A look back at the top-rated hotels of 2022, according to feedback from verified Tablet guests. That means this list is all about you. It’s a great responsibility.
Hear that sound? That’s the sound of happiness and contentment. That’s the sound of our editors enjoying this very special week, when we publish our annual list of the top-rated hotels of the year, as determined by feedback from verified Tablet guests.
We love this week because we get to step back and put a much-deserved spotlight on you for once. We love this week because it reflects your valuable opinions, and the ratings from your actual hotel stays. Mostly, we love this week because we bear no responsibility for its content. If someone isn’t happy with the hotels they see here, they can take it up with their fellow travelers. They’ll be thrilled to receive the criticism.
In the meantime, we’re going to sit back, relax, get blasted on nog, and be totally blameless. This week, the people have the power.
Every corner of Tuscany has its partisans, surely, but there’s no place quite like Montalcino, famous for the walled hilltop city, its idyllic surroundings, and the region’s coveted sangiovese grosso wines. And to that list of attractions you can add at least one extraordinary hotel. Villa le Prata – Residenza del Vescovo is a scant five minutes’ drive from the city walls, and it’s as pure an introduction to the delights of Tuscan countryside living as you could possibly ask for.
Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
The hilltop village of Civita di Bagnoregio is a vision so magnificent that you’ll have a hard time believing that Italians once nicknamed the place “the dying city.” But when an earthquake struck in 1685, residents fled, including the bishop, who abandoned his home and seminary. Centuries later, an Italian psychologist and his wife bought the place. They kept part of the old bishop’s quarters for a second home, transforming the rest into a fantastically charming guesthouse called Corte della Maestà.
André Balazs knows how to open a hotel. His Chiltern Firehouse was packed to the rafters before the paint was even dry, and it’s been the overwhelming favorite among famous names from both sides of the Atlantic ever since. The setting, in a converted Victorian firehouse in a corner of Marylebone, is suitably full of character. And the celebrity-approved service delivers on the promises of classic hospitality: balancing glamour and style with an air of absolute privacy and discretion.
Forget about faux Roman columns and porticos: though it’s built on the foundation of an old stone boathouse, Il Sereno is a modern marvel both inside and out. A boxy glass-encased structure built of stone, wood, bronze, and copper, the hotel rises up several stories from the water’s edge, with a long infinity pool — the largest on the lake, if you’re keeping track — and a striking pair of vertical gardens designed by the famed botanist Patrick Blanc.
Los Angeles, California
Venice Beach isn’t just geographically on the fringes of the city of Los Angeles, it’s a stylistic outlier as well, known for its bohemian, creative edge and its intensely independent atmosphere. The century-old Waldorf Building is steeped in SoCal history; former residents include Charlie Chaplin and the legendary Z-Boys skateboard team. Today it’s been put to new use as Venice V Hotel, a modern boutique-style property that opens directly onto the famous boardwalk.
The ultra-chic Château Voltaire is named not for the Enlightenment philosopher but for the fashion brand Zadig & Voltaire, for which hotelier Thierry Gillier is better known. For this venture, Mr. Gillier enlisted creative director Franck Durand and the Parisian architecture studio Festen to translate his aesthetic into a hospitality language, and the resulting hotel is every bit as stylish as its star-studded genealogy would suggest.
The Viceroy hotels exist at the intersection of luxury-hotel extravagance and boutique-hotel tastefulness, and the brand-new Viceroy Chicago is no different. The building, a gently undulating glass tower, is pure luxe modernity, but the lower floors blend effortlessly into Chicago’s Gold Coast, thanks to the meticulously preserved façade of the 1920s-vintage Cedar Hotel, which was reassembled brick by brick once the tower was complete.
North Adams, Massachusetts
The Berkshires revival is well underway. Thanks in part to the redevelopment that’s accompanied MASS MoCA, the contemporary art museum, the formerly industrial town of North Adams is living a second life as a booming cultural destination. Outside the town center you’ll find another piece of reclaimed Berkshires heritage: TOURISTS, a Sixties motor lodge reborn as a very modern, very hip little country boutique hotel.
Even against stiff local competition, Serras stands out. It’s rare in Barcelona, or in any city, to find something that so effortlessly straddles the line between boutique chic and ultra-high-end luxury. It occupies a building of some distinction on the Passeig de Colom, where the Gothic Quarter meets Port Vell, which accounts for one of its most desirable attributes: the marina-facing rooftop pool deck, restaurant, and bar.
Blind Tiger Guest House takes its name from the Prohibition-era speakeasy that once occupied the basement of this lovely 19th-century house. Built in 1823, it’s fresh off a 2020 renovation by Northeast boutique-hotel specialists Lark Hotels, and the brand’s signature attributes are very much in evidence here: photogenic interiors, luxe comforts, a convivial atmosphere, and a location in a vibrant and walkable corner of town.
The Portuguese university town of Coimbra is the intellectual capital of the Portuguese-speaking world, and it should come as no surprise that Sapientia is no neon-lit dance club but rather a thoughtful, quiet, refined sort of place. Though the buildings of this “books & wine hotel” date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, the style is modern, a sort of quasi-rustic minimalism, with artwork made from the pages of classic books.
New York City
A hotel like Crosby Street is exactly what New York City needs. The contrast between the downtown grit of the cobblestone street outside and the plush sophistication of the hotel’s lobby is immediate, and striking. Say what you will about the bright colors and the decidedly un-minimal décor — it’s a rare New York boutique these days that presents so opinionated a face to the world.
Shila, hidden away in the stylish Athens district of Kolonaki, transforms a Twenties neoclassical mansion into an utterly unique and singularly memorable luxury boutique hotel experience. With just six suites, it’s as intimate as they come, and its style is too eclectic to be pinned down — equal parts detailed historic recreation, eclectic-bohemian retro collage, and contemporary-luxe lifestyle fantasy.