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.
It may come as no surprise that a resort named for Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of Jacques, and a famous undersea explorer and filmmaker in his own right) offers a phenomenal diving experience. But there is more to Fiji than undersea life, and this is a resort designed to take full advantage of its unique location.
Somewhere on the long list of good things that originated in Greece — the Olympic Games, feta cheese, democracy — is architecture. There are the buildings you’ll view on sightseeing tours, the ancient temples and grand palaces of the Acropolis, and there’s the Cycladic tradition. These are the buildings you’ll actually sleep in and wander past while staying on the islands, the charming whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches you’ll never tire of photographing. Bellonias Villas, on Santorini, is a contemporary take on that quaintly rustic Cycladic aesthetic...
No one blames you for wanting to stay in South Beach. There’s the sand and sun, the Art Deco charm, the oceanfront bike path, the monster-sized mojitos by the infinity pool. Downtown Miami, in contrast, is of secondary appeal, at least as far as most travelers are concerned. But the financial district is slowly but surely becoming more of a cultural draw. A new boutique hotel, the Langford, is helping to change the neighborhood’s image, opening its doors to an enclave of historic character.
Bruneck, South Tyrol, Italy
Welcome to the Dolomites, the part of Italy that feels a lot more like Germany or Austria — where the hills are dotted with Alpine lodges and hotels are run by families with names like Wieser and Aichner. Indeed, Hotel Petrus takes its name from Peter Aichner, the hotel’s original owner. They keep things in the family around here: his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughters run the place today.
Fethiye, Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey
Let’s face it, most hotels fundamentally more or less the same. So what’s unique about Hotel Unique Fethiye? First is the location. A rocky cliffside, especially one that rises on such a steep incline above Fethiye’s marina, might not seem like the most obvious place to break ground for a new boutique hotel. But that’s exactly what you’ll find here: clever landscape architecture. The cliff has been sculpted into a series of terraces, with nineteen guest rooms and suites at varying levels.
OThe cocktail bar at TÓTEM Madrid is called Hermosos & Malditos. Translated into English, that’s “The Beautiful & Damned.” It’s a reference, of course, to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1922 novel, and a clue at what you might expect of the 64-room boutique hotel. Picture one of Fitzgerald’s fictional high-society parties, glittering and champagne-soaked, then translate that particular aesthetic to contemporary Madrid. TÓTEM is located at a moneyed address, in a grand corner building in the stylish neighborhood of Salamanca. Inside you’ll find old-world elegance and fine materials from oak to marble, a sleek modern edge, and an air of exclusivity, as if you were stepping into a swish members-only club.
Talk about getting away from it all: Pucón, Chile is an 80-minute flight (and then a 90-minute drive) from Santiago, a city that already feels far away from pretty much everything. Perched on the water’s edge, and at the foot of a snow-capped volcano, in Chile’s pristine lake district, Pucón is the gateway to an almost unspeakably gorgeous landscape. It’s long been a playground for outdoor adventurers, and now it has its first luxury hotel — Vira Vira Hacienda. It’s a place for first-rate relaxation, and some serious wining and dining, before and after skiing or snowboarding, kayaking or rafting, climbing or horseback riding.
Palm Springs, CA
Turning a Travelodge into a fashionable boutique hotel is no easy task. But it’s par for the course in a place like Palm Springs. It’s long been a popular resort town, but now, thanks to a stylistic rejuvenation and a little music festival called Coachella — maybe you’ve heard of it — it’s a magnet for a new generation of Angelenos. The hotel competition is stiff around here, and a chain motel just won’t do. So after a brief stint when it was known as the Curve Hotel, these one-time budget lodgings, first built in the 1960s, have been reborn as the V Palm Springs.