Hotels should have all the necessary services and amenities. Some extra luxuries and pampering are always nice as well. Sometimes you want more; you want your hotel to be more than a place to sleep and eat. The world's best and most creative boutique hotels provide a special atmosphere. Yes, they have all the necessary services and amenities, but they also give you a totally unique experience that you would never expect to find in a standard chain hotel.
Here are seven boutique hotels that really turn up the creativity and coolness while also providing a level of comfort and service that guests would get from any four-star or five-star property.
Seven Creative and Cool Boutique Hotels
Morocco's Taj Omayma is an oasis of cool near Marrakech. Actually, it is quite literally an oasis. Located in the desert about 20 minutes drive outside of Morocco's most popular tourist city, Taj Omayma has palm-lined outdoor areas, including a stunning pool. Sweeping canopies provide shade from the desert sun, while designer furnishings give the property a modern edge. Taj also boasts amazing desert and mountain views. The property is open, so you can see the Saharan sunsets no matter where you are.
The small nation of Georgia is not a popular first choice for a European travel destination. However, the beautiful mountains here are certainly worth a look. Hip hotels with a touch of rustic design provide some great accommodations for people who want to explore the mountains in summer or ski in winter. Rooms Hotel Kazbegi is one of the best of these places. With wood floors, an in-house casino, expansive decks and individually decorated rooms, this mountain lodge is ideal for a romantic getaway or an outdoor adventure.
AtholPlace sits in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Johannesburg, South Africa. This boutique has a home-like feel ("home-like" if you lived in a luxurious house with designer furniture, decks, gardens and a beautiful courtyard pool). There are only nine rooms and suites at Athol. Each has its own private deck that overlooks the garden-covered grounds.
You could call the Wild Rabbit a "retro hotel." No, this is not the kind of place with 1960s decor. The Wild Rabbit first opened as a pub in the 1700s in the countryside of Oxfordshire. Like some of the other historic inns and pubs in England, the Rabbit has been renovated and is now a boutique hotel. Despite extensive updates, the original atmosphere remains, especially in the pub area (but also in the rooms). Renovated country inns have become popular in England, and the Wild Rabbit is one of the best examples of this phenomenon.
Saint Barts is arguably the coolest destination in the Caribbean. The francophone island has more than its share of boutique hotels. One of the most creative is La Banane. The yellow paint scheme is certainly eye-catching, and the open living room design of the pool-side lounge area is something that you have probably never seen before. Each of the rooms also opens onto the pool/patio. Best of all, one of the island's best beaches is only a few steps away.
Panama City is a cool destination. It has an international flavor, it is overflowing with jazz and salsa clubs, and its cuisine is exciting for foodies and non-gourmands alike.The American Trade Hotel is right in the middle of Casco Viejo, Panama City's most-historic district. With an adjacent jazz bar, nearby salsa clubs and its own airy lounge space, this hotel offers plenty of choices for entertainment. The colonial-era vibe that defines Casco Viejo is almost tangible at American Trade thanks to its elegant furnishings and timeless decor.
The Southern Ocean Lodge is located on one of Australia's most famous eco-tourism destinations, Kangaroo Island. The lodge is situated on a cliff, so it has plenty of amazing views. You never even have to leave your sleek suite to see the ocean. Each of the 21 suites has floor-to-ceiling windows. The sand-blasted limestone floors and designer fireplaces give a one-of-a-kind feel to this luxurious Australian boutique hotel.
Have you stayed in a creative and cool boutique hotel? Let us know about your experience in the comments...