Top Boutique City Hotels

If a hotel with character, flawless service and exclusivity forms an important part of your travel plans, this list of our favourite boutique hotels in cities across Latin America, Africa and South East Asia will be sure to get your feet itching.

12 - VILLA BAHIA - Brazil, Salvador

Spread over two converted colonial homes dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, Villa Bahia is not only a beautiful hotel, it’s also got a stellar location right next to Salvador’s famous church, Igreja de Sao Francisco, in the Pelourinho district. The rooftop terrace is one of our favourite places to hang out after a busy day exploring the city’s colonial old town.

Find out more

11 - VILLA SAMADHI - Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

Pool, Villa Samadhi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Just ten minutes outside busy Kuala Lumpur, Villa Samadhi is an enviable city escape. Thatched roofs and palm trees keep the vibe tropical, but the fittings are all luxe, with private plunge pools and balconies set around a central lagoon pool.

Find out more

10 - THE AUBREY - Chile, Santiago

Exterior view, The Aubrey, Chile, Santiago

The original luxury boutique hotel in Santiago,The Aubrey is based in the chic Bellavista district. An old, restored colonial mansion, it has a heated outdoor pool with a built-in Jacuzzi and one of the best Italian restaurants in Santiago.

Find out more

9 - HUB PORTENO - Argentina, Buenos Aires

In BA’s Recoleta district, Hub Porteno is a discreet and exclusive hotel, with only eleven rooms: quite at odds with some of the grand old hotels in this fashionable area of the Argentine capital. The restored building is stunning, and furnishings are original antiques or produced by local artisans. Foodies won’t have to go far either: the restaurant Tarquino is one of the city’s best for excellent Argentine cuisine.

Find out more

8 - THE SAXON - South Africa, Johannesburg

A top-class boutique hotel in Johannesburg’s affluent Sandhurst district, the Saxon is not only famed for being Mandela’s bolt-hole while he wrote ‘Long Walk to Freedom’, but also for its impeccable service, the spa – one of Joburg’s finest – and its gorgeous, über-chic decor.

Find out more

7 - HOTEL SANTA TERESA - Brazil, Rio de Janeiro

For those who have nightmares about the huge hotels that reside on Rio’s beachfront, the Hotel Santa Teresa is the perfect antidote. In the colonial neighbourhood Santa Teresa, this boutique country manor-style hotel is based in the hills overlooking the city, and has a beautiful pool, sun-flooded lounge terrace, and light, airy rooms with balconies.

Find out more

6 - THE SUKHOTHAI - Thailand, Bangkok

Hospitality is usually a strength of luxury hotels in Asia, but the Sukhothai takes service to another level. In downtown Bangkok, the hotel’s location is convenient for both leisure and business travellers, and the rooms and suites are beautifully furnished with polished teak and Thai silk. There’s a fabulous spa and a sleek, popular Thai restaurant set around a pretty lotus pond: a perfect retreat from the city bustle.

Find out more

5 - KENSINGTON PLACE - South Africa, Cape Town

A small but perfectly formed, exclusive boutique hotel in Cape Town, Kensington Place has only eight suites. Although it’s near Kloof Street, the slight distance gives the hotel a really calm and serene vibe, making it perfect for some downtime in between explorations of Cape Town. There’s a small outdoor pool surrounded by leafy vegetation, and the interior is decorated with shots of bright colours, plush fabrics, and polished wood, with the large windows and white walls making the suites airy and bright.

Find out more

4 - LEGADO MITICO - Argentina, Buenos Aires

Library, Legado Mitico, Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Buenos Aires’ fashionable Palermo Soho district, the Legado Mitico is one of our favourite hotels in the Argentine capital. Each of its chic, sophisticated rooms is dedicated to a famous name, from Evita to Che Guevara, and the hotel also features a leafy patio and a sundeck with a Jacuzzi.

Find out more

3 - ROSEWOOD SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE - Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

Rooftop terrace, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

A possible contender for our favourite hotel in Mexico, the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende is just divine. In keeping with the colonial style of San Miguel de Allende, the hotel features archways, courtyards and columns and it also benefits from being right in the heart of the city, just four blocks from the central plaza. The rooftop tapas bar is the stand-out highlight, with glorious views across the enchanting city.

Find out more

2 - FASANO SAO PAULO - Brazil, Sao Paulo

Pool, Fasano Sao Paulo, Brazil

Located just off the famous shopping street Oscar Freire, the Fasano Sao Paulo is a truly superb hotel, with understated, sleek design and flawless service. The pool has a view across the sprawling city, the onsite restaurants are excellent (the Fasano family started out in high-end dining), and the spa is arguably the best in the city.

Find out more

1 - ELLERMAN HOUSE - South Africa, Cape Town

A property that tops the list of Africa specialists’ favourite hotels time and time again, Ellerman House combines the feeling of being at home (assuming you live in a grand, stately manor) with world-class service and a wonderful outlook across Cape Town’s Bantry Bay. With so many factors combining to make this a truly great property, you’ll have to trust us when we say that Ellerman House is an essential point on your travel bucket list.

Find out more