by Jonathan Vatner | April 01, 2006

The Design Hotels portfolio (800-337-4685;, the darling of travel writers everywhere, has unveiled its class of 2006. Here are four of the 11 newbies. India

The Park New Delhi , the latest from India’s Park Hotels chain, supplies plenty of white, open spaces splashed with bright color.

Hotel Basico, Rafael Micha’s second Playa del Carmen hotel, is as much a collection of sociopolitical allusions as it is a hotel. The building houses an industrial site, a market and a school.

Kube Rooms & Bars, in Paris, embraces the cube as a design element, to futuristic ends. Both of the property’s bars are cool; in fact, one, made of 25 tons of ice, is downright frigid.

By combining natural materials in avant-garde style, Mavida Balance Hotel & Spa in the ski town of Zell am See, Austria, manages to feel both restorative and inspiring.