Eight of the best new hotels for a US city break in 2023

From a Manhattan mansion to a San Diego hideaway, these are some of the most exciting new hotels for 2023.

The Georgian, a newly restored hotel in Santa Monica, California.

Photograph by The Georgian
By Nicole Trilivas
Published 5 Feb 2023, 08:00 GMT

From a reborn Gilded Age mansion in Manhattan to a retro-celeb hideaway in sunny San Diego, these are the most exciting new hotels debuting in the US this year. 

San Diego

Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club
A one-time hideaway for Hollywood A-listers like Ava Gardner and Lana Turner, San Diego’s Lafayette will be returning to its Golden Age glory when it reopens this summer. Located in the North Park neighbourhood just above Balboa Park, the hotel started life in 1946 as a mid-century boutique hotel, but was acquired by Hilton Hotels founder, Conrad Hilton, in the early 1950s and renamed the Lafayette. Shimmering in the Southern Californian sunshine, the hotel’s pool has always been a focal point and will remain one — though cool, new additions include a retro diner, a theatrical jungle bar and charming garden bar, bedecked in bougainvillea. Rates TBC.

St Louis

21c Museum Hotel
Created by contemporary art collectors, 21c Museum Hotels might be North America’s most artistic hotel brand. Taking bookings from the end of June, their 10th property is opening in downtown St Louisin a former YMCA, in a building that’s nearly a century old. Like all 21c properties, the 10-storey hotel will double as a contemporary art museum, with 14,000 square feet of exhibition space, a museum shop, two restaurants and an athletic and swim club, along with a lap pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room. From $219 (£180). 

New York

The Fifth Avenue Hotel 
On the corner of Fifth Avenue and 28th Street — just a New York minute from the Empire State Building, The Fifth Avenue Hotel fuses a landmark Gilded Age Manhattan mansion with a new 24-storey glass tower to create a glamorous, sure-to-be classic. Expect 153 guestrooms and a signature restaurant by American chef Andrew Carmellini, along with the eclectic interiors of kaleidoscopic Murano glass chandeliers, peppy ikat fabrics and whimsical wall coverings by famed Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. A grand ballroom promises the kind of extravagance not seen since those robber barons’ heyday. From $895 (£735). 


Wayfinder Waikiki
Within walking distance of the popular surf beach, you’ll find the Wayfinder Waikiki: a new tiki-cool hotel housed within a 1970s brutalist concrete building. The 228 guestrooms have plenty of retro, tropical touches with palm prints and pops of pink and avocado-green, while the public spaces include B-Side, a chic coffee shop and retail space; Lost + Found, a poolside speakeasy; and an outpost of Redfish, a favourite local joint for sea-fresh poke bowls and happy hour. From $219 (£180). 

A welcome package at The Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York.

A welcome package at The Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York.

Photograph by Annie Schlechter


Tiny Urban Escapes
The goal of the small-but-stylish new Tiny Urban Escapes is to “coexist, collaborate and cooperate” with the local community, according to Indianapolis native and founder Robin Staten. Made up of a small garden and four shipping-containers-turned-suites, the hotel is just minutes from downtown Indianapolis, meaning guests are in the heart of the action but still have a green refuge among the concrete of the city. The pint-sized hotel will also include a glass pavilion event space, also within a repurposed shipping container. From $239 (£196). 

Santa Monica

The Georgian
Dubbed Santa Monica's ‘First Lady’ since 1933, The Georgian — a turquoise, waterfront high-rise — is re-emerging this year after a major restoration to the tune of multimillions. All 112 guestrooms over eight floors will be refreshed, as well as the famed Sunset Terrace, Dining Room and the Sunset Bar. What won’t change: the hotel’s status as a characterful Los Angeles icon and official city landmark, within walking distance of the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica pier. From $400 (£325). 


Head to Kentucky’s hip NuLu (‘New Louisville’) neighbourhood, also known as East Market District, and to Hotel Genevieve — a new addition with 122 groovy rooms, plus a restaurant filled with greenery, and a grocery market and a bar. Besides being home to the Kentucky Derby, bourbon is another hallmark of the state, so Hotel Genevieve will also be collaborating with the nearby Rabbit Hole Distillery, known for its bourbon and rye whiskies. From $179 (£148). 


Ritz-Carlton Portland will be the city’s first big-name five-star hotel when it debuts this spring. A few blocks from Pioneer Courthouse Square (an urban park known affectionately as ‘Portland's Living Room’, in downtown West End), the glitzy, new 35-storey address draws a distinct identity from the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Expect a pristine spa filled with plants, and light-filled guest rooms, with views over the city and snow-capped Mount Hood. From $550 (£450). 

Published in the US Cities 2023 supplement, distributed with the March 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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