Luxury is in the details, whether it’s finding a chocolate-dipped fortune cookie on your pillow or being whisked by private plane to Marlon Brando’s island sanctuary. From a stunning Parisian art collection housed in a Frank Gehry masterpiece to the best urban boutique hotels, here are seven of the hottest new global destinations to indulge your wanderlust.
Archer Hotel, New York
In the heart of midtown Manhattan’s garment district, the boutique Archer Hotel references the neighborhood’s history with industrial exposed brick and steel design and a mix of textiles throughout. The 22-story hotel, which opened in May, delivers on sophistication and service. Although rooms are modest in size, details such as curated art, chocolate-dipped fortune cookies at turndown, Malin & Goetz amenities and Frette bathrobes elevate the experience.
The hotel’s fashionable David Burke Fabrick restaurant nods to its garmento neighbors with colorful fabric swatches on the ceiling (a Singer sewing machine graces Bugatti, the lobby bar). The modern American small-plate menu includes specialties from the beef-drying room and the wood-burning oven such as the Bronx Fillet for Two.
Rooms start at $269; archerhotel.com.
The Brando, Tetiaroa, French Polynesia
Marlon Brando discovered the French Polynesian island of Tetiaroa in 1960 when flying over the Pacific in search of locations for “Mutiny on the Bounty.” Although the movie was ultimately filmed on nearby Tahiti, Brando fell in love with Tetiaroa, an atoll with white sand beaches and coconut palms surrounding a lagoon that was home to Tahitian royals. Several years later, he made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, and for the next few decades Tetiaroa was his personal paradise.
A passionate conservationist, Brando imagined Tetiaroa as an eco-sanctuary and worked with Tahitian resident and friend Richard Bailey to create a sustainable, carbon-neutral luxury resort and research location. Guests at the all-inclusive Brando can explore the eco-station as well as the coral reef and its green turtles or the bird island with a naturalist, enjoy Polynesian dance lessons, spa treatments, yoga and snorkeling. Each of the 35 villas is built with local, sustainable materials and features a private plunge pool.
Villas from $2,400 per night; thebrando.com.
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
A spectacular Frank Gehry-commissioned building in the Jardin d’Acclimation in Paris is the site for the new Fondation Louis Vuitton art museum, which is scheduled to open Oct. 27. The space will showcase the contemporary art collection of LVMH, which is said to include works by Pablo Picasso, Richard Serra and Mark Rothko.
The inaugural exhibition will showcase Gehry’s project for the building in tandem with an exhibition of the architect’s work at the Centre Pompidou.
In addition to the Fondation’s permanent collection of 20th and 21st century works, the museum plans to commission works from contemporary artists. The 126,000-square-foot building also features a 350-seat auditorium.
Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui
All 50 suites at the Montage Kapalua Bay are ocean-facing and feature a gourmet chef’s kitchen complete with a Sub-Zero refrigerator and wine cooler, as well as expansive lanais for entertaining or lounging. Whether you do your own cooking or call on the hotel’s culinary team, ingredients — such as Maui cattle tenderloin, Molokai sweet potatoes, edible florals and hummus made from breadfruit — are locally sourced.
A spa? Need you ask? Treatments include rain showers and Hawaiian sea salt scrubs at the Spa Montage, which features ocean views. The resort also has two championship golf courses.
Suites start at $595 for one bedroom and $1,085 for two bedrooms; montagehotels.com/kapaluabay.
Shangri-La at the Shard, London
Location, location, location is what sets the Shangri-La at the Shard apart from other luxury hotels in London. True, its rooms and suites are among the largest in London and include marble-clad bathrooms and Acqua di Parma amenities, but it’s the view that is second to none. Occupying floors 34 through 52 of the tallest building in western Europe, the Shangri-La overlooks the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the houses of Parliament. The iconic spire-shaped glass building was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, and the hotel is the first luxury property to open in the Borough of Southwark on the south bank of the Thames.
The borough has long been home to London’s rich literary roots — Charles Dickens lived in the area and set many of his novels there, and the poet Keats studied to be a doctor at the hospital that still stands across from the Shard, which is also near Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre. Today, the borough also boasts the spectacular Tate Modern Museum as well as independent galleries, cafés and boutiques.
Rooms start at $750; shangri-la.com/london.
SLS Las Vegas
“Be Legendary” is the mantra of the SLS Las Vegas, which opened Aug. 23 following a $415-million renovation of the former Sahara Hotel, once home to Rat Pack performers and an icon on the original Las Vegas Strip. The re-imagined SLS Las Vegas may feel familiar to Angelenos who recognize SBE Entertainment (which owns the SLS along with Stockbridge Real Estate) and designer Philippe Starck’s signature touches. Guests can entertain themselves at outposts of local L.A. hot spots such as the Bazaar by José Andrès, Katsuya, Umami Burger and boutiques by Fred Segal.
In addition to its 1,600 stylish rooms and suites, two pools and casino, the hotel features three night-life venues, including Hollywood favorite the Sayers Club, which mixes legendary Las Vegas with contemporary cool.
Rooms start at $160, suites start at $200; slshotels.com/lasvegas.
Sofitel So Singapore
Karl Lagerfeld lends his signature chic to the Sofitel So Singapore with a custom-designed lion’s seal emblem, which pops up in details throughout the hotel, from doorknockers to bespoke bathrobes. The hotel’s expansive guest rooms blend 19th century French decadence (and really, who did opulence better?) with Singapore style. The vibe is part Parisian apartment, but with high ceilings and light boxes above each bed featuring images of palatial glass domes, an effect that the hotel’s interior designer Isabelle Miaja describes as “introducing playful luxury to the island.”
A Champagne breakfast greets guests each morning, while the hotel’s Xperience restaurant allows diners to design their own menus based on themes such as crunchy, silky, spicy and zesty. A rotation of guest Michelin-starred chefs from around the globe showcase their cuisine. A golden-tiled rooftop swimming pool and bar offer views of the urban skyline, as well as designer cocktails and a small-plates menu that is a favorite with the city’s cosmopolitan set.
Rooms start at $250; sofitel.com.