The latest boutique & luxury hotels added to our selection.
We're relentless in our search for the best hotels, and we're religious about keeping our selection up to date. Below you'll find this week's crop of hotels that have managed to survive the rigorous vetting process. We've done our part, and now it's your reviews that decide whether they stay or go.
Todos Santos, Mexico
Bunkhouse, the Austin-based hotel group responsible for most of the best hotels in Texas, has finally set its sights beyond the borders of the Lone Star State. Just how far beyond, however, might come as something of a surprise. Hotel San Cristóbal sets up shop in Todos Santos, on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California. This is a town that’s in the midst of making that familiar transition from fishing village to bohemian getaway to emerging tourist destination — and the San Cristóbal catches it at just the right time, as the first wave is beginning to crest.
Palm Springs, CA
At Holiday House, a 28-room boutique hotel in downtown Palm Springs, there’s no messing about with superior, deluxe, and the like: the room categories are Good, Better, and Best. And the good is pretty good, indeed. Good means bright and cheerful, with original artwork, bath hardware by Waterworks, and custom textiles by Mark D. Sikes, the same Hollywood-based designer who reimagined the hotel’s interiors during recent restorations. Better means bigger, in this case, with a wet bar for good measure. And Best means mountain views, plus a private balcony or patio where you can properly enjoy them. (If the Best isn’t quite good enough, look into one of Holiday House’s top-of-the-line options, the aptly named Big Room or The Suite.)
Marrakech, at first glance, has more than enough excellent riads already. But when the room counts measure in the single digits, you need a lot of options on your list. And no matter how many are in your regular rotation, you can find room to add Riad Idra. With just seven rooms and suites it’s as intimate as can be, and though it’s absolutely central, just a few minutes’ walk from the Ben Youssef Mosque and Jamaâ el Fna Square, it’s got that secluded inner-circle private-retreat vibe down pat. And you won’t even have to worry about navigating the city’s mazelike streets, as Riad Idra’s driver will be waiting at the airport.
If you’ve got total recall of Istanbul’s geography and administration then you’ll understand what it means that Régie Ottoman is in the Sirkeci quarter of the Eminönü neighborhood of the city’s Fatih district. And if your grasp is a little looser, let us sum it up: you’re barely ten minutes’ walk from Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Mosque, or the Grand Bazaar. In other words: if the classic historical sites are what you’re after, then you’re in the right place.
There are many Italian words that are difficult to translate. Some of those words have particularly delightful meanings that reveal something about the culture, like meriggiare, to rest in the shade on a hot day, or abbiocco, the drowsiness one feels after indulging in a hearty meal. The word masseria is a good example. It loosely translates to farmhouse, but it’s more than that. A masseria is a specific kind of walled country estate built by Spanish colonials in Puglia. It’s rustic but elegant, it’s scenic, it’s out in the middle of nowhere, it’s often near a beach. And it just so happens it’s the ideal foundation on which to build a luxury hotel. Take Masseria Bagnara Resort & Spa, an idyllic getaway near the Ionian coast of Salento.
Tradition is important in France. Particularly in a place like Chamonix, considered one of the oldest ski resorts in the world. Building a brand new hotel here, in other words, is a bit of a gamble: to compete with the glamorous old lodges and chalets in the valley, things have to be just so. At Hotel Héliopic Sweet & Spa, they are. Ideally located just steps from the Aiguille du Midi cable car, it’s a modern hotel with a slightly retro look. Nothing too out there, of course, nothing that breaks too seriously from the Chamonix norm — the main buildings are shaped like chalets, and there’s a spacious bar and library for après-ski drinks.
If you’ve done Marrakech, and Essaouira, and Fes and Tunis, then maybe Hammamet — the southerly alternative to bustling Tunis, an expat French Riviera of sorts — is the next destination for you. And maybe La Badira checks all your boxes and more. It’s riad-like, but updated, respectfully nodding to the arch-and-palm aesthetic with a sleeker contemporary infrastructure. The fabulous Mediterranean light is the point, and it works its magic everywhere you look. Out your suite’s floor-to-ceiling window, for example, lending je ne sais quoi to the white-sand beaches (the hotel has two, both private) and the brilliant seascape. Room interiors mostly defer to that vision with beige-on-white minimalism, maintaining a faint air of desert minimalism with copious tile and perforated Islamic filigree in the furnishings and wall art.
If only these red brick walls could talk. Hotel Palazzetto Rosso, located in the heart of Siena’s medieval center, has been hosting travelers since the Middle Ages. Plenty has changed since the inn’s original heyday, when traders from all over the world came to Tuscany on business. But the building itself was constructed according to 13th-century planning regulations, and the original façade, decorated with traditional wrought-iron ensigns and flares, remains the same.