The best hotels have human fingerprints.
I don’t need to like the person’s style, but I want to feel their presence and a sense of place. The Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus, in Arles, France, is so French, but it also has a strong Spanish influence that reflects the owner’s quirky taste: a vintage bar and furniture mixed with bullfighting memorabilia and Peter Lindbergh photographs. At the Saint Cecilia, in Austin, Texas, you feel Liz Lambert’s heartbeat throughout the hotel. The mini-bar, for example, has personal choices such as salted-caramel galettes, prosciutto, and Mexican Coke.