Skip to main content

The best hotel openings in Central and South America—plus Antarctica—of the past year.

Nothing makes us more excited to get up and go than putting together our annual Hot List of the best new hotels, cruises, restaurants, cultural destinations, and transportation projects. Now in its 27th year, this curated collection is a labor of love for our global team, which spends the year researching, visiting, and vetting the entries to bring you a definitive directory of places whose style, ethos, and service set new standards for hospitality. This year’s best new hotels in Central and South America extend all the way to our first hotel winner in Antarctica. All that’s left is for you to decide where you’re going first.

SB Winemaker’s House and Spa Suites — Argentina

Mendoza has long beena magnet for well-heeled Malbec lovers, so Susana Balbo, Argentina’s first female enologist, has done the logical thing and created a swank retreat there for oenophiles. Together with daughter Ana Lavaglio Balbo, she refurbished a century-old property in Chacras de Coria, blending well-being with art, haute cuisine, and a plethora of wine-making references across the seven exquisite suites.

It’s Ana’s former home, so she knows every nook and cranny, and her eye for detail honed by winemaking has translated well, as evinced by touches like the wellness butler who organizes in-room experiences, the thought-provoking Espejos mirror collection by renowned Argentine artist Julio Le Parc, furniture from female designers, and even heated sun loungers and firepits on each private patio.

Meals are a focal point; at lunch, don’t miss the entraña (skirt steak), grilled your way over open flames at the outdoor parrilla counter and best enjoyed alongside Susana’s very own Nosotros Malbec 2018. Come dinner, book a table at La Vida restaurant and sample the paired 14-course tasting menu created by chef Flavia Amad Di Leo.

After a day around the swimming pool or sipping and swirling in local vineyards (the family’s Susana Balbo Wines bodega in Agrelo is a must-visit), kick back in extremely comfortable living quarters. Each suite has a wet room or a soaking tub (the ingeniously upcycled egg-shaped wine fermentation tank), and opening a Torrontés from the generously stocked minibar to savor in a bubble bath is a perfect way to end the day. Rooms from $839. —Sorrel Moseley-Williams.