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Personal Space

One- and Two-Room Hotels
  • Twenty Three Palm Villa

    Twenty Three Palm Villa, Sri Lanka

  • Residenza Napoleone III

    Residenza Napoleone III, Rome

  • Fazenda Sao Francisco do Corumbau

    The Lodge at Tikana, New Zealand

  • Atacamadventure

    Atacamadventure, Chile

  • Kiya Ryokan

    Kiya Ryokan, Japan

February, 2013

When it’s time to really get away, there’s nothing quite like the intimacy of a place all your own — a hotel whose only other guests are the ones you brought along. These one- and two-room hotels run the gamut from a rural New Zealand farmhouse to a royal Roman residence, and they all come with maximum privacy.

1.

Twenty Three Palm Villa
Galle, Sri Lanka — That’s eleven and a half palms for each bedroom at this villa on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. When you book both rooms, the staff of ten, the two acres of gardens and coastline, and the mansion’s infinity pool at the foot of the Indian Ocean are all entirely yours.
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2.

Residenza Napoleone III
Rome, Italy — Housed in a palace owned by a princess, with scaled-up opulence to match, this Roman residence can’t exactly be called “intimate.” To reach the Napoleon suite, you pass through a pair of massive wooden doors off Via Condotti, walk through an arcade lined with Doric columns, and climb a staircase stacked with antique marble busts — and that’s before you’ve even reached the room, which couldn’t have been any more impressive the day the emperor himself checked in.
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3.

The Lodge at Tikana
Southland, New Zealand — The intimate, upscale lodge in the middle of some stunning nowhere is something of a New Zealand specialty, so it’s not for lack of competition that the one-suite Lodge at Tikana makes our list. This South Island farmhouse positively glows with warmth, and it’s all the more welcoming under the guidance of your hosts Dave and Donna, who stock the fridge and stoke the fire, then pretty much give you the run of the place.
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4.

Atacamadventure
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile — Set in an oasis amidst the vast red Atacama desert of northern Chile, Atacamadventure feels a bit like an outpost on Mars — albeit a fairly cushy, design-conscious one. The eco-lodge’s two rooms are decorated in the local style, with rustic natural materials and a color scheme straight out of the desert. The real point, though, is to get out and explore the landscape, either by foot or by horseback.
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5.

Kiya Ryokan
Shikoku, Japan — If you’re after an experience of rural Japanese hospitality, it helps to have an entire ryokan to yourself. Kiya takes just one booking per night, though it’s a whole house, sleeping up to eight. Located in the sleepy city of Uwajima on Japan’s southern island of Shikoku, Kiya has been hosting Japanese literary figures since 1911 — and after a recent renovation, it’s as inviting as ever.
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