Since their beginnings in Eighties New York, boutique hotels have sprung up all over the world, each competing to offer a unique, designer edge to the travel experience.
Make your next hotel a lifestyle choice with HELLO! Online's top picks.
• New York – Gramercy Park Hotel
Beginning with a lesson from the master, Gramercy Park belongs to the boutique movement's founding father, the international hotelier Ian Schrager.
Its luxurious interior is swathed in a bohemian feel that has been reinvented for the 21st century traveller. Artworks from some of the 20th century finest hang in the halls – stroll past the likes of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst as you make your way to your room with spectacular views of Manhattan and the green haven of Gramercy Park.
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• Porto – Hotel Infante Sagres
Seeped in history and atmosphere, this renovated palatial property retains its opulent feel with original features like stained glass windows and glittering chandeliers.
Enjoy a traditional Hindu Ayurvedic massage in the resident spa, or plan your itinerary in front of their roaring fire in the grand hall. The Dalai Lama, Bono and King Harald of Norway have all discovered the charms of this Portuguese gem.
• Hong Kong – The Mira Hotel
Take respite from the thrumming, neon chaos of Hong Kong in the sanctuary of The Mira.
One of the most stylish and unique hotels the city-state has to offer, its ethereal designs emit the sensation of being in one of the mystic temples and caves that be found on the other side of the entrance. Each room boasts cutting edge technology, and it will be difficult to tear yourself away from their breathtaking new spa.
• Barcelona – The Mirror
Original, stunning yet simple are the words evoked by this hotel. The interior plays with two elements – crisp white walls and the heady effect produced by a duplicate mirror universe. There is a 3 Michelin starred restaurant on site where chef Paco Pérez rustles up seafood sensations using local produce.
• Sao Paolo – Fasano Boa Vista
This rural haven sprawls over 100 acres of lush green forest, and is a feast for the eyes and the senses. The furniture and exterior are carved from wood, glass and stone, and the entire hotel conspires to provide a luxurious experience while in the middle of nature.
• Amsterdam – The College Hotel
This 19th-century building used to be a school house and retains that imposing facade. Beyond the dramatic architecture, the scholarly theme continues with student hoteliers perfecting the art of service under the watchful eye of their peers. All rooms are individually designed in taupe, brown and red for a warm and inviting stay.
• Marrakesh – Murano resort
Set in a palm grove nestling at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, this resort's defining features are the blood red pools that light up at night. The Palm trees and Moorish chic make you feel like you're starring in your very own tale from One Thousand and One Nights.
Report: Andrea Maltman