February 12, 2017

15 Luxury Boutique Hotels Around the World

Luxury boutique hotels are destinations in their own right, but what goes into creating a truly showstopping locale? From locally sourced materials to custom artwork and an interplay of textures, these international stays offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience from the moment they walk through the door. The magic lies in the subtle design details that awaken the senses, creating an immersive experience. Think: natural light, expansive views, and chic hotel restaurants, not to mention visual intrigue around every corner. Sign us up!

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest selection of luxury boutique hotels around the world. 

Soak Up R&R in These Luxury Boutique Hotels

1. This Puglia Hotel is an Invitation to Enjoy La Dolce Vita

an outdoor pool at Tenuta Negroamaro, among lush Italian landscape

Located in a rural setting in the Italian region of Puglia, a hidden luxury boutique hotel, Tenuta Negroamaro, sits on nearly 10 acres of land but comprises only 10 rooms. Having lived in London since he was 16 years old, the owner decided to start a hospitality project in his native Puglia, and trusted designer Olga Ashby to craft the interiors. Read more about this hotel design.

2. 4 Striking Boutique Hotels Nod to Their Locales

A ping pong table in a colorful lobby

Inspired by the surrounding nightlife district’s street art, Georgian alphabet letters compose the custom graphics on tabletops and restroom walls while the cassettelike front desk and vintage record selection nod to the local music scene at this 3,400-square-foot property by Studio Shoo in Tbilisi that elevates the typical budget concept. Read more about this hotel design

3. Inside a Boutique Hotel in St. Barth That Leans into Retro Charm

a leafy patio part of a boutique hotel in st Barths

Tropical St. Barth, a 24-key boutique hotel designed by Oscar Lucien Ono, is exactly as its name suggests—a space that reminds guests they are on holiday the second they step inside. With its maximalist decor and retro palette, the hotel features hand-painted murals that reference the surrounding palms. Not to mention plenty of indoor-outdoor spaces, such as shaded patios and a pool deck outfitted with pink loungers that seem straight out of the 1950s. “We used pastel colors only,” shares Ono, who founded Paris-based Maison Numéro 20. “Pastels infuse a certain freshness into the space and evoke a particular tropical spirit reminiscent of Miami and Palm Beach in the ’30-’50s.” Read more about this hotel.

4. Luxury Boutique Hotel Meets Holiday Villa in This Mexican Oasis

a soaking tub in the bedroom of a ground floor suite at Nico Sayulita

After touring a half dozen sloping sites surrounded by thick rainforest in Mexico’s Sayulita, Robert Humble, design principal of Hybrid, and his wife Nicole Johnson found an ideal locale for their luxury boutique hotel. A series of five suites connected by a common party deck and an accessible rooftop, the 3,000-square-foot Nico is conceived to take advantage of the natural atmosphere provided by its forested site. “The empty spaces are the heart of the project,” says architect Ilse Cárdenas, coprincipal of Mexico City studio Palma, which collaborated with Hybrid on the modular system of concrete linear cubes that have been strategically stacked to descend the hill. Read more about the design.

5. An Apartment-Style Hotel by Belzberg Architects Sails into Mexico City

a boutique hotel lobby in mexico city

Mexico City’s Roma Norte neighborhood possesses an eclectic mix of early-1900’s buildings in styles ranging from neoclassical to art nouveau. Now a decidedly modernist structure has sailed onto the scene: Xoma, an apartment-style hotel by Belzberg Architects that calls to mind a ship with the wind at its back, thanks to perforated screens that appear to billow from the seven-story structure. The property is the latest in a series of buildings with sculptural facade treatments that the Los Angeles firm founded by Interior Design Hall of Fame member Hagy Belzberg has designed in CDMX. Read more about this striking design.

6. Stay in an 18th-Century Palazzo Turned Luxury Boutique Hotel

Hotel Paradis Pietrasanta, Italy, by Point3architecture

Working exclusively with natural materials—marble, terra cotta, ceramic, and wrought iron among them—the three-level, 12-key luxury boutique hotel in Tuscany, which was formerly an 18th-century palazzo, feels as if it’s always been there yet with enlivened interiors featuring furniture channeling 1970s Italy and a series of wall tapestries by Moroccan artist Khalil Minka. Read more about this hotel design

7. An Oscar Wilde-Inspired Hotel Nods to One of His Classics

the lobby of The DorianThis luxury boutique hotel is a literature lover’s dream. CHIL Interior Design turns Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray into a hotel in Calgary, Canada that invites visitors to step into the story. Aptly named, The Dorian is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and features Victorian elements a la the novel’s era, as well as bold colors, patterns, and textures. Read more about this hotel design. Read more about this hotel design.  

8. Inside a Historic Building Turned Luxury Boutique Hotel in Charleston

vintage cream and black wallpaper in a guest room of The Pinch Hotel

When tasked with turning Victorian-era structures into a 25-room, boutique hotel in Charleston, the design team at Method Co, along with architect Morris Adjmi, rose to the challenge. The resulting space, called The Pinch, nods to the building’s past while embracing the present. But it’s not just a luxury hotel, all the rooms have full size kitchens, along with three residences for long-term stays, as well as on-site restaurants. Read more about this hotel.

9. Awasi Offers Guests a Rustic Chilean Getaway

a rustic cabin with large glass windows

The one-story ranch houses common in Patagonia inspired the 12 prefabricated guest cabins in Awasi, a rustic-luxe getaway in Torres del Paine, Chile. The cabins harmonize with nature on the 237-acre retreat near the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine without interrupting its vastness. Designed by Felipe Assadi Arquitectos and Paula Gutierrez Erlandsen y Asociados, Awasi–a word that means home in Tehuelche, the language of an indigenous Patagonian tribe–seamlessly blends the outdoors with the indoors. Read more about this hotel.

10. This Boutique Property in Sweden Supports Conservation Efforts

a women bird watching a luxury boutique hotel

Nestled in a Lapland pine forest some 30 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Treehotel is a boutique property comprising just eight cabins, each conceived by a different Scandinavian architect. BIG’s contribution is a 370-square-foot folly, built of local timber, its steel-grid exoskeleton supporting 350 birdhouses of varying size and shape, creating a “spherical swarm of nests,” partner-in-charge Bjarke Ingels explains. Read more about how the hotel furthers conversation.

11. Jet Off to La Dimora di Metello in Italy Designed by Manca Studio

carved volcanic rock forms part of the ceiling in a bedroom at this luxury boutique hotel

At La Dimora di Metello in Matera, Italy, architects and Matera natives Marina and Alfredo Manca of Manca Studio wed ancient to contemporary for an unexpected take on minimalism. Walls and ceilings are carved out of the indigenous volcanic rock. The hotel, composed of a reception area, spa, and four guest rooms, is decorated with custom, pale oak furniture while neutral, natural fibers make up the draperies, bedspreads, and sheets. The innovative hotel signals a prosperous new beginning for Matera, an ancient, hilly city that has seen many masters and is dominated by a landscape of canyons, valleys, and plateaus. Read more about the design.

12. Inside Hôtel Vernet Designed by François Champsaur

green seating is the highlight of a hotel restaurant

When told to do something Parisian in his redesign of the Hôtel Vernet in Paris, François Champsaur had a vision of art and artisanship. He custom-designed much of the luxury boutique hotel’s furniture and brought in original artwork to hang above the curved banquettes in the restaurant, the V. The glass and iron roof over the V, originally a dance hall contributed by Gustave Eiffel, is punctuated with blue and beige twig shapes, an antique motif made contemporary. Guest rooms feature era-appropriate crown moldings, specified sink fittings in unfinished brass that will develop a natural patina as they age, French oak floor planks, tall headboards, and wall-size sliding doors. Read more about this hotel.

13. This Dark and Moody Hotel is Worth the Trip

a dark gray marbled wall and sink

Design Systems’ plan for the powerfully quiet Tuve Hotel in Hong Kong was inspired by a Dane’s photographs of a foggy, rocky lake in Tuve, Sweden. To enter the dark and mysterious hotel, the ultimate respite from a bustling, sweltering tropical metropolis, guests travel through a tunnel of fiberglass-reinforced board-formed concrete. Their fingerprints polish the natural brass that tops the reception desk, while LED rays radiate across the heavily veined marble floor. Each of the 66 guest rooms feature cast-concrete walls with gold flakes to glam up accidental crevices. Read more about this hotel.

14. Wine Flows Freely at This Hotel in Portugal 

a leaf-like installation hangs from the ceiling in a green accented lobby

What began as a pair of dilapidated outbuildings is now a luxury hotel, the Monverde Wine Experience Hotel in Amarante, Portugal, with 29 guest rooms and a suite. FCC Architecture and Paulo Lobo Interior Design collaborated to place agriculture, like a sculpture, on a well-crafted pedestal. The main house has been expanded to include the lobby–with a kinetic installation of carved cedar leaf shapes–and reception, a gourmet restaurant, a convivial bar, a graceful spa, and conference facilities. There is also the winery proper, with its tasting rooms and dramatically curved fermentation room lined with big oak barrels. Paintings and photographs of the rolling terrain punctuate the façade of pine slats and Cor-Ten steel, and subtle rhythms and well-balanced contrasts create a harmony between rural history and an urbane contemporary aesthetic. Read more.

15. Explore the 21c Museum Hotel Durham 

the lobby of a NYC hotel with large artwork on white walls

The 21c Museum Hotel Durham occupies the Hill Building, which was built for a bank and department store in 1937 by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the architecture firm behind the Empire State Building. In their renovation, Deborah Berke Partners and Perfido Weiskopf Wagstaff + Goettel preserved the original marble walls, metal elevator doors, and terrazzo flooring after Berke “felt an immediate affinity with the art deco.” Shiny chrome architect’s lamps illuminate retro headboards and a scattering of satin-and-velvet pillows in the 125 guest rooms and suites. Floor tiles screen-printed with scattered dollar bills, an artwork by Leslie Lyons and J.B. Wilson, line the floors of the lounge, which was once the safe-deposit vault. Read more about this hotel.

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