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From the warm historic center of Colombia’s Cartagena de Indias to eclectic and wild New York City, here’s a brief selection of some boutique hotels highly praised by discerning world travelers.
Tcherassi Hotel & Spa
Cartagena de Indias, Colombia / Tcherassi Hotel & Spa
The Tcherassi Hotel & Spa Cartagena doesn’t shy away from being the center of attention. Located in one of the most buoyant South American cities, this stunning boutique hotel was built on an old remodeled house. However, overflowing with elegance, this home has been lovingly restored to offer guests the best of both worlds: modernity and comfort with a touch of colonial elegance and nostalgia. With only seven rooms, this excellent boutique hotel harmoniously blends the history of Cartagena with exclusivity and privacy. Modern finishes, textiles, and luxurious touches by the hotel’s proprietor, designer Sylvia Tcherassi, coexist beautifully with the original stone and brick walls that make up the structure of the house. It is important to note that the property was entirely conceived by Colombian fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi who is also an architect and decorator.
London, United Kingdom / Blakes Hotel
Subtle Asian touches round up the dramatic décor at London’s Blakes Hotel. The rooms are designed to please the hedonist in all of us; they are all different and inspired by decadent accents from Russia, Turkey or India. Even though the hotel has 52 rooms, discretion and excellent service make visitors feel as if they were the only guests on site. Every single detail in this sumptuous and sensual atmosphere has been carefully thought out and serves to remind us that the pleasures of life are there to be explored and enjoyed. This hotel, which won the award for the Sexiest Bedroom, during the Smith Hotel Awards, is a slice of heaven right in the United Kingdom.
Bastide de Moustiers
Sainte-Marie, Provence, France / Bastide de Moustiers
This intimate boutique hotel is located in a house deep in the heart of the Provencal Alps in the village of Sainte-Marie. The old home of a potter, this charming building, was recently restored by a group of local artisans, who left their unique touch on each of the walls, bringing it back to its former elegance. Surrounded by lush gardens and delicately decorated, this home offers magnificent views of the cliff of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Its current proprietor is renowned chef Alain Ducasse who hand selected all the furnishings used to decorate the Bastide de Moustiers, paying special attention to even the smallest details.
Sainte-Bali, Indonesia / Como Shambhala
Como Shambhala is a home away from home in the exotic island of Bali. Located on 57 acres of stunning forests along the banks of a peaceful river, this delightful tropical oasis features only 30 rooms and suites. In addition, Como Shambhala boasts five private villas, exquisitely designed by Koichiro Ikebuchi with modern accents that complement the pristine environment. Each villa has two or three bedrooms and spacious common areas. Surrounded by unspoiled landscapes, this hotel is the ideal place to revitalize the soul and pamper the body. Its restaurant serves healthy cuisine prepared with local ingredients. The staff is famous, worldwide, for offering its guests complete services and amenities, including all kinds of therapies, from Ayurveda to acupuncture.
Sextantio Albergo Diffuso
Santo Stefano di Sesssanio, Abruzzo, Italy / Sextantio Albergo Diffuso
No other hotel in the world offers a historic experience as endearing as Sextanio, in the charming village Santo Stefano di Sessanio in Italy. It is considered and albergo diffuso, a relatively new hospitality trend from Italy, which usually comprises a collection of old houses and structures within the same village or town. This particular one, Sextantio, which spreads over the top of the Gran Sasso Mountain, is definitely atypical. The rooms, authentic medieval parlors, retain their original appearance and have been carefully preserved by professionals. Guests can enjoy a journey back in time, plunging into an experience that redefines the concept of “unique” vacation. Delicious dishes, made according to ancient recipes and traditions, are served by candlelight, and a stroll down the mountain will allow you to admire the splendid, breathtaking countryside of the surrounding landscape.
Ko Kut, Thailand / Soneva Kiri
Hidden amidst the wild local vegetation, this resort is definitely the epitome of Thai luxury. It consists of 29 luxury villas nestled alongside extraordinary palm groves, secluded and intimate. Built with local materials, the resort was designed to blend with the environment, offering majestic views worthy of paradise. Enjoy the spacious private pools located in the heart of huge, lush gardens, or take a relaxing dip in the outdoor tub, prepared by the staff, just for you. It is perfect for nature lovers who also enjoy comfortable, elegant amenities.
New York City, USA / Ace Hotel
But if after visiting all corners of the globe, you prefer the concrete jungle, nothing beats New York’s Ace Hotel. Located in the heart of Manhattan, this boutique establishment occupies one of the most legendary buildings in the area. Steeped in the rich eclecticism of the city, the Ace Hotel is a favorite of both locals and foreigners. With a minimalist design and key details “Brooklyn-style”, it’s internationally known and recommended as a place to sleep, dine or drink, although for many, this hotel shouts “hipster mania” and is definitely a place worthy of being among the “100 places to see before you die”. ■