by Jonathan Vatner | May 01, 2005

Kirimaya hotelThe Design Hotels portfolio ( expanded by 23 properties this year. Here are three of the best.

In December, young resort company Alila opened Kirimaya (right) at the edge of Khao Yai National Park, two hours from Bangkok, Thailand. The hotel offers a relaxing immersion into nature plus golf and a spa. (011) 66-44-42-6099;

The Fresh Hotel in Athens features simple design, bright colors and a rooftop bar with a view of the Acropolis. (866) 376-7831;

Cape Town, South Africa’s Metropole Luxury Boutique Hotel is set in a Georgian town house that has quickly become a center for the city’s nightlife. (011) 27-21-424-7247;