10 Best: Hippest US hideaways
Published 22/08/2011 | 16:06
Lucy Fenning of boutique gurus Mr & Mrs Smith has the hippest US hideaways.
Thompson Beverly Hills Los Angeles, California €140
A dash of East Coast sophistication in the heart of Los Angeles, this design district playpen is like the backdrop to a Helmut Newton photograph: all dark-toned 1970s styling and black leather accessories. With a prime location close to Rodeo Drive, as well as a rooftop bar that screams — well, drawls — laid-back cool, it’s fast becoming a scene in its own right. For an absolute blowout, book the huge Penthouse suite, with its infinity pool-style Jacuzzi and Danish retro leather loungers. Those with less cash to splash should grab a room on the east side of the hotel, which have great views of the Hollywood sign and mountains beyond.
Details: 107 rooms, including five suites. Doubles from US$199 (€139.87), excluding tax.
Clift San Francisco, California €137
The scale of the lobby, the drama of the doublestorey Redwood Room bar and the elegance of the restaurant gives the Clift glamour in spades. But explore upstairs and the rooms are fresh, simple and stylish — a tranquil haven. This is the epitome of San Francisco decadence: large sleigh beds are made of delicate sycamore; there are floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and glamorous trappings galore flesh out the see-and-be-seen Asia de Cuba restaurant.
Details: 366 rooms, including 106 suites. Doubles from US$195 (€137), excluding tax
Stonehurst Place Atlanta, Georgia €112
A Southern belle on Piedmont Avenue, this upscale inn is a 19th-century arty escape on a tree-lined residential street. Original fireplaces, grand open-plan rooms and stone porches have had a few modern touches: leather headboards, taupe tones and gleaming hardwood floors. But forget dainty Deep South manners, fusty stores and stogdy baking. These days, Atlanta is awash with cool boutiques and restaurants. Bed down at this B&B and explore the new sights and old parks of Georgia's first city — it's a gem.
Details: Five rooms, including three suites. Doubles from US$159 (€111.73), excluding tax.
Townhouse Miami, Florida €105
This sexy South Beach bolthole offers a smooth backdrop for stretched-out lounging, snacking on sushi and sipping cool cocktails. A colourful creation from the same man behind Mexico City's Condesa DF and Miami's Blue Door restaurant, Townhouse bears all the Jonathan Morr hallmarks: bright florals, clever accessories and a cunning use of space. Townhouse's best bit? A rooftop terrace bar that's perfect for day-to-night peoplewatching — if you just can't face that strenuous 50-metre amble to the beach.
Details: 68 rooms and two penthouses. Doubles from US$149 (€104.68), excluding tax.
Room Mate Grace Hotel Manhattan, New York €133
The wood panelling and modern furniture at cheap-chic Room Mate Grace Hotel may have a whisper of chalet about them, but you can still sense that you’re inches from Times Square. Cleverly designed bedrooms aren't huge (after all, this is New York City), but beds are at least queen-size. Black-out blinds keep the bright lights out, and there's free Wi-Fi and local calls for guests. This is the perfect crashpad for Midtown mooching, with Broadway's theatres on your doorstep — and a neon-lit pool and swim-up cocktail bar in the lobby.
Details: 139 rooms, including four suites. Doubles from US$189 (€132.75), excluding tax.
Loft 523 New Orleans, Louisiana €98
A Big Easy beacon of calm for Nola night owls, Loft 523 is just two blocks from the city's iconic French Quarter. The hotel’s clean lines and neutral palette are soothing after a day exploring the candycoloured architecture outside. Savvy hotelier Sean Cummings runs an arty house with lowslung Mondo beds, Fortuny lamps, high ceilings and limestone- floored bathrooms. Dark and moody, the Bar at Loft 523 feels like the cool kids' post-work watering hole, thanks to exposed brick walls and dark-wood tables that keep it feeling loungey and hip after hours.
Details: 18 suites. Doubles from US$139 (€97.67).
Bungalow Hotel New Jersey Shore €112
Perched on a pier overlooking the ocean, this stylish boutique hotel is just steps from the endless sands of the fresh Atlantic. Every corner of this seafront surfer spot has a cool East Coast vibe. Spacious rooms with kitchenettes are individually kitted out with crisp white bedlinens, vast window walls and fireplaces. The lobby café serves delicious food and clever cocktails, and has a rake of games to play after a day at the beach. Guests can also get day membership to Le Club, a private beach club in Long Branch.
Details: 24 rooms, including 12 suites. Doubles from US$159 (€111.78), excluding tax
Ace Hotel & Swim Club Palm Springs, California €63
There are more martini lounges in Palm Springs than you could shake a maraschino- topped cocktail stick at, but the Ace Hotel's Amigo Bar is one of the best in the world. A motel that died and went to hotel heaven, the original twostorey 1965 building remains, as do the bones of the old Denny's diner, but they've been brought back to life with canny flair. Draped fabrics on the walls give a luxe campsite feel, vintage furniture makes each room unique (we love the Percival Lafer leather armchairs) and a hefty helping of arts and handicrafts prove just how creative this community is. The Swim Club and Feel Good Spa provide the icing on this old-school cupcake.
Details: 180 rooms, including 11 suites. Doubles from US$89 (€62.52), excluding tax.
Jupiter Hotel Portland, Oregan €73
A classic midcentury motel built around one of Portland’s top live venues in East Burnside, Jupiter Hotel gives vintage Americana a modern twist. It also happens to be the best place in town to catch the next big thing emerging from this musical hothouse. Rooms are more cool architectural pod than lavishly appointed suite, but you can stay for the encores and party with the band without having to worry about stumbling home. Cosy leather booths give a 1950s diner feel to the Doug Fir Lounge, but the all-day menu taps the trends of today — plentiful portions of comfort food made with fresh, local ingredients. Classic carby staples such as mac-n-cheese are served alongside bottomless cups of Stumptown coffee.
Details: 80 rooms, including one suite. Doubles from US$104 (€73).
Hotel San José Austin, Texas €123
A masterclass in stylish understatement, Hotel San José is a mellow hangout with a leafy courtyard and retro bungalows. You can rent a bicycle, tinker on a typewriter or purloin a Polaroid — the extras here are a study in bohemia. This modern hippie hideaway is child-friendly and eco-friendly — the food is organic and locally sourced. Its address on South Congress Avenue (SoCo to those in the know) makes trekking around Austin easy, whether you’re seeking live music, hill walks or just pulled pork.
Details: 40 rooms, including 14 suites. Doubles from US$175 (€123), excluding tax.
Checking In: for bookings in any of the hotels featured, visit mrandmrssmith.com