The It List

Two Texas getaways land on coveted list of world’s best new hotels

Two Texas getaways land on coveted list of world’s best new hotels

South Congress Hotel interior seating 2015
South Congress Hotel was just named as one of Travel + Leisure's best new hotels in the world. South Congress Hotel/Facebook
South Congress Hotel room
The magazine praises the hotel's design and use of masculine materials like denim, exposed concrete, and brown leather. South Congress Hotel/Facebook
Café No Sé interior
South Congress Hotel's convenient location and culinary offerings make it a top destination. Photo by Nick Simonite
Hotel Emma
San Antonio's Hotel Emma was the only other Texas hotel on the Travel + Leisure It List. Hotel Emma/Facebook
South Congress Hotel interior seating 2015
South Congress Hotel room
Café No Sé interior
Hotel Emma

Travel + Leisure's 11th annual It List of the world's best new hotels includes two Texas destinations — Hotel Emma in San Antonio and South Congress Hotel in Austin.

Released earlier this week, the annual report took three key factors into account to determine the top hotels, all of which opened in 2015: A killer location, impeccable design, and the ability to bring something new to the table. Of the 49 hotels selected, two Texas properties make the list. Of the mostly international list, 10 are in the U.S.

The magazine predicts that South Congress Hotel will become an instant Austin classic. “Enter the South Congress,” writes T+L, “which takes everything you love about the Live Music Capital of the World and rolls it into a three-story structure on ultra-vibrant South Congress Avenue.”

T+L praises the masculine-yet-bright design of the hotel’s 83 rooms and its abounding common spaces. These include chef Michael Paley’s Café No Sé and Central Standard Kitchen & Bar, women’s clothing boutique Sunroom, the industrial-style Revival Cycles, New York’s luxe nail salon Tenoverten, and the long-awaited Otoko from Paul Qui.

As for Hotel Emma, T+L writes “A brewery turned hotel sounds like a hipster cliché, but the Roman & Williams-designed show-stopper advances the industrial-chic aesthetic.” Similar to South Congress Hotel, Hotel Emma is a culinary hot spot, located in the trendy Pearl District. T+L notes Hotel Emma’s bar Sternewirth, which dates to 1883, where old fermentation tanks double as a place to lounge with a cocktail or brew.

“The It List showcases new hotels and resorts that raise the bar in a variety of ways, from great design to spectacular settings to service and product innovations,” says editor Nathan Lump in a release. “These are places that don't just provide a place to sleep — they deliver experiences that travelers will find both stimulating and transporting.”

The complete list of the planet’s best new hotels is available now ahead of the magazine's March issue, which hits stands February 12.