort (five swimming pools, four restaurants), with a plethora of ways to get around: lanchas (boats), golf carts, and bikes.

Rooms to Book: The 458-square-foot, lagoon-facing casita rooms are worth the $100 upgrade for additional space and a private balcony overlooking nesting herons.

800/441-1414 or 52-984/206-3000;; doubles from $239.

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Fairmont Mayakoba

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