As much as we love the idea of backpacking around a country on a shoestring and crashing each night in a rural hostel, sometimes travelling is just better with a little touch of luxury.
If you’re a fan of crisp, white bed linen, stunning sea-facing views and deliciously adventurous, Michelin-starred food, a boutique hotel is probably right up your street. With the winners of the World’s Best Boutique Hotel Awards recently announced, we’ve selected five of the most tempting below, from a seaside retreat to a foodie’s heaven.
World’s Best Beach or Coastal Hotel: El Nido, Pangulasian Island, Philippines
Most commonly referred to as “Island of the Sun”, Pangulasian Island in the Philippines is the perfect location for sun-seekers. Guests at the El Nido resort can catch stunning sunrises and sunsets from the balconies of their private villas, or soak up some rays on the resort’s private, white sand beach.
Set against a backdrop of lush green tropical forest, the resort is committed to being eco-friendly, offering sustainable menus and nature-based activities with a low carbon footprint.
World’s Best City Hotel: 11 Mirrors, Kiev, Ukraine
Perfectly located for a cultural tour of some of Ukraine’s finest attractions, the 11 Mirrors hotel is situated right in the middle of Kiev. Amble four minutes down the road and you will reach the Ukraine National Opera House, or walk a further two minutes to get to the landmark Golden Gate at the entrance to the medieval city.
Then, relax after a hard day of sightseeing in the beautifully designed surrounds of the hotel, and pop next door to enjoy reduced rates at the luxurious spa.
Or, simply get away from it all in one of the hotel’s cleverly-designed ‘incognito’ rooms, offering a peaceful sanctuary complete with the requisite king-sized bed.
World’s Best Culinary Hotel: Vila Joya, Algarve, Portugal
As expected, the main attraction at the Vila Joya resort is the food, with the on-site restaurant boasting no less than two Michelin stars.
Named in the prestigious list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, diners can expect to feast on delights such as guinea fowl is stuffed with black truffles and artichokes and roasted goose liver served on a broccoli purée with smoked eel.
World’s Best New Hotel: Hotel Gotham, Manchester, United Kingdom
This quirky, but luxurious, hotel in central Manchester is the perfect place for anyone looking for a decadent staycation. Think big brass baths in your bedroom and twin-headed showers, topped off with the finest sheets and faux fur throws.
Head for a delicious dinner in the on-site restaurant and finish with a trip to the members-only speak-easy bar, Club Brass.
World’s Best Boutique Hotel: Secret Bay Hotel, Dominica
If waking up to views over the Caribbean sea and rainforest-covered mountains is your thing, then head to the Secret Bay resort, which has breathtaking views from its prime cliff top location on the island of Dominica.
When you’re not relaxing in your luxurious room or lying on one of the resort’s two swimming beaches, you can kayak to a deserted, white-sand beach or try paddle boarding or sunset sailing. Other unique activities on offer include night snorkeling, private concerts and beach-side yoga. Bliss.