Top ten ultra boutique hotels
Increasing numbers of hotels call themselves "boutique" but many of these may have over 100 rooms and lack the intimacy of a truly boutique property.
So where are the lodgings that reflect the style, intimacy and personal attention of a true jewel-box hotel? Luxury travel site Globorati.com lists 10 of the world's top "ultra boutique" hotels which all have a dozen rooms or less.
1. The Eugenia, Bangkok, Thailand . This 19th-century colonial house boasts a dozen plush suites with hand-beaten copper tubs and four-poster beds. Several vintage Jaguars stand ready to chauffeur you at will.
2. Katitche Point Greathouse, British Virgin Islands. Katitche Point Greathouse, on the verdant bluffs of Virgin Gorda, has four suites and master guestroom overlooking Sir Francis Drake Channel where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic. From the top of the pyramidal main lodge, stargaze from a hammock.
3. Riad Meriem, Marrakech, Morocco. Custom-made lanterns scatter the walls with "constellations" at this five-suite hotel decorated by Manhattan designer Thomas Hays. Life centres around the courtyard with its plunge pool and lounge, while a jasmine and bougainvillea clad roof terrace is the place to catch the sun set.
4. Inn at Coyote Mountain, Costa Rica. A standout among Costa Rica's premier eco-lodges, Coyote Mountain is perched 4000 feet atop the Cordillera de Tilaran, with 360-degree vistas. The 70-acre property commands its own hiking trails, orchid house and tropical gardens.
5. La Casa Azul, Valencia, Spain. Converted from a 19th century townhouse, this former cod-fish shop has only three rooms - each occupying its own floor and conceived by a different designer. The rooftop terrace boasts the best views in Valencia.
6. Helsingfors, Patagonia, Argentina. The stylish Scandinavian hideout is the ultimate temple of isolation, set at the foot of a dirt road, hugging the shores of a glacial lake, over 100 miles from the nearest town. It has only eight rooms and views of the Fitz Roy massif.
7. The Pitcher Inn, Vermont US. One of only two Relais & Chateaux hotels in the state, the Pitcher Inn's 11 rooms each reflect a different flavor of Vermont. There's a "ski room," with a duvet made from ski jackets, and a "school room" with a headboard fashioned from an old blackboard.
8. The Outpost, South Africa. On the northern fringes of Kruger National Park, The Outpost is a sleek, contemporary hotel in the thick of great wildlife. A dozen rooms boast free-standing tubs, king-sized beds and terrace lounges - and, after you roll back the canvas walls, views of the Makuleke floodplains.
9. Serinn House, Turkey. Set against the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia, Serinn House opened this year with five individually designed guestrooms with minimalist furnishings and glass-walled showers carved into the mountainside.
10. JapaMala Resort, Malaysia. A dozen teak villas just a few steps from the beach on Tioman Island off Malaysia's eastern coast. Opt between a Jungle Sarang villa with outdoor pebble showers and a waterview loft, Sea View villa overlooking the South China Sea, or Treetop villas offering seclusion from stilted perches.