The 10 Best Boutique Hotels in the U.S.
These charming hotels offer way more than standard chains.
Boutique hotels offer a wide range of amenities that most larger hotels are lacking, from personalized service to locally roasted coffee. Travelers in the know often look for boutique hotels to stay at while exploring a new city because they offer more in the way of service and knowledge of the destination.
But what exactly is a boutique hotel? According to TripSavvy, boutique hotels "are small hotels, often with 10 to 100 rooms, that have unique amenities or design choices." These features often flow throughout the hotel, sometimes with locally made snacks in guest rooms and original art hanging on the walls of the common areas. If you're looking for a boutique hotel to book soon, read on to see which ones are worth staying at according to travel experts.
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Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani in Waikiki, Hawaii
"The Halepuna is a sleek, stylish property featuring an airy lobby with an abundance of natural light; locally-made design elements; a stunning art collection; and gorgeous guest rooms with a neutral colors and beautiful views," says says Marla Cimini, a professional travel writer. "It provides a tranquil home base in the middle of busy Waikiki–a real hidden gem."
She adds that the hotel's rooftop pool and jacuzzi are great spots to relax because they look towards the beach and feel like a private oasis. "Guests will find comfortable lounges and cabanas surrounding the pool deck and a relaxation and meditation garden there as well," she tells Best Life.
Burgess Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia
In the up-and-coming Buckhead district of Atlanta is the Burgess Hotel, which houses eight suites with themed after the travels the owners have taken all around the world.
"I love the personal touch and stories that come with each room," says Su-Jit Lin, a travel and food writer. Some of the themes include China, London, the Arabian Peninsula, Fiji, and an African safari-inspired penthouse. "Also, what's really cool about the bar and lobby area is that it's a photo gallery of images from when the owner's grandfather was a sherpa for hiking in the Himalayas," Lin explains.
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Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, New York
The Jedediah Hawkins Inn is a boutique hotel set on 22 acres of gardens and farmland. With just six guest rooms, this hotel fills up quickly during peak times, so be sure to book early or travel during a shoulder season for a better chance of getting a room.
"It's a historically significant property with beautiful architecture that was revitalized as a mini designer showcase," says Lin. "Each of the guestrooms is different. The hospitality and service is phenomenal and the restaurant is its main attraction [and] is consistently excellent."
"The Belvedere Suite is really something special, up in the attic with a spiral staircase to a glass-enclosed tower lookout," she continues. Another unique place along the property is The Speakeasy, where guests can grab a drink and swap stories, even if those stories are about the secret passageways and trapdoors around the grounds.
Cliffside Inn in Newport, Rhode Island
Located in a quiet neighborhood in Newport, the stately Cliffside Inn is a 16-room seaside escape that welcomes guests with open arms.
"I have a soft spot for Lark Hotels, a brand known for its adaptive reuse of historic buildings," says travel journalist Robin Catalano. "The Cliffside is well off Newport's main drags, so it's peaceful and laid-back, even during the high season."
The boutique hotel offers a variety of amenities for guests, including the all-important complimentary beach chairs, towels, and bags for days on the shore and complimentary parking for one car per room.
"The hotel has done an outstanding job of goosing Newport's Victorian gentility with easygoing additions like self-serve gourmet breakfast, a 24-hour snack and coffee bar, and a fire pit that's perfect for unwinding with a glass of wine after a day of sightseeing or beachcombing," Catalano adds.
The Joseph Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee
While Nashville might be flooded with country music fans and bachelorette parties, The Joseph Hotel offers a sweet reprieve from the crowded streets of Broadway and allows guests to relax in the lap of luxury.
"Walking through common areas, art is especially emphasized, especially at the check-in desk where there is a leather-wrapped front desk designed by Lucchese cowboy boot designer," says Malika Bowling, author, food and travel writer.
The Italian-made rooftop saltwater pool sits 21 stories above Nashville, and four cabanas are available to rent if you want to spend the day basking in the sun while enjoying bites from the adjacent bar, Denim.
"Beyond that, the rooms, especially bathrooms have a modern design with huge tubs inside the showers and visually appealing tile. Record players are in the rooms and music lovers can request their favorite albums be in there ahead of their visit," she continues.
Petit Ermitage Hotel in West Hollywood, California
The Petit Ermitage Hotel feels like a step back in time to the golden age of Hollywood. The hotel is known for its artwork and stunning pool, though guests also rave about the rooftop restaurant, The Garden.
"Every nook and cranny is a surprise—unique art, kitschy room décor, it's very artsy and fun, kind of a roaring 20s/Euro vibe," says travel writer Jody Ellis. "Their rooftop pool offers amazing views of the city, and the attached restaurant has seriously delicious food,"
Because of its prime location, guests are within walking distance of some of West Hollywood's best tourist attractions like Sunset Boulevard and Chateau Marmont. After exploring the city, guests are invited up to the pool deck for even more fun. "In the evenings, they put fur blankets out by the pool, so you can lounge and be warm, and on Sunday and Monday nights they have film screenings up there," Ellis adds.
Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, California
Downtown Los Angeles is a bustling community that seems to never stop. Those visiting the area will find that the Ace Hotel Los Angeles is a calming oasis in the middle of the chaos of the city.
"Opened in 2014, this hotel has become an iconic hangout in the swift developing Broadway Theater District in downtown Los Angeles. This hipster spot features a mix of Art Deco and gothic architecture and it's smack dab in the middle of the action in the city," explains travel journalist Kaila Yu.
"The highlight is the hotel's newly restored 1927 theatre which housed performances by the film studio created by Charlie Chaplin, Mary, Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks," she adds. "This renovated stage features a packed calendar of events throughout the year, including musicians, comedians, podcasts, and more."
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Hotel McCoy in Tucson, Arizona
Motor lodges seem to be coming back with a vengeance, but not in the grubby 1960s way, but with a modern take on the historic hotels. One place that's paying homage to the motor lodge is Hotel McCoy in Tucson.
"Hotel McCoy has gone above and beyond in their quest to make every inch of their refurbished 1960s motor lodge a work of art," says Laura Farrell-Wortman of Travel Hacking 101. "Each room is designed by a different local Tucson artist, meaning you can stay here over and over again and never quite have the same experience twice."
She explains that Hotel McCoy is also hyper-local: all of the coffee and beer on premises is sourced from Tucson. "You can also get a lower rate on your stay by choosing the 'kindness rate:' commit to doing one act of kindness before you check-in, and they'll give you a discount," says Farrell-Wortman.
The Russell in Nashville, Tennessee
Even though it's a bit farther away from the bars and main attractions of Nashville, The Russell is worth a stay for its program that gives back to the community.
"They provided a thoughtful welcome pack with a few items from local businesses, which is a personal touch that shows they are connected to their city," says writer Abbie Synan.
"Along with The Gallatin, their sister property, they have a 'Rooms for Rooms' program, a way the hotel uses their profits to provide rooms and services to the underserved communities in Nashville," she continues. For each room that's booked at The Russell, a percentage of the rate goes to local nonprofits helping those experiencing homelessness in Nashville. Since 2016, the hotel has provided over 16,000 beds and meals to those in need.
The Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California
Guests can hear the ocean breeze from their outdoor patio at The Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach.
"Tucked away in a coastal village near San Luis Obispo, I found a sense of refuge that felt grounded and untouched by Instagram or an influx of tourists," says Gabbi Pascua, a beauty and wellness expert. "The rooms are newly renovated, comfortable, and fixed with a fireplace in every suite. The tubs are also new and deep enough to soak and reset after a day of travel. The hotel is along the coast so select rooms have an ocean view, however, this one-story boutique hotel does not disappoint with patios that give you a peek out into the Golden State's coastline."