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United States Hotels

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
1708 House
126 Main Street
Southampton , New York
11968
Tel: 631 287 1708
1708house@hamptons.com
www.1708house.com

Located at the top of Main Street, this 12-room B&B is in the thick of Southampton's affluence (Saks Fifth Avenue is next door) but also an unstuffy retreat from it. The guest rooms ramble around the original 18th-century house, which has additions from each of the three subsequent centuries. Rooms are individually decorated with floral bedspreads, Oriental carpets, and antiques; innkeepers Skip and Lorraine Ralph recently installed flat-screen TVs. Exposed timbers and a canopy bed lend a rustic atmosphere to room 2, a two-room suite, while room 3 is popular for its claw-foot tub and reading alcove. The stone-walled wine cellar (circa 1648, predating the house) is a cozy setting for an evening game of chess. There's no on-site restaurant, although there are many places to dine within walking distance; self-catering types can book one of the two two-bedroom cottages in the back garden that come with a kitchen, spacious living room, and porch.—Updated by Darrell Hartman

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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21C Museum Hotel
700 W. Main Street
Louisville , Kentucky
Tel: 502 217 6300
www.21chotel.com

"It's difficult to describe the uniqueness of this hotel," the top-scoring Gold List property in the United States. Created from abandoned tobacco and bourbon warehouses, the property features reclaimed-wood floors, hand-blocked linen upholstery, and glass transoms, "striking design that mixes old and new to stunning effect"—9,000 square feet of exhibition space are a backdrop to the revolving collection of contemporary art. Guest rooms have high ceilings, Herman Miller chairs, exposed brick walls, and silver mint julep cups. Proof on Main cooking is inspired by Italy and the American South, hence dishes like handmade tonnarelli, and sides like simmered grits; its selection of Kentucky bourbons includes some bottled exclusively for the restaurant.

(90 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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320 Ranch
205 Buffalo Horn Creek
Gallatin Gateway , Montana
59730
Tel: 800 243 0320
info@320ranch.com
www.320ranch.com

Founded in 1936 by Montana's first female doctor, the 320 Ranch, located five miles north of Yellowstone, draws a steady stream of outdoorsy types in Subarus, bandanna'd Labradors and Clif Bars in tow, eager to explore the surrounding forest and canyons. The 53 one- to three-bedroom log cabins, fitted with antique stoves and patchwork quilts, are pretty rustic, but they're a big step up from a Therm-a-Rest in the woods—and rates start at just $150 in high season. The two secluded A-frame chalets are popular with newlyweds. Guests who are here to fish the Gallatin River—there's a full-service Scott-endorsed fly shop on-site—should angle for a riverfront cabin. It's not uncommon to wake up to see ranchers herding dozens of horses to pasture. Summer's temperate weather is perfect for horseback riding, mountain biking, and rafting, while winter brings sleigh rides and snowmobiling on the grounds. There's also skiing, snowboarding, and dog sledding nearby. The Steak House restaurant and saloon caters to famished adventurers with belly-filling dishes like tender elk piccata and crème brûlée topped with local blackberries. Book at least six months in advance, especially for summer stays.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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60 Thompson
60 Thompson Street
New York City , New York
10012
Tel: 877 431 0400
Tel: 212 431 0200
info@thompsonhotels.com
www.60thompson.com

Thomas O'Brien of Aero Studios, based right here in Soho, designed this hotel to be the last word in urban sophistication. What he came up with are deadpan neutral color palettes—all browns and grays with clean-lined furniture—with suede headboards and velour pillows adding a dash of sensuality. Rooms can be small, and most have showers only; ask for one of the few rooms with a tub when booking. Of course, you could go ahead and request the duplex-penthouse Thompson Loft for soaring ceilings, a four-poster bed, a stone fireplace, and two private roofdecks for panoramic views. In summer, the semiprivate rooftop bar A60 presents the same glorious prospect. In the lobby, there's the showy, romantic Thombar and a very good Thai restaurant, Kittichai, which draws a glamorous crowd.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
70 Park Avenue
70 Park Avenue at 38th Street
Midtown East
New York City , New York
10016
Tel: 877 707 2752 (toll-free)
Tel: 212 973 2400
www.70parkave.com

Owing to a location in mostly residential Murray Hill, Manhattan's first Kimpton hotel is too far north to share in downtown's cachet and too far south to be in the thick of Midtown's bustle. It's best suited to travelers looking to be close to—but not amid—the action. In 2003, the 205 guest rooms profited from an overhaul by Jeffrey Bilhuber, whose celebrity clients have included David Bowie and (gasp) Anna Wintour. The results: streamlined blond wood furnishings, woven wallpaper, and silky cream and celadon fabrics. Plasma TVs, L'Occitane products, and irons round out the in-room extras, though you'll probably have to do-si-do around your partner to get around an open ironing board in the small rooms. There's Wi-Fi throughout, and two laptops are available for guests' use in the dimly lit, minimalist lobby, with its modular leather sofas. Silverleaf, the on-site tavern, is a good place for a martini (or a light meal: grilled salmon, crab cakes), but strolling four blocks north, to tip a few at Grand Central's Campbell Apartment, is an equally excellent idea.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Abingdon Guest House
21 Eighth Avenue
West Village
New York City , New York
10014
Tel: 212 243 5384
abingdon@msn.com
www.abingdonguesthouse.com

A great find and your only real option for staying in the West Village. These nine rooms split between two Hudson Street brownstones are full of romantic touches—some have four-poster beds with canopies, hand-painted armoires, and exposed brick walls. What they don't have is an elevator, so be prepared to climb (four of the rooms are located two flights up). This is partly why the Ambassador room is so popular—besides being the largest, and being equipped with a kitchenette, it's also on the ground floor. The Garden Room, another favorite, is one flight down, on the same level as a small, private garden and a gurgling fountain. When selecting your room, bear in mind there's an architectural quirk: Rooms fronting sometimes noisy Eighth Avenue have en-suite bathrooms; those facing the back have a bathroom that's private but located across the hall. (The courtyard-facing Ambassador is the exception to this rule.)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
A Butler's Manor
244 N. Main Street
Southampton , New York
11968
Tel: 631 283 8550
innkeepers@abutlersmanor.com
www.abutlersmanor.com

Co-owner Chris Allen worked as a butler for 20 years in the U.S. and Europe; no surprise, then, that he and his wife, Kim, get so many details right at this five-room B&B, from the abundance of pillow options to the cream sherry offered to guests upon arrival. At first glance, their shingled, 19th-century yellow house, located just off Southampton's main drag, is heavy on Victorian touches: The front room contains a functioning upright piano and displays of vintage dolls. But there's nothing period about the spacious bathrooms (particularly the luxurious one in the Eton Court room) or the individually adjustable bedroom air-conditioning. Each of the guest rooms is named and themed after an estate Mr. Allen has worked at, and the homey, genteel furnishings range from a sleigh bed and hand-stitched quilts to antique armoires and writing desks. After a breakfast of homemade muffins and fresh-squeezed orange juice, it's tempting to repair to the leafy patio, where a stone walkway begins that will lead you past daffodils and hydrangeas to a saltwater pool. Another thoughtful touch: The fresh flowers that the Allens grow there, alongside a variety of herbs and vegetables, find their way into guest rooms every day.—Darrell Hartman

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ace Hotel
1022 S.W. Stark Street
Portland , Oregon
97205
Tel: 503 228 2277
reservations.pdx@acehotel.com
acehotel.com/portland

The Ace Hotel is ground zero for Portland's hipsters: You'll find turntables and vinyl in the rooms, art by local artists painted right on the walls, old army lockers propping up desks, and myriad other vintage accents throughout. The public spaces are almost dauntingly cool: The dark-wood lobby is full of tech types in small glasses working on their Macs, and the business center is lined with design mags and literary publications like The Believer. But before you rush to book your room, it's worth remembering that the Ace considers itself a budget hotel. Although long on style, it can be short on creature comforts. The 79 rooms have plain (but comfy) blankets by famous local wool company Pendleton, clip-on utility lamps for reading lights, shower stalls and sinks often located right in the room itself, and seriously basic toiletries. If you're dying to see what all the fuss is about, spring for one of the deluxe rooms, which have more conventional bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and are considerably more spacious. And if sleep is important to you, ask for a quiet room off the street. Additional bonuses: Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the adjoining lobby serves the city's best coffee. Clyde Common, one of Portland's most buzzy new bars and restaurants, is right downstairs, and Powell's City of Books is just a block away.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ace Hotel
2423 First Avenue
Seattle , Washington
98121
Tel: 206 448 4721
reservations@acehotel.com
www.acehotel.com

The Ace hotel chain may be well on its way to global dominance, but it all started here, at this former flophouse in Belltown. Like its sister properties in Palm Springs, Portland, and New York, the 28 ultrahip rooms at Seattle's Ace exemplify high design on a small budget. Platform beds are covered with vintage French army blankets, institutional stainless-steel sinks are bolted to the wall, and giant photomurals depict Pacific Northwest nature scenes. On the nightstand, you'll find condoms, a copy of the Kama Sutra, and a camouflage-covered Bible. Our favorite rooms are numbers 129 and 130, which have bamboo-filled planters on small decks and a sexy, glass-enclosed shower at the head of the bed.—Updated by Aaron Barker

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ace Hotel and Swim Club
701 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs , California
92264
Tel: 760 325 9900
www.acehotel.com/palmsprings

Rather than the usual Rat Pack retro or duffer chic, this hip oasis is a slightly rugged desert escape. The Sahara-circa-1950s decor features walls covered in tent canvas (and matching bedspreads), steamer trunks (which store extra pillows), striped Berberesque robes, magazine racks stuffed with vintage National Geographics, and a clock/MP3 player that appears to be World War II surplus. Bathrooms could be bigger, and the water takes a while to get hot, but that just adds to the illusion of being far, far away. The grounds of this onetime Howard Johnson motor lodge have been transformed into a garden of mature palms and olive trees, with outdoor fireplaces. The King's Highway restaurant, a former Denny's, now serves Middle Eastern cuisine with a California edge. Despite its petite size, the spa offers an awesome array of treatments, while the sprawling pool is framed by royal palms, rocky outcrops, and snowcapped peaks. David Hockney, eat your heart out.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ace Hotel New York
20 W. 29th Street
New York City , New York
10001
Tel: 212 679 2222
enquire.nyc@acehotel.com
www.acehotel.com/newyork

Located in one of the few ungentrified stretches of a transitional downtown neighborhood that's at the center of nothing but close to everything (Chelsea, Midtown), the 260-room Ace has a bona fide cool vibe—best personified by its buzzy lobby, a public living room that has the look of a '50s-era boarding school common room and is filled at all hours with muss-haired hipsters. The prep school aesthetic extends to the cozy rooms, which are stocked with retro details like Pendleton blankets, coarse carpets, and pencil sharpeners (some come with turntables and full-size Smeg refrigerators). Despite the flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi access, the hotel's ethos is happily analog: Instead of dimmer lights, there are gooseneck lamps, and in place of digital do-not-disturb buttons there are black magnets reading not now. The Ace isn't for guests who need a lot of attention or amenities—the hotel assumes a certain familiarity with the city, and the staff, while sweet, can be a little hapless. But the rates are reasonable, the restaurant—April Bloomfield's gastropub The Breslin—is a hot spot, the two in-house lifestyle boutiques are smartly curated, and the place is already beloved by Manhattanites.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Adolphus Hotel
1321 Commerce Street
Dallas , Texas
75202
Tel: 800 221 9083 (toll-free)
Tel: 214 742 8200
reservations@adolphus.com
www.hoteladolphus.com

A less muscular but hardly less grand take on Renaissance revival than the Mansion on Turtle Creek, the 428-room Adolphus has been in continuous operation at its downtown location since beer baron Adolphus Busch built it back in 1912 (it was the city's tallest building at the time). The public spaces offer an elegant old-world atmosphere, replete with crystal chandeliers and Flemish tapestries; the charming afternoon tea served in the wood-paneled lobby living room features live piano and scones with Devonshire cream. Some of the suites are totally out of (1980s Wall Street–;style) control, with zebra rugs and pool tables. The hotel bar is old and cozy, so if you can stomach the forced formality of the place as a whole, it's a well-located downtown choice. The French Room restaurant, with Italianate murals covering its 18-foot vaults, is the most formally elegant of the city's top restaurants; it will please the grandparent set.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Affinia Hotel
166 E. Superior Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 312 787 6000
saleschicago@affinia.com
www.affinia.com

Assuming its recession-ready prices hold steady (we've seen rates as low as $150), this outpost of the five-hotel Affinia chain located a block off North Michigan Avenue is one of the best values in town. True, the spartan reception area feels understaffed, and the Marcus Samuelsson C-House restaurant demonstrates that celebrity chefs can oversee too many kitchens. But the $25-million renovation completed in June 2008 clearly shows in the guest rooms, which are done up in a vaguely Deco style with a silver and gold palette and padded leather headboards. While standard rooms are a respectable 390 square feet, it's worth "splurging" for one of the 715-square-foot junior suites ($199). The bathrooms are small, but the hotel aims to compensate with flat-screen TVs and an inventive range of free amenities, including a stay-fit Experience Kit (complete with yoga mat and workout bands) and a pillow menu (try the "sound pillow," threaded with thin white-noise speakers). There's also a fitness room, which comes in handy after indulging in the "Sweet Treats" dessert and candy room-service menu. Bargain-hunters may find the Affinia's dogged attempt to show guests a playful time to be a bit much, but you have to credit the hotel's creative ambition. —Raphael Kadushin

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Alaska's Capital Inn
113 West Fifth Street
Juneau , Alaska
99801
Tel: 888 588 6507
innkeeper@alaskacapitalinn.com
www.alaskacapitalinn.com

This seven-room B&B is housed in a gold rush–era, Victorian-style house on the edge of Juneau's downtown. The building has been beautifully restored and tastefully decorated with Alaskana. The key word here is tastefully: Too many of the state's B&Bs don't stop until there's an igloo model or an ivory carving on every surface, but here, the period details—pedestal sinks, exposed brick or elegant wallpaper, Mission-style furniture—are done right. It's also one of the few hotels in Juneau with character—most are bland and chainlike. Many of the huge rooms have fireplaces and sitting areas, and the top-floor suite (the nicest room in Juneau, in our opinion), has a tub big enough to float a porpoise. The inn's proximity to the state capitol building (it's also within walking distance of everything else downtown) means that the rooms fill up, especially in winter when the legislature is in session. Reserve as far in advance as possible, and if it's booked, try the nearby Silverbow.—Edward Readicker-Henderson

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Alexander's Guesthouse
1118 Fleming Street
Key West , Florida
33040
Tel: 800 654 9919 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 294 9919
info@alexanderskeywest.com
www.alexanderskeywest.com

This gay-oriented 17-room B&B is the most stylish on the island and is perfect for those allergic to antiques. The rooms are spread over three buildings; most have king-size beds and are decorated with black armchairs and white linens, an effect that comes off as modern but not stark. The complex has a pool and a hot tub plus clothing-optional sunbathing on two private decks (the hotel is strictly 21-plus). Guests usually include as many lesbians as gay men, a rarity in Key West, which gives the place a more inclusive vibe: Mingling is mandatory at the poolside happy hour every afternoon. Try the made-to-order frozen piña coladas.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Alexis
1007 First Avenue
Seattle , Washington
98104
Tel: 888 850 1155 (toll-free)
Tel: 206 624 4844
reservations@alexishotel.com
www.alexishotel.com

Back on the map after an extensive 2007 refurbishment, this cozy boutique charmer offers 121 tryst-worthy rooms in a well-positioned location downtown. As at other Kimpton properties, the decor is eclectic—rococo accents offset stainless steel four-poster beds—but tied together nicely with bold fabrics and classic pieces like leather wing chairs. There aren't any cookie-cutter layouts here, thanks to the quirky arrangement of the historic buildings—specialty suites may include fireplaces, a wall or two of exposed brick, or separate media rooms. Original works selected by Seattle Art Museum curators add to the distinctive feel; Frette linens, in-room spa treatments, and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout are just a few of the other amenities.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Allison
2525 Allison Lane
Newberg , Oregon
97132
Tel: 503 554 2525
info@theallison.com
www.theallison.com?chebs=all_concierge_sept09

Oregon's Willamette Valley finally has a resort on a par with its award-winning wines. Fully utilizing the 35-acre property's natural beauty (including vineyards and hazelnut orchards), designers have blurred the boundary between inside and out. Everywhere, it seems, there's a spectacular view: from the lobby's fireside "living room"; from the indoor infinity pool, with its glass wall that opens; even from your bathtub, thanks to a retractable screen. Extensive use of rough-hewn stone and wood surfaces, along with muted golds, greens, and browns, invite the agricultural landscape inside. Offering respite after a long day of winery tours, the 85 guest rooms are at once capacious (starting at 490 square feet) and cosseting (gas fireplace, terrace or balcony, wine glass–stocked wet bar). The staff are genuinely friendly and have a knack for anticipating guests' needs: Noticing our reviewer's running shoes, the bellman offered running maps. The hotel's dining room, Jory, is everything you'd hope from a restaurant named for the region's native soil, with a terroir-focused seasonal menu and a 32-page wine list, including well over 100 Oregon pinot noirs alone.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Alpine House
285 N. Glenwood Street
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 307 739 1570
Tel: 800 753 1421 (toll free)
info@alpinehouse.com
www.alpinehouse.com

In a town that can smother you with faux cowboy paraphernalia, the Alpine House is refreshingly devoid of buffalo and coyote motifs. Owned and operated by Hans and Nancy Johnstone, two homey former Olympians, it has a cheery ambience and a Scandinavian-inspired decor. A mural of brightly colored, strangely amiable Vikings adorns the bar, and each of the 22 rooms is individually decorated with antiques from New England handpicked by both of the owners' mothers. The aptly named Little Spa is more than adequate, since the clientele tends to be younger climbers and backcountry skiers.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Alyeska Resort
1000 Arlberg Avenue
Girdwood , Alaska
99587
Tel: 800 880 3880
reservations@alyeskaresort.com
www.alyeskaresort.com

Since Alaska's premier groomed slopes and the most intimidating mogul fields in North America are right outside, skiers flock to the Alyeska Resort in winter; summer brings the mountain bikers. Alyeska's location in Girdwood, about 20 minutes south of Anchorage by car, means that you could drive down for the day, but then you'd miss out on some of the best views and nicest rooms in Alaska. Most of the 304 rooms have glacier views, and the decor (plush bedding, Alaskan artwork, cherrywood furniture) is a step up from what you'll find in most Alaska hotels. All rooms are nonsmoking and have a ventilated ski-boot locker; those on the higher floors are the biggest, with the best views and the priciest rates. After a hard day on the mountain, hang out in the pool or hot tub, or head for the Alyeska Spa for an incredibly soft and healing glacial mud facial, then reboard the tram for dinner at the swank Seven Glaciers restaurant.—Edward Readicker-Henderson

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Amalfi Hotel
20 W. Kinzie Street
Chicago , Illinois
60610
Tel: 877 262 5341 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 395 9000
info@amalfihotelchicago.com
www.amalfihotelchicago.com

Don't be put off by pretension at this River North hipster hotel. The often black-clad staff is eager to please, from the "experience designer" who checks you in (and can score you seats at the area's hottest restaurants) to the "maestro" (a.k.a. general manager), who sometimes presides over happy hour with free top-shelf drinks. All 215 rooms have fluffy pillowtop mattresses, Aveda toiletries, multihead showers, Egyptian-cotton sheets, flat-screen TVs, as well as marble or granite bathrooms. There are lots of freebies too: buffet-style continental breakfast, access to a CD library, high-speed Internet (both wired and Wi-Fi), and local phone calls.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Amangani
1535 N. East Butte Road
Jackson , Wyoming
Tel: 877 734 7333 (toll-free)
Tel: 307 734 7333
amangani@amanresorts.com
www.amangani.com

Amanresorts, which specializes in the über-luxe and superdiscreet, built its three-story, 40-suite lodge on the edge of a butte overlooking the Snake River Valley. The property is several miles out of town and has an inspiring view of the Grand Tetons. The designers knew it too, and kept artwork and bright decor to a minimum; in both the guest rooms and the public spaces, walls of redwood and sandstone, high ceilings, and huge windows capitalize on rather than compete with the landscape outside. Because of the Amangani's intimate size and a staff-to-guest ratio of more than two to one, personalized service is the standard. The executive chef meets each guest to inquire about individual tastes (and the dining room never closes), and if that Hollywood director's lady friend is sitting in the hot tub and the wind picks up, it takes only seconds for a spa attendant to offer a beanie to keep her ears from getting cold.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Amangiri
1 Kayenta Road
Canyon Point , Utah
84741
Tel: 877 695 3999 (toll-free)
Tel: 435 675 3999
amangiri@amanresorts.com
www.amanresorts.com/amangiri/home.aspx

Sometimes it's difficult to see what's right before your eyes, especially when it's what you're looking for. Such is the case, by design, with Amangiri, which hides in plain sight amid the sandstone mesas and sagebrush-studded emptiness of southern Utah. With rooms costing upwards of $1,000, there's a certain expectation of opulence. But the only grand gesture here is the one nature makes, which is both framed and reflected by the property. The main pavilion and 34 freestanding suites are arrayed like a poured-concrete sculpture along the desert floor, their smooth gray walls and blocky shapes mirroring the mesas. Bedrooms are compact and pared down to the essentials: A desk, a bed, and a low couch are all set on a pale-stone platform facing a wall of concertina windows that open up completely to the outside. Bathrooms are large and sybaritic, with rain showers, deep soaking tubs, and sweeping views of the rock walls. Yes, there's a beautiful spa, a stunning pool, and meals to remember, as well as guided excursions ranging from hikes to scenic flights. But what really stands out is the endearing staff, who make you believe that their sole goal is your unmitigated happiness. In the end, that's the genius of the place: You're never aware of where nature ends and nurture begins.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Ames
1 Court Street
Boston , Massachusetts
02108
Tel: 800 697 1791 (toll-free)
Tel: 617 979 8100
www.ameshotel.com

It's no surprise that the clubby Ames hotel—where even the elevator has its own playlist—quickly became a hip local hangout following its 2009 opening. Occupying the 19th-century Ames Building, which is ideally located near Faneuil Hall, the hotel has style built in: The largely white-on-white guest rooms show off the landmark's fine bones, including high arched windows. A little local color (decorative plates hung on the wall depict a map of Boston), metallic accents (silver side tables), and the softening effect of faux fur throws relieve the arctic blizzard palette; big marble walk-in showers (though no tubs in many of the 114 rooms) are an added bonus. Room service, typical of the efficient (if sometimes short-staffed) service overall, delivers your requisite Boston lobster-salad sandwich in the stated time, and the 24-hour fitness center is well equipped. On the weekends, the twentysomething crowd that spills out into the lobby and the street from the ground-floor Woodward restaurant and its adjacent bar can force the hotel's guests to run a boozy gauntlet. And the lack of sufficient sound-proofing in the guest rooms means that the club kids, along with the traffic noise, may keep you up. But if you'd rather party than retire early, the Ames delivers a rousing local scene.—Raphael Kadushin

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Andaz Fifth Avenue
485 Fifth Avenue
Midtown East
New York City , New York
10017
Tel: 212 601 1234
info.5thavenue@andaz.com
newyork.5thavenue.andaz.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels

Set in a gut-renovated 1916 building directly across from the New York Public Library, Andaz 5th Avenue is the fifth outpost of Hyatt's hybrid lifestyle-business brand, and arguably its best. As early as check-in it's apparent this isn't your typical corporate Midtown hotel: Laptop-toting staffers prowl the lobby to welcome arriving guests with coffee, wine, or springwater before escorting them to rooms, whose complimentary amenities—Wi-Fi, minibar, local calls—are also appreciated perks. In fact, the 184 rooms, with 12-foot ceilings, massive windows, and spacious bathrooms that make even standard king rooms feel luxuriously oversized, are the hotel's strongest selling point. Designer Tony Chi deploys a muted and refined color palette—as well as dark-stained poplar—reminiscent of his Park Hyatt Shanghai and Asiate restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental New York. His biggest coup here: some of the coolest (and biggest) rain showers in town, in travertine marble and outfitted with mini-baths to soothe sore feet after a day of pavement pounding. The service is warm and welcoming throughout, including at the Bar Downstairs, which hasn't quite captivated the downtown cocktail crowd despite a solid effort, and at The Shop, the no-reservations lobby restaurant whose market-driven menu has Manhattan suits lunching en masse.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Angelina Guesthouse
302 Angela Street
Key West , Florida
33040
Tel: 888 303 4480 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 294 4480
theangelina@aol.com
www.angelinaguesthouse.com

As Key West slowly goes upscale, it becomes increasingly challenging to find reasonably priced accommodations. Thank goodness for Angelina Guesthouse. Located in Bahama Village, the property has 13 rooms done in pastel greens, yellows, and blues, which give it a cool, Caribbean feel. The four least expensive rooms share a bath, though the rest have private facilities. Rooms 8 and 9 are a bargain for families, since each has two full-size beds and will sleep four, albeit cozily (note that room 12 is the only one with a TV, but there is free Wi-Fi property-wide). The smallish pool is the place to congregate each morning as the owners dole out hot homemade cinnamon rolls. Not surprisingly, this place fills up quickly, even off-season in July or August, so book ahead.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Angler's Boutique Resort
660 Washington Avenue
Miami Beach , Florida
33139
Tel: 866 729 8800 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 534 9600
reservations@theanglersresort.com
www.theanglersresort.com

If this 47-room newcomer on the edge of SoFi (south of Fifth Street) is self-conscious about its conspicuous lack of glitz and flash, it doesn't show. The low-key property includes the two original 1930s Angler's Hotel wings plus two brand-new structures. The petite pool area feels like a secret—and with only a handful of plush loungers, this is an unlikely locale for any raucous parties. The slim rooms have all the necessary boutique accessories: a massive flat-screen TV, cheeky minibar offerings (eye mask, condoms, Apple headphones), a contemporary palette of taupe and tan, plus some unexpected perks, like clever inset shelving flanking the beds and a balcony off most suites. The ever-helpful staff take care of everything from providing MapQuest instructions to troubleshooting computer misfires. On the ground floor, Maison d'Azur, already a favorite of homesick Europeans desperate for elegant brasserie fare, is perfect for cozying up over cocktails and steak tartare, while prime outdoor tables are buzzy late into the night.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Annabelle Inn
232 W. Main Street
Aspen , Colorado
81611
Tel: 970 925 3822
info@annabelleinn.com
www.annabelleinn.com

The Annabelle Inn is one of Aspen's most unique properties: An old hotel renovated into an assortment of quaint B&B-style rooms, all decorated differently. A rustic lobby and dining room, where a breakfast buffet is served each morning, is a cozy gathering place, giving the whole place the feel of a European chalet. While the premium rooms are obviously the best, they tend to be small with cramped bathrooms. The standard rooms, however, aren't dramatically different, making them one of the best lodging deals in town. Rooftop hot tubs overlook the deep courtyard, and guests can soak out the day's lactic acid while watching ski movies on the outdoor projector screen. One drawback to the inn is that it's a ten-minute walk to town, but the free town shuttle stops frequently right out front.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Anna Maria Beach Cottages
112 Oak Avenue
Anna Maria Island , Florida
Tel: 941 778 1503
Tel: 800 778 2030
info@annamariabeachcottages.com
www.annamariabeachcottages.com

On the northern side of Anna Maria Island—secluded from condos and high-rises—this pretty, family-friendly complex of 11 cottages and apartments is steps from the beach. The accommodations (brightly whitewashed with blue couches and comforters) range from cozy studios to two three-bedroom, two-bathroom houses. There are on-site laundry facilities as well as a heated pool and complimentary beach equipment and bikes.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel
80 Compromise Street
Annapolis , Maryland
21401
Tel: 410 268 7555
reservations@annapolismarriott.com
www.annapolismarriott.com

In a city defined by its maritime heritage, it may come as a surprise that the Marriott is Annapolis's only waterfront hotel. Despite the big-name brand, the brick, mansard-roof building is in line with the surrounding architecture, topping out at five floors and holding just 150 rooms. The decor is cozy, if not particularly inspired, with oversize navy armchairs; big, plush beds; and gilt-framed nautical prints. The best room features—black-out curtains, swivel desk, and ergonomic chair—may appeal more to business travelers than vacationers. But most of the rooms have water views, so you can gaze out at the Woodwind schooner, which casts off on day sails from the dock along "Ego Alley," a busy passageway for yachts and powerboats. Guests can also explore town via complimentary bicycles. Guests and locals alike gather at the hotel's waterfront Pusser's Caribbean Grille for West Indian-inspired fare and sunset cocktails.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Ansonborough Inn
21 Hasell St.
Charleston , South Carolina
Tel: 800 522 2073
Tel: 843 723 1655
Fax: 843 577 6888
info@ansonboroughinn.com
www.ansonboroughinn.com

Rustic-cum-nautical décor and huge rooms, big enough to house an entire family, set this all-suite B&B apart from the historic district's lace-and-doily crowd. Lord Anson of England, a master sailor, won the property in a spirited poker game with famous Charlestonian Thomas Gadsden. The inn now sports exposed brick, pine beams, wood ceilings, and clubby leather chairs. Each of the 37 units is unique; some have lofts with separate sleeping areas, five have fireplaces. All are decked out in faux antique furniture, original art, and warm fabrics. Wine and cheese is served on the rooftop terrace against a backdrop of the city's skyline. An authentic British pub pours pints, spirits, and wine. And the South Carolina Aquarium is just a short walk away.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Aqua Bamboo & Spa
2425 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu , Hawaii
Tel: 866 971 2782 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 922 7777
reservations@aquaresorts.com
www.aquaresorts.com/aqua-boutique-hotels-1-75/aqua-bamboo-spa-home.aspx

This budget boutique hotel just one block from Waikiki Beach makes up in convenience (and price) what it lacks in luxury. High-speed Internet connections in every room, Wi-Fi in the common areas, and buffet breakfasts of fruit, yogurt, and pastries are all complimentary here. The 93 rooms, decorated according to feng shui principles with vintage Polynesian rattan and bamboo furnishings, have just enough modern accents to pass for stylish—although they are starting to look a little worse for wear. Each has a balcony and a fully equipped kitchenette. The outdoor saltwater pool area—which also includes a hot tub, cabanas, a man-made waterfall, and a spa—is pretty kitschy, but it's also pretty fun. A young, trendy crowd tends to stay here (many of them Japanese tourists), which makes for a friendly, uninhibited vibe.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Arctic Club Hotel
700 3rd Avenue
Seattle , Washington
98104
Tel: 206 340 0340
arctichotelseattle.com

Built as a gentlemen's club in 1916 for Gold Rush adventurers, this building near downtown's Pioneer Square found new life last summer when it reopened as a 120-room hotel. It keeps one foot firmly in the past, however: The reception area has black-and-white portraits of former club members and a glass case with black top hats of varying sizes, while the lobby is a throwback to the club days with its royal blue-velvet ceiling-to-floor draperies, wood paneling, crown molding with engraved crests, fireplace, and 1920s music. Such attention to detail, paired with equally attentive staff, makes the hotel warm and welcoming. Guest rooms have vintage decor—dark-wood moldings, original windows, high ceilings, custom wallpaper, and sepia-hued Eskimo prints—yet meet Seattle's tech-savvy requirements. Ingredients sourced from local farms make their way to the table as Pacific Northwest specialties at the hotel's Juno restaurant.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Aria Resort & Casino
3730 Las Vegas Boulevard. S.
Las Vegas , Nevada
89109
Tel: 866 359 7757 (toll free)
Tel: 702 590 7757
ariaresv@arialasvegas.com
arialasvegas.com

The current fixation of the Las Vegas convention crowd is the Aria Hotel, which debuted at MGM's massive CityCenter development in early 2010. The 4,004 guest rooms are tailored to an upscale business clientele, with a warm modern design in muted tones and techy perks: Setting the room to "wake up" by raising the temperature and lighting, opening the curtains, and turning on the music is pretty cool, and it helps make up for the compact size of the standard rooms. Although the hotel isn't the most exciting place to party on a Saturday night, the business folks have been packing Aria's restaurants and bars for good reason. One of the most impressive dining rooms on the Strip—a behemoth space with soaring ceilings and minimalist decor—showcases Masa Takayama's sushi at Bar Masa; we think American Fish, where the food is prepared without frill or ego and classic rock fills the dining room, to be chef Michael Mina's most mature restaurant concept; and Chicagoans will love to see their very own chef Shawn McClain serving seasonal American cuisine at Sage, his first out-of-town restaurant. Still, we found that Aria's attempt to lure whatever expense accounts still exist has led to something so sophisticated that it's simply no fun.—David Tyda

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa
2400 E. Missouri Avenue
Phoenix , Arizona
85016
Tel: 800 950 0086 (toll-free)
Tel: 602 955 6600
reservations@arizonabiltmore.com
www.arizonabiltmore.com

The granddaddy of local resorts, the 39-acre Arizona Biltmore has been here since 1929 and was designed by Albert Chase McArthur, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's. Located just north of the bustling intersection of 24th Street and Camelback Road, near Biltmore Fashion Park, the Biltmore is like an architecturally inspiring version of a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons—big, elegant, and consistent. The hotel attracts an older clientele with taste, partly because of its design heritage and partly for its location at the end of a residential road lined with $10 million–plus estates. It's quiet and rather proper, with painstakingly manicured grounds. The squat, angular buildings, created from concrete blocks that mimic the color of the desert, are certainly Wright-like. And despite their age, the 739 guest rooms are quite comfortable, with Mission-style furniture and Southwestern motifs. In 2009, the Biltmore renovated one wing and dubbed it Ocatilla, a hotel-within-a-hotel with upgraded linens, flat-screen TVs, and a private lounge serving drinks and meals; rooms here cost about $50 to $75 more per night. Eight pools traverse the property, which abuts two 18-hole PGA championship courses. Hotel guests get preferred tee times.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Arrabelle at Vail Square
675 Lionshead Place
Vail , Colorado
81657
Tel: 866 662 7625 (toll-free)
Tel: 970 754 7777
arrabelle.rockresorts.com

The ski-in, ski-out Arrabelle hotel is the keystone of chic Vail Square. Opened in the Lionshead area, this tiny "village" is modeled on quaint Mitteleuropa towns like Innsbruck or Prague. Many of the 62 guest rooms and suites have fireplaces and mountain views, along with the expected high-tech luxuries: free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and Bose MP3 players. The Arrabelle is joined by shops, restaurants, and 25 one- to five-bedroom residences (which can also be rented)—all surrounding a plaza that is transformed into an ice rink in winter. It's undeniably charming (deposed royalty would feel right at home, given the plush details: 1,000-thread-count sheets, heated marble floors in the baths), and for skiers it's fabulously convenient. The Arrabelle's Tavern on the Square, once part of the Centre V restaurant, has a slope-side terrace that abuts the Eagle Bahn Gondola (where you'll also find the Arrabelle's ski valet ready to take charge of your skis and boots after your last run, so you can head directly to the hotel's spa). Just try not to swoon after tasting Tavern on the Square's fried-to-order maple-bacon doughnuts with apple butter. Bringing the kids? Check out the Arrabelle's Ski Nanny service.—Updated by Sarah Tuff

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Ashton Hotel
610 Main Street
Fort Worth , Texas
76102
Tel: 866 327 4866 (toll-free)
Tel: 817 332 0100
kbinion@theashtonhotel.com
www.theashtonhotel.com

Occupying two venerable, impeccably restored Italianate buildings, one built in 1890 and the other in 1915, this 39-room boutique hotel has a prime site just a block from Sundance Square, the vibrant, nightlife-friendly centerpiece of Fort Worth's downtown revitalization. The recently renovated rooms are luxurious—Italian linens, down duvets, two-person claw-foot whirlpool baths—with an unfussy 1930s style, a good fit with the Ashton's fine collection of paintings by pioneering Fort Worth modernists of the 1930s through 1950s. The Café Ashton is an inviting space that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as offering late-afternoon teatime (which must be arranged for a day in advance).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Aspen Square Lodge
617 E. Cooper Avenue
Aspen , Colorado
81611
Tel: 970 925 1000
info@aspensquarehotel.com
www.aspensquarehotel.com

The recently renovated Aspen Square Lodge has three major assets: Location, location, location. Situated so close to the Ajax gondola that you can easily clomp to and fro in ski boots, the hotel is also steps from every restaurant, nightclub, and shop in town. And it's directly across the street from City Market, where you can stock up on food to cook in your unit's full kitchen. But be sure to specifically request a renovated unit: There are still some condos that will give you flashbacks of the '70s and '80s. Otherwise, you'll find a wood-burning fireplace in each simple, classic condo.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Atlantic
601 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33304
Tel: 954 567 8020
Fax: 954 567 8040
www.atlantichotelfl.com

The first of the major new chain hotels set to pop up along the waterfront, the Atlantic is a quirky four-star hotel. The odd-shaped building looks like a lemon-yellow wedding cake, its floors stepped back to provide the maximum number of oceanview balconies and prevent casting a shadow on the beach—sadly, it doesn't help the hotel's own pool, which is sunless from 2 pm or so every day. All 115 rooms in tropical decor here are large and fully equipped: kitchenettes have granite countertops, two-burner stoves, and small fridges; there are marble floors as well as glassed-in showers in every bathroom. Trina, the high-end Mediterranean restaurant is worth a visit.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Auberge du Soleil
180 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford , California
94573
Tel: 800 348 5406 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 963 1211
info@aubergedusoleil.com
www.aubergedusoleil.com

One of the best-known and best-loved hotels in Napa Valley, Auberge du Soleil has turned its 33-acre hillside property into an outdoor sculpture gallery amid acres of olive groves. If that sounds over-the-top romantic, trust that the design was meant to be exactly that. Every light is on a dimmer; fireplaces burn wood, not gas; and half a dozen strategically placed votive candles let you set the mood come nightfall. The property celebrated its 20th birthday in 2005 with a total renovation, including a restyled pool deck bracketed by high-backed sofas that are ideal for lounging in the California sun. The 52 rooms in both a main house and cottages are inspired by the Côte d'Azur, with terra-cotta and orange accents, tiled floors, limestone countertops, and matelassé bedcovers. Two spacious maisons feature outdoor hot tubs on private patios and steam showers for two. Every room has a full wet bar, complete with top-shelf liquor and homemade mixers; bathrooms are stocked with everything from shaving supplies to Dr. Hauschka bath oils and an "intimacy kit." Regional ingredients—grapes, herbs, flowers, olive oil, and mud—are used in the signature treatments of the guests-only spa (some, such as lemon verbena, come from the hotel's herb garden).

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Austin Motel
1220 S. Congress Avenue
Austin , Texas
78704
Tel: 512 441 1157
reservations@austinmotel.com
www.austinmotel.com

The motto of this family-owned, 1950s-style motel says it all: "So close, yet so far out." Long favored by cost-conscious artists and musicians, it's charming and hip without feeling pretentious. Each of the rooms mixes colorful murals and funky antiques, but be forewarned that the shabby-chic look leans more toward the shabby. And true to its retro vibe, the motel lacks highfalutin amenities like televisions and internet access (thankfully you can get free Wi-Fi in much of the city to make up for it). Still, with room rates hovering at $100, it's one of the best values in the city. It's also located at a crossroads of hipster hangouts: across the river from downtown, down the block from the eclectic South Congress shopping district, and kitty-corner from the legendary Continental Club, where favorite son Stevie Ray Vaughan frequently played.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Avalon
9400 W. Olympic Boulevard
Beverly Hills , California
90212
Tel: 310 277 5221
reservations@avalonbeverlyhills.com
www.avalonbeverlyhills.com

The first and least flashy of the Viceroy Hotel Group's hotels, the 84-room Avalon has a classic main building that epitomized the California Dream of the '50s and '60s. Marilyn Monroe once lived here briefly, and the sun-splashed terraces and balconies overlooked a shimmering pool where beautiful young things lounged in bikinis. These days, the Avalon also includes two newer buildings, and the property's style is a hip homage to mid-century-modern style. Plush beds and modern amenities like CD and DVD players mix with original and reproduction pieces from that era's best-known designers (George Nelson, Noguchi, Eames). The young and fabulous can still be found here around the hourglass-shaped pool—these days, dining and sipping cocktails at the Blue on Blue restaurant.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Avenue Hotel & Suites Chicago
160 E. Huron Street
Chicago , Illinois
60611
Tel: 312 787 2900
Tel: 877 283 5110 (toll-free)
fun@avenuehotelchicago.com
www.avenuehotelchicago.com

Given its location a half block east of North Michigan Avenue, where $300 is the low-end norm for a room, the Avenue is notable for its easy-on-the-wallet rates, which can start at $199 for a double on weekend nights. All 350 rooms have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, the smallest are a respectable 300 square feet, and those on the top floors have stellar Gold Coast views. The squat furniture, mud-brown palette, and small bathrooms leave much to be desired, and while the signature zebra-print chairs don't suit our taste, they're a lively signal of environmental awareness. (The hotel has adopted a Grevy's zebra, an endangered species, at the Lincoln Park Zoo.) The best bet for a business traveler is an iMac- and color printer–equipped Tech Room; parents can opt for a Kid-Friendly Room, which includes rainbow-colored quilts and a Wii game system. Light sleepers should be aware that hallway noise can be problematic—not all guest room doors fit their door frames properly—and some AC units rumble like a moped. However, things improve outside the rooms: There's a cocktail and tapas lounge on the 40th floor, a rooftop pool, and an Elephant & Castle outpost that serves shepherd's pie and fish and chips. Overall, the Avenue doesn't quite deliver a polished designer experience, but with savings like this, what did you expect?

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Avia
14 Barnard Street
Savannah , Georgia
31401
Tel: 866 644 2842 (toll-free)
Tel: 912 233 2116
www.aviahotels.com/hotels/savannah

The Avia is the hip new outsider that's subtly stirring things up among the grandes dames and drag queens who have long dominated Savannah's hotel scene. But that's not to say it doesn't have a colorful backstory: The hotel occupies the site of the old Savannah Daily News building, and its design pays homage to the region's heritage without going over the top. The restaurant's chandeliers could have been plucked from a nearby Victorian mansion, while the wicker furniture on the second-floor pool deck seems inspired by the palmetto baskets of the local Gullah people. Otherwise, the lines are clean and lean, with just the occasional splash of bright color. All the mod-cons are present (plasma-screen TVs, iPod docks, walk-in rain showers), and nouvelle Georgia cuisine is the forte at the low-key Kitchen & Wine Bar restaurant, with dishes like Sea Island crabmeat tacos and Vidalia onion soup that's thick enough to cut with a knife. All of this washed down with locally brewed Sweetwater pale ale, which the hotel encourages guests to take out onto the streets in good Savannah fashion for a moonlight stroll around the square and the nearby riverfront.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Avia
1450 First Street
Napa , California
94559
Tel: 866 644 2842 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 224 3900
www.aviahotels.com/hotels/napa

While the famous up-valley hotels and resorts charge through the nose for their agrarian settings, you can almost always get better rates by staying in downtown Napa. And Avia, which opened in 2009, definitely feels more city than country. Rooms have nine-foot ceilings, wood-grain paneling covering the wall behind the flat-screen TV, a burgundy velvet swivel chair at the desk, and (best of all) bathrooms clad floor-to-ceiling in white marble, complete with dual showerheads and Japanese-style benches. The 141 rooms also have the requisite bells and whistles—king beds, iPod docks, and plush linens. Though the new construction feels slightly sterile, with many hard angles (and chances to stub your toe), an interesting mix of textures and fabrics adds some softness. The downtown location also puts multiple restaurants within walking distance, meaning you can have a third glass of wine without thinking twice.—John A. Vlahides

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Bacara Resort & Spa
8301 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara , California
93117
Tel: 805 968 0100
info@bacararesort.com
www.bacararesort.com

Just a few miles up the coast from Santa Barbara, on 78 beachfront acres, the whitewashed collection of buildings known as the Bacara Resort & Spa—think ritzy Spanish Colonial—is the kind of status-y getaway that attracts new money, old money, wannabe money, and everyone in between. Room rates aren't cheap ($550 is the starting rate in high season), but the doting service makes it worth every penny. All the rooms are designed with a clean and comfortable beach-chic vibe, but the ocean-view suites hold the key to Bacara's secret weapon: dramatic sea cliff vistas that open onto a wild stretch of beach. With three swimming pools, a 220-seat screening room, the nearby Sandpiper golf course, and hiking trails galore in the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains, it's tempting to stay put rather than head into town. Good thing, then, that the campus dining options run the gamut from top-notch Basque-Catalonian cuisine at Miró to calorie-conscious fare at the Spa Café. However, even dinner at the resort's more casual option, The Bistro, will run you around $70 a head. At 42,000 square feet, the spa and exercise center is impressive in size but can feel somewhat factorylike, and the massages (the treatment of choice for most guests) are nothing to write home about.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Baker House 1650
181 Main Street
East Hampton , New York
11937
Tel: 631 324 4081
info@bakerhouse1650.com
www.bakerhouse1650.com

East Hampton's Arts and Crafts–style Baker House is the most luxurious inn on the East End—and the most expensive. Rates soar to $950 (main house) and $1,750 (cottages) per night in the summer, but you do get what you pay for. The spacious Gardiner Suite—our favorite of the five original rooms—has a wood-burning fireplace, a two-person spa tub, and mullion windows overlooking the walled English gardens and the hotel's elegant infinity pool. The divine Maidstone Room counters with a sleigh bed and views of East Hampton's village green. Two guest suites are located in what was once the property's carriage house; outfitted with bamboo post beds and slate floors, this newer wing has a modern feel. Massages, facials, and body treatments are available in the guests-only spa (there's also an indoor pool, sauna, and steam showers), and guests receive coveted parking passes for East Hampton's nearby strands, such as Main Beach and Georgica. The well-stocked library and honor bar contribute to the sense of staying at a friend's glorious country home—that is, a well-connected friend who can help you secure reservations for the top tables in town.—Updated by Darrell Hartman

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
700 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore , Maryland
21202
Tel: 410 385 3000
www.baltimoremarriottwaterfront.com

Not to be confused with the Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards located near the baseball stadium, the Marriott Waterfront towers 31 stories over the Inner Harbor and offers unmatched room views of downtown and the busy port. The central location also places guests in the middle of the action; stow your car in the adjacent parking garage and get around by water taxi or on foot. The National Aquarium is a five-minute walk to the west; Little Italy is just to the north; and the heart of Fells Point is a ten-minute stroll east. The 733 rooms and 20 suites of this massive hotel host a mix of families, business travelers, and extra-large groups, and the not-too-modern, not-too-traditional decor aims to appeal to that diverse audience (think one part Pottery Barn, one part Ethan Allen). Besides the location, the appeal is in the amenities: Even standard rooms have 32-inch HD TVs, broadband Internet access, and large in-room safety boxes that can hold several laptops. The fifth floor has a decently equipped health club and indoor swimming pool. All quarters have harbor views, but shoot for west-facing rooms, which have the best sunset panoramas; those with a southern exposure overlook a construction site.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Bardessono
6526 Yount Street
Yountville , California
94599
Tel: 707 204 6000
www.bardessono.com

Being green has never felt as good as it does at Bardessono, whose main assets are its stumbling distance from more Michelin stars than any Paris pied-à-terre, paired with the atmosphere of an agrarian retreat. After check-in, done via a staffer's hip-slung electronic tablet, it's a short walk to the hotel's four courtyards, where stone walkways curve alongside meandering streams. Each of the 62 rooms comes with a patio and a two-person tub; a few also have outdoor showers. A rooftop lap pool with cabanas overlooks the hotel's own grapevines. The modernist architecture makes use of salvaged cypress wood, weathered steel, and reclaimed tufa stone, while the lobby ceiling is constructed of redwood wine barrel staves. Sustainability is key in the restaurant, as well, where simple preparations rely on locally sourced meat and fish and produce from the hotel's own gardens. The only sign of opulence having lost out to eco-friendliness is in the stiff recycled-material couches, which rustle like packing peanuts when you sit down.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Bar Harbor Inn
Newport Drive
Bar Harbor , Maine
04609
Tel: 800 248 3351
Tel: 207 288 3351
reservations@barharborinn.com
www.barharborinn.com

The best place to slumber on Mount Desert Island is in a sleeping bag under the stars at an oceanfront campsite in Acadia National Park. If pitching a tent ain't your thing, though, or you're traveling in the black-fly season of late May and early June, book a room at the Bar Harbor Inn. Yes, the ho-hum decor and five-o'clock-shadow sheets should be tossed into the ocean. But the views are stunning, the service excellent, and the location—downtown, and a short drive from Acadia—ideal. The Bar Harbor Inn splits 153 rooms among three buildings: the Main Inn (best for convenience), the Oceanfront Lodge (best for balconies), and the Newport Building (best for a budget). A new, lighthouse-shaped spa and fitness center and a heated pool sit in the middle, while the inn's own pier hosts cruises on the Margaret Todd, a four-masted schooner. Don't miss sitting under a yellow umbrella at the outdoor Terrace Grille, cracking open a lobster.

Closed seasonally (December through March).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Barnsley Gardens Resort
597 Barnsley Gardens Road
Adairsville , Georgia
30103
Tel: 877 773 2447 (toll-free)
Tel: 770 773 7480
www.barnsleyresort.com

Meandering, landscaped walkways lead to individually decorated cottages with claw-foot tubs in this resort centered around an Italianate villa in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Rooms and suites are split among other buildings. The upscale Rice House serves prime beef, wild game, and a "rave-worthy lobster bisque" in a former farmhouse whose walls remain pocked with bullet holes from the Civil War. Staff are "neighborly, unassuming, and friendly." The Jim Fazio–designed golf course is "well maintained." An on-site museum features Civil War relics, many found on the grounds.

(74 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Barton Creek Resort & Spa
8212 Barton Club Drive
Austin , Texas
78735
Tel: 866 572 7369 (toll-free)
Tel: 512 329 4000
stay@bartoncreek.com
www.bartoncreek.com

Visitors who'd prefer nocturnal solitude over the late-night rowdiness of downtown Austin should consider this tranquil resort on 4,000 acres of gorgeous Texas Hill Country about 20 minutes from downtown Austin. It's a golfer's paradise, where renowned coach Chuck Cook can fix your swing in the morning and let you test out the results in the afternoon on one of the four top-flight courses, including two Tom Fazio designs. In June 2010 the resort opened the Three Springs Spa, where guests can relax with treaments like a Mexican chocolate cayenne scrub. The property also includes 11 lighted tennis courts plus separate indoor and outdoor pools. Most of the 303 rooms are spacious, if unremarkable-looking, with views of the surrounding rolling hills; the 18 Texas-size suites are worth the upgrade for the plush leather armchairs and private balconies overlooking one of the courses. The Ben Crenshaw suite, at 1,800 square feet, including a dining room, 42-inch plasma TV, and whirlpool tub, is the granddaddy of the bunch. Skip the overpriced, overrated restaurant, however.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Beach House Inn
211 Beach Avenue
Kennebunkport , Maine
04043
Tel: 207 967 3850
www.beachhseinn.com

For anyone who's ever dreamed of living in a house by the sea, the Beach House Inn makes it almost a reality. The 34-room inn overlooks Kennebunkport Beach, and at the end of a salt-sprayed, sun-kissed day, there's no better place to be than in a rocking chair on its wraparound porch, gin and tonic in hand. While not as world-class as Kennebunkport's White Barn Inn, the Beach House outranks most of the other touristy options—and has unbeatable views. Rooms have just the right balance of ocean-inspired breeziness (white linens, black-and-white photos, light-filled corners) and New England gravitas (antique furnishings). Between the morning meal (think scones and tea) and the cocktail-hour hors d'oeuvres, port, and brandy, the Beach House Inn allows guests to use its canoes and touring bikes—for the rare moments you want to actually leave your dream seaside manse.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
The Beacon
720 Ocean Drive
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
33139
Tel: 877 674 8200 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 674 8200
Fax: 305 674 8976
www.mybeaconhotel.com

This authentic Art Deco hotel is proof positive that peaceful, affordable lodging actually exists along the raucous party stretch that is lower Ocean Drive. You can get a room at the Beacon for under $200, almost unheard of at Miami oceanfront hotels (weekend prices do skyrocket—to $379 and up—in the high-season months of December through March). And you get more than what you pay for. Built in 1937 and renovated in 2006, the 75 rooms are spacious and classic, with white beds, simple Deco artwork, and flat-screen TVs. Cool marble floors and neatly tiled (if small) bathrooms with rain showers make for a refreshing escape from the sticky beach scene. The best views come from the oceanfront rooms on the fifth floor. Interior rooms are about $50 cheaper than oceanfront rooms (and significantly quieter). For such a cheap hotel, it's amazing that there's a small gym and a business center on-site (though unfortunately no pool). And the Beacon has the requisite hang-out terrace and restaurant fronting Ocean Drive, plus a tiny indoor bar for superstrong mojitos. And while it's a nice perk that a basic breakfast is included in room rates, it's a pity that it has to be taken next door in the chain surroundings of Johnny Rocket's instead of on the hotel's infinitely more appealing terrace.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Belfry Inne & Bistro
8 Jarves Street
Sandwich , Massachusetts
02563
Tel: 800 844 4542 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 888 8550
info@belfryinn.com
www.belfryinn.com

Situated in a great spot for people-watching—close to restaurants and shops—the Belfry Inne encompasses three neighboring buildings in Sandwich: the Federal-style Village Inn; the Victorian Painted Lady; and our favorite, the Abbey, a converted Catholic church that's one of the Cape's most distinctive guesthouses. A second-floor addition at the Abbey makes space for six unusually shaped rooms with exposed beams, archways, balconies, and headboards constructed from old pews. A stained-glass depiction of Michael the Archangel overlooks one room, and Gabriel keeps an eye on another. The nave now houses a trendy bistro (wine is kept in the one-time confessional), and in warm weather, guests can eat breakfast on a brick patio surrounded by flowers and statuary. The Painted Lady received a renovation in 2005 and has nine small rooms (some with just enough room for a queen bed and dresser) with whirlpool baths and gas fireplaces. The sitting area in the turret has unrivaled views of Sandwich Village's pretty (and resurgent) historic center. The seven-room Village Inn—built as a boarding house in the 1830s—is neat and tidy but otherwise isn't distinctive compared with many other Cape Cod B&Bs.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Bellagio
3600 S. Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 888 987 6667
Tel: 702 693 7111
roomres@bellagioresort.com
www.bellagio.com

In a city that thrives on change, we have to wonder if Bellagio will ever go out of style. Built by Steve Wynn in 1998, the 3,933-room resort still stands as the pinnacle of luxury at the center of the Strip. It attracts new money, old money, wannabe money, and everyone in between. Room rates aren't cheap, but the service and amenities make it worth every penny. Couples who fight over bathroom privileges should book a suite: They have two separate bathrooms, one with a steam shower and the other with a Jacuzzi tub. First-time visitors, ask for a room facing the iconic dancing fountains out front; the view of these is actually better from lower floors. The resort also has two amazing restaurants, Picasso and Le Cirque. The property expanded in 2004 with a new tower geared toward the wellness set with expansive bathrooms, easy access to the newly modernized spa, and a casino-free walk to guest rooms from the lobby. For some reason, the line at the concierge desk is one of the longest in Vegas, so call hotel information from your room with any questions.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Belmont Hotel
901 Fort Worth Avenue
Dallas , Texas
75208
Tel: 877 476 3378 (toll-free)
Tel: 214 393 2300
belmont@belmontdallas.com
www.belmontdallas.com

The Belmont Motor Hotel was restored—or, better put, given an ultrachic riff—in 2005, and the 84 rooms afford views of the dramatic skyline that's grown up around the hotel since its 1940s founding. Its location in the still-gentrifying Oak Cliff neighborhood isn't the most charming, but this hip spot—Dallas's answer to Austin's subculture—is a much-needed break from the garish glitz of the hotels uptown and the stuffiness of those downtown. The rooms feel lived in, like the apartment of a 30-something urbanite with a penchant for travel. Clean-lined modern pieces sit amid geometric daybeds piled with exotic textiles. Original photography and tribal masks hang above custom furniture made by local artisans. The crowd follows suit, with alterna-locals packing the hotel's bar.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Bernardus Lodge
415 Carmel Valley Road
Carmel Valley , California
Tel: 831 658 3400
Tel: 888 648 9463
Fax: 831 659 3529
www.bernardus.com

Gourmands and oenophiles tend to choose this place, an extension of the eponymous winery. Here, it's all about the grape: Each of the 57 rooms has a "wine grotto," with several complimentary bottles, and the first order of business at check-in is wine tasting, not credit-card swiping. The rooms occupy nine two-story stucco buildings that sit around a central croquet lawn and flowering gardens. The white-walled interiors are a bit stark, but lines are crisp and the fabrics soft (beds are dressed in Italian linens), and there are plush sofas by the fireplaces. Alas, bathroom lighting relies too heavily on fluorescents, but the oversize soaking tubs compensate, as do the signature handmade tangerine and lavender soaps. Upstairs rooms have more privacy, with vaulted wooden ceilings and decks; downstairs rooms have patios. All face either the croquet lawn or the vineyards and forested hills surrounding the lodge. The pluses here include a top-notch spa, the excellent Marinus restaurant, and frequent culinary- and wine-education events, especially during lavender and tomato seasons.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Best Western Coconut Waikiki
450 Lewers Street
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 866 971 2782 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 923 8828
www.coconutwaikikihotel.com

The Best Western Coconut Waikiki—an 80-room, very cheap, and extremely cheerful hotel located on the Ala Wai Canal side of Waikiki—is a great place to stay even if you can afford better. (Splurge on a suite with water views, and it will still be half the price of the smallest room at the Halekulani or Kahala Resort). The first hint that this isn't your average Best Western is the giant gorilla stuffed animal that sits in the lobby—just for fun. The bright lime, aqua, and red Art Deco interiors give the entire place the feel of Pee-wee's Playhouse, and the young, friendly staff members have the enthusiasm of camp counselors. Rooms (well designed and Wi-Fi–equipped) have mini kitchens, and the complimentary breakfast buffet in the lobby includes toast, pastries, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and cereals. Though the pool is the size of a large fountain, the beach and Waikiki strip are just three blocks away.—Cathay Che

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Bethel Inn Resort
21 Broad Street
Bethel , Maine
04217
Tel: 800 654 0125
Tel: 207 824 2175
info@bethelinn.com
www.bethelinn.com

When the Bethel Inn opened in 1913, it was cool to arrive in a Model T; today the top forms of transportation are a pair of Rossignol skis or Merrell boots. The inn sprawls across 200 acres in hilly western Maine, near Sunday River ski resort and the White Mountain National Forest. In the winter, 20-something miles of cross-country trails wriggle through the grounds; come summer and fall, those who aren't hiking or biking in the mountains are golfing at the 18-hole championship course or canoeing on the lake. The Bethel Inn has 150 serviceable rooms, found in the main colonial complex (which also has a pool, health club, and spa) and in rows of town houses with one- to three-bedroom suites. Veal Schnitzel, prime rib, and char-grilled sirloin are mainstays at the more formal Main Dining Room, while the Millbrook Tavern & Grille serves pub grub and has an outside terrace. Depending on how much time you stay within resort boundaries, the Bethel Inn may mean a Dirty Dancing–style vacation, or simply a great place to hang up your dirty boots at the end of a day in the mountains.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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The Betsy
1440 Ocean Drive
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
33139
Tel: 866 792 3879 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 531 6100
info@thebetsyhotel.com
thebetsyhotel.com

Situated on the quieter northern end of South Beach's raucous Ocean Drive, the Betsy Hotel is, in many ways, a fish out of water—picture a Southern belle surrounded by Art Deco divas. Preppy patrons with cardigans slung just so around their shoulders (often with a cigar in hand) conjure the era from which the hotel hails; formerly the Betsy Ross Hotel, the Georgian-style property dates from 1942 and was renovated and reopened as the Betsy in 2009. The hotel's 63 rooms are on the cozy side, but what they lack in space they make up for in style: Dark wood floors, plantation shutters, four-poster beds, and bookshelves lined with interesting tomes hark back to a kinder, gentler era; modern marble bathrooms with TVs built into the mirror are a fun design contrast with the crown molding. Rooms fronting Ocean Drive have iconic Miami Beach views, but the poolside rooms (overlooking a disappointingly small drink of water) are generally quieter. You'll also want to request a room as far from the dinging elevators as possible. The Betsy's demure facade makes it all the more fun to discover the B-Bar, an edgy nightclub in the hotel's basement with reflective ceilings and internationally acclaimed DJs on the turntables. And chef Laurent Tourondel's French-inspired carnivore temple, BLT Steak, is located on the ground floor, in prime people-watching territory. In every way, old meets new in true South Beach form at this pretty hotel—but it's the Betsy's air of the debonair that sets her apart.—Terry Ward

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows
9641 Sunset Boulevard
Beverly Hills , California
90210
Tel: 800 283 8885 (toll-free)
Tel: 310 276 2251
reservations@beverlyhillshotel.com
www.thebeverlyhillshotel.com

The legendary "Pink Palace" opened in 1912, and the city of Beverly Hills literally grew around it. Today, the landmark Spanish Colonial building, still painted a garish Pepto-Bismol pink, sits on 12 acres of landscaped grounds filled with palms, banana plants, azaleas, and bougainvillea. Discreetly dotted about are the bungalows where stars like Elizabeth Taylor have from time to time taken up residence (she honeymooned with six of her husbands here). Phones are no longer carried by staffers to the booths of the Polo Lounge—sadly, cell phones have replaced that glamorous practice. Still, the chaise-surrounded pool, where Hollywood hopefuls once paid to have themselves paged in hopes of being noticed, still looks like the place where a young Marlene Dietrich used to lounge. (She would have liked the modern-day private treatment cabanas of the La Prairie spa.) Another sign of the times? The hotel's time-honored tearoom has recently been revamped into the swank Bar Nineteen 12, a stylish watering hole filled with beautiful people and young industry types. The 204 rooms, which differ in size and shape, are all furnished in plush, classic style, many with four-poster beds and marble-and-granite bathrooms with TVs. The 21 bungalows have fireplaces, separate living rooms, and dining rooms; some have pianos or treadmills. The one to book, though, is Bungalow 5, with its own private lap pool.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Beverly Wilshire
9500 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills , California
90212
Tel: 800 427 4354 (toll-free)
Tel: 310 275 5200
res.rbw@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/beverlywilshire/

This historic landmark at the foot of Rodeo Drive has recently reverted to its original name (for the past 21 years, it was known as the "Regent Beverly Wilshire"). It was given a massive transformation a couple of years back, adding a spa with blue glass sinks and dramatic light effects (even the steam room has electric "stars" on the ceiling), six poolside cabanas with plasma TVs and iPods, and two stunning see-and-be-seen spots—CUT, a Wolfgang Puck steak restaurant designed by Richard Meier (where celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn, and Brangelina have dropped in—though probably not at the same time), and Sidebar, the lounge across the entry-way. Facing Wilshire Boulevard, with a few outdoor tables on the sidewalk, is Blvd, the chic-casual dining restaurant with a 180-foot-long onyx bar. The 395 luxurious hotel rooms have butterscotch-colored leather headboards on the beds, and dark-wood furniture.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa
1297 Bishop's Lodge Road
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87501
Tel: 800 732 2240 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 983 6377
reservations@bishopslodge.com
www.bishopslodge.com

Bishop Lamy, the first bishop of Santa Fe, acquired this land in the lee of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in 1851. After a spell as the vacation retreat of the Pulitzer family, the property expanded to 450 acres and in 1918 evolved into New Mexico's first resort. After various renovations, including the inevitable addition of a spa (called SháNah, the Navajo word for "vitality"), the 111-room lodge is worthy once again. It's some distance from downtown (three miles), but there's enough room out here for horseback riding, tennis courts, a pretty pool surrounded by cottonwoods, and hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest. Rooms are Southwestern all the way, with the compulsory ocher-olive-terra-cotta palette, adobe walls, exposed beams, and kiva fires (though some burn gas rather than wood). Invest in a deluxe room or above; these have outdoor spaces, whereas some regular rooms are claustrophobically viewless.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Blackberry Farm
1471 W. Millers Cove Road
Walland , Tennessee
Tel: 865 984 8166
Tel: 800 273 6004
info@blackberryfarm.com
www.blackberryfarm.com

Sheep roam on this family owned farm estate "in a incredibly scenic spot" at the foot of the Smoky Mountains. Guests stay in accommodations that range from estate rooms to cottage suites, all outfitted with fine art, antique heirlooms, and feather beds. Formal dinners in the turn-of-the-century Barn consist of seasonal produce grown just a few feet away and wines from the 8,000-square-foot cellar—"the consistently high quality of the food is just remarkable." Try some fly-fishing on Hesse Creek before settling down with an artisanal American whisky at the bar.

(62 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Black Point Inn
510 Black Point Road
Scarborough , Maine
04074
Tel: 207 883 2500
info@blackpointinn.com
www.blackpointinn.com/inn/

In 2006, the Black Point Inn traded size for intimacy, trimming a century's worth of expansions and returning to its 1905 footprint. What remains are 27 guest rooms and an air of old-money privilege. Smiling young staffers retrieve room keys from cubbyholes behind the front desk; bellhops man the antique elevator; and leather club chairs, a brick fireplace, and oil landscape paintings up the historic ambience in the wood-paneled lobby lounge. Aside from a few nods to the 21st century (flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi), the guest rooms are straight out of the Kennedy era, done up in a nautical palette of blue, white, and beige with four-poster king beds, mahogany armoires, and tiled bathrooms. Adding to the hotel's cachet is its location—on Prouts Neck, a private peninsula ringed with a 1.75-mile cliff walk whose rugged ocean vistas have inspired many a painter (Winslow Homer's studio is just up the road). After a lazy day at Scarborough or Ferry beach (both just down the hill from the inn), guests retire to rocking chairs on the wide terrace before dining on local butter-poached lobster or saffron-scented risotto with garden peas in the formal Point restaurant. Portland's airport, restaurants, and art scene are an easy 20-minute drive north—making this quiet retreat an ideal destination for a weekend escape.

Open May through early December.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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The Blackstone
636 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
60605
Tel: 800 468 3571
Tel: 312 447 0955
www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chirh-the-blackstone-a-chicago-renaissance-hotel/

After a $128 million restoration (and a decade of legal wrangling), the historic Blackstone has emerged as the swankest hotel in Chicago's revitalized South Loop, convenient to Millennium Park, the Art Institute, and the theater district. Behind the redbrick, white stucco, and green copper Beaux Arts exterior are 332 updated rooms whose masculine red, black, and beige decor features Eames chairs and original works by contemporary Windy City artists. In place of the usual tourist bedside reading, the culturally attuned management provides books by local authors, including social histories of the Chicago blues and witty biographies of Chicago firehouse dogs. The lively in-house restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, dishes up exquisitely presented (and reasonably priced) Catalan grills, tapas plates, and wine flights, conceived by Chicago-born chef José Garces.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Blantyre
16 Blantyre Road
Lenox , Massachusetts
Tel: 413 637 3556
welcome@blantyre.com
www.blantyre.com

The staff at this brick Elizabethan Tudor have a saying about the decor: "If it's not in the movie Sense and Sensibility, we don't do it!" Antique and toile-filled guest rooms with flower bouquets feel like "homes away from home." Formal dinners begin with cocktails in the great room. The surrounding 117 acres of woodlands and hills are "beautiful and serene." In the winter months, enjoy snow barbecues next to the "ice rink"—the tennis courts, flooded.

(23 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Bokeelia Tarpon Inn
8241 Main Street
Pine Island , Florida
Tel: 239 283 8961
Tel: 866 827 7662
www.tarponinn.com

After staying at this upscale five-bedroom B&B that caters to fishing enthusiasts, you'll hopefully get to tell a tale about the big fish you caught instead of the one that got away. On the northern tip of a barrier island, this 1914-built home has a covered porch, a Knot Room filled with old fishing gear and charts, a private pier, and the feeling of living within an old-style Florida fishing village. There's deepwater fishing for grouper, tarpon, or shark just off-shore, and you can catch redfish, snook, ladyfish, trout, snapper, and more right from the pier. Breakfast is the only meal served here, but you can take a golf cart to lunch or dinner.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Bonne Terre
4715 Church Road W
Nesbit , Mississippi
38651
Tel: 662 781 5100
info@bonneterre.com
www.bonneterre.com

Looking for a touch of the Old South? This white, plantation-style B&B, on a Mississippi country estate, lies 20 minutes and a world away from Memphis. Fourteen guest rooms—most with porch or balcony access—are embellished with French and English antiques that reflect their cheery names, such as Jasmine, Chestnut, Sunflower, and Magnolia. The day starts with a breakfast of vanilla waffles and omelets on the veranda, overlooking the property's manicured lawns and lakes. There's a sweet chapel on the grounds, but guests who aren't altar-bound can occupy themselves by fishing for brim and largemouth bass, relaxing by the pool, or rejuvenating with a Swedish massage. Continental fare with a hint of Southern flair, such as duck breast marinated in soy, ginger, garlic, and bourbon with a side of veggies, rounds out the day at the on-site restaurant.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Bowery Hotel
335 Bowery
East Village
New York City , New York
10003
Tel: 212 505 9100
info@bohonyc.com
www.theboweryhotel.com

The flophouses and drug dens of Bowery past have long been supplanted by boutiques and bars, but the new occupants still pay homage to the neighborhood's rakish past. Take the Bowery Hotel, which opened in 2007. Bathrooms with marble slabs and brass fixtures feel old-money New York, but in some, tubs-for-two sit next to exhibitionist floor-to-ceiling windows. The lobby bar's worn leather club chairs and salvaged church pews hold a rotating cast of models and media types under the influence of two-too-many vodka gimlets. But if the Bowery Hotel is a scene, it's a relatively unassuming one. Italian restaurant Gemma has all of the culinary chops of its downtown peers with none of the pretension (prices are reasonable and reservations a breeze for hotel guests). The decadent neo-boudoir style of the common spaces carved sandstone fireplaces, velvet-covered stools, fringed lampshades is offset by the more modern edge of the 135 rooms, with floor-to-ceiling factory windows and pillowy white-on-white beds. You won't get coddled at the Bowery eye-candy doormen are often too busy flirting to actually open the doors, and there is nary a spa, gym, or pool to be found but you will find a good-looking crowd and a comfortably lush place to lay your head when you're ready to escape it.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Brass Key Guest House
67 Bradford Street
Provincetown , Massachusetts
02657
Tel: 800 842 9858 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 487 9005
ptown@brasskey.com
www.brasskey.com

This longtime Provincetown fixture was starting to look worn when new owners—who also bought the Crowne Pointe Inn across the street—took over in 2008 and shined it up like new. Comprised of nine buildings surrounding a private courtyard with a pool, the Brass Key has a pleasantly compoundlike feel that makes it an unlikely oasis in P-town's densely populated downtown. Its almost entirely gay clientele includes many regulars who have returned for years, elevating the guests' average age. So, in the hope of luring a younger crowd—not too young, though; no children are allowed—the owners have brought in new furnishings and replaced the bathrooms in nearly half of the 43 units (so far). Also in the works are two new suites. The rooms are masculine and tastefully decorated with reproduction furniture, but guests spend less time in the rooms than around the pool and in the many public spaces, including a high deck in a turret that's popular at sunset, and a living room–like lobby with comfortable couches and a piano.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Brazilian Court
301 Australian Avenue
Palm Beach , Florida
33480
Tel: 561 655 7740
info@braziliancourt.com
www.thebraziliancourt.com

Set around two large courtyards filled with lush greenery and leafy palm trees, this hotel is where heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post crashed while prepping her manse Mar-a-Lago for the season. The hotel was designed in 1926 by Rosario Candela (the architect behind some of Manhattan's swankest Fifth Avenue apartment buildings) and got a face-lift in late 2007 that redesigned the still very British-colonial rooms with mahogany and Hauteville Doré limestone. The Brazilian Court continues to attract society types who prefer the privacy of the 80-room inn versus the Breakers, which is almost seven times the size. (The Brazilian Court also skips the Breakers's beachfront location, family-friendly fun, tennis courts, and golf course.) What the hotel lacks in activities it makes up for in big-name amenities: The salon is Frédéric Fekkai and the restaurant is Café Boulud, which provides room service until 11 pm.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Breakers
1 South County Road
Palm Beach , Florida
33480
Tel: 561 655 6611
Tel: 888 273 2537
Fax: 561 659 8403
www.thebreakers.com

Aah, the Breakers—one of the most famous, most exclusive, and yes, priciest places to stay in America (it's even snagged a spot on the National Register of Historic Places). Since its opening in 1896, the 550-room Breakers has played host to generations of great families—and those willing to pay big bucks to mix with the great families—during the social season. This 140-acre oceanfront Italian Renaissance–style property has extraordinary views, exceptional service, and amenities galore: Book in here for two 18-hole championship golf courses, three fitness centers, a beach club with fancy cabanas and water sports, five swimming pools, ten tennis courts, a 20,000-square-foot spa, and eight restaurants, most notably gourmet French spot L'Escalier. Lifelong visitors might remember the Breakers' rooms during the less-than-glorious 1990s, when they were, frankly, a little dingy and careworn. The owners have spent $250 million since then, updating the rooms and ensuring guests have access to high-speed Internet while they lounge on the gilt-and-floral furniture.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Broadmoor
1 Lake Avenue
Colorado Springs , Colorado
Tel: 800 634 7711
Tel: 719 577 5775
Fax: 719 577 5738
www.broadmoor.com

First opened in 1918, this Italian Renaissance multi-towered spread on the site of a former dairy farm has a "magnificent Rocky Mountain setting." Public spaces have a "regal feel," while the infinity pool sits lakeside. Accommodations exude a "warm coziness" with playful patterns and Molton Brown toiletries; cottages have Virginia blue stone patios and lawn bowling greens. Filet mignon is served with celery root risotto and green tomato marmalade at the Penrose Room.

(744 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Bryant Park Hotel
40 West 40th Street
Midtown West
New York City , New York
Tel: 877 640 9300 (toll-free)
Tel: 212 869 0100
www.bryantparkhotel.com

Close to the Seventh Avenue showrooms and just across the street from Bryant Park, the former location of New York's fashion shows, this modern hotel remains popular with the style crowd. Designed by British architect David Chipperfield, the rooms are lean and sharp with blond wood furniture and Tibetan rugs. Thankfully, a bedside sound machine helps block the rumble of midtown's streets. Expect to spot models and model wannabes everywhere, from the hip L.A. restaurant transplant Koi, located in the lobby, to the basement Cellar Bar.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Bulfinch Hotel
107 Merrimac Street
Boston , Massachusetts
02114
Tel: 617 624 0202
BulfinchGM@ih-corp.com
www.bulfinchhotel.com

It takes a little creativity to pull off a stylish-yet-affordable hotel in a desirable Boston neighborhood. The owners of the Bulfinch Hotel went with a Scandinavian feel (blond woods, brushed steel, large windows, and smooth marble), and custom-designed tufted-leather headboards and silk curtains mold to the highly unusual spaces. Since it's a budget hotel, expect to give up a few luxury amenities. Standard rooms can be tight at only 250 square feet (it's worth the extra $60 to upgrade to one of the 450-square-foot Junior Suites, located in the "nose" of the building). The minibar is a bottle of Voss, and valet parking is nonexistent, though guests get a few dollars off parking in a nearby garage. The upside is that just by walking a few minutes, you can pick up a cannoli in the North End, catch a Celtics game at the Garden, or take in a history lesson at Faneuil Hall. And since it is so close to Massachusetts General Hospital, the hotel offers a flat fee of $165 a night for those visiting sick loved ones. In 2006, the three-year-old hotel opened a tapas bar and lounge downstairs—after a few Mata Haris (cognac, chai-infused vermouth, and pama), you won't even notice how small the rooms are.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
c/o The Maidstone
207 Main Street
East Hampton , New York
11937
Tel: 631 324 5006
info@themaidstone.com
www.careofhotels.com/maidstone

Formerly a creaky bed-and-breakfast, the Swedish-owned Maidstone 2.0 is a serious contender for most appealingly forward-looking hotel in the Hamptons. Decorator Nadia Tolstoy has given each of the 16 rooms a distinctive, borderline theatrical personality inspired by a specific Scandinavian notable. The gothic Edvard Munch room, with its brooding color scheme and leather canopy armchairs, for example, is not for everyone. The Astrid Lindgren, named after the author of the Pippi Longstocking tales, is decidedly more upbeat, with colorful striped curtains and a zigzag-patterned coverlet. The original inn's paper-thin walls and charmingly lumpy floors remain, albeit clad in brilliantly patterned Svenskt Tenn textiles. The PlayStation 3, potted plant, Coyuchi linens, hand-painted clogs (available for sale), free purified water, and Malin + Goetz amenities that come standard in each room strike a balance between chic and sensible, as does the hotel's willingness to let you borrow a preloaded iPod or a vintage Kronan bike. The on-site Living Room restaurant combines Hamptons glamour with Scandinavian cool. None of this comes cheaply, of course, not least of which the three spacious cottages in the back, which go for $1,175–$1,300 per night in summer.—Darrell Hartman

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino
3570 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 800 634 6661 (toll-free)
Tel: 877 427 7243 (toll-free)
www.caesarspalace.com

Like Cher, who performs regularly in the hotel's major concert venue, Caesars Palace has been around forever—and seems forever new. The resort casino turned 40 in 2006 but has never stood still. Over the past few years, it has expanded the Forum Shops, opened the Roman bath–inspired Qua Spa, launched the celeb-studded Pure nightclub, and in 2008, debuted the Augustus Tower guest rooms—designed in a soothing mustard and white palette with clean lines, granite countertops, and modern amenities such as 42-inch flat-screen TVs. The new stuff makes nary a reference to Caesar, which is refreshing, because the rest of the hotel is covered in columns, toga-clad cocktail waitresses, and other Roman kitsch. The resort is huge, so pack your walking shoes. And be specific when booking: It has almost 3,400 rooms in all, so your options on style, location, and size are virtually endless. If you book in the warmer months, ask to be near the complex of pools, which is laid out like an aquamarine village and includes a pool with swim-up poker tables.—updated by David Tyda

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Calistoga Ranch
580 Lommel Road
Calistoga , California
94515
Tel: 800 942 4220 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 254 2800
concierge@calistogaranch.com
www.calistogaranch.com

From the folks who brought you Auberge du Soleil comes the Calistoga Ranch. Set amid tall pines and gnarled oaks in a narrow canyon southeast of downtown Calistoga in Napa Valley, the 46 private guest lodges have open layouts, private patios, indoor/outdoor showers, fireplaces, and large, well-placed windows that overlook dense woodlands. Because it's zoned as a trailer park, though, the property had to fit the existing footprint: Rooms are close together, small, and built on blocks—and though they're adorned with copper trim and cedar shingles, they still look like side-by-side storage boxes from the outside. To compensate and provide extra floor space, designers connected each suite's interior rooms with big outdoor decks under the canopy of oaks. On the grounds are walking trails, bocce courts, and an outdoor pool; the guests-only dining room overlooks Lake Lommel. The Bathhouse Spa gets its water from local hot springs, and all the treatments use indigenous ingredients such as bay laurel and eucalyptus. Some decry this property as garish and showy, and service isn't as tight as it should be at this price, but Calistoga Ranch still makes a great hideaway for a romantic retreat.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Camden Harbour Inn
83 Bayview Street
Camden , Maine
04843
Tel: 800 236 4266 (toll-free)
Tel: 207 236 4200
info@camdenharbourinn.com
www.camdenharbourinn.com

To the outside world, the Camden Harbour Inn displays all the 19th-century elegance you'd expect to find in one of Maine's most picturesque coastal towns. But for the inn's interiors, Dutch owners Raymond Brunyanszki and Oscar Verest have imported the design sensibilities of an urban boutique hotel, with neither an embroidered cushion nor a seafaring knickknack to be found—unless you count the antique telescope in the lounge, trained on the gently bobbing boats in Camden's harbor. Each of the 18 individually styled rooms and suites (ranging from 280 to 620 square feet) are named after the ports where the Dutch East India Company traded in the 17th and 18th centuries. The feminine Bonaire has floral wallpaper in soft grays and blues, upholstered chairs, and an antique claw-foot tub; the New Netherland is reminiscent of a gentleman's club, with black wallpaper in a shiny and matte stripe, a leather headboard, and black-velvet banquette seats. Some rooms have private decks and patios, while others have fireplaces, so book a room that suits the season. There's a sultry bar, and Natalie's restaurant (mostly seafood, prepared with a delicate French touch) is a haven for local foodies as well as guests. City sophisticates who want to get closer to nature safe in the knowledge that their hotel serves up a perfectly seared scallop and has a stylish suite to bed down in will find themselves right at home.—Nicola McCormack

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Campton Place Hotel
340 Stockton Street
San Francisco , California
94108
Tel: 866 332 1670 (toll-free)
Tel: 415 781 5555
reservations@camptonplace.com
www.camptonplace.com

Refined The refined Campton Place, which was purchased in spring of 2007 by the Taj hotel group, has only 110 rooms, which means that service is personal as well as polished. Rooms are decorated in sand and cinnamon hues, with old-fashioned leather-topped writing desks and pear-wood paneling. A stay here is as soothing as a cup of hot chocolate and as serene as a weekend at a country house, thanks to insulated glass windows that block out urban noise. Standard rooms can be a bit cramped, and not all have bathtubs (request one if it matters to you); better to upgrade to the deluxe category, which will give you an extra 100 square feet, enough space to accommodate a fully opened room-service table and two chairs. The in-room dining is courtesy of the attached Campton Place Restaurant, which serves up Cal-Med cuisine that highlights local produce and is executed with French-style precision. The guests, mostly high-flying executives and couples on romantic getaways, tend to keep to themselves.—Updated by John Vlahides

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
The Canary
31 West Carillo Street
Santa Barbara , California
93101
Tel: 805 884 0300
reservations@canarysantabarbara.com
www.canarysantabarbara.com

The Canary (formerly the Hotel Andalucia) is the sister hotel to Shutters and Santa Barbara's newest downtown luxury hotel after reopening in 2008 following an extensive renovation. The secret weapon here is the location, a user-friendly spot just blocks from the beach and steps from the town's main drag, State Street. Like the name, the hotel's decor (nicely handled by designer-to-the-stars Michael Smith) is a riff on the Canary Islands. Think ethnic and eclectic—hand-painted Spanish tiles, Indonesian ikat-upholstered chairs, and regal four-poster beds of spiral-carved walnut. For the price ($400 and up a night), the standard rooms seem a little snug, and the service could use a little finessing, but there are plenty of thoughtful and unexpected touches, from the yoga DVDs and mat in the closet to the electrolyte-enhanced jelly beans in the minibar. Just don't expect any breezy ocean views: This 97-room property is more city than seaside, and chances are your room will offer restricted vistas of one of the nearby parking lots. For a peek at the Pacific, you'll have to head up to the rooftop pool.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Canyon Ranch Lenox
165 Kemble Street
Lenox , Massachusetts
02140
Tel: 800 742 9000 (toll-free)
Tel: 413 637 4100
www.canyonranch.com/resorts/lenox-home.aspx

This mansion sits in a "serene Berkshire landscape." Guests enjoy "a never-ending spa menu," holistic health and wellness services, and a "great team of staff." Rooms in earth tones with cherrywood furnishings are residential in style; bathrooms have granite countertops. In the dining room, with its antique mirrored wall and views of lawns and hills, dine on healthy preparations of everything from cauliflower to lamb chops—or learn how to make the dishes in the demo kitchen. Activities are "always cleverly adapted to the weather and surroundings."

(126 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Captain's House Inn
369–377 Old Harbor Road
Chatham , Massachusetts
02633
Tel: 800 315 0728
info@captainshouseinn.com
www.captainshouseinn.com

This handsome former sea captain's estate turned B&B—near Chatham's classic retail district and a short drive from the beach—is impeccably maintained by the enthusiastic young couple who bought the place in 2006. The 16 rooms are divided among four buildings: the Greek Revival–style main house, built in 1839, with beamed ceilings and walnut plank floors; a historic cottage relocated from Nantucket; a carriage house; and a converted stable. The best room is the Lydia Harding Suite, which takes up the entire second floor of the stable and has two fireplaces, a whirlpool, and a balcony. Several other rooms have whirlpools, too, and all are bright and tastefully decorated in colonial style. The friendly staff—composed almost entirely of hospitality and tourism students recruited from England—serves breakfast and afternoon tea in the airy dining room, which has patio tables overlooking the quiet lawn and garden. Subtle modern amenities, including Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and a heated pool, don't detract from the old-world charm.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Captain Farris House
308 Old Main Street
Yarmouth , Massachusetts
02664
Tel: 508 760 2818
thecaptain@captainfarris.com
www.captainfarris.com

A restored 1845 mansion, the Captain Farris House puts you in the middle of a Yarmouth neighborhood populated with homes on the National Register of Historic Places and just steps from pretty Bass River. Three of the ten guest rooms have private sundecks, and two have fireplaces; all have an especially nice bathroom (most with two-person whirlpool tubs). The common areas, however, outshine the rooms—especially the glass-covered greenhouse courtyard, the particularly pretty garden, the formal dining room with its Waterford chandelier, and the antiques- and velvet-filled parlor, where guests gather to sip complimentary sherry in the evenings. The modern age intrudes in the form of traffic noise from busy Route 28, so ask for a room off the garden. And if you're a late riser, avoid the first-floor rooms beside the courtyard and dining room: The buzz of your fellow guests enjoying their three-course breakfast will make it hard to spend a lazy morning in bed.

Closed November through early April, except on Valentine's Day weekend.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Captain Lord Mansion
6 Pleasant Street
Kennebunkport , Maine
04046
Tel: 800 522 3141
innkeeper@captainlord.com
www.captainlord.com

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum—the Captain Lord Mansion sits like a giant ship in downtown Kennebunkport, with a salty crew that tends to its 20,000 square feet. During the War of 1812, shipbuilder Nathaniel Lord commissioned this three-story Federal home; in 1978, innkeepers Bev and Rick Litchfield transformed the mansion into a B&B, naming its 20 elaborate rooms, all with down comforters and gas fireplaces, after ships built by the Lord family. But this is hardly a place of grog and gruel. Cook Sue Bouley makes mushroom, red pepper, and onion soufflés to start the day, along with sticky buns and fresh fruit over organic yogurt; bunks are filled with fine linens and ornate antiques. The best is the Merchant Captain's Suite, whose heated-floor bathroom has a ten-jet hydro-massage shower and hot tub you might never leave were it not for the lure of Gooch's Beach and a glimpse at the Bush compound nearby. (The inn will lend you a bike, gratis; water, juice, and soda are also complimentary.) The froufrou furnishings may be a bit over-the-top for some, but you can't beat the views from the cupola and widow's walk that top the mansion.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Carlyle
35 E. 76th Street
Upper East Side
New York City , New York
10021
Tel: 212 744 1600
thecarlyle@rosewoodhotels.com
www.thecarlyle.com

The most pedigreed of the Upper East Side hotels, this grande dame opened originally as a residential hotel in 1930, with composer Richard Rodgers as its first occupant. Over the years, every president and practically every celebrity and world leader has checked in behind its white-glove wall of discretion (so leakproof that only many years later did word come out about JFK's trysts with Marilyn Monroe here). Café Carlyle, longtime home to the late Bobby Short, still draws a stellar lineup of cabaret talent (including Woody Allen and his band on the Mondays he's in town), while Bemelmans Bar, one of Manhattan's swankiest boîtes, is enlivened by Loston Harris, a suave, talented pianist and singer. The 122 rooms, however, are a mixed bag: As designed by late society decorators Mark Hampton and Dorothy Draper in Empire and Louis XVI fashion, they're a little stiff and old fashioned, but renovations are underway (the hotel was taken over by the Rosewood group in 2000). The 59 additional suites are not to be sniffed at, with their grand pianos and even grander views of Central Park. Even if playing Chopsticks is the extent of your skill, opt for one of these.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Carneros Inn
4048 Sonoma Highway
Carneros , California
94559
Tel: 888 400 9000 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 299 4900
info@thecarnerosinn.com
www.thecarnerosinn.com

If you prefer Wallpaper over Town & Country, and Minis over Bentleys, you'll love the modernist-meets-farmhouse aesthetic of the Carneros Inn, located in one of Napa Valley's least-developed areas. The inn was designed to reflect its agrarian surroundings, with 86 tin-roofed cottages grouped around flower-filled courtyards and rocking-chair front porches surrounded by orderly rows of grapevines, bucolic fields, and rolling hills. Interiors are idyllic in a very different way, with iconic Eames and Le Corbusier loungers, heated slate floors in the bathrooms, indoor-outdoor showers, and wood-burning fireplaces. Unlike most wine country retreats, kids are welcome here and even have their own pool. The inn's Euro-Cal dining room, Farm, has plush velvet booths, dark-wood floors, and high ceilings that give it the look of a converted dairy barn. Guests gather at the fire pits outside to sip wine at day's end. There's also the more casual Boonfly Cafe, as well as an on-site spa that puts local ingredients to good use—try the mustard-seed massage or the soothing goat butter wrap.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Casa de las Chimeneas
405 Cordoba Road
Taos , New Mexico
87571
Tel: 877 758 4777 (toll-free)
Tel: 505 758 4777
casa@newmex.com
www.visit-taos.com

It's a rare B&B that has an in-house concierge, but this is a rare property—especially in quality lodging-challenged Taos. In an out-of-way neighborhood several minutes from the Plaza, the property was once a former private residence. Now each of the eight rooms has its own entrance and kiva fireplace (hence the name: house of chimneys). The upshot is that there's a feeling of privacy, even with a hotel staff of 14. Each room has a distinctive personality, from the romantic La Salon del Patron (with king bed, Jacuzzi, wet bar, and skylights) to the Library Suite, which is fully stocked with books and magazines and has a private patio and multi-jet shower. There's not a lot of natural light, and the heavy log beams on low ceilings can feel intrusive, but the inn makes up for it with small luxuries: A free (nonalcoholic) minibar, a gym, and a small but full-service spa (this being Taos, there's no shortage of massage therapists). Three-course breakfasts and dinners—essentially Southwestern in style, using local ingredients—are included, with both communal and separate seating.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Casa Marina Resort & Beach Club
1500 Reynolds Street
Key West , Florida
33040
Tel: 866 397 6342 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 296 3535
Fax: 305 296 4633
www.casamarinaresort.com

Originally built in 1920 by railway magnate Henry Flagler, Casa Marina reopened in December 2007 after a $43 million makeover and is now part of Hilton's Waldorf-Astoria Collection. The renovation was a stunning feat, restoring the place to its Golden Era glamour. (Sadly, the coffered wooden ceiling in the lobby is a reproduction: Ferocious termites chomped through the original.) The 311 rooms are now airy and loftlike, with dark woods, crisp white sheets, and ceramic tile floors. Rooms in the original building are the best, for their idiosyncratic layout and 15 rooms with large balconies. The nickel-and-diming on the small print (in addition to a $20 resort fee tacked on each day, Internet access costs $12) is irritating, but there are also unexpected free flourishes, like in-room Nespresso makers, hallway tables piled with copies of The New York Times, and pool attendants doling out gratis ice pops.

The Reach is Casa Marina's sister hotel, though it's on an entirely separate lot five minutes' walk away along the backstreets (1435 Simonton St.; 305-296-5000; www.reachresort.com). There's little difference between them in amenities or price: The Casa complex is a little more grand, though the 150 rooms at the Reach are more colorful, with bright accents like throw pillows in red and yellow. The clientele at both is Key West's most jet-set (expect to hear Italian, French, and German), though the pools at Casa Marina make it more popular with families.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Casa Palmero
1518 Cypress Drive
Pebble Beach , California
Tel: 800 654 9300 (toll-free)
Tel: 831 622 6650
Fax: 831 622 6655
www.pebblebeach.com/page.asp?id=1385

Live to golf? You won't get closer to the game than at this grand 1927 Mediterranean-style villa: It sits right on the first fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links. The hotel's 24 rooms are in newer, two-story buildings with hidden doorways and soundproof walls, so you won't have to hear fellow enthusiasts shouting "Fore!" Casa Palmero is the most luxurious of Pebble Beach's three lodging options; it's more chic and sophisticated than the Lodge at Pebble Beach (where the bars are crowded with noisy golfers at the end of the day), and more intimate than the sprawling Inn at Spanish Bay. Here, downstairs rooms have private gardens with Jacuzzi pools; upstairs rooms have oversized window seats as big as twin beds. All have wood-burning fireplaces. The furnishings are predictably fancy/stuffy—lots of rich fabrics, plush carpets, and linens from England—but the bathrooms are supermodern, with rainfall showerheads in marble stalls and heated slate floors. The property has a 25-room spa offering facials and massages, and evening cocktails are served fireside every night in the main villa's salon. For a spot of privacy, you can also take drinks in the billiard room or wood-paneled library.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Casa Tua
1700 James Avenue, South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
Tel: 305 673 0973
www.casatualifestyle.com

This place is more famous for its beautiful—and overrated—restaurant. The five suites in the Mediterranean villa, on the other hand, are less widely known but altogether a better bet—provided you can snag one. Casa Tua now operates as a private club (Boris Becker and Elle Macpherson are among the founding set), and members get first dibs, so you must reserve as far in advance as possible. It's worth it. The owners, Michele and Leticia Grendene, have lavished extraordinary attention on the rooms, creating deluxe cocoons with overstuffed white sofas, four-poster beds, and lovely, unexpected details—Loro Piana cashmere throws, 200-year-old Chinese chests, '50s Italian chairs. Before you arrive, you fill out a personal amenity list so that your choice of Santa Maria de Novella toiletries is waiting in your glistening, white bathroom (you can buy them and plenty of other things around the house). You also choose grade of sheet, type of flower, scent of candle…it is, after all, "your house."

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Casa Ybel Resort
2255 West Gulf Drive
Sanibel Island , Florida
Tel: 239 472 3145
Tel: 800 276 4753
casa@casaybelresort.com
www.casaybelresort.com

This charming island getaway sits on a white sand beach blanketed with thousands of seashells. Each of the 114 one- and two-bedroom suites includes a living room, full kitchen, and ocean views from a private terrace or balcony. When you don't want to cook, you can get burgers, sandwiches (try the grouper), steamed shrimp, and salads at Coconuts Poolside Café & Bar or choose from a full menu at the Thistle Lodge, a copy of an 1890s Victorian home once on the property. The resort is just five miles away from J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge (70 percent of Sanibel Island is taken up by nature preserves), where you can hike with a naturalist, kayak through the mangrove swamps, and watch for wildlife.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Castle Hill Inn & Resort
590 Ocean Drive
Newport , Rhode Island
Tel: 888 466 1355
Tel: 401 849 3800
www.castlehillinn.com

This nineteenth-century Victorian manse on a peninsula off Ocean Drive overlooks the Atlantic and has a cedar shingles and a turret. Most guest rooms have whirlpool tubs with marble surrounds, while beach cottages are filled with wicker furniture and colors inspired by the ocean. Dishes like Georges Bank cod and Canadian wild boar are served by "attentive staff." Take in the sunset views from the Adirondack chairs on the rolling lawn and "watch boats going in and out, it's so relaxing."

(35 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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The Catalina
1732 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach , Florida
33139
Tel: 877 762 3477 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 674 1160
reservations@southbeachgroup.com
www.catalinahotel.com

The Catalina is a rock 'n' roll mod fantasy: There's red shag carpeting everywhere, curvy white furniture, and thumping music in the lobbies and out by the pool. The all-white rooms are large and well equipped, with enveloping beds, stereos, gleaming bathrooms, and a chaise; for a few extra square feet—at a slightly higher price—book a room in the hotel's second building (the onetime Maxine Hotel). Best bonus at this hotel? Private nooks in the common areas, where you can steal away with a cocktail or a book. There are art books to browse in the main lobby's mezzanine, and a semi-private garden with squishy chairs and sofas. The only downside is the service, which is enthusiastic but a bit amateurish.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Catamaran Resort Hotel
3999 Mission Boulevard
San Diego , California
Tel: 877 646 3726
www.catamaranresort.com

Originally the Scripps family's summer estate, this property was sold and converted into a hotel in 1958. The new owners opted for colonial Hawaiian–style architecture that's still in place today. Mahogany woods and South Pacific–inspired furniture outfit the 315 rooms. Yes, the theme can get a little stilted, especially when it comes to the luau nights, the lei-making table, and the the canoe hanging in the fake waterfall–equipped lobby. But hokey or not, the activities and the relaxed and welcoming vibe keep the Catamaran on the short list for families. The location is great too: a narrow spit of land between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay, good for swimming, kayaking, and sailing. The beach and boardwalk are just across the street, and Belmont Park and SeaWorld are also nearby.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Cavallo Point
601 Murray Circle
Fort Baker
Sausalito , California
94965
Tel: 888 651 2003 (toll-free)
Tel: 415 339 4700
info@cavallopoint.com
www.cavallopoint.com?chebs=concierge_dec08

A national park lodge that trades the elk antlers and log beams for modern art and bamboo ceilings, Cavallo Point is a rare species. The footprint of the property hasn't changed much from its days as an Army post, and half of the rooms are in the former officers' quarters. Built in 1909, these historic accommodations have a homey feel, each with its own quirks of the original Colonial-Revival architecture. The newly built accommodations are the most visible aspect of Cavallo Point's bid for LEED certification: Think solar panels and denim insulation (how refreshing, too, to enter an empty hotel room where every light isn't on). Staff don't yet have service down to a science, but their charm offsets any hiccups you might encounter. Best of all, this spit of land hidden at the Marin-side foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, has the loveliest view of San Francisco—although the earplugs stashed in every room suggest that foghorns could be an issue. Guests can perfect their running stride or their knitting stitch in one of the multi-day learning programs. And chef Joseph Humphrey oversees the delicious dishes at Murray Circle, the clubby Farley Bar, and the Healing Arts Center's healthy Tea Bar.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Celebration Hotel
700 Bloom Street
Celebration , Florida
34747
Tel: 888 499 3800
Tel: 407 566 6000
info@celebrationhotel.com
www.celebrationhotel.com

This waterfront charmer with just 115 rooms—practically a B&B by Orlando's bloated standards—is a successful evocation of the Old Florida vibe, down to the verandahs furnished with leather couches and gently swatting ceiling fans. In the rooms, wooden four-poster beds and faux barn wood bathroom ceilings evoke an antique sensation, even if the property opened only in 1999. Service is a priority, and check-in is conducted, in the old style, at private desks. One could wish for slightly larger rooms, deeper bathtubs, or better parking facilities, but there's no faulting the tranquil lakeside location, a respite from the usual din of Orlando hotels. The in-house restaurant might encourage an insular stay despite the fact that Disney's campus is just two miles west, but just outside, guests can ply the Disney-built lakeside quay, which is lined with cafés, boutiques, and wooden rocking chairs.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Chambers
901 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis , Minnesota
Tel: 612 767 6900
chambersminneapolis.com

With more than 200 works of modern art on display and just 60 rooms, Chambers is either a hotel acting as an art gallery or vice versa—you decide. Whatever the verdict, it's shockingly trendy, remarkably austere, and yet pleasingly comfortable. The arctic-cool tone of the place is established behind the front desk, where a Damien Hirst skinned bull's head floats starkly in a tank of formaldehyde, and continues as you travel down a dim corridor to your room, past a video art installation showing the work of William Wegman and others on dozens of monitors. The service, though less than efficient, is delivered with unfailing Midwestern goodwill; rooms are spartan but have pampering touches such as heated bathroom floors and beds as soft as ermine. The excellent Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant and the blue-flamed fire in the lobby offer warmth and sustenance in the coolest venue of one of the country's coldest climes. The Rooftop Bar is included among the 2007 Hot List Nights.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Chambers
15 West 56th Street
Midtown West
New York City , New York
10019
Tel: 866 204 5656 (toll-free)
Tel: 212 974 5656
www.chambershotel.com

A far more overt attempt than the subtler City Club to bring downtown style to midtown, this 77-room hotel owes its soul to art, with 500 contemporary works exhibited throughout the hotel. In keeping with the theme, rooms are designed as open-plan artists' lofts—rich artists, presumably, to be able to afford such a prime location just off Fifth Avenue. The showiest is a duplex suite with a 750-square-foot terrace. Furnishings are contemporary but not stridently so. Red rugs on polished wood floors and gold or purple velvet seating warm the spaces. David Chang's Má Pêche restaurant, added in 2010, is the easiest way to sample dishes from the Momofuku chef without the notorious wait or reservation policy.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Chanler at Cliff Walk
117 Memorial Boulevard
Newport , Rhode Island
2840
Tel: 866 793 5664 (toll-free)
Tel: 401 847 1300
Fax: 401 847 3620
www.thechanler.com

This "quintessential Rhode Island mansion" dates to 1860s, when a branch of the Astor family built it on the Cliff Walk. Ocean, lawn, and gardens fill the vistas—from one room "I could open a window and view the sandy beach from the hot tub." Accommodations have themes like Gothic, Renaissance, and English Tudor. At the Spiced Pear, "we were impressed by the international gourmet food," such as Muscovy duck with caramelized Vidalia onions. Staff "gladly brought chairs to the shore for us."

(20 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Charles Hotel
1 Bennett Street
Cambridge , Massachusetts
02138
Tel: 617 864 1200
reservations@charleshotel.com
www.charleshotel.com

Located just off Harvard Square and next door to Harvard's JFK School of Government, it's no surprise that the luxe Charles Hotel has welcomed its fair share of dignitaries—everyone from the Dalai Lama to Bill Clinton. The 294 business-meets-Americana rooms mix Wi-Fi with checkered Shaker quilts, and all were spruced up in 2006. Among the upgrades: LCD televisions (including a smaller one imbedded in the bathroom mirror), and custom chalkboard art poking fun of its scholarly surroundings (one has a professor teaching economics to a classful of pigs). A Web kiosk on each floor gives guests sans BlackBerry or computer a chance to check e-mail and send instant messages. And while it's within walking distance to all of the Square's restaurants and bars, the hotel's downstairs hosts some of Cambridge's finest after-dark activities. After dining on pulled barbecue lamb shank at Henrietta's Table or spaghetti and lobster at Rialto, grab a chartreuse basil martini at the sultry Noir or take in some jazz at Regattabar before heading back upstairs. In 2007, the Liberty Hotel—another project from managing director Richard Friedman—took up residence in Boston's historic jailhouse across the river.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Charleston Place
205 Meeting Street
Charleston , South Carolina
29401
Tel: 843 722 4900
Tel: 800 611 5545 (toll free)
www.charlestonplace.com

A favorite of power brokers, politicians, and movie stars, this stylish 440-room hotel is best enjoyed on an expense account. Orient Express hotels does it up right here, from the Italian marble lobby with its spiral staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier to the attentive staff. Big, inviting rooms are appointed with period furnishings, balconies, and marble bathrooms. For first-class treatment and stunning views, request a "club level" room. An infinity pool with retractable roof, spa, and swank restaurant round out the deluxe possibilities. What's more, the hotel is just a credit card swipe from the city's hottest restaurants, attractions, and shops; in fact Gucci's on the ground floor.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Charlotte Inn
27 S. Summer Street
Edgartown , Massachusetts
02539
Tel: 508 627 4151
charlotte@relaischateaux.com
www.relaischateaux.com/charlotte

This rustic Relais & Châteaux property in the center of Edgartown is the best hotel on Martha's Vineyard—and one of the most expensive. (Rooms start at $295 and top out at $950 per night.) A no-kids and no–cell phone policy and a doting but discreet staff make this equestrian-themed oasis with manicured gardens and intimate nooks our first choice for romantic getaways or special occasions. (Book way in advance.) Owners Gerret and Paula Conover decorated the five 18th- and 19th-century houses so beautifully that the inn inspired its own coffee-table book: Behind the Times on Purpose. While each of the 25 rooms is distinctive, all are appointed in comfortable English country style with antiques, old paintings, objets d'art, and large bathrooms. For extreme privacy, ask for the three-room carriage house; if you want to lounge on your own private terrace, snag room 21.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Chase at Palm Springs
200 West Arenas Road
Palm Springs , California
92262
Tel: 760 320 8866
chasehotelps@aol.com
www.chasehotelpalmsprings.com

Pricey new boutique hotels may be getting all the attention, but the cheap and chic Chase has quietly become one of the hottest tickets in town. The mid-century motel, formerly Holiday House (a glamorous retreat for Hollywood royalty), has a quaint old-California vibe. Just one block off the main Palm Canyon drag, it features 26 large, blond-wood rooms with comfy contemporary furnishings, free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and full kitchens or kitchenettes. The heated saltwater pool is a popular hangout, as are the shuffleboard deck and courtyard BBQ grill. Reserve early—this place is always sold out.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Château du Sureau
48688 Victoria Lane
Oakhurst , California
Tel: 559 683 6860
www.chateausureau.com

There is no front desk and no TVs in guest rooms, and when you check out you'll get a handwritten bill at this stucco, turreted inn near Yosemite. Chambermaids in white linen aprons bring tea—"the ambience and service are so proper." All accommodations have fireplaces and are filled with antiques, tapestries, and nineteenth-century art. At Erna's Elderberry House, sit on Provençal furnishings, take in views of the Sierras, and eat French dishes like braised rabbit or roasted duck breast.

(10 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Chateau Marmont
8221 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
90036
Tel: 323 656 1010
Fax: 323 655 5311
www.chateaumarmont.com

Jean Harlow carried on an affair with Clark Gable while honeymooning here with her husband, Harold Rosson—that's just one of many rendezvous the Chateau has supposedly played host to. Built in the late '20s in the style of a Loire Valley mansion, it was falling into disrepair by the time John Belushi overdosed and died there in 1982. In the early '90s, though, haute hotelier André Balazs took over, and it's been a hot spot ever since. Although it sits at the eastern end of the Sunset Strip, it's set so high up from the road and surrounded by such dense vegetation that it feels like a secret oasis. You never know who you'll spy sitting in the garden or lounging in a chair amid the Gothic arches of the colonnade. The 50 rooms and suites, four cottages, and nine bungalows are all unique. Suites in the main building have dressing rooms, kitchens, and dining areas; a few have working fireplaces. The decor is a mix of eras: Stickley coffee tables and Deco headboards share space with wicker chairs and Oriental rugs. The infamous Room 64, the two-bedroom penthouse in the main building, has a 1,500-square-foot terrace, where Colin Farrell was once caught making out with Britney Spears by the paparazzi. Over-the-top amenities include chauffeur-driven cars, personal trainers, 24-hour shoeshine service, and Frette baby linens.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Chatham Bars Inn
297 Shore Road
Chatham , Massachusetts
02633
Tel: 800 527 4884 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 945 0096
welcome@chathambarsinn.com
www.chathambarsinn.com

The grandest of the classic Cape Cod hotels, and by far the best, the Chatham Bars was built in 1914 by a Boston stockbroker. In 2006, another Boston mogul, Richard Cohen (formerly Mr. Paula Zahn), bought it for $166 million and spent another $30 million on renovations and an expansion. With 18 room types to choose from—there are 40 rooms in the main inn, and an additional 176 in the surrounding cottages—making a reservation can feel like choosing a college. Rooms in the main inn, Cranberry Cottage, and Privet Cottage were renovated in 2009. Each room has a Bose Wave radio, plasma TV, espresso machine, and a new bed enveloped in Frette linens; the best one of all is the two-bedroom, 1,500-square-foot Presidential Suite, with a deck overlooking the ocean. For privacy and direct access to the quarter-mile hotel beach, book a room in one of the cottages along the water; ocean-facing rooms in the main house have the best views. Avoid the rooms in the Beach House—they're above a restaurant and bar that can get noisy. The Chatham Bars is a ten-minute walk from Chatham's quaint downtown and 20 minutes from picturesque Chatham Light—but with a private beach, poolside minibar-equipped cabanas, a wide veranda overlooking Pleasant Bay, a 52-foot Viking yacht for deep-sea fishing, and on-site spa treatments, you'll find plenty to do right here. There are also children's programs during the summer—including etiquette classes!—and an adjacent nine-hole public golf course. (Many of these services cost extra, on top of the $9 daily resort fee.) The dining options, all overseen by chef Anthony Cole, are equally diverse: seafood-centric formal dining, comfort food in the tavern, tapas-style snacks from the Veranda, or a clambake and a drink on the beach at the Beach House Grill. At peak season, a staff of 460 employees is on hand to make sure your stay is flawless—they'll hover but not intrude.

The Veranda and Beach House Grill close in the winter, but the inn stays open year-round.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Chatwal
130 W. 44th Street
Midtown West
New York City , New York
10036
Tel: 212 764 6200
Fax: 212 764 6222
www.thechatwalny.com

A top-to-bottom refit of the Lambs Club, the historic thespian hangout in the heart of Midtown's Theater District, by designer Thierry Despont, has turned this actors' den into a sleek 83-room hotel with Art Deco lines and ocean liner-inspired fittings that hark back to travel's bygone eras. (The wonderfully accommodating service throughout—is there anything the house butler can't do?—is another throwback we love.) A small but richly furnished lobby gives way to the Lambs Club restaurant, an 80-seater from chef Geoffrey Zakarian where the focal point would be the original stone fireplace if it weren't for the story lines unfolding at the other tables. Rooms are fitted with gorgeous steamer trunk-like wardrobes and desk-vanity combos in chocolate leather, while bathrooms come with wall-to-wall mirrors and rain showers stocked with custom Asprey amenities. Guests can find a break at the cozy Lambs Club Bar, hidden away above the lobby, and at the underground, three-treatment-room spa, with a clever "endless" lap pool and small gym—probably the only place on the property where you can let them see you sweat.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Chena Hot Springs Resort
Mile 56.5, Chena Hot Springs Road
Alaska
Tel: 907 451 8104
reservations@chenahotsprings.com
www.chenahotsprings.com

During the gold rush, it wasn't uncommon for a hopeful miner to spend 18 hours a day in a dark shaft, shivering. But about 60 miles north of Fairbanks, there was a cure: Chena Hot Springs. Now a popular getaway for locals and travelers looking to experience the boonies without the inconvenience of a two-seater airplane and a tent, Chena is a classic gold rush–style lodge in the middle of nowhere. (Directions from Fairbanks are basically to drive toward the Arctic Circle and turn right.) Befitting the location, the 80 rooms are simple—similar to a budget motel down south. In summer, you can opt to sleep in one of the Mongolian-style yurts (bring your own sleeping bag). The real draw here are the tubs outside, which fill with mineralized hot water that's considered great for rheumatism, psoriasis, and generally lazing about. Unlike a lot of Alaskan resorts, Chena is open year-round, and winter is the best time to come: There are fewer day-trippers (passes are $10 per day); the contrast between the hot water and cold landscape is marvelous; and night after night, the aurora borealis lights up the sky.—Edward Readicker-Henderson

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Chesterfield
363 Cocoanut Row
Palm Beach , Florida
33480
Tel: 561 659 5800
bookchpb@rchmail.com
www.chesterfieldpb.com

This is a British expat favorite—note the Union Jack fluttering above the entrance—with 52 rooms decorated to make these guests feel right at home. Flouncy bedspreads, heavy drapes, and antique-style desks seem borrowed directly from a chintzy English country house, though the huge TVs are flat-screens. There's a smallish pool with striped awnings and metal furniture that give a whiff of vintage Agatha Christie (the beach is three blocks away). The after-hours spots are worth stopping in even if you aren't staying at the hotel: The cigar menu at the Churchill Room is intense (pair a $25 Savinelli with a $175 shot of Louis XIII Remy Martin) and the Leopard Lounge is one of the few buzzy spots for an evening drink on the Island. That, and the hotel's quirky/quaint details—dishes of jelly beans everywhere, satisfyingly hefty old-fashioned room keys instead of electronic cards—lend the Chesterfield a sense of whimsy sorely missing from other Palm Beach hotels.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa
1 Old Chico Road
Pray , Montana
59065
Tel: 800 468 9232 (toll-free)
Tel: 406 333 4933
reservations@chicohotsprings.com
chicohotsprings.com

Since the days of the Montana gold rush, people have come to Chico's springs seeking the simple pleasure of relaxing belly-up in hot water. Opened in 1900, Chico's historic Main Lodge maintains the hotel's past in design and spirit (literally—late hotel proprietor Perci Knowles is said to haunt the halls). A blazing fireplace, antique saloon pianos, and a stuffed moose head in the lobby welcome guests upon arrival. Those looking for an authentic setting and who don't mind sharing a hall bathroom should book the Main Lodge (for a complimentary haunting, Perci's room is 346). Rooms have an at-grandmother's-house vibe—if grandma were a rancher—with sparse wood furnishings, floral textiles, wall-mounted ceramic plates, and vintage shots of the springs. For more contemporary country accommodations minus the kitsch, opt for a room in the Warren Wing or the three lodges (there are also 19 cabins spread around the property). Whatever the location, all rooms are TV- and phone-free, though an Internet connection is available in select hot spots. Not to be missed is the rustic low-lit restaurant serving escargot and meaty favorites like New York strip and Duck Grand Marnier, and the famous orange flambé for dessert. The extensive wine list includes well-priced Argentinean, Italian, and Napa wines, plus an expertly selected reserve wine list. After dinner, waddle down to the hot springs for a swim or saloon-side soak in one of the two naturally heated pools (choose between the hot one or the really hot one).—Isabel Sterne

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Chimes Bed and Breakfast
1146 Constantinople Street
Garden District
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 899 2621
jill@chimesneworleans.com
www.chimesneworleans.com

Jill Abbyad opened this bed-and-breakfast more than two decades ago with her husband, Charles, after fleeing a corporate job in San Francisco. The couple live upstairs with their two teenage children, which gives this place an inimitable homeyness—but not at the expense of privacy. Each of the five rooms, arrayed around two quiet courtyards, has its own entrance; numbers 2 and 3 have original heart pine floors and (nonworking) fireplaces from 1876. All are cozy and cottagelike without coming off as overly precious. During breakfast (fresh French bread, cheeses, fruit, and pastries), Jill, always knowledgeable and animated, will help you plan your day, matching your particular interests with her favorite spots and outings. She can also put together a self-drive Katrina tour for interested guests. The residential Uptown location makes for a peaceful retreat: It's at the edge of the Garden District and within close walking distance of stately, mansion-lined St. Charles Avenue. Parking and WiFi are included in the room rate.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
City Club
55 W. 44th Street
Midtown West
New York City , New York
10036
Tel: 212 921 5500
www.cityclubhotel.com

Downtown chic comes to midtown courtesy of hotelier Jeff Klein's renovation of a century-old men's club. It's meant to be very private and it is; there's no lobby to speak of, just a limestone walkway and an elevator leading to the 65 smallish rooms and suites, whose niftiest feature are the TVs hidden behind two-way mirrors: When switched on, the image seems to come from the great beyond. Go for one of the duplex suites, if only for the ceiling, an ornate masterpiece of carved plaster from the original club. Daniel Boulud's ground-floor restaurant, DB Bistro Moderne, ups the room-service quotient.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Cliffside Beach Club
46 Jefferson Avenue
Nantucket , Massachusetts
02554
Tel: 508 228 0618
ackbeach@aol.com
www.cliffsidebeach.com

The Cliffside's big draw is its right-on-the-sand location, just west of Jetties Beach a mile from town: You can walk out of your room or suite (there are 26 total) and a minute later be in the water. A private club since 1949, the Cliffside owns its stretch of shore and has a healthy respect for its history. The beach pavilion and a set of wooden changing rooms have been there since 1904, and some of the interiors (especially in the 10 Gold Coast rooms and the beach cottage) have a vintage feel, with patchwork quilts and antique wood or wicker furniture. There's a 3,000-square-foot exercise room, hydrotherapy spa, and a guests-only bar and café. The outdoor pool complex is great for lap-swimming, but otherwise superfluous, since the waves beckon just outside. Although certain rooms are designated adults-only, the hotel is very family-friendly; you'll see more than a few tykes making sand castles or napping under the trademark yellow, blue, or green beach umbrellas.

Open mid-May through mid-October.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Cloister
100 Cloister Drive
Sea Island , Georgia
Tel: 912 638 3611
Tel: 800 732 4752
www.seaisland.com

Originally opened in 1928, this hotel in architect Addison Mizner's signature Spanish-Mediterranean style has terra-cotta roofs and sunlit garden patios. Rooms come with handmade Turkish rugs and stone baths with deep-soaking tubs, and look onto the Black Banks River or the Atlantic. The sophisticated Georgian Room serves refined Southern cuisine amid gold and crystal chandeliers—"their truffle scones are my favorite." Colt & Alison's dry-aged fillet is "the best steak I've ever had." The Ice Cream Parlor serves fountain sodas.

(175 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Colonial Houses
136 E. Francis St.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 800 447 8679 (toll-free)
Tel: 757 229 1000, x8440
cwres@cwf.org
www.history.org/visit/staywithus/colonialhouses

The best way to get the full immersion experience is to rent one of the 26 best-selling Colonial Houses. Are they authentic? Not so much. Though the shells are absolutely 18th-century, modern bathrooms, TVs, and room service tend to ruin the illusion (but did you really want to star in your own PBS reality show anyway?). Booking online puts you in a lottery; call ahead to request a specific house, like Brick House Tavern, a replica of the house where American cavalry troops quartered during the War of 1812, or the Lightfoot Tenement, whose clustered outbuildings mirror the "miniature villages" of Colonial Virginia's plantations. Most houses are one- or two-bedrooms, with the notable exception of the 11-bedroom Market Square Tavern, where Thomas Jefferson used to stay while studying law under George Wythe. It's popular for family reunions, but if you fail to score the third president's lodging, you can always rent the Moody Kitchen and sulk.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Colony
155 Hammon Avenue
Palm Beach , Florida
33480
Tel: 800 521 5525
reservations@thecolonypalmbeach.com
www.thecolonypalmbeach.com

This 90-room hotel is a youngster by Palm Beach terms—it was only built in 1947—but it echoes its neighbors' hushed, moneyed elegance (the Florida-shaped swimming pool's a waggish touch). Like most of the hotels on the Island, the Colony is only a couple blocks from the beach and just a block from Worth Avenue. A five-year, $13 million makeover upgraded the admittedly still pocket-size rooms with breezy yellow decor inspired by the British West Indies. But if you are staying at the Colony, you are here for the legendary suites. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor crashed in the penthouse during their itinerant post-abdication exile, and last year the hotel finally honored the renegade royals by renaming the 1,900-square-foot, two-bedroom penthouse in their honor. (Look for the framed check His Royal Highness used to pay the $1,000 bill back in 1961—now, rates start at $2,000 a night.) Across the road from the main building is the Colony's most exclusive enclave. The circa-1928 Casa Manana has been turned into seven stand-alone villas, available in season for monthly rentals from $20,000 to $30,000. That monthly charge is a hint at the clientele here: largely longtime regulars who hole up in Palm Beach for a chunk of the chilly northern winter. Their dominance helps give the hotel a pleasant, homey vibe. Nightlife here also fits with the laid-back atmosphere, with a steak house that doubles as a piano bar and the Royal Room Cabaret.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Colony Palms Hotel
572 North Indian Canyon Drive
Palm Springs , California
92262
Tel: 800 557 2187
reservations@colonypalmshotel.com
www.colonypalmshotel.com

Following a $16 million renovation—courtesy of Cher's interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard—the Spanish-style Colony Palms is redeeming itself after stints as a brothel and a mobster-owned speakeasy back in the 1930s. The 56 rooms in this Moroccan-chic boutique are small but lovingly appointed with high-tech goodies (flat-screen TVs, Wi–Fi, iPod docking stations), seven-foot tall Turkish tapestry headboards, and swank touches such as Dean & Deluca nibbles in the mini-bar. The tropical-inspired restaurant bar, The Purple Palm, is a comfortable place to sip cocktails by the pool or take in the purple mountain vistas, all of which makes this casually cool retreat feel worlds away—somewhere between Casablanca and Ibiza—from its convenient downtown Palm Springs setting.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
CordeValle
One CordeValle Club Drive
San Martin , California
95046
Tel: 408 695 4500
cordevalle@rosewoodhotels.com
www.cordevalle.com

This Craftsman-style resort by the Santa Cruz Mountains has perfect-scoring bungalows with a "modern yet rustic atmosphere," Frette linens, leather armchairs, and fireplaces. Guests appreciate the "secluded corners of the grounds" surrounded by tree-topped hills. New Italian cuisine at Il Vigneto emphasizes seasonal produce. Play a course with vineyard views, or sample treatments like a grapeseed and cherry bark scrub at Sense Spa.

(45 rooms)

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard S.
Las Vegas , Nevada
89109
Tel: 877 551 7778 (toll-free)
Tel: 702 698 7000
resortservices@cosmopolitanlasvegas.com
www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com

The 2,995-room Cosmopolitan, despite fulfilling the formula of any glitzy, behemoth Vegas casino-hotel, manages to feel both unique and intimate. The latter is due in part to the hotel's verticality, which spreads the public areas over three floors instead of one. Bars and gaming are concentrated on the ground floor; indie shops like L.A. import Beckley and London's edgy AllSaints Spitalfields reside on the second; and restaurants, including New York City cult sushi spot Blue Ribbon and a (faux) back alley pizzeria by Scott Conant, are at the very top. Still, this being Vegas, everything is done on a larger scale. The lobby is dominated by eight mirror- and LCD-wrapped columns showing video art. Deep in the casino is The Chandelier, a tri-level bar behind a curtain of two million crystals. And there are the multiple pools, which range from a Strip-side playground with billiards, foosball, and Ping-Pong tables to Marquee Dayclub, an adults-only lounge; at night Marquee transforms into a giant indoor-outdoor nightclub. Rooms average a giant 700 square feet and feel luxurious without being dull: There are Italian linens, of course, and soaking tubs, but also Phaidon art books and Piero Fornasetti's graphic wallpaper of Bond Girl-like ladies in the WC. Another bonus: Nearly all rooms have private terraces from which to ogle the neon excess below.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Cottages & Lofts at the Boat Basin
24 Old South Wharf
Nantucket , Massachusetts
Tel: 866 838 9253 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 325 1499
www.thecottagesnantucket.com

With downtown Nantucket and the Boat Basin within walking distance, this property provides "the best of the island," reflected in the perfect location score. Harborfront-facing cottages—with full kitchens, polished pine floors, slate bathrooms, and dormer windows—overlook the docks, "hearing the water softly lapping against the pylons, seeing boats bobbing around, it just felt so appropriate." There is no restaurant on-site, but meals are available in town, or at sister hotel, the White Elephant.

(24 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Courtyard at Lake Lucerne
211 N. Lucerne Circle
Orlando , Florida
Tel: 407 648 5188
info@orlandohistoricinn.com
www.orlandohistoricinn.com

This is as close as Orlando gets to boutique. An unexpected oasis of authenticity in a plastic landscape, these four neighboring historic buildings (the Norment-Parry, Orlando's oldest surviving house, dates to 1883) operate together as a 30-unit B&B. Owner Sam Meiner has decorated everything from his personal collection of antiques (blue velvet sofas, Persian rugs, walnut four-poster beds). The Art Deco Wellborn Suites, in a former apartment block, have kitchenettes, their own complement of mid-century furnishings, and the most space, but the I.W. Phillips House's brick courtyard, Tiffany window, and marbled bathrooms do the most to evoke the romantic gentility of Orlando's days as an Old South backwater. Tucked away on a quiet pond in the midst of downtown's skyscrapers, the compound is popular with honeymooners.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Crosby Street Hotel
79 Crosby Street
Soho
New York City , New York
10012
Tel: 212 226 6400
crosby@firmdale.com
www.firmdale.com/index.php?page_id=31

The first export from British boutique hotelier Firmdale, the Crosby Street Hotel wears its origins with pride, from the pages of Brit comic book The Beano used in the lobby's art to pedestal sinks stamped "Made in Great Britain" in the bathrooms. Anyone familiar with Kit Kemp's interiors at the Soho, Haymarket, and Covent Garden hotels in London will recognize her trademark pairings of bold stripes, subtle florals, period dressers, and modern artwork in the Crosby's 86 individually designed rooms. The floor-to-ceiling windows with cushioned window seats are custom-made for classic (and surprisingly open) NYC views of roof gardens and lots of low-rise, 19th-century cast-iron architecture, especially from the upper floors of the 11-story building. Things are toned down in the granite-tile bathrooms, which have roomy showers—for the addition of a tub and bidet, book one of the hotel's 11 suites. Downstairs, there's a lush drawing room in scarlet with lots of artwork of dogs (small, well-behaved pets are welcome), a pretty courtyard with a petrified tree at its center, a well-equipped gym, and a cinema (dinner-and-a-movie events are held on Sunday nights). The Crosby Bar (and restaurant), which serves classic American and British dishes, is an eccentrically styled space with psychedelic crystal lights, a wall of vintage telephones, and a touch of taxidermy. Not surprisingly, it's frequented by arty professionals who, along with visiting Brits and clotheshorses on a Soho shopping mission, look likely to remain the Crosby Street Hotel's main clientele.—Nicola McCormack

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spa
82 Bradford Street
Provincetown , Massachusetts
02657
Tel: 877 276 9631 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 487 6767
welcome@crownepointe.com
www.crownepointe.com

The Crowne Pointe's 36 rooms are among the most luxurious (and most expensive) in P-town. A total makeover completed in 2008 exhibits strong attention to detail: Housed in six adjacent 19th-century buildings, the rooms combine historical accuracy—reproduction Victorian furniture and color schemes—with hip design and lavish comfort, including modern bathrooms with whirlpool tubs. The best is the Penthouse Residence, which the owners—an engineer and a wine-savvy former MTV executive, who also own the Brass Key, across the street—designed for themselves. It includes a top-of-the-line kitchen and is one of the few rooms with a view. (The hotel is set back from the ocean, but the location, a block from Commercial Street, P-town's main drag, makes up for the lack of scenery.) A diverse crowd—including celebrities such as Quentin Tarantino—mingles around the pool and is served by a staff that's refreshingly friendly for a town not known for genuine hospitality. If you're on a health kick, you'll appreciate the spa and the restaurant's Asian-inspired menu—everything except the obligatory clam chowder is prepared without butter, cream, or trans fats. Guests can use the steam room, sauna, and mineral soaking tub without additional charge, and breakfast is included. Note that children are not permitted.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages
4500 Ocean Boulevard
San Diego , California
Tel: 858 483 6983
Tel: 800 748 5894
www.crystalpier.com

Want oceanfront? We'll do you one better: How about ocean-top? This small hotel's 23 Cape Cod–style cottages are perched atop Pacific Beach's historic fishing pier. Built in 1927, some of the cottages were remodeled as recently as 2005, but they're still nothing special, with white wicker furniture, kitchenettes, and a Jimmy Buffett meets West Palm Beach vibe. Of course, with porches like these, you won't be sitting inside. The Crystal Pier is perfect for vacationing families, groups of friends, and pretty much everyone else, too. The only trick is getting a room. A SoCal classic and annual tradition for many folks, the hotel is regularly booked solid all summer long. Book at least six months in advance for June–August, or better yet, visit in the fall, when the air is crisp and the boardwalk more peaceful, and powerful west swells thundering below the pier lull you to sleep. When booking, keep in mind that the hotel's six oceanfront suites are on the beach, not on the pier like the cottages.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Dana Hotel and Spa
660 N. State Street
Chicago , Illinois
60610
Tel: 888 301 3262 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 202 6000
www.danahotelandspa.com

Hyper-stylish and bathed in natural light and textures, most rooms in the 26-story high-rise have floor-to-ceiling windows lasciviously exposed (should you opt not to use the blackout curtains) to neighboring offices and condos. The vibe is simultaneously spare and plush, with industrial-cement ceilings, ribbed wallpaper, indecently comfortable beds, and metallic velour textiles. All rooms have spa-inspired bathrooms and the latest gadgetry, including fully stocked wine chillers. The spa, booked solid on weekends, offers a greatest hits menu of moderately priced massages, facials, and wraps. The Dana has a choice location between North Michigan Avenue and the River North dining and gallery district, but reserve a table if you want to go to its duplex steak and sushi restaurant, Ajasteak, a new neighborhood hot spot. The rooftop Vertigo Sky Lounge has a glassed-in bar and an outdoor fire pit where the city's remaining smokers can light up with impunity.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Deerhill Inn
14 Valley View Road
West Dover , Vermont
05356
Tel: 800 993 3379 (toll-free)
Tel: 802 464 3100
innkeeper@deerhill.com
www.deerhill.com

West Dover is home to Mount Snow, the Vermont ski mountain closest to the tristate area (i.e., metropolitan New York City). Urban escapees looking to be doted on, whatever the season, would do well with the Deerhill. That's because one of the owners, Michael Allen, is a former chef who fuels guests with the likes of white wine–braised artichokes, pan-fried veal tenderloin, and lemon-ricotta tarts. He and partner Stan Gresens have been running this cheery inn since 2002, and the top-notch food (including out-of-this-world homemade breads) keeps guests coming back. The 14 rooms are winners, too: Each has its own character, ranging from the Rose Garden, with an antique brass bed and flowered spread, to the canopied Apple Blossom and the two-room Garden Suite. Many have private balconies that face the mountains or the pool and gardens. In the summer, there's nothing better than sitting in the fresh air, reading one of the many books or magazines that are strewn about the place.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Delano
1685 Collins Avenue, South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
33139
Tel: 800 555 5001 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 672 2000
Fax: 305 532 0099
www.delano-hotel.com

This onetime icon of Miami Beach, with its Aztec headdress of a roofline designed by Robert Swartzburg, was redone by Philippe Starck with his standard postmodern wit in 1995. The 194-room Delano got a bit soft when the swanky Shore Club opened nearby six years later, but after a lull—and the 2005 departure of founder Ian Schrager—it's now back and fiercer than ever. The sexy crowd is returning, thanks to an 2006 upgrade of the all-white rooms, which brought in everything from plasma TVs to new bedding. A state-of-the-art fitness center also opened in 2007. One other major improvement: Now that it's strictly Schrager-free, the legendarily beautiful but snooty staffers have retained their model-good looks but lost most of the attitude. Just remember to pack something skimpy but fabulous for the scene at the infinity-edge pool.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Denali River Cabins & Cedar Lodge Hotel
Mile 231.6, George Parks Highway
near Denali National Park , Alaska
99755
Tel: 800 230 7275
rivercabins@doyon.com
www.denalirivercabins.com

A tent pitched in the backcountry is the best place to stay in Denali National Park, but if camping's not your thing, try the family-friendly Denali River Cabins & Cedar Lodge Hotel. Located six miles south of the park entrance, it's close enough to be convenient but far enough away to avoid the crazy hustle and bustle of lodging right at the park entrance. On a summer day, those hotels can feel more like Times Square than the Alaskan boonies, and are best avoided. Denali River Cabins & Cedar Lodge's 54 modernized cabins and 48 rooms in the lodge are fairly basic, but you're not here to be inside. Book a cabin with a view of the Nenana as it flows by, and you'll have all the luxury you need. The hotel is owned by Doyon, Limited, one of the Native regional corporations set up by the Native Claims Act; Doyon also runs the Kantishna Roadhouse, an inholding lodge more than a hundred miles into the park. The only way to get that far into Denali is to hike or to travel with this organization—they arrange day trips to places deep in the park where the Park Service won't take you on their buses.—Edward Readicker-Henderson

Closed mid-September through late May.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
2901 Osceola Parkway
Lake Buena Vista , Florida
Tel: 407 939 6244
disneyworld.disney.go.com

By far the most interesting Disney-run hotel—and the best choice for guests who aren't enamored of the company's mythology—the 1,307-room property, several miles from the western frontier of the Disney campus, overlooks savannahs stocked with real African game. Giraffes, zebras, ostrich, and other animals roam carefree, and most rooms have a furnished balcony peering over the cud-chewing action (a fraction face the parking lot or animal-free gardens). The buzzy lobby mimics a luxury safari lodge and hosts regular wildlife talks and movie screenings beneath its 100-foot vaulted atrium. Away from the animals, in a secluded grove by the property's three restaurants (one counter-service, two by reservation), there's a pool with a water slide. Rooms are accented with carved woods and mock-Afro fabrics, but are standard in every other way. And if you actually want to do anything—from having dinner (with a reservation) to storing luggage—be prepared to wait in line.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
4401 Grand Floridian Way
Lake Buena Vista , Florida
Tel: 407 934 7639
Tel: 407 824 3000
Fax: 407 824 3186
disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdw/resorts/resortLanding?id=GrandFloridianResortLandingPage

The ne plus ultra of Walt Disney World hotels, the lakeside Grand Floridian cribs directly from the palatial Victorian look of San Diego's Hotel del Coronado, down to the faux-cage elevator in the five-story lobby. You can't pick a more dreamily convenient Disney hotel—it's a single monorail stop away from the Magic Kingdom, and four from Epcot. There are tennis courts, boat rentals, seven places to eat (two at the gourmet end), two pools, a spa, and a well-used wedding pavilion. The service is less than solicitous, but the sense of elitism is as well stage-managed as you'd expect (cue the small orchestra in the lobby). Rooms are fairly standard and have the usual dark and tiny Disney bathrooms, but are somewhat embellished by flat-screen TVs and iPod-playing clock-radios. Since they're spread around six buildings, you'll likely have to walk outside to reach yours. Only the few "Lagoon View" rooms stand a chance of having a view of the Magic Kingdom (availability is first-come, first-serve upon check-in), but the park's nightly fireworks are visible to all from the resort's ferry dock.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Donovan House
1155 14th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
20005
Tel: 202 737 1200
Tel: 800 383 6900 (toll-free)
infodc@thompsonhotels.com
www.thompsonhotels.com

We'll be shocked if the Donovan makes it through the Obama administration without cropping up in some political sex scandal or other. Opened in March 2008 by the same group behind the Hollywood Roosevelt and New York's 60 Thompson, it has a racy, after-hours vibe, thanks to dim, mirrored hallways and a loungelike lobby. The Thomas Circle location is sure to invite misbehavior, as well—it sits squarely between the high-end clubs along K Street (Lima, Lotus) and the hipster hangouts lining 14th and U streets. In the summer months, the hotel's rooftop pool hosts some of the best parties in town. The 193 spacious rooms have brand-conscious adornments—Kiehl's body products, Sferra linens, Kiki de Montparnasse intimacy kits—and a mod '60s feel. A chocolate leather headboard wraps all the way up the wall and across the ceiling; aubergine curtains cover floor-to-ceiling windows. An opaque white shower stall spirals out from the bathroom, casting a glow into the bedroom and revealing suggestive shadows of whoever's inside. The standard rooms are among the biggest in D.C., though upgrading will give you access to deep soaking tubs for two. It all adds up to a refreshing dose of sophistication among the capital's crop of boutique hotels, many of which cross the line between class and kitsch.—Updated by Colleen Clark

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Driskill Hotel
604 Brazos Street
Austin , Texas
78701
Tel: 800 252 9367 (toll-free)
Tel: 512 474 5911
Fax: 512 474 2214
www.driskillhotel.com

Named for the cattle baron who built it in 1886, this grand four-story mansion is an old-world sanctuary set smack in the heart of boisterous Sixth Street. The historic ambience—LBJ once holed up here awaiting election results—is established by the soaring stained-glass dome in the lobby. A 2008 renovation combined the new with the old in the 189 guest rooms: a Victorian-style settee is upholstered with modern graphic fabric, nailhead-trimmed leather furniture is a nod to Texas ranches. The bar is decked out in comfy leather chairs, low lighting, warm wood, and—of course—cowhide; and you're likely to see quite a few locals rubbing elbows with out-of-towners. Other modern touches include high-speed Internet, a fitness center, and a spa, making it a civilized base for sampling the vitality of the surrounding neighborhood. From one of the balconies overlooking Sixth, you'll spot several restaurants, but you won't find one in the neighborhood better than the Driskill Grill.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Duane Street Hotel
130 Duane Street
New York City , New York
10013
Tel: 212 964 4600
info@duanestreethotel.com
www.duanestreethotel.com

The only public space at this quietly hip newcomer is the sleek, narrow lobby, whose lounge is far too small for entourages, let alone paparazzi. With one bold red parenthesis of a banquette and a few dashes of cushioned benches, it is just big enough for a few people to meet before dinner at adjoining 'BeCa, which has an Italian-leaning menu notable not only for its quality but also for its ample portions and reasonable prices (a dish of gnocchi, $14). Compact as a yacht, the hotel anchors the workaday corner of Church and Duane streets, surrounded by TriBeCa's evolving mix of superb restaurants and old take-out joints, cutting-edge shops and discount clothing stores. Light floods the 45 guest rooms, which tend to be small but quiet. Done in cheerful green chartreuse with blond wood, they display quality details, from faux-stone bath tiles to generous white Mama Bear bedding. The darkly elegant hallways, with glowing silver panels inset in mauve walls, epitomize this fine new property, which clearly—and wisely—values privacy over flash-in-the-pan popularity.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
East Deck Motel
40 Deforest Road
Montauk , New York
11954
Tel: 631 668 2334
www.eastdeckmotel.com

This 28-room 1950s beachfront motel is a long way (both geographically and otherwise) from the New England-y B&B-style inns of the Hamptons proper, which is exactly how the devoted regulars like it. This is definitely a no-frills, un-Hamptons experience: There are no high-thread-count sheets, Bulgari soaps, or any shampoo at all, for that matter—just simple (and, notably, un-air-conditioned) motel accommodations. Some rooms have kitchenettes, which is helpful, since there's no on-site restaurant, and the village of Montauk is a mile to the east. What is right out the door is the area's best surf break, Ditch Plains, meaning that even if the hotel's in crowd of photographers and barefoot media types can't swim in the water, the cool factor remains high. Book A12, a beach-facing room in the back corner, if you can.—Updated by Darrell Hartman

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
East Hampton Point
295 Three Mile Harbor Road
East Hampton , New York
11937
Tel: 631 324 9191
Fax: 631 324 3751
www.easthamptonpoint.com

East Hampton Point gets high marks for its family-friendliness, resortlike amenities, and proximity to busy Three Mile Harbor. Located a five-minute drive from East Hampton's center, in the comparatively modest, woodsy neighborhood of Springs, East Hampton Point consists of seven suites and 13 cottages. The spare suites are tastefully decorated in muted blues with dark-wood furniture and have plasma-screen televisions, large bathrooms, and private entrances. Book an adjacent sitting room for more space, or to link suites. (Suite 6 also has a private second-floor terrace.) The cottages are homier, with two-burner kitchenettes and private patios protected by privet hedges. For entertainment, there's a pool, tennis court, playground, and the marina-all rarities in the Hamptons, given the prohibitive cost of real estate. The on-site restaurant serves New American cuisine. If you plan on dining elsewhere, ask the front desk to make a reservation—the hotel proprietors are also co-owners of the popular East Hampton restaurants Citta Nuova and 1770 House.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Edgewater
Pier 67
2411 Alaskan Way
Seattle , Washington
98121
Tel: 206 728 7000
Tel: 800 624 0670
contactus@edgewaterhotel.com
www.edgewaterhotel.com

Ironically, for a city blessed with a spectacular harbor, waterfront lodging is surprisingly rare in Seattle—which is why the Edgewater hotel's perch on a pier over Elliott Bay is such a treat. The location's also convenient: down the street from the Olympic Sculpture Park and a three-block walk to the shops and restaurants of Belltown. Edgewater's upscale lodge-style decor seems far more appropriate for Seattle than the bland luxury you get at most of the city's newer hotels: Each of the 223 guest rooms has a river rock fireplace, red and green plaid carpets, birch bark wallpaper, and wood accents. Ask for a room facing the water—they're a bit more expensive but have larger bathrooms and sliding doors that open to incredible views. The hotel's New American restaurant, Six Seven, handles room service, but when the weather's nice, we recommend taking your meals on the restaurant's deck.—Updated by Aaron Barker

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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El Dorado Hotel
405 First Street West
Sonoma , California
95476
Tel: 800 289 3031 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 996 3220
info@eldoradosonoma.com
www.eldoradosonoma.com/el_dorado_hotel.html

The 27 rooms may be tiny, but what they lack in space they make up for in style, price, and prime location on Sonoma's historic town plaza. Each room has a steel four-poster bed, Miró-esque paintings, and a small wrought-iron balcony. The bathrooms are also small, and nothing special, but they're spotless. The hotel's common spaces are more spacious: a popular restaurant that serves contemporary Californian dishes, a swimming pool flanked by lounge chairs, a lush courtyard with intertwining grapevines and a 150-year-old fig tree, an on-site café bakery, and a lobby with hip decor that would be equally at home in a W hotel. If you require more space for lounging than a bed and a single chair, you'll feel cramped (opt for one of the hotel's four suite-like bungalows). But if you spend your days out and about, you'll appreciate economizing on your room and having the extra money to spend buying wine. Book early: The hotel's bargain prices are no secret.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Eliot Hotel
370 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston , Massachusetts
02215
Tel: 800 443 5468 (toll-free)
Tel: 617 267 1607
email@eliothotel.com
www.eliothotel.com

In Back Bay, convenient to Fenway, Symphony Hall, Newbury Street, and especially the Harvard Club, which is next door, the neo-Georgian Eliot is named after Harvard President (1869–1909) Charles Eliot, even though he didn't live to see the building finished. Still belonging to the family that bought it during the Depression, the place goes for traditional comfort with either taupe toile and frills or raw brown silk accented by leopard prints, and framed prints in its suites—yes, suites—there are 79 of them, plus only 16 rooms. Each room also has a touch-pad tablet to connect with the valet, room service, and restaurants, and for free Internet access. The hotel is distinguished by its world-class restaurant, Clio, and its sashimi bar, Uni, plus its uncommon kid-friendliness: Under-18s share your room free, in a crib if required, and there's babysitting on demand (for a fee).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa
317 Kit Carson Road
Taos , New Mexico
87571
Tel: 505 758 3502
Tel: 888.213.4419
info@elmontesagrado.com
www.elmontesagrado.com

When this 36-room lodge opened in 2003, it gave Taos the destination resort it sorely lacked. The stand-alone suites and many secluded, landscaped acres made it feel at once open and intimate. In fall 2007, however, the room count was more than doubled, to 84. The good news is that the staff is as well trained and gracious as ever, and the additions are set away from the original suites. The bad news is the new "Rocky Mountain" rooms are in a mundane two-story building, intended to accommodate conferences and wedding groups. Stick with the original rooms, which have more character and charm than the additions. The least-expensive casitas are sweet (some have patios), but the top-of-the-line Global Suites are worth the premium: Set among terraced waterfalls and ponds, they have one or two bedrooms, massive showers and tubs, and well appointed living rooms with a wet bar and dining table. Each is decorated in the style of a different country, a gimmick that's nonetheless pulled off particularly well (handpainted tiles and Andalusian shawls in the Spain suite, bamboo shades and kimonos in the Japan room). All rooms have wood or gas-burning kiva fireplaces. The spa has been enlarged to accommodate the added guests, but it's hard to believe that groups won't invade the serene public spaces such as the plunge pool or De La Tierra restaurant, which serves New American food with Southwestern accents (try the elk chop and chicharrón chimichanga).

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Elvis Presley's Heartbreak Hotel
3677 Elvis Presley Boulevard
Whitehaven
Memphis , Tennessee
38116
Tel: 877 777 0606
Tel: 901 332 1000
gracelandtours@elvis.com
www.elvis.com/epheartbreakhotel

If you cruised into Memphis clad in a gold-belted white jumpsuit, hankerin' for a fried peanut butter-and-banana sandwich, you'll probably feel right at home at the Heartbreak Hotel. It's easy to be first in line for a tour of the King's mansion with this location—which is, in fact, "down at the end of Lonely Street," directly across from Graceland on Elvis Presley Boulevard. The 124 guest rooms are decked out in flashy royal blue and gold fabrics with black-and-white photos of Elvis on the walls, while the four themed suites are an exercise in excess, each styled after an important aspect of the Elvis mystique—Graceland, Hollywood, Gold and Platinum, and Burning Love. If that's not enough, flip to the in-house television channel that screens "all Elvis movies, all the time" or take a dip in the heart-shaped outdoor pool. If ever a hotel was fit for the King, this is it. "And although it's always crowded, you still can find some room…"

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Elysian
11 E. Walton Street
Chicago , Illinois
60611
Tel: 800 500 8511 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 646 1300
contact@elysianhotels.com
elysianhotels.com

The Elysian, a 2009 arrival to Chicago's hotel scene, may be the most elegant boutique hotel to open in the city in years. Located just west of North Michigan Avenue in the middle of a high-end shopping block (Marc Jacobs is next door), the 66-story tower was designed by architect Lucien Lagrange as an homage to the glamour of a Parisian grand hotel circa the 1920s. The building's spires, colonnades, and courtyard clearly channel the muse, as does the hushed marble lobby, which is punctuated by two dramatic busts and staffed by a platoon of very polished, cheerful check-in clerks and greeters. The 188 guest rooms, 150 of them suites, follow form by looking to Coco Chanel and Christian Dior for their low-key style. The result is a platinum and Champagne palette, a very serious art collection (including mixed media pieces by Richard Loving and photographs by Lynn Geesaman), an epic soaking tub in the large marble bathrooms, and some unexpected extras: There's a kitchenette and fireplace in all of the airy guest rooms except for the 19 classic doubles. The hotel has two restaurants: The more formal menu at Ria might include foie gras or guinea hen galantine, while the buzzing Balsan dishes up everything from wood-grilled pizza to charcuterie plates. And the neoclassical Spa & Health Club (try the lava shell massage) doesn't let you forget that for all its traditional references, this is one thoroughly modern hotel.—Raphael Kadushin

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Encantado
198 State Road 592
Santa Fe , New Mexico
87506
Tel: 877 262 4666 (toll-free)
info@encantadoresort.com
www.encantadoresort.com

For many New Mexico transplants (D. H. Lawrence and Georgia O'Keeffe among them), the best of the state is found in the desolate beauty of the high desert. Sometimes it's hard to get a sense of that world directly inside Santa Fe, and that is what makes the Encantado resort so compelling. The 65-casita property, which ranges over many hilly piñon-tree-dotted acres, is off a lonely desert road near the village of Tesuque, a 15-minute drive to the Plaza (a fleet of Mercedes ferry guests back and forth to the city free of charge). Each casita has at least 630 square feet of space and its own balcony or terrace, a pleasant spot to sit and take in the views of the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains. While the decor is definitely Santa Fe–style, with kiva fireplaces and adobe walls, there are plenty of modern details such as iPod docks, flat-screens, and large bathrooms with tubs and rain showers. Service is smiling and chatty, if not yet polished. As an Auberge Resort, the property's other strength is the restaurant, Terra, which serves dishes like slow-cooked suckling pig, breast of veal, and a duck tamale—think simple regional dishes prettily plated. After dinner, take a drink to the open fire pit and check out the night sky. You won't get all those stars anywhere else.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Enchantment Resort
525 Boynton Canyon Road
Sedona , Arizona
Tel: 800 826 4180
Tel: 928 282 2900
info@enchantmentresort.com
www.enchantmentresort.com

Dozens of low-profile adobe-style casitas make up this resort with "panoramic views of the Red Rocks" and pine forests. Staff deliver fresh orange juice and a newspaper every morning. A central clubhouse has two restaurants, a game room, and a gift shop with items made by local artisans. At Yavapai, signature dishes include cast-iron-skillet roasted scallops with heirloom bean succotash.

(218 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Encore
3131 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas , Nevada
89109
Tel: 888 320 7125 (toll-free)
Tel: 702 770 7000
roomreservations@wynnlasvegas.com
ad.doubleclick.net/clk;212542826;33929578;r?http://www.encorelasvegas.com

This resort next to sister property Wynn has design elements in public spaces that include Venetian-glass mosaic floors and pearl-inlayed marble from Asia. "Swanky and modern" quarters are "bright and open" with lacquered ebony, mirrored walls, white sycamore furniture, hounds-tooth patterned wall panels, and views of the skyline through floor-to-ceiling windows. Wazuzu celebrates the flavors of Asia; Botero, serving steaks and and chops, morphs into a club at night.

(2,034 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Eõ Inn & Spa
277 North Eola Drive
Orlando , Florida
32801
Tel: 407 481 8485
Fax: 407 481 8495
info@eoinn.com
eoinn.com

The antithesis of a theme park hotel, the Eõ Inn & Spa in downtown Orlando is low on frills. The former hostel was reborn as a hotel in 1999, but the only hints of the dorm days are the individual AC units in each room. The 17 rooms are simply decorated in a gray-and–sage green color scheme accented by black-and-white photographs of Central Florida scenes by Orlando photographer Ben Van Hook. King rooms on the corners of the chocolate-brown building have large bathrooms with sunken tubs and desk space fronting windows that overlook Lake Eola, while rooms on the south side share a wide balcony with curtains as privacy dividers. (The hotel draws mainly business travelers, not theme park–bound families, so only one room has two beds.) The "spa" in the name refers to four treatment rooms for massages and facials. Other perks include a large hot tub on the rooftop terrace and free WiFi and off-street parking. Not that you will need your car that much—the boutiques, coffee shops, and restaurants in the stylish Thornton Park neighborhood are right out the door.—Terry Ward

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Equinox
3567 Main Street
Manchester Village , Vermont
05254
Tel: 800 362 4747 (toll-free)
Tel: 802 362 4700
reservations@equinoxresort.com
www.equinoxresort.com

The Equinox, in the southwest of the state, has been around since 1769, and what was once a hangout for British loyalists still has the flavor of an English hunting lodge. Still, it has seen a lot of changes in its time, and so it goes again: In 2008, the 183-room property shed its somewhat stodgy interior with the help of New York interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield. The $20 million renovation includes contemporary fabrics in chocolate brown, slate blue, and beige, plus hand-carved wardrobes, iPod docking stations, and LCD flat-screen TVs. The upgrade—on the heels of HEI Hotels' purchase of the Equinox from RockResorts—earned the resort membership in the Starwood Luxury Collection. The property's raison d'être, however, is its setting in 1,300 wooded acres in the Taconic Mountains. Activities include golf at the par-71, 6,423-yard course; fly-fishing and clay pigeon shooting at the Orvis schools; off-road driving with the Land Rover Experience Driving School; and taking a class at the British School of Falconry. When you're ready to go back inside, the 13,000-square-foot spa features perhaps the prettiest indoor pool in Vermont. But dining at one of the three restaurants—including the Chop House (heavy on the hunting lodge look)—or lounging in the Falcon Bar, which pairs wines and scotches with chocolates and cheeses, speaks to the resort's more indulgent past rather than a health-obsessed present.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
La Jolla
San Diego , California
Tel: 858 550 1000
www.estancialajolla.com

The hacienda-style Estancia sprawls along the bluffs north of La Jolla. Setting the Spanish Mission mood are red-tile roofs, faux-adobe walls, and 210 rooms and suites set around arcaded courtyards. Interiors are equally inviting—an eye-pleasing array of apricot, avocado, and pumpkin hues set against Mexican reproduction antiques and Indonesian wicker. The Adobe restaurant blends fresh-off-the-boat San Diego seafood with traditional ranchero dishes such as grilled rib-eye steak. The after-dinner crowd adjourns to The Library for a quiet Cognac or strolls across the rose garden to the Mustangs & Burros bar, where drinks are served alfresco in front of a roaring fire and accompanied by a flamenco guitarist. The Spa at Estancia offers citrus body scrubs and outdoor massages.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Fairmont Kea Lani
4100 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea , Hawaii
96753
Tel: 800 659 4100 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 875 4100
info@kealani.com
www.fairmont.com/kealani

Celebrities may still flock to the more lavish Four Seasons next door, but there are many compelling reasons to choose this gorgeous Fairmont hotel over its competitor. For one, it feels friendlier and less pretentious, and what's more, there are no bad rooms here, since all of the 413 feng shui–styled guest quarters are full suites, many with balconies and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. If you want to splurge, the 37 two- and three-bedroom oceanfront villas (upward of $3,200 a night in high season, including rental car) feel like private beach houses. Your villa's stark white Mediterranean-style architecture may seem out of place at first, but you'll have no complaints about the private courtyard plunge pool, full kitchen and outdoor grill, or palm-shaded location steps from the sand. The Kō restaurant, which serves a menu culled from the culinary traditions of Hawaii's plantation workers, has significantly upgraded the Kealani's dining options. And like good plastic surgery, a light renovation in 2008 of the poolside furniture, spa, and restaurants has given the resort a lovely fresh face.—Cathay Che

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle
411 University Street
Seattle , Washington
98101
Tel: 800 821 8106
Tel: 206 621 1700
olympic@fairmont.com
www.fairmont.com/seattle/

Located in a 12-story Italian Renaissance–style building, the centrally located Fairmont is one of the most luxurious hotels in Seattle. The 450 rooms have a lavish residential feel; marble bathrooms are outfitted with deep soaking tubs and basketfuls of Penhaligon's products. 'There are two restaurants on-site: the formal Georgian, with French-inspired Northwest cuisine; and Shuckers, a clubby, oak-paneled oyster bar. Service is top-notch, with fun little extras like a complimentary shoe shine and chocolate-covered strawberries at turndown. Refreshingly, children are welcome; there are plush child-size robes at the concierge desk, and milk and cookies are on the house upon check-in.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Fairmont Orchid
1 N. Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast , Hawaii
96743
Tel: 800 845 9905 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 885 2000
orchid@fairmont.com
www.fairmont.com/orchid

From the moment you enter, this 32-acre 540-room property is a compound of serenity. Palm trees sway, birds chirp, waves lap at the sand, and green sea turtles appear every afternoon. Once a Ritz-Carlton (you'll see it in the formal architecture), Fairmont took over in 2002 and overhauled the property from top to bottom. The renovation included warming up the guest-room decor with tropical touches, redesigning the popular Norio's Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar, and adding a Fairmont Gold floor (we recommend the upgrade—the money you'll save by feasting on three daily buffets offsets the extra expense). Views from the guest rooms vary quite a bit—ask for at least a partial ocean view. Dramatic ocean views are also to be had on the green fairways bordering black lava fields of the resort's adjacent 36-hole Francis H. I'i Brown Golf Courses (North and South), and the outdoor Spa Without Walls is one of the most unique facilities on the island. (Get a rubdown in a thatched hut with a stream of water running beneath.) In 2006, Fairmont added a hip outdoor dinner luau called "The Gathering of the Kings," during which performers in nontraditional costumes entertain with modern dance to a foot-tapping contemporary soundtrack.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Fairmont San Francisco
950 Mason Street
San Francisco , California
94108
Tel: 800 441 1414 (toll-free)
Tel: 415 772 5000
sanfrancisco@fairmont.com
www.fairmont.com/sanfrancisco

Perched atop Nob Hill, the venerable Fairmont is the hotel where Tony Bennett first crooned, "I left my heart in San Francisco." The lobby dazzles with gilded opulence: gold-framed mirrors, potted palms, impressive columns, and the building's original marble floors from 1907. Rooms are high-end business-class in style; most feature Asian antique reproductions and rose-marble bathtubs. Those in the original building have high ceilings and a rich sense of place, but not all have views; rooms in the vintage-1961 tower have jaw-dropping vistas yet feel more generic. The Fairmont also has San Francisco's most fabulous presidential suite, built circa 1926, complete with outdoor terrace and a movable bookcase in the library that conceals a secret staircase to the rooftop helipad. Downstairs, the sublimely kitschy Tonga Room offers Asian food and cocktails, and the Laurel Court Restaurant serves California cuisine. The Fairmont is perfect for a romantic weekend, especially if you're looking for a place wreathed in San Francisco history.—Updated by John Vlahides

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fairmont Scottsdale
7575 East Princess Drive
Scottsdale , Arizona
85255
Tel: 800 344 4758 (toll-free)
Tel: 480 585 4848
scottsdale@fairmont.com
www.fairmont.com/scottsdale

A standout within the Fairmont stable, this pink palace covers more than 450 immaculately landscaped acres and has a series of pools and waterslides that attract an eclectic mix of couples, families, and guys on bachelor weekends. Most of the 659 guest rooms received a face-lift during a two-year remodeling completed in 2010, which replaced the previous on-the-nose Southwest look with sophisticated earth tones. The Fairmont also has the best restaurant selection of the nearby resorts, with a boldface name attached to each spot: Richard Sandoval (the veritable father of modern Mexican cuisine) at La Hacienda, chef Michael Mina at Bourbon Steak, and nightlife guru Rande Gerber at Stone Rose Lounge. The hotel is also a favorite of duffers, probably because it's adjacent to the 18-hole Stadium Course, site of the annual Waste Management Open (formerly the FBR Open), the Phoenix area's only PGA tournament. (If you're in town during the Open, talk to the Fairmont concierge about getting into the Birds Nest, the legendary after-party.) The Willow Stream Spa has a menu peppered with funky remedies for golfers, like the Golf Performance Treatment, which combines massage, stretching, and acupressure to help improve mobility—perfect if you've overindulged on or off the greens.—Updated by David Tyda

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Falls at Reed's Island
82 Halaulani Place
Hilo , Hawaii
96720
Tel: 808 935 7920
Fax: 740 931 7920
www.reedsisland.com

Until upscale hotels are built in Hilo (a picturesque locals' town that's just 30 minutes by car from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park), the Shipman House B&B and this lushly landscaped private rental home are the area's best bets. Compared to double-room rates on the other side of the island (one night at the Fairmont Orchid can top $800), this three-bedroom house on a small strip of Reed's Island in the Wailuku River Valley is a steal, especially considering the waterfall views and sexy indoor hot tub. It's best to focus on the lush scenery, as the interiors are generically functional. Even though the Falls feels as if it's on a distant private island, downtown Hilo's restaurants and shops are just about a mile away. Since tropical gardens are often rainy and buggy, come prepared.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fantasy Tower Suites at the Palms
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 866 942 7770
Tel: 702 942 7777
info@palms.com
www.palmsfantasy.com

Two types of people stay here: Those who want to know how high rollers live, and actual high rollers. Located next to big brother property The Palms, about a mile off the Strip, the 53-story Fantasy Tower is mostly filled with regular rooms for the wannabe rollers (they're comfortable and similar to those at the Palms). The buzz comes from Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club on the top level and the 14 Fantasy Suites and Sky Villas—both seem to have been designed by an overimaginative 14-year-old boy. The 10,000-square-foot Hardwood Suite will give you an idea of the silliness: a split-level NBA-inspired pad with an actual half basketball court and three massive courtside Murphy beds for postgame activities. Classy it ain't, but it could be awfully fun. Slightly more demure are the Hot Pink Suite for bachelorettes and the Erotic Suite, with a stripper pole in the shower. Hef's own suite has a cantilevered Jacuzzi that sticks out over the building. None of this comes cheap—suites go for about $3,000 to $40,000 per night and can be viewed comprehensively on the hotel's website. If you're a mere mortal, the best you can hope for is sharing an elevator with a music celebrity—this is the only hotel in Vegas with a recording studio.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Farmer's Daughter Hotel
115 S. Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles , California
90036
Tel: 800 334 1658 (toll-free)
Tel: 323 937 3930
www.farmersdaughterhotel.com

You won't find actual farmers here, but the famous Farmers Market is just a short walk from this cute, family-owned hotel. It's also across the street from CBS Television City, where The Price Is Right is taped—lots of contestants stay here, and there's an altarlike photo display of recent prize-winning guests in the lobby. Sixty-six rooms and suites are done up in country-chic style: denim bedspreads, exposed wood floors, and small farm-themed paintings. The pool is merely adequate (don't expect lush landscaping or a view of anything, and watch out for a floating leaf or two), but the staff's helpfulness, the great location, and the price more than make up for it. Assuming, of course, you're the game-show type. Breakfast at Tart, the hotel's restaurant, doesn't hurt, either: Try the French toast stuffed with mascarpone and berries.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
7871 River Road
Forestville , California
95436
Tel: 800 464 6642 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 887 3300
innkeep@farmhouseinn.com
www.farmhouseinn.com

This is the quieter side of wine country, where the Russian River rambles beneath tall redwoods and pinot noir grapes flourish. Built on a 19th-century farmstead, the Farmhouse Inn's cottages have the cozy feel of a favorite sweater, with wood-burning fireplaces, double-size soaking tubs, and in-room saunas. The rooms to book are in the barn, built in 2009, which are styled with a nod to the region's agrarian roots. These include double-sided fireplaces with mantles made from reclaimed century-old redwood wine vats, furniture upholstered with naturally dyed linen, and beds dressed with throws made from local wool. Upstairs barn rooms also have vaulted ceilings and private sun-dappled decks. The two-and-a-half-acre grounds have flowering gardens, a heated pool, and a fire pit where guests roast s'mores after dinner. Unlike other wine country hotels, the Farmhouse doesn't nickel-and-dime you: Minibar snacks and Italian sodas are free (and wines are reasonably priced). You can also stock up on (free) locally made soaps and bath salts in the lobby. The small spa uses house-made organic products, such as carrot-oil purée skin toner. The on-site restaurant is one of Sonoma's best.—John A. Vlahides

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Favorite Bay Lodge
Admiralty Island , Alaska
Tel: 866 788 3344
myfavorite@favoritebay.com
www.favoritebay.com

Favorite Bay Lodge, on Admiralty Island (one of the state's most pristine islands, just west of Juneau), benefits from a simple truth: Humans are not at the top of the food chain here. Bears outnumber people by more than two to one, which gives the island a back-to-nature vibe. Like any great Alaskan lodge, Favorite Bay keeps the numbers small: The glass and cedar hotel houses 11 rooms. They're the best of Alaska comfort, with lodgepole furniture and plenty of windows with views of the bay's still waters and the lush Southeast Alaskan rain forest. Saltwater fishing excursions have been known to turn up 80-pound king salmon, 300-pound halibut, and cod bigger than the family dog; fly-fishers head for the island's lakes hoping to beat the state record of a 40-pound trout. If it's going to happen, this is probably the place, and the lodge is ready to help. But it's bear viewing in late July and August that's the biggest draw. Admiralty's brown (grizzly) bears don't get as big as the ones on Kodiak Island, but you're not likely to want to get close enough to measure the difference. Rates include round-trip transport from Juneau, all meals, and all activities.—Edward Readicker-Henderson

Closed early September through late May.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Fearrington House Country Inn and Restaurant
2000 Fearrington Village
Pittsboro , North Carolina
Tel: 919 542 2121
www.fearrington.com

"The atmosphere is immediately relaxing" at this converted dairy farm, eight miles from Chapel Hill, where "rural charm is combined with luxury finishes." Perfect-scoring English-country rooms are individually designed with antiques and have views of pastures or manicured gardens, "they're distinctive and rich, but not over-the-top." Turndown service includes port and truffles made by the hotel's chocolatier. House-cured bacon with marinated asparagus is one of the "beautifully prepared and presented dishes" at the restaurant. In March 2010, the outdoor beer garden, Roost, set under giant oak trees, opened. "Staff are second to none."

(33 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Figueroa Hotel
939 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles , California
90015
Tel: 800 421 9092 (toll-free)
Tel: 213 627 8971
unofig@aol.com
www.figueroahotel.com

The Figueroa is one of the best deals in L.A. Where else can you get a one-bedroom suite with a wet bar, a silk-canopied ceiling, and handwoven Afghani kilims for under $200 per night? The downtown hotel—which began its life in 1925 as a YWCA—was decaying and depressing when the current owner, Uno Thimansson, began renovating the Andalusian-style architecture in 1976. Now, the 285 guest rooms have walls and cement floors painted in jewel tones, with handpainted tiles and Persian rugs scattered about. Some have conventional chairs and couches, others simply have pillows on the floor; the whimsical art on the walls might come from Iraq or India (or someone's idea of them). Enough with the  iPod docking stations—your room here is more likely to have a record player and a stack of 33s. The walled-in pool area is surrounded by a cactus garden and has a beautifully tiled bar.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Firesky
4925 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale , Arizona
85251
Tel: 800 528 7867 (toll-free)
Tel: 480 945 7666
sales@fireskyresort.com
www.fireskyresort.com

You'll have to get past the silly new name (the FireSky was formerly the Caleo) and questionable decor (hallway carpets are purple, yellow, and lime green) to enjoy the good stuff. True to the Kimpton brand, this property offers a lengthy list of amenities: Free 24-hour yoga instruction on TV, a hosted wine of the month every evening from 5 to 6, and pet-friendly perks are just a few. So if Fido needs a doggie bed and midnight chew toy, this 204-room property is for you. And with the FireSky's location (a five-minute cab ride from Old Town), you can't beat the rates. If you fall in love with the divine bed, it's for sale through the in-room catalog—but the goldfish for your room, available upon request, is property of the hotel, thank you. The most charming part of this resort is the forest-like central courtyard, with pools, fire pits, secluded benches, and a small sand-filled beach.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Five Gables Inn
107 Murray Hill Road
East Boothbay , Maine
04544
Tel: 800 451 5048
Tel: 207 633 4551
info@fivegablesinn.com
www.fivegablesinn.com

Sometimes, all the whale-watching, antique-shopping, ice-cream-slurping hoopla of the Maine coast can create a Calgon moment. That's when you take yourself away to East Boothbay, a tiny historic boatbuilding town on Linekin Bay with only the necessities: a seafood restaurant, general store, marina, and the Five Gables Inn. Three miles from Boothbay Harbor, the 16-room B&B was built in 1896. Innkeepers Mike (a Culinary Institute graduate) and De (a Southern belle from Atlanta) Kennedy restored the hillside retreat in the 1980s and earned a cultlike following among vacationers who'd prefer Five Gables remain a secret. (Sorry!) Ask for Room 10, with the best views, or go for a third-floor gable room like 14, which has a four-poster king bed and wood-burning fireplace. Not that you can go wrong, as all but one of the rooms overlook the bay, whose bracing cobalt waters are ideal for a morning dip. Then find a sun-splashed spot on the wraparound porch and dive into mint pancakes with Chambord syrup or artichoke-and-portobello frittata. And when you're ready to reenter civilization, undertake the half-mile walk to the East Boothbay general store to buy the Times.

Closed seasonally (mid-October through May).

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Flemish House
68 E. Cedar Street
Chicago , Illinois
60611
Tel: 312 664 9981
info@chicagobandb.com
www.innchicago.com

For a taste of the high life at down-to-earth rates, book a room at this charming mansion with a chichi Gold Coast address. Owners Mike Maczka and Tom Warnke restored the 1892 row house to its original state in 1997. Many details remain, including the beautiful exterior (an example of Flemish Revival architecture, from which the B&B takes its name). Apartment-sized units (studios and one-bedroom suites) feature all the comforts of home: down comforters, cordless phones with answering machines, cable TV, DVD player, Wi-Fi, and fully stocked kitchens. Each unit is fitted out in an English Arts and Crafts motif, with fireplaces, inlaid wood floors, high ceilings, and decorative moldings.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Fontainebleau
4441 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach , Florida
33140
Tel: 800 548 8886 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 538 2000
Fax: 305 532 8145
fontainebleau.com

"When you create the stage setting and it is grand, everyone who enters will play their part," wrote Morris Lapidus, the original architect of this iconic Miami Beach resort. And Mr. Lapidus's words ring true more than half a century later. After it opened in 1954, everyone from Lucille Ball to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley checked in. Since emerging from a three-year, $1 billion (yes, billion) makeover in late 2008, Fontainebleau remains an It spot in a town that absolutely loves to be looked at. Two new towers were added during the renovations (bringing the room count to 1,504), and Lapidus's original Art Deco details were restored, including the bow tie tiles in the lobby floor and the legendary "Staircase to Nowhere." Rooms are outfitted in varying shades of off-white, from the ivory leather headboards to the white marble bathrooms to the cream wingback chairs with arc lamps above. Be sure to stay on the ocean side of the resort, where you'll feel as if you're at sea on a yacht, thanks to sweeping Atlantic views from your curved balcony. During the renovation, the stunning Lapis spa was added, with cool gray marble everywhere, 30 treatment rooms, and a 35-foot-long rain tunnel. You'll find the spa near the expansive pool, seen on the big screen in Goldfinger and Scarface; the pool area is surrounded by countless daybeds and leads down to the beach. Nightlife is copious at Fontainebleau, of course. Start your evening fashionably late with a blueberry mojito in the lobby's Blue Bar, where the floor tiles cast an azure glow, then book a table at Scarpetta or Gotham to break bread with Miami's glitziest. LIV nightclub, off the lobby, goes all night most nights. Need we add that you must dress to impress? —Terry Ward

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Forest Service Cabins
Alaska
Tel: 877 444 6777
www.reserveusa.com

If it's a true Alaska wilderness experience you're after, stay in one of the nearly 200 Forest Service cabins, located all over the state and mostly accessible only by charter plane or boat. The cabin accommodations are absolutely bare-bones: a cookstove (bring your own fuel—be sure to ask when you book if the stove takes #1 or #2 stove oil), a couple of sleeping platforms for six or eight people (bedding not provided), and an outhouse. You can forget about electricity, but for about $40 per night, you get a roof over your head, no one else around, and a million-dollar view. The beauty of the cabins is their location, on lakes perfect for fishing (there's usually a loaner rowboat) or inlets so still that the water mirrors birds taking flight. You can make reservations up to 180 days in advance (the most popular cabins, like the one at Anan or those in Misty Fjords, can book up immediately), but even if you start looking the day before your trip, you'll find an unforgettable place to stay. A couple of caveats: Always bring extra supplies, especially to fly-in cabins, and never book tight connections at the end of your stay. Alaska's weather is not interested in your schedule, and although the state has incredible pilots, there are occasionally days when they're grounded.—Edward Readicker-Henderson

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons The Biltmore
1260 Channel Drive
Santa Barbara , California
Tel: 888 424 5866 (toll-free)
Tel: 805 969 2261
Fax: 805 565 8323
www.fourseasons.com/santabarbara/index.html

In privileged Montecito, this exclusive Spanish colonial–style 207-room resort is more than a beachfront Four Seasons—it's been a glamorous Santa Barbara institution since opening as the Biltmore in 1927. A place where Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn, Lana Turner, Bing Crosby, and other Golden Age movie stars once played croquet on the front lawn, the hotel is now a gathering spot for locals (the Sunday brunch, oceanfront dining, and bar with live entertainment are big draws) and the resort of choice for visitors who want Santa Barbara's toniest beach getaway. Sweeping archways, heavy carved entry doors, colorful imported Spanish tile, and carved woodwork are renovated features of the original hacienda, but modern amenities abound, too, including a 10,000-square-foot spa. Only a sprawling green lawn and a road separate the hotel from Butterfly Beach. Revamped rooms feature Mission-style antiques, local art, more Spanish tile, decorative ironwork, rain showers and deep soaking tubs, 42-inch plasma-screen TVs with surround sound, DVD players, and broadband Internet. A botanical guide to the 44 exotic and rare plants in the resort's 22 acres of tropical and subtropical gardens is available at the concierge desk. Normally, guests are also allowed access to the private Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club next door, but the club is closed for renovations until summer 2007.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Chicago
120 E. Delaware Place
Chicago , Illinois
60611
Tel: 800 819 5053 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 280 8800
concierge.fschicago@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/chicagofs

The Four Seasons looms above the toniest stretch of N. Michigan Avenue in one of the country's tallest limestone buildings. Though the stature and location are grand, this is the city's most discreet luxury hotel, with its lobby tucked up on the seventh and eighth floors. And the 343 guest rooms are even more removed—they're on floors 30 through 46. They all have sweeping views of the city, but if you're willing to pay a bit extra, you can also look over the lake. More importantly, all the rooms are undergoing a $30-million renovation that will be completed in 2009. Nearly 300 of the guest rooms are already flaunting the new look, which swaps the former English-manor, high-tea decor for a forties, French cocktail party effect. That means Cubist artwork and curving Deco lines all laid out in your choice of two palettes: a cool blend of steel and oceanic blue or a warm scheme of chocolate browns and shimmery silvers. Both schemes feature upgraded bathrooms of hand-cut Chinese marble as well as fully modernized amenities, including LCD flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and iPod docking stations upon request.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel, Denver
1111 14th Street
Denver , Colorado
80202
Tel: 303 389 3000
Fax: 303 389 3009
www.fourseasons.com/denver

The 45-story tower that houses the Four Seasons instantly redefined Denver's skyline. Rising from a prime downtown corner and topped with an iridescent 76-foot spire, it also enjoys the rarefied air of terrific service and a sense of style. Warm smiles and lots of light greet guests in the lobby, a space of vast windows, white marble floors, and leather club chairs. A fireplace marks the transition from the lobby to the Edge bar, where you're likely to see as many designer suits as denim jackets. The 239 rooms, which have sweeping views all the way to the Rockies, fill the first 16 floors. Masculine interiors have wood walls, leather headboards, and transparent glass desks. The spa is on the third floor, and the heated outdoor pool is a park of sorts, large enough for 60-plus trees among the flower beds. The restaurant, Edge, is a solid steak house, or walk to the trendy dining spots of nearby Larimer Square or the LoDo district, home to micropubs Wynkoop Brewing Company, Denver's first, a 1988 establishment in a 1899 building.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta
75 14th Street
Atlanta , Georgia
30309
Tel: 800 332 3442 (toll-free)
Tel: 404 881 9898
res.atlanta@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/atlanta

From the dramatic staircase at the entrance to the rose-marble public spaces, this 244-room hotel epitomizes gracious Southern living. You can't go wrong with any one of the hotel's guest rooms—all have handsome mahogany furniture and spacious marble bathrooms—but first-time visitors to Atlanta should try snagging one of the corner suites on the 19th floor for the sweeping city views. The Park 75 restaurant and classic hotel piano bar, on the mezzanine level, attract an eclectic crowd: On any given night, you can see well-to-do residents (part of the building is made up of condos and offices), touring hip-hop stars, or trustafarian hippies kicking back. A 12,000-square-foot spa opened in February 2006 with a menu of Georgia-inspired treatments, such as the Peaches and Cream manicure and pedicure.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel Austin
98 San Jacinto Boulevard
Austin , Texas
78701
Tel: 512 478 4500
Fax: 512 478 3117
www.fourseasons.com/austin

Think cowhide can't be classed up? Try camping out in the Southwestern-themed Four Seasons for a few days. The primo downtown location on the banks of Lady Bird Lake puts you near both the trendy Warehouse District and the convention center, but many guests stick close, descending from their rooms for an afternoon by the fireplace on the hide-covered sofas or ordering drinks from the VIP-heavy bar ("Was that Matthew McConaughey toting a bongo?"). The 291 rooms have goose-down pillows, full-size desks, and oversize armchairs. (The Congressional Suite has a wraparound terrace.) From March through October, ask for a terrace room overlooking the Congress Avenue bridge, so you can watch the bat colony fill the sky at sunset. But any time of the year is ideal for savoring a wine flight at the bar-restaurant's lovely outdoor patio by the lake.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel Boston
200 Boylston Street
Boston , Massachusetts
02116
Tel: 617 338 4400
Fax: 617 423 0154
www.fourseasons.com/boston

Sitting on perhaps the most coveted piece of the city's real estate, the Four Seasons Boston overlooks the Public Garden and is within walking distance of Newbury Street's couture boutiques. The red-brick exterior is unassuming, and after a $43 million overhaul, belies the contemporary lobby swathed in black polished marble. The spacious rooms are now stripped of heavy drapery in favor of a sunny Beacon Hill–inspired disposition (bright color scheme, striped wallpaper, antique writing desks). The hotel's restaurant, Bristol Lounge, serves "upscale comfort food," and does a traditional afternoon tea. Perhaps what makes this and all Four Seasons so popular, though, is the highly personal, professional, and courteous service, appreciated by both leisure and business travelers alike. Managers make themselves available in the lobby each morning to assist guests, the concierge doles out boxes stocked with cuff links, socks, and belts to forgetful travelers, and a chauffeur will convey guests anywhere within a two-mile radius, free of charge. A new business center with free Wi-Fi was added off the lobby in 2010, there's a 15-minute delivery guarantee for "quick bite" items from room service, and kids can join the pastry chef on Saturdays for cookie-baking.—updated by Jon Marcus

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
3960 Las Vegas Boulevard, South
Las Vegas , Nevada
Tel: 702 632 5000
reservations.vgs@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/lasvegas

Though you might drive right by the entrance—it's tucked behind a wall of tropical foliage on the Strip—you can use the shimmering Mandalay Bay tower as your marker. The 424-room Four Seasons is located on the top five floors of Mandalay Bay, though guests won't hear a single slot machine clink during their stay (unless they want to—Mandalay's casino is literally behind a door in the lobby). The experience here has little to do with Vegas and everything to with the hushed, refined, and comfortable Four Seasons atmosphere, successfully replicated worldwide. Service is incredibly helpful (a team of concierges will tackle your request, such as hunting down a specific handbag), though the rooms could probably use some refreshing. There's a Charlie Palmer Steakhouse just off the lobby, and guests receive priority tee times at the on-Strip Bali Hai Golf Club next door. The spa is small, but heavy on desert-based treatments: Your massage might incorporate hot stones and cactus oil. While most hotels on the Strip work hard to attract party-minded singles, the Four Seasons is a great base for families: Parents can park their kids with the concierge, who takes them to Bellagio's fountain show, Mandalay's Shark Reef, or New York–New York's roller coaster. Rooms can be childproofed in advance for those with toddlers.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel Miami
1435 Brickell Avenue
Miami , Florida
Tel: 305 358 3535
Tel: 800 819 5053
www.fourseasons.com/miami

You have to keep faith while entering the sterile lobby of this 70-story office-and-residential tower, but once you get upstairs to the real hotel entrance, you find an art lover's nirvana, particularly if you like the voluptuous statues of Fernando Botero. This addition to the international chain, which opened in 2003, is positioned near the Brickell Avenue business district for the convenience of its largely expense-account clientele. There are perks for leisure guests, too: The Sports Club/LA is a 40,000-square-foot facility, the sixth-floor outdoor swimming pool is atmospheric (as long as you don't look down at the parking lots below), and the Splash Spa offers everything from a Turkish steam room to mojito massages (a lime-and-sugar scrub followed by a rub down). The 221 rooms and suites are decorated in the group's handsome, if generic, international style. A good choice is the 750-square-foot Executive Bay Suite, with its gorgeous view of Biscayne Bay. Expect to run into local executives at the popular 14 Thirty Five martini bar and the poolside Bahia lounge.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel New York
57 E. 57th Street
Midtown East
New York City , New York
10022
Tel: 212 758 5700
Fax: 212 758 5711
www.fourseasons.com/newyorkfs

You can feel the city's surging pulse from the moment you walk into I.M. Pei's soaring, minimalist marble lobby. More buzz hums from the power talk overheard at teatime in the ground floor lounge. Always smooth, the Four Seasons service attains an entirely different level here: The concierges can do the impossible, and this being New York City, they are asked to do so on an hourly basis. The 57th and Park location is central-central, and the 364 rooms are bright, with silk-lined walls and furniture of English sycamore. Aim high, if you can: Floors 40 and above have views of either the southern skyline or Central Park, to the north. The two Presidential Suites on the 51st floor, one facing in each direction, have been outfitted by society designer Peter Marino to feel luxuriously residential. And the forthcoming 52nd-floor suite is destined to be the most impressive in New York, with 23-foot-tall windows offering 360-degree views of Manhattan. Even if you're not staying here, come for L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The famed Parisian chef's entrée into the New York dining scene (and currently its hottest ticket), offers up casual-but-intricate Mediterranean-style dishes in a black-and-red space.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco
757 Market Street
San Francisco , California
94103
Tel: 800 332 3442 (toll-free)
Tel: 415 633 3000
world.reservations@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/sanfrancisco

The superluxurious Four Seasons San Francisco is a sanctuary so serene it's hard to believe it's in the heart of downtown. The 277 large rooms have soft beds, marble bathrooms, and deep soaking tubs; the suites have stunning views of the city. Though the understated greige decor successfully straddles the line between contemporary and traditional, with clean lines and zero clutter, it lacks color and splash: If you like fringe and chintz, choose the Ritz-Carlton instead. The Cal-Med restaurant, Seasons, offers a sophisticated spin on surf and turf, and the vast Sports Club/LA, the city's top health club, has a gym, fitness classes, a pool, a full spa, a basketball court, and even Gyrotonic and Budokon studios. The hotel's $2 million Bay Area art collection is so prestigious that it merits a podcast tour, and service can be so obsequious it's almost embarrassing.—Updated by John Vlahides

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
99 Union Street
Seattle , Washington
98101
Tel: 800 819 5053 (toll-free)
Tel: 206 749 7000
www.fourseasons.com/seattle

Housed in a U-shaped, 21-story tower, this "northwest contemporary" property is in a "fine location near Pike Place Market." A staircase leads guests to the waterfront while interior design incorporates natural sycamore and ash woods with artisan glass and custom carpets. Art displays black-and-whites from a local photographer and serves dishes like macaroni with Shropshire blue cheese and a pretzel crumb crust to views of Elliott Bay. Rooms come equipped with six-foot leather headboards and Japanese-inspired woodwork. "Front desk staff are able to accommodate any need."

(147 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C.
2800 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington , D.C.
20007
Tel: 202 342 0444
Fax: 202 944 2076
www.fourseasons.com/washington

Just over the bridge in Georgetown, this plush, 211-room Four Seasons outpost delivers all the luxury and efficiency travelers have come to expect from the Mercedes of hotel chains. Service is smooth and professional, as always, and a recent $25-million renovation has increased the size of rooms and bathrooms in the East Wing and upped the style quotient, courtesy of Pierre-Yves Rochon, who designed the company's George V in Paris. The secret weapon here is the fitness center: It's 12,500 square feet on three levels, with a multitude of machines and aerobics and yoga classes. Under a skylight, there's also a 60-foot lap pool; guests have the option of reserving lanes for guaranteed swims.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Hualalai
72–100 Kaupulehu Drive
Kailua-Kona , Hawaii
96740
Tel: 888 340 5662 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 325 8000
Hualalai.reservations@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/hualalai

If you think all Four Seasons resorts fit the same mold, Hualalai may surprise you. There's no mammoth cement tower here. Instead, the bungalow-style guest quarters are housed in two-story buildings spread out on 800 acres. The 243 near-identical rooms have Hawaii-inspired decor, walk-in closets, slate bathrooms, and furnished lanais. Twenty one- and two-bedroom suites with 180-degree ocean views are perfect for the growing number of return guests who honeymooned here and now have kids. A trio of restaurants includes the Hualalai Grille (no longer under the direction of Alan Wong, but the market-based Pacific Rim cuisine is still excellent), seafood-centric Pahui'a, and the revamped Beach Tree, serving Italian-influenced California cuisine. While the beach isn't stellar, there are plenty of aquatic options, including a family pool, a small adults-only pool, a quiet pool (where cell phones are not allowed and people speak in dulcet tones), a lap pool, and, for snorkeling, a natural lava pond stocked with photogenic fish. Aside from a lunchtime grace period, if you leave your beach or pool lounger, you'll lose it. If that happens, retreat to the gardens of the top-rated Hualalai Spa to select local ingredients (perhaps volcanic ash or macadamia nuts) for your customized treatment.—Cathay Che

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
300 S. Doheny Drive
Los Angeles , California
90048
Tel: 310 273 2222
Fax: 310 859 3824
www.fourseasons.com/losangeles

A straw-yellow, 16-story high-rise accented with white balconies, the Four Seasons looks less like a hotel and more like one of the apartment buildings that surround it. Inside, though, it's all luxury. Rooms are decorated traditional Four Seasons–style, with rich fabrics in florals and stripes; sunlight pours through French doors that open onto Juliet balconies. The views from the fifth floor on up are spectacular, ranging from the jewel-box lights of the Hollywood Hills to panoramic city views. The fourth-floor spa and pool area is one of L.A.'s prettiest: The tiered pool is ringed by shrubs and flowers, and the green-and-white-striped cabanas are outfitted with plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, and mini-refrigerators. Downstairs, the lobby opens onto a lush garden, where the hotel's Culina Italian restaurant has a discreet patio set among the greenery. During awards season, the bar overflows with recognizable faces, but star sightings (yes, that is John Malkovich having dinner) are common year-round.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Philadelphia
1 Logan Square
Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
19103
Tel: 866 516 1100 (toll-free)
Tel: 215 963 1500
res.philadelphia@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/philadelphia

Philadelphia's only hotel with an inner courtyard, the Four Seasons has a country-club-in-the-city ambience. Indulgent staff members treat guests like members—even children get milk and cookies at bedtime, and pets are pampered with fresh-baked biscuits and silver bowls of Evian water. The 364 rooms were renovated in 2005 to reflect a clean-lined, contemporary version of Philadelphia's signature Federal style, with Schumacher toile draperies and a color scheme of chocolate and butter yellow. Technological advances were also introduced: High-speed Internet and wireless connections are standard throughout the building. Naturopathic holistic skin and body care is the guiding philosophy at the spa; treatments include a massage that incorporates steaming towels steeped in aromatic herbs and essences. Executive chef Rafael Gonzalez oversees the French-influenced, contemporary American Fountain Restaurant (where dark wood paneling and modern furniture complement stunning views of Logan Square), as well as the less formal Swann Lounge.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas
4150 N. MacArthur Boulevard
Irving , Texas
75038
Tel: 800 819 5053 (toll-free)
Tel: 972 717 0700
Fax: 972 717 2550
www.fourseasons.com/dallas

This lavish place seems worlds away from Dallas. Technically it's in Irving, but it's just minutes from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, amid the rolling green hills of a vast planned development called Las Colinas. Surrounded by azure pools and verdant semitropical vegetation, the 397-room, 400-acre Four Seasons complex has been decorated throughout with a tastefully (and thankfully understated) Asian influence; the Asian-American fusion is handled equally well at the Café on the Green restaurant. The best rooms overlook the golf course, which hosts the PGA's annual Byron Nelson Classic (in early May). All rooms have access to a wide assortment of fitness facilities, including 12 tennis courts, four pools, and indoor and outdoor jogging tracks. You must pay a fee to play golf, but Pilates, yoga, and spinning classes are complimentary.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
7680 Granite Loop Road
Teton Village , Wyoming
Tel: 307 732 5000
Fax: 307 732 5001
www.fourseasons.com/jacksonhole

With lift tickets nearing $100 a day, ski towns have lost their slacker image, but it wasn't until 2003 that the Four Seasons opted to open a property in one—and the company chose Jackson. The property melds disparate worlds beautifully, with some 2,000 pieces of museum-quality artwork on the walls (including works by Joan Miró and Alberto Giacometti) along with Western-style interior details like tooled leather, cowhide chairs, and Native American–inspired throw rugs. The ski-in, ski-out hotel is built in a clever zigzag formation so that the majority of the 550-square-foot standard rooms have terraces with mountainside or valley views. But hey, everybody in Jackson has mountain views; only this place has the Seasons' legendary service. The ski concierge here custom-fits boots (all rental equipment is top of the line and replaced annually), tunes and stores skis, and practically walks guests right to the lift. Post-powder, the staff brings around heated towels, hot chocolate, and s'mores as guests soak in outdoor hot tubs styled to look like geothermal pools.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Lodge at Koele
1 Keomoku Highway
Lanai City , Hawaii
96763
Tel: 800 321 4666 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 565 4000
reservations.koe@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/koele

The pine tree–lined road from Lanai City ends here, at a magnificent circular driveway where the international symbol of hospitality, a pineapple, is painted on the English manor–style main building. The 102 rooms are in step with Four Seasons standards, although the dimensions (a touch smaller than usual), Hawaiian motifs, local art, and rare blue marble in the bathrooms lend the spaces a more country-house than resort aesthetic. Many rooms have fireplaces, window seats, and balconies, and a 2007 renovation brought in better beds and a fresher, more luxurious feel than you'll find at sister property Manele Bay. Old-world charm is plentiful, down to an orchid-house conservatory and a croquet lawn. Guests can decompress on a Turkish daybed in the Great Hall, slip into a lounge chair on the expansive veranda, or head for the Greg Norman–designed golf course, horse stables, or shooting range. One of the largest wood-burning fireplaces in the whole state adds to the rustic yet luxurious atmosphere of the Dining Room. Remember to pack a sweater—even when sea-level temperatures are in the high 70s, thermometers in the up-country hover in the 60s, which is a nice reprieve if you've already gotten your share of sun. A $38 charge covers the 20-minute shuttle ride down to Manele Bay and the beach for the duration of your stay.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay
1 Manele Bay Road
Lanai , Hawaii
96763
Tel: 800 321 4666 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 565 2000
reservations.man@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/manelebay

Built atop a lava cliff overlooking Hulopoe Bay, this Eurasian palace with Mediterranean-style architecture and Ming-dynasty decor evokes postcard-perfect Hawaii. Its 236 Four Seasons–standard rooms are spacious and airy (ask for a walk-out balcony). The grounds include a 2,600-square-foot pool with panoramic views and interior courtyard gardens that are so lush, finding your way back to the lobby can be tricky. There's also a much-lauded Jack Nicklaus golf course and an 800-square-foot fitness center with a studio for tai chi, yoga, and Pilates classes. (If you stick to the cardio machines, you'll be rewarded with beach views.) The stars here, however, are the white-sand beach and the marine preserve bay. Grab your complimentary snorkel gear early in the morning for a chance to swim with the dolphins that sometimes show up, but proceed with caution—currents can be quite strong. Fans of the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea looking for something even more exclusive—and without quite so much primping and posing—will be right at home here. Consider spending a couple of nights, or at least having dinner at the up-country Lodge at Koele as well to round out your Lanai experience. A $38 transportation fee covers a shuttle between the two hotels for your entire stay.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea , Hawaii
96753
Tel: 800 334 6284 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 874 8000
res.maui@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/maui

The Four Seasons Maui is like a vacation home for the celebrity A-list crowd, which explains why the paparazzi are permanently camped out on the beach. The 370 rooms and suites combine the best of Four Seasons's traditions—European luxury bedding and spacious marble baths—with energizing textiles in the reds, blues, and greens of the Hawaiian landscape, creating a harmony between the stunning beach views and the inner sanctum (now with HDTV and wireless). The new infinity-edged adult pool has mellowed the cutthroat jockeying for first-come, first-served cabanas at the main pool. Both pools offer mini spa treatments that take place in your lounger; free snacks, such as frozen fruit spears, are served on the hour. Spago, with its colorful wallpaper murals of giant sea anemones, is fun for cocktails, but there's also the newer Duo restaurant, which serves juicy aged steaks and fresh local seafood. And while the spa is less renowned than the one at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea, it's still the best in Wailea for the quality and diversity of its treatments (such as the sexy "Couples Water Journey" that includes rejuvenating male and female elixirs). Overall, it's utterly charming to see a hotel that, while it really doesn't have to try that hard (it rarely has unoccupied rooms), still feels the need to thrill and surprise its guests.—Cathay Che

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
2800 South Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach , Florida
Tel: 561 582 2800
res.palmbeach@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasonshotel.com/palmbeach/

Tucked away amid the hedgerow-hidden mansions a little ways out of town, this 210-room property provides all the pampering you'd expect from a luxury resort, from the warm smile of the valet to the ever-present pool attendants who bring chilled facecloths to your side while you sunbathe. Nearly every room has a generous ocean view, and there are lush gardens and AAA Five Diamond dining. The Spa offers extensive traditional and contemporary services, either in-room or on-site. Championship golf at nearby courses, three tennis courts, fishing and water sports, and a heated freshwater pool with cabanas are among the activities at your beck and call. Good news for families: Children under 18 can share the room for no extra charge. The supervised Kids for All Seasons activity program is available for children under 13, and teens have their own game room. Not as old-school grand or as conveniently located as the Breakers, but a good choice for the chintz-phobic, and the concierge service is exceptional.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
10600 East Crescent Moon Drive
Scottsdale , Arizona
85262
Tel: 888 207 9696 (toll-free)
Tel: 480 515 5700
Sco.reservations@fourseasons.com
www.fourseasons.com/scottsdale

As multimillion-dollar homes sprout up around the far North Scottsdale area, you'll have to drive past a slew of "lot for sale" signs and construction crews before reaching this Four Seasons, where the usual "Welcome to the Four Seasons, you are safe now" vibe will revive you. Buffered by 40 acres of manicured desert, the resort takes its name from its golf club, Troon North, which has two Weiskopf- and Morrish-designed courses that are as quiet and exclusive as it gets. The Four Seasons also hosts a number of fun programs such as cooking in the kitchen with hotel chef Mel Mecinas ("Saturday Night in the Kitchen") and poolside margarita-mixing lessons. Parents can drop their kids off at Kids for All Seasons, a hotel program that will keep children busy in the game room, on the tennis courts, or at the Ping-Pong table.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Four Seasons Resort Vail
1 Vail Road
Vail , Colorado
81657
Tel: 303 389 3301
Fax: 970 477 8666
www.fourseasons.com/vail

For the length of time it would take for a newborn baby to become a full-fledged skier bombing through Colorado powder (say, five years), the Four Seasons was under construction in Vail Village. After various delays, this final piece of Vail's massive renewal project opened in December 2010. Turns out it was worth the wait: The hotel's decor—a balance of warm hickory and cool limestone—is perfectly suited to the Alpine location; even the humblest of the 121 rooms is a healthy 575 square feet; and any of the 16 two- to four-bedroom private residences for rent would suit the snootiest of schussers. Guests should wear nice socks for check-in, since the ski concierge will be there to measure feet for boots and get your skis and boards waxed and ready to go up the adjacent Vista Bahn lift. You can also expect hot chocolate and muffins, as well as heated robes at the 75-foot pool, at the end of each ski day. Meals at the in-house restaurant, Flame (think tea-smoked venison, bison rib eye, and bananas Foster), could fuel a Winter Olympian. But succumbing to the Four Seasons' sumptuous service could derail the training plans of even the most dedicated athletes.—Sarah Tuff

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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French Quarter Inn
166 Church Street
Charleston , South Carolina
29401
Tel: 866 812 1900 (toll-free)
Tel: 843 722 1900
www.fqicharleston.com

Overlooking Charleston Market, this "quiet hotel" opened nine years ago, but has eighteenth-century decor accented by creams and gold with red and blue touches. Guests socialize over complimentary wine and cheese in the early evening. while treats like M&M's, lemonade, and coffee "are always out for your enjoyment." Rooms and suites have 14-foot ceilings and bathrooms in black and white tile, gold wallpaper, and black marble counters. "A surprising change from the typical Charleston shrimp and grits," the menu at Tristan includes items like New Zealand lamb. "We were pampered the entire stay."

(50 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Gaige House
13540 Arnold Drive
Glen Ellen , California
95442
Tel: 800 935 0237 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 935 0237
gaigeconcierge@jdvhospitality.com
www.gaige.com

There's plenty to love about the Gaige House: the bucolic Sonoma Valley setting near Jack London State Park; the chef-prepared three-course breakfasts, gratis (think artichoke and pistachio blini with house-smoked salmon, asparagus, and saffron cream—yes, that's one course); and the 15 original rooms, with a Victorian-Asian mix of antique armoires, feather-light bedding, clean lines, nature-inspired artwork, and cozy fireplaces. And now there are eight significantly larger spa suites in two freestanding buildings fronting a creek—sumptuous riffs on traditional Japanese ryokan inns. The cedar-shingled, U-shaped quarters are built around private courtyard gardens, with Zen interiors (shoji screens, orchids, Buddha statues), huge soaking tubs carved from a single chunk of black granite, and showers built for two. Spa treatments, such as chocolate mint body scrub and Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage, are offered outdoors in a pavilion beside the Calabaza Creek (in summer) or in the privacy of your room.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Gallatin Gateway Inn
76405 Gallatin Road (US Highway 191)
Gallatin Gateway , Montana
Tel: 406 763 4672
Tel: 800 676 3522
reservations@gallatingatewayinn.com
www.gallatingatewayinn.com

The Spanish-style architecture—adobe-looking walls and red-tiled roof—might seem out of context in southwest Montana: Shouldn't it be oceanside somewhere, framed by palms? But the inn has been here for a long time, partner. The two-story building was constructed in 1927 to serve rail passengers headed to relatively young Yellowstone National Park. The sun-splashed tile lobby with high, dark-stained beam ceiling retains a measure of this era's elegance, and the 33 mission-style rooms are tastefully restored with dark-walnut headboards and understated furniture (you won't find dead animals mounted on the wall). The Porter House restaurant, on the ground floor, uses fresh, local ingredients to produce dishes such as "Montana fish and chips" (whitefish from Flathead Lake) and a flavorful buffalo meatloaf. The location is 30 miles north of Big Sky, so you can sample nightlife in Bozeman, fishing on the Madison and Gallatin rivers, wildlife watching in Yellowstone, and skiing in Big Sky, all within an hour's drive. Ski packages are available, too.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Gallatin River Lodge
9105 Thorpe Road
Bozeman , Montana
59718
Tel: 888 387 0148 (toll-free)
Tel: 406 388 0148
info@grlodge.com
www.grlodge.com

To call this a "fishing lodge" would be an understatement. Set on 350 stunning acres of ranch land near the Gallatin River, the luxury boutique hotel offers a secluded location plus an award-winning restaurant (is that Ted Turner at the next table?). Enter into the vaulted-ceiling lobby, done up western-style down to the grizzly bear silhouette outlet frames. Upstairs, the six rooms invite a cozy stay with fir wood floors, Arts and Crafts furnishings, Native American textiles, whirlpool baths, fireplaces, and oil paintings of trout and cowboys (just in case you forget you're in Montana). Six more standard rooms will be available in the Trout Cabin starting in April 2012. During high season—mid-April through mid-October—the lodge fills up quickly, so be sure to reserve at least a month in advance. The restaurant is worth the trip itself. Ingredients are locally sourced or made in-house, like Chef Craig's famous huckleberry ice cream, presented in a martini glass. For an entrée, try the grilled salmon in lemon beurre blanc sauce with a side of Hutterite-grown Brussels sprouts. Wash it all down with a pint of Montana microbrew and a view of the sun setting over the valley and picturesque Spanish Peaks.—Isabel Sterne

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Game Creek Chalet
Game Creek Bowl
Vail Mountain
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 877 528 7625 (toll-free)
arrabelle.rockresorts.com/residences/game-creek-chalet.asp

Every ski town has a property for those who relish their privacy—and will drop mad money to ensure it. The Game Creek Chalet is Vail's clear contender. This private villa crowns the top of Game Creek Bowl on Vail's Front Side, and has three bedrooms with private baths. Many properties claim to be ski-in, ski-out, but this is genuine slide-to-your-front-door access. The service is discreet and top-flight, and includes a ski concierge who warms ski boots at night, a private half-day instructor, and a personal chef to prepare a nightly menu of your choosing. At $2,800 a night for the entire property and space for eight guests—privacy is ensured, if not cheap.

Two-night minimum.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Gansevoort Park Avenue
420 Park Avenue S.
Midtown East
New York City , New York
10016
Tel: 212 317 2900
info@gansevoortpark.com
www.GansevoortPark.com

Although not the catalyst for the NoMad (North of Madison Park) neighborhood's trend-cendence—that honor goes to the nearby Ace Hotel—the Gansevoort Park Avenue, opened in February 2011, is ably riding the crest alongside its neighbor with a similar everything-in-one urban resort concept. Albeit with a different crowd: more overseas expense account than hipster trust fund. Purple chandeliers dominate an impressive three-story lobby that's been outfitted in a glam clash of textures, patterns, and colors: oversize houndstooth wingbacks, black-and-white zigzag tiling, a sea-foam settee. The 249 generously sized rooms and suites (street or courtyard views; some with private balconies, all with free Wi-Fi) tone it down with creams and whites, though shocks of hot magenta and electric blue play off oversaturated, slightly naughty photographs of a couple romping in Central Park; PG rooms are available by request. There's an Exhale Spa, stocked gym, trendy Italian fare at Ristorante Asellina, an in-house Cutler Salon, and (by now a hallmark of the Gansevoort brand) a heated rooftop pool. At night, the rooftop transforms into the trilevel Plunge Rooftop Bar and Lounge, with Empire State Building views, wraparound balconies, and stiletto-heeled women in itty-bitty skirts. It all feels Miami by way of Madison Avenue, with a bar scene that bumps accordingly.—Justin Ocean

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Gansevoort South
2377 Collins Avenue
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
33139
Tel: 866 932 6694 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 604 1000
contact@gansevoortsouth.com
www.gansevoortsouth.com

Much like South Beach's penchant for the beautiful people, this Miami outpost of NYC's landmark Meatpacking District hotel feels more focused on style than substance. Even the scant few fish in the massive aquarium in the hotel's chic lobby appear bored and self-absorbed. The service is friendly if not overly knowledgeable—even basic questions flustered the front-desk staff and managers frequently had to be called in. But everyone is very easy on the eyes. The 334 rooms, too, can feel full of vapid space, maybe because they are among Miami's largest at about 600 square feet: If you like to spread out, this is the place for you. The luxury amenities are all there—400-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets covering ridiculously comfortable beds, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and bathrooms with both soaking tubs and showers. The room decor isn't for everyone: hot-pink headboards and couches, slightly risqué black-and-white photos on the wall. The hotel has 195 rooms in the ocean-view category (the higher the floor, the better). Deluxe rooms have "city views," which means you can check out the valet queue and some blah buildings. Where the Gansevoort South irrefutably shines is at the 18th-floor rooftop pool, which looks like a liquid catwalk and lures a style-savvy crowd (there's also a ground-level main pool if you just want to catch rays). The highly touted David Barton Gym attached to the hotel is a Moroccan-themed workout world, which unfortunately even guests have to pay extra to use.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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The Gant
610 West End Street
Aspen , Colorado
81611
Tel: 800 549 0535 (toll-free)
Tel: 970 925 5000
gantres@destinationhotels.com
www.gantaspen.com

Located at the west end of Durant Avenue, three (longish) blocks from the ski lifts, the Gant condos are 140 privately owned apartments with one, two, or three bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms with fireplaces and balconies. Since the layouts are identical, the category of luxury is determined by the owner's taste: Fancier decor means higher rates. If you care less about the couch patterns than the view, pick a "Standard" second- or third-floor apartment, but be warned: Some bedrooms have only internal windows. Cable TV, tennis courts, two pools (outdoor, heated), and bike/ski storage are included.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
The Gardens Hotel
526 Angela Street
Key West , Florida
33040
Tel: 800 526 2664 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 294 2661
reservations@gardenshotel.com
www.gardenshotel.com

The former estate of Peggy Mills, a local garden lover, is now a romantic retreat situated in a lush botanical setting intertwined with walkways and dotted with fountains. The 17 rooms are dispersed among the Peggy Mills Mansion (listed on the National Register), two additional Bahamian-style structures built in 1993, and a freestanding cottage. Each room is done up with polished oak floors, crown moldings, mahogany furnishings, original Key West art, flat-screen TVs, and oversize verandas. Most rooms in the original are smaller (and less expensive), than those in the newer buildings, but the master suite has cathedral ceilings, a private balcony, Jacuzzi, and sauna. The free-form pool and outdoor bar are ideal for an after-hours swim and mojito, and the complimentary breakfast buffet stars Key lime beignets and extra-large muffins.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Garden Wall Inn
504 Spokane Avenue
Whitefish , Montana
Tel: 888 530 1700
garden@digisys.net
www.gardenwallinn.com

Whitefish, in the state's northwest corner, has a split personality. The softer side is the town's fine lodging and good food. And then there's the roughin' it angle: the beautifully severe backcountry of Glacier National Park. Devote a couple days and hit both ends of the spectrum. Start at the Garden Wall Inn, two blocks off Central Avenue on a quiet street. The two-story B&B was built by a Great Northern railroad executive as a family home and it's still white-picket-fence cute, clad in white shingles and fronted by an inviting porch. The inside has 1920s Art Deco antiques, maple floors, and flowers from the garden. Breakfast is cooked and served by one of the co-owners (who are also trained chefs): Whatever time you rise, you'll get dishes such as an egg-and-leek soufflé stuffed with smoked Montana trout. After a few days in town, it's time to head to the backcountry. Sperry Chalet is within park boundaries and only reachable by a 6.5-mile trail that ascends some 3,000 feet. This is the perfect launching point for forays into this iconic American wilderness. While its caretakers give excellent advice on trails, we recommend coming well-prepared—this is rough country. The chalet, on the west side of Gunsight Mountain, was built in 1913 of native stone and rough timber and overlooks ten-mile-long McDonald Lake. The 17 spare rooms have no heat, electricity, or running water—and the bathroom building is shared by all—but you'll get clean sheets and three simple and hearty meals a day (Sperry Chalet, Glacier National Park; 888-345-2649, office@graniteparkchalet.com; www.sperrychalet.com/menu.html).

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center
2800 Opryland Drive
Nashville , Tennessee
37214
Tel: 888 999 6779
Tel: 615 889 1000
www.gaylordopryland.com

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is as over-the-top as Dolly Parton's bouffant, and just as endearing. Situated on 172 acres about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville, this behemoth has a whopping 2,881 rooms under one (very large) roof. The Alice in Wonderland–style complex houses 25 shops, 15 restaurants, a spa and fitness center, and even an indoor riverboat ride. The hotel claims that bellhops walk between 9 and 12 miles a day on the job, so it's no surprise that it's easy to get lost. But friendly staff, who take the time to lead wayward guests to their rooms, manage to make the place feel intimate. The hotel is split into four distinct sections (Cascade, Garden Conservatory, Delta, and Magnolia), each marking a past expansion. The best guest rooms are those in the Cascade area near the main entrance, with balcony views of the plant-filled atriums. Rooms have clean-lined dark-wood furniture and modern fabrics that transcend the sometimes hokey surroundings of the common areas. The hotel is booked to capacity 85 percent of the time, so plan your stay well in advance, especially if you visit in November and December, when tour groups descend to take in the hotel's all-encompassing seasonal decorations and holiday stage shows.—Updated by Colleen Clark

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Georgian Terrace
659 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta , Georgia
30308
Tel: 800 651 2316 (toll-free)
Tel: 404 897 1991
gtsales@thegeorgianterrace.com
www.thegeorgianterrace.com

This stately hotel comes with an impeccable Southern pedigree: It hosted the premiere after-party of Gone With the Wind in 1939 and has been rightfully placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The elegant lobby has graceful columns and a light-filled atrium, and the lovely outdoor terraces and cavernous ballroom are popular venues for wedding receptions. All 307 guest rooms are suites (with up to three bedrooms), and most come with full kitchens and washer-dryers. However, like most historic buildings, the Georgian's interiors have a patina of age, so if you're looking for brand-spanking-new digs, this is not your hotel—at least not until a planned renovation is completed. Its central location is near Midtown attractions, including the historic Fox Theatre across the street.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Glorietta Bay Inn
1630 Glorietta Boulevard
Coronado , California
92118
Tel: 800 283 9383
Fax: 619 435 6182
www.gloriettabayinn.com

Situated across the street from the famed "Hotel Del," the Glorietta Bay Inn often gets billed as the poor man's version of the grande dame, but this 11-room charmer has much to recommend it. It's substantially less expensive than its fancy neighbor, it offers free Wi-Fi and breakfast, and it doesn't nickel-and-dime with resort fees (the Del charges for all of the above). The former home of San Diego land baron John D. Spreckels, the lushly landscaped property is situated right on the bay, within walking distance to Coronado's shops and cafés. There are two sections: Opt for the historic 1920s mansion with its original brass cage elevator, marble staircase, and guest rooms brimming with antiques and nostalgia; the newer, motel-style buildings are decidedly less charming. The downside of the older rooms? Smaller and slightly dingy bathrooms, which would benefit from a spruce-up. Still, the exceptionally friendly service (waiters remember your name and the kind of scone you like at breakfast) keeps Glorietta Bay Inn fans coming back.—Audrey Davidow

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Goldener Hirsch Inn
7570 Royal Street
Silver Lake Village
Park City , Utah
84060
Tel: 800 252 3373 (toll-free)
Tel: 435 649 7770
ghi@goldenerhirschinn.com
www.goldenerhirschinn.com

Throw a patterned pillow out of a window in the Goldener, and you'll nearly hit the Deer Valley Sterling chairlift. The first part of that sentence is possible because the 20-room property is right on the slopes of Deer Valley. The urge to hurl a pillow? Blame the hodgepodge of imported Austrian furniture stuffing the guest rooms. In any case, the easy mountain access is the selling point. Valets will store your skis, the wood-burning fireplaces in many rooms make it easy to dry out gloves, and all bathrooms have granite countertops and travertine tile. Look for package deals that include room, lift tickets, and a massage for a good price. In the restaurant, Swiss-trained executive chef James Dumas turns out elk and chestnut spaetzle; fondue blended from Gruyère, Appenzeller, Emmentaler, and Vacherin cheeses; and other hearty classics.

Closed from mid-April–mid-June and mid-October–early December.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Golden Nugget Hotel
129 E. Fremont Street
Las Vegas , Nevada
89101
Tel: 800 846 5336 (toll-free)
Tel: 702 385 7111
guestservices@goldennugget.com
www.goldennugget.com

The downtown Las Vegas core of casinos is largely a wasteland of small lowbrow properties left over from the earliest days of the city, which started here on Fremont Street. The only hotel-casino in the sector that comes close to rivaling the Strip in respectability is the Golden Nugget, with its clean (though stylistically outdated) guest rooms, its boisterous casino, and its Rush Tower. Located adjacent to the original property, the nearly 500-room Rush was built to entice the folks who normally avoid downtown with room designs and layouts similar to what you'll find on the Strip at rates in line with a downtown location. And it seems to be working: Occupancy has been holding steady since the tower's opening in 2009. Corner Junior Suites, which have a loungelike design in chocolate brown and beige tones that wouldn't be out of place in a loft or condo building, are the rooms to book. From some of them, you can fully view the Tank, an above-ground shark tank in the middle of the Nugget's pool area.—updated by David Tyda

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Governor's Inn
506 N. Henry St.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 800 447 8679 (toll-free)
Tel: 757 229 1000, x6000
cwres@cwf.org
www.history.org/visit/staywithus/governorsinn

Located on the west side of North Henry Street, and a little closer to the historic action than Woodlands, Governor's Inn is the bargain hotel of the bunch. With its 200 plain, serviceable rooms and its outdoor swimming pool (guests may also use the indoor one at Woodlands), it's really a good deal—even if it's not the most exciting choice.

Closed January and February.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Governor Calvert House
58 State Circle
Annapolis , Maryland
21401
Tel: 800 847 8882
Tel: 410 263 2641
www.historicinnsofannapolis.com/1727GovernorCalvertHouse.aspx

Standing literally in the shadow of the State House, this historic 51-room inn attracts a mix of politicians, lobbyists, journalists, vacationers, and parents with children enrolled at St. John's College or the U.S. Naval Academy, which are both just a five-minute walk away. The original building, which dates back to 1695, once belonged to the Calverts, whose progeny included two governors. The parlor features a unique archeological attraction—a rare hypocaust, a Roman-style greenhouse heating system discovered in the basement and now exhibited beneath a clear glass floor. Most rooms are in a newer attached wing. Though restricted in size, the rooms have solid colonial-style furniture and free Internet access. The best views are to be found in top-floor rooms 410 and 412, which share a small deck overlooking the capitol building.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Gramercy Park Hotel
2 Lexington Avenue
New York City , New York
10010
Tel: 212 920 3300
reservations@gramercyparkhotel.com
www.gramercyparkhotel.com

Artist Julian Schnabel oversaw the Gramercy Park Hotel's more-is-more decor when Ian Schrager took over (Schrager has since moved on to other projects). Schnabel's choices are heavy, even brooding, and decidedly Old World: studded Spanish hope chests; tapestry-covered, tasseled chairs; red velvet drapes; quilted velvet headboards. The lobby is dominated by black and white Moroccan tiles in a checkerboard pattern, an impressive coffered ceiling, and a massive crystal chandelier. The overall look sounds severe, but it's leavened by lighter touches (Jean Prouvé–inspired lamps, archival photographs) and by a fantastic art collection, including huge pieces by Twombly, Warhol, Basquiat, Hirst, and Schnabel himself. The 185 rooms are painted in one of three palettes—jade green, powder blue, or pale red—and have overstuffed furniture, windows that open partway, and generally good views. Spring for a larger one, such as the 950-square-foot Gramercy suites: The smaller "superior" rooms are just large enough to pace in and can be overwhelmed by all that red velvet. Service is efficient to only occasionally officious. So, does it all warrant the minimum $500-something-a-night tariff? That partly depends on if you're willing to pay to be with the in crowd. The door policy at the Rose and Jade bars is heavily enforced, though not surly, and even hotel guests need a reservation after 9 pm. The upsides are that the spaces are never overflowing, and the Rose Bar is inviting with its fireplace and a red-felt pool table (free).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Bohemian Hotel
325 S. Orange Avenue
Orlando , Florida
32801
Tel: 866 663 0024
Tel: 407 313 9000
info@grandbohemian.com
www.grandbohemianhotel.com

At this 250-room property, urban sophistication and high art come to a city better known for animal mascots and scampering children. The decor is moody and classic while giving a nod to the city's sugary personality: red velvets, gold leaf, regal purple curtains, and some of the softest beds on offer in the region. Its owner and decorator, entrepreneur Richard Kessler, is courageous enough to adorn the walls with priceless paintings from his personal collection, including authentic Klimts, but he's also affixed his own image in a few too many public spaces. The hotel's Bösendorfer Lounge, named for its $250,000 imperial grand piano, is a popular spot for cocktails, and the hotel's weekly jazz brunch enlivens the property on Sunday mornings. The theme park zone is about 10 miles southwest of the hotel, so this is a good choice for those who prefer to stay well away from the circus.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Del Mar
5300 Grand Del Mar Court
Del Mar , California
92130
Tel: 855 314 2030
Tel: 858 314 2001
www.thegranddelmar.com

The Grand Del Mar is an opulent gem located in the serene hills of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. A sprawling estate complete with four swimming pools, two outdoor tennis courts, a 21,000-square-foot spa, and an equestrian center, the North County hotel feels more like a luxe villa ripped right out of the Tuscan countryside. Past the burbling horse-head fountains, the lush gardens, and spiffy doormen is a marble-and-crystal lobby with ornate columns and archways overlooking the Tom Fazio–designed golf course. Some of the 249 rooms and suites feature dining rooms, outdoor fireplaces, and extended verandas with stunning views of the fairway; all include nice touches such as hand-stenciled ceilings, steam showers, and Pratesi linens. Among the dining options is Addison, SoCal's only five-star/five-diamond restaurant. The hotel offers numerous complimentary perks, too—daily shoe-shines, gym classes, guided hikes through the nature preserve, and limo jaunts into the storybook-sweet village of Del Mar.—Audrey Davidow

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
The Grande Colonial
910 Prospect Street
La Jolla , California
92037
Tel: 858 866 9014
info@gclj.com
www.thegrandecolonial.com

The casual, understated elegance of the Grande Colonial hotel, a 93-room Euro-style boutique in the heart of La Jolla, lies somewhere between the buttoned-up La Valencia and the chic Hotel Parisi. Completely refurbished in 2000, this historic hotel was built in 1913 and is comprised of three buildings: the five-story main structure; the ten-suite extended-stay Garden Terrace; and the eight-suite Little Hotel by the Sea. All three are decorated in subtle shades of pale blue, yellow, or green, with striped drapes that have a beachy vibe. You won't find a minibar in the main building's rooms (though the garden suites have them), nor an on-site gym (though you can pick up a $25 day pass to a nearby facility). The bathrooms are more basic than luxurious, but there's a simplicity here that makes you feel at home (well, at a very wealthy friend's home, outfitted with impeccable taste and an exceptionally friendly staff). The suites in the Garden Terrace and the Little Hotel come with kitchens and are closest to the water, but if it's prime Pacific views you're after, ask for an ocean-facing room on the upper floors of the main hotel. Don't miss the bustling restaurant, Nine-Ten (but skip the dining room and grab a seat at the bar, where the short rib panini and homemade potato chips steal the show).—Audrey Davidow

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
1571 Poipu Road
Koloa , Hawaii
96756
Tel: 800 554 9288 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 742 1234
info@grandhyattkauai.com
www.kauai.hyatt.com

The Grand Hyatt is easily the most extravagant resort on Kauai's always sunny south shore, with 602 rooms and amenities that make it family-friendly yet elegant enough for a romantic trip for two. The six-story structure harks back to the plantation style of the 1920s, and since it's built on a slope to the sea, it just slides by the island's rule of thumb: No building can be higher than the tallest coconut tree. In 2007, a major renovation gave all of the rooms a much-needed makeover (replacing tropical prints with mod white fabrics and boxy furniture); it also expanded the Anara Spa, adding a beautiful outdoor treatment area, including a completely private couples retreat (massage tables, manicure chairs, outdoor showers, and whirlpool). Because the beach here isn't suitable for swimming, the focus is on elaborate saltwater and freshwater pools with a maze of slides, caves, and waterways. The 50 acres of manicured grounds are ideal for wandering (although it's quite possible to get lost among the sometimes confusing paths). And—best of all—you can send the kids to Camp Hyatt while you make the most of the cocktail lounges, restaurants, shops, rental car desk, and golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.—Updated by Cathay Che

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Greenbrier
300 W. Main Street
White Sulphur Springs , West Virginia
Tel: 800 624 6070
Tel: 304 536 1110
the_greenbrier@greenbrier.com
www.greenbrier.com

Nestled in the mountains of West Virginia, "this true paradise" former health resort with curative springs has "old-world style that still lives on." Interiors allow guests to "visualize what it must have been like back in the early 1900s." With kayaking, tennis, off-road driving, falconry, horseback riding, a bowling alley, and a newly opened casino, there is "literally something for everyone." "Delightful service is top-notch." Rooms display strong colors, floral patterns, and bold stripes. The Forum is lined with busts of Julius Caesar, and serves seafood, pasta, and Neapolitan pizzas.

(682 rooms)

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Green Island Inn
3300 N.E. 27 Street
Fort Lauderdale , Florida
33308
Tel: 954 566 8951
info@greenislandinn.com
www.greenislandinn.com

This small 25-room hotel feels more like a Key West refuge than the 1950s-era Fort Lauderdale motel it is. That's partly thanks to its out-of-the-way location—in a sleepy residential area further north up A1A than most motels. But it's also due to the lush tropical tree-crammed courtyard that has a pool and a gazebo, equipped with a BYOB bar and BBQ area. Every room—whether studio or suite—is named after different islands in the Caribbean, has a kitchenette, and is individually painted and done up in bright poppy colors. And most have French doors opening onto a private verandah.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Green Valley Ranch
2300 Paseo Verde Parkway
Henderson , Nevada
Tel: 866 782 9487
Tel: 702 617 7777
Fax: 702 617 7778
www.greenvalleyranchresort.com

Putting a 490-room resort casino 20 minutes off the Strip might seem like risky business, but if you build it luxurious enough, they will come. The problem is, who are "they"? The place attracts an uncanny mix of characters: the 45-plus Architectural Digest crowd, who favor a more resortlike experience and dig the Italianate architecture, patterned fabrics, and Bubble Bath Concierge; and the 25-40 Wallpaper set, who sex up the eight-acre sandy pool playground by day and the DJ-spinning Whiskey Bar by night. Both demographics meet in the casino, which can be a bit awkward—is it a party or refined gaming? But then the moment passes and everybody goes back to losing their wages. Don't stay here if you plan on hitting the Strip every night: The cab fare pushes $20 each way (though there is a free shuttle service). Dining at Green Valley Ranch is meant for a quick fix, so we recommend walking over to always-open Kennedy Tavern in The District, a retail promenade adjacent to the resort (2235 Village Walk Dr.; 702-320-8100).

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
The Greenwich Hotel
377 Greenwich Street
Tribeca
New York City , New York
10013
Tel: 212 941 8900
reservations@thegreenwichhotel.com
thegreenwichhotel.com

When a megawatt Hollywood star and one of Manhattan's most famous hoteliers (Ira Drukier of Mercer fame) join forces for a new project in Tribeca, you'd expect a flashbulb spot as sceney as area favorites like Nobu. But when that star is the notoriously private Robert De Niro, a different picture emerges. A night at the Greenwich Hotel feels more like a stay at a cultured friend's city manse. Worn Tibetan rugs cover Italian terra-cotta floors, Taschen design books sit on Moroccan marble side tables, and shabby chic wardrobes contrast with brushed metal consoles. Each of the 88 rooms, which start at 325 square feet, is unique, and the eclectic, well-edited assortment of objets—a Buddha head here, a branch of coral there—give the property a lived-in feel. The one decorative constant? Paintings by De Niro's son, Raphael (and yes, they're good). The Greenwich gives you a local's perspective on the neighborhood: This is more the Tribeca of art-filled lofts and stroller-packed brunch spots than the Tribeca of scenesters and velvet-rope restaurants. The service complements that vibe, feeling at once welcoming and discreet: Check-in is handled in your room, fresh fruit awaits your arrival, and the free minibars are stocked with a mix of healthy Dr. Weil teas and whimsical jars of penny candy, as well as Pellegrino and other goodies. The sprawling Moroccan-tiled bathrooms and eucalyptus-scented products make a shower feel like a trip to the spa (though you can get the full treatment downstairs in the Shibui spa, which surrounds a Japanese lantern–lit swimming pool and lounge). Book a room at the back of the hotel overlooking the peaceful courtyard, where you can take tea beneath latticed vines.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Greyfield Inn
8 North Second Street
Cumberland Island , Georgia
Tel: 904-261-6408
www.greyfieldinn.com

The "old Southern home" on a barrier island is a four-story frame structure decorated with antiques, Asian rugs, and Tiffany lamps. All-inclusive meals made with organic produce grown in the garden are "quite outstanding." Activities include kayaking, biking, and jaunts with the "fantastic resident naturalist." Cabins away from the main house are "rustic but comfortable," with Audubon prints, Native American artifacts, and William Morris wallpaper.

(16 rooms)

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Halekulani
2199 Kalia Road
Honolulu , Hawaii
96815
Tel: 800 367 2343 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 923 2311
info@halekulanicorp.com
www.halekulani.com

Since opening in 1917 on this prime Waikiki beachfront spot, the Halekulani has grown to 454 rooms—but it still manages to feel like the most intimate, peaceful hotel on the island. There's a special Vera Wang–designed honeymoon suite and an excellent spa offering lavender-orchid body wraps and hibiscus-infused scalp massages. Even the basic amenities are pretty lavish: For instance, all Halekulani guests have VIP access to some of Honolulu's top cultural attractions, such as the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Shangri La, the Doris Duke estate. Guests also have equal access to the small slice of beach, the superb, mosaic-tiled swimming pool, and the attentive staff. (Ask the concierge for dinner reservations at Nobu, which is located in the Halekulani's sister hotel, the Waikiki Parc). The rooms, all outfitted in soothing blue and cream tones, have large lanais, and all except the Garden Courtyard rooms have ocean views. (For the best views, book a Diamond Head room.) For a souvenir of your stay, pick up one of the wonderful Halekulani-brand body products scented with maile, a fragrant Hawaiian vine, at the on-site spa boutique.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City Convention Center
1301 Race Street
Philadelphia , Pennsylvania
19107
Tel: 215 665 9100
Fax: 215 665 9200
hamptoninn.hilton.com

Hampton Inn is the budget member of the Hilton chain, so don't expect to see Paris anywhere near this 250-room budget lodge. You won't score much glitz for your money, but you will get a clean room, large bath, friendly service, and a prime sightseeing base—the Convention Center is across the street; the Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown are a block away. The complimentary Continental breakfast is another money saver, although it's worth hiking over to the Reading Terminal for serious morning fare.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hanalei Colony Resort
5-7130 Kuhio Highway
Haena , Hawaii
96714
Tel: 800 628 3004 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 826 6235
aloha@hcr.com
www.hcr.com

This collection of 48 condos in Haena (a 15-minute drive west of Hanalei) has one major draw: views so idyllic that they almost look Photoshopped. From second-floor corner ocean-view units, you get a 180-degree eyeful of waves crashing on golden sand with the Bali Hai mountains as a backdrop. On a clear night, the stargazing is otherworldly as well. The two-bedroom, two-bath condos are otherwise average, with interiors done up in tasteful island decor and wicker furniture, but they work well for four people, either two couples, single friends, or a family. Each has a full kitchen, although there's also the Mediterranean Gourmet restaurant and a café that serves aromatic coffee and baked goods to a parade of surfers and locals. The decent spa takes advantage of the stunning views with massage tables under an oceanfront Polynesian-style pavilion. Take note that in the winter the surf is quite big; the water is better for swimming in the summer.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
The Harborside Inn
185 State Street
Boston , Massachusetts
02109
Tel: 617 723 7500
Fax: 617 670 6015
info@harborsideinnboston.com
harborsideinnboston.com

The Harborside's location, near Faneuil Hall Marketplace and right alongside the Rose Kennedy Greenway, sounds expensive, but it's actually an affordable alternative. Some of the 98 guest rooms even have water views, though be aware that others look inward, cruise-ship style, onto an eight-story, skylit atrium. Rooms got an upgrade during a 2006 renovation and have teak platform beds, flat-screen TVs, hardwood floors, and, in some cases, exposed brick. Set in an 1854 granite warehouse, the Harborside is also just a short walk from the North End Italian district, the Financial District, and the hopping Seaport, meaning there's a wide choice of close-by restaurants, bars, and shopping. That also means that the neighborhood can get noisy after dark, with crowds waiting to get into the area's rowdy bars.—Jon Marcus

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Harbor View Hotel
131 North Water Street
Edgartown , Massachusetts
02539
Tel: 800 225 6005 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 627 7000
Fax: 508 627 8417
www.harbor-view.com

In May 2008, a stem-to-stern renovation of this gray-shingled Victorian was completed under the watchful eye of owner Alan Worden (a former investment banker who once sailed from Nantucket to New Zealand with just one other crew member). Originally opened on the Edgartown Harbor in 1891, this grand New-England–style resort is the town's oldest and—with 141 rooms spread among two main buildings and several cottages—largest hotel. Linda Woodrum, of HGTV's Dream Homes, redecorated the cottage suites, and while they feel plucked out of a Pottery Barn catalog, they have the best of everything: kitchenettes, walk-in closets, flat-screen TVs, fireplaces, private gardens, and outdoor showers. Ask for suite 24 in the cottages for its relative seclusion, ocean view, and brand-new, high-end appointments; or for any of the more traditionally decorated, ocean-facing rooms in the main house (some of which have private balconies). Avoid the motel-like Governor Mayhew building by the pool. The restaurant, Water Street, turns out sophisticated New England–style dishes, and the comfortable bar, Henry's, serves an all-day menu of crowd-pleasers, such as lobster rolls and chocolate-chip cookies. Befitting the hotel's maritime feel, a 31-foot center console boat ferries guests to private beaches (although there is a small sand beach and heated pool on site), and the young-adult learn-to-sail program will keep the kids occupied while you watch from the wraparound porch as yachts drift by. The town is a five-minute scenic walk away—far enough to keep the hotel's vibe relaxed. Guests also get advance tee times at the nearby par-72 Farm Neck Golf Club, and a spa and health club are planned.

Note: The Harbor View has announced plans to sell off up to half of its units as condos (priced from $526,000 to $1.3 million). The rest will remain available to guests.

Open mid-May through late October.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Harborwoods Guest House
1702 Sag Harbor Turnpike
Sag Harbor , New York
11963
Tel: 631 537 6393
info@harborwoodsguesthouse.com
harborwoodsguesthouse.com

Savvy Europeans have been in on the Harborwoods secret since this spotless and stylishly modern B&B opened in 2009. Compared with the cluttered, low-ceilinged, and more established competition, Barbro Magnusson and her husband Dean Golden's shingled retreat is a breath of fresh air. Situated along the artery that connects Bridgehampton and Sag Harbor, it's a comfortable distance from the bottleneck of Route 27, and the driveway leads straight into a system of woodsy walking trails. Floors in the capacious main house are laid with gleaming planks of fir, and furnishings in the four upstairs rooms combine Swedish antiques and tasteful Ikea pieces. The nearby but unattached studio with loft, ideal for families, sleeps four comfortably. After serving up a breakfast of omelets, lox and bagels, or pancakes with lingonberries, the owners will outfit you with a beach umbrella and a beach parking permit. Another benefit to being off the beaten track: The drive to East Hampton along less-trafficked Route 114 is a snap.—Darrell Hartman

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
HarbourView Inn
2 Vendue Range
Charleston , South Carolina
29401
Tel: 843 853 8439
Tel: 888 853 8439 (toll-free)
www.harbourviewcharleston.com

If you want to be right in the historic district, this hotel in an old shipping warehouse is steps from the harbor, Old City Market, and Lower King Street's antique row. The 52 rooms got a makeover in 2007 and are very Charleston—think four-poster beds, plantation shutters, sea grass rugs, and rattan furniture. Larger-scale amenities are lacking, however: Gratis coffee, breakfast pastries, and afternoon wine and cheese in the marble lobby are charming, but they may not make up for the lack of a fitness center or pool (especially if you brought the kids). And be aware that, despite the name, not all of the rooms have a view of the harbor. Request one that overlooks the Waterfront Park along the Cooper River.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hard Rock Hotel
230 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
60601
Tel: 866 966 5166 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 345 1000
reservations@hardrockhotelchicago.com
www.hardrockhotelchicago.com

Channel your inner Hendrix at this way-cool 381-room Loop boutique, aptly located in a champagne-bottle-shaped Art Deco high-rise. Pictures of Bowie, the Beatles, Madonna, and other rock legends line the walls and hallways of this Daniel Burnham-designed tower. Rooms have teak-style furnishings, plasma TVs, DVD players, and lots of black, grays, glass, and mirrors. The purple-upholstered faux Barcaloungers are a great place to kick back and practice air guitar. Party into the wee hours at the hotel's Base Bar, then sleep off the hangover in a comfy feather bed. For the best views, book one of the Hard Rock rooms. The popular pan-Asian China Grill is in the lobby.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
4455 Paradise Road
Las Vegas , Nevada
89169
Tel: 800 473 7625 (toll-free)
Tel: 702 693 5544
info@hrhvegas.com
www.hardrockhotel.com

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's peak on the bell curve of popularity has passed, but die-hard fans still pack the house almost nightly, even though this property is located a five-minute cab ride east of the Strip. (A major expansion that came online at the end of 2009 brought a small spike on the buzz-o-meter.) The circular bar in the middle of the casino floor is still one of the easiest places to make new friends, and many folks use it as a place to get warmed up before a big night out. Sundays are cause for the wildest revelry, when the notorious post-party-night party Rehab heats up by the guitar-shaped pool. This is the original "dayclub," and it still commands a mile-long line to get in that starts forming by 7 or 8 am. While the five new hotel rooms have a dark, sexy, rock 'n' roll feel, the original rooms, which are brighter and feel cheerily Art Deco, are still great and have distinctive French doors that open (instead of windows)—a novelty in the sea of sealed chambers that is liability-conscious Vegas.—updated by David Tyda

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
The Hay-Adams
800 16th Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
20006
Tel: 800 853 6807 (toll-free)
Tel: 202 638 6600
reservations@hayadams.com
www.hayadams.com

This venerable hotel, just across Lafayette Square from the White House, has such a good bird's-eye view of the First Mansion that network news divisions often book a room here just for the camera angles. Even the site has history: John Hay, Abraham Lincoln's private secretary (who later served as secretary of state to Teddy Roosevelt), and Henry Adams, an author and descendant of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, were friends who lived next door to each other at this address, giving the hotel its name. Their houses were razed to build this Italian Renaissance–style property in 1927; with the exception of a closure in 2001 for renovations, it's been receiving guests ever since. The 145 rooms and suites are furnished with lush draperies, Oriental rugs, and Federal-esque furniture. The best? The one-bedroom, two-bathroom Federal Suite. It's 1,400 square feet, with French doors and a balcony overlooking the White House; it's particularly popular with guests who have appointments across the way.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Heathman Hotel
1001 S.W. Broadway
Portland , Oregon
97205
Tel: 800 551 0011 (toll-free)
Tel: 503 241 4100
info@healthmanhotel.com
portland.heathmanhotel.com

The Heathman is old Portland through and through. Like a fine tweed suit, it is not flashy or trendy, but it does command a certain respectability. Yes, it offers guests all the modern amenities that you'd expect of a luxury hotel, but ultimately this is about preserving and showcasing the grandeur of another era. One look at the sumptuous tea court—with its high wood-paneled walls, its sparkling antique chandelier, its velvet armchairs, and baby grand piano—and you'll get the idea. Ideally situated near Portland's Center for the Performing Arts, the Heathman has a long-standing affiliation with the arts and boasts an impressive collection of its own. The rather sober neutral-toned rooms offer eye masks and earplugs, but techies can still plug in with iPod docking stations, Wi-Fi, and HDTVs. It's understandable why the junior suites, which offer more space than the rather cozy standard rooms, are quite popular. The Heathman Restaurant located just off the lobby is a convenient and distinguished white-linen option, and the adjoining bar is a popular happy-hour spot. Bookish types should check out the mezzanine library, which has played host to readings by everyone from Salman Rushdie to David Sedaris, and therefore has a vast collection of signed first editions.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hedges Inn
74 James Lane
East Hampton , New York
11937
Tel: 631 324 7101
www.thehedgesinn.com

While not as elegant as Baker House 1650, the Hedges Inn still has a dynamite location and plenty of charm. Settle into a rocking chair on the front porch, which looks directly onto Town Pond, and take full advantage of both. The Hedges was refreshed with a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2008: Beadboard wainscoting, beachy pastel hues, antique reproduction furniture, and flat-screen TVs outfit the 12 rooms, which also have marble-clad bathrooms. The comfortable living room is a good place to watch movies and munch on popcorn; bring your own DVD, and the innkeeper will pop the corn. There's no restaurant, but East Hampton's eateries are a ten-minute walk away. And in lieu of a pool, guests receive passes to the East Hampton Gym, as well as everything required for a day on the shore: chairs, towels, a beach umbrella, a cooler, and a parking permit that's good for any strand between East Hampton Village and Montauk.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hermitage Hotel
231 Sixth Avenue N.
Nashville , Tennessee
37219
Tel: 888 888 9414
Tel: 615 244 3121
reservations@thehermitagehotel.com
www.thehermitagehotel.com

The Rolls Royce of Nashville hotels, the Hermitage has been a favorite overnight stop for presidents, visiting royalty, and a slew of celebrities, from Bette Davis to Oprah Winfrey, since it opened in 1910. A $17 million overhaul in 2003 restored the ornate Beaux Arts lobby with shimmering pink marble columns and a dramatic stained glass ceiling. They did a bang-up job: The 122 guest rooms are large (an average of 475 square feet) with separate dressing and sitting areas and roomy bathrooms with flat-screen TVs, wide marble vanities, and extra-deep tubs (there's a "bath concierge," natch). The look is richly traditional with tufted sofas and stately beds covered in 1,000-thread-count sheets. The stately Capitol Grille serves modern takes on Southern favorites, and is an ideal special-occasion spot. Be sure to get a drink at the Oak Bar to see its famed Art Deco men's room, recently named "America's Best Restroom" by Esquire magazine.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hidden Pond
354 Goose Rocks Road
Kennebunkport , Maine
04046
Tel: 888 967 9050 (toll-free)
Tel: 207 967 9050
hiddenpondmaine.com

On 60 acres five miles outside preppy Kennebunkport, Hidden Pond has a fantasy summer camp feel, with hand-painted wood signs pointing to a garden where you can pick vegetables or to a bike shed where you can borrow a retro cruiser for the mile ride to Goose Rocks Beach. The 14 one- and two-bedroom cottages, each by a different local interior designer, range from the playful Periwinkle (in sunshiney primary colors) to the classic Thank You (embroidered lobster pillows and an airy seafoam and powder blue New England aesthetic). All have generous kitchens, cozy porches, and gas fireplaces for chilly nights. A central lodge functions as the official clubhouse, with a simple rectangular pool and a fire pit where there's a nightly bonfire (singing optional). There's no restaurant, but cheerful staff can arrange a private chef, and there are weekly "Table on the Farm" dinners prepared by Kennebunkport chefs. Every morning, piping hot coffee and a canvas bag of fresh-baked pastries is left outside your door. The resort is blissfully relaxed, and cottages come with leisure essentials such as board games, martini shakers, books, and guitars.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hilton Bentley South Beach Hotel
101 Ocean Drive
South Beach
Miami Beach , Florida
33139
Tel: 866 236 8539 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 938 4600
info@thebentleyhotels.com
www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/MIABMHF-Hilton-Bentley-Miami-South-Beach-Florida/index.do

This high-rise condo/hotel (in the Hilton stable since September 2007) is in the slightly quieter SoFi (South of Fifth) district at the tip of South Beach, opposite Prime One Twelve. The 109 kitchenette-equipped suites are huge and chintzy, with heavy drapes, quilted headboards, and brocaded bolsters. Some have equally spacious balconies—you'll pay more for ocean views—and generously sized bathrooms. Order breakfast on the outdoor terrace between the two towers; there's a hot tub there, too, if you'd like an early morning soak. An Asian-accented spa opened in 2008 on the fourth floor terrace, where you can have treatments outdoors. And at Gaia Ristorante (opened in February 2009), diners can either order specialties such as rigatoni arrabbiata and veal scaloppine off the Italian menu, or have chef Gaetano Ascione prepare a customized dish.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
The Hob Knob
128 Main Street
Edgartown , Massachusetts
02539
Tel: 800 696 2723 (toll-free)
Tel: 508 627 9510
Fax: 508 627 4560
www.hobknob.com

A few blocks north of downtown Edgartown, this friendly 19th-century Gothic Revival–style B&B has plenty of antiques and chintz like the nearby Charlotte Inn, but is airier and slightly less expensive (befitting its less central location). The 17 individually decorated rooms, freshened up during a recent renovation, have charming details: painted four-posters, dormered windows, skylights, small sitting areas, antique silver hairbrushes laid out on side tables, and a cow motif that reminds owner Maggie White of the ones she keeps on her West Tisbury farm. Adding to the homey tone are the chocolate-chip pecan-cinnamon cookies at afternoon tea, berry pancakes for breakfast, box lunches for the beach, and Maggie's Labradors, which will cheer you up if you've left your own pooch at home. But there's no lack of mod cons: AC, cable, Wi-Fi, a sauna and spa treatments, an exercise room, a 27-foot Boston whaler available for charter, as well as that Edgartown godsend—a dedicated off-street parking lot. The Hob Knob also rents out two nearby homes—a four-bedroom renovated schoolhouse and a five-bedroom house with a private pool—with daily housekeeping, concierge service, and access to the Hob Knob spa.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles , California
90028
Tel: 800 950 7667 (toll-free)
Tel: 323 466 7000
reservations2hrh@thompsonhotels.com
www.hollywoodroosevelt.com

The buzz was considerable in 2005 when Thompson Hotels took over this landmark Mediterranean-style hotel, where the first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929. One reason: The 300 rooms and suites were redesigned by Dodd Mitchell—L.A.'s pet designer for the last decade. The other reason: The poolside Tropicana Bar and interior club Teddy's were taken over by nightlife impresario Amanda Demme, and quickly became the hottest spots in town. But though the marriage with Demme ended in a high-profile divorce in spring of 2006, the hotel still has plenty to recommend it. Mitchell's decor in the main hotel, as well as in a newer, separate building that surrounds the pool, is undeniably chic: Beds have draped-fabric headboards that look like Roman shades; the streamlined furnishings in shades of taupe and black seem both brand-new and retro; framed photographs of celebrities hang on the walls; and cement showers (a Mitchell trademark) are in some of the bathrooms. Lower-floor units have patios that open onto the pool, while upper floors have balconies with tables and chairs. The nightlife scene has cooled; while Teddy's is still filled with young Hollywood starlets, the Tropicana has quieted into a romantic, relaxed place for drinks.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Holualoa Inn
75-5932 Mamalahoa Highway
Holualoa , Hawaii
96725
Tel: 888 392 1812 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 324 1121
www.holualoainn.com

This six-room hillside retreat 1,400 feet above sea level in the Kona Coffee belt is a serene and romantic adults-only B&B. All the rooms are comfy and unique, with modern plantation-style decor, lots of natural wood, cooling cross breezes from the windows, and original artwork—but the best is the Hibiscus Suite, which has panoramic views out to the coast and a private balcony. While you are not on the beach (that's about a half-hour drive down the hill), there's a small pool with sweeping views of the Kohala coast. Holualoa town, a small settlement of artists and craftspeople, has a few restaurants and boutiques, but each room has a dining area in case you want to whip up your own food at the inn's communal kitchen and eat in (there's also a lovely shared roof deck, too). If you are an ardent coffee lover, you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about Kona Coffee and how it's grown at the coffee farm on the premises. And of course, you'll be served the award-winning Holualoa Inn brew every morning with a gratis breakfast of fresh fruit, farm-to-table baked goods, and hot entrées.—Cathay Che

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Horizon Hotel
1050 E. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs , California
92264
Tel: 760 323 1858
info@thehorizonhotel.com
www.thehorizonhotel.com

Built in 1952 as a desert retreat for Hollywood mogul Jack Wrather and actress-wife Bonita Granville, this low-slung mid-century modern on two and a half manicured acres was rebuilt from the ground up by owner Dave Scharf in keeping with the original William Cody design. Horizon reopened in May 2006, and all 22 rooms follow the simplicity and clean lines of the exterior, with minimal black-on-white decor, pillow-top beds, Italian linens, flat-screen TVs, and Wi-Fi. There are also a pool and bar, spa services, yoga classes, and a separate three-bedroom residence with floor-to-ceiling windows and its own private pool.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hospitality House
415 Richmond Rd.
Williamsburg , Virginia
23185
Tel: 757 229 4020
reservations@williamhosphouse.com
www.williamsburghosphouse.com

A couple of blocks west of Merchants Square and across the street from the William & Mary campus, this ersatz 18th-century brick building is the de facto designated lodging for visiting parents of students. Recent renovations have spruced up the 296 rooms with blue carpets, toile bedspreads, Colonial-style wood furniture, and enlarged dressing areas; the public spaces and hallways are next in line for upgrading. Suites are double the rates but enormous, often with four-poster beds. There's a decent American restaurant that serves breakfast on the patio, an all-day grill, and an outdoor swimming pool.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Hotel 1000
1000 First Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 957 1000
Tel: 877 315 1088
www.hotel1000seattle.com

Geek and chic converge in playful synergy at this 120-room upstart on the southern edge of Downtown. The predominant vibe may be one of a design-forward boutique hotel, but the technology is so advanced you'd swear Bill Gates was brought on as a consultant. Highlights include infrared sensors so housekeeping can tell if your room is occupied, electronic "Do Not Disturb" signs, and changing art on plasma screens. Rooms also come tricked out with all the right acronyms (40-inch LCD HDTVs, VoIP phones, and high speed Wi-Fi), while interiors are warm and inviting, with earthy tones, cherry wood, and floor-to-ceiling views of Puget Sound. Head downstairs to the trendy scene at BOKA Kitchen + Bar to sample cocktails and "urban bites" such as cornbread cupcakes studded with crab and crème fraîche frosting. And in case you've overindulged, an invigorating earth algae detox from the full-service "Spaahh" should do the trick.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hôtel Americano
518 West 27th Street
Chelsea
New York City , New York
10001
Tel: 212 216 0000
info@hotel-americano.com
Hotel-Americano.com

Looking to become the go-to hot spot for young artists and scenesters in ever-trendy Chelsea, the 10-story Hôtel Americano, opened September 2011, has emerged from top to bottom as a sophisticated cultural clubhouse for the world's bespectacled art elites. Beneath the hotel, Bar Americano is perhaps the sexiest bunker in the city, with curved concrete walls, white-leather Scandinavian furniture, and a sunken Brazilian bar (the living room–esque El Privado is tucked away in the back for VIPs). On the ground floor, guests can sip on strong coffee and sup on inventive Latin–French dishes in The Americano restaurant, with a back patio for dining alfresco. Up and up, via a dedicated elevator, the all-weather rooftop lounge La Piscine has Mediterranean flair (and fare) in the summer and alpine frills (and a wood-fire grill) in the winter, along with a heated pool open year-round. As for the accommodations, the 56 midcentury minimalist rooms are comfortable, if a bit small, reminiscent of an urban ryokan with platform beds, gallery-white walls, and a mix of textures—wood, felt, chambray, mirrored metal, marble, brushed concrete. The standard Downtown King and Queen rooms are not much more than crash pads with '60s-inspired vinyl beanbag settees, iPads loaded with tunes and concierge apps, but no desks. On a relatively grander scale, the Uptown Studios have a separate sitting room with low-to-the-ground furniture and hanging teardrop fireplaces, and somewhat awkward soaking tubs in the small bathrooms. Denim robes from Loden Dager, Aesop toiletries, 24-hour room service delivered in bento boxes, and mezcal tequila and harmonicas in the minibar add just the right amount of quirkiness. In lesser hands, all this mishmash might appear muddled, but interior designer Arnaud Montigny (of Colette fame) nails the je ne sais quoi of cool.—Justin Ocean

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Ändra
2000 Fourth Avenue
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 448 8600
hotelandra@hotelandra.com
www.hotelandra.com

The Ändra is like a smaller, gentler version of the W: It has similar modern (in this case, Scandinavian) aesthetics, but is a little brighter, a little more personal, and a little less expensive. The 119 guest rooms are done up in warm browns and cool blues, with khaki walls, alpaca headboards, and oversized executive-style desks. Please forgive the Ändra for joining the current trend of calling a lobby a "living room," because in this case it actually feels like one, with a fireplace, cords of stacked wood, and some cozy nooks and crannies to relax in. The attached restaurant is Lola, a North African/Mediterranean venture from local star chef Tom Douglas. It's well placed in Belltown, with plenty of trendy restaurant and nightlife options.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Angeleno
170 N. Church Lane
Los Angeles , California
Tel: 310 476 6411
hotelangeleno.com

An extreme makeover has turned an aging Los Angeles icon, the 1971 circular tower at the 405 freeway's Sunset Boulevard off-ramp, into a sleek 209-room property, the first SoCal foray for Bay Area–based Joie de Vivre hotels. A thick steel-and-glass barrier minimizes the endless whoosh of traffic, and even during rush hour the intimate pool area with its outdoor fireplace feels as private as a Bel Air estate. Low ceilings and ice machines in the hallways recall the building's previous incarnation as a Holiday Inn, but the overhauled rooms pick up considerable height, and the masculine-toned space is softened by pillowtop beds and lots of sunshine. There's free Wi-Fi, and chauffeured Cadillac Escalades offer guests free lifts to the immediate surroundings, including the hilltop Getty Center. Staff are unfailingly friendly, including at the top-floor West restaurant.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Aspen
110 West Main Street
Aspen , Colorado
81611
Tel: 800 527 7369 (toll-free)
www.hotelaspen.com

Looking for a low-key, more sophisticated option? This remodeled property just off the main drag has a more refined feel. A $1.5 million face-lift in 2010 modernized the 45 spacious rooms, adding sharp chocolate-brown, orange, turquoise, and mustard accents. Opt for a Deluxe Room, set toward the back of the hotel, for a quieter setting, with views out over the pool. That pool and hot tub were also rejuvenated during the renovation, and lots of extras are included in the rate: Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, airport shuttles, and nightly après-ski gatherings with wine and snacks.—by Samantha Berman

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Beaux Arts Miami
255 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami , Florida
33131
Tel: 888 717 8858 (toll-free)
Tel: 305 421 8700
Fax: 305 421 8601
www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/miabx-hotel-beaux-arts-miami

"What time would you like your ice delivered?" That's the question you might find yourself pondering upon check-in here, where seemingly minute decisions take on a heightened sense of gravity. That's because all your other concerns have been worked out in advance via e-mail by the diligent staff. Ensconced on the top three floors of the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami, this 44-room hotel-within-a-hotel couldn't differ more from its larger, business-minded sibling. For starters, there's a private check-in desk on the 39th floor and an intimate guests-only lounge. Swathed in dark brown and white hues, rooms have impressive city vistas from floor-to-ceiling windows, and are smartly equipped with Bang & Olufsen electronics, Illy espresso makers, and iPads. Huge marble tubs and sinks have touch-controlled faucets that illuminate based on water temperature. Venturing to the bustling JW Marriott will provide plenty of other diversions, including a Jim McLean Golf School, a basketball court, and a virtual bowling alley, as well as chef Daniel Boulud's excellent seafood-centric DB Bistro Moderne.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Biba
320 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach , Florida
33405
Tel: 561 832 0094
reservations@hotelbiba.com
www.hotelbiba.com

Those looking for a hip, modern alternative to British colonial and Italian Renaissance will feel more at home at this former motor lodge in West Palm Beach, just over the bridge from the Island. British designer Barbara Hulanicki breathed new life into it when she took it over in 2001. The Swinging Sixties London icon, famed for her Biba label, filled the 46 rooms with mod furniture and her trademark citrus colors: orange walls, lots of plexiglass, and crisp white sheets. All of the usual hotel amenities are there as well. Bathrooms are stocked with Aveda products and the tech is up to date (flat-screen TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi). A breakfast of sticky Cuban pastries is served in the Biba Bar every morning and the bar's Asian-style garden is the perfect place for a nightcap. The location in the El Cid district also puts it right near the shops, restaurants, and bars on Clematis Street.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Bohème
444 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco , California
94133
Tel: 415 433 9111
Fax: 415 362 6292
www.hotelboheme.com

Smack dab in the heart of North Beach, San Francisco's Little Italy, the Hotel Bohème nods to the neighborhood's Beat era heyday. What the 12-room boutique hotel lacks in amenities, it compensates for with a strong sense of place. A climb up the thickly carpeted, creaky wooden staircase (there's no elevator) reveals an old-fashioned, pensionelike inn. The hallways are lined with gallery-quality black-and-white photographs of North Beach in the '50s and lamps shaded with decoupage sheet music and poetry by Allen Ginsberg (a frequent guest back in the day). Done in burnt orange and sage green, rooms are simple and cozy, with armoires, gingham bedspreads on cast-iron beds, bistro tables, and rattan side chairs with Chinese-motif cushions. Bathrooms are tiny and have no tubs, but they're spotless and sport sunny yellow tile. We're not convinced of the mosquito netting doubling as a crown canopy over the bed, but such touches add to the hotel's funky charm. Outside, the colorful neighborhood is chockablock with sidewalk cafés, indie boutiques, and Italian pastry shops, but the street scene gets loud. The hotel has double-pane windows, but if you're a light sleeper, book a room in the back.—John Vlahides

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Burnham
1 W. Washington Street
Chicago , Illinois
60602
Tel: 877 294 9712 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 782 1111
reservations@burnhamhotel.com
www.burnhamhotel.com

For a historic stay with a dash of flash, the Burnham is the place. Named for famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, this 122-room Kimpton boutique hotel is tucked into a landmark former office building (one of the city's first skyscrapers) with a prime State Street address, across from Macy's. Many of the structure's original details—marble wainscoting on ceilings and walls, terrazzo floors, mahogany trim, and ornamental elevator grills—were preserved during the 1999 renovation. Clubby, European-style guest rooms, once the building's offices, are splashed in gold and navy blue with velvet headboards, sateen bedspreads, and mahogany writing desks. Rooms on the northeast corner have the best views. Its Atwood Café has delicious comfort food—go for one of the signature pot pies. Pets are welcome.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Captain Cook
939 W. Fifth Avenue
Anchorage , Alaska
99501
Tel: 800 843 1950
www.captaincook.com

Named for legendary explorer James Cook, the 547-room Captain Cook is Alaska's landmark hotel, and as the tallest building around, it's very hard to miss. Inside, the vibe is Old World meets Dallas, with doormen in top hats and lots of overstuffed leather furniture. The rooms are pleasant, if a little corporate in style, and quite a bargain for downtown, especially since the hotel is within walking distance of nearly all of Anchorage's main attractions. For the best views of Cook Inlet or the Chugach Mountains, spring for a suite on a high floor. There's a full-service athletic club (a rarity for Alaska hotels), and the top-floor Crow's Nest restaurant stocks over 10,000 bottles of wine (the state's most extensive selection) to pair with French-American fusion cuisine and spectacular panoramic views. The bar has plenty of comfy chairs and is quiet enough that you don't have to shout to carry on a conversation. Keep in mind that while the Captain Cook is the grandest of Anchorage's hotels and the first choice of visiting bigwigs, it also attracts a lot of package tours and can get very busy.—Edward Readicker-Henderson

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Casa del Mar
1910 Ocean Way
Santa Monica , California
90405
Tel: 310 581 5533
Fax: 310 581 5503
www.hotelcasadelmar.com

After a $50 million renovation, the Hotel Casa del Mar opened in 1999 next to its sister hotel, Shutters on the Beach. But while Shutters has a beach-house aesthetic, the 129-room Casa, which was a private beach club in the 1920s, is done up in grand Mediterranean style. There's a stately marble lobby and a pool suspended above the sand on a wide terrace; rooms have overstuffed toile sofas and bamboo-and-wood headboards, and each has a plush chaise at the end of the bed. The white marble bathrooms with big whirlpool tubs have frosted-glass windows that can be opened onto the bedrooms (each room's "Chill Bar" includes toiletries like gel masques and bath crystals—although they'll cost you extra). The three duplex penthouse suites all have fireplaces; one has its own exercise room. On the fourth floor is the Murad Spa—although massages can also be had in poolside cabanas—and the 75-seat, first-floor restaurant, Oceanfront, has spectacular sunset views. The hotel's once mediocre service, like the decor, seems to have undergone an overhaul—staffers are now attentive and solicitous.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Avenue
Coronado , California
Tel: 619 435 6611
Tel: 800 468 3533
www.hoteldel.com

It's gotten knocked recently for being a bit tired, but this 1888 landmark is still packing 'em in for vacations, weddings, dinners, and conference…but especially vacations. Yes, the Del is showing its age, but an ongoing series of facelifts is improving the rooms and adding (by summer 2007) a new spa and fitness center and a modern wing with cottages on the sand. Yup, this is the hotel from Some Like It Hot (it stood in for Miami, actually), so you can revel in the Del's iconographic status: a white, palm-fringed Victorian with picturesque red spires and gables on prime beach real estate on Coronado Island. Or you can just appreciate the benefits of staying at a vast (688-room) resort: Great beaches (with surfing instructors on hand), two pools, bikes for hire, take-out delis, a bakery that opens at 6 a.m., and an exceptionally child-friendly attitude, down to supplying swim diapers at the pool.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel deLuxe
729 S.W. 15th Avenue
Portland , Oregon
97205
Tel: 866 895 2094 (toll-free)
Tel: 503 219 2094
info@hoteldeluxeportland.com
hoteldeluxeportland.com

Hotel deLuxe's decor draws on Hollywood's Golden Age for inspiration, with original gilt moldings, crystal chandeliers, and some 350 black-and-white photos of film stars. The overall effect is surprisingly glamorous for a city not known for glitz. The public spaces have an old-fashioned feel, but the rooms themselves are contemporary and refreshingly unstuffy, with up-to-the-minute amenities (HDTV, iPods, and so on). With buttery yellow walls, two-tone green curtains, high ceilings, and crisp white linens, they feel sunny, airy, and bright. The hotel is part of the mini chain Provenance Hotels, which focuses on personalizing the guest experience. So you can pick a pillow from the hotel's menu, choose from a selection of iPod programs, and make creative use of the "Make It So" button on the phone. The hotel's sexy lounge, the Driftwood Room, is a great place to savor a martini and mix with locals around a curving bar. Located just east of the downtown core, it's within easy walking distance of shops and restaurants.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Fauchère
401 Broad Street
Milford , Pennsylvania
Tel: 570 409 1212
hotelfauchere.com

Hotel Fauchère is a tasteful addition to a growing category of hostelry: the destination inn. Its impeccable decor (chic and eclectic), food (a New American menu that includes frog's legs in garlic and caramel-glazed rockfish fillet), art collection (Hudson River School oils), and history (past guests include Franz Liszt and Henry Ford) underscore its appeal. This 1852 inn, lovingly restored to period architectural quality, hosted presidents and movie stars at the turn of the nineteenth century; today it's a weekend magnet for sophisticated New Yorkers and Philadelphians who are discovering this small, revitalized Poconos town and making it a base for antiquing, skiing, hiking, and spa-ing at the nearby Lodge at Woodloch. Anigre wood and contemporary photographs make the basement Bar Louis a slick contrast to the more traditionally decorated dining room and guest rooms upstairs. The service is warm, but bad weather can leave the place regrettably shorthanded.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel George
15 E Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
20001
Tel: 202 347 4200
rooms@hotelgeorge.com
www.hotelgeorge.com

Right next to Capitol Hill, this Kimpton property was the first hotel to bring cutting-edge design to a very traditional, Federalist city. The first clue is the gleaming chrome and glass facade. (The second is the fact that Christina Aguilera has slept here.) Inside, the lobby is white coralina stone with lipstick-red sofas, and a black baby-grand piano sits by the reception desk. Each of the 139 rooms has custom furniture (a granite-topped desk, for example), black-and-white marble in the bathroom, bold mirrors, and a yoga kit (mat, block, strap) to use while watching the in-house yoga channel on the room's flat-screen TV. It's no accident that big pop-art dollar bills, by Warhol colleague Steve Kaufman, hang on the walls—the unconventional images of George Washington are a cheeky nod to the presidential history that is all around in D.C. Bistro Bis, a modern French restaurant, has a lively bar and a regular clientele of senators and congressmen.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa
5031 Hana Highway
Hana , Hawaii
96713
Tel: 800 321 4262 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 248 8211
reservations@hotelhanamaui.com
www.hotelhanamaui.com

Hana's lush beauty has been protected from overdevelopment by the daunting two-hour drive in or out on the twisty Hana Highway, and aficionados swear it's the last authentic place on Maui. This sprawling luxury ranch takes full advantage of the unspoiled setting: The eight one- and two-bedroom oceanfront Sea Ranch Cottages sit out where the land suddenly drops into the sea. The wooden houses have high, beamed ceilings, an enclosed garden off the modern bathroom, and interiors done up in vintage Hawaiian designs. There are amenities for guests at nearby Hamoa Beach, a pool that overlooks the ocean, and a state-of-the-art spa with open-air treatment rooms. An additional four Maui Bay Cottages sit closer to the main building, with views over Hana Bay or the garden, and for complete privacy, the turn-of-the-century Plantation House has two bedrooms and is a 10-minute walk from the hotel's main building (there's a shuttle service too). Attention, honeymooners: September is an adult-only month.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Healdsburg
25 Matheson Street
Healdsburg , California
95448
Tel: 800 889 7188 (toll-free)
Tel: 707 431 2800
frontoffice@hotelhealdsburg.com
www.hotelhealdsburg.com

The 55-room Hotel Healdsburg has stark, unfussy interiors done in warm woods and greens with bright-white bedding and Tibetan rugs covering hardwood floors. (The best rooms have balconies overlooking the buzzing Healdsburg plaza.) Bathrooms are likewise minimalist in design, with poured-concrete vanities and giant soaking tubs for two. The look is sleek and contemporary, but with so many hard surfaces, rooms can be echoey. The lobby is a happening gathering spot and a great place to warm up with a glass of zin on a chilly afternoon, especially beside the fire sculpture in the hearth. Come morning, the lobby becomes the breakfast room; the extensive buffet is included in the rate (the smoked salmon is delicious, but the accompanying bagels will disappoint New Yorkers). There's also an outdoor lap pool, fitness room, and spa with regionally inspired treatments, such as a wine-and-honey wrap and seasonal fruit scrub. Even if this weren't northern Sonoma's smartest address, the well-dressed crowd would probably still flock here for co-owner and chef Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, where most ingredients and all the wines come from Sonoma County, some from as close as the garden out back.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Indigo
683 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta , Georgia
30308
Tel: 866 246 3446 (toll-free)
Tel: 404 874 9200
indigomidtownhotel@ichotelsgroup.com
www.midtownatlantahotel.com

Right next door to the Georgian Terrace, Hotel Indigo is the cool complement to its neighbor's classic charm. This 140-room property—the first in the InterContinental Hotels Group's new contempo boutique chain—compensates for its no-frills facilities and cramped spaces with playful design: The guest rooms are outfitted with whitewashed furniture, plush beds with lavender-colored duvets, colorful murals (of irises, beach grass, blueberries, or cable-knit sweaters), and spalike bathrooms. Light sleepers should request a room that faces away from Peachtree, one of the city's noisiest streets. The hotel's bar-restaurant, the Golden Bean, is a nice place to unwind and meet other guests—just skip the microwave-meals menu. Indigo is close to various Midtown restaurants, bars, and attractions.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Indigo
1244 N. Dearborn Parkway
Chicago , Illinois
60610
Tel: 312 787 4980
Tel: 866 521 6950 (toll-free)
Fax: 312 787 4069
www.goldcoastchicagohotel.com/

Part of a midpriced boutique chain launched by InterContinental Hotels, the Hotel Indigo has an exuberant Margaritaville-meets-Nantucket design theme. The color-splashed lobby is decked out with oversize Adirondack chairs and a circular check-in desk that resembles a concession stand, but even that doesn't prepare you for the fun-house guest rooms. A typical room includes a blue phone, seashell-shaped light fixtures, whitewashed cupboards and headboards, and a small bathroom with a candy-colored shower curtain (no tubs) and Aveda products. The Golden Bean café on the ground floor dishes up salads and sandwiches, as well as a slight break from the over-the-top decor—if you want to maintain the color scheme, order the Peruvian blue corn chips with blue cheese dip. The playful Indigo also observes the seasons by shifting to different palettes (expect your room key and the lobby decor to be red, rust, or orange in the fall), but the year-round affordable rates (starting at around $250 or so on weekends) and the location on a leafy Gold Coast side street are the real draws.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Indigo
1719 West End Avenue
Nashville , Tennessee
37203
Tel: 866 246 3446
Tel: 615 329 4200
inspiration@wesleygroup.com
www.hotelindigo.com

It's hard to miss the Hotel Indigo. Rising 11 floors above busy West End Avenue near Vanderbilt and Music Row, the bright-blue exterior is a beacon for trendy travelers looking for a stay with a bit of snob appeal (most folks consider this Nashville's only real boutique hotel—even though it's part of a chain owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group). Indigo's rooms are a bit cramped, something that probably has more to do with the large proportions of the dark-wood furniture and awkward placement of interior walls than actual square footage. But the extra-tall beds and long chaises are good-looking and comfortable, and the Aveda products in the bathroom and sizable walk-in showers are nice touches. On the downside, parking is expensive ($21 a day, even if you self-park), and the lobby restaurant and coffee bar are kind of dinky. The real problem with Indigo is what lies outside the front door: Unless you like gazing on parked cars and the occasional derelict, the view outside the floor-to-ceiling windows is far from attractive. But it's a great deal for the location, so keep your eyes focused on the interior of the lobby, which has large paintings from area artists.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Ivy
201 South Eleventh Street
Minneapolis , Minnesota
55403
Tel: 612 746 4600
www.starwoodhotels.com/luxury/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1721

Minneapolis's frigid winters are famous, so it's only fitting that this hotel takes icy minimalism to a breathtaking extreme. The cavernous lobby is an elegant study in sharp edges, marble, glass, and winter-white fabrics, which lends it a mid-century modern air. Remarkably, with a little help from the gracious staff, the overall effect is warm and welcoming. The economy of design extends to the 136 spare but comfortable rooms. The marble-clad bathrooms are nearly as large as the bedrooms, and each has a separate soaking tub with city views. Twenty-one handsomely appointed suites are located in the adjacent Ivy Tower, a compact office building built in 1930; this ziggurat-style edifice also houses a top-notch spa, a gym, and a two-story restaurant. It may all be a bit staid for trendy types, but for grown-ups in search of comfort and style, this is the address.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Jerome
330 E. Main Street
Aspen , Colorado
81611
Tel: 800 331 7213 (toll-free)
Tel: 970 920 1000
reservations@hjerome.com
www.hoteljerome.com

The Jerome dates from the days of the Wild West—1889, to be exact, when the co-owner of Macy's, Jerome B. Wheeler, settled in town, determined to raise its tone. The hotel is still taking its style cues from that era, which is a good thing if you like cozy lounges with gas fires, crimson wallpaper, velvet couches, and crystal chandeliers. The 92 rooms all have king-size beds with down comforters, oversize closets, and marble tubs. The hotel has a ski concierge who will dry boots and organize lift passes; the saloonlike J-Bar is the single most beloved après joint in Aspen, thick with bold-faced visitors replacing ski calories with bourbon-spiked milkshakes called Aspen Crud. The outdoor hot tub with heated towel service is also a draw, but unlike the other two grande dames (Nell and St. Regis), the Jerome is set back a few blocks from the mountain.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel La Fonda de Taos
108 Southside Plaza
Taos , New Mexico
87571
Tel: 505 758 2211
info@hotellafonda.com
www.hotellafonda.com

Occupying prime real estate on the Plaza within walking distance of galleries and restaurants, La Fonda has the best location in Taos. The three-story property was built in 1882 and has 24 rooms, most of them standard queens. Like most old adobe buildings it has small windows, but a 1999 renovation heightened the ceilings. The rooms are unremarkable but well maintained, with basic wood armoires, Mexican tin mirrors, and tile bathrooms. Rooms are without individual temperature controls, which will trouble some guests. The third-floor penthouse, with its full kitchen, dining area, and private roof deck, is a good place for an extended stay. Two other plus points: Joseph's Table, one of Taos's best destination restaurants, and a parking lot reserved for guests (even in tiny downtown Taos, parking is a hassle). No surprise that the building is rife with Taos history. The hotel's former owner, Saki Karavas, who died in 1996, was an infamous lothario about town and an avid art collector. In 1956 he acquired nine of the 13 so-called "Forbidden Paintings" by D.H. Lawrence, who lived in Taos for a short time. The somewhat lascivious paintings were banned from English soil in 1929, and they're still on private display— just ask the staff for a viewing.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Lanai
828 Lanai Avenue
Lanai City , Hawaii
96763
Tel: 877 665 2624 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 565 7211
hotellanai@wave.hicv.net
www.hotellanai.com

Originally built in 1923 by pineapple pioneer James Dole for company VIPs and guests, this historic property became Lanai's first hotel. Details such as hardwood floors, ceiling fans, pineapple-shaped bedside lamps, hand-stitched quilts, and vintage photographs evoke the bygone era. Its up-country location is about eight miles from the beach, but you'll get a more authentic feel for local life here than you will at the island's two over-the-top resorts, the Lodge at Koele and Manele Bay. Attentive, friendly service, out-on-the-porch tranquility, and the island's most popular restaurant—the lively Lanai City Grille—make this affordable 11-room inn a real gem. (For the most privacy, rent the original caretaker's cottage.) Being a stroll away from Lanai City center and Dole Park's shops and restaurants doesn't hurt either.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Lucia
400 S.W. Broadway
Portland , Oregon
97205
Tel: 877 225 1717 (toll-free)
Tel: 503 225 1717
info@hotellucia.com
www.hotellucia.com

The Lucia is the little black dress of the Portland hotel scene: versatile, elegant, and impeccably stylish. Sister property of the Hotel deLuxe, the black-and-white minimalism of the lobby highlights contemporary works by regional artists, and striking photos by Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer David Hume Kennerly cover the walls of other public spaces. Although the look can be hipper-than-thou, the welcome is friendly, and the spaces are intimate and inviting. The rooms are an unfussy mix of neutral tones and rich textures (except for the bathrooms, some of which are painted a bold deep red), and feature all the high-tech amenities and creature comforts you'd expect from a luxury boutique hotel—from pillow menus and organic coffee to iPod docking stations and a "Get it Now!" button. The perfect location near downtown shops and the restaurants of the buzzing Pearl District makes up for the slightly small rooms—spring for a King Superior for a bit more space. And by all means indulge in the 24-hour room service from its outstanding Thai restaurant Typhoon.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Madeline Telluride
568 Mountain Village Boulevard
Telluride , Colorado
81435
Tel: 970 369 0880
www.hotelmadelinetelluride.com

In a prime Mountain Village spot steps from the gondola into Telluride town, this 100-room stone-and-stucco resort feels pleasingly intimate despite its large scale. The polished staff—which includes a personal assistant stationed in the cozy Living Room (stocked around the clock with coffee and snacks)—are as courteous as they are good-looking, from waitstaff who remember special requests from the day before to ski valets who wipe down and warm up your gear. The guest rooms, coated in neutral tones that lend it a somewhat generic mountain lodge-style, are nonetheless bright and generously proportioned, with extra drawer space under an obscenely restful bed, a sofa and an armchair with a tufted leather ottomon, complimentary soft drinks, a soaking tub, and a powerful shower with a seating area. The Onyx restaurant, which overlooks the new ice rink, serves waist-widening breakfasts and a more formal meat-and-potatoes menu at night, while Suede Bar is a low-key après-ski choice. Flexible check-out times, a small but inviting indoor pool with bench seating (retractable glass doors open in good weather), and a spa with a relaxation lounge complete with a fireplace round out the amenities.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Max
620 Stewart Street
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 728 6299
Fax: 206 443 5754
www.hotelmaxseattle.com

Hotel Max has secured the honor of hippest hotel in the city, located close to the Fifth Avenue shopping district. Decor is a crisp palette of grays, whites, reds, and oranges along with a selection of attractive hi-tech frills (flat-screen TVs, little CD players). There are also comforts you'd find in a more ostentatious hotel, such as showpiece beds piled high with marshmallow-soft pillows. The Max is all about promoting local artists, and each of the 163 rooms has original artwork, with each floor dedicated to the (often provocative) work of a different local photographer. There are some rock-star worthy amenities, too, such as 24-hour room service from the Asian-fusion/sushi restaurant off the lobby, and a "You Got It" button on each room phone, which you can use to challenge the concierge with bizarre 3 a.m. requests. Note that rooms are on the small side—but big enough to pass out in after a night of debauchery, which should give you an idea of some of the clientele.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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Hotel Monaco
506 S.W. Washington Street
Portland , Oregon
97204
Tel: 800 546 7866 (toll-free)
Tel: 503 222 0001
www.monaco-portland.com

Like other Kimpton hotels, the Hotel Monaco bucks the sterile and minimalist boutique trend in favor of character and whimsy. Upon entering, you'll likely be greeted by Art, the official hotel dog, who's got his own bed and painted portrait in the lobby (if your own furry friend is along for the ride, you can book a session with the on-site pet psychic). The hotel draws inspiration from the local artists; creative types appear once a month, and guests are invited to try their hand at painting at wine-and-cheese gatherings every evening. The hotel's cheerful signature stripes and the red and periwinkle colors in the Asian-themed lobby do a good job of offsetting the often monochromatic Portland weather. The spacious and high-ceilinged rooms do the same with a riot of patterns and textures—think plaids, stripes, and dots. The whimsy doesn't end there: Animal-print robes add a dash of sass, and teddy bears on the beds are a reminder of the building's history as a department store. All fun aside, the amenities are top notch—flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, l'Occitane toiletries—and the polished service shows that the hotel takes its job seriously. Ask for a room on one of the upper floors for maximum quiet. And if you get lonely, request a goldfish to keep you company for the duration of your stay. The staff is always happy to oblige.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Monaco
700 F Street N.W.
Washington , D.C.
20004
Tel: 202 628 7177
Fax: 202 628 7277
www.monaco-dc.com

The West Coast–based Kimpton Hotel Group brought its successful Monaco brand into D.C. with a flourish when it took over the disting