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Fall's Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings

If you're planning a trip to Zimbabwe, Santa Fe or L.A., you'll want to check out these sparkling-new places.

Everyone loves a new hotel. But before they hit the glossy travel magazines or weekend travel section of your local newspaper, here is a look at fall's hottest hotel openings around the globe.

Algodon Mansion

-- Buenos Aires, Argentina

Wow Factor:

First luxury boutique hotel to open in the Recoleta

Opening: December 2008

Boutique hotels open almost every month in nearby Palermo and San Telmo, but an opening in the ever-posh Recoleta is truly a news event.

An area more familiar with Four Seasons and Park Hyatt gets a substantive addition with this six-story remodeled 1920s belle époque mansion located in the heart of Buenos Aires' best neighborhood. The hotel is a mini-compound of 10 suites ranging from 1,200 square feet featuring a mix of antiques and cutting-edge designs by B&B Italia and Cappellini.

Attended by 24-hour butlers, rooms overlook a shaded residential street and exquisite four-story waterfall cascading from the rooftop to the lobby.

The main floor hotel features a formal French-fusion restaurant with wine bar and library lounge that opens to a covered outside patio with crackling fireplace. Teak decks and loungers surround a rooftop swimmer's pool for summertime tanning with small bar for afternoon soirées.

The Augustine

-- Prague, Czech Republic

Wow Factor:

Former monastery gets a Rocco Forte makeover

Opening: December 2008

It seems as though Italy's Rocco Forte dominates the hotel landscape of virtually every city they choose to open, including St. Petersburg -- and now Prague.

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The Augustine is part of a complex of historic buildings near Prague Castle constructed around the former St. Thomas Monastery. Dating back to the 13th Century, the actual hotel is built within a series of remodeled chapels and manicured courtyards once home to Augustinian friars.

The hotel immediately edges all its nearby competition, including Mandarin Oriental, as the hottest hotel in Prague. A stunning lobby by London-based interior designers RDD, who also worked on Brown's in London, mixes bold furnishings with bright colors and traditional local artistry.

Guest rooms feature a mix-and-match of antiques, plush seating areas and freestanding beds atop rustic wood floors and intricate inlaid ceiling.

Singita Pamushana Lodge

-- Malilangwe, Zimbabwe

Wow Factor:

6-star lodge with world's largest concentration of endangered Black Rhino

Opening: August 2008

The newest Singita Lodge is located within the untouched Malilangwe Private Wildlife Reserve of Zimbabwe. Far removed from the political strife of the capital city, guests arrive via a private airstrip amongst a landscape of architectural rock formations and oddly shaped baobab trees.

The resort is home to just six suites and one larger private villa decorated in the Singita's signature mix of traditional thatched ceilings, environmentally themed furnishings and sprawling terraces sculpted of local wood with infinity plunge pools overlooking Malilange Lake.

Once you've adjusted to the spectacular setting, the rhinos await, as well as painted hunting dogs, 14 types of eagles and over 400 species of exotic birds.

SLS Hotel

-- Beverly Hills, Calif.

Wow Factor:

'The Hills' cast gets glitzy hotel backdrop for teary catfights

Opening: September 30, 2008

Set in the backdrop of the Beverly Center along La Cienega's Restaurant Row, L.A. nightlife czar Sam Nazarian sets his sights on the former Hotel Nikko as home to his first SLS Hotel represented by



Luxury Collection. Not just another makeover on the fly, the property has been disassembled and meticulously retooled in one of the glitziest hotel redesigns in recent memory.

The lobby oozes Hollywood glamour, with Philippe Starck-designed décor, a restaurant by award-winning chef Jose Andre and clientele of L.A.'s Kitson posse and MTV royalty lured on an overnight basis. Rooms mix fur-throw rugs with rich leather settees with a van der Rohe flair.

A cabana-lined pool includes a tanning shelf with loungers built for maximum showing-off.

Four Seasons Mauritius

-- Mauritius

Wow Factor:

New Ernie Els golf course considered one of the world's best

Opening: October 2008

It takes forever to get to this island paradise east of Madagascar, but once there you'll bask in the removed decadence of this tropical paradise often overlooked by American tourists.

This monumental getaway is located on the Mauritius's east coast at the edge of the Anahita Wilderness Sanctuary. Lush tropical mountains intersected by pristine waterfalls frame the hotel with its endless beaches along a tranquil lagoon with coral-reef barriers.

Rooms are of the new Four Seasons demographic resulting in thoroughly bungalow-style rooms with thatch ceilings, spa-style bathrooms and open terraces with private plunge pools.

Golf lovers relish the Ernie Els-deigned Four Seasons Golf Club with its 18-hole, par-72 championship course with large fairways and oceanfront holes that end in phenomenal 280-degree views for the final stroke.

Encantado Resort

, Santa Fe, N.M.

Wow Factor:

Napa's Auberge Resorts brings eco-lux resort to Santa Fe

Opening: August 2008

Formerly known as Rancho del Monte, this 1930s ranch has been realized as a spa-themed oasis by Auberge Resorts, one of California's premier luxury operators. The result in an eco-conscious oasis that employs water conservation, sustainable building products and drought tolerant landscaping for a five-star property located within the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near downtown Santa Fe.

The resort is home to a full-service spa, yoga center and high-profile eatery with regional New Mexican menu.

The property's 65 freestanding casitas are arranged with high-ceilings, open-style living rooms equipped with traditional kiva-style fireplaces, heated floors and private terraces ideal for absorbing the spiritual Santa Fe sunset.

Michael Martin is the managing editor of -- 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.