Is it possible to live up to guests' expectations when a room costs £900 a night and your name is synonymous with the very finest in hospitality?
The answer, in the case of the Cipriani, is not only live up to, but in many respects exceed, expectations.
Relatively small – it has 79 rooms and suites – low-key and on an island in the Venice Lagoon, a six-minute trip by shuttle boat from St Mark's Square, the hotel works very hard to be a very grand, but a very comfortable home-from-home for guests who have luxury hardwired into their DNA.
This bijoux hotel, located in a quiet courtyard, has been given a lobby-to-loft boutique makeover by new owners, Campbell Grey. Close to St James's Palace and Piccadilly, and many of the capital's other attractions, the hotel was built in 1908.
Following refurbish-ment and renovation, and hidden behind a facade festooned with floral hanging baskets, it fields 90 rooms and suites, 24-hour gym, treatment and steam rooms and restaurant.
The Green House Hotel, just a block from Bournemouth's East Cliff, the clifftop promenade once dotted with kosher hotels, is a stucco'd, Grade 11 listed building. But its imposing Victorian façade conceals a hip, boutique-style interior fielding a clean minimalism in the lobby and rooms, aligned with a glam rock vibe for its bar.
What distinguishes the Green House Hotel from most boutique properties is its claim to be "the greenest hotel in the UK", with everything run according to five core "green" principles that include "reduce, re-use and recycle".
If you want a spectacular aerial view of Manchester, you have only to go to the Hilton Manchester Deansgate and take the express lift to the 23rd floor.
When the doors open you'll be in, or rather on, Cloud 23, the hotel's buzzy cocktail bar. Wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows provide jaw-dropping views while you sip something exotic from an extensive drinks menu.
When David Levin opened The Capital in 1971, it seemed daringly moderne for its surroundings. Genteel Basil Street, between Knightsbridge and Harrods, had never seen the likes of the silver-spaceship foyer and the bold canopy proclaiming in chrome letters London's first true boutique hotel.
But all that is gone now - except the repu-tation. Within a few years of opening, the Capital got recognition from Michelin, and it continues to make all the top award lists for the hotel and its eponymous fine restaurant.
There must be many a case of mistaken identity in the hunt for smart lodgings in the tiny, picturesque pair of Cotswold villages known as the Slaughters.
For the upper and lower villages, separated by a bridge, have three manor houses between them. And despite having the only Michelin-starred restaurant, the Lords is not the huge pile at the top of the hill - that's a private house - nor the Relais & Chateaux property two minutes down the street in Lower Slaughter.
It's just a little old inn perched at the top of a slipway in a tiny Cornish hamlet, but The Lugger at Portloe has somehow achieved iconic status. Perhaps because its owners have injected seaside simplicty with a measure of chic without adding an ounce of pretension. Or simply because its romantic harbourside location is unbeatable.
It's barely a year old but may have the best location on the fringe of the Old City in the 19th-century Mamilla neighbourhood.
The hotel itself is nothing if not modern. Designed by Moshe Safdie, it blends seamlessly with its environment, built with gorgeous Jerusalem stone as is the shopping centre it is attached to. Interior décor is minimalist and contemporary and filled with Herman Miller, Kartell and Cassina furnishings.
The Murano delivers a very particular vision of Marrakesh conceived in Milan - Italian high design in an Arabian nights setting. The result is startling at times, but not altogether unpleasing.
Rooms are spacious and attractive, the pool is cool in every sense, and the setting - in the tranquil oasis just outside the city centre known as the Palmeraie - a great base for Morocco's fascinating, but hot, dusty and noisy, shopping and entertainment capital.