USA – Hotel Terra Jackson Hole

The new Hotel Terra may lack the charisma of its upmarket rivals in Jackson Hole, but it beats the Amangani for convenience, is more relaxing than the Four Seasons, and trumps them both with its environmental credentials. The 28 eco-friendly policies in its construction and operation – which have helped it win the USA’s benchmark LEED status for ecological buildings – will enable even the greenest of guests to sleep easy while the ventilation system works to recoup 81 per cent of the heat from air being expelled from the building.

Created by Rob DesLauriers, a celebrated ‘extreme skier’ (he skied down Mount Everest with his wife in 2006) who has a degree in hotel administration, Terra is a friendly, determinedly unimposing place. Public areas are small but superbly finished: the lobby applies a hard-edge style to naturalistic elements, with side-on slices of stone above a steel-framed fireplace and recycled-wood pillars. The corridors are dark and mysterious; the café and restaurant are casual and funky (and if you like cucina rustica you will have your best meal in town at the Terra). The bedrooms offer all mod cons, from Bose surround-sound (in most rooms) to fair-trade coffee, in a fairly generic Western American hotel setting to which a touch of Japanese minimalism has been applied.

When it opened for the 2008/9 season, the Terra had just 72 rooms, a spa and a restaurant. With its completion in the summer, it now has 132 rooms and a heated rooftop pool with views that reveal the awesome beauty of Jackson Hole, a high plateau from which the Teton mountains simply soar upwards, without foothills.