Bobby and Brooke Mikulas travelled the world for a year. When they came home to Colorado Springs, they dreamt of opening the sort of sociable hotel they had loved while on the road. They poured everything into making it a reality, and Kinship Landing was due to open in December 2020. We all know what happened next.
When the hotel finally opened in March 2021, the Mikulases gambled that their superb location, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, would stand them in good stead. The gamble is paying off. Locals gather in their plant-filled lobby-cum-bar, Homa, to co-work by day or catch a live show by night. Couples from across the country celebrate anniversaries in their suites, cosying up around the fireplace, and families take over the Camp Deck, before setting off to hike up Pikes Peak.
Kinship Landing is one of the many hotels in the United States that have opened in the past couple of years. An estimated 900 launched in 2020 (down from 1,017 in 2019), and even more followed this year. And of course now we don’t just have to fantasise about future trips and bucket-list adventures, but can actually get on a flight and go.
Perhaps you have dreamt about an escape to New Orleans, to enjoy the balmy winter nights of the Big Easy, to listen to the endless song of the French Quarter and eat baskets of beignets – while staying in the boutique Chloe hotel.
Or maybe it’s a Christmas break to New York City, to go shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue with its iconic holiday window display, ice skating in Central Park and then devouring a T-bone at Keens. At the Rockefeller Center, the 79ft Christmas tree has already been hoisted up and is awaiting its adornments. And this year, Times Square will again welcome people in their thousands for the famed New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.
Wherever it is and whatever it is you have been hankering after from the United States of America, they are ready for you.
For digital nomads… Ace Brooklyn, New York City
The Ace helped establish the digital nomad culture, with its alluring communal spaces made for globetrotting creative freelancers fuelled on craft coffee, fancy cocktails and an on-point soundtrack. The winning formula remains in place at the latest Ace in Brooklyn, but the edges have been refined. Laptops are put away after hours at the trademark lobby table, and the design palette is woody and calming. Collaborations with local artists abound, from the lobby gallery to the bespoke artwork in each room. The restaurant, As You Are, is, predictably, already a destination in itself.
How to do it: Doubles from £335 (001 718 313 3636; acehotel.com).
For city slickers… Park Lane, New York City
Despite its location on “Billionaire’s Row”, the relaunched Park Lane has swapped the gold pomp and exclusivity of old for today’s more accessible and understated luxury. This involves thoughtful minimalist design and whimsical murals, such as those found in the 610 rooms, half of which offer sweeping Central Park views. The restaurant and bar, Harry’s, is named after the hotel’s original owner, 1960s real-estate magnate Harry Helmsley, and has a menu befitting its namesake: martinis, oysters, caviar and towers of king crab. Still to come: Rose Lane, a Parisian-style lobby bar, and a rooftop “secret garden”.
How to do it: Doubles from £389 (001 212 371 4000; parklanenewyork.com).
For refined luxury… Maker Hotel, Hudson
This upstate town, once a creative haven, has grown increasingly chic, but the Maker is its first ultra-luxury hotel. With just 11 rooms, the four suites are calling cards, each with individual design themes from “The Artist” – a belle époque dream – to “The Writer”, complete with library and vintage typewriter. It’s sumptuous without being stuffy, bohemian yet refined, and packed with beautiful things, many from local Hudson makers. There’s a cocktail lounge in a restored 19th-century carriage house, a European-style cafe, and a pool. Seek out the Fragrance Library, a hidden, guest-only room of antique scents.
How to do it: Doubles from £346 (001 518 509 2620; themaker.com).
For the great outdoors… Urban Cowboy Lodge, Catskills
Housed in a 19th-century alpine inn on 68 acres in the Big Indian Wilderness, Urban Cowboy’s cluster of cabins and lodges boast the signature look that made the brand’s first two outposts instant design hits: bold geometric wallpaper, antique Americana, vibrant textiles, and an ineffable cool. It’s part rustic retreat, part grown-up summer camp; put on your jade green Pendleton robe, order a cocktail, and soak in the cedar tub on your private patio. Or take a local brew from the Parlor out to the bonfire with the new friends you have just made. It’s all part of the Urban Cowboy charm.
How to do it: Doubles from £219 (001 845 254 5026; urbancowboy.com).
For serenity… Miraval Berkshires Resort & Spa, Massachusetts
The Miraval motto is “Life in Balance” and they are ready to guide your wellness journey. Want to de-stress? There’s a programme for that. Couples looking for reconnection? Covered. A simple spa package? Easy. Set on 380 bucolic acres, the hotel has a veritable village dedicated to its task, from the usual – a grab-and-go juice bar; a yoga studio; an unutterably elegant spa – to the unexpected – horse stables, beehives and an aerial climbing course. The whole resort emits an aura of calm.
How to do it: Doubles from £820, full board, excluding alcohol (001 855 234 1672; miravalberkshires.com).
For friends and family… Kinship Landing, Colorado Springs
The premise of Kinship Landing was to create a space centred on personal connection; and they meant it. Walking in, you aren’t confronted by a check-in desk, but instead an expansive bar-cum-lobby, with plants hanging from the gabled ceiling and a light-flooded “Greenhaus”. It’s both a social hub for the newly bustling Colorado Springs scene and a visitor base camp. There are luxury suites – with free-standing bathtubs, fireplaces and views of Pikes Peak – as well as shared bunk rooms and even a fourth-floor outdoor Camp Deck.
How to do it: Doubles from £134 (001 719 203 9309; kinshiplanding.com).
For old-world glamour… The Newbury, Boston
For all its New England charm and revolutionary history, Boston has lacked designer hotels until late. The Newbury, overlooking the idyllic Boston Public Garden, offers a modern update on old-world glamour, with jewel tones and marble touches. Major Food Group (of Carbone restaurant fame) has worked its usual magic with a brilliant revamp of the Street Bar – an iconic drinking haunt dating back to the hotel’s first incarnation as the Ritz-Carlton in 1927 – and the creation of Contessa, a 4,000-sq-ft rooftop restaurant. The leafy Italianate affair has some of the best views in the city.
How to do it: Doubles from £449 (001 617 536 5700; thenewburyboston.com).
For sun-seekers… White Elephant, Palm Beach, Florida
Older “snowbirds” have long flocked to Palm Beach for the balmy winter, but recent years – and the pandemic, in particular – beckoned a younger, working-from-home crowd, and with them came cool new hotels such as the White Elephant. Its Mediterranean Revival architecture is instantly striking, as are the black and white awnings and towering palms, but inside is no less impressive, with so much art that guided tours of the collection are available. As are complimentary 7 Series BMWs, a very nice perk. Find a perch in the restaurant, Lola 41, and partake in a classic Palm Beach activity: people-watching.
How to do it: Doubles from £486 (001 844 462 9483; whiteelephantpalmbeach.com).
For history buffs… Emeline, Charleston
There were good reasons to go to Charleston before – pretty cobblestoned streets, historic houses, the food – but the Emeline has added to the buzz in this slow-paced Southern city. Frannie & the Fox offers giant wood-fired pizzas in the courtyard eatery, while Clerks Coffee Company keeps you in fancy coffee. Seek out the Fox Hole, a secret cocktail window hidden in the wallpapered hallway. The suites don’t disappoint either, with their selection of classic records to spin and plush sofas. The city is on the doorstep, with complimentary bikes for easy exploring.
How to do it: Doubles from £246 (001 843 577 2644; hotelemeline.com).
For celebrations… Camp Sarika by Amangiri, Canyon Point
There’s glamping – and then there’s Camp Sarika. The towering mesas of the Utah desert are extraordinary enough, offering a staggering landscape of other-worldly beauty, but the so-called “back-to-the-wild” experience here is unrivalled in luxury. You can still roast s’mores around the campfire and take a hike (or a hot-air balloon) into the 600 acres of surrounded protected wilderness, but then retreat to your canvas-topped “pavilion” to enjoy the private plunge pool, fire pit, and king-sized beds, positioned for you to lie back and bask in the desert views.
How to do it: Pavilions from £3,625 for two, full board (0800 368 6143; aman.com).
For fun and frolics… The Goodtime Hotel, Miami Beach
The multi-hyphenate Pharrell Williams teamed with nightlife mogul David Grutman to create a hotel with one goal: to make you happy. They achieve this with oodles of nostalgia and cheek: animal lamps and pineapple tables in the pink-hued Library; leopard-print robes and rotary-dial phones in the guest rooms; and pastel pinstripes around the pool. The 30,000 sq ft pool club, Strawberry Moon, is already a scene (Ms Kardashian and Ms Beckham made an opening-night appearance). The blackout curtains in the bedrooms will see good use.
How to do it: Doubles from £278 (001 786 687 0234; thegoodtimehotel.com).
For budding astronomers… Adero Scottsdale, Arizona
Thanks to light pollution we’ve become accustomed to muted night skies, which is why the “Dark Sky Community” in the Sonoran desert is so special. The Milky Way can often be seen from the private balconies here, or you can take a telescope onto the Stargazing Lawn (in-house “Star Dudes” are on hand to offer guidance). When the sun rises, it’s yoga on the lawn overlooking Adero Canyon or days spent exploring the 55,000 acres of trails (there’s an Adventure concierge, too). Finish up by the pool with a Watermelon Mule or Cantaloupe Colada.
How to do it: Doubles from £344 (001 480 333 1900; aderoscottsdale.com).
For ‘selling sunset’ fans… Pendry West Hollywood, Los Angeles
Once notoriously seedy, Sunset Strip has cleaned up its act. Mourn the outrageous antics of yore while settling into the absolute indulgence on offer in this £375-million hotel, taking up an entire city block where the ramshackle House of Blues once stood. Depending on your fancy, borrow a Gibson guitar or a Cadillac; receive an IV therapy or vitamin injection in the spa after partying too hard in the stylish WeHo (West Hollywood) scene; or settle into one of the two restaurants, safe in the hands of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.
How to do it: Doubles from £405 (001 310 928 9000; pendry.com).
For retro revivalists… Cara Hotel, Los Angeles
The motel has been getting a makeover in America, with long-abandoned motor lodges being revamped for a new generation of traveller. The Cara Hotel couldn’t be further from the dated shabbiness of its predecessor, the Coral Sands Motel. The 1950s property in Los Feliz is unrecognisable in its new guise, with immaculate design in calming shades of pale cream and wide open-air spaces. The whitewashed walls, billowing drapes and century-old olive trees strung with lights by the “tranquillity pool” in the restaurant courtyard might evoke a Greek island, but the hyper-local biodynamic menu couldn’t be more LA.
How to do it: Doubles from £268 (001 323 672 8990; carahotel.com).
For california dreamers… Montage Healdsburg, California
The exterior of the building is designed to mimic the bark of the surrounding mature oak trees, 22,000 of which are preserved on the 258-acre retreat. This is just one environmentally-conscious design element intended to seamlessly blend the property into the surrounding northern Californian wine country. Each of the 130 light-filled guest bungalows has sliding doors opening onto private terraces with al fresco showers, intended to banish separation between indoors and out. Part of the “terroir-to-table” restaurant is cantilevered into the middle of an ancient oak tree. Even the yoga classes take place nestled among the vines.
How to do it: Doubles from £632 (001 707 979 9000; montagehotels.com).
For music fans… Hotel Magdalena, Austin
The fourth property from Austin’s home-grown and suitably hip Bunkhouse hospitality group takes its inspiration from 1970s lake houses and the Texan landscape. The 900sqft sunken pool plays the part of the lake – inspired by the city watering hole Barton Springs – with the surrounding rooms spread across four buildings, connected by elevated walkways. The grounds are planted with native trees, such as Bigtooth Maples and Little Gem Magnolias, which create an inner-city oasis. Once the site of Willie Nelson’s famed Austin Opry House music venue, the interiors give a nod to the legend’s heyday, with concert photography, textiles and pops of colour.
How to do it: Doubles from £218 (00 1 512 442 1000; hotelmagdalena.com).
For mardi gras… The Chloe, New Orleans
The playful design in this Queen Anne-style former boarding house befits this intoxicating city, with alligators clambering down the red-carpeted staircase and an armoire in an upstairs bedroom opening to a secret passageway. Lying on your four-poster bed listening to the sound of the slow-turning fan above or the streetcars clattering by outside your window, it’s easy to lose yourself to another time completely. The hotel has become a popular spot with locals, too, who come to the breezy dining room for bright creole-inspired fare, or to the pool bar, lined with Meyer lemon trees and alive with a margarita-fuelled buzz.
How to do it: Doubles from £355 (001 504 541 5500; thechloenola.com).
For seaside sun… The Vanderbilt, Newport, Rhode Island
Newport’s Gilded Age history is deliciously palpable here, from the grandeur of the design, with its wood panelling and rich palette, to the books in the Library and illustrative art on the wall. It was built by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, after all. Sink into the emerald divan in the lounge and dip into the secret liquor cabinet (operated on an honesty basis); or head to the Dining Room, where the James Beard award-winning chef April Bloomfield serves up her famed gastropub fare. Experiences on offer range from oyster shucking in the Conservatory to private tours of that most famous Vanderbilt mansion: the Breakers.
How to do it: Doubles from £380 (001 855 925 3901; aubergeresorts.com).
For architecture buffs… Riggs, Washington DC
Housed in the former Riggs National Bank, a 19th-century architectural wonder, this 181-room hotel weaves in the original features with flair: the front desk is styled on a bank teller, beneath towering coffered ceilings, and Corinthian columns bisect the all-day brasserie, Café Riggs, where a 15ft flower sculpture adds a festoon of colour. The rooms are bright, with patterned headboards, velvet furnishings and minibars (in a steel safe). The star attraction is the subterranean bar, Silver Lyan, from mixology savant Ryan Chetiyawardana, housed in the bank’s former vault.
How to do it: Doubles from £221 (001 202 638 1800; riggsdc.com).
For sushi-lovers… Nobu Chicago, Illinois
You might come for the food – the famed miso black cod in the grand ground-floor restaurant; a yellowtail sashimi in the mezzanine sushi bar; or a nori caviar taco with a Nobu Sidecar at the rooftop bar – but superchef Nobu Matsuhisa and Robert de Niro, now in partnership for 25-plus years, know their hotels, too. The trademark blend of modern luxury with minimal Japanese tradition creates a serene vibe throughout, especially in the light-filled rooms.
How to do it: Doubles from £340 (001 312 779 8888; chicago.nobuhotels.com).See more recommendations with our guide to the best hotels in the United States.Internet Explorer Channel Network