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 November 11.

The Pavilions, Phuket

Phuket Area, Thailand

The Pavilions, Phuket - boutique hotel in Thailand

Just how little do you want to do when you are on holiday? If you don’t want to cook, explore, push through crowds, or even leave a luxurious villa, then there are more than a few upscale Thai coastal resorts that will meet your needs. But if you don’t even want to bother putting on clothes in the morning, then Phuket Pavilions’ “all-over tan” policy might settle the issue for you.

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Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum

Tulum, Mexico

Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum - boutique hotel in Lisbon

Somewhere between glamorous excess and spartan backpackers’ minimalism is the Mayan Riviera town of Tulum. More concretely, it’s just down the coast from Playa del Carmen, on the less developed end of the Riviera Maya. And while the coastal hotel zone is where most of the hotels are — you’ve got to admire the clarity of that logic — the western edge of the town center, two miles inland from the beach, is where you’ll find the low-key, affordable, and charmingly mid-century modernist Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum.

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La Valise Mexico City

Mexico City, Mexico

La Valise Mexico City - boutique hotel in Mexico City

It’s always cool to be contrary — especially in the world of cutting-edge boutique hotels. Let the big chains scramble to outdo each other with bigger spas and better restaurants, sparkling fitness centers and Olympic-sized infinity pools, more pillows on the menu, more of everything. An achingly hip little hotel like La Valise in Mexico City doesn’t need any of that. In fact, the three-suite property, located above a shop in a 1920s townhouse in the happening Roma neighborhood, makes a virtue of its small size.

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Florence, Italy

Continentale - boutique hotel in Florence

The Continentale hotel is a Lungarno hotel, which means it’s a Salvatore Ferragamo hotel. Why the chain of code names? Why not just come out and say it, Ferragamo in blinking neon, or at least radiant gold (a la Versace)? Why not at least take advantage of the opportunity to better position the brand, like Cerruti or Bulgari?

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Gallery Hotel Art

Florence, Italy

Gallery Hotel Art - boutique hotel in Florence

Don’t be put off by the concrete exterior, which unlike most Florentine buildings is contemporary, and of no architectural distinction. It’s the stuff inside this Salvatore Ferragamo hotel that’s the key. High couture meets maximum efficiency. Art meets the commercial world of the hospitality industry. Occidental and Oriental schools of minimalism collide. And if this sounds a little familiar, remember this isn’t London, it’s Florence, where boutique hotels are virtually nonexistent.

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Ad Astra

Florence, Italy

Ad Astra - boutique hotel in Florence

The proprietors of Florence’s SoprArno Suites, not content to own and operate just one practically perfect boutique hotel, have got a second: Ad Astra, a stylish bed and breakfast in the Oltrarno district, south of the river, overlooking the splendid Torrigiani Garden. In this less dense corner of Florence there’s space not just for massive gardens but for a “hôtel particulier” as well — a freestanding residence originally meant for aristocratic weekenders, comprising just nine rooms, each one unique and all of them decorated with the same playful, eclectic eye that’s responsible for SoprArno.

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Opus Hotel

Vancouver, Canada

Opus Hotel - boutique hotel in Vancouver

In a perfect world Vancouver might have a half-dozen hotels like this — but in the real world we’ve got to make do with just one. Opus Hotel Vancouver is, first of all, quite possibly the best-located hotel in town — its Yaletown neighborhood is full of life, packed with hip restaurants, cafés, galleries, and shops, and has a visual character that’s far more appealing than Vancouver’s central business district. And this character includes the Opus itself, a stylish contemporary structure whose brick-fronted facade lends it an extra measure of inviting warmth, a hint at what’s inside.

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Andaz Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Andaz Tokyo - boutique hotel in Tokyo

There’s a new skyscraper amid the frenetic neon and cool steel of Tokyo’s skyline. The second-tallest building in the city, Toranomon Hills will house offices and apartments, plus the brand-new 164-room Andaz Tokyo.

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Armani Hotel Milano

Milan, Italy

Armani Hotel - boutique hotel in Milan

Some hotels need to be seen to be properly understood. Other hotel concepts, though, more or less speak for themselves. Simply at the mention of the Armani Hotel Milan one knows what one’s going to get: a bold and tasteful elegance, a certain richness in texture and materials, and of course an imposing silhouette — and one, incidentally, that’s suitable both for business and for pleasure.

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Park Hyatt Chicago

Chicago, IL

Park Hyatt - boutique hotel in Chicago

Never happy simply being America’s second city, Chicago is the sort of place that continually goes out of its way to remind you of its status as one of the world’s great cities — and from the Park Hyatt, just off the Magnificent Mile of North Michigan Avenue, it’s impossible to put up much of an argument.

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1 Comment
  1. I think the Château de Mercuès in Cahors, France, should also be included on this list. My husband and I stayed there in 2017 for a glorious three nights, and as Tablet Plus Members were upgraded to a junior suite that made our stay even more magnificent! The outstanding restaurant Le Duèze deserves it’s Michelin star, and the service of every staff member in the hotel was incomparable. We are dying to go back there.

    Mrs. Jillana Laufer

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