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 30.

Topping Rose House

Hamptons, NY

Topping Rose House- boutique hotel in the Hamptons

From the name, you might be expecting a gemstone-perfect little country-house hotel on the fringes of London’s “stockbroker belt,” but in fact — well, scratch London and pencil in New York and you’ve pretty much got the right idea. This 1842 Greek Revival mansion in Bridgehampton has been converted, with no little effort, into a small yet luxurious 22-room hotel, filling a bit of a hole at the high end of the Hamptons hospitality scene, bringing upscale Manhattan style to the farthest reaches of Long Island.

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Lumière with Inspirato

Telluride, CO

Lumière with Inspirato - boutique hotel in Telluride

It may still be the most charmingly low-key of Colorado’s major ski resort towns, but that doesn’t mean Telluride hasn’t gone upscale; it’s just that it’s done it in a charmingly low-key way. Lumière with Inspirato combines boutique-hotel good looks with distinctly residential comforts, and its position in the enclave of Mountain Village affords a measure of seclusion from the town, as well as ski-in/ski-out access to the famous slopes.

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Le Roch Hotel & Spa

Paris, France

Le Roch Hotel & Spa - boutique hotel in Paris

A hotel that provides some kind of a local experience, whether it’s an artist-in-residence painting a mural in the lobby or a cocktail bar that attracts people from the neighborhood for drinks after work, is already a step ahead of the competition. That’s especially true in a city like Paris, where the line between local and tourist feels so sharply drawn. Le Roch Hotel & Spa takes care of that. The interior designer, Sarah Lavoine, isn’t just one of those intimidatingly hip Parisians. She’s a much sought-after creative who lives and works — and shops, eats, and drinks — in the neighborhood. And she’s put her heart and soul into the place.

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The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

Miami, FL

The Standard Spa - boutique hotel in Miami Beach

If you’re expecting The Standard Spa, Miami Beach to be a carbon copy of the LA Standards, you’re in for a bit of a surprise. Still intact is the Standard’s house brand of low-key luxury — itself enough to raise an eyebrow or two in shamelessly glam Miami Beach — and unique to this particular Standard are a few novel solutions to the problem of shoehorning another big-deal hotel into the already packed South Beach scene.

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Finca Cortesin

Marbella, Spain

Finca Cortesin - boutique hotel in Marbella

Southern Spain is blessed with an array of natural gifts: not just sun, sand and surf, but a climate and a landscape that are ideal for the game of golf. And while golf resorts the world over are a conservative lot, Spanish hotels have been quicker than most to modernize — beneath its traditional red tile roofs, the brand-new Finca Cortesín is a contemporary-style luxury resort of the new breed.

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Banke Hôtel

Paris, France

Banke Hôtel - boutique hotel in Paris

From the outside, it’s another classic edifice, standing at a sharp corner like the prow of a ship. Inside is another story – the stunningly grand lobby has been created from the marbled and mosaiced rotunda of a former bank. Here it will also become apparent that a creative decorator has been at work on the Banke — gold sofas and massive contemporary chandeliers are a dead giveaway. Up some sweeping stairs to your room, you’ll find things leaning more towards the crisp and modern, but not sterile by any stretch. The décor does not completely fall into any single category, just taut, cool and very French. From intimate quarters up in the roof dormers to the most luxurious suite, the Banke is on the money.

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Nell Hotel & Suites

Paris, France

Nell Hotel & Suites - boutique hotel in Paris

“Low-key” is a word that frankly doesn’t adequately describe enough Parisian hotels. Such is the hospitality situation in the French capital that when you do find someplace that’s both thoughtfully designed and humanely spacious, you’re practically deafened by the five-star fanfare. So maybe the residential approach is the way to go. Résidence Nell, in the 9th arrondissement, means the “résidence” bit quite literally: its seventeen apartments come with functional kitchenettes, and, even in the studios, enough space for a bit of proper relaxation.

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Hotel Brunelleschi

Florence, Italy

Hotel Brunelleschi - boutique hotel in Florence

There’s no question the Hotel Brunelleschi has a legitimate claim to the name. With its top-floor view taking in the entire panorama of Brunelleschi’s masterpiece, the Florence Cathedral, it’s more or less as close as you can get to the Duomo without taking religious orders. The location has always been a strength, and after a very thorough 2012 renovation, the Brunelleschi can finally boast of interiors that are worthy of the view.

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The Malabar House

Fort Cochin, India

The Malabar House - boutique hotel in Fort Cochin

Malabar House is an example of a hotel concept that’s vanishingly rare in South India, even as it thrives in Sri Lanka — the colonial-house luxury boutique hotel. This one is a Dutch-era mansion, located in the historic Fort Cochin district of the Keralan city of Kochi, and it’s been running as a hotel for over ten years now under the watchful eye of a European couple and a dedicated staff of locals.

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The Laslett

London, England

The Laslett - boutique hotel in London

The Laslett places a tireless emphasis on the local, the homegrown, the authentic; this is a hotel that couldn’t exist anywhere else. It’s named, first of all, for Rhaune Laslett, the founder of what’s now the Notting Hill Carnival. The interiors are a celebration of British design, intermixed with the sort of eclectic, globetrotting influence that’s naturally provided by close proximity to Portobello Road and its famous market. The Henderson Bar serves all-day, seasonal small plates — local sourcing is the rule throughout the hotel, from the full-sized REN bathroom products right down to the Cru Kafe coffee beans.

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