The world is filled with natural wonders, undiscovered gems, and breathtaking vistas begging to be experienced. But not everyone has the stamina for a 10-day hiking excursion in the bucolic landscapes of Kyrgyzstan. For some of us, travel requires a valet, a beach, a Michelin-starred restaurant or, at the very least, a hot shower. These small luxury hotels were made for the ladder type of traveller.
That's not to say that you shouldn't go camping in Kyrgyzstan. In fact, I highly recommend you look it up. But some moments in life call for a little pomp and circumstance: a honeymoon, an anniversary, a small wedding—or a big promotion. If you're in search of an intimate luxury hotel set in spectacular locales, you've come to the right place. From Nairobian manors to English farmhouses and Argentinian lodges, these are the seven must-visit small luxury hotels to kick off an unforgettable vacation.
Set in a bucolic private reserve overlooking Torres del Paine National Park in Argentina, Awasi Patagonia has just 14 villas and one main lodge. Beyond the breathtaking views and an incredible gastronomic experience, this Relais & Châteaux property has lots to offer. Each villa is assigned with a private guide and a four-wheel drive to explore beautiful Patagonia. The villa also comes with a private outdoor hot tub to soak in the views.
Size: 14 rooms
Tucked away on a quaint cobblestoned street in downtown Nantucket, Greydon House exceeds all expectations. It's no surprise it was voted the Best of Boston in 2018 and made it on the Condé Nast Traveler Hot List in 2017. The Roman and Williams–designed hotel is intimate, luxuriously charming, and has all the bells and whistles that modern-day hospitality should. While the restaurants and bars are dark and moody—a nod to the taverns that were once part of Nantucket's whaling history—the rooms are light and bright, with touches of antiqued brass and nautical blue.
Size: 20 rooms
Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli is a special place. Located on the banks of majestic Lake Garda in Italy's impressive Lombardy region, this villa appears unchanged since the 1800s—like the time suddenly stopped. In pure Italian fashion, the service is impeccable, the food is Michelin-starred, and the grounds are lush and magnificent. A fine selection of house wines and a personal valet are available for guests.
Size: 20 rooms
Giraffe Manor is the type of place that exists only in your dreams—except it's actually real. Set in 12 acres of private land in the indigenous forest near Nairobi, the manor harks back to the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces, and delightful courtyards, there isn't much not to love. But the real clincher of this intimate property is the herd of resident Rothschild’s giraffes who visit morning and evening, sometimes poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat.
Size: 12 rooms
Reserved for members of the Soho House family, Soho Farmhouse is a bucolic countryside property set on 100 acres in Oxfordshire. Forty cabins accompany a seven-bedroom farmhouse and a four-bedroom cottage that can each accommodate larger groups. Beyond the quaint British countryside scapes, the farmhouse boasts multiple restaurants, a bar, a spa, horse stables, a gym, all-weather grass tennis courts, indoor-outdoor pools, a boathouse, and an (English) football field—so you'll never run out of things to do.
Size: 40 cabins
After a stunning remodel last year, Cotton House in Mustique was recognized in Condé Nast Traveller awards for 2018. It's unsurprising; the property—one of the only hotels on this intimate private island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines—is a beacon of elegance and Carribean charm. Set among 13 expansive acres of tropical gardens leading down to Endeavour Bay beach, the hotel boasts 17 luxurious, garden- and sea-facing villas, suites, and cottages with private verandas and plunge pools—all in colorful British colonial charm.
Size: 17 villas
The heart of rural Vermont isn't exactly where you'd expect to find a five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel and some of the country's most impressive cuisine, but this is exactly what you'll find at Twin Farms. Ensconced in 300 acres of Northeastern forests, Twin Farms prides itself in providing superb meals and fine wines, outdoor adventures, and unparalleled spa services in a plush and unabashed Vermont atmosphere.
Size: 20 rooms and cottages