Hot List

Best New Ways to Travel: 2022 Hot List

The most exciting new openings in travel, from the fresh-faced hotels we’d plan a trip around to boundary-pushing dining, museums, and more.
train. Belmond British Pullman
Richard James Taylor

Each year, we index the best, brightest openings, but for the 26th edition of Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List, we’ve upped the ante: This time, editors at all seven worldwide editions had a hand in scouting and selecting the entries. At its heart, this is still a hotel list—a whopping 96 made the cut this year, which is a true testament to the industry’s resilience. But because (almost) no hotel is an island, we’ve widened the lens to include the restaurants, culture, transportation, and cruises you need to know, and the destinations that are reinventing themselves. We mean it when we say this may be the hottest Hot List yet. Here, the best new ways to travel.

Click here to see the entire Hot List for 2022.

LAX ups the airport game

It took four years, but in May travelers were finally able to enjoy the 15 additional gates opened in Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. And in what feels like a move for a red-carpet crowd, America’s second-busiest airport also unveiled its 10-month-old The Salon, a semiprivate adults-only lounge that channels clubby vibes with its leather sofas and punchy artwork. Its VIP perks include shuttles right to the airplane and a curated cocktail program. —Jessica Puckett

Jeddah Islamic Port's first cruise terminal

Last July, the Saudi Ports Authority alongside Cruise Saudi opened the first cruise terminal at Jeddah Islamic port (months ahead of schedule, no less), and along with it, more ways to explore the Kingdom by water. New cruise itineraries followed; MSC and Scenic utilized the new terminal to traverse the Red Sea, bringing travelers to places like Yanbu, the country’s diving capital, and Al Wajh, the gateway to the historic city of AlUla and the UNESCO World Heritage Site Hegra. This terminal, along with several more in the works in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf regions, are adding additional fuel to a destination that is quickly heating up. —Rebecca Misner

Trains are making a comeback

More than ever, travelers want to pull the trigger on their “someday” trips and savor every moment. Luckily, there’s no shortage of train adventures to fulfill these dreams. Last year saw big launches, including a Wes Anderson–designed carriage on Belmond’s British Pullman; Rocky Mountaineer’s much-anticipated Rockies to the Red Rocks journey between Denver and Moab, Utah; and perennial African favorite Rovos Rail, which just debuted the decadent new “African Trilogy” itinerary, a 15-day trundle that begins in Pretoria, South Africa, with stops in Kruger National Park and Durban before heading west to the Namibian coast. In December, Laos launched the less splashy—but still game-changing—Boten Vientiane railway, its first transnational train, opening up new parts of the country to visitors. Judging from the Biden administration’s plans to expand railway infrastructure, and new trains and routes in the works throughout Europe, slow travel is only gaining speed. —Todd Plummer