Sheets that have never been slept in, carpets that have never been walked on and tubs that have never been soaked in.
The perks of staying at a brand-new hotel are endless, but at a time when airline capacity and hospitality occupancy rates are down, it will take more than just a grand opening to get travelers checking in again. But there is a new crop of dramatic hotels, each with a new trend, concept or sexy gimmick to lure you away from your staycation.
London's Sanctum Soho is stylish, yet straightforward, with slate-gray walls and wood floors.
Scheduled to open in early June but now pushed back to at least the 16th, W Hotels and Residences debuts its
flagship on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The hotel inaugurates its first partnership with international restaurateur Mr. Chow, with locations in New York and Beverly Hills, offering a beachfront dining room and celeb-packed lounge. Need more names? The owners of Miami's top nightspot, Mokai, will debut Wall Nightclub at the hotel, an exclusive VIP dance club privy to the Paris Hilton set that's open from dusk till dawn.
Not limited to just publicly traded mega-chains, Morocco's legendary
closed its doors in late 2006 to embark on an ambitious remodeling to put it once more on the world's jet-set itinerary. The company hired Hotel Costes star designer Jacques Garcia, the most in-demand architect in hospitality, to refurbish the resort property and its three eateries, lounge and numerous villas. The property is on schedule to open in September, when it will face stiff competition from hotel newcomers Mandarin Oriental and Rocco Forte Hotel.
Suites, suites everywhere:
The American love affair with all-suite hotels has finally swept across the pond, where Continental dwellers who once prided themselves on never needing more than 250 square feet are suddenly demanding their equal space.
is a high-end architectural resort group comprising upscale all-suite accommodations in Geneva, Paris and now St. Tropez's Ramatuelle. Star architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte debuts a whimsical luxury spa hotel offering a dramatic glass-enclosed lobby with butterfly ceiling opposite a dramatic infinity pool with clubhouse and on-site eatery attended by preening staff.
In Barcelona, business travelers looking for apartment-style accommodations that don't cost as much as a NYC co-op should discover
by Spain's Derby Hotels. An architectural steel façade look is equal parts Gehry and Spiderman, but actually designed by architect Toyo Ito, who pens a head-turning destination property opposite Gaudi's La Pedrera. Free of commercial-grade carpeting and Danish Modern furnishings, these longer-stay city pads feature a modern design of black leather décor, rich marble bathrooms and well-outfitted stainless-steel kitchens perfect for preparing local market finds.
Somehow in the past decade, "boutique hotel" has almost become a derogatory term. So emerged the design hotel and its latest incarnation in Paris' ever-chic Le Marais.
has an ethereal Marie Antoinette theme with glittery lobby and stand-up reception illuminated in backlit translucent glass. A one-room restaurant and lounge are surrounded in all-white Corian walls with even whiter leather furnishings that bring a clinical charm to a menu of antioxidant cocktails. Rooms feature an LCD light-enhanced sleeping system that makes their 200-square-foot dimensions seem dreamily larger.
Only the third hotel to make its way to London's trendiest neighborhood,
is located along buzzing Warwick Street within a trendy row of Edwardian apartments that look like the backdrop of a chick flick. The common areas are stylish, yet straightforward, outfitted in slate-gray walls around a simple check-in counter with geeky-cute staff. The hotel boasts a be-seen restaurant lined in free-standing wooden banquettes with picture windows overlooking the West End as well as a small bar open 24 hours a day for in-house guests.
Communal living goes eco-chic:
Just outside NYC's Garment District at 29th and Broadway,
debuts its latest installment in the 1904 Hotel Breslin. Like a modern-day commune of coffee junkies and Facebooking fashionistas, the lobby is scattered with vintage furnishings, well-worn sofas and eclectic NYC-theme art around a center staircase that feels old in a chic new way. An on-site coffee shop complements a yet-to-open hippie-chic eatery of organic-food treasures. Biodegradable room keys unlock quirky, yet comfortable, guest rooms with leather cubist sofas, in-room turntables and toiletries by Rudy's Barbershop.
Like an environmental version of the Westin,
is Starwood's new longer-stay hotel brand designed specifically for young and stylish eco-travelers. It's the chain's first line to specifically pursue LEED certification with its loft-style guest rooms offering fully stocked kitchens and stylish living areas adorned with artwork from recycled tires. The lobby features a communal setting with a lively café and outdoor courtyard with fire pit and organized barbecues near a chlorine-free swimming pool.
Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.