?The days of judging hotels by the thread count of their sheets and the presence of iPod docks are over. These new boutique luxury hotels redefine the meme, recruiting fashion designers, curators, and allergists.
1. VIEQUESW Retreats combine all the design-driven charm of the W hotels with copious spa amenities, fitness centers, and wellness treatments. The first one opened in the Maldives in 2006. The second just opened in Puerto Rico on the island of Vieques. There are 157 rooms, more than 30 acres, an Alain Ducasse restaurant, seaside cabanas, beachfront yoga, a state-of-the art gym, and two spas. Retreating never looked so good. StarwoodHotels.com/WHotels
2. LONDONStyle icon Diane Von Furstenberg has redesigned 20 rooms and suites at London hotel icon Claridge?s in her inimitable vibrant style of bold patterned prints. Claridges.co.uk
3. TORONTOThe Thompson chain unleashes itself onto the unsuspecting town with a 102-room hotel opening in May. With floor-to-ceiling windows in each room, a Canadian version of Scarpetta by renowned New York City chef Scott Conant, and a members-only rooftop lounge, the King West Village property is the coolest thing to happen to Toronto since Crystal Castles. ThompsonHotels.com
4. NEW YORK CITYChicago hotel the James brings its A-game to SoHo with the The James New York, opening in August. The corridors to the hotel?s 114 rooms, which start at $349 (including breakfast), are each designed by a different nonprofit artist collective; there?s an in-house horticulturalist who tends a private garden; and the in-room bars are made of reclaimed wood. JamesHotels.com
5. SAN FRANCISCOThe Parc 55 isn?t new, but the Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco?Union Square is. Though the building is the same, a $30-million renovation reveals the elegance latent in the old Parc 55 and brings it into the Wyndham hotel fold. In addition to Cityhouse, its beautiful new restaurant, there?s also a hypoallergenic floor. So if you refused to go to SF before because of hay fever, the jig is up. Parc55Hotel.com