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.
Nicoya, Costa Rica
For some of us, the words “Costa Rican boutique villas” are more or less all that’s needed. Throw in “Pacific coast” and “Nicoya peninsula” and the chance that you still need convincing drops by half again. For the rest of you, the short version: Costa Rica, one-time low-budget backpackers’ haven, has expanded its upscale offerings, and a place like Hotel Casa Chameleon is the perfect venue for acquiring some first-hand knowledge of this trend.
El Jadida, Morocco
The port city of El Jadida, an hour’s drive down the Moroccan coast from Casablanca or a three-hour journey north of Marrakech, is famous for one feature only: Cité Portugaise, the 16th-century Portuguese fortified city of Mazagan. If you’re making the detour to see it, why settle for less than a hotel like L’Iglesia El Jadida, easily one of the most atmospheric lodgings in town?
Hometown pride reigns supreme here, driving local procurement in nearly every aspect, from the suds by Batch Brewing Company to the custom rental bikes by Detroit Bikes. Far from disavowing the area’s cradle-of-industry background, Trumbull & Porter wholeheartedly embraces the aesthetic; Patrick Thompson Design incorporated exposed conduits and bulbs, polished concrete, and whitewashed brick throughout the interior. The 144 rooms soften the effect with custom furnishings by local artisans, enlivened here and there by pastels and patterned textiles. It’s human minimalism, clean-lined and utilitarian without skimping on the creature comforts.
David Beckham has a fragrance line, Lionel Messi a limited edition Adidas shoe. And Cristiano Ronaldo has a new boutique hotel. It’s a modern five-star hotel perched over the harbor in Funchal, Ronaldo’s hometown on the Portuguese island of Madeira. But let’s break this down further. The Pestana is a Portuguese hotel chain; CR7, of course, refers to the initials and jersey number of the Real Madrid star. So what to expect at a hotel backed by one of the most famous footballers in the world? Astroturf in the hallways and Ronaldo’s old jerseys, signed and framed, like artwork, in glass cases.
It’s no small distinction, being the oldest hotel in one of the largest cities in Europe. Amsterdam was founded in the 14th century, and the 300-year-old building that’s now the NH Collection Amsterdam Doelen has had its doors open to overnight guests for a substantial part of that history. It’s true, of course, in hotels and in life, that you can’t have everything. You can’t have history and culture and location — the brick building is even older than the hotel, with an enviable address on the edge of the Kloveniersburgwal canal in the heart of the historic center — and also have huge suites with picture windows and Jacuzzi tubs.
Here we have the next in a prestigious line of Sibuet offspring, a colonial stunner exemplifying plantation Francophilia. You don’t have to be a style nomad to appreciate the white-sand beaches, naturally, but it helps in parsing the décor; seashell, yes, coral, yes, but also model ships and cordage and sundry merchant-marinisms in polished wood. The 21 bungalows and villas may sound like sugary cocktails (“Pineapples,” “Jungle Passion”), but on the whole they stick to tasteful variations on the earthy-meets-beachy formula, spicing up canopied four-posters and vintage furnishings with vivid turquoises and saffrons. Freestanding tub, check, private terrace, check.
Four years and $400 million later, the Ritz is updated, all right. But it still looks the same. The celebrated French architect Thierry W. Despont, the same who’s been overseeing the renovation of New York’s iconic Woolworth Building, was charged with the delicate task of overhauling the Ritz while keeping it just as it was. His adjustments are smart and subtle: Despont created more open space and light by raising ceilings here, adding windows there, installing a retractable glass roof atop the Espadon restaurant, and so on. The result is what the Ritz calls “modernized but with discretion” — think of it as spruced-up Belle Époque grandeur with more natural light and faster wi-fi.
New York City
New York real estate prices being what they are, you can see why a spacious hotel room can easily run you a month’s rent back home. The flip side of this rule is that an affordable room is often laughably small. The Arlo NoMad, however, goes a long way toward solving the equation — through a combination of clever, compact layouts and the plentiful sunlight afforded by the full-length windows of a brand-new hotel building, its rooms manage to feel livable rather than laughable, in spite of their modest square footage.