These are the Best Boutique Hotels in the U.S. for Design Lovers

There’s nothing quite like a soulful boutique hotel that starts telling a unique story upon check-in—especially when it articulates the essence of its surroundings through intentional design. From a quirky revamped motel in Nashville to a boho retreat in Upstate New York’s antiques hub and a posh Texan gem, here’s a trio of boutique properties in the U.S. whose visual appeal translates into a wholly inspirational stay for design lovers, architecture enthusiasts, and everyone in between.

The Dive Motel & Swim Club (Nashville, Tennessee)

4 Stars | Website | Nashville International Airport

23 | 1 swimming pool; Pet friendly; Bar | 1

Johnny Cash Museum; Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; Oakwood Park

This refabbed roadside relic from the ‘50s is in the emerging Dickerson Pike neighborhood five minutes from Downtown Nashville. The hip motor lodge and pool were revived by the team behind Urban Cowboy hotels (another design-forward brand that should be on your radar) as a groovy homage to the Seventies music scene. Each of the 23 guestrooms is individually styled with vibrant colors, vintage décor, and retro touches of rock star glam—plus disco balls that spin to a custom Dive Radio playlist when you first open the door.

The Maker Hotel (Hudson Valley, New York)

5 Stars | Website | Bradley International Airport

11 | Free WiFi; Fitness center; Bar | 1

Olana State Historic Site; Thomas Cole National Historic Site; Hudson Athens Lighthouse

Tucked into Hudson’s historic downtown, The Maker Hotel is a stylish Hudson Valley sanctuary that celebrates the legacy and craftsmanship of traditional “makers” and creatives. The 11-room property is the brainchild of Alina Roytberg and Lev Glazman (the founders of skincare brand Fresh) and hospitality specialist Damian Janowicz, whose inspired concept steers clear of standardized design. Housed across three historic buildings, The Maker is decorated with over two-thirds vintage finds that nod to several 19th-century styles, global influences, and local artisans.

Austin Proper Hotel

Austin Proper Hotel (Austin, Texas)

5 Stars | Website | Austin-Bergstrom Intl. Airport (AUS)

244 | 1 swimming pool; Pet friendly; Fitness center | 2

Sixth Street; South Congress Avenue; Austin Convention Center

Proper Hotels landed in Austin’s trendy Second Street District for its Texas debut, introducing 244 swanky guest rooms, four distinct dining concepts, and a soon-to-open spa to the neighborhood. Ravishing interiors by star designer Kelly Wearstler reflect the multifaceted persona of the Texan capital with contrasting elements such as custom millwork, neon lights, and ornamental rugs. Don’t forget to look up: Covered in gingham textiles and eclectic wallpaper, even the ceilings serve as a canvas for Wearstler’s boundless creativity.

11 Howard (New York City, NY)

5 Stars | Website | LaGuardia Airport

207 | Free WiFi; Bar; Room service | 1

One World Trade Center; Brooklyn Bridge; National September 11 Memorial & Museum

New York City’s SoHo district is replete with some of Manhattan’s swankiest boutiques and restaurants. And on that same wavelength of cool are the handful of boutique hotels one can find within the neighborhood’s perimeters. So, without further ado, we introduce you to 11 Howard, a 207-key boutique hotel that marries cutting-edge Scandinavian design and socially conscious hyper-localism. The art assemblage here is eye-catching, from the ceramic sculptures by Taiwanese artist Katie Yang to prints by Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Stanton House (El Paso, Texas)

4 Stars | Website | El Paso International Airport

42 | Free WiFi; Pet friendly; Spa | 1

Monumento a la Mexicanidad; La Rodadora; El Paso Museum of Archaeology

El Paso, Texas, might not be the first place you think of when it comes to great design; however, one boutique hotel there is changing that — meet Stanton House. Originally built as a showroom in 1916, the present-day hotel challenges the “sleepy Southwest border town” narrative many have of this Texas city. International panache reigns supreme at Stanton House: Contemporary fabrics, neutral-toned-clad walls, concrete, marble, and wood permeate the space. When it comes to art, the assemblage of masterpieces here is eclectic — expect to see Damien Hirst pieces rubbing shoulders with the works of several up-and-coming American, Mexican, and European artists.

Credit: Graham Yelton

The Dwell Hotel (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

3 Stars | Website | Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport

16 | Free WiFi; Bar; Spa | 1

Hunter Museum of American Art; Walnut Street Bridge; Phillips Park

Chattanooga’s hippest boutique stay is The Dwell Hotel. Housed in a brick- and limestone-clad edifice, the hotel recently got snatched in a thoughtful way that preserves its past. Guestrooms equip 1950s-, 1960s-, and 1970s-born wallpaper, furnishings, and consoles. The stay’s overall midcentury-modern aesthetic and rooms with bold colors enliven the air, all the while displayed brick pays tribute to Chattanooga’s industrial bequest.

Credit: The Nomadic People

Timber Cove Resort (Jenner, California)

3 Stars | Website | Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport

46 | Fitness center; Pet friendly; Bar | 1

Timber Cove Totum; Fort Ross State Historic Park; Salt Point State Park

Northern California’s coastline often gets overlooked due to the warmer temperatures that imbue Southern California’s beaches. But that shouldn’t be the case — serene, forested coastlines, pastoral shrubbery, hiking trails galore, and charming small towns are what you can expect when deciding to drive further north from San Francisco to the Sonoma Coast. When in this neck of the woods, elect to stay at the 1960s-tinged Timber Cove Resort. Here, earthy schemes marry sleek interiors and serve as a nod to the beautiful scenery outside. Inside are a wealth of modern pieces, well-kept retro furniture, and trappings comprised of seasoned leather and upfront plaids. Ubiquitous wood accents complement both the midcentury modern décor and locally-sourced artwork adorning interior spaces.

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