Platinum List 2018: Best Boutique Hotels
Ka’ana, Perivolas Lifestyle Houses, Le Sirenuse, The Spectator Hotel, Trunk Hotel
From intimate hideaways in the center of town to splendid retreats on dazzling seas, these properties embody cozy chic.
Guests leave supremely comfortable jungle villas to embark on a number of adventures, from exploring Mayan ruins to snorkeling along the world’s second-largest barrier reef before flying back over scenic mangroves and forests.
Perivolas Lifestyle Houses has been a labor of love for Costis Psychas and his family for several decades. A naval architect from Athens, he first came to the island in the ’70s, when his parents acquired a cave house as a holiday home. Today, 20 luxurious rooms dramatically cling to 300-meter-high cliffs that overlook the caldera, a seven-mile-long lagoon produced by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. Each room has been created from a 300-year-old yposkafo, a traditional dwelling that was literally hewn out of the rock face. Cool, white, upscale caves are brightened with splashes of lilac and dusky pink. Low-slung beds are molded into cozy alcoves, with romantic views of the caldera. Most suites have their own plunge pool, steam room and private terrace—and rightly, absolutely none have a television!
With countless accolades over the years, this hotel put Oia on the map. And though Perivolas has certainly had its imitators, none match its charm, originality and attention to detail. Its location at the edge of Oia means that guests are close enough to walk into town, but far enough away to ensure privacy.
Santorini is a tiny island that can be driven around in just a few hours, with large swaths remaining almost untouched. The pace of life is slow, even if locals complain about the summer crowds. There are sensational whitewashed villages, coastal walks, picture-perfect harbors, trendy beach restaurants down dirt tracks, crystal-clear waters and famous local vineyards. That said, no one will blame you for never leaving Oia. Kick back in Perivolas’ infinity pool (the largest on the island), snack on the inn’s homemade fava-bean dip, and sip the local vin santo. Oh, and did we mention that it’s adults-only? —Michael Keating
Since 1951, this exceptionally romantic 58-room hotel on the Amalfi Coast—originally a private house—has beguiled visitors with its airy sophistication and breathtaking setting 70 meters above the sea.
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
When a guest at The Spectator Hotel requested an out-of-season imperial stout from local Westbrook Brewing before his arrival, the staff at Charleston’s poshest boutique property scoured the Lowcountry for any remaining samples of the very limited release. “While we couldn’t find a whole six-pack, we were able to find two cans,” recalls Spectator general manager Carlo Carroccia. “He was surprised and delighted when he checked into his room.”
Opened in 2015 around the corner from the historic City Market, The Spectator offers 41 plush rooms that feature amenities exclusively created in South Carolina—from the Charleston Artist Collective paintings lining the walls to the Euro-top mattresses stitched by the 104-year-old bedding manufacturer Southern Lady. In the marble-filled bathrooms, the hotel recently added body products from Deep Steep, a family-run business 10 miles from downtown.
“We want people to feel like they’re part of our vibrant Charleston community,” says Carroccia, “even if they’re just staying for a few nights.” With woven-basket-equipped bicycles available to borrow, The Spectator is the perfect starting point for exploring the shops and bars along nearby King Street or zipping over to Waterfront Park. Inspired by the glamour of the Jazz Age, local designer Jenny Keenan accented the jewel-toned space with touches such as an 1,800-crystal Murano glass chandelier and a resplendent white peacock. (She’s named Daisy, a nod to The Great Gatsby character.)
A library-like bar specializes in seasonal Southern cocktails crafted by mixologist Allen Lancaster. His rendition of the classic rum-spiked Painkiller can’t be beat on a warm day. “Allen challenges himself to invoke all the senses,” says Carroccia.
Upstairs, each of The Spectator’s rooms offers butler service. Besides hunting down hard-to-find brews, they’re happy to schedule local history tours and help with difficult restaurant reservations. The most popular request? Garment pressing. “It’s such a simple offering that many guests don’t even think about,” says Carroccia, “but it can make them feel so good about themselves.” —Derrik J. Lang
This property features one-of-a-kind guest rooms and an activities program centered on experiences unique to the city’s Shibuya district, including behind-the-scenes access to the Tsukiji fish market.