The World's Best Small Hotels

A master list of the world's most luxurious yet intimate and humble hotels, inns, and guest houses.

Courtesy Minaret Station
OF 109

Wanaka, New Zealand: Minaret Station

Accessible only by helicopter, Minaret Station, surrounded by the glacial valleys of the country’s Southern Alps, is unlike any other hotel in the world. There are four tents—with a hot tub on a private deck, a wall-to-wall sheepskin carpet, a king-size bed—as well as a cozy communal lodge with a library and a dining room. The rest of the 55,000-acre property is given over to sheep, chamois, and tahr that roam the highlands and shores of nearby Lake Wanaka. The managers, Jerry and Shirl Rowley, former high-country farmers, customize itineraries, including hunts into the hills for either wild animals or stunning views, while the kitchen turns out cuisine as refined as the hotel is remote. Tented suites start at $1,333 a person per night, plus $1,200 per adult for heli transfer; Lake Wanaka; 64-3/443-5860;