It’s that time of year again. Tablet’s own travel experts open up about which hotels they’re most excited to visit in 2018.
Working at Tablet means living in a permanent state of wanderlust, window-shopping the world’s greatest hotels, hour upon hour, day after day. Ask us where we’re dying to go and most of us have an answer at the ready. Here, then, is our annual peek behind the orange curtain: in their own words, Tablet’s travel experts talk about the amazing hotels they’re yearning to visit in 2018 — some old, some new, all of them extraordinary.
Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Elizabeth Lahey, Marketing: When I travel, I’m drawn to naturally beautiful locations. It’s a good contrast to living in New York. While I like to spend my time outdoors actively exploring the surroundings, I’d like to return here for the night after a day of hiking to try out the acclaimed restaurant and get pampered in the spa.
John Speranza, Editorial: Long before this hotel existed in its current form, the thermal baths at Vals were on my must-see list. They’re a masterpiece in austere stone by the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, whose uncompromisingly minimalist style feels, to me at least, like the closest thing on earth to real perfection. With suites by Zumthor himself as well as Japanese masters Kengo Kuma and Tadao Ando, 7132 Hotel has crossed over into luxury-hotel territory once and for all. But for me the lodging is still secondary; the baths are where the pilgrimage truly ends.
Erin Miller, Design: With the possibility of another polar vortex hitting New York, I could have easily picked a toasty beach location to sit on my ass, work on my tan, and try to block out my departure date and the inevitable chest cold I am sure to get from reacclimatizing to the tundra that is winter in the northeast. Rather than use this tried-and-true method, preferred by snowbirds the world over, I decided to go to somewhere that is potentially as cold, but at the same time much warmer and far more comfortable. A place where the beer is tasty and strong, the smell of chocolate and waffles wafts throughout the air, and of course the fries, MY GOD THE FRIES. I’m talking, of course, about Belgium.
For my trip to Belgium, I would like to stay at the Spoor62. It’s a stunning hotel where I can both unwind and take in the local culture. It’s secluded yet close enough to the city (a 20-minute car ride to Bruges). And its architecture, a faithful restoration of a stop on the legendary Pullman line, is enough to make even the most dedicated tank engine take a week off.
Paulo Grillo, Sales: Vidago Palace encompasses everything that I want in a dreamy hotel stay: hot springs, wineries, olive oil and honey tasting, horseback riding, and more. After spending the day outdoors doing all these cool activities, you’ll come back to this opulent palace with quaint roll-top bathtubs, mosaic floors, and fluffy beds and robes. Perfect!
Daren Grisham, Sales: Travel wish lists are such a complicated thing. The world is big, and you’re usually expected to pick just one place. For the purposes of this list, I’m going with The Signiel. I’ve been to Seoul twice and this place makes me want to make the third trip happen faster. At Tablet we’ve been stoked about this one opening (and Laurent was one of their first guests!). If I have my way, I want to stay on the 101st floor.
SINA Centurion Palace
Scott Elliott, Controller: This property is what top-tier hospitality is about — from the incredibly friendly and accommodating staff, to the luxurious rooms and top-notch restaurant, to waking up each morning overlooking the grand canal from your 30-foot windows!
Myconian Villa Collection
Elissa Cofield, Travel Specialist: Ugh. I want to go to Greece so bad. We have lots of great hotels in Greece, no doubt, but this is definitely the most exciting one we’ve had in a while. It’s so pretty, and I love the variety of all the different room layouts. They have a number of rooms that can easily accommodate six people. I think they’re going to be very popular this summer. In other words: book it now.
Polizzi Generosa, Italy
Michael Hernandez, Travel Specialist: In “The Godfather,” Michael Corleone flees to Italy to escape retribution for killing a corrupt police captain. On my trip to Sicily, home of my mother’s ancestors, I would be fleeing the consequences of my nasty tweets to a certain Attorney General, whom my lawyers have advised me not to name. The details of how I wound up hiding out in Sicily are hardly relevant, however. What is of importance is where I plan on lying low, and at the risk of blowing my cover I will share with you, dear readers, where I would spend my time on the run.
My destination of choice would be Masseria Susafa. A “masseria” is traditionally a well-fortified manor on a sizable estate, and true to its name, this one has commanded the verdant countryside for five generations under the stewardship of the Saeli-Rizzuto family. It’s an ideal location to hide out from your day-to-day responsibilities or the news at home, as Masseria Susafa does not have any TVs. I highly doubt you’ll miss the shrieks of the idiot box once you take in the picturesque views and/or indulge in one of the cooking classes the hotel offers. Masseria Susafa is a seasonal hotel and accepts reservations from late March through November 1, so plan your gangland power struggles accordingly.
The Villa, Casa Casuarina
Sean Sweeney, Travel Specialist: This is the former Versace mansion, and it is the definition of Miami’s brand of boisterous luxury. And let’s not forget that amazing pool! A definite must-stay on my list.
COMO Cocoa Island
South Male Atoll, Maldives
Stanley Lo, Travel Specialist: I just want to get away from everything! There’s one place that comes to mind and that’s the Maldives.
Gramercy Park Hotel
New York City, New York
Scott Mayar, Travel Specialist: Not only does The Gramercy Park Hotel give you access to the only private park in NYC, the hotel itself is caked in history — from a young John F. Kennedy living there for several months, to The Beatles using it as their mainstay when they would visit New York. Each room also has a custom Marshall bluetooth speaker (only 200 have been produced).
In 2006, the hotel enlisted artist and Oscar-nominated film director Julian Schnabel and British architect John Pawson to renovate the space in a way that would maintain its unique history while giving it bold, modern flourishes. If you love music and appreciate New York for what it is and what it was, you’ll love The Gramercy Park Hotel.
Song Saa Private Island
Alicia Patron, Distribution: Staying here would be a dream come true — it’s secluded, it’s got all-inclusive options, gorgeous ocean views, luxurious villas, excursions. If you need to get away from the real world for a bit and be pampered, or want to have the most amazing honeymoon, or see parts of Cambodia that most people don’t venture out to, this is the place!
Chablé Resort & Spa
Annie Kemple, Tablet Plus: I’d love to leave behind my NYC commute and get lost in cenotes and communicate with the gods.
Wm. Mulherin’s Hotel
Malachi Schuster, Travel Specialist: Wm. Mulherin’s Hotel, constructed in an old whisky-bottling plant in Philadelphia, has a rustic and charming feel. The brick and wood walls, floors, and ceilings are antiquated yet sleek. They only have a few rooms, but they are spacious and offer kitchenettes to serve as your home away from home!
Dunton Hot Springs
Lesley Ward, Accounting: I am partial to outdoor adventure hotels. I want to get out and spend time with nature on my holidays. I am also partial to luxury linens and spa treatments. (Ha!) Luckily, Dunton Hot Springs marries both worlds seamlessly. Not to mention, the experience of staying in an authentic ghost town would get any cowgirl (or boy) excited!
Dominic Younan, Travel Specialist: Aman Tokyo is a fairly new addition to the Aman chain, but it is one of the best. The mashup of Aman’s resort style right in the middle of Tokyo is pretty nuts, and of course the design is stunning. They even have a wine cellar, a spa, and an indoor pool with ridiculous views. What more could you want?
Casa La Siesta
Mark Fedeli, Marketing & Editorial: I was twelve when I first knew I wanted to visit Andalucía, after hearing “Spanish Caravan” by The Doors. Now, 20+ years later, I still want to go (and I’m still proudly a fan of The Doors, so what?). Casa La Siesta calls to me for a number reasons: its location near both the town of Vejer de la Frontera and the Atlantic coast, its kitchen garden and locally-sourced menu, and its smart interior design that nicely blends the modern with the rustic. Best of all, you can rent out the entire gorgeous complex and throw a killer party — I’m not sure there’s a more ideal hotel stay than one where you’ve got the whole place to yourself, surrounded by your family, your friends, and huge piles of delicious Andalusian shellfish.
Ayaka Morohoshi, Tablet Japan: Greece has been one of my dream destinations, and Cavo Tagoo, with its beautiful design, cool atmosphere, and friendly service, is definitely at the top of my hotel wish list!
Monaci delle Terre Nere
Zafferana Etnea, Italy
Tiffany Nguyen, Travel Specialist: Monaci delle Terre Nere is a beautiful property on the slopes of Mt Etna, Sicily. The property is about 60 acres and includes an organic farm, a vineyard, and a herb garden, with lavender bushes and villas scattered throughout. Seriously.