Sometimes, big things come in small packages. Certainly, large hotels and sprawling resorts have their appeal, including more rooms and amenities. For discerning incentive groups, however, small properties afford a level of intimacy and exclusivity that can't be matched by their more capacious counterparts. Case in point: the following five hotels, each of which packs a big, luxurious punch into 50 rooms or less.
Grand House (Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal)
Because of its location on a lesser-known stretch of the Atlantic coast, Grand House -- which opened this month in Portugal's Algarve region -- promises to introduce guests to "an authentic Algarve forgotten by many." Located on the banks of the Rio Guadiana, the river that separates Algarve from Spain, the hotel occupies a vintage 1926 building with 31 rooms and suites that harken back to the Roaring Twenties with a mix of colonial and art deco styles. There also are ground-floor and rooftop bars as well as a lounge, a library, a restaurant and a beach club that includes a third bar, an infinity pool and sun loungers. By request, the hotel can arrange arrival via limousine, as well as activities sightseeing by yacht or helicopter.
Terra Dominicata (Tarragona, Spain)
Less than a day's drive from Algarve is the port city of Tarragona, in northeast Spain's Catalonia region. Along with ancient ruins from its days as a Roman colony, the city is now home to its first five-star hotel: Terra Dominicata (pictured). Opened in August 2018, the property is in a 12th-century monastery that has been fully modernized and restored. Although the hotel itself is small -- it has just 26 rooms across two historic buildings -- the estate on which it sits is large. Spanning over 300 acres in the middle of Montsant Natural Park, the site is home to a pool, a winery, an olive grove and a vegetable farm. Other highlights include two meeting rooms for groups of up to 16 people each, a kitchen workshop for culinary classes and events, and a private wine cellar for wine tastings.
Hotel Les Bords de Mer (Marseille, France)
If your group prefers French to Spanish wine, check out the Hotel Les Bords de Mer in Marseille. Opened in December 2018, it's located in a historic art deco villa built in the 1930s. Just outside, the Mediterranean Sea awaits, along with a beach and a heated rooftop swimming pool. Inside, meanwhile, there are 19 sea-facing rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a spa, a fitness room and a seaside café. It's pure Miami -- if Miami were located in the South of France. The hotel even has its own boat for hire for bespoke outings on the Mediterranean.
Canaves Oia Epitome (Oia, Greece)
For even more majestic Mediterranean views, there's Canaves Oia Epitome just outside of Oia, Greece, a bustling coastal town on the northwestern tip of Santorini. Opened in May 2018, the resort has 24 suites and villas, each of which has its own private terrace and pool. There's also a shared infinity pool with private cabanas, a gym, daily yoga classes, a spa in what used to be a 17th-century wine cave, a bar and an outdoor fine-dining restaurant, not to mention private butler service and optional excursions that range from helicopter tours to private yachting.
Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok
Although southern Europe is teeming with beautiful boutique properties for incentives, the Mediterranean doesn't have a monopoly on small-scale luxury. For groups that crave a different experience, in a different part of the world, there's Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok in Thailand. Located in the city's exclusive Sukhumvit district, the hotel opened in May 2018 and caters to the urban traveler. Along with 50 rooms, there's an authentic Thai restaurant and a lively rooftop with a bar and a stylish pool. Instead of the sea, guests look through floor-to-ceiling windows at Bangkok's sweeping skyscrapers. This property's claim to fame, however, is its eco-friendliness: When it opened, it was Asia's first "single-use, plastic-free" hotel. Instead of bottled water, guests receive stainless steel water bottles that they can refill at water stations throughout the property. In-room toiletries, meanwhile, are packaged in locally made celadon containers. Guests also receive fabric shopping bags to use when they're shopping. And, of course, there are no plastic straws in the bar or restaurant.