A hospitality revival is underway in the U.S. and beyond, as hotels and resorts prepare to welcome travelers who are anxious for new escapes and adventures. Opening in 2021, these properties offer amenities well beyond the usual spa treatment or in-suite massage—instead, they cater to travelers looking for immersive experiences, from truffle hunting to multiday outdoor excursions and even the opportunity to live like a king in the Versailles palace Louis XIV once called home. Here, a look at the most unique hotel openings of the year, and what you can do once you’re settled in.
Relive the Roaring ’20s at Pendry Chicago
Beyond the green-gold facade of this hotel—set in the landmark Carbide & Carbon Building—lies Chicago’s buzzy Loop district. The glorious art deco interior, though, evokes Prohibition-era excess rather than urban hipsterism—only with better access to booze and fewer mobsters.
Enjoy the great indoors at Kinship Landing
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The glamping industry has long catered to those who are drawn to the idea of camping but not the reality. The Kinship has devised a new alternative: an open-air camping room, where guests can pitch a tent but still enjoy the comforts of a hotel stay (along with the reduced possibility of bear attacks).
Explore the mild West at Hotel Drover
Fort Worth, Texas
Even if you’re not given to drinking rotgut from a rusty can while keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes, Fort Worth's Stockyards District offers plenty of ways to get in touch with your inner cowpoke, including the Hotel Drover, which tempers Old West ambience with craft cocktails and other newfangled comforts.
Sleep inside a work of art at Aman New York
The original home of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City's Crown Building is a masterpiece in its own right. With its green-capped spire and French Renaissance flourishes, the 1920s-era tower provides splendid views of Central Park, but it’s the moody, modish interiors that’ll keep the Instagrammers busy.
Get some well-earned restlessness at Canyon Madness Ranch
Roy, New Mexico
Overlooking the rugged Canadian River Canyon, this resort is the ideal quiet retreat. Or not. From archery to horse riding, ATV tours to air-hockey tourneys, there’s enough here to keep you busy for a month. Or you could just plop into a Jacuzzi and enjoy the view, which is also an option.
Get out more at Paradero Todos Santos
Baja California Sur, Mexico
Mexico might seem a bit far to get street food, but this resort’s Baja taco tours are worth the trip. Flanked by ocean and desert, the hotel keeps walls to a minimum, so guests feel they are part of the landscape rather than observers—the same could be said of its taco shack expeditions.
Visit distant worlds at Explora Salar de Uyuni
From rustic accommodations along the border of Chile and Bolivia, Explora guests set out on multiday journeys into bizarre and beautiful landscapes, including the Mars-like Atacama Desert and the endless expanse of the Uyuni Salt Flat. With excursions like this, who needs rocket ships?
Live like The Sun King at Airelles le Grand Contrôle
Louis XIV wasn’t known for his restraint. Versailles, the palace he occupied in the 17th century, is still a byword for overblown opulence. Now, a 15-room on-site hotel allows commoners to try the full-on Louis lifestyle. You even get Alain Ducasse to cook for you—a significant step up from the mutton-and-pheasant fare of old.
Take the Underground at The Londoner
This eight-story “super boutique” West End hotel, crowned by a hip rooftop bar, has a hidden side. Below ground level, descending almost 100 feet, is a six-floor subterranean property with cinema screens, a ballroom, a spa and more, providing a fresh spin on the term, “How low can you go?”
Lead a dog’s life at Casa di Langa
Set among the vine-striped hills of northwest Italy, Casa di Langa goes all-in on immersion: Vespa rides, cooking classes, encounters with local artists. The area is also known for its truffles, and guests are invited to hunt for them on the estate, assisted by fluffy lagotto dogs. Dinner never tasted so cute.