The People Have Spoken

A look back at the best-reviewed Tablet hotels of 2018 — in your own words.

To be a Tablet hotel, it’s not enough to be good at just one thing. You must contain multitudes. To be considered for our selection, you must possess a unique combination of service, design, and ambiance that perfectly serves your location and your cost. And to remain a Tablet hotel, those traits must remain balanced. Standards can decline and fashions can change, so hotels are routinely removed from the site if we catch them slipping, or if they receive less-than-rave reviews from Tablet guests.

The eleven hotels below don’t have to worry about that anytime soon. They were the highest-rated hotels on Tablet in 2018, according to your feedback — which would place them high in the running for best hotels in the world.

Villa Extramuros

Arraiolos, Portugal

Villa Extramuros - boutique hotel in Arraiolos

Charles said: “The hotel is pretty magical, as are the views. The decor is really beautiful and I love that they used local building materials like cork. The best part for me, however, was watching the sheep graze a few feet from our front door.”

Jacqueline said: “Beautiful experience, gorgeous property and pool, super relaxing. We spent a week there and loved every moment.”

Tim said: “An amazing combination of sophisticated design sensibility with flawless execution. From the way that the doors slide smoothly to the thick cotton sheet, Villa Extramuros does not miss a beat.”


Riad El Mezouar

Marrakech, Morroco

Riad El Mezouar - boutique hotel in Marrakech

Eric said: “Quiet, relaxing and beautiful Riad with a very secluded and comfortable feel. Great combination of design + intimacy for a perfect rejuvenating break. The owner Romaine provides great guidance and assurances to her guests.”

Rosemarie said: “The attention to detail and the service were exceptional! Romaine and her team are the most gracious and attentive hosts you could ever imagine. Everything was a pure delight for the senses – from the decor to the food to the ambience to the warmth of feeling. The riad is, quite literally, an oasis just steps from the chaotic energy of the souks/markets. It is a remarkable contrast and one of the most memorable travel experiences I have ever had.”


Domaine de Fontenille

Lauris, France

Domaine de Fontenille - boutique hotel in Lauris

Brittany said: “This is my new favorite hotel! I loved the style of the hotel and it’s rooms, the food, the wine and the grounds!”

Mary said: “Room was amazing! They also were able to upgrade me which was lovely and lucky. The staff was very helpful and attentive and it was conveniently located.”

Jeffrey said: “The Hotel is exceptional in every regard. This would have to rank as one of our best hotel experiences ever and the benchmark for all others.”


Holiday House

Palm Springs, California

Holiday House - boutique hotel in Palm Springs

Edgar said: “We loved this quaint little hotel. Had great style, casual, and inviting atmosphere. It was quiet and private but the common areas had a nice community feel. Was a great getaway from stress. Good food, also great cocktails.”

Simon said: “Overall ambience, art and curation of public spaces. Thoughtful touches abound. Lunch menu was an interesting take on classics – the lobster roll was really very good. Up there with Mary’s Fish camp in NYC! Staff were delightful.”

Felicia said: “Amazing staff, excellent rooms, wonderful lunch menu. The pool is sparkling and relaxing.”


The Warehouse Hotel


The Warehouse Hotel - boutique hotel in Singapore

Bob said: “[I liked] pretty much everything – location, style, comfort, and service. Working in the lobby was the best – great internet, space and a bar of course. Room was super comfortable (great bed and rain shower) and quiet. Would absolutely stay here again.”

Sian said: Very sophisticated and tasteful design. Rooms equipped with easy to use technology, and all the essentials. Staff very friendly. Bar and food was exceptional.”

Christopher said: “Very cool vibe in central Singapore. Nice to be away from the mega hotels. Great food and service too.”


So/ Das Stue

Berlin, Germany

So/ Das Stue - boutique hotel in Berlin

Jessica said: “The staff was exceptional and very professional. I loved the decor of the hotel and its relation to the renowned Berlin Zoo. The rooms were very spacious and incredibly comfortable. The location was very central and I enjoyed the proximity to the Tiergarten which is filled with trees and a lovely place to ride a bike or stroll in.”

Louise said: “Elegant, spacious, quiet, comfortable, great service and good food. Well priced.”


Maison Italia 1029

Santiago, Chile

Maison Italia 1029 - boutique hotel in Santiago

James said: “As an architect, I was intrigued by the images I saw of a modern 3 story concrete building inserted within the walls of a single story traditional 19th century house. I was not disappointed. It’s a delightfull building; very well designed. The neighborhood is wonderful, clearly what would be termed in the USA a “gentrifying” area. Lots of restaurants and galleries. Convenient to the metro and within walking distance to the Lastarria area. The service was very attentive and prompt, and the included breakfast was excellent.”

Danielle said: “The decor was simple but high quality. The balcony, with a banquette, coffee table and succulent garden felt like a private outdoor lounge room. Absolutely charming. Service was also excellent.”


Ad Astra

Florence, Italy

Ad Astra - boutique hotel in Florence

Jeri said: “Desk staff could not be nicer or more helpful. Room was unique, comfortable, and well appointed. Terrace and garden view was just beautiful. Excellent breakfast buffet to start day. A nice walk into city center. Excellent local restaurants around the corner. Just a lovely place.”

Russ said: “Amazing location. Idyllic setting and amazing staff. Wound up extending our stay for 2 more nights.”

Thomas said: “The luxury of living in a real palazzo, with a privileged view, so close to the center of Florence. Diana was a thoughtful, engaging and wonderful host.”


The Dewberry

Charleston, South Carolina

The Dewberry - boutique hotel in Charleston

Parker said: “The friendly service and attentiveness of the hotel staff. Quick to answer questions and provide guidance on where to eat and what to order. The concierge, Caroline, recommended a wine bar for us to visit since all the wine stores in downtown were closed for Sunday. Vintage Lounge was also fantastic and the waitress corked a bottle for us to bring back to the hotel to unwind and enjoy a peaceful evening. The rooms are one of the most well furnished and designed spaces I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Last but not least, the candles and aroma filling the hallways and lobby of the hotel give you a sensation of luxurious relaxation before you make it to your room. Now if only there were candles in the room…”


The Whitby

New York City, New York

The Whitby - boutique hotel in New York

Linda said: “I simply adore the Kit Kemp styling, attention to detail and the alternative selection to go to the honesty bar which is a wonderful intimate library setting. The location is fantastic. It seem that th Fiemdale hotels are always in a super cool neighborhood that you could walk to really great eating spots and shops. Milk Bar across th Street, fantastic sushi bar a few doors down, absolutely fab old school Italian restaurant on the same block. The rooms are absolutely quite, the room service very prompt.”

Joanne said: “Excellent service, style and atmosphere. Beautiful oasis in midtown Manhattan.”


Kyomachiya Hotel Shiki Juraku

Kyoto, Japan

Kyomachiya Hotel Shiki Juraku - boutique hotel in Kyoto

Paul said: “Utterly stunning example of the machiya style of townhouse hotel, beautifully appointed rooms with its private entrance hall larger than my daughter’s entire apartment in Seoul! Kyoto sets a very high bar for hotel excellence but this place sets new standards for a hostelry of its type. Very grown up. Very Zen.”

Jonathan said: “What a wonderful place- very comfortable rooms, beautiful and relaxing common space and garden courtyard, modern but with a traditional/simple feel. Delicious breakfast. The staff were incredibly warm, kind and helpful.”

Brandan said: “Like having your own traditional apartment in Kyoto (with amazing breakfasts).”


Honorable Mentions

Of course, there were far more than just 10 hotels that received rave reviews from Tablet users in 2018. Here are a few more of the many Tablet hotels that you found to be absolutely extraordinary:

1898 The Post — Ghent, Belgium
The Restoration on King — Charleston, South Carolina
The Greenwich — New York, New York
Park Hyatt — Dubai, UAE
Chiltern Firehouse — London, England
Ett Hem — Stockholm, Sweden
Riad de Tarabel — Marrakech, Morocco
Soprarno Suites — Florence, Italy
South Congress Hotel — Austin, Texas
Ugenta — Kyoto, Japan