The top 18 boutique hotels in the world that should be on every luxury traveller's list

Courtesy Boutique Hotel AwardsByblos Art Hotel in Verona, Italy, was deemed the hotel with the world’s most inspired design.

A hotel has the possibility to make or break your vacation – but, if it’s one of the best boutique hotels in the world, chances are you’ll be in very, very good hands.

In 2019’s Boutique Hotel Awards, eighteen hotels around the world took home top honours in a range of categories. Fifteen earned “World’s Best” awards, and three received best-of-Europe distinctions. The Awards Panel reviewed 300 hotel nominations spanning 80 countries, Managing Director Bianca Revens told Business Insider.

The hotels were judged on “all aspects of the guest experience covering six categories: dining and entertainment, design, facilities, location and, most importantly, staff service and overall emotional impact,” according to the news release.

The Boutique Hotel Awards team sent judges to review shortlisted hotels in person. “No matter how detailed your research, there’s no substitute for personally experiencing what a hotel has to offer and meeting the people behind it,” they said in the release.

A hotel in Bali was named the best overall boutique hotel, while hotels in Italy, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and other countries also won top spots. Categories include World’s Best Beach or Coastal Hotel, Best Honeymoon Hideaway, Most Stunning Views, and more.

Here are the top boutique hotels in the world, from a beachside retreat in the Maldives to a wellness resort in Austria:


World’s Best Beach or Coastal Hotel: Emaho Sekawa

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Fiji, South Pacific

Rates starting at:
$US903 per night
Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020.


World’s Best City Explorer: Riad Kheirredine

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Marrakesh, Morocco

Rates starting at:
$US176 per night

Starting rate across dates for double adult occupancy provided on hotel website.


World’s Best Classic Elegance Hotel: Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage

Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Bruges, Belgium

Rates starting at:
$US167 per night

Repeat winner: Relais & Chateaux Hotel Heritage also won the World’s Best Classic Elegance Hotel category in the 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards.

Starting rate across dates for double adult occupancy provided on hotel website.


World’s Best Chic Elegance Hotel: Arctic Light Hotel

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Rovaniemi, Finland

Rates starting at:
$US313 per night
Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020.


World’s Best Culinary Excellence Hotel: Velaa Private Island

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Maldives

Rates starting at:
$US5,445 per night
Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for occupancy by three guests during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020.


World’s Most Inspired Design Hotel: Byblos Art Hotel

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Verona, Italy

Rates starting at:
$US218 per night

Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of March 7-8, the first weekend open for booking in 2020.


World’s Best Honeymoon Hideaway Hotel: Drake Bay Getaway Resort

Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Rates starting at:
$US850 per night

Repeat winner: Drake Bay Getaway Resort also won the World’s Best Honeymoon Hideaway Hotel category in the 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards.

Starting rate provided on hotel website for double adult occupancy during the January 5 – April 20, 2020, season.


World’s Best Newcomer Hotel: Te Koi – The Lodge At Bronte

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Bronte, New Zealand

Rates starting at:
$US893 per night

Starting rate across dates for double adult occupancy provided on hotel website.


World’s Best Relaxation Retreat: Green Spa Resort Stanglwirt

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Stanglwirt, Austria

Rates starting at:
$US575 per night

Repeat winner: Green Spa Resort won the Best Wellness Spa Hotel category in the 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards.

Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020.


World’s Most Romantic Retreat Hotel: Rancho Pacifico

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Uvita, Costa Rica

Rates starting at:
$US475 per night

Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020. There is a two-night minimum stay for this date.


World’s Most Eco-Friendly Hotel: Donkey Bay Inn

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Russell, New Zealand

Rates starting at:
$US495 per night

Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020.


World’s Best Wellness Spa Hotel: Masseria San Domenico

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Puglia, Italy

Rates starting at:
$US540 per night

Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during April 11-12, the first weekend open for booking in 2020. There is a two-night minimum stay for this date.


World’s Most Stunning Views Hotel: Hanging Gardens of Bali

Hanging Gardens of Bali

Location: Bali, Indonesia

Rates starting at:
$US723 per night

Repeat winner: Hanging Gardens of Bali also won the World’s Most Stunning Views Hotel category in the 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards.

Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020.


World’s Best Family Hotel: Chitwa Chitwa Private Game Lodge

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Greater Kruger, South Africa

Rates starting at:
$US887 per person per night

Starting rate across dates for shared occupancy provided on hotel website.


Best Farm-to-Table Hotel (Europe): Masseria Susafa Hotel

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Sicily, Italy

Rates starting at: $US182 per night

Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of April 5-7, the first weekend open for booking in 2020. There is a two-night minimum for this date.


Best Host Of The Year (Europe): Locanda Al Colle

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Versilia, Italy

Rates starting at:
$US215 per night

Starting rate provided on hotel website for double adult occupancy during the upcoming low season, which runs April 2-May 22, 2020.


Finest Homegrown Wine Pairing (Europe): Tenuta Montemagno

Courtesy Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Montemagno, Italy

Rates starting at:
$US187 per night

Starting rate across dates for double adult occupancy provided on hotel website.


World’s Best Boutique Hotel: Awarta Nusa Dua Resort & Villas

Boutique Hotel Awards

Location: Bali, Indonesia Rates starting at:$US376 per nightRepeat winner: Awarta Nusa Dua Resort & Villa won the World’s Best Boutique Hotel category in the 2018 Boutique Hotel Awards.Starting rate based on the lowest rate available at time of publication for double adult occupancy during the weekend of January 11-12, 2020. There is a two-night minimum stay for this date.

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