Hot List of the best new hotels from around the world is a story of resilience. Despite enormous hardship in the travel industry, exceptional properties have continued to open across the globe (nearly a thousand last year in the U.S. alone). As always with this endeavor, each of the picks on this year’s list was safely vetted by our international network of correspondents.
But as we’ve learned in the past year, everything is connected, which is why we’ve also expanded the scope of hot to include restaurants, transportation, and destinations, as well as more news we’re excited about set for later this year. In spite of it all, the following list is full of successes regarding affordable new hotel openings. We think they’re a pretty great way to mark the 25th anniversary of this list.
Clear here to see the entire Hot List for 2021.
10. Pleiada Boutique Hotel & Spa
Romania is a place where your hard earned dollars still go VERY far! I’m practically obsessed with the entire country and planning on spending 3 months there next fall! But enough about me…let’s get back to the architectural wonder of a city, Iasi. It’s Romania’s 2nd biggest city and is packed full beautiful buildings and parks.
Just outside the city, you can retreat away to Pleiada Boutique Hotel & Spa in proper 5-star luxury. The elegant decor and lavish rooms aside, you’l really get the celebrity treatment at the hotel’s spa. Pink Himalayan salt infrared sauna, ice fountain, Scottish shower, vitamin bar, aromatherapy sauna and romantic couples treatment rooms make for the perfect getaway.
Winters can drop down below 0 degrees (30f) so if you enjoy warm temps, visit May to September.
9. Marinagri Hotel
I couldn’t believe that ANY cheap 5-star hotel from ITALY would make it on the list, but low and behold… here it is in Policoro.
Policoro is a constantly sunny and small coastal town located in the arch of the boot that makes up the shape of Italy.
The Marinagri Hotel is cleverly built on canals with rooms that gaze out into the Ionian Sea. Not to mention this property has it’s own private beach just a few metres from the hotel, giving you exclusive status on your coveted beach days. Back at the resort, you’ve got to try their antipasti, which most guests rave about.
There is so much to do in this affordable (and warm!) region of Italy all year long. Daily highs range from 30c in the heat of summer to 13c in the winter, making it a perfect year round destination.
While your in Italy take advantage of lower priced cheese, wine, bread and olive oil.
8. Grand Ion Deleman Hotel
Genting Highlands, Malaysia
There are not a lot of places of Earth you can stay in a hotel like this!
Nestled 6,000 feet above sea level and surrounded by an ancient rainforest, one of the world’s oldest to be exact, the Grand Ion Deleman is an experience like no other.
Heated swimming pools, world class spa, and a shuttle to take you to other attractions, you won’t run out of things to do. The oversized mountain suites give a drool-worthy view, I’d probably never leave my room!
Only an hour away from bustling Kuala Lumpur makes this hotel accessible paradise.
Weather in the Genting Highlands is always 27 degrees year round!
7. Majapahit Hotel
Surabaya is located on Java Island and is one of the most budget friendly cities on the planet.
Built in colonial style and captures the essence of a bygone era, the Majapahit Hotel is a true hidden treasure. Even Charlie Chaplin, among it’s list of other famous guests, seemed to think so.
Stroll through the meticulously manicured grounds, indulge in gourmet pastries, or enjoy afternoon high tea on the terrace. Even the lavish suites feature marble and gold plated bathrooms.
If you like it HOT, Surabaya has a daily average high of at least 30 degrees all year round, wowza! But hey, you can get a 1 hour massage for around $5, so it’s worth the scorching weather.
6. Akra Hotel
Antalya is the beautiful resort city and gateway into the southern region of Turkey.
Take in the Mediterranea sea or the Taurus mountains from your balcony at the Akra Hotel in Antalya, Turkey. This wellness spa resort has a fabulos treatment menu, tennis courts and infinity pool to make your stay truly memorable. Plus, we hear the exquisite cuisine served on the rooftop restaurant is second to none. Best part, when you want to immerse yourself in some culture, the Old Town is located just 3 miles from the hotel.
Antalya is gorgeous, but gets HOT in the summer with absolutely zero rain. March to May and October to November will have mild temperatures that are still “let’s sit by the pool all day” worthy.
Other than a plethora of affordable hotels, Turkey is also known for cheap food, salons, textiles, and goods made by hand.
5. Boton Blue Hotel & Spa
Nha Trang, Vietnam
Nha Trang has been called the Riviera of the South China Sea and it’s easy to see why. White sandy beaches dotted with offshore islands, even nature reserves with coral reefs.
The Boton Blue Hotel is a brand new piece of luxury in this coastal resort city. I mean, just look at that wrap around balcony with tub that has ocean views!
Even though the hotel is new, recent guests are already giving it raving reviews for the top notch service given by the staff. One of their favourite perks is 2 for 1 cocktails at the rooftop swim up bar, working out to be around just $3 a drink. Cheers!
Nha Trang is beautiful all year round, but avoid going in the late fall, as you’ll likely be caught in downpour rains. Also note: Vietnam is still one of the cheapest places on Earth to visit. You can get a local dish lunch for around $1.25 with a beer for $0.40, making this an ideal place to stay a while!
4. The Phoenix Hotel
Yogyakarta is the cultural and historical hub located on Indonesia’s Java island.
The Phoenix Hotel, built in 1918, brings you back to it’s colonial roots with a fusion of Javanese ambience and luxury. You’ll be waited on hand and foot by eager staff while you lounge in the courtyard swimming pool fit for royalty. This property even gives it’s guest free hotel tours, yoga classes and Jamu classes, which teach about ancient herbal remedies.
Get out of the hotel and check out the still inhabited Sultan’s palace, or many of the ancient temples and shrines.
Everything is affordable in Indonesia, and the weather is always hot!
3. Sultan Gardens Resort
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
While Sharm El Sheikh has been in the news lately for some atrocious attacks, there are still visitors choosing to vacation in this stunning coastal resort town. Egypt not being as stable as it once was is also contributing to lower hotel prices all over the country. I personally know many travellers who have been to Egypt lately and recommend it to others, despite what the news may say.
I still wanted to include the Sultan Gardens because it’s a property truly beloved by guest, with over 5,000 five-star reviews in recent years! Guests rave it’s the best all-inclusive in Egypt, the food and service are impeccable, and the views are stunning. Now is the time to take advantage of getting the celebrity treatment at super low rates.
Sharm El Sheikh is insanely hot in the summer, with daily highs reaching 40 degrees. Visit from November to March for hot temps that are still manageable!
2. Kavalier Hotel
Lviv, the ‘Little Paris’ of Ukraine has a lot to offer visitors.
One of the best places to stay while in Lviv is the 5-star Kavalier Boutique Hotel since it’s unbeatable value for the price. Even their base room comes with plush robes, elegant Victorian decor, heated bathroom floors and fresh breakfast each morning. You can lounge at the outdoor pool, practise your back swing on the tennis courts, or take a tour of the local castle.
Head to Lviv during the summer, as winter months have temperatures that drop below freezing. Lviv was also recently named one of the cheapest places to live in the world, so it’s a great spot for an extended stay!
1. Gorky Hotel
Esto Sadok (Sochi), Russia
Just 1 hour up the mountain from resort town Sochi, Esto Sadok is a great place to have a luxurious ski holiday.
The Gorky Hotel (formerly the Sochi Solis Hotel) comes in as our CHEAPEST 5-Star Hotel in the WORLD! It offers ski in-ski out access and unparalleled views of the mountains. You won’t run out of things to do between skiing the mountain, getting massages at the spa, or taking in lunch on the breathtaking rooftop terrace.
Getting a 5-star hotel for under $40 has never looked better!
If you love winter sports, head to Sochi in December and January, but also know the summers offer beautiful views and warm sunny weather!