World's Best Boutique Hotels
We scoured the globe until we found the 31 best new hotels for under $150.
Avid shoppers will feel right at home at The Nines, which occupies the upper nine floors of the restored Meier & Frank department store building downtown. The lobby shows off a 419-piece collection of paintings and sculptures by Portland artists, and the lounge lets you browse another local treasure: books from the legendary Powell's shop. Many of the 331 rooms, dressed in silver wallpaper and furniture upholstered in turquoise velvet, face a large atrium; the old Meier & Frank space downstairs—behind its original white terra-cotta façade—is now a Macy's. spg.com, from $149.
Chocolate-brown carpets spun from recycled soda bottles are just one of the many earth-friendly details at the Hotel Felix. The 225 rooms have motion sensors to control the heat and lighting, and the spa has sustainably produced bamboo floors. Drivers of hybrids park free, but the hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Hancock tower, so you could also skip the car entirely. hotelfelixchicago.com, from $129.
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New York City
Staying at the 133-room Jane hotel in the West Village feels a bit like stepping back in time: For starters, the clanky elevator still uses a manual operator. Celeb hoteliers Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode restored the century-old building, which housed Titanic survivors in 1912, and dressed it up with bohemian details like zebra-print chairs and mismatched velvet sofas in the lobby. Suited to solo travelers, the 90 wood-paneled single rooms have been fashioned after train and yacht cabins, with built-in drawers underneath twin beds. thejanenyc.com, singles from $99.
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The Iron Horse Hotel was dreamed up a year ago to cater to people visiting the Harley-Davidson Museum down the street. Owner Tim Dixon's goal was to welcome guests wearing everything from business suits to buckle boots. The look in the 100 rooms is all oak floors, exposed-brick walls, and black-leather headboards. And metal hooks for hanging motorcycle gear are just the kind of thoughtful touches to warm a biker's heart. theironhorsehotel.com, from $149.
Built on the site of the first Civil War skirmish in 1861, the 2-year-old Hotel Monaco Alexandria pays respect to the area's rich history. Free bike rentals are the best way to see the Old Town neighborhood, once home to George Washington and Robert E. Lee and now a shopping district. In the 241 rooms, deep jewel tones echo soldiers' uniforms, including Union-blue and Confederate-yellow throw pillows. With star-shaped mirrors and ink-print portraits on the walls, the Tall Rooms also have eight-foot beds, long enough for Lincoln himself. monaco-alexandria.com, from $149.
A marriage of Miami Beach art deco flair and old-Vegas glitz, the 64-room El Cortez Cabana Suites is bringing the groove back to the Fremont East area near the Strip. The renovated motel opened in May and has a swanky club-like lobby with Tiffany-blue walls and checkered floors of black granite and white marble. The apple-green rooms have equally mod flourishes: funky trellis-patterned wallpaper and armchairs covered in white leather or black chenille. Even amid Sin City's quest for ever more flashiness, this kind of decadence calls for a double take. elcortezcabanasuites.com, from $42.
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Ilhabela Island, Brazil
In 1997, German native Wolfgang Napirei and his Brazilian wife, Adriana, vacationed off the coast of São Paulo and vowed to return. Eight years later, the couple came back and opened the beachfront DPNY Beach Hotel, where the 70 suites have tropical-island decor like king-size canopy beds with headboards embedded with seashells. If you ask nicely, the concierge will tell you about a secret spot where you can swim under a waterfall. dpnybeach.com.br, from $148.