Gamechangers: Boutique Hotels & Motels - Full-Time Travel

Gamechangers: Boutique Hotels & Motels

Gamechangers: Boutique Hotels & Motels

Small in scale but big on design, boutique hotels offer guests personal touches and unique details that are often absent at larger resorts. This year’s selection of winners impressed us with their hidden-gem appeal, ambitious sense of purpose, unusual concepts, or striking design – sometimes all of the above. Book your stay for a truly local experience in Instagrammable surroundings. 

El Fenn
Marrakesh, Morocco

El Fenn | ©Cécile Perrinet Lhermitte

Marrakesh is full of beautiful riads, but few can compare to El Fenn. Access to this discreet hideaway is via a passageway so nondescript you could easily miss it, but inside it's a design lover's dream, with vibrant color and distinctive decor at every turn. Three pools, including a lap pool in the courtyard, offer plenty of respite from the city heat, and the space is full of shady nooks to relax with a hibiscus-ginger margarita. At sunset, head to the rooftop bar for live DJs by candlelight, then stroll five minutes to Jemaa el-Fnaa, the city's main market square, to shop and soak up the atmosphere.


Eaton Hotel
Washington D.C., USA

Eaton Hotel D.C. | By Adrian Gaut

Founded in 2014 by Katherine Lo, daughter of Hong Kong real estate and hospitality giant Lo Ka Shui, Eaton was a response to the question, what would a modern hotel-meets-lifestyle brand look like? The answer is a place that’s part hip hotel, part wellness studio, and part co-working space, with purposeful programming driven by a community of local artists and activists. When travelers book a stay at Eaton, they are embedded into D.C.’s scene of artistic movers and shakers and social change-makers, giving them access to a slice of local culture they might never have experienced otherwise. 


The Ryder Hotel
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

The Ryder Hotel | By Joe Thomas

In our humble opinion, The Ryder is Charleston's hippest lodging. Easy-breezy decor (think: blonde wood and wallpaper emblazoned with tropical foliage), impressive fitness offerings including in-room yoga mats and Peloton bike rentals, and a loungey pool area with oversized gingham sun umbrellas give the hotel a fresh, modern feel in an area known for history and tradition. Speaking of which, the location is another plus. Situated on Meeting Street, The Ryder is surrounded by downtown Charleston's best dining and drinking venues, although its own Little Palm cafe and cocktail bar is buzzy enough to keep you lingering until late.


The Siam
Bangkok, Thailand

You need somewhere to downshift and unwind after an exhilarating day of sightseeing and tuk-tuk riding in Bangkok. The Siam is that place of refuge. With its light-drenched atrium courtyard, riverside pool, and plush, antique-filled rooms, the hotel provides a steady sense of calm that's rare in the city's historic district, where throngs of tourists gather at glittering temples. When you're ready for something more active, check out The Siam's signature experiences, including a romantic dinner cruise on the Chao Phraya River, Muay Thai training with an expert coach, or Sak Yant, a sacred tattoo administered in the hotel's specially consecrated studio.


Sir Savigny
Berlin, Germany

Berlin Suite | Courtesy of Sir Savigny

A picture-perfect library, communal chess set, curated artworks, and carefully placed coffee table books give Sir Savigny an unmistakable sophistication. It's an aesthetic perfectly suited to the hotel's location in Charlottenburg, Berlin's artsy literary quarter. After a day spent perusing local boutiques and galleries, fill your tummy with the city's best burger at Sir Savigny's restaurant, The Butcher, then retire to one of the hotel's sumptuously decorated rooms. Our favorite is Sir Suite, which boasts a giant freestanding bathtub.

* Featured image of The Ryder Hotel, by Joe Thomas 

The Busan Air Cruise, also known as the Sky Capsule Train, is a popular attraction in Busan, South Korea. This unique train ride takes passengers on a journey above the city, providing stunning panoramic views of Busan`s coastline, mountains, and urban landscape. The futuristic capsule-shaped cabins offer a comfortable and immersive experience, making it a must-try activity for visitors exploring Busan.

Reel: @belet_ryu

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"Checking into Estelle Manor, the closest thing to a Saltburn-esque staycation you`ll ever experience in the UK. Imagine a beautifully restored Jacobean manor on the cusp of the Cotswolds and nestled within 3,000 acres of Oxfordshire parkland, with extravagant interiors to match (expect bold artworks and intricate details around each corner), a Riviera-style pool to lounge by, and three different restaurant to sink your teeth into. The addition of the hotel`s new Eynsham Baths (an incredible spa modelled on traditional Roman baths) really takes the hotel up another notch, despite it already being in a league of its own." - @ginagoesto ...

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Vacationing at The Ritz-Carlton in the Maldives offers luxurious villas, exquisite dining, and world-class relaxation. With stunning views and a range of activities including snorkeling and spa treatments, it`s a perfect escape in paradise.

Reel: @martadtravels 📍@ritzcarltonmaldives

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A scenic coastal drive in Africa.

Reel: @joshstrauss_

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At The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, HaSalon is the spot for upscale, experiential dining. With an energetic atmosphere, exceptional service, and the freshest eats, HaSalon nails high-end, upbeat interactive dining. ...

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Atlantis Ibiza: Famous for its cliffs and coves, perfect for adventurous activities like cliff diving and snorkeling.

Reel: @saltinourhair

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Located in the historic center of Mexico City, @sohohousemexicocity offers a blend of luxury amenities. The pool area is meticulously designed with chic loungers, umbrellas, and lush greenery, creating an oasis in the heart of the bustling metropolis.

📍 @sohohousemexicocity

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"Known for its rugged mountains, Grand Teton National Park has a lot to offer for outdoor adventurers. With the airport located inside the national park, landed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is an experience.
It is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elk, wolves, black and grizzly bears. With glacial alpine lakes and mountain ranges all around, Grand Teton National Park is a treat for rock climbers, hikers and backpackers."

📍 Mormon Row
📍 Schwabacher Landing
📍 Delta Lake
📍 Hidden Lake falls

Reel: @seekthatadventure

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Explore the fascinating world of Piedra Pómez in northwest Argentina! This lightweight volcanic rock is used in everything from construction to beauty products, while its unique formations create breathtaking landscapes that attract adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Reel: @danielkordan

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Spring has arrived in the state of Washington.

Reel: @jakeguzman

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Off the grid - at the end of the world, where dunes collide into the Atlantic Ocean. 📍 Sandwich Harbor / Namibia

Reel: @formgestalter

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Reel: @s.x.traveler ➡️ Escape to the rugged beauty of Calhau das Achadas da Cruz, where Madeira`s wild heart beats in harmony with the Atlantic`s endless blue. Nestled in the remote northwest, this gem in Porto Moniz is a world away from the everyday. ...

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