From Spain to Sri Lanka, this month’s hottest hotels
SILKEN PUERTA AMÉRICA
DESIGN NOTES: This property, which opened in 2005, blew much of its $94 million building cost on its lineup of architects. Twelve of the biggest names in the game—Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid among them—were given a floor apiece to do their thing, with France’s Jean Nouvel designing floor 12, the facade and the penthouse. The result is an extraordinary theme park for design geeks: futuristic, overwhelmingly white suites; jagged hall-of-mirror walls; folksy-florid murals; 2001: A Space Odyssey hallways and “Jetsons” couches. Wow.
HOT DISH: At Lágrimas Negras (“Black Tears”), chef Juan Carlos Delle Vedove prepares a red wine–stewed bull’s tail, “Rabo Guisado,” that’ll have you regressing a million years. The first hunks of meat fall away from the bone almost as soon as you look at it. By the time there’s more bone than meat, you’ll find yourself gnawing away as if you were sitting in a cave rather than designer Christian Liaigre’s elegantly imposing restaurant.
IDEAL GUEST: Superficially, Puerta América guests might seem a little intimidating, with their roll-neck sweaters and habit of using words like “cozy” as though it’s a terrible insult. Underneath that sharp exterior, though, they’re just endearingly passionate about architecture. Buy them a martini in Jean Nouvel’s red-tinged SkyNight Bar, which looks out over the Madrid skyline, and they’ll explain exactly why this is the coolest place in the world.