In the Spotlight

Top Ten Plus Hotels of the Week

When you become a Tablet Plus member, you gain exclusive access to a selection of the world’s finest hotels, each one committed to providing you with seamless, VIP-level hospitality. Tablet Plus hotels are truly exceptional, and In the Spotlight is a regular series dedicated to celebrating them.

Enjoy our Top Ten Tablet Plus hotels for the week of October 28.

The Bale Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Bale Phnom Penh - boutique hotel in Cambodia

The idea of a minimalist, modernist luxury resort in some idyllic Asian coastal locale isn’t a new one. But the success of a hotel like the Balé Phnom Penh depends less on the element of surprise and more on pure execution. And on that score this one, like its older sister in Bali, is just about faultless; the design achieves the Zen simplicity it’s aiming for, and the physical comforts of the place ensure that you’re never shaken out of the blissful state that the architecture has induced.

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The May Fair

London, England

The May Fair - boutique hotel in London

The May Fair Bar is stylish and modern, packing in a hip West End crowd. The May Fair Kitchen proudly wears its Mediterranean influences, forgoing the usual formality of five-star dining for a more casual shared-plate approach spanning Italian and Spanish cuisine as well as Peruvian and Mexican dishes from sister restaurants Monmouth Kitchen and Leicester Square Kitchen. The May Fair terrace, encased in stainless steel mesh that allows the space to breathe, offers a nicely curated selection of rare and fine hand-rolled cigars.

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The Plymouth South Beach

Miami, FL

The Plymouth South Beach - boutique hotel in Miami

What’s old is new again, especially in boutique hotels. Miami Beach, more than many American cities, has some fertile history to work with, thanks to its strong Art Deco visual identity. A decade or two ago, the proprietors of a place like the Plymouth Hotel might have filled it up with surreal futuristic whimsy. Today, however, designer Fernando Santangelo, best known for his equally thorough renovations of the Raleigh and L.A.’s Chateau Marmont, turns to vintage furniture and Restoration Hardware.

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Hotel Healdsburg

Napa / Sonoma Valleys, CA

Hotel Healdsburg - boutique hotel in Napa

Northern California’s wine country has no shortage of lodgings—seemingly every third house is a bed and breakfast. Hotel Healdsburg, though, is something unique; this full service luxury hotel bucks the faux-rustic trend in favor of sleek modern design.

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Nima Local House Hotel

Mexico City, Mexico

Nima Local House Hotel - boutique hotel in Mexico

There’s something deliciously ironic about the fact that the biggest city in North America is home to some of the world’s finest small hotels. And by small, we really do mean small: Nima Local House Hotel, with just four rooms, is probably more house than hotel, and, to borrow a catch phrase, it’s the perfect way to live like a local in the Mexican capital’s charming and stylish Roma district.

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Sunset Tower Hotel

Los Angeles Area, CA

Sunset Tower Hotel - boutique hotel in Los Angeles

In Hollywood the line between history and kitsch is so fine as to be practically non-existent. But one way or another the Sunset Tower manages to land on the right side of the line. In the latter years of the golden age this Art Deco apartment tower was home to the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra; and while today the mid-century atmosphere is still in place, it’s no museum — there’s nothing faded about the newly renovated Sunset Tower’s sober, earth-toned interiors, and it’s not collectors or autograph hounds but bona fide Hollywood players who frequent its halls today.

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Granados 83

Barcelona, Spain

Granados 83 - boutique hotel in Barcelona

Staying on La Rambla may ensure proximity to Barcelona’s waterfront, but at a price: the ubiquity of the tourist-trap tapas bars and fluorescent-lit souvenir shops quickly begins to detract from the charm of the old pedestrian streets. A ten-minute stroll (or five-euro cab ride) away in a quieter section of town is Granados 83, a fashionable 77-room hotel that’s pleasantly removed from the madness.

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Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

Hotel Pulitzer - boutique hotel in Barcelona

Straddling the border between the old city and the Eixample, Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona is as modern as they come, fitting effortlessly into Barcelona’s already expansive cohort of high-design hipster hotels. It’s a 2004 renovation of a Twenties building, and its carefully preserved facade offers little hint of the striking Art Deco-influenced spaces within — again, in true Barcelona style.

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Bay of Many Coves

Marlborough, New Zealand

Bay of Many Coves - boutique hotel in New Zealand

First, a point of clarification: Bay of Many Coves is the name of both the hotel and the body of water alongside which the hotel is located. If the shores here were crowded with resorts, you can imagine the sort of who’s-on-first confusion that might ensue — fortunately, this is one of those New Zealand hotels where your room comes with a generous, serene expanse of the natural world and practically no one to share it with. No danger of your helicopter, seaplane or ferry arriving at the wrong hotel on the Bay of Many Coves; there’s just one here, and like its setting, it’s a stunner.

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Park Hyatt Milano

Milan, Italy

Park Hyatt Milano - boutique hotel in Milan

Milan may have a reputation as a drab, grey city, but it is nonetheless the style center of Italy, and its high-tech capital as well. Deep in the center of Milan’s industrial sprawl stand such spectacular landmarks as the Piazza della Duomo, the Teatro della Scala, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the glass-enclosed shopper’s walk that inspired a thousand suburban American shopping malls.

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