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 December 9.

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows

Scottsdale Phoenix Area, Arizona

Andaz Scottsdale Resort Bungalows - boutique hotel in Scottsdale

As weekend destinations in the American southwest go, Scottsdale has a conservative reputation. It’s a place for golf and galleries and Lilly Pulitzer prints – like Palm Springs without the hipsters. Sure, it’s drop-dead gorgeous. The dark silhouette of Camelback Mountain at sunset is indescribably lovely. But what it needs is a breath of fresh air and a bit of youthful energy — and the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows is a step in the right direction.

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Casa Fantini

Lake Orta, Italy

Casa Fantini - boutique hotel in Lake Orta

Though certainly less famous than lakes like Como and Maggiore, Piedmont’s Lake Orta is no slouch in the scenery department, thanks in part to the impossibly picturesque San Giulio Island, whose Benedictine monastery lends the lake a certain aura of the supernatural. On a promontory facing the island, on the lake’s western shore, is the decidedly contemporary Casa Fantini, a boutique hotel that demonstrates the typically Italian ease with which modern design complements the remnants of history and the grandeur of nature.

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Baumanière Les Baux de Provence

Les Baux de Provence, France

Baumanière Les Baux de Provence - boutique hotel in Les Baux de Provence

Les Baux de Provence is perhaps one of the most spectacular and unsettling of nature’s creations. These whitewashed cliffs, dotted with medieval houses, will stun you with their proportion and their sublime beauty. And should it all prove to be a bit overwhelming, it’s always nice to know that you can retreat to the Baumanière, perennial retreat of royals, statesmen and other leading lights since the day it opened for business in 1945.

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Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Miami, Florida

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort - boutique hotel in Miami

A Miami Beach holiday often implies a high-octane social life, it’s true, which makes Carillon Miami Wellness Resort all the more appealing — its decided emphasis on physical luxury, from the 110 exceedingly comfortable suites to the truly world-class spa, is the perfect counterpoint to the ravages of the city of vice. If you’re looking for a fashion-show vibe by the pool, or a velvet-rope nightclub scene, there are any number of other options in town — this place is purely built for taking care of yourself.

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Henrietta Hotel

London, England

Henrietta Hotel - boutique hotel in London

Don’t be fooled by the name — the Experimental Cocktail Club is more than just an adventurous group of drinkers. They’ve got bars by that name in Paris, New York, and London, as well as a couple of excellent Parisian boutique hotels and some highly regarded London restaurants. And now they’ve added the Henrietta Hotel & Restaurant to their portfolio, in what might just be the very heart of central London: Covent Garden.

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Hotel Casa San Agustin

Cartagena, Colombia

Hotel Casa San Agustin - boutique hotel in Cartagena

Ask a Colombian about his country, and you can expect the conversation to quickly turn to the subject of Cartagena de Indias. The beautifully preserved colonial city is a jewel in Colombia’s crown, an UNESCO World Heritage site — a point of national pride, and with good reason. So if you’re going to the trouble to make the trip, you’ll want to do it right. Which, in this case, means staying in the heart of the old walled city in an elegant historic house like Hotel Casa San Agustin.

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Kimber Modern

Austin, Texas

Kimber Modern - boutique hotel in Austin

Amidst the hustle and bustle of South Congress Avenue, an oasis of therapeutic efficiency awaits even the most harried traveler at the Kimber Modern. Proprietor Kimber Cavendish strikes a balance between local and global, commissioning Austin-based architects to design the Zen-like structure and local artists to adorn its walls, finishing with understated international touches like Arne Jacobsen Egg chairs and Euroluce light fixtures.

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Loft 523

New Orleans, Louisiana

Loft 523 - boutique hotel in New Orleans

Loft 523 is an oddity in old-fashioned New Orleans — a boutique hotel in a completely modern style, one that would look at home in New York or London. Where many New Orleans hotels aim for a French mansion style, all antiques and ivy, Loft 523 is stark, minimal, contemporary. From inside, one could be forgiven for thinking of Soho; the fact that the French Quarter begins just a block away may make for a case of culture shock.

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Petra Segreta Resort & Spa

Costa Smeralda, Italy

Costa Smeralda - boutique hotel in Italy

Let’s say you’re an experienced Italian traveler — visited every vineyard, stayed in every villa, summited every hillside and seen every view, from the canals of Venice to the Roman roads and the coast of Sicily. Just when you’re about to feel jaded (if such a thing is even possible), you remember: there’s still Sardinia. Petra Segreta Resort & Spa combines the best of several worlds in Italian hospitality — equal parts Tuscan villa, rough and rugged southern stonework, and the sort of vaguely volcanic landscape that recalls Sicily or Capri at their most dramatic, accompanied by the white sand beaches for which the Costa Smeralda is justifiably famous.

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The Betsy – South Beach

Miami, Florida

The Betsy - boutique hotel in Miami

In Miami the flash hotels arms race has escalated to a point where a hotel like the Betsy — South Beach is almost shocking in its restraint. We’re almost tempted to call it conservative, but with a disclaimer: the Betsy’s pre-deco plantation style means it’s got a personality all its own, and can’t help but stand out from the poolside fashion shoots and celebrity-thronged nightclubs of its more attention-starved neighbors.

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