True luxury isn’t always to be had in sweeping grandeur. It can’t be bottled and sold en masse to anyone and everyone. Luxury is about uniqueness, it’s about personality, and it’s about having a style all its own. For as many large hotel chains as the world has, with predictable, cookie-cutter styles that are sometimes comforting, they can never give you the esoteric experience that you will have at their exclusive, offbeat, and unusual cousins.
For those who long for the best things when it comes to accommodations, along with personalized attention, we present for your consideration where luxury can truly be found: The 18 best boutique hotels from around this world of ours.
Grand Dédale Hotel; South Africa
A country home with a charming and attentive staff, the Grand Dédale is a scant hour from Capetown for those who prefer to move their adventures to a more urban setting while taking their ease on some of the most idyllic land South Africa has to offer.
The Milestone Hotel; London
Reports that The Milestone sells more Champagne than anywhere in London might be exaggerated, but not by much. Libations of all kinds flow freely in this revelrous military academy turned hotel. For those moments of sober reflection, the view of Kensington Palace and its gardens is charmingly Zen.
Jade Mountain; St. Lucia
Any child under 15 is expressly forbidden on the grounds, as Jade Mountain prizes the restful, romantic sanctuary it offers from the woes of the world. Toque Allen Susser concocts inventive meals day and night to please any gustatory demands. Should you need further escape, a trip up to the Celestial Terrace for stargazing is just what your soul requires.
1828 Smart Hotel; Buenos Aires
An inexpensive, but brilliantly minimalist retreat, the rooms are each wired from stem to stern, allowing everything from the television to the curtains to be managed via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Those seeking a few urban outings should speak to the worldly staff at the tour desk, who know how to cater to any taste, tame or decidedly not.
Maya Boutique Hotel; Switzerland
Naturalists will marvel at the Maya. It’s built entirely from bales of straw, but do not be misled by such bucolic materials. The interior is lovely, with hand-made furniture in each room, every one dedicated to a specific type of wood. Overlooking Sion, the capital of Valais from its hilltop seat, it’s Swiss country living at its finest. Be sure you do not neglect the barrel sauna.
Wentworth Mansion; Charleston
The former home of a cotton baron, the Wentworth Mansion is restored in striking detail, and your every need will be met by the kindly, attentive staff. You’ll be pampered to the enth degree, right down to a personally signed Get Well card and plush robe should you take ill while there.
Royal Isabela; Puerto Rico
A cliffside golfing retreat on the northern end of Puerto Rico, you’ll have 18 holes virtually to yourself, as well as swimming in the rich Caribbean waters. Located miles from anywhere, there’s little nightlife to speak of, but that only adds to the sense of detachment and escape.
Cours et Pavillons; Beijing
An artfully restored hutong mansion, modern amenities mix with ming artifacts for a feeling of being dropped into history without sacrificing contemporary comfort. Right in central Beijing, there’s always a bright distraction just outside the door, but only imperial living on the inside. Don’t be tempted to shirk the restaurant, as the custom meals are delectable.
The Library Hotel; New York
Bibliophiles will instantly recognize the layout of The Library, as each floor is dedicated to a different writing genre. More than 6,000 tomes line the walls and lay about for anyone who unwinds by curling up with a book. Placed in Midtown Manhattan, when you weary of words, let the city that never sleeps beckon to you.
The Little Nell; Aspen
Situated at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola, The Little Nell has full ski-in/ski-out access, and is the sole place in Aspen to do so. At 92 rooms, Nell is a little large to be considered boutique, but the feel of consummate luxury and personal attention makes the distinction irrelevant.
ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, Iceland
Once an abandoned inn, the ION has been molded into a minimalist slice of modernity set against the eye-catching Icelanding backdrop. Built to be as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible, you’ll never guess that the sumptuous accommodations could be done with such care for Mother Earth.
Mukul, Guacalito de la Isla; Nicaragua
The feeling of being on a secret hideaway is palpable from the moment you arrive. The hotel languishes where the rainforest meets the shore, providing refreshing activities like endless games of golf, or a spa that will soak and massage years off your body.
French Coco Tartane; Martinique
Even New Orleans natives will be astounded at the true Creole cooking that comes piping hot out of the restaurant. The Atlantic can be seen in picturesque relief from either side of the Tartane, as it rests comfortably on the peninsula of the Caravelle near a small fishing village oozing a quaint, country feel.
Royal Mansour; Marrakech
Art and history are the watchwords of the Royal Mansour as it is replete with courtyards and colorful mosaics showcasing the masterworks of local talent. It’s behind the walls of the old city in Marrakech; an oasis from the tumult of Morocco’s city proper.
Wickaninnish Inn; Tofino, B.C.
Wilderness seekers who desire solace among the boughs of Canada’s endless untamed wilds will not be disappointed at the Wickaninnish. Near the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, beasts of the forest are as commonplace as the famous Canadian manners of the gentle but attentive staff.
The Mansion, MGM Grand; Las Vegas
Among the many boutique hotels that adorn the Vegas strip, The Mansion’s 29 suites are the most sought-after, and reserved for the highest of rollers who cannot settle for less. Difficult to access for anyone not expressly in the know, this is a bastion from the chaos of Sin City with opulence to spare.
Blanket Bay; Queenstown
New Zealand is famous for its halcyon spectacles, but even among such beauty, there must be a victor. Blanket Bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu is that champion. Peace and serenity exist outside of every window, with rich greens broken only by calming blue waters.
Only You Hotel & Lounge; Madrid
The entire atmosphere of Only You is that of a fine and exclusive club where the staff is only too happy to cater to every whim you may have, and direct you to the finest in Madrid’s varied entertainments; sating any and every appetite.