Interiorssneak peeks

10 Vacation Worthy Hotels

by Grace Bonney

When it comes to most things in my life, I’m pretty low maintenance. I rarely wear makeup or blow dry my hair, I wear the same outfit pretty much every day and I think a little bit of dirt never hurt anyone. But, when it comes to travel, I can be a bit of a diva. Ok, well maybe not a “I demand only green M&Ms in my dressing room!” diva, but I like to stay in nice hotels whenever I have the opportunity. Julia and I always joke that it’s one of our favorite things we have in common, because whenever we travel we both agree that we’d prefer to get cheap plane tickets and save our money for a nice room. Everyone has their version of pampering and for me, it’s staying somewhere that has strong air conditioning and room service and is a place where I can take a nap in a quiet room without loud neighbors. The chance to do all of the above doesn’t happen often but when it does, I’m in heaven. So while the summer is still upon us, I thought I’d share my favorite hotels we’ve ever posted. From as far away as Morocco and Panama to my beloved Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, these hotels are worth the visit (even just for a quick drink or snack at their bars) if you’ve got room left on your vacation calendar. See you at the pool! xo, grace

*Image above: Panama City’s American Trade Hotel. The artwork on the walls was made by Tanya Aguiniga.

Click through to visit all 10 hotels after the jump!

The Dean Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island: Home of RISD and Brown University, Providence is one of my favorite towns on the East Coast. Full of great little spots to eat, see a band or discover a great new artist, this city is a must-visit if you find yourself driving between New York and Boston any time. The hotel itself is chic, modern and has just the right mix of brass and rich wood detailing.

The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia: I grew up with a deep love of many things, but two of the biggest were Dorothy Draper and West Virginia. I went to an all-girls sleepaway camp in West Virginia every summer and one year my parents treated us to a night at the Greenbrier Hotel before driving back to Virginia Beach. The hotel has been updated, but it still left all the classic Dorothy Draper detailing intact. HUGE oversized stripes, rich greens and bright pinks – it has Draper written all over it. The hotel has a fascinating history (it houses an emergency Cold War fallout shelter that is now declassified and open for tours) and has one of the most gorgeous pools I’ve ever seen.

The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, NY: I’ll be completely honest – I have a love/hate relationship with the Wythe Hotel. Their sixth floor bar, The Ides, is one of the coolest spots to grab a drink (with a breathtaking view of Manhattan) and their rooms are so simple and chic. But they don’t offer room service. As I mentioned above, that’s a huge factor when getting me to invest in a hotel room, so I’m always a little bummed that they don’t do that. But they do have a delicious restaurant (Reynard) and they worked with great local designers to create their room decor. This section of Brooklyn is my home turf, so if you need any recommendations, just click the link above for my personal 24 hour guide to North Brooklyn.

The Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin, TX: Liz Lambert, the owner and designer of Saint Cecilia, is an Austin legend. Her taste is impeccable, she seems to organize every cool event that happens in town and she is constantly coming up with great ways to lure people to Austin in the form of great new hotels (she runs not one but FOUR). Saint Cecilia is my favorite spot to meet people in town for a drink or catch up, but it’s an even prettier place to stay. If you’re planning on visiting for SXSW be sure to book well in advance, they often book up over a year ahead of time for that prime month.

The Mercury Inn in Portland, Maine: Portland, Maine is one place that I’m dying to spend a summer getaway. It’s a little too far to drive for a long weekend, but if I save up enough to take a plane to Portland, this is where I will be staying for sure. Tim Karu and Jacob Krueger purchased an aging Victorian inn in the historic Parkside neighborhood of Portland and worked with designer Tyler Karu (Tim’s sister) to update the space so it blended their more modern style with the home’s existing architecture. I love how different this feels from all the new hotels popping up these days.

The 404 Hotel in Nashville, TN: Nashville was one of my favorite cities we visited during the DS Book Tour. Everyone was friendly, the food was incredible, the music venues were awesome and the homes were gorgeous. The 404 Hotel not only looks beautiful, but it has a seriously delicious restaurant attached to it, too. I love when your hotel can be a one-stop-shop for all your needs, so this spot is definitely on my list the next time we’re in town.

The Hotel Nord Pinus-Tanger, Morocco: One of our good friends just returned from a trip to Morocco and to say that we have a major case of travel envy is a massive understatement. The food, the art and architecture and the sheer amount of history is enough to make anyone want to visit. This incredible hotel is a bit more traditional than the spaces we typically post, but we all fell in love with the way the designers stayed true to the original structure and incorporated small modern details here and there.

The Saugerties Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast in Saugerties, NY: Max and Daniel had a great stay at The Saugerties Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast and loved the area so much they bought a house nearby not long after. Those two have become the toast of the Hudson Valley ever since and have convinced me that moving up there full-time would be a good idea. In the meantime I will hope to find an excuse to visit this beautiful B&B. Originally built in 1835, the lighthouse was given landmark status and lovingly restored in the late 1980s. It’s at the end of a long, beautiful walk right on the Hudson River – a truly romantic escape if you’re ever in need.

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The Hillside Schoolhouse in Barryville, NY: As I mentioned above, I never overlook a chance to visit The Catskills and this new one-room-schoolhouse is at the top of my reasons why I’d like to go back again (and again and again). Built in 1893, this beautiful landmark building is now a place to stay when you’re looking to get away from the city and get some fresh air. The space retains the original historic charm of the school house but adds in more modern amenities that make for a comfortable stay.

Suggested For You


  • My favourite hotel experience was definitely Dwarika’s in Kathmandu. It was absolutely brimming with Nepali artifacts and felt like an oasis from the city. For sheer luxury, Prestonfield Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland is amazingly romantic, especially in winter!

  • My mantra is #TreatYoSelf when traveling. Personally, I prefer over the top luxury hotels. And my favorite would have to be The Langham in Chicago. Believe every raving review you read about it. And surprisingly, you can find it very reasonably priced sometimes considering that it is a 5 star property.

  • Went to Wythe Hotel last week on a Monday at sundown and we couldn’t have a glass of wine in peace to watch the sunset because tens of tourists were taking hundreds of selfies for every single minute they were there while screaming and pushing us away with their butts. This lasted for over an hour and at the end we gave up and left.

  • I was in the American Trade Hotel last week in Panama. The place is stunning, quiet and so stylish. I had the best time! Try their patacones con puerco, it’s a must!

  • You might want to check out Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest, North Carolina… http://www.hoteldomestique.com. 13 unique and tasteful rooms in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a tremendous chef from Blackberry Farm and a biking concierge program that is over the top.

  • I must chime in with two additions to this list.

    The Longman and Eagle in Chicago is one of my favorite microhotels I have ever stayed in, and the bar and restaurant downstairs is exceptional.

    Also, every 21C hotel is worth a visit, but the one in Bentonville, Arkansas gets extra points for having the Crystal Bridges Museum adjacent!

  • What fun to see The Dean Hotel mentioned. I was just in Providence on a college tour with my daughter and got coffee at Bolt, which is attached to the hotel. The Barista was so nice. I would also add Pratt Place Inn in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Not only is the hotel a total gem but you can go to Crystal Bridges Museum and see wonderful American art for free.

  • There’s no hotel in Turkey on this list. (?) You don’t really talk about the one in Panama either. Did something get cut?

  • Great post. I can also save on everything when traveling but not the hotels! Those I beilieve are important part of the experiences and nothing is better for ones interior design senses than staying in a stlish hotel. I also think Morocco is a great destination for one interested in stylish and atmospheric hotels.