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HOT LIST 2008

Buenos Aires: Moreno Hotel

Moreno Hotel
One of the Moreno's 36 guest rooms.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

In 1929, modernist architect Johannes Kronfuss designed a dramatic Art Deco edifice two blocks from the Casa Rosada, Argentina's presidential palace. Despite being declared a heritage building, Kronfuss's creation fell into ruin in the 1990s, along with much of the Montserrat district. Recently renovated as a 39-room hotel, the seven-story building has a graceful fluted stone exterior, while an accordion-gated elevator still clunks past landings lit by stained glass windows. Rooms range in size from the generous to the enormous; all have 13-foot ceilings, expansive iron-framed windows, and Art Deco-style furniture upholstered in iridescent sea green. Don't be afraid to ask for extras like babysitters, personal trainers, or masseurs--inexplicably, the youthful staff may forget to detail what's on offer. Guests may also customize the contents of their minibar or borrow a laptop.

Address:376 Moreno, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1091
Tel: 54 11 6091 2000

When to go: Avoid only the sweltering summer months of January and February.
Which room to book: No. 48 for its view of the 1754 Basilica de San Francisco.

Further reading:
* Moreno Hotel Buenos Aires Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Buenos Aires guide

HOT LIST 2008

London: Hereford Road

Luton Hoo
Hereford Road chef/owner Tom Pemberton.
Photo: thisislondon.co.uk

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

St. John Bread and Wine alumnus Tom Pemberton has made minimalism the order of the day at his first restaurant, on a residential street in West London. Pared-down decor (white walls, maroon leather booths) ensures that nothing detracts from the well-sourced, simply prepared food on the daily-changing, thoroughly British menu. While some dishes (beetroot, lettuce, and boiled egg salad; calf's liver, sage, and onions) benefit from understatement, others could do with embellishment, including the too subtle pheasant. Charming service and a stunning selection of cheeses--the St. James is particularly recommended--should guarantee the future of this homey spot (entrées, $26-$29).

Address: 3 Hereford Road
Tel: 44-20-7727-114

Further reading:
* Hereford Road Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The London guide

HOT LIST 2008

Bedfordshire: Luton Hoo Hotel

Luton Hoo
The Luton Hoo Hotel and grounds.
Photo: Lutonhoo.com

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

Herbs and flowers grown on and near the grand 18th-century country estate of Luton Hoo, famed for its Capability Brown-designed gardens and now a golf and spa resort, define its treatments. Six rooms, named after botanical ingredients that are key to the spa's potions, adjoin infinity and hydrotherapy pools, a steam room, sauna, and saunarium. The pool area overlooks a shade garden and is sheltered by an oak-beam-and-glass roof (massages, $151).

Tel: 44-0-1582-734437

Further reading:
* Luton Hoo Hotel Web site
* Hot List 2008

HOT LIST 2008

Luxor: Oberoi Zahra Luxury Nile Cruiser

Nile Cruiser
Decadence on the Nile.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

This sleek five-deck ship--with a spa and fewer than half the number of cabins usually found on Nile cruisers of its size--has raised the bar of luxury for the river and for Egypt. Twenty-five cabins and two aft suites have picture windows, light-wood floors, and the merest of pharaonic references, such as the crocodile-embossed leather trims on the dark-wood and beige linen settees. In addition to butler service, large baths, and LCD TVs, cabins have more style than the rooms in most Cairo hotels, while the public areas easily absorb all 54 passengers to create the ultimate luxury: privacy. The ship times sightseeing excursions to Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples to minimize encounters with other tourists, and sails north of Luxor to Dendera Temple, where evening cocktails are served among the ruins. Egyptologist guides are assigned to nine guests maximum, while six Mercedes vans shadow the ship and are at the disposal of clients wishing to ditch the group schedule. The dining room's à la carte menu of Indian and Western dishes changes daily; the overpriced wine list of mediocre foreign and Egyptian vintages is the one negative point.

Tel: 20-2-33-77-3222

When to go: Mid-October through November for balmy weather. Avoid December and January, when the Nile may be too low for the ship to reach Dendera Temple and a road trip will be substituted.
Which room to book: All have splendid views when the Oberoi Zahra is cruising. Center starboard cabins have the least engine vibration.

Further reading:
* Oberoi Zahra luxury Nile cruiser Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Luxor guide

HOT LIST 2008

Valencia: Disco City

Disco City
Burn, baby, burn.
Photo: Salir.com

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

The new port area is glitzy, but insiders know that the pulse of the city beats hardest, loudest, and longest in Barrio del Carmen, the old town. Disco City is a midsize bar and dance club, a simple black-on-black space with a wall of mirrors lining a dance floor jammed with twenty- to thirtysomethings grooving to old-school funk, soul, and R&B. The scene really heats up after 3 A.M., when most of the barrio's other bars close.

Address: 16 Calle Pintor Zariñena
Tel: 34-96-391-4151

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008
* The Valencia guide

HOT LIST 2008

Miami: Angler's Boutique Resort

Angler's Resort
Angler's Boutique Resort's historic front.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

If this 47-room newcomer on the edge of SoFi (south of Fifth Street) is self-conscious about its conspicuous lack of glitz and flash, it doesn't show. The low-key property includes the two original 1930s Angler's Hotel wings plus two brand-new structures. The petite pool area feels like a secret--and with only a handful of plush loungers, this is an unlikely locale for any raucous parties. The slim rooms have all the necessary boutique accessories: a massive flat-screen TV, cheeky minibar offerings (eye mask, condoms, Apple headphones), a contemporary palette of taupe and tan, plus some unexpected perks, like clever inset shelving flanking the beds and a balcony off most suites. The ever-helpful staff take care of everything from providing MapQuest instructions to troubleshooting computer misfires. On the ground floor, Maison d'Azur, already a favorite of homesick Europeans desperate for elegant brasserie fare, is perfect for cozying up over cocktails and steak tartare, while prime outdoor tables are buzzy late into the night.

Address: 660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Tel: 305 534 9600, 866 729 8800

When to go: In January, after the crowds of Art Basel.
Which room to book: Sunbathe on your own personal rooftop deck in the three-story Pool House Manor Villa, which also has balconies for peering into the pool area.

Further reading:
* Angler's Boutique Resort Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Miami guide

HOT LIST 2008

Santurce: Restaurant Jose Enrique

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

Chef-owner Jose Enrique's first venture, adjacent to the Santurce Market, is nothing fancy: no sign outside, cream-colored walls with chalk paintings by locally famous artist Nico Flores, wooden tables and chairs, and the menu is scrawled on a blackboard. But Enrique has quickly attracted the attention of the island's foodie community with his updated Puerto Rican dishes: Humble mamposteao (rice and beans) is topped off with truffles, while a langosta frita riff takes the individual lobster segments, seasons them with a kicky hot sauce, and deep-fries them in their own shell (entrées, $15-$35).

Address: 176 Calle Duffaut
Tel: 787-725-3518

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008

HOT LIST 2008

Brisbane: Emporium Hotel

Emporium Hotel
Emporium's glam-vintage look.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

From the fantastically funky red lobby to the zebra-print ironing boards, every trait of the Emporium is by design. Set in the food- and fashion-oriented Emporium precinct a few minutes' drive from Brisbane's city center, the hotel has 106 compact suites in a sleek red-and-silver color scheme, combining business-traveler functionality with exceptional service. The rooftop pool and gym are sleek and user-friendly, the service unobtrusively attentive, and the crowd young and hip. But pride of place goes to the cozy cocktail bar, an eccentric fusion of vintage and custom-designed pieces flown in from locations around the world: The stained glass window is from a Parisian shop front, the chandelier from a German castle, and the wine from all over, handpicked by the owner.

Address: 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Australia 4006
Tel: 61-7-3253-6999

When to go: June through September, when the weather's warm but the humidity's low.
Which room to book: The top-floor Emporium Suites have walk-in wardrobes, minibars with full-size bottles, and the largest bathrooms.

Further reading:
* Emporium Hotel's Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Australia guide

HOT LIST 2008

Jackson Hole: Solitude Spa

Solitude Spa
A hot stone massage at Solitude Spa.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

All spas worthy of the name heal and nurture the body; the new Solitude Spa at Jackson Hole's Teton Mountain Lodge is one of the very few that also attend to the soul. With a design that draws on its surroundings, Solitude has ten treatment rooms and common areas decorated in a calming interplay of stone, water, and earth tones. The signature Waterfall body rituals ($135-$225) relax and restore, using a combination of body wrap, massage, and gentle waterfall shower, while the Soul Readings ($250) reveal where you've come from (in the larger sense) and what--besides blissing out--you're meant to be doing this time around (massages, $135).

Tel
: 307-732-6865

Further reading:
* Teton Mountain Lodge Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Jackson guide

HOT LIST 2008

Carinthia: Schloss Velden

Schloss Velden
Old-world charm with a very new look.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

A lakeside resort in Carinthia, Austria's southernmost province, Velden could easily have inspired writer Anita Brookner's Hotel du Lac, a novel about life in a genteel and slightly faded Alpine resort. The new Schloss Velden, however, is light-years from the potted palms and fussy high teas that Brookner describes: This ginger-colored Renaissance château with deep balconies has just been brought into the twenty-first century after a top-to-bottom renovation that graced its 105 rooms with such amenities as built-in behind-the-bathroom-mirror televisions and electronic touch-pad light switches. There's also a beach club with a swimming pool, as well as a spacious spa with an indoor pool. All of this modernity hasn't blunted the old-world appeal of the hotel--staff are almost painfully polite, and rooms remain gemütlich nests done up in bronze silk damask, the beds covered with fluffy down duvets. An international crowd comes here for short-break R and R, creating a cosmopolitan vibe that's also reflected on the menu of the hotel's excellent Schlossstern restaurant.

Address: 1 Schlosspark, Velden, Austria
Tel: 43 4274 52888

When to go: May and June offer the weather of the summer season without the high prices or the crowds.
Which room to book: Request a standard double like No. 212 with partial views of the lake, or opt for a deluxe double with the full-on panorama. Avoid the newer annex, which has none of the charm of the original château.

Further reading:
* Schloss Velden's Web site
* Hot List 2008

HOT LIST 2008

Singapore: Majestic Bar

Majestic Bar
Majestic's "leaf"-coated walls.
Photo: Aziacity.com

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

Inside this 80-year-old renovated shophouse in eclectic Chinatown, the owner took as his inspiration a magical tree from a fairy tale, with the ground floor mimicking the trunk. The intimate second floor sprouts "branches" that manifest as comfy plywood booths and oak-leaf panel walls. On cool nights, head out onto the deck for fun in the rock garden. The treetop third floor, reserved for private parties, has a canopy dotted with LEDs for a starry night even during the notorious monsoon. Well-heeled guests quaff creative drinks such as the Goa-tini, served with muddled coconut flesh and curry leaf, and order tapas like black-pepper crocodile-paw puffs.

Address: 41 Bukit Pasoh Road
Tel: 65-6534-8800

Further reading:
* Majestic Bar's Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Singapore guide

HOT LIST 2008

Mexico City: Pampano

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

Seviche is the draw at this airy spot in Mexico City's upscale Polanco district. Chef Richard Sandoval returns home after making his mark north of the border to offer up fish prepared with the same herbs and chilies piled up in local markets. Among the appetizers, the seared scallops with pungent papalo seeds served on watermelon slivers are as good as the seviche. Entrées can be uneven, but the tuna marinated in raw brown sugar and ancho chilies picks up the slack. This is a prime place to observe the social practices of Polanco's business elite, who often ignore dinner companions while taking cell phone calls (entrées, $11-$19).

Address: 42 Moliere
Tel: 52-55-5281-2010

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008
* The Mexico City guide

HOT LIST 2008

Seville: Corral del Rey

Corral del Rey
Corral del Rey's bedrooms feature wood
beams dating back to the 17th-century
home's first incarnation, Casa Palacio.

Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

The stylish Corral del Rey proves that small is beautiful, with its six rooms in a seventeenth-century house just a five-minute walk from the Giralda. Though beautifully designed and decorated, the rooms here are snug--in fact, the standard double, delightful for a single traveler, would be tight quarters for two. However, the hotel makes up for its diminutive floor space in a variety of ways--all rooms are well equipped, and there's a roof garden with a Jacuzzi plunge pool and sun loungers. Spanish interior designer Kuky Mora-Figueroa has created rooms with almond-colored walls, bleached-oak floors, battleship-gray window shutters, and beds covered with quilted white cotton coverlets. Rounding out the room amenities are a gratis bottle of La Gitana sherry, an iPod dock, and a DVD player. Best of all, the smiling young staff here takes its hospitality personally, and is quick on the draw with restaurant recommendations and sightseeing tips.

Address: 12 Corral del Rey, Seville, Spain
Tel: 34 954 227 116

When to go: With the city's orange trees flowering, springtime in Seville is bliss.
Which room to book: Splurge, if you can, on the charming junior suite.

Further reading:
* Corral del Rey Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Seville guide

HOT LIST 2008

Cairo: Oberoi Zahra

Oberoi Zahra
For body scrubs, not cocktails.
Photo: Oberoizahra.com

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

The first Nile cruise ship spa, the Oberoi Zahra's, offers succor from the heat of temple trekking. Four treatment rooms have steam baths, incense menus, and picture windows. Thai, Balinese, Ayurvedic, Shiro Abhyangam, and yoga massages relax, as do the ever-changing views of the ancient river, pink striated cliffs, and ruins. Thai staff offer facials with Guerlain products ($74) and whip up body scrubs using banana, oatmeal, orange, honey, turmeric, and coffee beans. Book ahead, and specify a starboard room when in Aswan or Luxor to avoid views of the dock (massages, $95).

Tel: 20-2-3377-3222

Further reading:
* The Cairo guide
* Hot List 2008

HOT LIST 2008

Guilin: Hotel of Modern Art

HOMA Park
The hotel's sculpture park, Yuzu Paradise,
houses over 200 large-scale outdoor
art projects.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

The first Relais & Châteaux hotel in China, the 46-room Hotel of Modern Art-HOMA Libre is nestled among unearthly karst mountains in the heart of the 1,350-acre Yuzi Paradise Sculpture Park, which is dotted with more than 200 contemporary works by artists such as Eberhard Eckerle and Allen Jones. This pyramidal hotel (sister to the larger, similarly art-oriented HOMA Sutra, also in the park area) feels light and airy, each room designed with futuristic furniture and objets d'art produced by artists in residence, while providing the modern necessities of flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and free Internet--some suites even have wine fridges. The service is exceptional: An English-speaking concierge greets you at Guilin airport, offering a complimentary cell phone so that he may be at your beck and call during your stay. A swanky spa stays open until 1 am, and staff are happy to arrange a private dinner inside one of the park's magnificent caves, complete with candles, musicians, and a man-made waterfall. Guests can enjoy a nightcap in the Moon Lounge and breakfast outside at the Woods Café as well as fine dining at its soon-to-open Asian-fusion restaurant, Lotus.

Address: Yuzi Paradise, Dabu Town, Guilin, China
Tel: 86 773 386 7888

When to go: Autumn is the best time to enjoy Guilin's stunning karst peaks and rice terraces.
Which room to book:The Guilin cave-inspired rooms are surprisingly light and airy, with views of the park. Choose No. 2303, a Deluxe Double; No. 2305, a HOMA Deluxe; No. 2501, a Family Suite; or No. 2311, a Deluxe Twin.

Further reading:
* Hotel of Modern Art's Web site
* Hot List 2008
* China's latest music export

HOT LIST 2008

Colombo: HVN

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

HVN's extravagant setting--nineteenth-century Italian floor mosaics, ornate metallic ceiling, an intricate fresco of bejeweled swamis floating on clouds--feels a bit unreal given Colombo's tumultuous political climate. But then again, gastronomic escapism is nothing new, and the innovative menu at this restaurant inside the swank CASA Colombo offers plenty of distractions. Begin with the signature Ceylonese Triple Shot, made with indigenous ingredients such as kola kanda and rasam, and follow with clever variations on Western dishes such as spicy tuna pol sambal tortillas or jaggery-and-chili-rubbed pork tenderloin. Portions are generous, but it would be a shame to skip the baked chocolate-cappuccino mousse bombe (entrées, $9-$28).

Address: 231 Galle Rd., Colombo 4, Sri Lanka
Tel: 94-11-452-0130

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008

HOT LIST 2008

Montego Bay: Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon

Fern Tree Healing
Fern Tree's healing treatments
are concocted from natural ingredients.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

Despite its gargantuan size (68,000 square feet), Fern Tree Spa in Montego Bay has the feel of a much smaller place. Many treatments were designed by "spa elders," a term that evokes gray-haired soothsayers but really just means those steeped in Jamaican remedies, traditions, and indigenous ingredients. Elders prescribe a wellness plan of therapies in private consults--or guests can create their own: Our correspondent eased into a soothing Jamaican Bush Bath ($55), then revved up with the Jamaican Green Coffee Envelopment ($195), which uses Blue Mountain coffee to perk up fatigued skin. You could literally get lost on the spa grounds, with its labyrinth that includes a yoga studio, a pool, and a sculpture garden (massages, $115).

Tel: 866-648-6951

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008
* The Jamaica Guide

HOT LIST 2008

Park City: Sky Lodge

Sky Lodge
Sky Lodge's prime location
on Main Street.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

When the Sky Lodge opened in December on a choice lot on the corner of Main Street and Heber Avenue, it laid claim to being the most luxurious digs in this former mining outpost. The six-story, 33-suite property rises above its Victorian neighbors, and its "mountain loft" aesthetic turns the archetypal ski lodge on its head, starting in the reception lounge with its expansive concrete fireplace. When you come in off the slope, attendants sweep your skis into the locker room, and glass elevators zip you up to your floor. The one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites are drenched in natural light, while sleek furniture in red-orange hues highlights hand-planed wood floors, and abstract paintings hang above in-wall fireplaces framed by rusted steel girders. DVD players and Bose sound systems are standard, and sliding wall panels open to the master bath, the centerpiece of which is a soaking tub that's filled by a ceiling-mounted faucet. The concierge can stock the pantry of your state-of-the-art kitchen, though there are many reasons to eat out: Sunset hors d'oeuvres and drinks are served in the SkyClub, which opens to a heated deck with fire pit, ten-person hot tub, and 360-degree views. Three of Park City's most popular restaurants, including Robert Redford's Zoom, are here, and Main Street's abundant dining and shopping scenes are steps away. Don't stay up too late--early-morning avalanche blasting is your wake-up call, and shuttles to all three Park City-area resorts will whisk you away for first tracks.

Address: 201 Heber Avenue, Park City
Tel: 435 658 2500, 888 876 2525

When to go: Wintertime is tops--Park City averages 355 inches of snow annually.
Which room to book: Odd-numbered rooms on the fourth floor overlook Main Street and the mountains, views made all the more enjoyable by decks with two-person hot tubs.

Further reading:
* Sky Lodge Web site
* Hot List 2008
* The Park City guide

HOT LIST 2008

Antwerp: Black Pearl

Black Pearl
Cool contrasts at Black Pearl.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

Anchored on a hushed brick-paved street in Eilandje, Antwerp's up-and-coming harbor-edged neighborhood, this converted warehouse is worth the game of hide-and-seek required to locate it. Owned by a former male model, the rectangular space is a seductive antidote to the city's heaving techno clubs: backlit abstract blond-wood sculptures, black walls, and gold twig chandeliers that glitter above an African wenge-wood bar. Local fashionistas and savvy Europeans nosh on tasty finger food such as crunchy homemade loempias and move to a DJ-spun mix of house and jazz. Try the Crack Daddy, a champagne, vodka, and grenadine concoction topped with strawberry seeds.

Address: Braziliëstrat 12A
Tel: 32-3-232-2669

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008
* Black Pearl's Web site

HOT LIST 2008

Napa and Sonoma: Solage Calistoga

Solbar
Solage's Solbar restaurant.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

After populating Napa Valley with a series of romantic retreats, Auberge Resorts lets loose with an eco-luxe escape for the stylish, hybrid-driving, biodynamic wine-swilling set. This 89-room resort underwhelms at first glance simply because the stand-alone studios are surrounded by scrubby young plantings instead of more mature vegetation. But that is the one weak point of this otherwise polished property. After settling in for a few hours, you feel as though you are ensconced in a sweet utopia, where guests bicycle to morning yoga, nibble on fruit and granola at the open-air Solbar restaurant, and lounge by the long pool lined with sago palms. The homey, light-filled guesthouses are done in cooling taupe and sage tones and have huge slate-floor bathrooms, spare dark-wood furniture, complimentary bicycles, and shaded patios (which will be infinitely more appealing once the trees grow in to afford more privacy). The service is helpful and practiced, and there are fun details such as welcoming cupcakes and full-sized coffeepots and bathroom amenities.

When to go: Early fall, for the grape harvest and perfect 70-degree sunny days.
Which room to book: The Capella Suite has a private patio with a hot tub, and its massive living room is anchored by a fireplace.

Address: 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, CA
Tel: 866-942-7442

Further reading:
* Solage Web site
* Hot List 2008
* How about a San Francisco Great Drive while you're at it?

HOT LIST 2008

Prague: Angel

Angel
Homey dishes lie behind
Angel's doors.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

For years, Prague gourmets have enjoyed the special events of chef Sofia Smith, whose pan-Asian dinners at various city venues were partially inspired by her childhood in Malaysia. At Angel, an Old Town restaurant decorated in soothing earth tones, these sporadic happenings have become an everyday treat. Smith's fare is both homey and refined: coconut-laksa scallops with pineapple sambal, lacquered duck breast with honey and ginger, and Javanese lamb shank with black rice and curried jackfruit. The service is attentive but unstuffy, echoing the spot's cozy feel (entrées, $20-$30).

Address: 7 V Kolkovne
Tel: 420-773-222-422

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008
* Angel's Web site
* The Prague guide

HOT LIST 2008

St. Maarten: Dior Spa

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

The Cliff at Cupecoy Beach, a luxe condo-hotel tower, is home to the Caribbean's first Dior Spa, a gleaming white and mirrored salon that attracts a who's who crowd for body-contouring treatments. Padded lavender rooms are a clinical but calming setting for marine bath treatments involving some 220 jets that aid in lymphatic drainage (from $65) and thermal body masks during which you lay in a podlike vessel while your therapist massages your scalp ($95). If the beauty jargon is a bit overwhelming, well-trained therapists will explain it all. Plan ahead and ask to have a meal afterward on the ocean-view terrace (massages, $135).

Tel: 599-546-6620

Further reading:
* Dior Spa Web site
* Hot List 2008

HOT LIST 2008

Hawke's Bay: Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Hawke's Bay
Cliffside golf course at Hawke's Bay.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

This golfers' magnet provides plenty for those who think golf a good walk spoiled. A five-mile road winds through farmland and bush to the property, on a 6,000-acre peninsula abutting the Pacific, and from the moment of arrival every whim is catered to. The main lodge features soaring ceilings and rustic artifacts such as old farm tools, and while the 22 suites and a cottage are broadly based on farm dwellings, bathrooms have underfloor heating; the gym, a personal trainer; and the wine cellar, master tastings. Diversions beyond golf include ATVs and guided nature tours. The verdict? Well above par.

When to go: December through February, the warmer summer months.
Which room to book: Ridge Suite 20 for its privacy and views.

Address: 448 Clifton Road, Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand
Tel: 64-6-875-1900

Further reading:
* Farm at Cape Kidnappers' Web site
* Hot List 2008
* Check out this year's top 100 golf resorts from our 2008 Golf Poll

HOT LIST 2008

Tel Aviv: Herbert Samuel

Isreal
The restaurant looks out onto
one of Israel's many beaches.

Photo: concierge.com

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

With a prime beachfront location, modern interiors, and a celeb chef, Herbert Samuel is Israel's most successfully realized restaurant in decades. It marks the return of Yonatan Roshfeld, who almost single-handedly launched the country's haute cuisine movement nearly 20 years ago. The main room of the split-level space is anchored by an angular bar, and there are slim wooden shutters dividing the various dining nooks. Italian meats--from prosciutto aged for 24 months to garlicky lunga spessa sausage--warrant their own category on the menu, followed by hearty dishes like slow-braised lamb served in a hollowed onion or thinly sliced pork loin in a smoky bacon and lentil stew. Poppy seed ice cream is layered with pastry cream and almond crunch for a fun take on mille-feuille (entrées, $5-$22).

Address: Beit Gibor, 6 Koifman Street
Tel: 972-3-516-6516

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008
* The Israel guide
* The Middle East: Traveling Outside the Comfort Zone

HOT LIST 2008

Hotel Claude Marbella

Hotel Claude Marbella
One of Gordon's many
cozy rooms at Hotel Claude.

Every May, Conde Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.

With only seven rooms in a handsome seventeenth-century house in the heart of the Casco Antiguo (Old Town), the intimate and friendly Hotel Claude is one of the glitzier resorts on Spain's Costa del Sol. Rooms decorated by Angell Gordon, one of Spain's top interior designers, are cozy and comfortable, with leather headboards, oak parquet floors, iPod docks, and flat-screen TVs. Baths in some guest rooms contain carved round stone sinks, and all are kitted out with Molton Brown toiletries. Public spaces impress with wrought iron railings, stacks of books and magazines in several languages, and plush sofas. Best of all, there's a quiet terrace built into the terracotta tile roof where you can sip an espresso from the complimentary tea and coffee station on the first floor or catch some rays while reading. The hotel's small restaurant has a contemporary Mediterranean menu, and weather permitting, the excellent breakfast is served alfresco.

When to go: February and March are often rainy on the Costa del Sol; the rest of the year, it's a reliably sunny destination.
Which room to book: Splurge on the Suite Francesa, with its small private balcony, or book Savannah or Marroquí, deluxe doubles, each with its own terrific décor.

Address: 5 San Francisco, Marbella, Spain 29601
Tel: 34 952 900 840

Further reading:
* Hot List 2008
* Hote Claude's Web site
* Ondine Cohane's eating tour of Spain, parts one and two

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