In a crowded space - there are an estimated 187,000 hotels open around the world - meeting a woman hotelier is still surprisingly rare. According to the UN, some 54 per cent of tourism industry employees are now women, but if you glance across the imaginary table of all the globe's hotel owners, the majority are still - depressingly - male.
What better way, then, to support the women making leaps in the travel world than to book a stay at a woman-owned boutique hotel this summer? Here are four of our favourite.
Women-owned hotels to book for your next escape
The nine-room Hotel Aristide in Syros' well-heeled Vaporia neighbourhood is a sustainability-driven, swoon-worthy stay run by a triad of high-achieving women. Oana Aristide, author of a literary thriller published in the same year as she opened the hotel, 2022, transformed a dilapidated but distinguished neoclassical building on the waterfront of the island's main town, Hermoupolis, with help from her mother, Simona, and sister Jasmin, a practising doctor. The result? A boutique stay that celebrates Syros' offbeat character and showcases the island's industrial heritage through local craftsmanship. Rooms are colourful and expressive, an art gallery sits alongside the restaurant and two bars, and there are regular artists' residencies and workshops on site throughout the year.hotelaristide.com
Former lawyer Meryanne Loum-Martin is the only Black woman hotelier in Marrakech. The 24-key Jnane Tamsna, a joint project between the hotelier and her ethnobotanist partner Gary Martin (who designed the property's lush three-and-a-half hectares of palm and olive groves, as well as the rambunctious kitchen gardens), delivers colourful, cosy bohemian interiors, and welcoming little luxuries, like complimentary fresh grapefruit juice, a rotation of regular events, and, in Loum-Martin, an encyclopaedic knowledge of Morocco and its culture. Located a 20-minute drive from the medina, the hotel's five character-imbued villas (all with pools) are spread throughout the verdant gardens, and there's also a tennis court and a restaurant serving a Mediterranean-influenced menu.Douar Abiad, Palmeraie, Marrakech 40000, Morocco +212 5243 28484 jnanetamsna.com
British-Trinidadian Portia Hart was bewitched by Colombia after travelling through the country; seven years later, her boutique hotel, Townhouse, in Cartagena's historic walled city, is a love letter to the destination, the hotelier's adoration written out in the aesthetics, ambience and socially-conscious ambition of the 11-bed stay. One of a collection of businesses helmed by Hart (that also includes two beach clubs and an environmental enterprise in the region), the hotel's unstuffy rooms are decorated with colourful murals by a local artist. Upstairs, an award-winning, palm-fringed rooftop bar is a favourite dusk hangout destination for city residents. And, in keeping with Hart's unerring admiration of the region, the hotel aims to preserve, as well as celebrate, its home: 75 per cent of the property's waste is diverted from landfill, a regenerative farm supplies the on-site restaurant, and roughly 80 per cent of the hotel's outgoings are spent within Colombia.
Read our interview with Hart in Vol. 36: Discovery36-88 Carrera 7, Centro, Cartagena 130001, Colombia +57 304 355 1068 townhousecartagena.com
Ethiopian-American entrepreneur Yodit Eklund - the woman behind trendsetting African surf brand Bantu Wax - blends European and African culture in her seven-room stay, Seku Bi, in Dakar. Housed within two French colonial villas on the Petite Corniche, the hotel takes care to preserve historical features - like the original terrazzo floors and the airy, classical proportions - but balances the old with striking contemporary local artwork and furniture made by pan-African designers. Uniforms worn by the women on the team are the handiwork of Senegalese designer Adama Paris. The in-house Italian restaurant, Il Pappagallo, is helmed by Abdou Fall, a Senegalese chef who spent his childhood in Turin, and now whips up Italian-influenced dishes using local ingredients.33 Rue Bérenger Féraud, Dakar 10200, Senegal +221 33 842 2202 sekubi.com