Boutique Hotels

Fall is an ideal time to visit Spain, thanks to the season’s mild climate and reduced tourist crowds. (It’s still a popular time to go, but September and October aren’t nearly as busy as August, when most Europeans plan a vacation.) And visitors can avoid the hoards not just as the tourist sights, but within their hotels, too — provided they select an intimate boutique pick, like these five attractive options.

Abac Barcelona

Abac Barcelona

Abac Barcelona

This exclusive 15-room luxury boutique hotel embodies contemporary style at its best, fitting right in in a city that treasures design. Rooms are avant-garde, from the clean, white and beige decor, to the modern under lighting, to the remote-controlled blinds, to the Bang & Olufsen sound system. An amazing spa with Turkish baths shouldn’t be missed, and the hotel’s Michelin-starred on-site restaurant is a highlight. But the slightly out-of-the-way residential location is a drawback. Read More »

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The term “boutique hotel” can be applied to a host of very different properties — whether quaint or trendy, traditional or avant-garde. But they all have at least one thing in common: They’re intimate, and fewer rooms means fewer guests get to experience them, so staying at one can feel like discovering a secret hideaway. But secrets are no fun if you don’t get share them — so we’re spilling the beans on 11 of our favorite boutiques across Europe.

Draycott Hotel, London

Draycott Hotel, London

Draycott Hotel, London

This 35-room combo of Edwardian townhouses is warm and intimate with a country home feel, and in a great location for exclusive West End shopping. With wonderful boutique perks such as the free English afternoon tea (guests at other hotels will have to pay at least a £15 premium to enjoy such a tradition), free pre-dinner champagne, and free hot chocolate before bed, it’s hard to find much at the Draycott to complain about. Unless, of course, your priorities are a pool and fitness center, both of which the hotel lacks. Read More »

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For many of us, long days at the office, stress, and errands can get in the way of a healthy lifestyle. So we often look at our vacations not as a chance for a calorie binge (well, not always), but as a chance to hit the reset button and get back to our exercise and fitness regimens. And those who do manage to stay fit year-round may not want to part with their healthy lifestyle choices when they go away for a week or two. After all, there’s a lot to be said for the mind-body connection, so we found 13 stunning holistic retreats that can help you take your relaxation and well-being to new heights on your next getaway.

Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua

Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua

Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua

Aqua Wellness Resort is a rustic-luxe, wellness-focused retreat set into a hillside overlooking Redondo Bay on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. The resort has eco-friendly design, lush vegetation (expect to spot wildlife such as howler monkeys and iguanas), healthy cuisine (almost every dish comes with a hearty side of vegetables), and an excellent ocean-view yoga platform where group classes are held. Plus, the spa uses local materials, treatments, and techniques. Rooms are adorned with lots of natural wood; some units include plunge pools and stunning ocean views. The white-sand beach is secluded and beautiful, and guests can get in an extra workout climbing up the hill from the beach to reception.
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Look at the water! Guests can see the crystal blue ocean from just about everywhere on the property.

The low-key, down-to-earth Grand Case Beach Club in picturesque — you guessed it! — Grand Case has an authentic island vibe with bougainvillea-draped, cottage-style buildings and two serene beaches. The pool is tiny, as are studio rooms, but it’s still a gem for travelers intent on quiet, beachside relaxation, plenty of on-site activities, and lush tropical grounds — all within walking distance of the island’s best restaurants, cafes, and bars. And the ocean alone is enough to make this hotel a great pick. So as we say every week, sit back, relax, and soak up the goodness that is the Grand Case Beach Club in beautiful St. Martin.

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Step right into The Jade Hotel.

Opened just a few months ago, The Jade Hotel is already a hot spot in New York City, thanks to its trendy Greenwich Village location and even trendier clientele (Cameron Diaz reportedly spent the night flirting with a bartender at the hotel). From the curated library to the retro rotary phones in every room, no detail has been left out at this sexy boutique. Its 113 stylish rooms have tasteful decor inspired by the Paris of the 1920s, and feature top-notch amenities, including high-definition TVs, Tivoli radios with iPod hookups, and free Wi-Fi. Grape & Vine, a bar and restaurant reminiscent of the old New York speakeasies, attracts a varied clientele with its intimate yet casual vibe and French-inspired menu. The Jade is a great pick for couples and business travelers, but those with kids in tow might find some rooms to be too small and the walls too thin. Check out more photos after the jump, or skip to the full review here.

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Who doesn’t love a beach vacation? The sun, the sand, and the ocean all come together to make for a relaxing getaway that, when complete, will send you home rested and relaxed – and hopefully with a tan! Where you stay, however, can make a big difference on just how fabulous your beach trip is. That’s why we’ve found the 15 most decadent hotels on the sand to ensure that you enjoy the ultimate beachfront luxury.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

Eden Roc at Cap Cana

The Eden Roc, opened in 2012, is one of the most high-tech properties in the Dominican Republic, and is located in the gated Cap Cana community — which has a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, marina, and beach club. The 34 colorful suites are clustered around a small, man-made lagoon and feature elegant decor (picture four-poster beds, intricate floor tiling, and spacious bathrooms). Up-to-date amenities include iPad-controlled lights, sound systems, and TVs with numerous channels in Spanish and English. Suites also come with small pools and golf carts for getting around the property.
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Plenty of business people find themselves traveling to New York City for work. And while New York has plenty to offer all kinds of travelers, it can be tough for business travelers to find some time to enjoy the city’s many perks. Fortunately, we’ve gone through our database and have found the top business hotels that are perfect for mixing business and pleasure.

For the Sports Fanatic: ONE UN New York

Tennis courts at the ONE UN New York

Across the street from the UN, the ONE UN is a popular choice among diplomats and dignitaries, and thus is well-equipped for business travelers. Business-minded amenities include 7,500 square feet of meeting space, room service, a new coffee bar, and rooms with large work spaces. Sports and fitness fanatics will be particularly happy at this hotel, which boasts a 24-hour fitness center, a lap pool with an on-duty lifeguard and great city views, and an indoor tennis court; the ONE UN is the only New York City hotel to have one.

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Summertime is all about quick weekend getaways to enjoy some pampering in the sun. And what better way to relax and soak up the scene than heading to the Hamptons – home to luxe boutique properties, beautiful beaches, and a hip, see-and-be-seen crowd? We’ve visited numerous boutique hotels throughout this Long Island hot spot and have found the best of the best. After all, luxury and the Hamptons go hand in hand. So check out our list of the top five boutique hotels in the Hamptons.

East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

East Hampton Art House Bed & Breakfast

This elegant B&B in East Hampton is exactly what its name suggests: a house full of art. It was designed and decorated by the owners, Michael and Rosalind, who combine mutual talents in art and hospitality. While there are only a few rooms for rent, the hotel has all the amenities of a larger property, including endless communal spaces, an outdoor pool, and fitness center. Although big in scope, the Art House retains all of the personalized charm of staying with friends, making it a distinctive option in the Hamptons.

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Lobby at The Jade Hotel, New York City

1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The boutique Jade Hotel may only be a few months old, but it has already has some pretty famous visitors. Last week, Cameron Diaz was spotted getting drinks at the bar and flirting with strangers.

2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Westin St. John is one of three Starwood properties that make up the first shift towards the brand reducing its carbon footprint worldwide. The new green initiative will include the installation of high-tech water savers that will reduce wasted water at the hotel by 50 percent.

3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Wyndham Hotel Group added Singapore to its destination list this week with the opening of a Days Inn and a Ramada.

4. FACT OF FAKEOUT? The general manager of the Lancaster London, along with numerous other volunteers, scaled up the side of the hotel in order to raise money for Kickstart Programme.

5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Room service is pricey no matter where you go, but in a recent study, TripAdvisor found that Denver and Dallas offer the best value as far as room service. Not surprisingly, New York City and Honolulu offered the worst.

Check out the answers after the jump!

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For many New Yorkers, heading to the Hamptons isn’t just about the beach — it’s about the hopping nightlife. When the weather gets warm, it’s the Hamptons,  not Manhattan,  that becomes the place to see and be seen after dark. The first step in planning your Hamptons party weekend is choosing where to sleep when the partying is done, and we’ve saved you time by selecting five hotels to suit different tastes — and pairing each with a cool party spot of a similar style. Don’t forget your designated driver.

Stay: The Trendy Hot Spot

Capri Southhampton

The 24-room Capri Southampton received a beach-chic makeover in 2011, and the new owners brought in a BLT Steak and Lacoste uniforms for outdoor staff. These brand names attract a certain social crowd — the kind that drinks champagne and munches on seafood while mingling poolside.

Party: The Bathing Club

At this trendy hotel, the party is at your front door — literally. The rooms are all on the first floor and doors open up right to the grounds that surround the pool lounge, dubbed The Bathing Club. Lounge music pumps through the outdoor speakers, and live DJs spin on Fridays and Saturday nights. Guests can relax on daybeds and cushioned chairs, and on the weekends cocktails are served by the pool until 2 a.m.

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