For travelers who balk at the idea of staying at a high-rise hotel in cookie-cutter rooms, Conde Nast Traveler has released its picks for the best small hotels in the world for 2014, a collection of luxury properties with no more than 20 rooms, located in remote and stunning places like the rim of a Mediterranean crater and in a Peruvian canyon.
Taking the top spot among readers with a score of 99.2, is La Residence, Franschhoek, an opulent property set in South Africa’s food and wine heartland, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town.
“Opening onto wide verandas and mountain views, the 11 extravagant suites are layered with French and Asian antiques, fantastic local art, and Persian carpets, and each has its own personality—from a girly boudoir in pink and lime green to a palatial honeymoon suite in white marble,” raves CN Traveler.
Decor is a sumptuous mix of elegant antiques, Persian rugs, lavish but plush furnishings, one-of-a-kind art works, and warm, inviting colors in rooms that harken everything from the Orient and the Far East to French and Italian glamour.
In addition to sumptuous quarters, La Residence is known for its spa and dining offerings.
Tied for second place with 98.5 points are Casa de Sierra Nevada in Mexico, and Perivolas in Santorini, Greece.
A mix of 16th to 18th-century décor, the Spanish colonial buildings at Casa de Sierra Nevada are described as unlike any other property in the world, while Perivolas sits on a cliff on the edge of the island’s caldera, a basin-like depression formed in the aftermath of a volcanic eruption.
Here are the best small hotels in the world for 2014 according to readers of Conde Nast Traveler:
1. La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa
2. Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
3. Perivolas, Santorini, Greece (tied for 2nd place)
4. Peninsula House, Samana, Dominican Republic
5. Las Casitas Del Colca, Caymolla Province, Peru
6. John Rutledge House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
7. Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle, Chiang Rai, Thailand
8. Chateau du Sureau, Oakhurst, California, USA
9. Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort & Inn, Heredia, Costa Rica
10. Hastings House Country House Hotel, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada