Tablet Plus members receive VIP upgrades and amenities at a collection of the world’s most exciting hotels. In the Spotlight is a regular series dedicated to celebrating these extraordinary spaces — like the hotels below, which represent just a handful of our Plus hotels in the Western half of the United States.

Click on each hotel to see all of the privileges they offer. Click here to learn more about Tablet Plus.

Twelve Senses Retreat

Encinitas, California

The one-of-a-kind Twelve Senses Retreat, in Encinitas, just up the coast from San Diego, is devoted, at least in part, to the esoteric thought of Rudolf Steiner, whose work serves as something of a manifesto. It’s too much to get into here, but it’s safe to say that owner/designer Anke Bodack has a vision. Her modernist house was built in 1958, and has recently been rebuilt and expanded into the four-room mini-resort you see before you today, where each of the rooms is dedicated to one of the traditional four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

The Lodge at St Edward State Park

Kenmore, Washington

St. Edward State Park is an unusual thing: more than 300 acres of lakeside forest, feeling for all the world like a far-flung rural escape, yet situated very much within the greater Seattle metropolitan area. And the Lodge at St. Edward State Park is equally unusual: a one-time seminary designed by an eminent local architect, now renovated and transformed into a historically aware and uniquely atmospheric luxury boutique hotel.

Hotel Spero

San Francisco, California

San Francisco’s hotels tend, perhaps, to be a bit more restrained in their stylishness than many other cities’ boutique hotels. But if you appreciate a bit of subtlety you can’t help but admire what architects and designers Perkins+Will have done with the 1923-vintage Spanish Colonial Revival hotel that’s now, after a substantial 2018 renovation, been transformed into Hotel Spero.

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Organic shampoo, hand-milled honey soap, complimentary earplugs. Wait, what? Don’t worry, it’s not the pulsing beats of a nightclub below that might interrupt your sleep — it’s the peacocks. The fabulously decorative birds, infamous for their early morning call, are just some of the exotic creatures that wander the grounds of Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm.

The LINE Austin

Austin, Texas

Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; three times is brand identity. The Sydell Group’s third LINE Hotel once again transforms a faded mid-century chain hotel into a hip and contemporary boutique hotel, this time in Austin, Texas, on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. To be fair, the old Crest Inn’s exterior has more than a little bit of retro appeal — but it’s thanks to architect Michael Hsu and designer Sean Knibb that the LINE Austin is as stylish as it is today, mixing classic modernism and industrial-chic textures with some subtle nods to the geography and geology of Austin and the surrounding Hill Country.

Stanton House

El Paso, Texas

Like many mid-sized American cities, Downtown El Paso, Texas has experienced a resurgence in the last few years, and the newly opened Stanton House is another symbol of that revival. Housed in a renovated 100-year-old, four-story building that was formerly a furniture store, it’s been transformed into a boutique hotel that blends rich local history with elegant, art-focused interiors — from the lobby to the guest rooms, every space is filled with artworks from renowned and up-and-coming Mexican, European, and local artists.

Alpine Falls Ranch

Superior, Montana

The mountainous western edge of Montana isn’t a place where edgy urban-inspired modern design makes a lot of sense. But fortunately there’s more than one way to design an extraordinary hotel. Alpine Falls Ranch takes the classic mountain-lodge aesthetic that its name implies and simply executes it with commitment, with verve, and with a rare tastefulness. The landscape, after all, is the real star of this show, and the best approach a hotel can take is to complement it rather than distract from it.

Hope Springs Resort

Palm Springs, California

Hope Springs references two aspects of classic Californiana at once — on the one hand, the mid-century modernist roadside motel (whose resurgence we just can’t get enough of), and on the other, the natural hot springs that are the hotel’s main attraction. It’s the sort of thing that maybe should go without saying, but these days is too easily overlooked: the “springs” in Palm Springs is there for a reason. Nowadays it’s mostly a mecca for golfers, and mid-century architecture obsessives, but once upon a time this corner of the desert — specifically Desert Hot Springs, twenty minutes outside Palm Springs proper — was known for its geothermal waters.

Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale

Scottsdale, Arizona

Half a century ago the original Mountain Shadows, in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, was a swanky Rat Pack hideaway, during the heyday of Southwestern glamour, when overseas travel was still rare and stars from Hollywood vacationed in Palm Springs and Scottsdale. The new Mountain Shadows isn’t so much a rehabilitation or a renovation — the original was almost entirely leveled some years ago — as a total reboot, a reimagining of what a contemporary Paradise Valley luxury resort ought to look like.

The Ameswell Hotel

Silicon Valley, California

Mountain View may be most famous right now as the location for Google’s headquarters, and in fact the Ameswell Hotel is part of a mixed-use development that contains one of Google’s newest offices. And with access to neighbors Apple, Facebook, and the NASA Ames Research Center, the Ameswell caters to an audience with a taste for novelty and innovation. This means boutique-hotel good looks, classic luxury-hotel comforts, and an array of meetings and events space that’s suited for everything from a tech conference to a spectacular outdoor wedding.

The Madrona

Healdsburg, California

The Madrona may be new, but the Mansion, the hotel’s ornate centerpiece, certainly isn’t — this 1881 mansion was built in Aesthetic Movement style, and stands in stark contrast to the Tuscan and Provençal pretensions of so many other wine-country hotels. It’s set on the west side of Healdsburg, just across Dry Creek from the town center, and its extravagant silhouette isn’t the only surprise for arriving guests; the interiors, by co-owner and designer Jay Jeffers, are eclectic, incorporating period elements as well as modern interventions, a very fine art collection, and a boatload of antiques and curios collected during several lifetimes’ worth of travels.

Colony Palms Hotel

Palm Springs, California

It’s been a journey for the Spanish Colonial gem that is the Colony Palms Hotel. Founded in 1936 by the (alleged) mobster Al Wertheimer, it became a favorite of the Hollywood in-crowd before they eventually decamped for more distant destinations. But now, a couple of name changes later, the refurbished and redesigned Colony Palms is once again a luxe and stylish destination, one that consciously recalls the glamour of the golden age of Hollywood — and Palm Springs — even as it attracts a new generation of boutique-hotel travelers.

The Park James

Menlo Park, California

Silicon Valley may lack a single urban center, but modern, urban-style boutique hotels are an increasingly common sight in every town from Sunnyvale to Redwood City. The Park James takes part of its name from Menlo Park, the next town up from Palo Alto, and its location places it close to Stanford University as well as a number of vital destinations for Silicon Valley business travelers. But before it was a tech and innovation hotbed, this part of California was blessed with quite a bit of natural beauty — and with its plentiful outdoor lounge space the Park James takes advantage of the exceedingly pleasant climate.

White Sands Hotel

Honolulu, Hawaii

There’s often a sense around Waikīkī that the best time to visit might have been a few decades ago, before the beachfront filled in with towers. White Sands Hotel proudly declares itself to be the “last of the vintage walk-up hotels,” and it’s exactly that: a low-rise, three-story compound oriented around a palm-lined swimming pool and plentiful lounge and garden space. It’s an intentional throwback to the Seventies, when Honolulu still felt like a world apart from the continental U.S., and when laid-back bohemianism had yet to be replaced by sanitized luxury.

The Astro Motel

Santa Rosa, California

The Napa and Sonoma valleys are iconic travel destinations, and for good reason. Santa Rosa is a different side of the California wine country, presenting a more urban aspect, but with access to all the phenomenal wineries and restaurants that make the Sonoma Valley what it is. The Astro Motel is an authentic 1963 motor lodge, with its finest mid-century attributes still in place; like so many great American motels, it’s since been renovated into something much more than its original incarnation.

Miracle Manor Boutique Hotel & Spa

Desert Hot Springs, California

In the town of Desert Hot Springs, in between Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, travelers in search of a memorable boutique-hotel experience are treated to a little bit of divine intervention: Miracle Manor, a charming nine-room boutique hotel complete with a small spa and a naturally heated spring–fed swimming pool and soaking tub. It dates back in one form or another to 1949, which means it comes by its mid-century modernist vibes quite naturally; today its interior design leans more toward warm and organic colors and textures.

Pioneertown Motel

Pioneertown, California

In some ways it’s the quintessential Southern California story: Pioneertown started out as fiction, and ended up becoming real. It was born when Hollywood Western stars like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers grew weary of traveling long distances in search of Old West atmosphere, and established their own little Westworld in the high desert near Joshua Tree. It never quite took off as the resort town they intended it to be, until now; thanks to desert festivals like Coachella, as well as the stratospheric cost of living in Los Angeles, Pioneertown, today, is for real. And in the Pioneertown Motel, it’s got its very own boutique hotel.

The Green Room

Oceanside, California

Oceanside, the last beach town north of San Diego, before the boardwalk gives way to the coastal Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base, is less touched by gentrification and redevelopment than many other more famous SoCal beach destinations. And it’s a good thing, because it leaves space for gems like South Oceanside’s little downtown strip, and the masterfully reimagined 1940s motor in that’s now the Green Room Hotel.


San Francisco, California

Serif, the flatiron-shaped building containing The LINE SF, stands proudly at the corner of Turk and Market, its curving forms and offset grid of windows striking a futuristic, even utopian note amid the city center’s mixture of Victorian commercial buildings and modern glass towers. And it’s optimistic in more than just its aesthetics; this is a hotel that brings the warm and convivial side of boutique hospitality to a city whose hotels often feel insular and over-private.

The Pacific Motel

Cayucos, USA

There’s every chance you haven’t heard of Cayucos, California — and that’s half the appeal of the place. After all, it’s been decades since Malibu or the beach towns of Orange County felt like undiscovered territory. But here, a few minutes’ drive from San Luis Obispo, is exactly that: a California beach town that remains accessible, affordable, and blissfully underdeveloped. It’s here, a block and a half from the ocean, that you’ll find the Pacific Motel, where a local couple — a contractor and interior designer in their professional lives — have turned an unremarkable motel into an unforgettable seaside boutique hotel.

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