What kind of lodging-search company features a tiny suburban Tokyo hotel that can’t be booked online — and, in fact, may not be bookable at all unless you plan several months in advance — just because the site editors think it’s cool?

What kind of lodging-search company keeps its room availability up-to-date in real time and will alert customers when and if there’s an opening at their chosen destination?

Answer to both questions: the same company, Tablet Hotels, which apparently revels in paradox. Its idiosyncratic collection of bookable properties includes hip boutique hotels and classic grandes dames and beachside cabanas, each selected by anonymous inspectors with, according to the company, “a low tolerance for boredom.” On the site, customer ratings are verified (to make sure the rater actually stayed there) and tracked; if the hotel falls below a 15 (on a scale of 1 to 20), it’s cut. Those same ratings generate top 10 lists in categories from “Country Hotels” (number one at press time: Amangani, Jackson Hole, Wyoming) to “Seduction Hotels” (Claska, in Tokyo, but hold the phone; it’s the difficult-to-reserve spot we mentioned earlier).

Laurent Vernhes, the founder of the company and a self-described “global nomad,” says he started Tablet Hotels so that other travelers wouldn’t repeat his mistakes. With his help, however, they will learn to embrace contradiction. www.tablethotels.com