Sense Beach House
Boutique hotels are rising in popularity. Offering a more personalized and authentic experience for their guests rather than that copy and paste branded experience you get with bigger chain resorts, boutique hotels make up their own rules. Their style and décor usually set them apart from other properties incorporating a certain charm and personality that helps them stand out. These properties provide a perfect atmosphere to mix and mingle with other guests that potentially have a lot in common with you, as boutique hotels tend to target one particular demographic - whether you’re into music, art, or beaches, there’s a boutique hotel just right for you. From Minneapolis to Guatemala, here are nine unique boutique properties travelers should check out:
Your Home Away From Home / Sense Beach House
The rooftop oasis pool is one reason alone to visit Sense Beach House. Its mesmerizing panoramic views of downtown Miami and cozy, elegant atmosphere will make you feel like you’re at a Hamptons-like private home in South Beach; living the life. With only 18 rooms, it might seem at times as if you have the whole place to yourself, but if you want company, head downstairs to the popular Local House restaurant, and mingle with fellow guests and locals, as Sense Beach House is located in one of South Beach’s most coveted residential addresses called SoFi (South of Fifth). Intimate and inviting, the chic-boutique hotel makes the perfect setting for a romantic getaway for two or even just a peaceful retreat for a small group of friends.
Art-Deco Chic / Stanton South Beach
As close to the sand as you can get, the chic and sophisticated Stanton South Beach is one of the only hotels perched right on the sand of Ocean Drive, giving guests the most picture-perfect oceanfront & Miami skyline views on the strip. A true art-deco feel with a surf-inspired twist is the initial vibe you get once you step inside the sleek, 1960’s style newly renovated rooms (completed in 2014 by Jeffrey Beers International) - stay tuned for the full makeover scheduled to wrap in 2016! In the meantime, locally crafted murals occupying the property’s walls offer a taste of the emerging Wynwood art scene, and better yet, guests can bring home a little street credit by signing up for a graffiti lessons on site with one of the city’s most well-known talents. And for those travelers who can’t bare to leave their pets behind, Stanton South Beach is a pup-friendly boutique hotel welcoming guests and their four-legged best friends with open arms (and cozy suites).
Globally Inspired / Circa 39
Your wanderlust has met its match in Miami Beach at this colorful, globally-inspired escape for explorers at heart, recently renovated from top to bottom in fall 2014. Set to provide an authentic taste of the melting pot that is Miami, Circa 39 borrows from an eclectic mix of styles, from beachside simplicity to tropical vibrancy, vintage charm and old world comfort. Let Circa 39’s vibrant interiors, tropical courtyard garden, and laid-back mix of locals and travelers inspire you to make your next big excursion to one of Miami’s hidden cultural gems, like historic heritage neighborhood Little Havana or trendy neighboring arts district, Wynwood. Toast to new adventures at WunderBar, where you can drink around the world with whimsical craft cocktails, and just steps away, recline and relax at the retro-chic pool deck for some Miami sunshine. After a long day of exploration, fill up on worldly comfort food and dynamic small plates in a cozy booth at Circa 39’s signature eatery, Jules Kitchen. Only a block from the beach, Circa 39 is a sunny, happy haven for the upbeat travelers of the world.
Mediterranean Hideaway on Florida’s Gulf Coast / The Hotel Zamora
At St. Pete Beach’s first new hotel in more than 20 years, guests feel more like they’re summering in Spain than visiting one of Florida’s most coveted beach towns. Guests The Hotel Zamora can embark on a sunset dolphin watching cruise right from the property’s private marina, indulge in locally sourced seafood and tapas at award-winning Castile restaurant, and sip cocktails with incredible panoramic views of downtown and the turquoise Gulf of Mexico from five stories above sea level at the hotel’s brand new 360° Rooftop. Not to mention easy access to downtown St. Petersburg’s museums, restaurants, boutique shops and breweries. With just 72 residential-style rooms and suites, travelers will feel like they have the place all to themselves.
An art-lover’s dream / Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis
Creativity. Modernism. Experimentation. Words that defined the roaring 1920’s adequately describe Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis - an edgy, art deco hotel located in the heart of the city’s vibrant arts district. Two landmark revival buildings designed by architecture legend David Rockwell are within walking distance from the plethora of art galleries, museums and musical institutions that make Minneapolis the sexiest, most cultured city in the Midwest. Bringing art in, the 60-room boutique hotel houses more than 200 pieces of original contemporary artwork and features the renowned Burnet Gallery right on property. Take advantage of comp access to local art institutions such as the Walker Art Center, with the hotel’s ‘Unlock Art’ program, which features artist-designed room key cards unlock way more than just your guest room.
More Like a Luxury Beach House / The House
Situated on Barbados’ stunning west coast, The House is a charming, 34-room, adults-only hotel reminiscent of a fabled castle with terraced brick walls and arched wooden doorways. On the inside, the chic, boutique-style hotel mixes minimalist design and effortless luxury, mimicking the feel of the ultimate beach house. Guests feel like they have the whole place to themselves with complimentary amenities ranging from 24/7 service ambassadors that wait on guests hand and foot, to a welcome jet-lag revival massage and daily champagne breakfast. Marble bathrooms, rainforest showers, feather-topped beds, afternoon tea and evening canapés give this beach bungalow a feeling of uber-luxury.
Boutique Cruising through the Galapagos / Ecoventura
Ecoventura’s fleet of 20-passenger luxury yachts deliver an up-close-and-personal journey through the Galapagos Islands, the enchanted archipelago known for some of the most unique species in the world. From swimming alongside sea lions to watching the Blue Footed Boobies shake their feet in a mating dance to hiking through volcanic rocks, guests see it best via Ecoventura’s seven-night itineraries. These include daily, personalized excursions led by two onboard, certified naturalists, and optional snorkel and kayak tours. For an added dose of luxury, plan to sail on Ecoventura's new M/V Origin, debuting in 2016.
Understated Lakeside Beauty / Casa Palopo
Adding a touch of understated beauty and class to the Guatemalan Highlands, Casa Palopo is a former home turned luxury hotel that invites guests into Central America’s colorful culture. With sweeping views of Lake Atitlan and its three surrounding Volcanoes, guests have a chance to unwind in one of seven colorful suites, each decorated with handcrafted antique furniture and Latin American artwork. Personalized attention introduces guests to cultural experiences that include Mayan shaman blessings on property, massages in your own guest room terrace, tours through Lake Atitlan’s 12 indigenous Mayan villages, horseback riding and hiking the 10,000-foot San Pedro Volcano.