Luxury is a bad word right now, and the boutique hotel industry (like the rest of the lodging world) is scrambling to attract customers. The upside is that you can sometimes find good deals at design-minded places that might previously have been out of reach. If you need a place to stay, or you're just looking for inspiration, we have a few recommendations for easily searchable sites...
- TabletHotels.com: This is a very comprehensive site, and a favorite of Michelin guide editor Jean-Luc Naret. They recently began a new online last-minute deal service, where procrastinators can find low rates at hotels that are looking to fill up their rooms. Even if you like to plan ahead, you can search their great deals section for special offers.
- DesignHotels.com: This site includes write-ups on the architect and designer of the hotel you're considering, along with what makes the building special. They also have a specials section of the site, where they list current promotions.
- HotelBook.com: Only independently owned hotels are featured on this site. Many of their hotels aren't as fancy as the ones featured on Tablet and DesignHotels, but you can find good deals in their special offer and last minute deal sections.
One more tip: Before making a reservation through an online booking agent, always check the hotel's direct website first. Many hotels list web specials that aren't available anywhere else, and it never hurts to double-check pricing before you book!
Give us your boutique hotel sites and suggestions in the comments below.