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March 02, 2009

The Cheap Chic Generation

You can't beat the west-facing views at the Standard New York.

by Ondine Cohane

One of my favorite offshoots of the boutique hotel trend is something I like to term the "cheap chic" generation, properties that have grown up in the last few years and are aimed at people traveling on a budget but who don't want to compromise on style. Hip hotelier André Balazs struck gold in this market with his Standard Hotel outposts in Los Angeles, Miami (which I particularly love), and now New York. He also opened QT, a sort of chic hostel for grown-ups (think swimming pool in the lobby and double-size bunk beds) and subsequently sold it to a Spanish hotel group called Room Mate. Now Room Mate has re-re-launched QT as Grace and the company has plans in the works for new properties in Miami Beach as well as Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and Bogota.

Her are more cheap chic properties (some newer, some older). Remember: Most of them aren't going to have the amenities of a Four Seasons, so set your expectations accordingly.

* The super stylish Ace Hotel, which debuted a few years back in Seattle and has properties in Portland and Palm Springs, will open its New York outpost this March. Rooms that I looked at online for the beginning of April included a bunk bed choice for $99 and a deluxe for $199.

* London's Hoxton offers free WiFi, as well as super comfy beds and Aveda products. Owned by the founder of Pret A Manger, its claim of being high quality but great value holds true: Rates run from 59 to 199 pounds. Hoxton currently even has a one-pound offer (you'll have to act fast for that).

* In Paris, there's the Phillipe Starck-designed Mama Shelter, which I blogged about last year, but another chic cheapie to keep on your radar is the low-budget, 20-room Hotel Amour with rooms starting at 99 euros.

* I haven't had a chance to stay yet, but the newish Roman hotel Crossing Condotti looks stylish. It has a great location and five rooms starting at 195 euros, which, yes, is cheap for the Eternal City.

Have others you think fit the bill and want to share? Post them below.


Great blog post! I have a great addition to your list: The Pearl Hotel located in San Diego. We opened in fall 2007 and are classified as a budget boutique hotel. We also fit into the cheap chic generation of hotels. Some info about The Pearl Hotel:
-60s roadside hotel feel.
-23 unique and varied guest rooms.
-Restaurant at the Pearl serves a delicious blend of California Coastal cuisine with sustainability in mind by utilizing local farms for produce.
-10' x 13' projection screen over a heated saltwater pool for weekly Wednesday movie showings.
-Indoor/outdoor environment and space orientation.
-Comfy rooms with some hosting rain forest inspired showers, pet beta fish and even mirrors on the ceilings.

Basically, come check us out on the web and plan a trip to SD.

Remember, "The Pearl shines brightest when you are here!"

Looking forward to seeing you down at the Pearl,
Kimberly Parker
Sales & Marketing Manager
The Pearl Hotel

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