Intimate, distinctive and impeccably designed, the best boutique hotels give guests the type of experience they just can’t get anywhere else. Boutique hotels are usually smaller in size, have a unique spirit and tend to put a real focus on service. Here’s a look at five of our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ favorites.
Located in Boston’s exclusive Beacon Hill neighborhood, this 63-room Four-Star boutique hotel mixes old-school Bostonian charm with a contemporary vibe. The historic Beaux-Arts façade gives way to sleek, modern decor, but classic luxury room amenities (fireplaces, four-poster beds, fresh flowers) ensure XV Beacon has a sense of timelessness, too.
Once you step into the lobby, you can’t miss what makes this Tacoma, Wash., hotel special. The Forbes Travel Guide–recommended property functions as a dramatic contemporary art gallery with bold colors and eye-catching sculptures. The 319-room hotel was named for the Italian island where renowned glass artisans work, and the art-friendly concept is laced throughout — each floor features a different artist and hand-blown lamps sit bedside in every room.
If you’re at all curious about the lifestyle and peculiarities of Thomas Jefferson, book a room at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star spot. Located four blocks from the White House, the 99-key boutique hotel is a luxurious homage to the third president, with custom-built Monticello furniture replicas, murals of his former home on the walls and maps showing where Jefferson traveled. The hotel’s Four-Star fine-dining restaurant Plume serves regional fare inspired by the gardens, and in the cozy lounge Quill, you can taste wines inspired by Jefferson’s travels.
Quirky and utterly different from other New York City hotels, the 86-room, Four-Star Crosby Street Hotel has an interesting mix of amenities (99-seat cinema onsite, babysitting service) and a design style that combines a traditional British look with urban sophistication. To wit, you can meander the guest-only sculpture garden and have a drink in the clubby Drawing Room, or head to the hip, Moroccan-inspired Crosby Bar and Terrace for an of-the-moment bespoke cocktail.
This oceanside, boutique-style Santa Monica spot is beach-cottage chic with a nautical twist and laidback vibe. Spacious guest rooms at the 198-room Four-Star retreat are bleached-out and dressed in whites and blues, with floor-to-ceiling windows that actually open. A long, lingering seaside lunch at Forbes Travel Guide–recommended One Pico is a staple occurrence, as both locals and visitors come here for a discreet in-town escape.
Photo Courtesy of Hotel Murano, XV Beacon and The Jefferson