Best Boutique Hotels - 2019 Platinum List Nominees

Vote for your favorites through June 30, 2019

March/April 2019
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From intimate hideaways in the center of town to splendid retreats on dazzling seas, these properties embody a sense of leisure apart from the madding crowd. Help us determine the best in luxury travel for the 2019 Celebrated Living Platinum List Awards. Your vote will help select the top properties. Voting ends June 30. Read about the winners in our Platinum List Awards issue, on planes September 1.

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Hotel 41

London, England

Sitting at the flowery rooftop bar at London’s Hotel 41, I facetiously ask general manager Malcolm Hendry if the satisfied guests who keep approaching our table are paid actors, and he goes along with the joke. “That one costs us £1,500 a night,” he says of an American man who just stopped by to say: “I give you guys five out of five!” 

In fairness, Hotel 41 does have a lot going for it. It’s located across from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, within walking distance of everything from Harrods to Big Ben. It’s intimate (28 rooms and suites) and easy on the eye (checkerboard floors, tasteful bric-a-brac). At the center of it all is the clubby Executive Lounge, which doubles as the breakfast room and reception area. 

It is here that 41’s biggest selling point quickly becomes apparent. Within seconds of my arrival, I am handed a glass of champagne. There is also a pantry, stocked with complimentary canapés and sweets, all of which are available until 1 a.m. (At around midnight, I will take full advantage of this amenity, having already loaded up on steak and scallops at the hotel’s swish English Grill.)

Wandering around the lounge, meanwhile, is Steve Jones, dapper in a three-piece suit and purple tie, whose only job is to make people feel at home. At one point, I ask him if there’s any significance to a nearby Napoleon bust and he nods at my glass. “Napoleon said, ‘In victory, we deserve champagne; in defeat we need it.’ ” He smiles and adds, “In truth, the interior designer had it in storage.” 

Hotel 41 is part of the family-run Red Carnation group, which has an uncanny knack for hiring staff who are not only friendly and accommodating, but also warm and funny, who genuinely seem to derive pleasure from making other people happy. “We don’t want people to think we are like this because we are getting paid for it,” Hendry says, gesturing toward the rooftop bartender, who also grew the rosemary and thyme that went into the cocktail I’m drinking. “That guy really cares about his herbs,” he says. “If he doesn’t get it right, he won’t sleep tonight.”
—Chris Wright

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Aman Venice

Venice, Italy

Trompe-l’oeil ceilings, crystal chandeliers and rococo flourishes conjure old-world opulence in a 16th-century palazzo on Venice’s Grand Canal that houses 24 recherché guest rooms, some with significant works of art. 

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The Cotton House

Mustique Island, St. Vincent & Grenadines

Set on its own private tropical island, The Cotton House is an enchanting haven with 17 colonial-style rooms set close to the beach. Watersports and snorkels are available to guests, but those looking for R&R can head to the spa, library or pool recliners.

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Hotel TwentySeven

Amsterdam, Netherlands

With a signature scent and the Michelin-starred Restaurant Bougainville, this sumptuous hotel is located in a 1916 building in Amsterdam’s city center.

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The Ivy Hotel

Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Radiating warmth, this mansion in central Baltimore features eight suites and ten rooms with fireplaces and bathrooms with heated limestone floors. The restaurant Magdalena, offering innovative fare, rounds out the experience.

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J.K. Place

Rome, Italy

Featuring retro-chic interiors, J.K. Place is one of Italy's most glamorous townhouse hotels. Centrally located within walking distance of the Vatican and Spanish Steps, it embodies Roman style. 

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La Réserve

Paris, France

La Réserve is belle-époque Paris on an intimate scale, with a Michelin-two-star restaurant and indoor pool. Twenty-five suites and 15 rooms feature sumptuous fabrics and antiques.  

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The Siam

Thailand

Close to Bangkok’s temples and museums, this hotel blends classic Thai influences with a chic art deco design. Cooking classes and sunset cruises on a refurbished rice barge are among the property's signature amenities.

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The Singular

Santiago, Chile

In artsy Lastarria,  The Singular embodies impeccable taste, with five categories of rooms in restrained shades of taupe, white and pale gold. The hotel also has a top-tier restaurant serving French-inflected local fare.  

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Topping Rose House

Bridgehampton, New York, United States

One of the chicest accommodations in the Hamptons, this 1842 Greek Revival mansion has been restored with airy rooms and contemporary design. A one-acre farm sources food to the restaurant.

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