Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Pikaia Lodge is a luxurious, sculpture-filled resort on the island of Santa Cruz, set on a hilltop amid 75 acres that have been replanted with some 9,000 native trees. Twelve suites with either patios or balconies, plus two larger suites, one of which has a private plunge pool. Opt for a slightly more expensive Balcony Room, which has higher ceilings and unobstructed views toward the distant coast through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Mashpi Lodge is a strikingly contemporary and plush 22-room eco-resort three and a half hours hours northwest of Quito on 3,212 private acres of cloud forest surrounded by an additional 42,000-acre reserve. Seven Wayra King rooms and 12 Wayra Twin rooms are small but intelligently designed, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the jungle and shower-only baths. Three Yaku Suites add soaking tubs with forest views. The lodge offers excellent breakfast and lunch buffets as well as delicious à la carte dinners in the dramatic dining room, which features two-story glass walls.
The handsome Eliot Hotel, in a 1925 neo-Georgian brick building with stone accents, is well-located in Back Bay, steps from Newbury and Boylston streets. Ninety-five guest rooms and suites feature an Old World décor with a cream-and-brown color scheme, ikat and toile fabrics and small Italian marble baths. Suites offer living rooms with queen-size sleeper sofas separated from bedrooms by French doors.