Eight boutique hotels to visit now
From Prague to Costa Rica, here’s our roundup of the coolest new hotels
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Remove all the books from a library and get the Lady Gaga of interior design, Marcel Wanders (so dubbed by the New York Times), to take over, and voila! You have the Andaz Hotel in Amsterdam. There’s something dreamlike about this space – an ethereal quality that will transport you far and beyond. Gaze up at the ceiling and you will see a constellation of stars and planets as well as chandeliers embedded in large bells while the walls bear screens showcasing video art. It doesn’t get more avant-garde than this.
Kura Design Villas, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
If you’re looking for a place to completely detach and unwind, we’ve found your mecca. Draped in rainforests, with a stunning overhead view of the ocean, this resort is the perfect example of architecture symphonising with its surroundings. It offers six luxury villas with solar-powered rooms, bamboo ceilings, rain showers and a saltwater infinity pool. It’s rustic, yet luxurious. Hop up to the Sky Lounge for a panoramic view of the jungle and for a Guaria Morada – a cocktail infused with sugarcane liquor, blackberries, and coconut cream.
The London Edition, London, United Kingdom
London is a popular summer destination for many people. So why not change it up by staying at a new place this time? After setting up successful boutique hotels in Istanbul and Honolulu, Ian Schrager (of Studio 54 fame) has taken his brand, The Edition, to London’s Berners Street. And it’s our pick for the coolest party pad. We suggest you opt for the Epic Night Out package – a one-night stay on a Friday or Saturday, which comes complete with a welcome drink, access to its exclusive nightclub, Basement, breakfast in bed, and a complimentary late check-out. The hotel also boasts a fabulous lobby bar with marbled walls and carved ceilings as well as a members-only space, the Punch Room, which is perfect for a relaxed drink.
The Augustine, Prague, Czech Republic
Seeking divine intervention? Look no further. Situated within a restored 13th-century monastery, The Augustine lets you share space with monks. Holy wow. Replete with cubist décor and furnishings, the architecture pays tribute to the Golden Age of Prague in the ’50s and ’60s. A word of caution however: the floors are made of rough unpolished wood – for the purpose of penitence of course. But look outside the window, and it’ll all be worth it; the stunning Prague Castle rises majestically in the distance. The property also houses a 686-year-old brewery. Spirits meet spiritualism? Sign us up.
Casas Del XVI, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
There’s something delightful about discovering a little bit of old-world charm. Nestled in the heart of Old Town in Santo Domingo, Casas Del XVI offers its guests a window into the past. Complete with brick archways and Roman tiled roofs, two 16th-century mansions have been converted into luxe accommodation. Despite modern day amenities – a pool, an art gallery, a cigar room and an al fresco dining area – the mansions maintain their colonial charm. Here’s a fun bit of trivia: Christopher Columbus’ co-pilot used to live in what is now a two-bedroom suite.
The Brando, Tetiaroa, French Polynesia
Did you know that Marlon Brando owned a private island in French Polynesia? Now you can go stay there. To commemorate the tenth death anniversary of the legendary actor, a Tahitian hotel chain has taken over the island and converted it into an exclusive boutique, with all the bells and whistles of a luxury resort. The Brando has 35 villas sprawled across the island, each one with a private pool. And did we mention the spa? Surrounded by 22,000 square feet of dense foliage, the treatment rooms offer ancient Polynesian therapies. There’s also a spa suite for couples, perched high up within the palm trees. So what are you waiting for? Hop aboard your private jet and go.
It’s that time of the year again. Wanderlust has us mentally vacationing all around the world. Our musings have taken us skinny-dipping in Nicaragua, cycling by the canals in Amsterdam and meandering through the countryside in Scotland – all while staying at some fabulous hotels. Here’s a list of the eight hottest new boutique hotels to check out (and into) this summer.
Mukul Resort, Guacalito de la Isla, Nicaragua
Picture the perfect combination of sandy stretches, sparkling water and lush hillsides, and there, in all its breathtaking wonder, is Mukul Resort. Situated on the Emerald Coast, with spectacular views of the Pacific, choose from among the 12 villas along the beach and 23 suites leading up the hills. Your rooms come complete with chandeliers crafted from hundreds of mussel shells, along with other local artifacts. And if you deign to tear yourself away from your room, there’s much to discover – namely, an expansive golf course, the Cerro Negro volcano, a rum distillery and an ocean that’s made for surfing, snorkelling and lazy sunset cruises.
Cromlix House, Dunblane, Scotland
Wimbledon ace Andy Murray has another feather to add to his cap – his newly opened boutique hotel in his hometown. Spread over a 34-acre property, Murray snagged a late 19th century Victorian mansion and converted it into Cromlix House. It houses 10 rooms and five suites, each one christened after a famous Scot. Awaken to a hearty Scottish breakfast and then head on over to – where else? – the tennis court, of course! After working up an appetite, savour a leisurely lunch within a glass-walled conservatory at the Chez Choux Restaurant, overseen by French chef Albert Roux, who owns the three-Michelin-starred La Gavroche in London.