World's Best Hotel Boutiques
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Hotel gift shops were once the province of $20 bottles of suntan lotion, stale candy bars, and souvenir magnets. Given a captive on-site audience, hotels could overcharge and underwhelm guests with shops chockablock with schlock. But hotels have started to realize that, much like a top-notch spa or It bar, a great boutique can score a property serious cool points, reinforce its style, and get guests spending. Slowly but surely, hoteliers have upped the shopping ante, commissioning one-of-a-kind designer goods, collaborating with local artisans, and turning yesterday's gift shops into destinations in their own right. From a haute vending machine shilling vintage cars to a safari wine shop selling prime South African bottlings, here are the best places to shop where you sleep. And don't let your luggage hold you back. All of these boutiques can ship your purchases home.
Published October 2010; Pictured Project No. 8a, Ace Hotel, New York City.