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The National Hotel Heatmap: Where to Stay Right Now

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Classic, decades-old mainstays—and gimmicky novelty packages, for that matter—will always be an option for travelers, but hotel obsessives want to know what's new, what's hot, which independent hotelier just converted a turn-of-the-century building into a boutique hotel inspired by, well, the turn of the century, and what U.S. city 21C Museum Hotels will expand to next. Thus, here now is the Curbed National Hotel Heatmap, which chronicles the "it" places of the moment. The criteria for compiling this inaugural list were simple: properties had to have opened within the last six months, and they have to bring something to the table, architecture and interior design-wise. And because room rates vary so drastically based on day of the week, season, and so on, prices are deliberately omitted.

Check out the map of the country's 20 hottest hotels below, and as always, voice additions/deletions in the comments.


And for select city-by-city Heatmaps around the Curbed universe, do check out:

Boston · Chicago · NYC · San Francisco · Ski

· All Hotels Week 2013 posts [Curbed National]

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Hotel Vermont

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Burlington’s aptly named Hotel Vermont opened in mid May and describes itself ever so succinctly as “rustic and modern, local and global, natural and sophisticated, hand wrought and high tech.” Inside, 125 guest rooms boast modern built-in seating and cabinetry, floor-to-ceiling headboards, and pendant lighting.

The Boxer

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Relive that Stanley Cup magic—or misery, depending—with a visit to The Boxer, which overtook the Bulfinch Hotel in a triangular 1904 building just a stone's throw from TD Garden, in May. Now the 80-room hotel "has a vintage feel," according to a recent Boston Globe piece, "with an old-time room key rack behind the front desk, a circa 1860 map of Boston on the lobby ceiling, and industrial-era accordion lamps in the guest rooms."

The Jade Hotel

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The Jade Hotel, which opened in March near Manhattan's Union Square, was designed by Andres Escobar to reflect a 1920s Parisian aesthetic. Each of the 113 guest rooms boast wood headboards, modern lightning, worn leather furniture, and vintage accents—old-school rotary phone, anyone?

Refinery Hotel

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The 13-story Refinery Hotel, which opened in June, was designed to "play a part in simulating what it would have been like to be a tenant in a milliner's workplace at the turn of the century," according to an old HotelChatter piece. Inside the Stonehill & Taylor restoration: a lobby with a 1920s-inspired tea parlor, plus 197 loft rooms designed with "industrial accents that hark to the building’s early-19th century milliners and hat factories," according to the official site. Fans of "desks designed to look like sewing machines," this one's for you.

High Line Hotel

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The High Line Hotel opened in May in an 1895 building originally designed as student housing for the General Theological Seminary. A wave of hotelier Klaus Ortlieb's magic wand and one Roman and Williams interior overhaul later, each of the 60 guest rooms have different furnishings and decor that all play off the Gothic architecture. In the lobby: New York's first Intelligentsia Coffee location.

Topping Rose House

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It wouldn't be the Hamptons without Frette linens, Madeline Weinrib rugs, or Matouk bath towels, and Bridgehampton's Topping Rose House, which opened in March, delivers on all these rather genteel fronts. The hotel is housed in a Greek Revival mansion originally built in 1842, and chef Tom Colicchio runs the restaurant on the ground floor.

Capella Washington D.C.

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Capella's first and only U.S. property, which opened in early April, has 49 rooms intended to explore the "the history of American architecture," according to a press release. Designer Peter Silling mixed modern art with the hallmarks of traditional furnishings, such as tufting, nail heads, wing back chairs, scroll-arm love seats, and fringed curtains.

The Graham Georgetown

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In May, DC's Monticello Hotel was reborn as The Graham, thereby staking its claim—and this is just a guess here—as the only hotel in the country to be inspired by Alexander Graham Bell. The telephone inventor, who lived and worked in the area, surely would have liked the hotel's 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar (offering awesome views of the city), Bulgari bath amenities, and 57 modern, cleanly appointed guest rooms hiding behind the building's Federal-style façade.

Zero George Street

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Eighteen studios and suites have been carved from the original three main and two carriage houses constructed in 1804 at 0 George Street in Charleston, forming Zero George Street, a boutique hotel that opened in January. The hotel has maintained the original floors, millwork, and high ceilings; guest rooms also pay tribute to the site’s local culture and history through motifs such as “British Tirade,” “French Romantic,” and "Yachting Design." Outside, there are private verandas and a lush garden courtyard.

B2 Miami Downtown

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The b2 Miami Downtown, which wrapped up renovations in April, has joined Downtown Miami's "bonanza of lights," as Curbed Miami puts it, with an illuminated nighttime façade that glows all shades of neon pink and purple. Not that you'd know it on the inside, where 243 guest rooms are bedecked in white and tan and fall into the cutesy categories "Chic," "Captivating," "Stunning," "B Enhanced," and so on. Ah, hotel room names.

The Alexander Hotel

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The Alexander opened in mid January in downtown Indianapolis, offering 157 guest rooms and 52 extended-stay rooms all adorned with neutral furnishings and pops of color. All the wall art was commissioned from local artists, and the hotel's pitch about having your wedding here is pure poetry: "The Alexander was built to inspire guests with the power of art. But nothing is more powerful than love."

Aloft Chicago City Center

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Aloft opened its first location in Chicago proper just last week—there's one at O'Hare, too—with 136 guest rooms billed as "loft inspired"; think nine-foot ceilings, large windows, and wood headboards that double as art. The 180-foot-tall building sports a contemporary glass façade and has been designated a Certified LEED hotel by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Radisson Blu Mall of America

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There are more then 230 Radisson Blu properties worldwide, but the one that just opened in Bloomington, Minn., is noteworthy for a few reasons. Connected by ski bridge to the Mall of America, the hotel is filled local, Scottish, and graffiti art, thanks to the vision of Scotland-based designer Jim Hamilton—whose glitzy mirrored lobby concept is a work of art in itself. What's more, one of the public spaces has a suite of red midcentury chairs, including the Egg Chair, which Arne Jacobsen created in 1958 for his Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. There's also a meeting room filled with red Jacobsen Swan Chairs.

21c Museum hotel

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21c Museum Hotel expanded its hybridized hospitality-culture brand to Bentonville, Ark., in February, offering 104 rooms, a 12,000-square-foot contemporary art museum, and a civic center all tucked in a 100-year-old historic bank building downtown. The renovation was completed by NYC-based architect Deborah Berke; much like the brand's other locations, in Cincinnati and Louisville, there's funky art, ultra-modern furniture, and head-turning lighting just about everywhere.

Nobu Hotel

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The newly opened Nobu Hotel, the world's first, is a hotel-in-hotel in Caesar's Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. With low-slung furniture that pays tribute to Japanese masters such as George Nakashima, and Asian decor motifs such as cherry blossoms and calligraphy-inspired wall art, the David Rockwell-designed interiors offer a peaceful respite from the gaming insanity going on just outside. [link]

Palihouse Santa Monica

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The Palihouse Santa Monica is the newest extension of L.A. hotelier's Avi Brosh's hip brand, and was "established with the conviction that neighborhoods, unique experiences and inspiring places are integral to a life well-traveled," according to the official site. The 36-suite hotel, designed for extended stays, is tucked into a landmarked 1927 building that boasts "Moorish-influenced Mediterranean Revival architecture." Whimsical wallpaper and upholstery define the interiors.

Sirtaj Hotel

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The Sirtaj, a minuscule new hotel in Beverly Hills—and minuscule means only 32 rooms—bills itself as "modern and sleek with a hint of the East." The warm-toned rooms are designed to be "haven[s] of sleek simplicity with subtle hints of exotic inspiration," with Lavazza espresso machines, mini bars stocked with locally sourced snacks and drinks, and 350-count linens.

The Anza Hotel

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After a $6M renovation, the Anza Hotel, formerly the Country Inn & Suites, aims to "blend the style of Los Angeles with the quaintness of Old Town Calabasas," according to a release. Guest rooms average 400 square feet and are bedecked in browns, blues, and tans, creating "an inviting sense of calm and comfort and mindful amenities provide all the comforts of home." Translation: individual foyers with coffee bars, fridges, and "an upscale tile floor."

Hotel Zetta

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While early Yelp reviews of Hotel Zetta, in San Francisco's SoMa district, aren't overwhelmingly kind—one guy called the vibe an "an IKEA filled, poorly designed labyrinth of cheap wannabe art and decor"—the hotel, which opened in February, is owned by the seasoned Viceroy Hotel Group, so it's likely it'll settle in and find its rightful place in the city's boutique-hotel scene. Here, guest rooms (there are 116 of them, plus six studios and two suites) are not just guest rooms but rather "urban enclaves," each with a pillow-top mattress and a unique Oriental rug.

Hotel Ballard

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Tufted leather headboard, large, stately furnishings, and sliding doors made from reclaimed wood all contribute to the classic, masculine vibe of Seattle's Hotel Ballard, which opened in early May. The hotel has 29 guest rooms and offers views of the Olympic Mountains and historic Ballard, a hip little neighborhood.

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Hotel Vermont

Burlington’s aptly named Hotel Vermont opened in mid May and describes itself ever so succinctly as “rustic and modern, local and global, natural and sophisticated, hand wrought and high tech.” Inside, 125 guest rooms boast modern built-in seating and cabinetry, floor-to-ceiling headboards, and pendant lighting.

The Boxer

Relive that Stanley Cup magic—or misery, depending—with a visit to The Boxer, which overtook the Bulfinch Hotel in a triangular 1904 building just a stone's throw from TD Garden, in May. Now the 80-room hotel "has a vintage feel," according to a recent Boston Globe piece, "with an old-time room key rack behind the front desk, a circa 1860 map of Boston on the lobby ceiling, and industrial-era accordion lamps in the guest rooms."

The Jade Hotel

The Jade Hotel, which opened in March near Manhattan's Union Square, was designed by Andres Escobar to reflect a 1920s Parisian aesthetic. Each of the 113 guest rooms boast wood headboards, modern lightning, worn leather furniture, and vintage accents—old-school rotary phone, anyone?

Refinery Hotel

The 13-story Refinery Hotel, which opened in June, was designed to "play a part in simulating what it would have been like to be a tenant in a milliner's workplace at the turn of the century," according to an old HotelChatter piece. Inside the Stonehill & Taylor restoration: a lobby with a 1920s-inspired tea parlor, plus 197 loft rooms designed with "industrial accents that hark to the building’s early-19th century milliners and hat factories," according to the official site. Fans of "desks designed to look like sewing machines," this one's for you.

High Line Hotel

The High Line Hotel opened in May in an 1895 building originally designed as student housing for the General Theological Seminary. A wave of hotelier Klaus Ortlieb's magic wand and one Roman and Williams interior overhaul later, each of the 60 guest rooms have different furnishings and decor that all play off the Gothic architecture. In the lobby: New York's first Intelligentsia Coffee location.

Topping Rose House

It wouldn't be the Hamptons without Frette linens, Madeline Weinrib rugs, or Matouk bath towels, and Bridgehampton's Topping Rose House, which opened in March, delivers on all these rather genteel fronts. The hotel is housed in a Greek Revival mansion originally built in 1842, and chef Tom Colicchio runs the restaurant on the ground floor.

Capella Washington D.C.

Capella's first and only U.S. property, which opened in early April, has 49 rooms intended to explore the "the history of American architecture," according to a press release. Designer Peter Silling mixed modern art with the hallmarks of traditional furnishings, such as tufting, nail heads, wing back chairs, scroll-arm love seats, and fringed curtains.

The Graham Georgetown

In May, DC's Monticello Hotel was reborn as The Graham, thereby staking its claim—and this is just a guess here—as the only hotel in the country to be inspired by Alexander Graham Bell. The telephone inventor, who lived and worked in the area, surely would have liked the hotel's 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar (offering awesome views of the city), Bulgari bath amenities, and 57 modern, cleanly appointed guest rooms hiding behind the building's Federal-style façade.

Zero George Street

Eighteen studios and suites have been carved from the original three main and two carriage houses constructed in 1804 at 0 George Street in Charleston, forming Zero George Street, a boutique hotel that opened in January. The hotel has maintained the original floors, millwork, and high ceilings; guest rooms also pay tribute to the site’s local culture and history through motifs such as “British Tirade,” “French Romantic,” and "Yachting Design." Outside, there are private verandas and a lush garden courtyard.

B2 Miami Downtown

The b2 Miami Downtown, which wrapped up renovations in April, has joined Downtown Miami's "bonanza of lights," as Curbed Miami puts it, with an illuminated nighttime façade that glows all shades of neon pink and purple. Not that you'd know it on the inside, where 243 guest rooms are bedecked in white and tan and fall into the cutesy categories "Chic," "Captivating," "Stunning," "B Enhanced," and so on. Ah, hotel room names.

The Alexander Hotel

The Alexander opened in mid January in downtown Indianapolis, offering 157 guest rooms and 52 extended-stay rooms all adorned with neutral furnishings and pops of color. All the wall art was commissioned from local artists, and the hotel's pitch about having your wedding here is pure poetry: "The Alexander was built to inspire guests with the power of art. But nothing is more powerful than love."

Aloft Chicago City Center

Aloft opened its first location in Chicago proper just last week—there's one at O'Hare, too—with 136 guest rooms billed as "loft inspired"; think nine-foot ceilings, large windows, and wood headboards that double as art. The 180-foot-tall building sports a contemporary glass façade and has been designated a Certified LEED hotel by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Radisson Blu Mall of America

There are more then 230 Radisson Blu properties worldwide, but the one that just opened in Bloomington, Minn., is noteworthy for a few reasons. Connected by ski bridge to the Mall of America, the hotel is filled local, Scottish, and graffiti art, thanks to the vision of Scotland-based designer Jim Hamilton—whose glitzy mirrored lobby concept is a work of art in itself. What's more, one of the public spaces has a suite of red midcentury chairs, including the Egg Chair, which Arne Jacobsen created in 1958 for his Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. There's also a meeting room filled with red Jacobsen Swan Chairs.

21c Museum hotel

21c Museum Hotel expanded its hybridized hospitality-culture brand to Bentonville, Ark., in February, offering 104 rooms, a 12,000-square-foot contemporary art museum, and a civic center all tucked in a 100-year-old historic bank building downtown. The renovation was completed by NYC-based architect Deborah Berke; much like the brand's other locations, in Cincinnati and Louisville, there's funky art, ultra-modern furniture, and head-turning lighting just about everywhere.

Nobu Hotel

The newly opened Nobu Hotel, the world's first, is a hotel-in-hotel in Caesar's Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. With low-slung furniture that pays tribute to Japanese masters such as George Nakashima, and Asian decor motifs such as cherry blossoms and calligraphy-inspired wall art, the David Rockwell-designed interiors offer a peaceful respite from the gaming insanity going on just outside. [link]

Palihouse Santa Monica

The Palihouse Santa Monica is the newest extension of L.A. hotelier's Avi Brosh's hip brand, and was "established with the conviction that neighborhoods, unique experiences and inspiring places are integral to a life well-traveled," according to the official site. The 36-suite hotel, designed for extended stays, is tucked into a landmarked 1927 building that boasts "Moorish-influenced Mediterranean Revival architecture." Whimsical wallpaper and upholstery define the interiors.

Sirtaj Hotel

The Sirtaj, a minuscule new hotel in Beverly Hills—and minuscule means only 32 rooms—bills itself as "modern and sleek with a hint of the East." The warm-toned rooms are designed to be "haven[s] of sleek simplicity with subtle hints of exotic inspiration," with Lavazza espresso machines, mini bars stocked with locally sourced snacks and drinks, and 350-count linens.

The Anza Hotel

After a $6M renovation, the Anza Hotel, formerly the Country Inn & Suites, aims to "blend the style of Los Angeles with the quaintness of Old Town Calabasas," according to a release. Guest rooms average 400 square feet and are bedecked in browns, blues, and tans, creating "an inviting sense of calm and comfort and mindful amenities provide all the comforts of home." Translation: individual foyers with coffee bars, fridges, and "an upscale tile floor."

Hotel Zetta

While early Yelp reviews of Hotel Zetta, in San Francisco's SoMa district, aren't overwhelmingly kind—one guy called the vibe an "an IKEA filled, poorly designed labyrinth of cheap wannabe art and decor"—the hotel, which opened in February, is owned by the seasoned Viceroy Hotel Group, so it's likely it'll settle in and find its rightful place in the city's boutique-hotel scene. Here, guest rooms (there are 116 of them, plus six studios and two suites) are not just guest rooms but rather "urban enclaves," each with a pillow-top mattress and a unique Oriental rug.

Hotel Ballard

Tufted leather headboard, large, stately furnishings, and sliding doors made from reclaimed wood all contribute to the classic, masculine vibe of Seattle's Hotel Ballard, which opened in early May. The hotel has 29 guest rooms and offers views of the Olympic Mountains and historic Ballard, a hip little neighborhood.