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12 Mid-Century Modern Hotels

Mid-century modern design has been having much more than just a moment — it might be more accurate to say it never really went away. In architecture, many of its tenets, from glass walls and open plans to an emphasis on light and space, have become so pervasive that we just about take them for granted. Anyone who has spent much time in boutique hotels has sunk into a few Mies chairs and laid their phone on an Eames table or two. Here’s a roundup of hotels that make a look into a way of life.

PARKER PALM SPRINGS - boutique hotel in Palm Springs
Palm Springs, California

Just about any Palm Springs hotel could have made this list, as mid-century modern is essentially the city’s house style. We chose the Parker for the way designer Jonathan Adler blended classic Palm Springs modernism with the other aesthetic threads in the hotel’s long, stylish history.

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GRAND FERDINAND WIEN - boutique hotel in Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Vienna has a ton of centuries to choose from, true, but rest assured that we’re concerned just with the last one here in a 1950s building with a matching aesthetic in the furnishings. Everywhere you’ll catch a wink of retro chrome or glass brick, each accordion lamp or splayed leg a paean to a time when materials told their stories with postwar bravado. Yes, there’s a rooftop; yes, it has a pool. Off you go.

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THE STANDARD MIAMI - boutique hotel in Miami
Miami, Florida

Maybe it’s the lingering glow of the city’s golden age, but whatever the reason, mid-century modern interiors just look better with that Miami sunlight flooding in through the windows. The Standard Miami mixes the local brand of ’50s modernism with Scandinavian furniture of the same period, all in a setting that’s a little lower-key than nearby Collins Avenue.

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THE QVEST - boutique hotel in Cologne
Cologne, Germany

Don’t let the neo-Gothic elements fool you: first and foremost this is a loving tribute to titans of design and style, with substantial representation of everyone from Mies and Le Corbusier to Eames and Jacobsen. Far from clashing, the two sensibilities end up blending beautifully, offsetting what might otherwise read as decadence or profligacy with space, patience, and raw textural appeal. Calling all Kölners: get a room.

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HOTEL ALEXANDRA - boutique hotel in Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark

The interiors of the century-old Hotel Alexandra seem to have crystallized sometime around 1955, and the truly impressive collection of Danish furniture is put to exceedingly good use in rooms that serve as live-in homages to the great Danish designers — Arne Jacobsen, Hans Wegner and Finn Juhl among them.

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THE BURRARD - boutique hotel in Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia

It is the West Coast, after all, and so a certain sun-kissed formal confidence isn’t as rare as one might initially expect. In this case, the credibility goes a bit further: this erstwhile, bonafide Fifties motor inn now returns to its roots with new sheen and amenities but no lack of aplomb. The seats are buckets, the public spaces drip with a be-seen glow, and the location couldn’t be better.

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BOUNDARY - boutique hotel in London
London, England

Boundary’s best rooms are like a lesson in the evolution of modern design, with separate ones dedicated to Le Corbusier, the Bauhaus movement, Andrée Putman and the Eameses, among others. Each one features a collection of furniture that would, on its own, give the hotel plenty of design cred, and it all adds up to more than the sum of its parts — making it possible to experience the pieces as part of a unified vision rather than as an accent here and there.

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HOTEL VALLEY HO - boutique hotel in Scottsdale
Scottsdale, Arizona

A Fifties building in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright, Hotel Valley Ho comes dressed up in bold retro colors and modernist furnishings. It’s a bit of a time capsule, albeit one with contemporary glass-walled terrazzo-tiled bathrooms and anachronistic high-definition LCD TV sets.

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AVALON HOTEL BEVERLY HILLS - boutique hotel in Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills, California

Formerly the Beverly Carlton, this retro ’50s hotel is packed with Eames, Noguchi and Nelson furniture to match its blocky blue façade and hourglass-shaped pool. And at least for Beverly Hills, the rates are retro, too.

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TRIDENT HOTEL - boutique hotel in Port Antonio
Port Antonio, Jamaica

The thirteen-villa Trident makes a strong case that the style of Jamaica’s ’50s and ’60s heyday belongs firmly in the here and now. It’s not just the immaculate mid-century furnishings that adorn the guest rooms, but also a pervasive air of old-fashioned, cocktail-swirling, island-hideaway glamour — most of all at Mike’s Supper Club, where on a given night a world-class vocalist might be draped over the Ferrari-red Steinway.

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MODERN HOTEL - boutique hotel in Boise
Boise, Idaho

For all its current cachet, the mid-century modern aesthetic somehow just looks more at home at this converted Travelodge motel in a minor American city. Boise’s Modern Hotel is true to the style at just about every turn, with teak furnishings, Nelson lamps and bright colors turning it into an almost eerily convincing time capsule.

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PARK HYATT CHICAGO - boutique hotel in Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

Park Hyatt Chicago’s use of classic mid-century Eames and Mies furnishings is subtle — which only makes it all the more impressive. There’s not an ounce of Jetsons kitsch, just an undercurrent of mid-century style that looks perfectly at home against the backdrop of the city’s architecturally distinguished skyline.

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