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.
Whereas many of Barcelona’s boutique hotels make much of the city’s dark and glamorous side, the hedonistic nightlife that did so much to make it one of the world’s favorite urban escapes. But Eco Boutique Hostal Grau is something entirely different. For one thing, that “Eco” is there for a reason: Hostal Grau is just about as sustainable as an urban boutique hotel can be, from the organic and PVC-free materials in the bedrooms and bathrooms to energy-efficient construction and responsibly sourced, naturally treated wood flooring and furniture.
Phoenix’s city-center revival continues to turn heads, and with the advent of FOUND:RE Phoenix, the city’s long-brewing artistic renaissance is on display for travelers to see. FOUND:RE is as much a contemporary art gallery as it is a boutique hotel, with works by local artists seemingly everywhere you turn, and they’ve got an experienced curator on staff to ensure that the art stays as up-to-date as the rooms.
Port Fairy, Australia
It would be a missed opportunity if a Victorian seaside town called Port Fairy were anything less than magical. Fortunately for all involved, it’s not the case. A few short years ago it was voted “most livable town in the world,” and its historic style and splendid coastline make it tempting indeed. And Drift House just might be one of the most livable small hotels in the world — it’s not just an architectural marvel, combining a classic Victorian house with an uncompromisingly modernist addition, but it’s owned and operated by a family with a keen sense of what really matters in hospitality.
As hotel names grow ever more cryptic and inscrutable, you might wonder if it might not be a coincidence Hotel EMC2 happened to land on that particular combination of letters and numbers. But you can bet that a hotel that’s dedicated to the intersection of art and science knows what it’s doing when it adopts Einstein’s famous formula. This luxury boutique hotel, on Chicago’s Miracle Mile, is out to prove that smart really is the new sexy — and if the stacks and stacks of books don’t convince you, the guest rooms, with their inventive design elements and their elegant Deco-inspired décor, certainly will.
Not much changes in Bath. It’s been one of England’s favorite holiday destinations for about two thousand years, and it’s well known for its architectural history, especially its famous Georgian crescents. But what’s old is new again; on the site of a 19th-century hospital, itself built atop a forgotten Roman-era bath, is the Gainsborough Bath Spa. After a very thorough (and architecturally sensitive) renovation, it’s by some distance the most luxurious lodging in town.
If you were to try, without doing any research at all, to design the kind of hotel Tablet would be likely to have in Nicaragua, chances are you’d come up with something remarkably similar to 99 Surf Lodge. A sleek, low-slung modernist hotel, stylish but unpretentious, situated right on Popoyo, a legendary surf beach, in a part of the world that’s developed enough to be hospitable but nowhere near overdeveloped — on paper, it’s perfect. And the best part about it, naturally, is that it’s actually a real place.
Between San Sebastián and Biarritz, just on the French side of the border, is the Basque town of Hondarribia. It’s not a household name, not by a long shot, nor is it meant to be — the appeal of Villa Magalean rests, to a large extent, on its setting, in a port town that’s a long way from becoming a built-up resort. Well, that, and the fact that the hotel itself is something quite a bit more refined than what you’d ordinarily expect from an eight-room guest house by the marina where the fishing boats moor.
Val Thorens, France
When Val Thorens, in the French Alps, calls itself “the roof of Europe,” it’s a reference to the fact that it’s the highest-elevation ski resort on the continent. But it’s not just the altitude that makes it special — it’s part of Les Trois Vallées, which means access to what might be the most abundant wealth of ski slopes in the world. Hotel Pashmina Le Refuge sounds like just the sort of place you’d like to wrap yourself up in at the end of a day on the valleys’ mountainsides, and upon further inspection, it turns out it’s aptly named indeed.