The times they are a-changin’. In very much the same way that shoppers are turning their backs on the big-gun brands in favour of less ostentatious and perhaps more affordable labels, so too have travellers begun to search for something more than five-star luxury. And by something more, we do not mean six stars; we mean the personal touch and individual experience that can often only be found when staying at a boutique property.
With more and more of these smaller, bijou offerings opening their doors, it can be hard to know which ones to try, which is where we come in with a roundup of five of the best from around the world.
Eccleston Square Hotel
37 Eccleston Square, London, SW1V 1PB
The brainchild of former Paris-based hoteliers, this gorgeous hotel is now run by the children of the owners, making it very much a family affair and the sentiment and spirit of this union can be felt throughout. Service is personal and attentive, and each of the rooms and suites has been carefully and considerately furnished to offer an understated yet luxurious retreat in the heart of Belgravia. One of the best things about this hotel is the emphasis that it places on technology; it is present throughout, making Eccleston Square Hotel one of the most technologically advanced hotels in the city. A great place to base yourselves for a long weekend exploring London, but beware if you want to go with children as they won’t accept under 13s.
365 Park Avenue South at 26th Street, 10016 New York
Located in the very heart of the Big Apple, on the corner of Park Avenue South and 26th Street, Hotel Giraffe presents a home away from home in one of the world’s most impressive cities. Inspired by the gentle power and grace of the animal it is named after, each of the 72 rooms and suites exude these qualities through sensitive interiors, complete with photography from the 1920s and 1930s, as well as all the mod cons you would expect from a luxury property. Some of the best things about Hotel Giraffe however are those you don’t expect, which include the wine and cheese reception held every evening and accompanied by live piano music during the week, and complimentary passes to New York Sports Club – this is one hotel that knows it’s the little things that matter.
6 Avenue Fremiet, 75016, Paris
If you are looking for traditional, Versailles-inspired charm with all of its frou-frou ornamentation and fleur de lis-esque prints, then Hotel Sezz is not for you. Instead, it is contemporary, sleek and seductive, much like the City of Lights itself, which has cast off the shadow of its former self and fully embraced its position as one of Europe’s trendiest, and trend-driving, cities. Behind its sexy glass and stone façade lies Hotel Sezz’s philosophy; to break from the norm, and it does just that rewarding the audacious traveller with an ultra modern bolthole from which to explore Paris.
14/29 Sukhumvit 45 Road, Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok
Bangkok is a many splendoured city, at once bustling and sensory, and at the same time a soulful sanctuary where old and new combine to create something truly special. Few places is this more obvious than at the Cabochon Hotel, an eight-room offering that pays homage to the 1920s through eclectic and appealing interiors and an effortless charm that emanates from colonial building itself. As impressive on the inside as it is from the outside, bring your bathers as the somewhat unexpected rooftop pool is the jewel in Cabochon’s crown.
183 Jiaozhou Road, 20004 Shanghai
As you would expect from China’s first carbon neutral hotel, URBN is an eco chic refuge with both style and substance. Occupying a converted factory warehouse, this 26-room property is fittingly industrial-inspired, but without sacrificing any of the comfort or welcome desired with a property such as this. Natural and recycled materials soften the sleek edges and add a warmth to the minimalist interiors, while mod cons make this a city-hideaway worthy of any discerning jetsetter. And just to prove that eco doesn’t mean austere, URBN boasts fabulous drinking and dining options, a gym and in-room beauty and spa treatments, all a stone’s throw from Shanghai’s Jing’an District.
Text and photos with permission of Wish hr partner, Quintessentially Lifestyle.