Ritz Paris — This legendary palace hotel on the exquisite Place Vendôme will close in the summer for a 27-month refurbishment. The top-to-toe renovation will inevitably modify the character of this iconic property, so those wishing to experience the hotel in its current incarnation should consider making a reservation this spring.
Aman Sveti Stefan Montenegro — Until recently, guests at this Adriatic Coast resort could only stay in the Villa Milocˇer, an eight-suite mansion on the mainland. Now, many of the suites on the tiny adjacent island of Sveti Stefan can be booked. Housed within a former fishing village, all 47 accommodations are scheduled to be finished by April.
Four Seasons Toronto — A brand-new hotel is scheduled to open this summer, located just 400 yards from the existing Yorkville property. Four Seasons founder Isadore Sharp opened his first hotel in Toronto in 1961, and the group is still headquartered in the city. This should add piquancy to the competition with the new Trump International Hotel, which made its debut downtown in January.
Palacio Nazarenas Cusco — In early summer, Orient-Express plans to open a second hotel in Peru’s former Inca capital. (The Hotel Monasterio has long been a Harper-recommended property.) Many of the 55 suites in the Palacio Nazarenas will have views of Sacsayhuaman, an imposing Inca fortress. The 18th-century Spanish Colonial architecture of the palace has been preserved, as has Inca masonry uncovered during the reconstruction.
Treetops Lodge & Estate Rotorua — This fishing and eco-adventure hideaway on New Zealand’s North Island has recently purchased the Jack Nicklaus-designed Kinloch Golf Course, considered one of the top five in the country. Treetops is also constructing a new health spa scheduled to be completed in May.
Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates — Best known for grand European properties such as the Hotel de Russie in Rome and The Balmoral in Edinburgh, Rocco Forte Hotels has now opened a property in the heart of Abu Dhabi, with three restaurants, plus 281 rooms designed by Sir Rocco’s sister, Olga Polizzi.
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York — On January 16, The Met opened its magnificent new American Wing to display its incomparable collections of American art from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. The second-floor galleries, with their barrel-vaulted ceilings, skylights, oak floors and limestone trims, pay homage to traditional Beaux-Arts museum design. Celebrated paintings on display include Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington Crossing the Delaware” (Gallery 760), John Singer Sargent’s exquisite portrait of “Madame X” (Gallery 771), Winslow Homer’s “The Gulf Stream” (Gallery 767) and William Merritt Chase’s “At the Seaside” (Gallery 769).