laluna hotel grenada

Dreamy views and warm breezes await at Laluna. (Photo: Marriott International)

Culture + Style

It’s the Little Things: 10 Small Boutique Hotels with Big Style

When the need for a private escape strikes, planning a stay at an intimate, boutique hotel promises the kind of personalized and curated experience you crave. Smaller properties — those with fewer than 20 rooms — seamlessly blend design, art and an infusion of local culture, creating an experience that transports you from your daily grind into a vacation state of mind.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Laluna, Grenada, a Member of Design Hotels™, Grenada

An architect and designer team collaborated to make each of Laluna’s 16 cottages and three villas unique and serene. Tucked into the property’s forested beachfront, most cottages feature private plunge pools, decks with Caribbean views and four-poster beds.

Venture out of your tropical hideaway to visit the sunset bar and lounge with an expansive pool and a daily happy hour, relax at the Asian spa with Balinese masseuses, or rejuvenate with a beachside yoga class.

Macalister Mansion, George Town, a Member of Design Hotels™, Malaysia

Macalister mansion
Sleep in style at Macalister Mansion. (Photo: Marriott International)

The opulent, all-white, colonial facade of Macalister Mansion encloses a modern-meets-deco interior with eight restored rooms, each claiming a bespoke design. You’ll find artwork that winks at Penang’s colonial past plus contemporary sculptures depicting the hotel’s namesake, a Georgian-era British governor of Malaysia.

Swim laps in the mosaic-tile lap pool before paddling over to the swim-up bar. After dark, you might dine at Blanc restaurant or unwind with a whiskey or cigar in The Den.

Hotel La Semilla, Playa del Carmen, a Member of Design Hotels™, Mexico

la Semilla
Connect with nature and tradition at Hotel La Semilla. (Photo: Marriott International)

The owners of this Playa del Carmen hacienda, Alexis Schärer and Angie Rodriguez, want you to feel like you’re staying in the home of a friend — a tidy friend with impeccable taste and unflagging hospitality.

They’ve decorated the nine rooms and cozy lounges with authentic vintage Mexican furniture discovered while thrift shopping. And each day in the Cocina Loft, they personally serve breakfast and offer tips about local activities.

Hôtel de Tourrel, Saint Rémy de Provence, a Member of Design Hotels™, France

hotel de tourrel
Sip and savor at an on-property wine tasting. (Photo: Marriott International)

This 17th-century palace in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence has been reimagined to house seven luxurious midcentury-modern suites, a rooftop pool and a wine room.

Saint-Rémy’s brilliant light drew Van Gogh and other artists here to paint, and the hotel’s abundant windows invite those sunbeams inside. On the ground floor, acclaimed Restaurant de Tourrel serves fresh regional cuisine.

G-Rough, Rome, a Member of Design Hotels™, Italy

Enjoy a design-forward escape. (Photo: Marriott International)

G-Rough, located in a 17th-century building on Rome’s bustling Piazza Navona, is ideal for guests with a yen for 20th-century Italian design. The 10 suites embrace la bella vita, and each features a lounge, stylish bathroom, and furniture and art by iconic Italian architects and vintage designers.

While the made-in-Italy decor — including handblown Murano glass — is museumworthy, the hotel’s vibe remains so homey that even locals stop by to sip Negronis at the bar.

Giardino Lago, Minusio-Locarno, a Member of Design Hotels™, Switzerland

giardino lago
Water views and mountain landscapes await at Giardino Lago. (Photo: Marriott International)

Giardino Lago channels the laid-back spirit of the Mediterranean coast in the Swiss Alps. Guests in this 15-room hotel enjoy an expansive rooftop terrace with stunning views of mountain-ringed Lake Maggiore.

The hotel operates seasonally, from late March through late October, and Swiss hospitality abounds: You’ll sleep on goose-down pillows and duvets, take complimentary bicycles for jaunts to town, savor risotto at the on-site Ristorante Lago and sunbathe at the nearby lakeside beach.

Rosas & Xocolate, Mérida, a Member of Design Hotels™, Mexico

rosas & xocolate
Bring a splash of color to your vacation. (Photo: Marriott International)

Carol Kolozs Fischer dreamed of preserving several abandoned early 20th-century mansions, and this charming, 17-room, pink boutique hotel on Mérida’s bustling Paseo de Montejo is the result.

The renovations preserved the Spanish colonial architecture while updating the spacious rooms with a thoughtful mix of modern amenities and restored antiques. The in-house restaurant is one of Yucatán’s finest, with seating indoors, in the leafy courtyard beside soothing water gardens, or on the street-side patio for optimum people-watching.

ION City Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels™; Reykjavik, Iceland

This sleek and intimate 18-room hotel in the heart of Reykjavik combines elements of ice and heat in its design. Each room is decorated in cool hues of white and gray accented with warming touches like natural wood, luxury bathtubs and private saunas.

Walk to key attractions, including the Einar Jónsson Museum and Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s prime shopping street, and then return to dine at ION’s Sümac restaurant, which serves Icelandic ingredients influenced by the cuisine of the North African coastline and Lebanon.

La Bandita Townhouse, Pienza, a Member of Design Hotels™, Italy

la bandita
Sit and stay awhile at La Bandita. (Photo: Marriott International)

The 12-room La Bandita Townhouse immerses you in Tuscan village life. Although the space was converted from a Renaissance-era palazzo that served as a convent for 500 years, there’s nothing monastic about the posh modern fixtures and furnishings in each room, accented by original stone walls.

La Bandita Townhouse is situated in the middle of charming Pienza, so you’ll experience the town’s daily rhythms and can lounge in the library or dine on the terrace.