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.

Hospes Palacio del Bailío, Córdoba, Spain
Hospes Palacio del Bailío, Córdoba, Spain
This 16th-century palace is the most dramatic property in the stable of a Spanish haute-design hotel group.

Location: Situated on a whitewashed street in Córdoba, the eighth-century seat of the Moorish caliphate, the hotel is a 15-minute walk from the famous Mezquita, or mosque, and has also become an attraction in its own right.

Pedigree: Hospes, Spain's smallest--and hippest--hotel group, has a knack for turning crumbling architectural marvels into pitch-perfect contemporary hotels, with the help of archaeologists and art historians.

Style Design: A fluid melding of modernity and antiquity; sleek hallways are set off by 15th-century doors; public spaces and bedrooms are lit by cutting-edge Italian fixtures from Catellani & Smith. The star is the soaring atrium, which has a restored 19th-century fresco and a glass floor overlooking a Roman-era villa that was discovered beneath the building's foundations.

Service Amenities: A top-notch multilingual staff, anchored by chef Periko Ortega, who serves Andalusian cuisine, with Arabic influences, in the popular Senzone restaurant; the Bodyna spa incorporates Roman bath-inspired design.

Rooms to Book: Ask for room No. 109, where the walls are covered in 18th-century frescoes, and where Fernando de Cordoba, the Moorish warrior who first called this palace home, slept. The room leads to a tiny private patio with flowers and views of the fountain below.

10 Calle Ramírez de las Casas Deza; 34/957-498-993;; doubles from $295.

Bowery Hotel


Fairmont Mayakoba

Fazenda da Lagoa


Bauer Il Palladio Hotel & Spa

Melenos Lindos

Hospes Palacio del Bailío

Convento do Carmo

Ritz-Carlton Beijing

Hotel de Rome

The Cloister at Sea Island

Gramercy Park Hotel

La Suite

Chambers Hotel
Deluxe poolside living Summer's here and the time is right for lounging by the pool. Here's how to do it right. (more)
Live in a castle - or convent These properties - lighthouses, barns, rectories and castles - have all been transformed into magnificent homes. (more)
Jaguar's XKR: Brit meets brawn Columnist Sue Callaway returns to Jaguar - for a sneak peek at a car she helped launch. (more)