Overwhelmed by all the hotel options on your next trip? Here’s a good suggestion: Start by narrowing it down to the best boutique hotels in your destination. Of all the different hotel categories out there, boutique hotels have the most unique point of view—typically a local one, given they aren’t standardized properties like the big-name brands.
On top of that, “boutique” can mean so many things, from design-centric to ultra-luxury to homegrown BnB-style hospitality. So, on your next vacation, a boutique browsing is likely to turn up something suitable to your tastes and budget level.
There are varying ideas of how large a hotel can be before it’s no longer “boutique.” That’s because after a certain point, large properties can’t exactly offer their guests that personable, charming, boutique experience. That’s not a knock on the large properties—it merely means they’re in a different category. And today, we’re focusing on 10 of our favorite boutique hotels, with a range of rooms from eight to 129.
Sure, it’s impossible to call any 10 hotels “the best boutique hotels in the world,” but we think this is a pretty damn good roster. Notice the range of offerings, then note the common thread between all 10 properties: charming ambiance, localized POV, and world-class hospitality.
1. Paradero, Todos Santos
Baja California Sur, Mexico
Mexican magic town Todos Santos is halfway between vacation-station Cabo San Lucas and the capital city La Paz (aka the world’s aquarium). And the slow-paced surfer’s paradise has a new attraction: Paradero, the 35-suite experience-driven wellness retreat with beautiful concrete-and-cacti contrasts. Paradero is set against five distinct ecosystems: Cardon cacti-dotted desert, undeveloped Pacific beaches, Sierra La Laguna Mountain range, 5,000-thick palm tree oasis, and sprawling farmlands, all under 355 days of sun the area experiences each year. Wellness spaces are inspired by secret watering holes found across the mountain ranges, with sound healing and Tamazcal ceremonies offered, among other rituals. Chef Eduardo Rios captains the culinary wing, putting his Pujol-trained perspective into each flavorful dish, with all ingredients grown or sourced locally (including 12 different types of peppers to power the dishes). It’s the first hotel from the company, which plans to expand to other “unspoiled destinations” across Mexico.