Holiday travel is a time to get a little more indulgent with your accommodations. Tis the vacation season, so why not treat yourself to a boutique hotel with a little more to offer than your average hotel?
If you’re booking upcoming travel in any of these countries, whether it be last minute for the Christmas holiday or something to officially kick-off 2015 in January, be sure to consider some of these new boutique hotels for your stay. From Barcelona to Beijing, these are the best of the best, so get ready to be truly amazed.
1. Portrait Firenze, Florence
The Ferragamo family’s Lungarno Collection expanded its reign over Florence’s best boutique lodgings this May, opening Portrait Firenze at the foot of the storied Ponte Vecchio, just up the Arno River from their fashion empire’s headquarters in the 13th-century Palazzo Spini Feroni. The sister property to the capital city’s Portrait Roma, the new hotel contains 34 residential-feeling suites over six floors, most with river views, several with private terraces and all decorated by Michele Bönan, the highly discriminating Florence-based architect and designer behind the collection’s hotels and yachts. For Portrait Firenze, Bönan imagined the suites, riverfront restaurant, and loungelike lobby as pieces of an aristocratic home that recall the glamour of Florence in the 1950s. Combining influences both classic and contemporary, the largely black, white, and gray scheme abounds with velvet—upholstered couches and beds, midcentury-modern pieces from Italian furniture maker Tosconova, sparkling white Carrara marble and honey-hued alabaster, and brushed- and polished-brass details. Bönan’s tightly tailored aesthetic matches Portrait’s commitment to bespoke service, in which no request is too big and anything—with enough notice—can be arranged. From $650/night.
2. The Temple Hotel, Beijing
In a city (and, indeed, a country, if not an entire continent) known for its big-brand megahotels, Beijing’s Temple Hotel stands apart—and not just because it’s tucked away down a narrow alley, near but hidden from the tourist crowds of the Forbidden City. What really makes this new-meets-old marvel special is its provenance: An 18th-century Qing Dynasty temple, the pagado-style building had been all but lost to time until Belgian entrepreneur Juan van Wassenhove happened upon its ruins in 2005. Several years and 200 truckloads of rubble later, the temple emerged anew as an artfully attired eight-room hotel that elegantly mixes ancient and contemporary. The winner of the 2012 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation, the Temple Hotel seamlessly blends centuries-old tiles, wood-beamed ceilings, and other architectural elements in the former monks’ quarters (additional suites occupy an adjoining building from the 1960s) with a smattering of mid-20th-century furnishings and 21st-century art. Don’t miss the contemporary European restaurant here, run by a former manager of Manhattan’s legendary, Michelin-starred Daniel.