Top 10: Memorable boutique city stopovers
Spending a night between destinations in a stopover city and need a place to stay? Online boutique hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith (www.mrandmrssmith.com) have come up with 10 hotels for a memorable stopover.
1. Best for resort relaxation: Capella Singapore, Singapore
Languishing on Sentosa Island, just a 15-minute taxi hop south of the city centre, Capella Singapore hotel in Singapore feels a relaxing world away. A tranquil resort, the 112-room heritage-modern hybrid has a graceful colonial building, art works dotted around the manicured grounds and a triple-tier pool with South China Sea views.
2. Best for gourmet dining: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, China
A day-spa with 113 contemporary guest rooms, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong gives good stopover. This stylish skyscraper is in the heart of Central's retail district. After a hard day's shopping, bag a table at two-Michelin-starred Amber restaurant, a gold-hued space where chef Richard Ekkebus whips up modern French cuisine.
3. Best for sports-meets-shopping: Desert Palm, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Desert Palm hotel in Dubai is sister to the Maldives' Huvafen Fushi. This 38-room Italo-Arab urban retreat sprawls over a private polo estate. Saddle up at the riding school, play a game of tennis or soak up views of the polo fields from the lavish outdoor pool. Juggle bargain-hunting in the souks with holistic pampering at in-house spa Lime.
4. Best for a riverside retreat: The Siam, Bangkok, Thailand
The art-deco Siam hotel in Bangkok has a calm aura thanks to its riverside setting in the exclusive royal Dusit quarter. Boasting Bangkok's only pool villas, it has 39 spacious boudoirs with a Thai cooking school, a Muay Thai kickboxing gym, screening room and Spa by Sodashi.
5. Best for chilling out: Villa Samadhi, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A sanctuary in the capital's leafy embassy enclave, Villa Samadhi hotel in Kuala Lumpur takes its name from the Sanskrit word for 'journey'. There are 21 private rooms arranged around a curvy, central pool. In-house Mandi-Mandi restaurant serves Malay and Italian fare or the hotel can point you to its smart sister restaurants in town.
6. Best for city buzz: Dean Street Townhouse, London, UK
The ultra-central Dean Street Townhouse hotel in Soho is in the middle of the action. Surrounded by a warren of happening cafés, bars and restaurants and tempting shopping, you can access all areas here, including theatres, museums and art galleries. With just 39 rooms, this hip haven also plays host to a very British brasserie, peppered with art works by Hirst, Emin and co..
7. Best for rooftop romance: Petit Ermitage, Los Angeles, United States
Just off Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, Petit Ermitage boutique hotel in Los Angeles brings bohemian romance to a sojourn in LA. Dine in the outdoor restaurant which doubles as a butterfly and hummingbird haven, watch the sunset from the deck by the outdoor fireplace or sip a mojito by the rooftop pool. The owner's art collection adds drama to the 80 suites.
8. Best for surf style: The Modern Honolulu, Honolulu, United States
The Modern Honolulu boutique hotel near Waikiki Beach makes for a soft landing. Surfboards decorate the lobby and the 353 white rooms star ukuleles and vibrant sarongs. Hawaiian culture continues with Lomi Lomi spa massages and there are two pools.
9. Best for intimate affairs: Hotel DeBrett, Auckland, New Zealand
The intimate 25-room Hotel DeBrett in Auckland, right in the CBD, is just a stroll from the best shopping, bar-cruising and island-hopping. Art deco goes Pop indoors, with rainbow-bright, stripy rugs, retro furniture and kooky bedheads. Outside, High Street hosts many of the best NZ fashion labels for smart souvenirs.
10. Best for a hipster haven: Hôtel Americano, New York, United States
Hip Hôtel Americano in New York is just a hop from artsy Chelsea. This 56-room hot spot is a hit with the fashion set. Bedrooms have a minimal ryokan feel, with sleek, low-rise platform beds and there is an edgy rooftop pool and bar.