For travelers looking for more than just a place to sleep, boutique hotels dedicated to capturing a specific aesthetic character or experience promise a feast for the eyes and then some. The following design-minded establishments, all opened within the last year, offer delightful doses of everything from the Venetian Gothic to the Bauhaus and are well worth keeping in mind.
Casa Fayette—Guadalajara, Mexico
↑ It's fitting that a new boutique hotel in Guadalajara, birthplace of famed Mexican modernist Luis Barragán, offers a gorgeous dose of the clean lines and bright colors Barragán is known for. Housed in a 1940s Art Deco mansion and a newer high-rise, the 37-room establishment captures a "return to retro" vibe, mixing traditional local textiles and ceramics with glassy screens for some early-20th-century flair.
Chicago Athletic Association—Chicago, IL
↑ Demonstrating masterful adaptive reuse, the old Chicago Athletic Association, a late 19th-century Venetian Gothic building, has been totally restored and converted into a hotel. As Curbed Chicago reports, many of the building's elaborate architectural details have been preserved, including ornate millwork, tiled floors, stained glass, and cast-iron exterior relief. A new highlight is a soaring rooftop deck with sweeping views of Millennium Park.
The Norman—Tel Aviv, Israel
↑ The Norman, a new 50-room boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, occupies two 1920s buildings in "White City," an area where clusters of Bauhaus-style buildings has earned it a Unesco World Heritage site designation. Interiors combine '20s glamour with modern flair, and all rooms offer high ceilings, hand-decorated tiling, and open-air space.
Hotel Emma—San Antonio, TX
↑ Converted from a long-defunct 1894 brewery, the 146-room, brick-clad Hotel Emma retains the distinct character of its past, as recovered tiles, brewing tanks, and old flywheels find their way into the new design. Also in abundance are authentic period furniture, wood-burning fireplaces, and stone pillars.
Drake Devonshire—Wellington, Canada
↑ Once an 1880s foundry, this rural offshoot of Toronto's Hip Drake Hotel is now a gorgeous lakeside inn that combines influences from British country inns, Hamptons retreats, summer camps, and local farmhouses. As such, the interior boasts a striking collection of vintage furniture, high-contrast tiles, patterned fabrics, and contemporary art.
No Man's Fort—The Solent strait, England
↑ A series of Victorian-era sea forts in the Solent strait have more recently been turned into luxury hotels. The latest is the four-story, 22-suite No Man's Fort, which is topped by a round glass atrium and includes amenities such as a night club, cabaret bar, laser tag arena, mini golf facilities, all located a mile out in the sea.
The Art—Denver, CO
↑ This new boutique hotel right across the street from the Daniel Libeskind-designed Denver Art Museum (DAM) has its own share of world-class art. Curated by Dianne Vanderlip, DAM's former lead for contemporary art, the body of work exhibited in the hotel's public spaces covers big names like Sol LeWitt and Ed Ruscha.
The New York Edition—New York, NY
↑ Housed in the landmarked 1911 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, the latest Edition boutique hotel was conceived by architect David Rockwell and developer Ian Schrager (who pretty much popularized the boutique hotel as we know it.) Here, turn-of-the-20th-century corporate interiors have been turned into 273 ritzy guest suites, with a overarching "old-meets-new" aesthetic that clearly shows through in the ground-level spiral staircase rising above some Alvar Aalto chairs.