Don’t bother with the big hotel chains. They’re nice, but they don’t offer much in the way of character, personalization, or memories. A boutique hotel offers all three. They’re usually owned by a more local organization, put a ton of effort into capturing the atmosphere of wherever they’re located, and can sometimes save you a bit of money. These are the best boutique hotels in the U.S. for your upcoming vacations.
Rittenhouse 1715 | Philadelphia
Maybe more than any other American city, Philadelphia is steeped in history. On top of that, it’s one of the last American cities with a distinctive and infamous personality. Both are best experienced in person, with a comfortable hotel room to retreat to. The Rittenhouse 1715 is decorated in an updated federal style, like the kind of place Ben Franklin would bring back one of his many, many, many female companions, but in a classy way. It’s comfortable, convenient, and unique, exactly what you want in a boutique hotel. Link
The Beekman | New York City
New York City has no shortage of boutique hotels, each of them with something special to offer, but only one of them has the Beekman’s atrium. It’s the Beekman. That’s the one that has the Beekman’s atrium. It’s a beautiful, multi-storey feature that floods the center of the building with natural light and is decorated with Victorian style furniture and features. There’s wrought iron, plenty of dark wood, and earth-tone fabric furniture. The Beekman itself is a new twist on a historic hotel space and has found significant success bringing people in touch with New York’s storied past. Link
Colcord Hotel | Oklahoma City
A lot of cities (and the states they’re in) that don’t sit on the coasts get a bad reputation as boring places. Obviously that can’t be true. Oklahoma City is one place that proves it. There’s plenty to do there, you’re not fighting huge crowds, and you’ll eat like royalty. Staying at the Colcord is the perfect way to summarize your trip. It’s modern while still paying homage to its past, kind of like the revival Oklahoma City is experiencing. Also, it’s pet friendly, so you can finally take Fido on a luxurious vacation. Link
Plaza la Reina | Los Angeles
As you might be able to tell from the name, Los Angeles has strong roots in Spanish/Hispanic culture. Staying in the Plaza la Reina gives you a taste of that culture. A particularly boutiquey version of that culture, but that culture nonetheless. It’s an attractive Spanish style building with all the amenities you’d want in an LA vacation in a great location, close enough for you to take full advantage of everything LA has to offer. This is the kind of hotel they design when their goal is to get you to keep extending your stay by “just a few more days.” Link
The Robey | Chicago
Any fan of comedy should get themselves to Chicago. Sure, plenty of people talk about LA and New York as bastions of humor, but Chicago is where you can go to get every form you want. Theater, improv, and stand up all thrive in the city and each are reason enough to head out to the Windy City. While there, look up The Robey for your accommodations. It looks like if someone put a Chicago spin on the Flatiron building and turned it into a hotel. Inside, it’s super modern, comfortable, and easy to turn into a home base for a week. Link
The Melrose Georgetown Hotel | Washington D.C.
D.C. is a great city for someone who wants to really dig into United States politics and history. If you’re going to do that, you need a hotel that exemplifies both. The Melrose Georgetown Hotel sits on Pennsylvania Avenue, just like the White House (politics and history), and in Georgetown (history and politics). The interior mixes the unique federal style of Washington D.C. and the modern minimalism we’re always talking about. It’s all the idealism of the city with none of the swampiness it’s built on. Link
Sentinel | Portland, OR
For as much as we drink beer, you’d think we get to Portland more often. There’s a great beer scene there, so we still have a lot more to sample. Next time we go, we’ll be staying at the Sentinel. It’s a major part of the city’s history, plays a central part in the local food culture, and the decorating style is an interesting mix of century old sensibilities and modern minimalism. The building combines two long standing Portland institutions, the old Seward hotel and the local Elks Lodge, so when you stay here, you’re living through a hundred years of Portland. Link