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.
Amsterdam’s canal house hotels are known for their rich textures and their historical atmosphere, but even against stiff competition the Toren Hotel stands out. Its location in the central canal district could hardly be more picturesque, and the same goes for the building itself, which recently celebrated its 400th birthday. Not content simply to rely on the charm of its setting, the Toren’s proprietors brought in designer Wim van de Oudeweetering, who outfitted the hotel in lush fabrics, rich colors, bold patterns, and theatrical details — you’d almost call it baroque, were it not so contemporary in its vision.
For many travelers the word “château” runs the risk of making the Château du Palanquey sound a good deal more formal than in fact it is. But here there are no turrets, no towers — just a stately house surrounded by vineyards in Saint-Émilion, one of Bordeaux’s most storied wine-producing regions. This is a luxury boutique hotel that’s dedicated to “slow life,” on the analogy with the Slow Food movement — here you’ll trade the frenzied activity of modern urban life for vineyard views, country air, rambling gardens, and plenty of the food and wine for which the French countryside is justifiably famous.
In the time Tablet has been online, Rome has seen an extraordinary flowering of small, residential-style hotels, and Condominio Monti is a fine example. Its small size means it can be tucked discreetly into a residential neighborhood, in this case the hilly Monti district, a short walk to the north of the Colosseum or to the east of the Trevi Fountain. It occupies a pair of century-old apartment buildings whose interiors have been transformed into a stylish and contemporary boutique hotel.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
There are hotels where the name really does just about say it all. Away Chiang Mai Thapae Resort - A Vegetarian Retreat leaves you in little doubt as to what to expect. The setting, obviously, is the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, specifically a quiet lane within the walls of the old town, near the Tha Pae Gate...
Athens, Georgia is a unique place — named, of course, for the birthplace of Western culture, it’s not just home to one of the biggest public universities in the South, but it’s also something of a counterculture capital, with the best music scene this side of Nashville and a bohemian streak a mile wide. The Graduate Athens, like all the Graduate hotels, does its level best to do justice to the local tradition, which in UGA’s case means satisfying diehard Bulldogs fans on game day as well as rock-and-roll types in town for a pilgrimage to the 40 Watt.
The shoreline of Italy’s Lake Como is dotted with splendid hotels and imposing villas that offer absolutely first-rate everything. Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni sits comfortably at the head of this five-star class. Located in the upscale town of Bellagio at the tip of the promontory where the legendary lake forks, Villa Serbelloni offers flawless luxury that’s been carefully refined since the hotel’s transition from a palatial residence in 1873.
Sacred Valley, Peru
For as long as Tablet’s been online the Explora hotels have been a perfect reminder of why we care about hotels in the first place. They tend to begin with locations that are flat-out extraordinary, places like Patagonia or the Atacama Desert. And then they create hospitality experiences that are equal to the setting, featuring inspired design, top-shelf comfort, and world-class service. Even within this tradition, however, Explora Valle Sagrado is something special — the sacred valley in question is the Urubamba Valley, at the end of which, of course, is no less singular a place than the Inca ruin of Machu Picchu.
It’s an unusual name, but it certainly paints a picture. You and the Sea pretty well sums up the experience at this stylish apartment-style boutique hotel, set within walking distance of Praia do Sul beach, in the Portuguese surf mecca of Ericeira. Sure, it’s not just you — but from within one of its 36 fully serviced apartments, which range from generously sized studios all the way up to sprawling five-bedroom family apartments, it’s not at all hard to forget about the rest of the world.