26 Gorgeous Hotels You Won't Believe Are Under $150
Every so often, a hotel comes along that is both stylish and comfortable, close to the action and affordable. From the beaches of Mexico to the quaint courtyards of New Orleans, here are 26 properties that make the cut this year. You're welcome.
We scoured the globe to find the best new hotels out there. Making our list is harder than you think! Each of these independent properties has to meet a strict criteria to even be considered: they must have a unique story; their design sense must speak to the local culture instead of being generic and corporate; and they must (no exceptions!) be available for under $150 per night. You'll hear the owners' stories. You'll find urban retreats in some of the planet's most expensive cities. You'll take in unobstructed ocean views from your private balcony. You'll commune with nature. Bottom line—you'll never want to leave.
Joshua Tree, California
Hicksville Trailer Palace owner Morgan Higby Night isn’t the first creative type to find inspiration in the rugged, lunar landscape of Joshua Tree National Park (see also: Gram Parsons, U2). But the Los Angeles–based writer and producer (Shortbus, Talking About Sex) has certainly taken his artists’ retreat there to an audaciously kitschy level. “I was already going out to Joshua Tree two to three days a week to write my latest screenplay,” Higby Night says. “It made me think that maybe other artists in L.A. also needed a place to get away to work.” Higby Night installed 10 vintage trailers, a solar-heated saltwater pool, and an archery and BB gun range on his two-acre desert plot last April. Each unit has a distinct design scheme and amenities: a jukebox filled with punk tunes, a TV stocked with horror (and only horror) movies, and bunk beds that, for an extra $50 a day, can be tucked away to make room for a film editing suite. And guests don’t have to worry about curious day-trippers traipsing the grounds: Directions are only given out to folks with confirmed reservations.
hicksville.com, from $75.
Jensen Beach, Florida
Let the scenesters have South Beach. The eight-room Inn at Tilton Place, two hours to the north in Jensen Beach, swaps crowded pool decks and velvet-rope nightclubs for quiet coves and evening wine tastings on the front porch. The whole place is steeped in Florida history. A local fisherman built the white clapboard house in the early 1900s and gave it to his daughter as a wedding present; today, her great-granddaughter, Katie Wacha, runs the place. There’s a wall of black-and-white photos in the foyer documenting the generations of Tiltons who’ve inhabited the house. Still, the best new tradition at the inn is Wacha’s own: seasonal, three-course breakfasts, featuring beyond-the-basics dishes like red pears with rosemary sugar and basil hollandaise Benedict.
innattiltonplace.com, from $109.
When Kelli Kerns, Tim Cron, and Becky Cron (Kerns’s sister) purchased the Sawtooth Hotel in Stanley (population: 100) in 2004, they had modernizing on the brain. Over the course of the family’s three-year restoration project, they added rooftop solar panels, installed a commercial kitchen for their popular ground-floor restaurant, and upgraded the nine guest rooms with new baths and fresh furnishings. The best part? You’re not hit over the head with any of the upgrades. The 70-year-old log-cabin landmark still has all the rustic, small-town charm you’d expect: 100-year-old skiing gear mounted on the walls, a carved wooden moose grinning in the lobby, and the dining room’s views of the jagged, snowcapped Sawtooth Mountains—just as impressive as they were in 1931 when the original Sawtooth opened.
sawtoothhotel.com, from $70.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Like many French Quarter spots, the Hotel Le Marais, steps away from Bourbon Street, greets guests with plenty of flash: The lobby is all bright colors, mirrored tiles, and party music. But enter one of its 64 renovated guest rooms, and the tone shifts. The mostly neutral decor subtly references the city—eggplant throw pillows, photos of Louisiana landscapes—without playing to clichés. Some rooms even have wrought-iron balconies overlooking the internal brick courtyard (and its heated saltwater plunge pool) lit with both old-fashioned gas lamps and neon purple lights. hotellemarais.com, from $110.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Hotel 340, housed in the former headquarters of the St. Paul Athletic Club, is no ordinary YMCA. The 12-story English-renaissance building has served as a downtown clubhouse for St. Paul’s upper crust since 1917; today, the carefully restored structure is home to the hotel (on the top three floors), plus the University Club of St. Paul, a chichi lobby bar, and, of course, an all-new 60,000-square-foot fitness center (free for guests). The building’s entrance is downright grand, with its 20-foot-high coffered ceiling, marble columns, and huge fireplace. The hotel’s 17 rooms all have cherry hardwood floors; mahogany headboards; marble showers; and skyline, courtyard, or river views. The 40 suites (from $129) add fully stocked kitchenettes and steam showers or whirlpools.
hotel340.com, from $99.