NEW YORK—Condé Nast Traveler today announced the winners of its 2018 Hot List, recognizing 102 properties around the world as the hottest hotel openings of the last year—including more than two dozen U.S. properties. For the 22nd edition of the Hot List, the magazine’s editors, reporters, and photographers spent thousands of hours flying tens of thousands of miles to experience and review more than 400 recently-opened properties firsthand. The list also uncovers the top trends inspiring modern travelers.
The 2018 Hot List identifies big brands breaking out of traditional molds to open properties that fit the boutique aesthetic of a specific region, such as the Hollywood-ready Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills or the all-white bungalows at the Hilton’s Mahogany Bay Resort and Beach Club in Belize. Wellness is moving from a niche reason to travel to a more holistic part of the journey. For example, travelers to the Rosewood Phuket in Thailand and Burgenstock Resort in Switzerland are relishing in customized meditation treatments and outdoor facials by local wellness gurus. Some hotels are also staking their claim as neighborhood ‘town squares,’ becoming more than just a place to rest your head, but where locals gather and graze.
“Our annual Hot List is an all-encompassing review and selection of our favorite new hotel openings of the past year,” Pilar Guzmán, editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveler, says. “By celebrating the very best, we hope to help set a standard for those who follow so that when we return decades down the road, we will still recognize and be transformed by these places.”
The Hot List winners are selected as part of a rigorous vetting process by 37 Condé Nast Traveler editors and experts. The group of scouts are armed with a survey that’s been developed and refined over the past 22 years, with questions that get at the practical, the emotional, and even the sociological aspects of a property. The Condé Nast Traveler staff then cull nearly a thousand pages of hotel dossiers to determine the final list. This year, they visited 426 hotels and landed on 102 properties that made the cut.
Top photo: Ventana Big Sur, An Alila Resort, made Condé Nast Traveler‘s 2018 Hot List