The Best New Hotels in the World: The 2014 Hot List

Every year, hundreds of great hotels open. We considered 510 this year alone, in 400 cities and 93 countries—but in the end, only 33 made Condé Nast Traveler's 2014 Hot List.

The result is a collection that takes you around the world—from Kenya to Los Angeles, St. Petersburg to Phuket—and speaks to the passions and habits of the modern traveler.

American Trade Hotel, Panama City

Panama City is having a moment this year, thanks to the centennial of its famed canal and the transformation of the 1917 neoclassical headquarters of the American Trade Developing Company, in the leafy UNESCO World Heritage neighborhood of Casco Viejo, into a hotel.

The four-story, 50-room building fronting the Plaza Herrera has been given a Havana-inspired makeover (palm-print sofas, swags of tropical foliage) by the team behind the Ace hotels. Aside from the decor, there’s lots to love, beginning with the rates, which are inexplicably lower than those of the high-rises across the bay.

For quiet, I escaped to the rooftop pool; to feel part of the action, I headed down to the hotel’s jazz club, where I found guests mingling with a crowd of well-heeled locals. And for the best views, get one of the small, stylish rooms on the fourth floor—you’ll be able to see the ships gliding by. –Nicholas Gill

Hotel Features: Free Wi-Fi; swimming pool; restaurant; bar 

Price: Doubles from $249

Phone: 507-211-2000