Revealed: the world's best boutique hotels (and one of them is right here in the UK)

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Sarah Biddlecombe

As much as we love the idea of backpacking around a country on a shoestring and crashing each night in a rural hostel, sometimes travelling is just better with a little touch of luxury.

If you’re a fan of crisp, white bed linen, stunning sea-facing views and deliciously adventurous, Michelin-starred food, a boutique hotel is probably right up your street. And with the winners of the World’s Best Boutique Hotel Awards recently announced, we’ve selected five of the most tempting below, from a seaside retreat to a foodie’s heaven.

Even better, one of them is right here in the UK...

World’s Best Beach or Coastal Hotel: El Nido, Pangulasian Island, Philippines


Most commonly referred to as “Island of the Sun”, Pangulasian Island in the Philippines is the perfect location for sun-seekers. Guests at the El Nido resort can catch stunning sunrises and sunsets from the balconies of their private villas, or soak up some rays on the resort’s private, white sand beach.

Set against a backdrop of lush green tropical forest, the resort is committed to being eco-friendly, offering sustainable menus and nature-based activities with a low carbon footprint.


Room rate: prices start from around £578 per villa (sleeps three), per night. Book here.

World’s Best City Hotel: 11 Mirrors, Kiev, Ukraine


Perfectly located for a cultural tour of some of Ukraine’s finest attractions, the 11 Mirrors hotel is situated right in the middle of Kiev. Amble four minutes down the road and you will reach the Ukraine National Opera House, or walk a further two minutes to get to the landmark Golden Gate at the entrance to the medieval city.

Then, relax after a hard day of sightseeing in the beautifully designed surrounds of the hotel, and pop next door to enjoy reduced rates at the luxurious spa.

Or, simply get away from it all in one of the hotel’s cleverly-designed ‘incognito’ rooms, offering a peaceful sanctuary complete with the requisite king-sized bed.


Room rates: prices start from around £200 for a standard room (sleeps two). Book here.

World’s Best Culinary Hotel: Vila Joya, Algarve, Portugal


As expected, the main attraction at the Vila Joya resort is the food, with the on-site restaurant boasting no less than two Michelin stars.

Named in the prestigious list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, diners can expect to feast on delights such as guinea fowl is stuffed with black truffles and artichokes and roasted goose liver served on a broccoli purée with smoked eel.

Room rates: prices start from £265 for a double room. Book here.

World’s Best New Hotel: Hotel Gotham, Manchester, United Kingdom


This quirky, but luxurious, hotel in central Manchester is the perfect place for anyone looking for a decadent staycation. Think big brass baths in your bedroom and twin-headed showers, topped off with the finest sheets and faux fur throws.

Head for a delicious dinner in the on-site restaurant and finish with a trip to the members-only speak-easy bar, Club Brass.


Room rates: prices from £195 per night for a double room. Book here.

World’s Best Boutique Hotel: Secret Bay Hotel, Dominica


If waking up to views over the Caribbean sea and rainforest-covered mountains is your thing, then head to the Secret Bay resort, which has breathtaking views from its prime cliff top locaton on the island of Dominica.

When you’re not relaxing in your luxurious room or lying on one of the resort’s two swimming beaches, you can kayak to a deserted, white-sand beach or try paddle boarding or sunset sailing. Other unique activities on offer include night snorkelling, private concerts and beach-side yoga. Bliss.


Room rates: prices start from £382 per night for a one-bedroom bungalow (sleeps two). Book here.

To see the full list of this year’s winning hotels, click here.


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Twitter

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