Combining culture, design and destination dining, 21c Museum Hotels, originally founded in Louisville in 2006, highlight the contemporary art of Kentucky-based collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. Ten years on, they are expanding to two more unexpected locales, including Oklahoma City in June and — just opened — Lexington, Ky., in the heart of horse country. The 88-room newcomer inhabits the former Fayette National Bank Building with 7,000 square feet of exhibit and event space showcasing site-specific art devoted to the elements and a panoramic restaurant, Lockbox, on the 15th floor. Rooms from $199; 859-899-6800, www.21cmuseumhotels.com.
A relative youngster at 20, Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson has nonetheless marked the occasion with a multimillion-dollar renovation, including a new lounge where mixologists shake up craft cocktails made with resort-raised honey, a juice and coffee bar for grab-and-go wraps and drinks between yoga class and rock climbing sessions, and a new shop dealing art, jewelry and clothing. Its 117 residential-styled rooms, many with fireplaces, patios and outdoor showers, were modernized last fall. What remains unchanged at the spa Oprah once visited on her show: the Equine Experience, offering horse grooming and training in the service of conquering self-doubt and boosting confidence. Rooms from $599; 800-232-3969, www.miravalresorts.com.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
When a hotel isn’t enough, rent a palazzo. In Florence, the 24-room Relais Santa Croce in the 18th-century palace once owned by a papal treasurer is offering complete buyouts with wedding and reunion parties in mind. Trimmed in period frescoes, coffered ceilings and parquet floors and overlooking the landmark Duomo, the property includes a ballroom and the three-Michelin-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri. A concierge will arrange wine tours of Tuscany, cooking classes and outings by bike, Vespa or sports car. From 7,000 euros ($7,770) November-March and 12,000 euros ($13,300) April-October per night, with a two-night minimum. 011-39-055-2342230, www.baglionihotels.com.
In the tradition of Japanese ryokans, or inns, Amanemu, the first hot springs resort from luxury operator Aman, just debuted in Japan’s Ise Shima National Park, about 185 miles southwest of Tokyo. The 24-room, four-villa resort is designed to immerse guests in nature on a property planted in maple and cherry trees and overlooking Ago Bay. The architecture quotes Japanese tradition with dark cedar walls and tiled roofs, and each room has its own onsen, or bath, opposite floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests also can immerse in the 108-foot swimming pool and a central onsen for communal spa bathing. Rooms from about $970; 800-477-9180, www.aman.com/resorts/amanemu.
Famed cowboy artist Lon Megargee lived in what is now the hideaway Hermosa Inn outside Phoenix, a property greened by palo verde trees and lush gardens. Celebrating its 80th anniversary, the 34-room hacienda is holding “Conversations in Fashion” with the Phoenix Art Museum, salon-style talks featuring appearances by designers featured in the museum’s Arizona Costume Institute (the team behind Badgley Mischka recently spoke). Through August, catch one along with the inn’s 80th-anniversary package, bundling overnight accommodations, an $80 dining credit at the romantic Lon’s restaurant, cocktails and two tickets to the museum’s fashion exhibit. From $371 per night; 844-267-8738, www.hermosainn.com.
Casa de Couture
A collection of regal Spanish Colonial houses in the capital of the Dominican Republic repurposed as a decentralized resort, Casas del XVI will add a fourth home, Casa del Diseñador, or House of the Designer, this summer. With the addition of the former home of a Dominican fashion designer, the resort will grow to 12 rooms in the heart of historic Santo Domingo. Each house offers unique decor including antique furnishings and vintage maps and more modern amenities such as a swimming pool, loaner iPhones and butler service. The property’s Timeless Romance package includes two nights, breakfast in bed and one dinner for $599 per person. 855-849-6396, http://casasdelxvi.com.