With rich wood, antler accents, and worn leather, Gild Hall is like retreating to a warm cozy cabin — in New York's bustling Financial District
New York City's Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel from World of Hyatt, offers much more personality than the typical Financial District hotel. Despite its Wall Street-adjacent address, the hotel is quite warm and welcoming, with decor inspired by Aspen country houses for an overall vibe that is rustic and cozy. Details such as tufted leather, dark wood, and brass accents are woven throughout the property. I spent the night in a Premium King Room, which typically starts at $369 per night. Nightly rates for smaller rooms start at $299, depending on the time of year. Read all Insider Picks hotel reviews here.
Tucked away on a cobblestone-lined side street in New York City's bustling Financial District, Gild Hall feels like a rustic oasis in an area otherwise dominated by steel and concrete. Mixing retro ski lodge decor with midcentury modern touches (picture Eames-style lounge chairs alongside antler chandeliers and live-edge side tables), the hotel manages to set itself apart from local competition via its urban Aspen theme and cozy Tuscan cocktail lounge complete with glowing, bottle-lined walls. Of course, this is Wall Street (well, technically it's Gold Street, but you get the idea), and any hotel that hosts its fair share of business travelers can't coast on charming decor and dining options alone. Amenities such as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, music docking stations, swanky toiletries, and mini-bars stocked with status snacks keep the vibe from veering into full-on time capsule. My Premium King Room was comped for review purposes but typically starts at $369 per night on Booking.com. It's an upgrade from Gild Hall's standard entry-level King Rooms which starts at $299, but not as lavish as the hotel's suites. While it's not exactly cheap, the price is fairly reasonable by New York City standards. In FiDi especially, it's easy to pay the same amount for considerably blander accommodations. Overall, it seemed perfect for tourists who want to be near major attractions but want a dose of personality and warmth when they return to home base. It's also worth mentioning that Gild Hall is part of the World of Hyatt program, so if you have a World of Hyatt credit card you can redeem its annual free-night certificate for an evening there. Need more New York hotel suggestions? Read our list of the 20 best hotels in New York City.
The first impression The room On-site amenities What's nearby What others say What you need to know The bottom line Book Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel, starting at $299 per night
Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel.SEE ALSO: Hotel review: We stayed at the Conrad New York Downtown — here's why the all-suite Hilton offering is worth the high price tag SEE ALSO: The best cheap hotels under $100 a night around the world — that are surprisingly upscale, too SEE ALSO: Hotel review: The Moxy East Village trades space for affordable prices — here's why the small rooms are no compromise
Gild Hall's country cabin charms are especially apparent in the dead of winter. Stepping into the lobby on a 30-degree evening, I was struck by the warm, ambient lighting and the clubby feel of the space's dark wood and overstuffed leather seating (interior designer Jim Walrod is behind the hotel's bold aesthetic choices). The centerpiece of the ground floor was a striking, bookshelf-lined two-story staircase, which ascends to La Soffitta, Gild Hall's upper-level wine bar.
To the left of the entrance, the lobby opens up into the Tuscan-inspired Felice Ristorante, and at 6 p.m. on a weekday, there were enough guests seated at the bar area to lend the hotel a lively atmosphere. As such, Gild Hall's after-work scene defies the neighborhood's somewhat stuffy reputation. Check-in was seamless, and I was immediately handed a bottle of water and two electronic room keys before stepping into the elevator. Here, I should mention that the dramatic red geometric carpeting lining the upper levels' hallways was practically identical to the flooring in "The Shining"'s Overlook Hotel. Was this intentional? Who knows. Should you stage a semi-unsettling Instagram photo? Absolutely.
There were two things I noticed immediately upon opening my door. First, the enormous, wall-spanning tufted leather headboard. This is a Gild Hall signature, and you'll find one in nearly all of the hotel's 130 rooms. Next, the equally oversized (yet minimalist) brass chandelier. The combined look skewed more midcentury modern than the more rustic communal spaces I observed in the lobby area. My King Premium Room featured 12-foot ceilings, a king-size bed outfitted in 400-thread-count Sferra linens, a 55-inch LCD flat-screen TV, a desk, a lounge chair, and a luggage rack — everything you'd need for a short stay. One thing it lacked, however, was a view, and the small window didn't allow for much natural light. This made the room's somewhat masculine color palette (tan, gray, blue) appear a bit drab the next morning. This room type is a slight upgrade from Gild Hall's standard accommodations, which are slightly less spacious. If you don't plan to spend much time in the room or are traveling solo, that might pose a better value.
I enjoyed a fantastic night's sleep on the bed's plush mattress and the pillows hit the perfect soft-yet-supportive note, too. The marble-floored bathroom was small but well-appointed with oversized Frette robes, toiletries from Brooklyn-based perfumery D.S. & Durga, and the option the buy a Harry's shave kit for an additional $15. One curious detail was that the bathroom door was semi-transparent, and I had to pull a curtain over it for total privacy. The minibar was well-stocked with wine, beer, liquor, and snacks, and there were even a few novelty items thrown in like a "Lover's Kit" with adult-friendly amenities, and the hotel's signature candle, "Velvet" with notes of black leather, tobacco, and amber.
Gild Hall offers two dining options. Felice Ristorante is a Tuscan eatery with a regionally-focused wine list, and La Soffitta is a tucked-away cocktail bar featuring a striking wall of glowing wine bottles. The latter has a fairly casual vibe and a menu that spans everything from comfort food classics like cacio e pepe to lighter fare such as raw artichoke salad. You can order room service from Felice Ristorante between 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., which means late-night gelato is just a phone call away.
Tech-wise, Gild Hall allows free basic Wi-Fi for up to two devices per room, with the option to upgrade to high-speed for up to eight devices for an additional charge of $19.95 per day. The free option worked just fine with my laptop and cellphone. The hotel's fitness center is actually split into three small rooms, with an elliptical, treadmill, free weights, and towels in each. The facilities feel a bit cramped, and if your gym routine is on the involved side, it might not suit your needs. The hotel also offers discounted day passes to the nearby Crunch Fitness as part of its "Destination Fee." This $22.89-per-day charge also includes premium Wi-Fi, a glass of prosecco upon arrival, use of the hotel's Pure Cycle bicycles, and 15% to 30% off select guided tours within the area. If you're arriving by car, Gild Hall can provide valet service for $55 per day for a sedan or $65 per day for an SUV or oversized vehicle.
Gild Hall is centrally located in Manhattan's Financial District, within walking distance of South Street Seaport, the Brooklyn Bridge, the World Trade Center, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, Battery Park, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. It's also quite close to Fulton Center shopping and dining, as well as the departure point for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Compare flight deals to New York on Expedia
Gild Hall holds a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Trip Advisor, and a 9 out of 10 on Booking.com. Users are quick to praise the hotel's spacious rooms, unique decor, and plush beds, as well as the warm and accommodating staff. There's also a glowing mention of Gild Hall's resident dog, Maya, a golden retriever who I was not fortunate enough to meet during my stay. There are some negative reviews, but they're mostly regarding one-off issues like inconsistent water pressure in the shower, gloomy lighting, and an air conditioner that seems to have two settings: off and arctic blast. Read reviews, compare prices, and book Gild Hall on Trip Advisor
Who stays here: Business travelers, tourists in search of an unconventional home base, couples looking for a cozy escape.We like: The bold design and spacious accommodations with ultra-comfortable beds, luxe toiletries, and general cabin-like atmosphere.We love (don't miss this feature!): The welcoming lobby. From the soft, ambient lighting to the book-lined walls and worn leather couches, everything is working in tandem to convince you to order a glass of wine and linger. We think you should know: Gild Hall charges a "Destination Fee" of $22.89 per day. This might be frustrating, though if your workout routine goes beyond the basic, you'll appreciate the included discounted day passes to nearby Crunch Fitness. We'd do this differently next time: Request a room with a view for a brighter stay with natural light, and ask which days Maya the dog is working to be sure to visit then.
A cozy, Aspen-like cabin feel in New York City's Financial District might seem unconventional, but that's exactly what we loved most about Gild Hall. This hotel is warm and welcoming, and an ideal base for those who don't want to spend their entire travel budget on accommodations, yet want a hotel with more personality than a standard chain or business hotel. The convenient location offers easy access to many major tourist attractions, and the plush rooms, strong in-house dining, and a whimsical off-the-beaten-path vibe curate an experience that's boutique over cookie-cutter. Book Gild Hall starting at $299 per night
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Instead of traveling to Europe, visit these 7 destinations in the US — Napa Valley over Italy, Vail in place of Switzerland, and more
Travel between the US and Europe is restricted due to COVID-19, but you can still...Travel between the US and Europe is restricted due to COVID-19, but you can still get a taste of the old world here at home. From impressive architecture and scenery to rich culture and cuisine, these American cities pack in plenty of charm similar to countries such as Italy, Germany, and Spain. We've detailed what you'll find in each destination as well as top-rated hotels for each getaway, with prices ranging from $110 to $315 per night. Read more: Is it safe to stay in a hotel right now? An infectious disease doctor, a cleaning expert, and hotel reps all share what you should know before you check-in. Most summers see a surge in cross-continental travel as Americans flock to European cities like Paris, Venice, and London. Last year, 6.7 million Americans traveled to Europe during the months of June, July, and August, according to US Commerce Department data. While the area is gradually opening up to tourism after months of lockdown in response to the novel coronavirus, many restrictions are still in place, especially for international travelers. Similarly, the Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory advising US citizens to avoid all international travel, and the European Union's external borders are currently closed to non-essential international travel. However, every member state has its own rules and timetable to reopen. Some countries announced tentative dates for foreign tourists including Portugal, which will receive flights from the US starting June 6; and Spain, which will "gradually open" to international tourism starting July 1, according to a tweet from Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya. But the vast majority of countries have not made official announcements and many restrictions will likely be in place when they do, such as mandatory self-isolation. In other words, normal overseas travel is still a long way off. However, you may still channel the feelings of a far-flung getaway right here at home. Many destinations and cities within the US feel plucked straight out of Europe, with charming architecture, rich culture, enticing dining, and atmospheric streets to wander. For example, St. Augustine and New Orleans were both influenced by European settlers and are teeming with European influences, while Venice, California was modeled after its European namesake, but infuses its own unique spirit and flavor. Instead of visiting Europe, consider these US destinations, no trans-Atlantic flight required. For more domestic travel destinations, click below to jump directly to all coverage of best places to visit in the US 6 top road trips in the US and where to stay along the way 10 getaways across the US that are within a 1- to 4-hour drive from major cities The best hotels in or near national parks The best US mountain resorts for all seasons The best beach hotels in the US The best hotels for families in the US The best US island hotels that don't require a passport The best glamping vacations in the US Here are 7 US destinations that feel like Europe.If you can't go to Tuscany, Italy … try Napa Valley, California Rolling acres of vineyards, charming rural towns, and tasting rooms pouring hearty red wines are among the many reasons you might want to visit Tuscany. They're also found in droves in the beautiful Napa Valle. Like its Italian counterpart, Napa is best known for its wineries and you'll find some 500 of them here, often built in a style reminiscent of those in the Italian countryside. Among them is Andretti Winery, founded by Italian racecar champ Mario Andretti, whose stone courtyard, fountains, and villa-like tasting room conjures Tuscany at its finest. And Calistoga's Castello Di Amorosa winery is set in a medieval-style stone castle that looks like the centuries-old estates that dot the Tuscan hills. Not only can you drink like an Italian in Napa Valley, but you can also eat like one, too. Bottega Napa Valley in Yountville serves micro-regional Italian cuisine, with dishes drawn from every region of the country in a rustic setting complete with Venetian-plaster walls and Murano glass chandeliers. Napa Valley also has a long history producing olive oil; try the local stuff at Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Company, set inside a quaint clapboard barn on the outskirts of St. Helena. Where to stay The boutique North Block Hotel sports a fountained courtyard with a relaxing Tuscan vibe, and its downtown Yountville location makes a great base for exploring the Napa wine region. The warmly decorated rooms have a breezy Mediterranean feel. Deluxe Queens, starting at $315 per night in low season, measure around 350 square feet and feature patios or balconies. If you can't go to Spain … try St. Augustine, Florida Tucked on the northeast coast of Florida is America's oldest city, founded by the Spanish in 1565. You can feel St. Augustine's 450-year-old Spanish heritage as you stroll through the narrow stone and brick-paved streets of the historic downtown district. There are 144 blocks that are all chock-full of Spanish colonial-style buildings, some dating back several centuries, and now house boutiques, antique shops, galleries, and atmospheric sidewalk cafes. The city is also home to several magnificent 19th-century Spanish Renaissance Revival buildings that resemble Spanish palaces, including Lightner Museum, whose design was inspired by the Royal Alcázar of Seville. And don't miss climbing around the ancient stone walls of Castillo de San Marcos, a massive fortress built by the Spanish in 1672 to protect against pirate raids. Where to stay Original frescoes, chandeliers, and tapestries adorn the landmark 1888 Casa Monica Resort & Spa, with a Moorish-style facade and ornate interior modeled after the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Rooms feature a rich red-and-gold color scheme with classic furnishings and plush red velvet headboards. Entry-level King rooms measure 150 to 200 square feet with rates starting at $170 per night in low season. The hotel is part of the Autograph Collection, so Marriott Bonvoy members can use and earn points for their stay. If you can't go to England … try Boston, Massachusetts Boston was founded by British settlers in 1630, so it's no surprise that many pockets of this city still recall its English heritage. Today, the city is still brimming with history, and you can easily trace footsteps from the past, while still feeling worlds away. Wander through the picturesque Beacon Hill, whose warren of cobblestone streets, lined with brick sidewalks, gas lanterns, and classic Georgian-style row houses, will surely transport you to the other side of the pond. At the foot of Beacon Hill you'll find Boston's two most famous parks, which take their cues from English gardens. The Boston Public Garden is pure Victorian, with manicured gardens, duck-filled ponds, and statuary. Similar to London's Hyde Park, the Boston Common is mostly natural and wild, with plenty of open green space. Where to stay Just a few minutes' walk from the Boston Common, the legendary Omni Parker House has stood since 1855 and hosted notables such as Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Mark Twain. Its restaurant is justly famous, not only as the birthplace of Boston Cream Pie, but also as the place where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie. Rooms feature custom cherry-wood furnishings and rich brocade fabrics, and entry-level Traditional rooms measure 125 square feet with rates starting at $200 per night. Members of the Omni Loyalty Program can earn or redeem points for their stay. Read Business Insider's guide to the best hotels in Boston If you can't go to Switzerland … try Vail, Colorado For a taste of the Swiss Alps, Colorado's Rocky Mountains offer plenty of gorgeous alpine scenery, plus world-class skiing and hiking opportunities. Vail is among the loveliest of the Rockies' resort towns, surrounded by snowy peaks and brimming with Swiss chalet-style architecture. It all looks very authentic, but in fact, Vail was built in the 1960s and modeled after the Swiss ski town of Zermatt. Vail Village is filled with art galleries and smart boutiques, selling everything from practical mountain gear to pricey jewelry, including luxury Swiss-brand watches. And yes, there's fondue: try authentic versions at the Swiss Chalet restaurant, serving cheese and chocolate varieties, or the signature Schlitten-Fondue at the cozy, wood-paneled Almresi. Where to stay Set in the heart of Vail Village, the Sonnenalp is an upscale, family-owned hotel with a distinct European vibe, from its old world-style architecture to alpine-influenced bars and restaurants, and its international staff. Rooms feature custom-made furnishings, wood accents, and heated marble floors in the bathrooms. Entry-level rooms measure 350 to 420 square feet and boast village or mountain views. Rates start at $238 per night in the low season, and the Sonnenalp is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. If you can't go to Germany … try Fredericksburg, Texas You might not expect to find a bit of Germany deep in Texas Hill Country, but Fredericksburg is about as close as it gets. Settled by German immigrants in 1846, signs in Main Street storefronts greet visitors with "Wilkommen" (welcome), while restaurants like Der Lindenbaum, Friedhelm's Bavarian Inn, and Old German Bakery and Restaurant serve traditional schnitzel, potato pancakes, and bratwurst. Of course, it wouldn't feel like Germany without beer, and Fredericksburg is home to two breweries, Altstadt Brewery and Fredericksburg Brewing Company. Both brew according to German Purity Standards, and have spacious beer gardens to enjoy a cold one. An annual Oktoberfest, celebrated in the town's central Marktplatz (market square), features oompah music, waltzing, and a dirndl and lederhosen costume contest, plus beer, pretzels, brats, and more. Where to stay Hoffman Haus is a luxury B&B that is just a 10-minute walk from Main Street with accommodations in a variety of historic buildings, including a 19th-century stone homestead and an early 20th-century farmhouse. Every room is unique in design and layout. Most entry-level rooms measure 260 square feet and feature cottage-like decor and private porches, and rates start at $155 per night. If you can't go to France … try New Orleans, Louisiana It's been more than three centuries since the French founded New Orleans, but you can still feel its influence on the city's culture, cuisine, and architecture. Naturally, it's felt the strongest in the Vieux Carre (French Quarter), whose vibrant streets are lined with elegant French colonial-style townhouses and candy-colored buildings decked out with cast-iron balconies. Stop by the European-style, open-air French Market, packed with fresh produce, gourmet foodstuffs, and local arts and crafts. Food-wise, there's no shortage of restaurants and cafes serving French-inspired cuisine. Try the divine beignets and café au lait at the famed Café du Monde, or authentic French fare at Galatoire's and Antoine's. While New Orleans's Mardi Gras is legendary, in July, the city celebrates Bastille Day, France's national holiday, with native costumes, specialty food and drink, and live music and fireworks. Where to stay Set in the heart of the French Quarter, the 18th-century Hotel Maison de Ville is where Tennessee Williams wrote his masterpiece "A Streetcar Named Desire." The hotel's cobblestone courtyard, antique-filled rooms, and wrought-iron balconies have a romantic vibe, while its central location means you're within walking distance of all the area bars and restaurants. Individually designed rooms are outfitted with antiques and period-style furnishings, and many have four-poster beds and balconies. Entry-level rooms, which start at $110 per night in low season, are on the cozy side but are bright and sunny thanks to large windows. Read Business Insider's guide to the best hotels in New Orleans If you can't go to Venice, Italy … try Venice, California With its romantic canals and arched footbridges, California's Venice Canal district is a transportive slice of Italy. Built in 1905 as both a tourist destination and seaside community, it was modeled after the real Venice, with a network of manmade canals stocked with gondolas and gondoliers imported from Italy. Today, only a handful of canals remain — and kayaks and rowboats have replaced the gondolas — but it's still a lovely little European-style escape just off bustling Venice Beach, which is a destination in its own right filled with artists, street performers, and impeccable people watching that's wholly American. Sunny SoCal weather is usually on offer year-round, but a great time to visit is in December when twinkling holiday lights decorate the bridges and canal-side walkways. Where to stay A 10-minute walk to the Venice Canals, the contemporary four-star Hotel Erwin has a prime position on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, with stellar views of the Pacific from its rooftop lounge. Rooms are bright and cheerful, with colorful lighting and mod decor. Entry-level City View rooms start at $300 per night in low season, but it's worth upgrading to the Ocean View category for a balcony overlooking the Pacific. Read Business Insider's guide to the best beach hotels in LA
Miami hotels might be known for a plethora of high-end luxury brands, but its boutique...Miami hotels might be known for a plethora of high-end luxury brands, but its boutique hotels are no less glamorous, contemporary, and service-oriented. Located all over the city from South Beach to Brickell, and Little Havana, these boutique properties include desirable amenities like on-site pools, cultural programming, and rooftop bars. We selected the best boutique hotels based on personal experience, Trip Advisor and Booking.com ratings, and budget. In Miami's summer off-season, expect prices between $95 and $468 per night, depending on how posh you want to go. Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here. A note from your Insider Reviews travel editor: Coronavirus has interrupted travel on a global scale forcing travelers to cancel and reassess plans in the coming weeks and months. We understand that right now is a challenging time to plan travel. But when this time passes and things return to normal, we know you'll be eager to explore the world again. Whenever that happens for you, and we know it will, we hope our travel content helps you make informed, useful, and inspiring choices on the best places and hotels to book. So whether you use our reviews now, bookmark them for the future, or simply need an escape from the news, we'll continue to share the world with you. In the meantime, we encourage all travelers to stay safe, follow guidelines from the CDC website, and take precautions. Personal attention, intimate settings, and little risk of encountering large-scale conventions and crowds are just a few reasons many folks love to stay at boutique hotels. In Miami, boutique hotels also typically boast historic architecture in renovated Art Deco or Mediterranean Revival buildings, intriguing design and style aesthetics, and an approachable ambiance that feels far from corporate. Many are located in popular South Beach, though they're quickly popping up all over the city. Urbanica Hotels, which specializes in boutiques (see Urbanica The Meridian Hotel below), will debut new venues in Edgewater in 2020 and North Beach in the coming years. The Brickell/downtown area and region of South Miami, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables are all starting to see more polished small properties developed. And Little Havana, too, is becoming a place to stay as its cultural resources are increasingly recognized as the citywide treasures that they are. For more Miami area hotel recommendations, click on a link below to jump directly to all our coverage of the best hotels in Miami. The best hotels in Miami The best hotels in South Beach The best hotels in Fort Lauderdale The best hotels in Key West As a longtime Miami local and travel writer who has reviewed countless hotels, I curated this list based on my experiences staying at and reviewing these properties. I also consulted reviews and ratings on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com, and Hotels.com, where they received at least 4 stars out of 5 stars, or 8.1 out of 10. Additionally, in Miami, pool or beach access is a must, and every hotel includes fantastic places to take a dip or soak up some sun, in addition to offering high-end food and beverage options, excellent spa and fitness amenities, and impeccable design. Prices range between $95 and $468 to start in the summer off-season, and you can expect all of them to hike rates by a few hundred dollars starting around Thanksgiving, until after spring break. Resort fees vary widely but often include bicycle rentals, barre or yoga classes, happy hours, or breakfast. These are the best boutique hotels in Miami, sorted by price from low to high.SEE ALSO: The best hotels in South Beach SEE ALSO: The best hotels in Miami The Plymouth South Beach Book The Plymouth South Beach starting at $95 per night One of only two designated Small Luxury Hotels of the World on the Eastern seaboard, The Plymouth South Beach is a design lover's dream. From the dusty pink quilted headboards to the robust selection of antique armchairs in the lobby, the decor will surely inspire a few homeowner daydreams. Standard rooms start at 250 square feet, and many strategically placed mirrors try to disguise the fact the rooms and single, marble-vanity bathrooms are diminutive in nature. The retro country French styling adds the requisite allure, however, and it's completely worth the extra $60 to upgrade to a Terrace King, which offers 375 square feet, subway-tiled bathrooms with steam showers, and an outdoor space ideal for dining. The excellent Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill in the lobby is as popular with locals as it is with hotel guests, and might require a reservation in advance. And don't miss a selfie at the original 1940s Art Moderne pool, one of the prettiest in Miami – and that's saying a lot. Trip Advisor ranking: 20 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.2 out of 10 Pros: The Plymouth has dibs on a private slice of beach located between the W South Beach and The Setai. Grab a ride on the golf cart to get there, or stroll on over. Cons: Guests complain about indifferent customer service and lack of food and beverage amenities during the daytime hours. Circa 39 Miami Beach Book Circa 39 Hotel starting at $109 per night Located in the Normandy Isles neighborhood of North Beach, the 97-guestroom Circa 39 is a colorful, Caribbean-styled retreat. It comprises two connected buildings with a lush courtyard in between that's ideal for relaxing, reading a book, or sipping a tropical cocktail. Rooms start at 200 square feet, which is smaller than most, but they're also consistently cheaper. And what they lack in size they make up for in character with plenty of blues, greens, and oranges accenting teak furniture, plantation shutters, and hardwood floors. Bathrooms are simple and even smaller than the room might indicate. Upgrade for only $50 more and a whole new world opens up on higher floors, including better views. The public spaces, including WunderBar and Jules Kitchen give top vacation vibes as well, with lots of bright, layered textiles, wicker shades, and cane-back and cast iron furnishings. There's a refreshing pool in back, and the beachfront here is frequented more by locals and less by tourists. Trip Advisor ranking: 29 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.5 out of 10 Pros: Guests with cars can access a private parking lot via remote for the length of their stay. Cons: There is little soundproofing despite a 2014 renovation that allows traffic, guest, and staff noise to seep into rooms. Read Business Insider's full hotel review of Circa 39 Miami Beach The Marlin Hotel Book The Marlin Hotel starting at $119 per night One of the smaller hotels on this list, The Marlin Hotel was also one of the first to be renovated in South Beach's late 1980s/early 1990s renaissance. Continually updated in keeping with the times, the 33-room-and-suite hotel is a glam destination for leisure and business travelers of all kinds, including musical celebrities who record at the in-house studio. Hardwood floors, modular furniture, and sandy hues accented by some primary colors in the pillows and rugs make for streamlined but groovy digs. Contemporary bathrooms with vessel sinks and rainfall showerheads wow, as do little luxury touches in rooms like Mistral Verbena Collection products, Astor "Sleep" pillow chocolates, and Nespresso coffee. Do make plans to dine at the award-winning northern Italian Osteria Del Teatro, which debuted on the beach in a different location in 1987. It seems only fitting that The Marlin houses it now. Continental breakfast is offered from 8 to 10 a.m. Trip Advisor ranking: 12 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 9.1 out of 10 Pros: Sure, hairdryers are an expected fixture but Babylis flatirons? Oh, we like this amenity. The makeup remover, too. Cons: The Marlin Hotel has no pool, but you'll find a packed beach bag with two towels awaiting you for a short walk to the beach. And, as a consequence, the resort fee is only $15, which is far cheaper than most comparable hotels. Novotel Miami Brickell Book Novotel Miami Brickell starting at $119 per night Designed for the convenience of the business traveler – but without leaving out the staycation community – the Novotel Miami Brickell offers a fusion of boutique hospitality and efficient function. Located downtown, it's less than a half-mile to the Metro station and 3.5 miles to Brightline Virgin MiamiCentral Station. Standard rooms are less modestly sized than competitors, with room enough for a lengthy bureau/desk, bench, table, and chair in addition to beds with oversized, geometric wood headboards. If you don't want to stare out at the great city views, the 50-inch LCD televisions offer plenty of entertainment, as do UVA bar and Lima restaurant in the soaring lobby. The rooftop pool is the biggest draw of staying here. A DJ mixes music while guests of all ages mingle poolside with drinks and fare procured from Vista Roof Top pool bar. While the seating is competitive and the pool bar sometimes understaffed, the scene has that appealing Miami vibe. Trip Advisor ranking: 7 out of 134 hotels in Miami Booking.com rating: 8.7 out of 10 Pros: Brickell City Centre and The Shops at Mary Brickell Village, which have outstanding dining and drinking options, as well as upscale boutiques and live music venues, are only just over a half-mile away. Cons: You can hear the trains from the rooms, and even during prime time service, the staff is often missing from the bar and host stands. The Redbury South Beach Book The Redbury starting at $139 per night A perennial favorite, The Redbury South Beach is a 69-room bohemian charmer that attends to every detail. From rooms with record players and curated collections of vinyl to custom hemp-blend mattresses, this boutique gem delivers on the promise of its premise. Rooms start at an unstinting 375 square feet and feature natural hues that reflect Miami's famous light. Updated bathrooms with triple filtered-water, oversize steam showers, and bathtubs, complemented by all-natural bath products, are ideal for washing off the salt from the nearby Atlantic or the chlorine from the 12,000-square-foot rooftop pool. That pool, by the way, with its terrific sight lines, is a social hot spot day or night. Also a community darling: Cleo Mediterráneo, with its extensive menu of fresh, shareable mezze. Partake in any meal here before you depart for the day, or ask the attentive concierge team for ideas about other local spots to indulge. Trip Advisor ranking: 14 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.8 out of 10 Pros: While the hotel is not located on the beach, guests have access to the sand as well as towels, chairs, and other accouterments via The Delano. Ask the concierge. Cons: The 17th Street and Collins Avenue location makes The Redbury eminently walkable to all the prime South Beach locations, but noise and tourist unpleasantness can be a factor, especially during some of the wilder festivals and party weekends. Life House, Little Havana Book Life House, Little Havana starting at $149 per night Founded by Rami Zeidan, Life House Hotels is a boutique brand offering alternative lodgings to big-brand hotels. And this Little Havana edition is different indeed, supplying a "bespoke narrative" along with its digs. Every room and public area, from library and courtyard to rooftop bar, is designed as if a global traveler had collected decor from around the world. It's an interesting concept, resulting in rooms that all feel unique, well-appointed, and attractive – but astoundingly small. They start at just 140 square feet. Guests complain that they are darker and not as clean as they should be, although the hotel only opened in January, 2020. That said, other guests have had positive experiences exploring the hotel's Parcela Café in the landscaped courtyard, meant to evoke Hemingway days, and Terras Rooftop bar, which offers a terrific view of this culturally vital area of Miami. Trip Advisor ranking: 66 out of 124 hotels in Miami Booking.com rating: 8.1 out of 10 Pros: The location is prime for exploring all Miami has to offer, especially if you don't want to bother with a car. If you love Latin music and dancing, you're in the right region. Cons: Because this is a refurbished urban mansion in a Little Havana neighborhood, guests say the neighbors make them feel unsettled. In addition, while there's sunbathing on the rooftop, there's no pool on the premises or beach nearby, so this is a pick best for urban dwellers. Urbanica The Meridian Hotel Book Urbanica The Meridian Hotel starting at $149 per night A restored Art Deco building originally from the 19303, The Meridian fits right in on South Beach but stands out with its more sedate, high-end South of Fifth location. Run by Urbanica The Hotels, a brand that specializes in boutique properties in Miami and Buenos Aires, the three-story Meridian features 71 rooms designed in minimalist style, with beds that have slatted wooden headboards and luxurious white duvets. The rooms themselves are small but are clean and bright with floor-to-ceiling windows. Some of them are over Minibar, a colorful speakeasy that gets its share of pretty people business, however. If you're retiring early, ask for a room away from these amenities. An attractive plunge pool is located on the rooftop, and plants abound in the outdoor public spaces. For fare, the famous New York City deli Regina's Grocery offers Italian eats, and vending machines, a microwave, water, coffee, and tea supplement whenever the bar and cafe aren't open. Trip Advisor ranking: 7 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.8 out of 10 Pros: Bicycles are included in the resort fee, and the location is accessible to bus and trolley stops. Cons: Guests have few complaints, but they usually relate to billing practices and documents. Read the fine print and check your statements. Greystone Miami Beach Book Greystone Miami Beach starting at $149 per night Charming, chic, and eco-conscious, the 91-guestroom Greystone debuted at the dawn of 2020. Owned by VOS Hospitality, the Greystone occupies a 1930s building, originally designed by famed Art Deco architect Henry Hohauser. Designated a Historic Hotel of America, its facade sits on Collins Avenue, but the property also includes another building next door on the side street, as well as a contemporary, beautifully lit courtyard between them. Adults-only and pet-friendly, this is a hotel for folks who only have fur babies to worry about. The rooms, with white-on-white decor, interrupted only by splashes of pastel pink and blue, are sleek and high-tech. Every room includes an INTELITY tablet, which you can use to order extra ROIL bath products. A smartphone app also controls everything from keyless entry to towel service at the rooftop pool. The food and beverage options are top-notch and impressive. Chef Pawan Pinisetti leads Sérêvène, a restaurant that fuses Japanese, French, and Indian flavors with luxe ingredients, and the fast-casual KOBO, which features Japanese sandwiches. Sebastian Dubonet handles the mixology at UISCE, an upscale whiskey bar, and Golden Gator, an underground Champagne lounge that's open until 5 a.m. When it starts pushing on toward morning, snack on Caviar Push Pops and Foie Gras & Pop Rocks Lollipops, and then tumble onto your Felicity Plus Mattress for a few blissful hours of sleep before hitting the beach across the street. Trip Advisor ranking: 178 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: Not listed, too new Pros: The location is extremely walkable, with the beach right across the street and Lincoln Road only a few blocks away. Cons: Guests from a few early reviews had trouble with housekeeping, and noise from Collins Avenue, especially exotic sports cars gunning their engines, which can be disturbing. Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove Book Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove starting at $167 per night If you observe the 100-room Mr. C Miami – Coconut Grove from a distance, you might mistake it for a posh midcentury modern yacht. Art Deco influences include portholes and hairpin stilts, while the design inside leans heavily nautical with lots of glossy lacquered wood, rich blue tones, and sailing maps and photos. Lodgings begin on the second floor with built-in bar carts and gem-tone headboards that seamlessly blend in with the deep blue walls. Everything is designed to feel like you're on a sleek Italian superyacht cruising around Capri. The white marble and blue-tiled bathrooms and balconies separated from each other by sailing tarps heighten the oceanic impression. On the rooftop, the indoor-outdoor Bellini is a dining destination and gathering place for the community as well as the hotel. It's revered for Italian pastas, seafood, and the signature drink for which it's named, all served by white tuxedo-clad servers. After all, Mr. C is owned and run by the fourth generation of the Cipriani family, which also owns Harry's Bar in Venice where the Prosecco cocktail was invented. A small but serene rooftop pool and an idyllic courtyard round out the tranquil offerings. Trip Advisor ranking: 65 out of 134 hotels in Coconut Grove Booking.com rating: 9.1 out of 10 Pros: A rooftop pool is a view-worthy, refreshing place to hang out with plush cabanas available to book. It's a short flight of stairs away from the outdoor dining, so there's some separation of church and state. Cons: The positioning of the hotel is smack in the middle of the busiest part of Coconut Grove, where shops, plazas, schools, parks, and festival grounds collide. When everything is in season, the area can be a logjam of traffic and construction. Also, the gym is quite small. Read Business Insider's full hotel review of Mr. C Miami - Coconut Grove Prime Hotel Miami Beach Book Prime Hotel Miami Beach starting at $200 per night Prime Hotel is something of a secret. It's an extension of Myles Chefetz's luxury Prime brand that includes Prime 112, Prime Fish, Prime Italian, and Big Pink, which are all some of the highest-earning restaurants in the nation. The hotel is equally sweet, chic, and a celebrity-frequented boutique. It's not unusual for rooms to be leased by high-caliber athletes and actors who only eat at Prime restaurants while in town, and for no one to know where they're staying. That said, the hotel is open to everyone, and is especially ideal for honeymooners, couples celebrating an anniversary, and travelers who enjoy privacy. It's also surprisingly family-friendly, given that there are only 14 custom-designed rooms. The front desk offers 24/7 service and an on-site concierge can arrange anything from babysitting to beach activities. Rooms are modern and chic with white and chrome decor and look out on South Beach's upscale South of Fifth neighborhood through floor-to-ceiling windows. Many also have balconies. In addition, if you don't want to walk the half-block to the beach, a rooftop pool is perfect for a spot of sunbathing or resting under the shade of the cabana. Trip Advisor ranking: 158 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.6 out of 10 Pros: Room service from Prime 112, Prime Italian, or Big Pink is a big perk. If you're not in the mood for any of them, the location offers access to plenty of restaurants within walking distance. Cons: Noise from Prime 112 and the neighborhood, in general, can trickle up. The Betsy South Beach Book The Betsy South Beach starting at $239 per night The Betsy South Beach comprises two renovated and connected buildings: The Betsy Ross, a Florida Georgian hotel on Ocean Drive, and The Carlton, an Art Deco hotel from 1938 that stands directly behind it on Collins Avenue. The main entrance is on Ocean Drive, just across from the beach. Owned by the Plutzik-Goldwasser family, The Betsy is an epicenter for the literary, visual, and performing arts. The Lobby (with bar and restaurant), The B Bar, The Library, The Gallery, The Carlton Room (with bar and gallery), and rooftop spaces all host poetry readings, musical performances, academic lectures, visual arts displays, and more. Programming every day and night of the week allows guests up-close-and-personal meetings with artists-in-residence. Also, meet the CEOs – Canine Executive Officers – at golden (retriever) hour on Fridays. One of the larger boutique hotels on the list, The Betsy offers a wide variety of rooms and suites. They start at 250 square feet, which is small, but the art-filled public spaces are generous and vibrant. Food and beverage offerings are under the direction of Laurent Tourondel; don't hesitate to luxuriate in the dishes at LT Steak & Seafood – especially the noteworthy popovers. Trip Advisor ranking: 6 out of 222 hotels in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.4 out of 10 Pros: Beach towels, loungers, and umbrellas are included in the resort fee, so pop across the street to the Boucher Brothers concession and they'll set you up near the landmark Art Deco lifeguard stand. Cons: If you're looking for the kind of beach hotel that promotes parasailing and jet-skiing, you'll be disappointed. But you can always inquire with the concierge about how to participate in those activities. Read Business Insider's full hotel review of The Betsy South Beach The Villa Casa Casuarina Book The Villa Casa Casuarina starting at $468 per night Gianni Versace's storied former mansion is a Miami Beach landmark, and now, an intimate hotel. While prices are usually sky-high, weekdays in the off-season offer a relative bargain in this all-suite, elaborately decked-out hotel. Originally built in 1930 by wealthy architect Alden Freeman as an apartment building, the Spanish-Mediterranean property is now a 10-suite hotel, thanks to Versace's $32 million investment and that of various owners over the years after his murder. Staying at The Villa Casa Casuarina affords you access to the historical statues, columns, fountain, and the absolutely stunning Thousand Mosaic Pool, which is made out of 24k gold tiles. The suites themselves are absolutely lavish with murals on both walls and ceilings and tapestries, carved rare wood furniture, objets d'arts, and more. Marble bathrooms include oversize double showerheads and double sinks, and every suite has a balcony or terrace; some even have two. It may be hard to leave these quarters for even a second, but do head up to the Rooftop Lounge for a sunset drink. Trip Advisor ranking: 15 out of 151 specialty lodging in Miami Beach Booking.com rating: 8.4 out of 10 Pros: Daily breakfast is included in the room rate, and other food and beverage options include Onyx Bar and the poolside Restaurant Gianni's At The Villa. Cons: The Ocean Drive location and famous history means this place is not only subject to the typical tourist action, but a busy photo opp for lots of tourists too, due to its notoriety. Also, the design includes a lot of slippery stairs and no elevators or ramps, so it is not accessible for everyone.
The Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland boasts a modern look, a notable library of signed books, and surprisingly affordable rates — though standard rooms start small
The Heathman is an iconic, historic hotel in Portland, merging classic architecture and postmodern works...The Heathman is an iconic, historic hotel in Portland, merging classic architecture and postmodern works of art with updated interiors and a great downtown location. The hotel underwent a major renovation in 2018 leaving rooms and public spaces fresh, stylish, and airy. Especially notable is the soaring two-story library lounge with an excellent collection of signed books. I stayed in a King Suite after being upgraded at check-in from an entry-level Deluxe King, and found the hotel to be an excellent value given its style, personal service, and location. Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here. A note from your Insider Reviews travel editor: Coronavirus has interrupted travel on a global scale forcing travelers to cancel and reassess plans in the coming weeks and months. We understand that right now is a challenging time to plan travel. But when this time passes and things return to normal, we know you'll be eager to explore the world again. Whenever that happens for you, and we know it will, we hope our travel content helps you make informed, useful, and inspiring choices on the best places and hotels to book. So whether you use our reviews now, bookmark them for the future, or simply need an escape from the news, we'll continue to share the world with you. In the meantime, we encourage all travelers to stay safe, follow guidelines from the CDC website, and take precautions. When I was invited to read from my new book at the Portland Book Festival recently, I chose to stay at The Heathman Hotel in the heart of Portland's cultural district. Built in 1927, the Heathman is a recently-renovated boutique hotel well-suited for art lovers. Restored in 1984 and updated again in 2018, the Heathman is a terrific example of an older, unabashedly classic hotel that's been lightened and brightened to feel stylish and elegant, while still retaining its quintessential Portland spirit. One of the city's last grand hotels, the Heathman has long been a hub of the city's cultural life (from the 1930s to the 1950s, its mezzanine was home to the studios of Portland radio station KOIN, the main stop for any musician passing through the city). Today, the hotel feels fresh-faced and offers genuinely personal service that isn't stuffy or "grand," but instead, spot-on for this casually trendy city. Entry-level rooms start small but come at prices significantly lower than similarly located Portland hotels, making it an excellent deal. Standard room rates start as low as $128 during off season, but can rise to $322 during popular August and September weekends. Although I originally booked an entry-level Deluxe King room for $146 a few weeks before my stay, I was upgraded a King Suite (which typically starts at $269) at check-in and appreciated the extra space. Bookworms will especially love spending time in the hotel's two-story library lounge that features an impressive collection of reads, many of which have been personally signed for the hotel. The first impression The room On-site amenities What's nearby What others say What you need to know The bottom line Book The Heathman Hotel starting at $128 per night Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by The Heathman Hotel in Portland. The Heathman won me over from the moment I pulled up in front of its classic facade lit by the Art Deco Schnitzer Concert Hall marquee down the block. The Heathman has an ideal location in the midst of Portland's cultural center, and since the night was rainy — not unusual for this Northwest city — a bellman appeared to valet park my car. (Portland is so walkable I didn't need a car the rest of the weekend and was relieved to be rid of it.) I've stayed in lots of small luxury boutique hotels over the years and found there's a certain formula to them. Typically, an older hotel or historic building with great bones is transformed to play up a fresh-faced lobby, with updated rooms, a cool vibe, and ideally, a lively bar and restaurant scene. Unfortunately, the boutique formula frequently misses the mark and disappoints. But the Heathman was a home run. The hotel set itself apart starting with kind and genuinely friendly front-desk attendants. I originally booked a standard Deluxe King but was delighted to discover that because the hotel wasn't full, I'd been upgraded to a King Suite at no extra charge. Every guest is offered a complimentary microbrew upon check-in, but I was also handed a sealed envelope. I opened it in the elevator and was nearly brought to tears. The Heathman is well known for its glorious two-story library lounge containing some 2,700 books — most of them personally autographed for the hotel by a book-lover's lineup of literary rock stars, Nobel, and Pulitzer Prize winners. My letter informed me that the hotel had taken the liberty of ordering a signed copy of my book from a local independent bookstore (how did they even know I was a writer?), and would be honored to add it to their library. I thought this was extraordinary, but from comments gleaned from other guests, discovered the Heathman is known for its uncommon attention to detail. Before unpacking, I rode the elevator back down to check out the striking library, of course, and make the most of my Heathman literary moment. All the Heathman's 151 rooms were renovated in 2018. My upgraded King Suite contained the exact same decor as a standard Deluxe King but included the addition small sitting area. A comfy bed was made up in white linens, a navy throw, and navy-herringbone sham offset by a caramel-leather headboard. Stone-white walls were hung with mirrors and terrific modern art added dimension and lightness to the space. Wood floors were warmed by swirls of navy and a tan floral rug. The 520-square-foot suite featured pocket doors dividing the space from a compact living area containing an L-shaped couch, coffee table, and vestibule with a complimentary mini-fridge and French Press. I greatly enjoyed the additional space and was glad I'd been upgraded since my original room would have run just 230 to 360 square feet. Even in my suite, the bathroom was tight by modern standards. But it was clean and functional, with a white-tiled shower (no bath), black-rimmed standing sink too small for a toiletry kit, and wooden shelves mounted above for my personal items. All rooms come with the same amenities and include an honor bar, 24-hour room service, set up for French Press coffee and tea, a plush white robe, and slippers. I slept well in the extremely comfortable bed despite the fact my room, located on a lower floor, was dark and looked at a neighboring wall. As a coffee addict, I thought the French press and coffee grounds were a nice Portlandian touch but would have preferred the convenience of an espresso machine. Premiere Kings (located on the 5th through 10th floors, most with views of Broadway) and Corner Kings (on the 4th through 10th floors) are the next levels up after entry-level Deluxe Kings and offer better views and more light than even my suite, but I was content with my lower-floor King Suite, though there are additional tiers of suites available including Studio, One Bedroom, and Grand. The Heathman makes up for the entry-level rooms' sometimes small-feeling spaces with abundant verve and style, along with wallet-friendly rates. For future stays, I would book a suite for the additional space despite the higher price point, and would even upgrade to a Corner Suite on a higher floor so I could ditch the dark wall and enjoy views of the city. However, it's worth noting that many reviewers on Trip Advisor were also upgraded at check-in, so it could be worth booking a room at a lower rate and gambling on a possible upgrade possibility slower months. Headwaters is a spacious restaurant and bar conveniently located on the Heathman's ground floor. Headed by chef-owner and James Beard award-winner, Vitaley Paley, it showcases locally-sourced Oregon ingredients and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast menu is fairly basic but offers everything from healthy to hearty (organic oats to Mimosas and Dungeness crab omelets), while lunch gets going with inventive local offerings (steelhead tartare to crab cake BLTs), and dinner sources heavily from streams and the sea, with entrees like local steelhead and Pacific Northwest paella. There is a small on-site gym with Pelotons, weights, and treadmills. Guests also have access to free bikes and in-room wellness kits with yoga mats. Be aware there is a resort fee of $30 per night per room to cover the cost of these amenities. By far my favorite space was the striking library. On my first night, I grabbed a Negroni from Headwaters and settled in for some reading. One quibble: there is no bar service in this beautiful space, so if you want to order drinks you must carry them in from the adjacent bar. As a result, there is little service either and the night I was there, empty cocktail glasses and teacups littered the tables. That said, I loved the soaring, two-story space with sleek sitting areas surrounded by rich wood paneling from the 1920s, and contemporary floor-to-ceiling bookcases lined with books. Most of the books are available for guests to peruse (or check out for in-room use), and I spent a memorable evening pulling out volume after volume, finding my favorite writers, and reading their whimsical notes, drawings, and inscriptions, made out personally to the Heathman. It's a fantastic collection and for word-lovers, worth a stay at the Heathman for this experience alone. The Heathman has a great downtown location and is especially well-suited for art lovers. It's in the midst of Portland's designated Cultural District, just down the block from the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and adjacent to the Portland Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Portland Art Museum, which is particularly worth a visit. There are many notable restaurants within walking distance, and coffee addicts will find a Café Umbria right down the street. Shoppers are near a nice mix of flagship department stores and boutiques. A bit farther afield, don't miss Powell's Books, Portland's legendary independent bookstore, or the city's alluring Japanese garden. Check flight prices to Portland on Expedia On Trip Advisor, the Heathman earns 4.5 out of 5 stars and is ranked 9 out of 154 hotels in Portland. However, it is head and shoulders above some of the other budget hotels that are listed above it in terms of decor and amenities. On Booking.com the hotel has an overall rating of 9 out of 10 and is among their top-recommended properties. Feedback consistently praises the hotel for its beautiful and unique ambiance, its attention to detail, warmth, and hospitality. Negative feedback has to do with the small room and bathroom size, which many reviewers found to be cramped at the entry-level size, as well as lack of sound-proofing, as is often the case with older hotels. Finally, as noted above, there are additional resort and service fees upon checkout that some guests weren't aware of ahead of time and found disappointing. Compare reviews, prices, and book The Heathman Hotel on Trip Advisor Who stays here: A solid mix of savvy tourists and business travelers, well-heeled couples (many with dogs in tow, since the hotel is pet-friendly), and the weekend I visited, an extended family celebrating a wedding. We like: The genuine hospitality and over-the-top personal touches extended to all guests. We love (don't miss this feature!): The stunning library lounge filled with personally autographed books and collector's editions, as well as a notable art collection with 250 original paintings, photographs, and works on paper. The emphasis on Northwest artists, plus a cool collection of Andy Warhol lithographs, are also standout additions. We think you should know: This is a historic-hotel turned boutique-hotel. If you are seeking large rooms and serious luxury, book elsewhere. We'd do this differently next time: I look forward to returning when not on a book-tour budget and springing for a corner room with ample light and views. The Heathman Hotel is an iconic, spirited hotel in the heart of the city with a long history of celebrating arts and culture. Guests will like it for its prime location, chic and inviting public spaces, convenient bar and restaurant, and affordable prices, especially when compared with similar hotels in the area. The hotel is known for exceptional attention to detail and personal touches, which I experienced firsthand. The impressive, cozy library is an excellent place to nurse a cocktail while skimming through favorite reads, and the vast array of personally signed books by noted literary figures is worth a visit alone for book lovers. Entry-level rooms start small, and those on lower levels can be dark and lacking any views, so splurge on a roomier suite or high-floor corner room if you can swing it. That said, it's beloved by many return guests and I look forward to being one of them. Book The Heathman Hotel starting at $128 per night