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Proving that the best things come in small packages, the world’s leading boutique hotels strike the perfect balance between individuality and personalised service. Check out SHOP’s guide to the best places to stay around the world

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The Scarlet, Singapore

Nestled among a cluster of shophouses, this boudoir-styled hotel is a charming antidote to the neutrally decorated behemoths of the hospitality world. What The Scarlet lacks in up-to-the-minute facilities it more than makes up for in polish. Suites are beautifully lavish, featuring tassel-adorned soft furnishings in the plushest velvet and lacquered gold. Best is the pavilion bar, lit by colourful fibre optics. The cocktails served here are suitably refreshing and light.

The Scarlet, 33 Erskine Road, Singapore, +65 6511 3333

Klaus K, Helsinki
Drawing inspiration from the themes in epic poem The Kalevala, Klaus K offers a clutch of suites, doubles and twins that take on the emotional intensity of the genesis story. The colour schemes are fittingly bold, and the accents show a design flair that goes far beyond the original tale: check the suite illustrated by artist Jani Leinonen. Afterwards, head to the in-house restaurant Ilmatar for simple, contemporary Finnish fare.

Klaus K, Bulevardi 2-4, 00120 Helsinki, +358 (0)20 770 4700

The Vitrum, Buenos Aires
The Vitrum’s Palermo surroundings lend the hotel a cosmopolitan feel, which is only enhanced by the characteristically modern décor inside. This is a place that merges relaxation and the avant-garde with aplomb, and the sleek spa on the open-air terrace is a testament to the mantra that simplicity is best. The Egyptian cotton sheets, L’Occitane bath products and wallpaper by Vanina Mizrahi complete the mood. Visit the Green Art Corner for an extra jolt of culture.

The Vitrum, Gorriti 5641, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires, +54 (0)11 4776 5030

Anna Hotel, Munich
Guest rooms at the Donghia-designed Anna Hotel marry teak flooring, contemporary art and granite accents to elegant effect, suggesting a kind of pared-down opulence that is hard to find elsewhere in central Munich. Visitors can order sushi and signature cocktails at the in-house restaurant and bar, or host a private event in the rotunda. Whatever you do, be sure to stay in the Tower Suite, which affords unrivalled views of the city centre.

Anna Hotel, Schützenstrasse 1, 80335 Munich, +49 (0)89 599940

Casa De Madrid, Madrid
To enter Casa de Madrid is to take a step back in time: the seven rooms at this traditional guesthouse are scattered with antiques and have a neo-classical outlook that calls to mind a different era. Balconies face the Royal Opera House, and there is complimentary tea, Spanish wine and chilled Champagne on arrival. Retreat to the library to peruse the growing collection of international literature or to consult the helpful travel guides.

Casa de Madrid, Calle de Arrieta 2, 28013 Madrid, +34 91 559 5791

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