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.
New York, New York
If the South Street Seaport isn’t the first neighborhood that springs to mind when you think of New York City, that’s a point in Mr. C Seaport’s favor. This is a corner of town, at the foot of the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, that was rather poorly treated by Hurricane Sandy, but has since taken the opportunity for a bit of growth and redevelopment. The local restaurants and shops have gone upscale, and the newest hotel is a stylish one indeed: the sequel to the Cipriani family’s Mr. C Beverly Hills is the new occupant of a Federal-style landmark with rooftop views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge Park beyond.
Think of a country escape within easy reach of Paris and you’re probably thinking of a palace built by the 18th-century aristocracy. As much as we love a good palace hotel, we also love hotels that take some liberties with expectations, and Le Barn is one of those hotels. Formerly an equestrian estate, it’s been redeveloped by a cutting-edge Parisian design firm, and the result is a hotel that’s comfortingly rustic and refreshingly stylish at the same time — its buildings combine classic agricultural silhouettes with contemporary construction and detailing.
The Lake District, for all its many charms, is rarely at the forefront of any new travel and hospitality trends. But it’s apparent just from the name that Another Place, The Lake is aiming for something a bit different. It’s a massive renovation of an existing hotel, set right on the shores of Ullswater, but beyond that it’s as different as can be from the rest of Cumbria’s hotels: this is a wellness-focused, activity-oriented, dare we say youthful hotel, the likes of which the Lake District has not yet seen.
Valle de Bravo, Mexico
Valle de Bravo, the charming lakeside town two hours’ drive to the southwest of Mexico City, has its fair share of devotees, attracted by the colonial atmosphere, the lush valley, and the waters of Lake Avándaro. This is a town with no fewer than three very fine boutique hotels, all of them doing business under the Rodavento name. This one, Cinco Rodavento, is the largest of the three, and the one that most resembles a proper urban boutique hotel — though in Valle de Bravo, “urban” is a concept with fluid boundaries.
Though we hesitate to wade into any regional rivalries, we’re comfortable declaring that Toronto is Canada’s biggest, busiest, most cosmopolitan city. It’s only fitting, then, that its top-end luxury hotels should be absolutely first-rate. Among the usual suspects when it comes to this sort of thing is Ritz-Carlton, but the Ritz-Carlton Toronto is an unusual one — the design is rather more modern than you’ll find in more typical examples of this venerable luxury brand, while the top-flight service and faultless comforts you expect are all exactly as they ought to be.
For more than a few Santorini hotels, the main attraction is the inward-facing view of the volcanic caldera at the center of the island’s arc. It takes some nerve, in other words, for a hotel to set up shop on the south coast, far from that famous view. Istoria, instead, looks out over a black sand beach at the endless expanse of the Aegean — and the design, by the Athens-based Interior Design Laboratorium, provides plenty of visual interest of its own.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
If there’s any reason at all to regard Playa del Carmen as something less than heaven on earth, it’s the scale of the local tourism trade. But a good boutique hotel can help you recapture some of that undiscovered-paradise feeling. Small scale is what Hotel Morgana’s got going for it, after all: this family-owned hotel is human-sized, and each of its twenty rooms has its own design and its own personality.
You don’t have to know the whole backstory to have a guess at what kind of place Hôtel & Restaurant Lalique - Château Lafaurie Peyraguey is going to be. But this collaboration between Lalique, the venerable glassmaker, and Lafaurie-Peyraguey, the Sauternes winery that’s now owned by the Lalique Group’s chairman, is a unique one...