Playa Imbert, DR
The Dominican Republic is no stranger to all-inclusive mass tourism. So will the latest Gansevoort to open in the Caribbean follow the crowd? Far from it — Gansevoort Dominican Republic, Playa Imbert is, if anything, a shade or two more upscale than its Turks & Caicos cousin, if only by virtue of the fact that it’s a rethink of a condominium project, and thus an all-suite hotel.
If you’re opening a brand-new hotel in an old city — indeed, in the very center of the oldest neighborhood of a city celebrated for its rich cultural history — you have two choices. You can either try to recreate the grandeur of the past, or you can embrace the future. The proprietors of the Grand Ferdinand Vienna opted for the latter. And we’re glad they did.
If you’re familiar with the Swiss Alps, you don’t need to read any further: the Gstaad Palace name tells you more or less all you need to know. Gstaad is one of the most exclusive ski areas in the world — Gstaad, the very same that Ernest Hemingway wrote about so lovingly during the Paris years, the one where Elizabeth Taylor spent Christmases in the Sixties — and this landmark hotel is a proper palace, a historic one that recently celebrated its hundredth birthday.
Fair warning: the “Grand Central” bit is somewhat aspirational for now, as the area around Amano Grand Central Berlin is still decidedly in the development phase. Not to imply that you’ll find yourself in the sticks; if there’s one thing Berlin nails, it’s highly efficient urban travel, and Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof will get you wherever you wish to go in record time.
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
The Gansevoort hotels, named for the street address of their New York City flagship, continue to venture ever further south: first Miami, to general acclaim, and now to the Caribbean proper. Gansevoort Turks + Caicos makes its home on Providenciales, on a stunning stretch of sand, looking straight out at that big empty blue sea — and the change of scenery, you’d have to say, suits the Gansevoort to a tee.
Traditionally Portugal hasn’t needed much more than a sunny climate (and maybe a bit of golf) to woo tourists by the tens of thousands. There are places, though, that go above and beyond the basic formula: Six Senses Douro Valley, named for and situated in the wine-making region in the north, is one of these.
Ishigaki City, Okinawa, Japan
If there’s a place where modernist minimalism still feels authentically connected to the local tradition, it’s Japan — and while hotels the world over abandon the “international” style in favor of the new eclectic, bohemian look, true believers like Yutaka Momiyama, proprietor of Jusandi, are keeping the faith.
By this point Amanresorts hardly needs vetting, true, but it remains a pleasure to detail their ongoing success story. They’ve hit photogenic gold again here in Lijiang, jewel of China’s Yunnan province, an astoundingly well-preserved repository for the region’s heritage and peerless natural beauty.
Allow us to reintroduce, with great pleasure, Hotel Bachaumont Paris. That’s right: until an unfortunate downturn in the Seventies, this was a Grand Hotel of no small importance, an Art Deco institution of the 2nd with a post-Haussmannian façade exuding sheer nobility. Resurrected by the local fashion retailer (and world traveler) Samy Marciano, it’s quite at home once more in the pedestrianized Upper Marais, surrounded as it is by all manner of cafés, boutiques, and parfumeries.