Legado Mitico, Buenos Aires
Finding a quiet boutique in a big city might seem like a challenge, but in reality, some of our most intimate stays are tucked into the corners of the world's largest metropolises. Offering personalized service and charming details, these petite hotels are some of our favorites -- and they all have less that 50 rooms on property. (Most of them have 20 or less!) So though mega-metropolises like Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, or Los Angeles might intimidate you, fear not. You can always retreat to these intimate boutiques for some quiet time amidst the bustle of the big city.
This charming, upscale boutique in Buenos Aires feels like a private home, with 11 beautiful, individually decorated rooms featuring hardwood floors, comfortable beds, and great amenities. Each room has been dedicated to a significant figure in Argentine history -- such as Evita Peron, Che Guevara, General San Martin and Mafalda -- and has themed decor to match. The cozy library is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing in the winter, and in the warmer months guests can head up to the rooftop deck, complete with a six-person Jacuzzi and lounge chairs.
Soho House, New York City
Known best as a members-only club, Soho House's 24 rooms, though comfortable and gorgeously designed, take a backseat to the clubs' exclusive scene and cool factor. "Creative" types and celebrities generally gain easy entry to the posh club, with individuals like Nicole Kidman, Robert DeNiro, and Salma Hayek all having been on the roster in the past. The rooftop pool, the Drawing Room bar/lounge, and spa are all great amenities, but lodgers vie with club members for service.
Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa, Brazil
Relais & Chateaux Santa Teresa is a historic mansion turned luxurious boutique hotel located on a former coffee plantation in Santa Teresa, Rio De Janeiro. It features gorgeous tropical decor, which includes bright cabanas in the lounge, lots of lush greenery (by the pool, on the grounds), tiled mosaics, and island-themed bed runners in the rooms. The 42-room hotel also features a gorgeous spa, a rooftop pool with sweeping views of the city, and a restaurant serving delicious French-influenced Brazilian cuisine.
Durley House, London
The tiny and intimate Durley House is a specialized boutique hotel with a discrete Chelsea location. The 11 individually designed suites are spacious and filled with traditional English decor. Cozy living areas, modern kitchens, and dining spaces are features in all the suites. While Durley House doesn't have a formal restaurant, there is 24-hour room service available, utilizing a historic dumb waiter. Personal service makes Durley House stand out against the competition, and warm touches include big bouquets of fresh flowers and affordable afternoon tea.
Maison 140 Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
This tiny, 43-room boutique makes up in style what it lacks in size and amenities. Granted there's no pool, real business center, or even a restaurant -- but the unique Chinoiserie and Parisian-inspired rooms, cozy lobby bar with nightly absinthe happy hours, and central Beverly Hills location lure in a loyal crowd. Guest rooms were completely renovated in May 2011 by Kelly Wearstler, as well as certain furnishings in the lobby.
The Aubrey, Santiago, Chile
The Aubrey is a designer boutique hotel in a 1927 Spanish mission-style house that was renovated in 2010. This stylish property offers both free breakfast and tea in its dining room, and serves cocktails in its quirky piano lounge, which combines worn leather and wood with neon-pink upholstery. The funky, modern decor mixes with the old-world architecture and original beams to create a uniquely cool vibe. Adding to the charm, each of the 15 rooms is different -- with some boasting private outdoor space and private entrances.
Hotel Emiliano, Sao Paulo, Brazil
The Hotel Emiliano is a luxurious hotel in the upscale Jardins area. Despite being a boutique, the hotel has numerous features -- a spa, a 24-hour fitness center, a restaurant and two bars, a staffed business center, and even a rooftop helipad for guests arriving in style (though no pool, oddly enough). The mod rooms are sexy and sleek: Picture wood-paneled walls, clean lines, Charles Eames furniture, and high-tech marble bathrooms (the toilet has buttons).
Livian Guest House, Buenos Aires
This quaint, artsy B&B is housed in a French-inspired 1920s building in the upscale shopping district of Palermo. Its decor reflects Buenos Aires' eclectic charm: The warm lobby, for example, has aqua-splashed walls and a collection of colorful paintings. Each of the eight simple, unpretentious rooms has a unique name and accompanying style; all feature quirky art. None of the rooms have TVs or other basic amenities, but the communal area has a flat-screen TV. This area is adjacent to the business center (with only one computer) and the quiet breakfast room, which serves a free daily breakfast. Outside, guests can relax on an upper- or ground-level terrace/garden.
Hotel del Patio, Santiago, Chile
Hotel del Patio is a renovated boutique hotel (some would say hostel) that was once a historic country mansion. Guests (including many backpackers) have access to the lively Barrio Bellavista, which is filled with authentic shops, restaurants, and bars (though it can be noisy at night). The hotel only has 10 rooms that are situated around a central yard, and there is a neat terrace with mountain views; in fact, some rooms come with a private patio. Made from the native wood of southern Chile, the original roofing and flooring have been preserved. Contemporary rooms in vibrant colors come in standard, superior, and triple size, and they have tall ceilings, small bathrooms, and flat-screen TVs.
Hotel Apostrophe Rive Gauche, Paris
Located on Paris' Left Bank and just a hop, skip, and a jump to Luxembourg Gardens, this boutique hotel has 16 artsy rooms that feature distinct themes -- like the "Musique" room, which has a hand-painted musical mural on the wall. It's not a place for conformists -- even the exterior facade is painted in a tree design, making it stand out among its more traditional neighbors. The rooms are very modern, with iPod docks, CD/DVD players, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Bathrooms meld into the rooms (with separate water closets) and come with powerful showers or whirlpool tubs.
Basadre Suites Boutique Hotel, Lima, Peru
The 20-room Basadre Suites is located in San Isidro, a quiet and safe neighborhood between hopping Miraflores and Lima’s Historic District. Rooms are basic but quaint and have some attractive decor details, and come with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges. The grounds are charming, with manicured lawns, a small pool, and quirky little fountains made of rock. Great freebies such as Wi-Fi and breakfast add to the value.
Room Mate Alicia, Madrid, Spain
This 37-room boutique is part of a stylish yet affordable chain that offers a youthful, playful design at a good price in Madrid. All rooms have pops of bright blue, yellow, or red, along with modern furniture, sleek track lighting, and Roy Lichtenstein prints. Bathrooms are also modern, though the showers and tubs lack privacy and are quite revealing (some showers are in the room while some tubs have direct street views). The Duplex is a hip upgrade, with a spacious living room, big outdoor balcony, and mini pool.
Villa D' Citta, Chicago
The six-room Villa D’ Citta is a cozy, romantic bed-and-breakfast located in residential Lincoln Park. Its few features are all charming: an outdoor whirlpool and sun deck, a brick courtyard with a barbecue, and a large communal kitchen. The bright, luxurious rooms have big flat-screen TVs and hardwood floors, but they lack iPod docks and safes, and two of them share a bathroom.
The Drake Hotel, Toronto
Located in the newly gentrified area of the Art and Design District, the 19-room Drake Hotel has funky decor and a design that fits in nicely with the neighborhood. Each of the nineteen rooms has its own hip style, complemented by modern touches such as flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. But the hip vibe comes with a price -- with a hot club that stays open until the wee hours of the morning, The Drake Hotel is not the place for guests looking for a good night's sleep.
Lkf, Hong Kong
The definition of boutique has to change slightly in Hong Kong, where most hotels boast upwards of 500 rooms on premises. The 95-room Lkf is therefore a much more intimate stay. Nestled in Lan Kwai Fong, a lively area of Hong Kong that's bustling with bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and shops, this luxury boutique features modern, edgy decor and spacious rooms with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, large comfy beds, and bright-colored espresso machines. The bathrooms are big and modern, with great soaking tubs with partial city views.
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Intimate boutiques in bustling metropolises.