Travelers have rebelled. A hotel is no longer simply a place to spend the night while you’re away from home. Boutique Hotels have put your home comforts at the forefront with inspiring architecture and interior design and personalized service aimed to cater to your every whim. While big brand chains may offer consistency, they often lack in the awe-triggering design which has you wondering whether the hotel manager would notice if you stuffed that antique brass paper weight into your suitcase. Travel should inspire, so why shouldn’t your hotel follow suit? These boutique hotels are destinations in their own right.
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Once she played home to fleets of sailors, but The Jane was remodeled in 2008 by hoteliers Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson (of the Bowery hotel) into its current incarnation: a whimsical 159-room boutique hotel which plays upon its history to deliver a unique experience to its guests. The rooms have remained reminiscent of their roots- wide enough for berths inspired by slightly more luxurious methods of overnight travel like the Orient Express. The hotel is filled with quirky and some creepy details like moose heads, vintage tiles from Argentina disco balls and a stuffed monkey bellhop at the bar. You may feel like you’ve wandered into the ship cabin of an heiress who hoards but the charm remains at The Jane and everything fits into its correct place. Resist the temptation to walk away with an artifact stuffed into your luggage!
Eau Palm Resort & Spa
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
When faced with a re-design of the iconic Palm Beach resort Eau Palm, who better to entrust than potter, decorator and part-time Eau Palm resident (and mascot) Jonathan Adler? Channeling a fresh maritime vibe with colors like yellow parakeet, blue, azure and white, Adler redesigned 309 of the guest rooms with furnishings available at his namesake store (save for custom pieces), photography by Slim Aarons and cheeky touches like desks with tassels (the “earrings of the home,” according to Adler). This groovy hotel sets the tone for a magical vacation in Palm Beach with its lush gardens and views of the ocean. If you love a piece, check out Adler’s store to see if you can bring a piece of this vintage Palm Beach sunshine into your life.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
The Line hotel has managed to make concrete look cozy. Located in a mid-century building with floor to ceiling windows designed by L.A. architecture firm Daniel Mann Johnson & Mendenhall in trendy Koreatown, it’s all in the details at The Line: vintage Mexican fabrics meet bleached ash wood headboards, low-slung lamps and velvety sofas. Your room at The Line feels like you’re visiting a friend who has managed to perfectly accessorize using priceless mid-century modern finds. Visit the onsite international newsstand and boutique Poketo, order in room-service from Pot, street-food king Roy Choi’s onsite restaurant and consider taking up residence at this eponymous Los Angeles boutique hotel.
Get to know the Hood with our Neighborhood Guide to Koreatown! A day itinerary that takes you from morning java to late-night Karaoke awaits.
Saguaro Palm Springs
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA
What was once a crumbling eyesore, the budget-friendly Saguaro Palm Springs was re-designed by New York Architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat and infused with a lively Southwestern color palette that sinks into the backdrop of the Colorado Desert. The 245-room property pops like a visit from Andy Warhol to Palm Springs, soaking up the rays of the oasis. Handcrafted Mexican furniture is nestled in the photogenic rooms looking onto the rectangular pool lined with palm trees and purple and yellow sun chairs. Grab a bite (the esquites are delicious as are Taco Tuesday with $2 tacos and $5 margaritas) at El Jefe, headed by Iron Chef Jose Garces with a shot of premium tequila. This hotel guarantees to expand your color horizons and will have you picking out shades of Chartreuse and Lilac upon your return home.
The Standard Hotel
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Frequently cropping up in editorial spreads in fashion magazines like Purple Fashion and Glamour, the highly Instagrammable Standard Hotel started with a bang with backing investors like Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio back in 2002. Today it reigns supreme amongst Los Angeles’ abundance of boutique hotels who desperately try to emulate this design queen but stop short of replicating the atmosphere surrounding a stay at the Standard. The 2002 renovation by Konig Eizenberg Architects of the 1956 marble-encased building added the infamous rooftop bar and saw it added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. A complete renovation of the interior design by Shawn Haussman, responsible for set design in movies like The People Vs. Larry Flynt, plays up its mid-century California roots with wild pops and dashes of colors like the magenta sofas which welcomes lobby visitors to what could feel like a slightly cooler alternative to your normal universe.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND
Once home to all sorts of seedy activity, the brick house which houses The Dean, was transformed by owner and designer ASH NYC into a classy 52 room hotel, straying far from its roots as a strip club. Each room falls nothing short of chic and timeless and each has a unique blend of antique furniture, original features like mosaic tile flooring and artwork from its influential artistic neighbor, RISD. Modernism meets antique with a touch of industrial for a date. Also onsite are the Magdalenae Room, a cocktail bar and lounge, the Faust’s Hofbrauhaus if you’re craving a piece of Germany and Bolt Coffee Company to jolt you awake in the morning with this holy trinity making for as eclectic of an air all over the hotel like the room decor suggests. Notably, if something decor related catches your eye check out, “Shop The Dean” on ASH NYC’s site.
21c Museum Hotel
The 21c Museum Hotel in Kentucky was the brainchild of native Kentuckians and art collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson who married their vision for a contemporary art museum open to the public free of charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the need for a boutique hotel that would help reignite the economic drive of the local community. They collaborated with an architect on the re-working of five deteriorating 19th century buildings while highlighting the original brick, timber and iron construction, giving a new beat to Louisville’s West Main Street. The 90-room hotel the huge rooms are punctuated with equally huge windows, exposed brick walls and luxury bedding. Sleep in the Cyclone for a unique opportunity to spend the night in the immersive art experience that comes with this sculptural installation by NYC artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe. On-site restaurant Proof On Main has similarly reignited the Louisville foodie scene with their focus on local food and over 75 of Kentucky’s smoothest bourbons.
Little more west than Kentucky? Check out the 21c Museum Hotel outpost in Bentonville, AR, one of trivago’s nationally top-rated stays!