Get ready to welcome the world, Texas. Travel + Leisure’s highly coveted It List of the world’s best new hotels has two Lone Star spots on it: Hotel Emma in San Antonio and South Congress Hotel in Austin.
The mostly international list — 49 total — includes only 10 hotels in the United States, and Texas boasts two of them.
The 11th 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.
Travel + Leisure 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.”
The magazine 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, 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.
About San Antonio’s Hotel Emma, T+L writes, “A brewery turned hotel sounds like a hipster cliche, but the Roman & Williams-designed showstopper advances the industrial-chic aesthetic.”
Similar to South Congress Hotel, Hotel Emma is also 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.”
See the complete list of the planet’s best in advance of the magazine’s March issue, which hits stands February 12.