During the pandemic, some of us developed an unhealthy attachment to our TV sets. But as life slowly returns to normal, it’s time for less binge-watching and more traveling. These hotels will take you away from your favorite streaming shows — but not too far away. Can you guess them all?
There were people who acquired new skills during the pandemic — they learned a language, or an instrument, or how to bake bread and knit socks. Others, though, found the most comfortable spot possible and just sat there, watching television. A lot of television. As a result, the only thing they learned was that drugs make you better at chess maybe, or that Michael Jordan was poisoned by a pizza maybe, or that the “Not great, Bob!” meme isn’t as great as the show it comes from. Maybe.
If your extended time indoors was notable more for practicing Mare of Easttown’s Delco accent than practicing the piano, this list is for you. The hotels below remind us of some of the most-streamed programs of the past year, and they’ll help ease your transition back out into the world. We’ve provided clues as to why we chose them, but it’s up to you to connect the hotel to the show. Some will be easy, some a challenge. Answers will come at the end. If you get them all correct that’s a good thing. Maybe?
THE SHOWS AND CLUES:
THE OFFICE: Jim’s getaway
SURVIVOR: Peak Rob
MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL: Killing
I THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE: Real ones know
THE LAST DANCE: No flu-like symptoms here
MAD MEN: Cynicism and idealism
THE MANDALORIAN: Franchise roots
SUCCESSION: Boar on the floor
THE SOPRANOS: Johnny cakes
ZEROZEROZERO: Port of origin
THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT: Opening move
CALL MY AGENT: Sigourney
MARE OF EASTTOWN: Siobhan’s new digs
THE CROWN: The Queen emerges
REPAIR SHOP: Ply your trade
Masai Mara, Kenya
Mahali Mzuri offers a safari experience, billionaire-style. The name means “beautiful place” in Swahili, and the luxury hotel’s location on the grassy plains of a private nature conservancy is indeed picturesque. There’s a central tent with an open fireplace and a wide terrace where gourmet meals and free-flowing champagne are served, connected by open-air walkways to twelve additional tents. Each houses an elegant suite with a private furnished deck facing the wilderness.
Grupo Habita is responsible for more than a few of Mexico’s most stylish boutique hotels, including this outpost in Monterrey. And while other hotels in town play to Monterrey’s colonial heritage, the Habita opts for contemporary lines and a striking and utterly modern black-and-white color scheme, courtesy of the Mexican architect Agustín Landa and the Parisian interior designer Joseph Dirand. With thirty-nine rooms it keeps to the intimate scale that the Habita group does best.
In hospitality, concept is only part of the package — the delight is often in the details, and in the execution, and it’s there that the Graduates distinguish themselves. This one, a block from the University of California’s Berkeley campus, has plenty of fun with its concept, though; the fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones was a professor as well, and the Graduate Berkeley imagines what he might have done with a 144-room 1928-vintage hotel on Durant Avenue, a block off of Telegraph.
Perhaps no city in the United States is as famous for its precipitous decline as Detroit. But where there’s a low, there’s an opportunity to rise up, and today Detroit is also famous for the urban revitalization that’s currently in full swing. It’s a story that’s intimately bound up with the rise of the Detroit-based Shinola, a retailer selling watches, bicycles, and lifestyle products manufactured largely in America. And to this story we can add another tangible improvement that Shinola has made to downtown Detroit: the Shinola Hotel.
Spicers Sangoma Retreat
Blue Mountains, Australia
You don’t have to go far from bustling, cosmopolitan Sydney to get well and truly away from it all. Spicers Sangoma Retreat is fifty miles from the city, a little over an hour by car, but far enough into the Blue Mountains that the urban sprawl is but a distant memory. That faraway feeling is accentuated by the forest views, and by the African-inspired interiors — Sangoma is the Zulu word for “healer,” and there’s more than a little bit of a safari-lodge accent to these eight lavish modernist suites.
Washington School House
Park City, Utah
A Washington School House, the natural environment — the majesty of the mountain setting — is well-complemented by the hotel’s thoughtfully conceived built environment. Yes, it’s a 19th-century schoolhouse, but rustic cutesiness is far from the dominant tone. These twelve rooms and suites vary in style, but they’re all stylish, and all cleanly focused, so that antique elements, from aged hardwood floors to classic Europe-via-Rockies furnishings, are given their proper space against a simple white backdrop.
Post Ranch Inn
Big Sur, California
Post Ranch Inn is blessed with one of the most extraordinary locations on the face of the earth, a place of such breathtaking beauty it’s hard to believe it’s even accessible by mere automobile-driving mortals. Big Sur is the most scenic destination along California’s most scenic drive, and one of the last unspoiled places in America. It would be difficult for any man-made structure to compete with these cliffside views of the Pacific, or the majesty of the redwood forests; but this strange and decadent little hotel holds its own.
Roxbury at Stratton Falls
Roxbury, New York
For a while it was safe to say the original Roxbury motel was the only Catskills hotel with quite so whimsical and over-the top a design sense. But that was before its proprietors got their hands on the mansion that would become the Roxbury at Stratton Falls. It’s every bit the equal of its TV- and movie-obsessed sister hotel — the rooms in the mansion each go all in on a single theme, from a re-creation of the blacksmith’s shop that once stood on this site to the Mill of the Frozen Falls, an ice-white fantasia fit for a Disney princess.
The ownership team that brought you the Hi Hotel in Nice are at it again. Fortunately, both for the brand and for fans of eccentric hotels, they brought designer Matali Crasset with them on their Tunisian voyage. The result is an ecologically sensitive, brilliantly hued hotel, which just happens to be on the edge of the Sahara. Of the four types of accommodations, perhaps the “pill houses” are the most interesting. Each is a stand-alone, elevated structure, with walls that are mostly made of glass, providing staggeringly panoramic views.
Párisi Udvar Hotel
To say that the Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest is one of the most opulent hotels we’ve ever seen actually risks underselling it somewhat. The Art Nouveau shopping arcade that’s been converted into its lobby looks as though it’s been dipped in gold, and the original architecture is an eclectic mix of Parisian, Gothic, and Moorish styles. The rooms are toned down but still come with a generous helping of gilt and glamour. At all levels, they are lavish and well-appointed, and needless to say the suites and residences go above and beyond.
Hotel Las Islas
The Colombian province of Cartagena is best known for its namesake city, a colonial treasure whose atmosphere, however old-fashioned, is decidedly urban. Not far down the coast, however, is the lush, unspoiled idyll that is the island of Barú, home to the Corales de Rosario y de San Bernardo National Park — and to the Hotel Las Islas, whose bungalows spread from the private beach up into the dense tropical forest.
Inn at Thorn Hill
Jackson, New Hampshire
The Inn at Thorn Hill, a luxury hotel and spa in the woods of northern New Hampshire, is nothing if not relaxing. Each of the suites and rooms of the main building has its own unique style and layout, but all feature two-person whirlpool bathtubs and gas fireplaces. Guests in need of more space and privacy may also choose from a pair of charming independent cottages, while a larger group may prefer the historic carriage house, adjacent to the main building, whose six rooms can accommodate up to twelve guests.
A 17th-century mill house set on twelve acres of land in the Suffolk countryside finds new life as a hotel, one that combines timeless English country living with high-end contemporary boutique hospitality. This means, in the old mill house, modern double-sized freestanding tubs beneath ancient timbers, and in the newer rooms, clean contemporary Italian furnishings within rustic wooden structures. What it all revolves around, ultimately, is the award-winning restaurant, where chef Lee Bye serves modern British classics made from local, seasonal ingredients.
21c Museum Hotel
A renovation of the century-old First National Building, Lexington’s first skyscraper, 21c Museum Hotel is an architectural attraction unto itself. It’s a classic building turned into a thoroughly modern hotel by architect Deborah Berke, dean of the Yale School of Architecture. The guest rooms and suites are functionally the equal of any American luxury hotel, but with far, far more style — the look is accessibly attractive, rather than alienatingly haute-couture, but stylish all the same.
Hôtel de Crillon
It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that the Hôtel de Crillon is Paris — from its privileged position on the Place de la Concorde, the backdrop to so many of this city’s defining events, to its century-long tenure as the ultimate Parisian luxury hotel, it’s never been one to fly under the radar. And now, fresh off a massive renovation, it’s ready for the spotlight once more, under new management; it’s now officially the Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel.
THE OFFICE: Spicer’s Sangoma Retreat
(Jim planned a trip to Australia in order to get out of going to Pam’s wedding.)
SURVIVOR: Hotel Las Islas
(These are the types of shelters Boston Rob dreams about building.)
MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL: The Roxbury at Stratton Falls
(The Catskills — there’s no more appropriate location for a comedy show.)
I THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE: The Shinola Hotel
(Detroiter Tim Robinson gets a hometown hotel from a homegrown brand.)
THE LAST DANCE: Washington School House
(The hotel’s private chef could’ve helped Michael avoid his Park City pizza poisoning before game 5 against the Jazz.)
MAD MEN: Post Ranch Inn
(Don had his final “revelation” atop the cliffs of Big Sur.)
THE MANDALORIAN: Dar Hi
(Most of the first six Star Wars movies filmed their “Tatooine” scenes in Tunisia — you can even visit some of the remaining sets.)
SUCCESSION: Párisi Udvar Hotel
(The Roy’s Hungarian hunting retreat is where the legendary “boar on the floor” episode took place — they might’ve felt just at home at Budapest’s lavish Párisi Udvar.)
THE SOPRANOS: Inn at Thorn Hill
(Vito escaped to a New Hampshire B&B to lay low and eventually discover the world’s most amazing johnny cakes.)
ZEROZEROZERO: Hotel Habita Monterrey
(There are no ports in Monterrey, but that’s where the show’s all-important shipment began its ocean-bound journey.)
THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT: 21c Museum Hotel Lexington
(The miniseries opens in a Paris hotel room, but Beth Harmon’s story starts in Lexington.)
CALL MY AGENT: Hôtel de Crillon
(Is Sigourney Weaver the first person to be disappointed with a room at the luxurious Hôtel de Crillon? Probably not, but the list of complainers is likely a short one.)
MARE OF EASTTOWN: Graduate Berkeley
(Siobhan was great and all, but how she got into UC Berkeley so easily might be a bigger mystery than Erin’s killer.)
THE CROWN: Mahali Mzuri
(It was on a safari in Kenya that Elizabeth found out her father died — and became the Queen.)
REPAIR SHOP: Tuddenham Mill
(Repair to this restored 17th-century mill house in the English countryside.)