Best HIP Hotels in the World


If you are a luxury traveller you may well have heard of HIP Hotels. HIP Hotels offers an iconic collection of unconventional hotels and hand-picked destinations that encourage you to escape the everyday.

Since its inception in the 1990s, HIP Hotels has continued to establish exactly what it means to be a ‘highly individual place’ (HIP), transcending the wake of the ’boutique’ hotel to emerge supreme with its iconic collection of stays.

Let me be honest with you, I’ve been in the luxury travel industry for years and I had no idea that HIP meant “highly individual place”. In fact, I thought HIP meant a combination of stylish and trendy, much like the term “hip” which was first used during the jive era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Back in those days, “hip” was defined as “sophisticated, fashionable and fully up-to-date”. Whether you are looking for a hotel that offers a “highly individual place” or one that is “sophisticated, fashionable and fully up-to-date”, HIP hotels are perfectly positioned to fulfil both these requirements.

One of the most exciting things about HIP hotels, beyond offering a selection of marvellous hotels, is their coffee table book. This book captures each hotel and immortalises them in a beautiful and iconic book showcasing the very essence of every participating hotel. Their latest publication is the Spectrum IV which focuses specifically on photography of the unique traits of HIP hotels that other collections do not.

In this article, we pick the very best 10 HIP Hotels that we think are worth a visiting. In fact, we have personally reviewed two of these hotels and loved them both. Read on to see which HIP hotels are best.

1. Las Ventanas Al Paraiso, Los Cabos

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso is described by some as “heaven on earth”. It is situated near the peaceful San Jose Del Cabo and offers 84 luxurious suites and villas, including 12 Signature beach villas.

From the first moment you arrive behind the discreet gates, you are welcomed with open arms. Rooms come with suite butlers and the grounds are gorgeous. Extras within each room, such as a telescope for viewing the night sky and aromatherapy choices included with turndown service, make this place even more special.

The Signature Beachfront and Oceanview Villas are perfect for a special event or a honeymoon and sit steps from the legendary Sea of Cortés. From private, infinity-edge pools to the expansive bathroom, with its steam and rain shower and infinity bathtub for two, this authentic Mexican villa awakens all senses to the wonders of this private paradise. Don’t miss the recently added beach cabanas with private Jacuzzis.

Five distinct dining venues will romance you, along with a cocktail lounge where they have live music at night. Leisure activities include world-class golf, an acclaimed spa, deep-sea fishing, water sports and ultra-luxury amenities and programs. Poolside pampering is particularly special and is carried out by their highly-trained team of pampering Pool Butlers at the legendary Infinity Pool. The beach feels like your own private oasis with the most respectful and discreet staff.

This resort is most special at night with the twinkling glow of lanterns and candles that illuminate the pathways. Some nights there are fireworks, others will tempt you to sit on the beach, listening to the waves and looking up at the clear night sky dotted with stars.

2. Hotel Chalet Aurelio, Lech

Hotel Chalet Aurelio in Lech is one of the best ski hotels in the Alps. It offers everything you could possibly want from a ski hotel. At the Aurelio Lech, every room faces into the valley and across the slopes and each balcony is bathed in sunshine throughout the day.

The rooms themselves are uber-modern ski chalet style, with amazing and generous marble bathrooms with yummy Hermes Paris Un Jardin Sur Le Nil toiletries. A million little touches make this place special such as chocolates and hankie packs in your ski locker, high-end lotions at your bedside to fight the mountain dryness and breakfast served at anytime you like.

The amazing pool area which is connected to the Spa, also hosts free fruit, water, teas and nuts, just to keep you going between meals. If that’s not enough, the bowls of delicious Swiss chocolates dotted around this magnificent chalet are just too hard to resist between meals.

We love Hotel Chalet Aurelio so much that we keep returning. Read our Aurelio review to find out why we agree with HIP hotels.

3. As Janelas Verdes, Lisbon

As Janelas Verdes is decorated in a charming classic style, in keeping with its eighteenth-century history, in the Old Town of the beautiful city of Lisbon. The building was once the home of Eça de Queiros, the great nineteenth-century Portuguese novelist, where he is thought to have written his most iconic work, ‘Os Maias’.

Works of art, books and family photos create a quintessentially romantic novel atmosphere. Relax in the wishful, wood-panelled rooftop library or terrace and let your eyes glide over magnificent views of the Tagus river that returns guests to the pace of life as it once was.

This atmospheric hotel lies next to the Museum of Ancient Art in the old design district. Discover hidden churches, quirky antique shops and local restaurants offering delectable cuisine.

All 29 cheerful and sunny rooms emanate delightful shades of green and red, boasting comfortable furnishings, plush linens and Molton Brown amenities for an entirely luxurious feel.

The interior garden is the perfect location for breakfast or simply to bask in the rays of the sunshine to start your day.

4. Hotel Fabric, Paris

Showcasing its authentic style through contemporary architecture and exposed brick, Hotel Fabric celebrates the building’s past as a textile factory fulfilling the labourers’ “work hard, play hard” lifestyles.

Located right in the heart of the city’s old industrial yet lively neighbourhood, the iconic design, warm interiors and bright colours that fill the hotel makes it a perfect stay during the autumn season.

Filled with delicate patterns and colourful fabrics inspired by the hotel’s history, this is your perfect Parisian stay.

5. THE VIEW Lugano, Switzerland

Nicknamed the “Monte Carlo of Switzerland”, Lugano is nestled in the Southern region of Switzerland and celebrates one of the best change-of-season events at the open-air Autumn Festival in October. Hosted by the lake in the town’s pedestrian zone, discover some delicious local cuisines and excellent wines spread throughout various grottos, watch the parade and listen to live music.

Endearingly set atop a hill boasting with views of Lake Lugano, with the vast, mountainous lakes as your backdrop, THE VIEW Lugano marries its breathtaking surroundings.

From private terraces to your own pillow menu to choose from, be sure to indulge in a range of fish and meat delicacies prepared by Chef Mauro Grandi. THE VIEW will blow you away!

6. Alila Villas, Uluwatu

Alila Villas Uluwatu is a superb resort at the southern tip of Bali, Uluwatu. The setting for Alila Villas Uluwatu is majestic. Its place along the Bukit Peninsula provides comfortable seclusion from the liveliness of Bali street life. Located at the edge of a cliff above the Indian ocean, take in the magnificent views from your suite.

The lobby offers a sneak preview of the beautiful pool and the ocean when you arrive. The Pool villas are divine and you are driven to them in the hotel buggy which adds to the drama.

There are 65 villas in the resort, comprising of 56 one bedroom villas, 3 two-bedroom villas and 6 cliffside 3 bedroom villas. Even the entry one-bedroom villa, stands at spacious 3,030 sqft!

The villas are well thought out, with a proper resting, lounging and working area, as well as a separation for the bath area. On the work desk, there is also a Samsung Tablet which is synced with the entertainment system of the room. On top of having a large library of music and movies, the tablet also acts as a guest directory for the services of the hotel. You could also order food or other requests through the tablet.

All villas are beautifully designed, featuring contemporary designs with various Balinese elements, such as wood, water, stone and rattan. The open plan design also allows natural light and the sea breeze to come into the room.

During your stay, you must take in the skyline with a cocktail or two in the resort’s Sunset Cabana, and enjoy the selection of mouthwatering sweet deserts.

Read more about our personal experience at this hotel which we stayed at Alila Villas Uluwatu.

7. Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp, Nairobi

Transport yourself to the land of the unknown and get ready for the most extraordinary adventure of your life. Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp is located on the edge of Nairobi’s Serengeti Game Reserve. With just 9 luxury tents, this place is the world’s best-tented camp.

Each of the luxurious 1920s styled tents is equipped with its own en-suite bathroom and private veranda, boasting views of the magnificent landscape. Cottar’s is situated a mere 1km from the world’s 7th natural wonder, Maasai Mara where you can witness some of the world’s most sublime wildlife.

For meals, you have the choice of dining in the restaurant tent with other campers or you can rather enjoy a secluded, romantic meal under the African stars.

8. Estancia Vik, Uruguay

Soak up the sun and enjoy the millionaire lifestyle at Estancia Vik José set in the breathtaking landscape of Uruguay’s plains. Whether you want to head to the private beach deck, play polo, tennis or golf or enjoy modern art or a delicious barbeque, you’re in the right place.

Estancia Vik José Ignacio is the epitome of contemporary design, with each suite designed by local artists and showcasing Nordic-inspired, all white architecture. Built with the environment in mind with locally sourced materials, this stunning property uses solar and geothermic energy.

Just 12 suites are individually designed and will welcome you home after a day of horse-back riding, mountain-biking, nature-walking or just chilling by the pool. The restaurant is excellent and the wine cellar is even better, so you’ll never go short of choice for something to drink.

9. Hotel Muchele, Italy

Hotel Muchele can be found in South Tyrol, Italy. Architecture and design combine with a family-friendly heart, making Hotel Muchele a vibrant, easy-going and beautiful stay.

This small designer hotel in South Tyrol ticks all the boxes of a charming and warm stay. With only 40 suites this hotel feels exclusive. Slow down to the pace of the Anna Spa, discover fine cuisine at the chef’s table and embrace the pure beauty of the wine-growing region of the Etsch Valley.

Each room comes alive with unique furniture and decor created by the design and production experts at Moroso. Every piece holds its own, adding personality and character.

In summer, the vibrant living room merges with this vitamin D haven. Laze about on one of the Moroso sofas with an aperitif in hand, enjoy a heavenly meal or simply soak up the genteel atmosphere.

Just 5km from the beautiful spa town of Meran, discover another world by taking the Vöran cable car up the mountain for spectacular panoramic views of the Dolomites. Trek trails, explore ancient towns and discover enchanting castles.

10. Villa Carlotta, Taormina, Sicily

Villa Carlotta can be found in a flourishing botanical garden in Taormina on the island of Sicily. You could be forgiven for thinking that you had entered the magical storybook world of Narnia or the garden of Eden when you discover this hotel.

Found on the edge of Taormina, overlooking the Ionian Sea and Mt Etna, in northeast Sicily, Villa Carlotta offers gorgeous rooms and suites in this private hotel with 7 villa style apartments. This 17th Century Villa has incredible views right out to the tip of Mount Etna.

The town’s Greek amphitheatre, bustling centre and twin coves are within walking distance to this amazing retreat, overlooking the Ionian Sea, but you needn’t leave in the to have your soul and stomach nourished.

The hotel delivers a wonderful Sicilian-focused menu of pasta dishes, risottos, meat, fish, salads and sandwiches all with a unique stamp. The bar is unmissable and overlooks the ocean.

Note: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.