12 Amazing Hotel Boutiques that are Changing the Face of the Gift Shop
I’ve always found shopping on the road much more fun than shopping back home. Every purchase has a story, holds a memory, and is always one-of-a-kind. Lately, some of my favorite travel finds have been sourced from hotel shops. I found a chic turquoise and pink sundress at Cheval Blanc St.-Barth Isle de France last fall and purchased a gorgeous set of plates from the Farm Shop at Babylonstoren in South Africa. The hotel shop has transformed from a place to buy postcards and toothpaste to a showcase for local designers and artisans. Here are 12 exquisitely curated hotel shops that feature unique pieces with a sense of place.
PHOTO COURTESY THE WYTHE HOTEL
1. Marlow Goods at the Wythe, Brooklyn
Located in the hotel lobby, They Wythe’s shop stocks housewares, such as Kikuichi knives and Asiter de Villatte candles, Aunti Oti hand woven Indian textiles, Alkim Me skincare, Icelandic wool throws, and clothing from Brooklyn designers including Ulla Johnson, Caron Callahan, and A Détacher.
Must buy: Any of the leather totes or purses made by Kate Huling (wife of hotel owner and Brooklyn restaurateur, Andrew Tarlow). The leather comes from livestock used at her husband’s restaurants, a practice that ensures no part of the animal goes to waste.
PHOTO COURTESY THE LINE HOTEL
2. Poketo at the Line Hotel, Los Angeles
Ted Vadakan and Angie Myung, founders of the super cool brand Poketo, have curated a boutique for the discerning traveler. The store stocks everything from books and indie magazines to boldly colored stationary and apothecary items, many of which are exclusive to the store.
Must buy: Dipped tumbler from ceramicist Lindsey Hampton or geometric pattern journals to log your travels.
PHOTO COURTESY HOTEL TERRA
3. MADE at Hotel Terra, Jackson Hole
The Collection: The ultimate shop to buy a locally crafted souvenir, MADE stocks handmade items from over 160 artists across Wyoming and the U.S. You’ll find pint glasses donning bucking broncos, national park posters, Wyoming-shaped necklace pendants and the ultimate hiking snack: candied bacon.
Must Buy: Owner John Frechette designs many of the stylish glass belt buckles including ones modeled after the Wyoming flag.
PHOTO COURTESY AREIAS DO SEIXO
4. Coisas da Terra Sotre at Areias do Seixo, Santa Cruz, Portugal
The store adjacent to the hotel’s restaurant is like a whimsical flea market of one-of-a-kind finds, from vintage furniture to quirky candlestick holders made from glass balls, shells and bone. You’ll also find artisanal foods and the massage oils used at the hotel spa.
Must buy: A porcelain plate or tea cup from Portuguese factory Bordalo Pinheiro.
PHOTO COURTESY BABLYONSTOREN
5. The Farm Shop at Bablyonstoren, South Africa
Food lovers and gardening enthusiasts will need an extra suitcase to take home cookbooks, dishware, hats, and linens as well as breads, wine, cheeses and charcuterie sold in the adjacent store.
Must buy: Delft-inspired linens
PHOTO COURTESY HOTEL CROYDON
6. Wanderlista at Hotel Croydon, Miami
After curating and creating resort retail spaces from Fiji to Santorini, Wanderlista founder Andria Mitsakos opened her first in-resort store in the U.S. last summer. Her concept shop in the lobby of Hotel Croydon features a hyper-curated selection of accessories, jewelry, clothing and vintage items from emerging designers and burgeoning brands.
Must Buy: Mitsakos’ own minimalist Dea Rosa leather accessories are made in Athens. Look for the Italian leather Stella bag in pink (pictured above).
PHOTO COURTESY ROSEWOOD MAYAKOBA
7. The Boutique at Rosewood Mayakoba
The Otomi, an indigenous population to the Hidalgo and Oaxaca states of Mexico, created many of the limited-edition pieces found at this boutique, including handwoven pillowcases and patterned passport covers.
Must Buy: A pair of one-off, hand-painted Converse or Toms footwear printed with designs inspired by ancient Otomi cave drawing.
8. RARE at Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice
The name says it all. Rare is a collection of truly unique treasures curated by designer and Luxury Collection Global Explorer Waris Ahluwalia. Think of it as a modern-day cabinet of curiosities with mirrored animals crafted by Venetian artisan Stefano Zanin and colorful embroidered pillows from Turkish designer Rifat Ozbek.
Must buy: One of Ilaria Venturini Fendi’s Memory Bags, which feature images from old Italian photo albums.
PHOTO COURTESY CHEVAL BLANC ST-BARTH ISLE DE FRANCE
9. La Boutique at Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France
Boutique manager Caroline Leclercq attends Fashion Week in Paris and New York City each year to find the latest looks from brands such as Pucci and the high-fashion Brazilian swimwear line Lenny. She stocks these alongside local island brands including Alessandra and Pop St. Barth. Poolside fashion shows tempt guests to make impulse purchases.
Must buy: A crocheted cover up from Positano, Italy-based brand Temptation.
PHOTO BY ALLISON V. SMITH
10. Store at Hotel San Jose, Austin
It’s no surprise uber cool hotelier Liz Lambert stocks like-minded brands in the small shop at Hotel San Jose. You’ll find essentials such as Malin + Goetz bath products and Stumptown coffee as well as mementos from the hotel, including a colorful Hotel San Jose kimono robe and a custom Hotel San Jose branded Laguiole bottle opener.
Must buy: Austin designer Kelly Dewitt of KKDW crafts the custom cheese boards used in the hotel courtyard. Now you can take one home.
PHOTO COURTESY THE FOUR SEASONS RESORT MAUI AT WAILEA
11. The Boutiques at The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
The Four Seasons is a shopper’s paradise with three boutiques—Ports, Cabana, and 22 Knots—with constantly changing selections of designer swimwear, jewelry and clothing. The hotel has exclusive partnerships with brands including Missoni and James Perse and hosts regular trunk shows and pop-up shops.
Must buy: Any of the sundresses by local designer Tamara Katz.
PHOTO COURTESY HAECKELS
12. Haeckels at the Ace Hotel London Shoreditch
The Ace Hotel brand kicked off the trend of the “it” hotel shop. At the Ace’s London property, you’ll find a pop-up shop from the Kent, England-based cult fragrance and skin care brand, Haeckels. All of the products are formulated in a clifftop lab in Margate and are distilled from locally growing botanicals. The shop will be open through Christmas.
Must buy: A bottle of Eau De Parfum. Each is marked with the GPS coordinates of the place that inspired the smell of the perfume.