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.
In some ways it’s the quintessential Southern California story: Pioneertown started out as fiction, and ended up becoming real. It was born when Hollywood Western stars like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers grew weary of traveling long distances in search of Old West atmosphere, and established their own little Westworld in the high desert near Joshua Tree. It never quite took off as the resort town they intended it to be, until now; thanks to desert festivals like Coachella, as well as the stratospheric cost of living in Los Angeles, Pioneertown, today, is for real. And in the Pioneertown Motel, it’s got its very own boutique hotel.
The rehabilitation of the airport hotel might finally be complete. Once synonymous with sacrificing character for convenience, the better ones now offer the best of both worlds — and the Andaz Delhi is a perfect example. Andaz is Hyatt’s “hip luxury” sub-brand, and this one is very much up to the usual standards: impressively stylish architecture and design, the full complement of high-end comforts, and service that’s both friendly and professional. And the fact that it’s two miles’ drive from the airport entrance is, in traffic-choked Delhi, something of a luxury unto itself.
Twenty or so years ago it was just about defensible to say that Melbourne was Australia’s creative capital. But in the intervening years it’s as though Sydney has been hell-bent on revenge. The design scene, like all of its creative industries, is world-class, so much so that top-flight design firms are apparently now sharing projects. The Collectionist Hotel is the work not of a mere one or two design firms but four, each one responsible for about ten of its 39 rooms — and every one of them, even those from the same designer, is different from all of the others, with unique artworks, colors, textures, and design inspirations.
Something of a sequel to Antwerp’s stylish Hotel Julien, August is a hotel with a little bit more ambition. It’s the first hotel project by the well-known Belgian architect and designer Vincent Van Duysen, who transformed this old Augustinian convent into a different kind of refuge, one whose sense of privacy and tranquility is only accentuated by its setting in the city’s verdant Green Quarter.
Anyone expecting doom and gloom from the Black Forest, in southwestern Germany, is in for a surprise. For one thing, it’s not black so much as green, a lush landscape filled with ancient forests and emerald grasslands. And though the name lends itself to some spooky connotations, a place like the Hotel Traube Tonbach is a reminder that a Black Forest holiday can be bright, airy, and filled with natural light.
We do love a good independent one-off boutique hotel, but we’re not above acknowledging when one of the big hospitality chains is doing extraordinary work. That’s very much the case with India’s massive Taj group at the moment, and Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, Uttarakhand is yet another stunning new opening — this one at a bend in the Ganges river in the foothills of the Himalayas, offering astounding views of the river and the mountains in every direction.
The Croatian coastline is no longer a secret; it’s no longer reasonable to describe Dubrovnik as “underrated.” But even though travelers’ expectations are high, this gem on the Adriatic is perfectly capable of meeting them — all the more so now that the Hotel Excelsior is back in business. In an earlier incarnation it played host to guests like Queen Elizabeth II and Elizabeth Taylor; in an even earlier incarnation it was a royal villa. And now, after a renovation that’s brought it up to 21st-century luxury-hotel standards, it’s poised to retake its place in the top level of Dubrovnik’s hospitality scene.
The northern coast of Brazil is perhaps less well known than Rio or Bahia, but it’s not exactly a secret: the windswept dunes of Jericoacoara and the equally windswept waters of Jericoacoara Beach are famous among kitesurfers and adventuring types. You don’t have to go far, though, to get back to that undiscovered-paradise feeling. On the fringes of Preá, the next town to the east, on an unspoiled stretch of white sand, is Casana, a tiny, laid-back boutique hotel comprising little more than a handful of bungalows set just a few yards back from the beach.
South Tyrol, Italy
It’s not the most modestly named hotel on the planet, but as you’ll see, Terra - The Magic Place has every reason to feel special. It starts with the location, high in the Italian Dolomites, where the word “magic” is scarcely an exaggeration. The hotel, too, is memorable, a modernist interpretation of Tyrolean chalet architecture. And of course there’s the restaurant that inspired it all: the two-Michelin-star Terra, where chef Heinrich Schneider and his team prepare a one-of-a-kind experience for dinner guests surrounded by breathtaking mountain views — and accompanied by a bottle of wine you’ll personally choose from the cellar.
Palm Springs, California
Please note: Korakia Pensione does not allow children under the age of 13. There’s more to Palm Springs than Fifties and Sixties modernism. Here at the edge of town, at the foot of the San Jacinto mountains, Korakia is a highly eclectic blend, with nary a kidney-shaped pool to be found. The original 1924 Moroccan-style villa, the home of a Scottish painter, was given a Greek makeover sometime in the Nineties; and the two houses next door, a Mediterranean villa and a Spanish-style adobe house, were added soon after.