The Best Hotels
There’s no arguing: The United States is a known drama queen. That said, it makes perfect sense that the best of the best hotels in the country are larger than life in many different ways. Is the hotel by the beach? Well, this is the fanciest seaside abode you’ll ever stay at. In the woods? This hotel looks like the treehouse-palace of your dreams. In the desert? Welcome to your perfect oasis, please enjoy the splendor of Eden. So if you’re looking for a vacation stay with style and flair, hospitality replete with charm and charisma, and an all-around emphasis on fanfare and spectacle, check out our recommendations for the best hotels in the United States.
Weird & Wonderful
You may not have heard of this Wes Anderson-like camp property, but many big and trendy brands—like Anthropologie, Warby Parker, and Crate and Barrel—have used its vintage-inspired rooms stocked with antiques (from felt pendants to cozy Pendleton plaid blankets) and its whimsical grounds that feature a teepee and a treehouse, for photo shoots and design collabs. At the hands of a Chicago advertising couple, this former mobster hideaway (1930s), family-friendly lake resort (1950s), and Latvian priests’ church camp (1960s and 1970s) has been made uber-cool, with accommodations spread out over cabins and cottages. Archery and taxidermy never looked so enticing. Stays are bookable via Airbnb, including these side-by-side cabins.
Perennially cool desert artist’s enclave Marfa, Texas, boasts one of the trendiest hotels you’ll find nowhere near an airport. Film buffs will know The Hotel Paisano as home to James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor while they filmed the movie Giant (but if you want to stay in either of their rooms, be sure to book way ahead). Fans of classic, Old Hollywood glamor will know The Paisano for its rustic charm, rare movie memorabilia, cozy rooms, and reputation as the place to see and be seen in fashionable Marfa. Hungry Marfans know it as home to one of the best restaurants in town. But if you’re dining at Jett’s Grill, be prepared to settle in. Service, like life here, is a little slower than in the big city, but the meals are well worth the wait.
Cheap & Chic
The Hoxton Williamsburg
Brooklyn, New York
New York is famous for tiny hotel rooms, and The Hoxton has embraced (and perfected) the trend wholeheartedly. Miniature rooms here are impeccably decorated with Dusen Dusen fabrics, industrial-chic bathroom fixtures, and bookshelves curated by notable Brooklynites. The Hoxton feels like a mix between a hotel, a private social club, and a co-working space with a lobby that has become a popular meeting spot for locals. The excellent ground floor restaurant and bar is an impeccably-designed millennial fever dream and the outdoor rooftop bar has views of one of New York’s hippest neighborhoods.
Insider Tip: The Hoxton brand started in London. The Williamsburg location was their first hotel in the United States, and they now have Portland and Chicago locations open with Downtown L.A. on the way.
Cheap & Chic
Life House, Little Havana
Inspired by the Cuban heritage of Little Havana, these tropical, retro digs make you feel like you’ve discovered a truly local Miami—one that’s heating up. Surrounded by a growing number of restaurants and bars, Life House Little Havana is within easy reach of salsa nights at Ball & Chain, scoops of homemade ice cream at Azucar, speakeasy cocktails at Los Altos, and bites from Chef Michelle Bernstein at Café La Trova. It also delivers what other Miami hotels don’t: a boutique experience on a budget. For under $100 per night in the summer (shocking, we know!) you can stay in seriously cool adult bunk beds complete with their own wooden staircase, get cozy at the rooftop bar and community living room, grab vegan food at Parcela restaurant, and lie in hammocks in the lush courtyard. It all makes for the ultimate hideaway in the center of the Magic City.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Things are homey (and homemade) yet completely refined on this organic farm near the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque. No two rooms are the same in the classic, hacienda-style house, but all are warm and inviting, and the surrounding lavender fields, roaming alpaca and peacocks, and outdoor saltwater pool make for an idyllic setting. Dining and drinking would be all about atmosphere if the food weren’t also so delicious. The menu here is seasonal: dishes like grilled rack of lamb with mole rojo, pork pibil ravioli, and ribeye ranchero, blend local flavor with choice ingredients and elevated culinary skill. You’ll want to take home the house-made lavender bath products in your room—and much more curated, thoughtful goodness in the farm’s generous gift shop.
NoMad Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
A hotel that’s one part Italy, one part New York, shaken up and poured into a historic building in Downtown Los Angeles—and the result is exquisite. The NoMad brand is one of the best and most exciting in the business, and the L.A. property, which opened in 2018, is a beautifully stylish escape from the madcap streets of the city’s Historic Core. Not only is it elegantly designed, but the cuisine, courtesy of Daniel Humm of New York’s three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park, is stunning. Also stunning are both the Giannini Bar, which will make you feel like you’re in Rome, and the Coffee Bar, which will make you feel like you’re in Venice. The rooftop is a perfect city escape, complete with views, dining and drinking options, and a pool that’s topped off with a replica of the gaping maw of the Orcus monster of Bomarzo’s Mostri Park.
Rich & Famous
Parker Palm Springs
Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs is Hollywood’s desert playground, and the Parker is a key player at this longtime hip destination—both full of nostalgia for Palm Springs’ glory days and a beacon of contemporary fun. By fun, we mean: martinis and croquet, the chicest lemonade stand you’ll ever meet, “Yacht Club” spa treatments, and multiple pools with divine cabanas. Style at the Parker is very much the kitschy-but-chic mid-century design we’ve come to associate with the area, and there are touches of a real velvety grandeur— in places like the wine bar and supper club—that transport guests back to Old Hollywood.
Weird & Wonderful
New Orleans, Louisiana
This 1920s luxury apartment building reopened as a boutique hotel in 2016, and the new Pontchartrain embraces all things weird and wonderful of both its past glory and its thriving, hip present. Funky green plush and leather furniture, floral wallpaper, and an abundance of plants nod to the building’s previous style, whereas kitschy pop art, lively dining outlets, and modern amenities give it a proper revamping. You’ll be fighting off locals for brunch spots at Jack Rose, where the Southern menu is refined—but drinking champagne from the “cham-bong” is, well, not so much—and for city views at Hot Tin, the rooftop bar dedicated to Tennessee Williams (once a guest at the former residence). The hotel’s location in the Lower Garden District can’t be beat: front windows look out onto St. Charles Avenue, home to the city’s most historic (and scenic) streetcar line, and an essential section of the parade route during Carnival season.
The Ranch at Rock Creek
This horse ranch and fishing lodge provide luxurious, top-notch accommodations in the middle of Big Sky country, where lodging options include (but aren’t limited to) canvas glamping cabins with wood stoves, oriental rugs, feather beds, and barrel hot tubs with private decks. At the lodge, decked out in wooden accents, oversized leather chairs, and animal hides, you’ll dine on local delicacies like Montana grass-fed beef. It’s an all-inclusive experience here; given the season, this includes skiing, horseback riding, archery, yoga, fishing, hikes with master naturalists, or a weekly summer rodeo.
San Francisco Proper
San Francisco, CA
Stylish by any city standards, interiors at this flatiron building are done up in busy patterned textiles and wallpaper and filled with well-placed, unique items that make it feel more like a study in interior design than a hotel. In everything—from the art on the walls to the cocktail menu—you’ll find little nods to the local radius and its history. Spend plenty of mornings in the plush seating areas of The Proper Hotel’s art-filled lobby; at night, see-and-be-seen on the rooftop among the crowds of hip imbibers at Charmaine’s with the glittering lights of San Francisco in the backdrop.
The Shinola Hotel is masterfully curated and designed at every level, from outlet branding to especially-crafted Shinola products throughout the hotel (and the option to let a personal Shinola stylist pick out what products are right for you)—to small, thoughtful touches in decor in its welcoming public spaces. Large rooms are high-ceilinged and well lit, with chic, art deco vibes, and sleek architectural touches. Dining options seem to include all one could ever crave, with a beer hall, a fried-chicken-and-biscuit restaurant, evening cocktail bar, and an Italian pizzeria with a wood-fired oven.
Greenport, New York
On the rocky shores of Long Island’s North Fork, this low-key hotel is much more than meets the eye. Recently converted from a roadside motel to a chic year-round destination worthy of magazine covers, this seaside hotspot is a design-lover’s dream. Designed by Studio Tack, the hotel has simple and stylish waterfront rooms, a restaurant with impressive views (and a seafood-focused seasonal menu), and a piano bar that feels straight out of the 1950s. While Sound View is a destination on its own, it’s also the perfect home base for exploring the wineries and farms of the North Fork or restaurant-hopping your way through the town of Greenport–arguably Long Island’s best dining destination.
The Thompson is big on all that matters in Nashville: music, food, and friendly local charm. This trendy hotel is popular with a cool crowd, but won’t alienate those who don’t play in a band or wear bespoke clothing. The decor is hip, but nothing over the top; perhaps the best feature is the rooftop bar, with sweeping views of downtown and local craft beers on tap. With understated, mid-century-modern decor, hardwood floors, and a location that pulls you into the heart of Music City, the Thompson’s mission is to make you fall in love with Nashville—and it succeeds.
Cheap & Chic
North Adams, Massachusetts
A stay at this updated motor lodge is a perfect country weekend getaway, where everything is just as charming as you imagined in your head. Rooms are rather sparse, letting the setting do its own work, with clean, modern design surrounded by forest and natural light. The Berkshires location combines the right mix of culture and outdoors: there’s a clear resurgence of arts and culture in the town of North Adams—without anything being too fancy or overly trying—and there are mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and scenic drives nearby and ripe for exploring.
New & Noteworthy
This downtown Portland spot (minutes from the Portland Art Museum and Roseland Theater) is full of charm and friendly faces. The hotel is both a reliable base and a hip, artsy compound, embracing Portland’s natural wonder and good style, with lush garden wallpaper and mid-century-modern furniture. The restaurant pays homage to the chef’s Texas hometown with a menu of nourishing, unpretentious snacks and carnivorous Southern comforts. As far as amenities go: the Good Coffee is better than good, the beauty products are bespoke and organic, and there are Peloton bikes in the fitness room.