ACME Hotel Company Chicago
Techies love ACME Hotel Company Chicago for its gadgets (lightening-fast WiFi, hotspots to-go, free Google Glass use); we love this trendy Chi-Town stay for its affordability and attention to detail. Each morning, a free newspaper and a piping hot thermos of coffee are delivered to your guestroom at a time of your choosing. Opt for an $8 breakfast room service from the on-site West Town Bakery, which includes juice, fruit and a flaky pastry (warm Nutella Danish, anyone?) Hit the shops at the nearby Magnificent Mile or work up a sweat at the hotel’s gym and sauna. The real stunner is the Berkshire Room, a trendy lounge where bartenders shake up surprise cocktails on the spot.
SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
We tend to keep our cards close to our chest when talk turns to Sin City, but we can’t help but spill on this edgy budget-friendly find. Featuring 11 restaurants, three sizzling nightclubs and a casino with martini-shaking mixologists, the SLS Las Vegas has all the high-roller amenities without the hefty price tag. Guestrooms are sexy, thanks to blush-inducing details like peekaboo showers and mirrored ceilings. Erase the evidence of last night’s party with the de-puffing eye treatment at Ciel Spa, then make your way to Umami Burger & Beer Garden—we’re still talking about the mouth-watering truffle burger and tempura onion rings.
Ellington Hotel, Berlin
When Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong played at the Ellington Hotel in The Roaring Twenties, this boutique economy stay didn’t sport the kind of masculine, Bauhaus-inspired look it wears today. Pristine white interiors, minimalist furniture, and modern, cocoon-like guestrooms are all the result of the property’s recent face-lift, but despite the changes, the hotel has retained its distinct, jazz-heritage feel. Hang your porkpie hat at the hotel’s atmospheric smoking lounge, where you can order a cognac and chill out to the sounds of the jazz legends whose portraits line the walls.
Hotel Colette, Cannes
At Hotel Colette, you don’t have to be on a blockbuster budget to get the red-carpet standard of service. With free WiFi, afternoon tea on the veranda and luxurious L’Occitane bath products, the property is sure to have you feeling and looking your best in between those star-studded film premiers. When you tire of dark movie theatres, head to the dazzling French Riviera shores, where you’ll see superyachts, shady cabanas and ritzy seaside casinos. Ideally situated for film-festival events, and just five-minutes’ from the beach and the Cannes train station, the hotel is a great budget-sleep for those looking to explore the dazzling Cote D’Azur.
H10 Urquinaona Plaza, Barcelona
With thoughtful touches including welcome drinks on arrival, cookies on pillows, and can-do service, you’d expect this 19th-century palace turned 80-room boutique hotel to set you back hundreds. But for double digits, all the spoils of this sleek Barcelona stay—including a rooftop terrace with a plunge pool and a sceney bar—are yours for the taking. Lounge on spacious guestroom balconies to work on that Mediterranean glow or hit the local scene at the nearby Passeig de Gràcia, the city’s most decadent shopping street.
The Saguaro, Palm Springs
Party with the cool kids for under $100 a night at The Saguaro Palm Springs—a crayon-colored Coachella Valley sleep known for its tequila-fueled pool parties, celebrity-owned Mexican restaurant and luxurious spa treatments (our skin was transformed into dewy perfection after the Sun Dance Citrus Sugar Scrub.) Your bikini-bod never looked better thanks to free daily yoga, bicycles and poolside Ping-Pong matches (hey, if it gets your heart-rate up.) As for documenting those dramatic desert views, free WiFi means you can indulge in non-stop Snapchatting without draining your wallet.
Le Meridien Chambers, Minneapolis
Culture vultures flock to Minneapolis (yes, Minneapolis) for the extensive artwork at the affordable Le Méridien Chambers —a sleek David Rockwell-designed hotel decorated with more than 200 pieces of modern art from owner, Ralph Burnet’s, private collection. Guestrooms are minimalist and adorned with bold pieces created by pioneers of the Young British Artist movement, including Tracey Emin and Gavin Turk. The hotel’s passion for art extends far beyond its walls; Michael Rakun, the executive chef of Marin Restaurant & Bar, dishes up bites that are nothing short of masterpieces.
The Dean, Providence
Home to a German beer hall, Providence’s first and only karaoke bar, an artisanal coffee shop, and cocktail room with speakeasy appeal—all for under $100 a night—The Dean is the obvious choice for hipsters on a modest budget. The look is masculine and industrial-chic, with low-slung beds, dark hardwood floors, antique Edison light bulbs and custom toiletries that blends notes of Canadian fir, bergamot and lavender (did we mention hipsters love it?) After you’re done noshing on Bavarian pretzels and Wiener schnitzel at Faust, grab a complimentary fixie (fixed-gear bicycle) and tour some of America’s prettiest college campuses.
Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa, Thailand
If a bargain beach vacation is what you seek, look no further than the sprawling Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort. Kayak, snorkel and windsurf at the golden-sands beach, or bliss-out at the resort’s massive lagoon-style pool, said to be Thailand’s largest. Inside, guestrooms are all colonial glamour, with Regency lamps, carved timber beds and neutral upholstered armchairs. For an afternoon taken straight from the pages of an Ian Fleming novel, ask the hotel to arrange a speedboat trip to Koh Hong, an unpopulated limestone island with a secret lagoon.
Hotel Ambasciatori, Florence
A walking city, Florence is one of those places where the hackneyed real estate phrase—location, location, location—applies. Stay at the hip, economy Hotel Ambasciatori, and you’ll be within walking distance of Florence’s top attractions (no need to splurge on a set of wheels.) The Duomo is just 15-minutes’ walk from the hotel, as is the scenic Ponte Vecchio bridge and Michelangelo’s iconic David. Cut your adventures short to make it back to the hotel in time for an Italian spritz at the Sweet Bar lounge. We’ll leave it to you to decide which of Florence’s sidewalk trattorias to hit up from there.
Art Deco Imperial Hotel, Prague
The lobby of this opulent, Art-Deco dame is a sight to behold, with a grand marble staircase, Egyptian and Mediterranean sculptures, and luxurious décor that exudes an exotic Old-World feel. Spend the money you’ll save sleeping at this surprisingly cheap stay by dining at the hotel’s famous Café Imperial, a Prague institution for over a century. Frank Kafka and Leos Janacek were known to frequent this lavishly appointed café, which serves up age-old Czech specialities like fallow deer back with Port wine sauce. We’ll understand if you’ll never want to join us in the 21st century again.
Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale
When the temperatures rise in Scottsdale, A.Z., the only place you’ll want to be is the legendary Hotel Valley Ho. With breezy retro poolside cabanas (which are outfitted with a misting system), guestroom balconies and a windswept pool bar, this meticulously restored stay has been the cool-down spot of the stars since opening in 1956 (famous guests include Marilyn Monroe, Rock Hudson and Ingrid Bergman.) The look is Southwestern meets mid-century hideaway, owing to the hotel’s cheery color scheme and cavernous guestrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. When night falls, warm up those chilly desert nights by bumping bodies with pretty young things at OH Pool Bar.
The Fairmont Acapulco Princess
Bring the family along without breaking the bank at The Fairmont Acapulco Princess—an award-winning, Aztec ziggurat-inspired resort with a comprehensive activities roster and private beach access. Work on your backswing at either of the hotel’s award-winning golf courses or on your backhand at one of the hotel’s six tennis courts. The resort’s eight restaurants will be sure to satisfy all guests’ appetites (even the picky eaters in your group), thanks to alfresco dining options offering Italian, Mexican, tapas-oriented and international cuisines. Be sure to leave room for a late-night treat and espresso at the hotel’s chocolate café. Does a day get any sweeter?
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