While dreaming of the Maldives, Costa Rica, Osaka, and Berlin is one way to fantasize about a life lead more luxuriously (and with more PTO), how about finding your version of bliss on a road less traveled: meaning, by being among the very first to experience world-class nature, food, wellness, and party scenes right in your own backyard. That’s because this year, a handful of new luxurious hotel properties are opening in and around major American cities, each designed to deliver the big life experience you’re pining for without the four-figure budget or sheer inhumanity of sitting through an international flight.
Think Maldives-like spa experiences in the heart of New York City, a wellness reset in the Berkshires on par with what you’d find in a week-long Swiss retreat, the most peaceful, fauna-canopied sleep to rival those in Costa Rican tree houses, indulging in a dining scene that measures up to Osaka’s, or even partying like you were in Berlin at an LA haunt that also helps you make up for lost sleep the next day. Ahead, see the best new hotels to book in 2020 and prepare to knock some major goals off of your international travel list — all by driving just a few hours (or minutes) away.
The West Hollywood EDITION: Los Angeles, CA
You like mindful bodywork by day and four-to-the-floor beats by night (it’s called balance, people) — The West Hollywood EDITION gets that. Which is why owner — and famed Studio 54 cofounder — Ian Schrager created an ethereally designed hotel in the palette of the progressive LA sunlight that caters to wellness as much as it does to cutting loose. Tap in-room and on-demand guided meditations created by Inscape, yoga classes from Yoga For Bad People, or a sound bath at the spa to mellow your mind, work your body, and ground your spirit.
Then, head downstairs to the subterranean Sunset, one of LA’s most intimate new party spots, where Diplo, Questlove, and James Murphy have played. It’s here that you can truly party like no one is watching the clock: The Spa also offers Yoga Nidra sessions (a form of yogic sleep meditation) designed to recoup two-to-four hours of zzzs so you can rise, shine, and check out feeling fully restored, no matter how hard you went the night before.
Aman New York: New York City
Art, dining, theater, and culture — New York City has the very best of everything. The thing that’s missing? True resort-like vibes among confined spa spaces. Luxury hotel brand Aman is about to change that. Because the same folks responsible for the jaw-dropping Southwestern Amangiri that everyone keeps lusting over on Instagram are slated to open Aman New York this year in the historic Crown Building, and with it, a spa space that covers an unheard of (in Manhattan, anyway) 22,000 square feet.
The three-story spa space boasts an 80-foot indoor swimming pool and, for those who really want to splash out, private spa houses that comprise a double treatment room, sauna and steam rooms, hot and cold plunge pools, an outdoor terrace with cabana, daybed and fireplace, all overlooking Central Park. Of course, the first urban Aman property will also have luxurious accommodations — and rest assured you’ll want to stay a night or two, because the quickest way to undo the tranquility of a major spa day is to step out and do battle with New York City traffic.
Nobu Hotel: Chicago
Forget dining with Kanye. The very best way to get A-list treatment at Nobu is to book a night or two at the legendary hospitality group’s new Nobu Hotel Chicago. The property, slated to open this summer, will not only give guests an automatic in at the 10,000 square-foot outpost of its famous restaurant and rooftop space, it provides oshibori, senbei rice crackers, and ikaati tea upon arrival, along with yukata bathrobes, and Japanese soaking tubs in each room. In fact, with rooms that start at 360 square feet, the accommodations may be so plush, you might not want to interrupt your moment of zen to go out for a bite. No bother: The hotel’s room service is set to feature signature Nobu dishes, like Black Cod Miso, that can be enjoyed from the plush surroundings of a luxuriously appointed, signature king-sized bed.
Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa: Berkshires, Massachusetts
No time to jet off to Arizona? The storied Miraval resort — a celebrity favorite that counts Oprah, Lupita Nyong’o, and Ellen DeGeneres as fans — is taking its signature brand of wellness to the Berkshires, Massachusetts in May with Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa, a sprawling, 380-acre property built on the philosophy of leading a balanced life and expanding guest consciousness. That means rooms (starting at $500 a night) equipped with meditation cushions and Tibetan singing bowls, private hypno-coaching sessions; equine and farming classes, and a cooking course that will (finally) show you how to make nutrient-dense bone broth. Throw in countless movement and fitness classes and soul lectures to reawaken your best self and you have a total wellness reset without having to leave the property.
Life House South of Fifth: Miami, Florida
The problem with living in or near an always-on city like Miami? When you staycation here, the rest of the world staycations with you. That is, unless you slip away to the lesser-visited sections of South Beach, like South of Fifth, where the newly opened Life House South of Fifth offers the perfect place to cozy up away from the crowds. Housed in a 1930s Tudor beach cottage, the 26-room property is situated just a few blocks from the Atlantic, yet feels like lightyears away from flash and buzz of South Beach. Rooms are equipped with all the finery of a spendy hotel (think: Diptyque scents, Le Labo toiletries, and Revival linens) but feel more like a breezy writer’s cottage than Insta-bait locale. Better yet, accommodations start at an approachable $149 a night.
Check the pop-up retail space for wares from brands like Sunday Somewhere, cop everything you need for a jaunt to the restaurant’s grab-and-go window (from fresh-pressed juices to a beetroot lentil burger) and enjoy a post-beach-day drink on a hidden patio lush with plants from a local cooperative nursery. It’s all enough to make you feel like you hit up a post-prohibition era seaside escape with every amenity from the modern age — and completely forget about the South Beach on everyone else’s radar.
Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection: Austin, Texas
The fastest way from Austin to Europe without having to clear customs? Find it in a luxe, 10,800-square-foot Italianate mansion atop a 10-acre property right in ATX. Originally home to the Perrys, a Jazz-age couple with a taste for international travel and throwing legendary parties, the property is outfitted with formal gardens, terraces, parterres and fountains — all inspired by the original owners’ European jaunts in the 1920s. Starting in May, you can live like the fabulous Perrys at the Commodore Perry Estate (and not just thanks to preservation of the original home and gardens).
The property has enlisted world-famous designer Ken Fulk to keep a sense of wanderlust in the interiors, thanks to items procured from years of antiquing and his signature combination of unexpected patterns and textures — mixed metals, pink velvet, faux fur, and muted leopard— that feel every bit rich and decadent as one would expect to find in such a manse but with zero stuffiness. Take breakfast in the sun-drenched solarium, ruminate in the oval library from the comfort of overstuffed chairs, belly up to the living room cocktail bar for a fireside sip, or just wander the property: With an organic farm, chapel, and oversized outdoor pool onsite, a couple of days in Austin has never felt so expensive.