The Top Boutique Hotels Owned by Women Worldwide

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the amazing achievements of women in the hospitality industry. And with March 8 being International Women’s Day, we’ve written about nine female hoteliers we revere — of course, in proper HAP fashion, only ones who helm boutique hotels. 

57 Nord (Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom)

5 Stars | Website | Inverness Airport

2 Houses | Outdoor decking and firepit; Full-equipped kitchen; Laundry | 0

Loch Duich; Eilean Donan Castle; Kintail Mountains

Set in the bucolic Scottish Highlands, 57 Nord is a countryside boutique hotel built for the slow-kind of traveler seeking the ultimate space to rest and recharge. Modern Scandinavian style permeates the two design-centric accommodations: Hill House and Sky House. Clean white furnishings, expansive windows, and light-toned hardwood accents create an uncluttered, minimalist aesthetic.

Mumtaz Lalani is at the helm of the hotel. She came up with the idea to open 57 Nord after visiting the picture-perfect area during a business trip, where she noticed a lack of upscale stays. Taking her hospitality career to the next level, in addition to opening up a hotel, she became a certified sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

The Wildset Hotel (St. Michaels, Maryland, USA)

5 Stars | Website | Baltimore – Washington International Airport

34 | Free WiFi; Outdoor deck; Breakfast included | 1

Muskrat Park; Clint S. Bradley Park; Back Creek Park

Set alongside the Chesapeake Bay in St. Michaels, Maryland, The Wildset Hotel is a renovated historic 19th-century schoolhouse engulfing the likes of a timeless seaside cottage. Modern farmhouse design and coastal-inspired interiors dress the 34 guestrooms: rustic brass fixtures, neutral earth-toned floors, and fresh wood walls adorn each airy space.

Returning to their roots, hoteliers & sister duo KC Lager and Allie Balin wanted to share the ultimate “Eastern Shore” experience with guests. By combing their talents — Allie is a renowned sommelier and female-focused entrepreneur, while KC is an interior designer and runs her own design studio — the two developed the concept for a refreshingly different boutique stay that would bring a younger vibe to the quaint Maryland town. Throughout the hotel, subtle personal touches celebrate women from the inside out: paintings by female artists, curated products by women-run businesses, and a specially crafted wine list including women winemakers. 

Credit: Stefan Giftthaler

Passalacqua (Lake Como, Italy)

5 Stars | Website | Milan Malpensa

24 | Outdoor swimming pool; Spa; Fitness center | 1

Volta Temple; Piazza Cavour Como; Broletto

When it comes to “La Dolce Vita,” we immediately think of Passalacqua in Italy’s sought-after Lake Como area. The glamorous Italian estate boasts three elegant villas: the Palazzo, the Villa, and Casa al Lago. Each flaunts sumptuous velvet couches, antique storage trunks, and mid-century Italian rococo headboards. 

Third-generation entrepreneur and Lake Como resident Valentina De Santis is at the reins of her family’s luxe hotel portfolio. Her passion for hospitality has seen her accoladed left and right, from Forbes naming her one of Italy’s 100 most successful women in 2019 to receiving the Patrizio Cipollini Award as “Italian Hotelier of the Year” in 2021.

Credit: Tanveer Badal

Hotel Figueroa (Los Angeles, California, USA)

4 Stars | Website | Los Angeles International Airport

268 | Outdoor swimming pool; Fitness center; Bar | 4

The Broad; Japanese American National Museum; Grammy Museum

Hotel Figueroa hosts a longstanding history of being a women-focused hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Spanish contemporary design decorates the 268 guestrooms and suites: bright white walls, dark accented furnishings, and pops of artwork dress the interior. 

Since its founding in 1926, the women-driven stay was facilitated by the YWCA — a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women — as a safe haven for solo female travelers. Continuing to honor its tradition of being a space for women, the hotel hosts a highly curated selection of artworks created by female artists. 

Blue Apple Beach (Tierra Bomba Island, Colombia)

5 Stars | Website | Rafael Núñez International Airport

11 | Outdoor swimming pool; Fitness center | 1

Juan Guy Beach; Juan Guy Beach; Cartagena Modern Art Museum

Located on Tierra Bomba Island, just 30 minutes away from Cartagena, Blue Apple Beach is a boutique bungalow hotel and beach club that’s nothing short of a tropical paradise. The 11-key stay boasts laid-back, beach-style interiors with beach-hut roofs, sandy-toned tiled floors, and deep blue-colored trappings. Equipped with a sparkling palm-fringed pool, outdoor lounge, and full-service restaurant, this beach club meets boutique hotel is the ultimate escape.

Owned by Portia Hart, Blue Apple Beach is a certified B-Corp establishment for its environmentally and economically driven philosophy that has made a tremendous impact on the surrounding community. In addition to running the hotel, Portia founded the Green Apple Foundation, a nonprofit organization and the island’s first glass-recycling program, which creates career opportunities for locals through recycling initiatives.

Credit: Jeff Zaruba

Ambiente A Landscape Hotel (Sedona, Arizona, USA)

5 Stars | Website | Flagstaff Airport

40 | Outdoor swimming pool; Spa; Private rooftop deck | 1

Coconino National Forest; Sedona’s Main Street; Cathedral Rock

Set amidst Sedona’s red rock terrain, Ambiente, a Leading Hotels of the World member, is a landscape hotel comprising 40 elevated atrium-fitted rooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows, rooftop decks, and outdoor firepits allow guests to immerse themselves in scenic surroundings from the comfort of their modern-styled stay.

Colleen TeBrake and Jennifer May own the hotel, originally envisioned by their father in 1959, who wanted to open a luxe hotel overlooking the red rocks and Sedona’s Coconino National Forest. 

5 Stars | Website | Nice Côte d’Azur Airport

52 | Beachfront; 2 Outdoor swimming pools; Spa | 2

Plage de Gigaro; Plage Heraclee; Calanque d’Aiguebonne

Perched on the outskirts of Croix-Valmer in Saint-Tropez, Lily of the Valley is a distinguished five-star luxury hotel, proudly belonging to the Leading Hotels of the World portfolio and dedicated to a wellness-centric mission. Offering four distinct wellness programs—focused on weight loss, better aging, detoxification, and sport—guests have the opportunity to chart their own course towards a healthier lifestyle, all within the breathtaking natural splendor of the French Riviera.

Lucie Weill, a self-taught entrepreneur in the hospitality industry, initiated the Lily of the Valley as a family endeavor at the young age of 25. Embracing her role as a global learner, Lucie considers her personal journeys as a gateway to inspiration, consistently enhancing the exceptional guest experience at Lily of the Valley.

5 Stars | Website | Naples International Airport

72 | Private beach area; Outdoor swimming pool; Spa | 1

Villa Comunale; Lido Delle Sirene Beach; Garden of Minerva; Valloni della Costiera Amalfitana

As a Leading Hotels of the World jewel, Hotel Santa Caterina features 72 spacious and luminous rooms and suites adorned with classic interiors, embodying Mediterranean design and Amalfi-style villas: hand-painted majolica floors, marble bathrooms, and balconies offering enchanting views of the sea and gardens dress these pristine spaces.

Dating back to 1904, Dr. Gambardella’s wife helped open the first six-room Hotel Santa Caterina. Today, the family-owned stay is in the hands of Giusi and Ninni Gambardella, assisted by their children Crescenzo Gargano and Alessandro and Beatrice Camera, who directly manage the day-to-day operations of the hotel.

5 Stars | Website | Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

72 | Heated outdoor swimming pool; Spa; Free valet; Gear storage | 1

Park City Museum; Town Lift; Park City Mountain Resort; Deer Valley Resort

Hailing from Park City’s silver mining era, Washington School House, another esteemed member of Leading Hotels of the World, is a landmark boutique hotel embodying chic alpine lodge aesthetics. The 12 luxurious guestrooms boast soaring ceilings, gilded French mirrors, and an impressive white lacquered chandelier. Cap off a day on the slopes with the perfect après-ski activity—relaxing in the heated pool.

A visionary within the hospitality sector, Marcy Holthus is a committed hotelier serving as the CEO of Pilot Hotels. Her passion lies in unwavering dedication to exceptional design and the preservation of historical elements.

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