This category of hotels is exactly what the Ace hotels are all about, and each one of them is a worthy example in its home city. So we grouped them all together to make room for the rest. If you’re in a mood to sacrifice a little bit of luxury and gain an awful lot of buzz, then you could do a whole lot worse. For now the empire extends to New York, London, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Portland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and the original in Seattle — as well as the saucy Latin American cousin, the American Trade Hotel in Panama.
Sometimes the most extraordinary hotels feel almost gratuitous, and Hotel Wind Xiamen is one of these; a sprawling luxury complex in Xiamen could probably get by just fine with safe, inoffensive architecture, but Hotel Wind pulls out all the stops, and the result is thoroughly modern and exquisitely crafted to reflect its particular landscape.
It’s one thing to style yourself a rock-and-roll hotel, with a bit of album art on the walls. The Jupiter skips the trappings and goes straight for the main event — the hotel’s Doug Fir Lounge has played host to just about every band that matters in the indie music world, for well over a decade, and there’s a fair chance you’ll see the artists themselves at (late) breakfast.
Its sister hotel, Saint Cecilia, may offer more palpable swank at a steeper premium, but hell, we’re kinda partial to San Jose’s funky unpretentiousness. You’re in South Congress, anyway, so there’s no shortage of fixies and mason-jarred concoctions, plus the rooms here keep themselves to a clean, lived-in modern palette to gently nudge you out there where you belong. What’s that, a 10% discount for bands on the road? Well, why didn’t you say so earlier?
The folks who made Williamsburg a hot button aren’t exactly spring chickens anymore, but this corner of North Brooklyn still does brisk business in the be-seen scene, thanks in no small part to the river’s glass frontage and a handful of venues. You can’t miss the Wythe’s iconic, 50-foot “Hotel” sign, and speaking of not missing, stake out a rooftop spot early when the weather’s clement for truly astounding views.
Informed globetrotters likely have this one in the bag, but for the rest of us, Mama Shelter is a French import specializing in sociable, soothing boutiques for the design-inclined. You needn’t be young and doe-eyed to take advantage, of course, but a certain unaffected breathlessness goes a long way in the public spaces, especially in a town like this. Oh, and here’s how you pull a rooftop off: groovy, not too crowded, solid views, and something unreasonably delicious to sip on.
Parisian restaurateur Guillaume Rouget-Luchaire surrounds himself with creative talent — and he made the Hôtel Edgar a collaborative affair, enlisting from among his friends and family artists, fashion designers, photographers, film directors, and assorted other creative types to create the hotel’s multifarious spaces. Needless to say, it draws a similarly vibrant crowd.
Peninsula hotels are no shrinking violets in general, but VOLKSHOTEL goes above and beyond. You know we put little stock in star ratings, but if “five-star” simply means that all conceivable amenities are accounted for, then this may as well be a six-star hotel. This is one of the most luxurious hotel experiences to be had anywhere — yet the feeling of luxury, somehow, never crosses over into excess.
Time and again we’ve seen stylish hotels pitch themselves to the creative class, and then price themselves too high for their intended audience to afford. It’s even more important in Berlin — a town whose much-vaunted hipness has everything to do with its relatively modest cost of living — that the hip hotels make allowances for guests with more taste than cash.
Whether Freehand Miami is a luxury hostel or a back-to-basics boutique hotel is a mere semantic distraction. Though it’s surrounded by stratospherically luxurious South Beach hotels, Freehand is in most anyone’s league when it comes to funky style and fun atmosphere, and at a fraction of the price.
The Drake’s neighborhood is perfectly located for anyone interested in Toronto’s art scene, and everything that goes along with it — it isn’t overstating the case to compare Parkdale and Queen Street West to districts like Shoreditch or Williamsburg, and the down-to-earth Drake is perfectly tailored to its surroundings.
We’ve heard rumors to the effect that Providence, Rhode Island is the new Portland — weirdly, it’s the one in Oregon they’re talking about, which must be awkward for Maine — and you could hardly ask for a better illustration than the Dean Hotel, a fifty-two room boutique hotel in the Downcity district.