We’re living in the golden age of hotels that have craft cocktails, Instagram-ready design, and in-room turntables. These properties, ranging from West Texan motels to loft-like boutiques in the middle of city noise, are our absolute favorites of the breed.
13. Thunderbird, Marfa, Texas
If you take the classic road trip to Marfa, an artist’s oasis in West Texas, you may as well do as the packs of RISD grads and stay at this motel. The only frills in these 24 rooms are Malin + Goetz products, hand-crafted textiles, and artwork from brilliant minds who’ve passed through town.
12. The Graham and Co., Catskills, New York
A little over two hours from Manhattan, Graham and Co. offers an adult sleep-away camp experience for weary New Yorkers with badminton, fire pits, and backyard movie nights in front of a giant projector.
11. Surf Lodge, Montauk, New York
The best place to stay in Montauk for waterfront hammock naps, fish that was caught that afternoon, and easy transport to Ditch Plains beach via a military utility vehicle manned by a Spicoli body-double.
10. Urban Cowboy B&B, Brooklyn
Say you don’t have a close friend who lives in Brooklyn but you want the experience of sleeping under a dream catcher in their guest room. And you want fresh croissants in the morning. And also a hot tub. This place checks those boxes.
9. Ojai Rancho Inn, Ojai, California
Ojai Rancho Inn has many of the hipster hotel staples—cabin-vibe rooms, a retro poolside bar, and an abundance of white brick. We like the wallet-friendly prices and the fact they allow dogs, too.
8. Longman & Eagle, Chicago
If we had a single complaint about Longman and Eagle, it would be that their six rooms fill up so damn fast. Book ahead or just swing by their exceptional bar for one of the most impressive rare whiskey lists in the country.
7. The Line, Los Angeles
Book a room here for the dreamiest view we’ve fallen asleep to in Los Angeles: Beds face floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the Hollywood Hills. Smack dab in the heart of Koreatown, it’s also home to buzzy Korean-American restaurant POT.
6. Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn
For some reason, it took awhile for Williamsburg, oft-lauded “coolest neighborhood in the world,” to get a cool hotel. The Wythe brought stark-but-sexy interiors, a rooftop bar with impressive views of the Manhattan skyline, and Andrew Tarlow’s Reynard, which has a menu of wood-fired dishes and a can’t-miss list of quirky, hard-to-find natural wines.
5. 21C Museum Hotel, Louisville
When you book a stay in Kentucky of all places, you don’t expect NSFW murals, larger-than-life interactive installations, and tongue-in-cheek bathrooms with two-way mirrors, but that’s what you get at the MoMA-like 21C.
4. Ace Hotel, New York
Similar in spirit to its Portland kin, the Ace Hotel in New York has been a go-to for creative types who want easy access to coffee and food since it opened in 2009. The best coffee spot in the area—Stumptown—is downstairs, as is April Bloomfield’s The Breslin, home to a lamb burger and duck-fat fries that are also available for room service.
3. The Freehand, Miami
Do you know how hard it is to find a decent drink and non-Euro-waxed-chest crowd in South Beach? Not hard at all if you’re staying at the Freehand, whose backyard has cocktails that are made with herbs from the on-site garden, ping-pong tables, DJs, and a bounty of graffiti tags.
2. The Ace, Portland
It’s the not original Ace—those honors go to the Seattle location, a renovated halfway house which still feels like walking into a 90s grunge music video—but it is the one that made military blankets, cheeky posters, and sleeping in an abandoned industrial warehouse “a thing.”
1. Saint Cecilia, Austin
Perhaps the best part of the Saint Cecilia is its stealth location. Even though it’s steps from the busiest drag in Austin, you’d think you were in a rural retreat if you were dropped here blind. We especially like the pool, bannered by neon signage, the Hästens beds (made of braided Swedish horse-hair, which sounds crazy, feels like a cloud), and a bar that is open for no one but guests of their 14 rooms.
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