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Escape to Hip Hotels at Cities across North America

You prefer originality over grandeur, high-concept design over ho-hum layouts and hip personality over the blasé. In short, you won’t settle for just a place to hang your hat. It’s all about the little things, and in today’s assortment of boutique-style hotels, no details are spared–which means you get everything from high thread-count bed linens and plush towels to hi-tech gadgets and rainfall showerheads.

For the last decade, chic new hotels have been sprouting up in cities across North America–hotels that make you feel like a VIP while still keeping you on budget. Think casual luxury blended with intimate, individualized service. You won’t find a closet-sized gym with an ancient treadmill; instead it’s spas and yoga kits. Onsite restaurants and lounges are more than fast food; they’re destinations in themselves. In many cases, pets are welcome and special programs are offered for kids, too.

Not sure where to go? Travelocity editors recommend these chic and affordable hotels for fall getaways and beyond:

New York City
Located steps from Times Square in midtown Manhattan’s historic Leavitt Building, The Muse plays off an artistic, theater-and-performing-arts theme. The lobby features 15-foot ceilings covered with a commissioned mural of the nine muses and overstuffed sofas with black velvet lounge chairs. Two-hundred rooms (spacious by New York standards), including 19 suites, spotlight commissioned art from creators Sid Avery, William Claxton, Jerry Schatzberg and others. Wake up to a complimentary New York Times, or get your blood pumping with in-room exercise programs for yoga, Pilates and core strengthening. The hotel staff will even bring stationary exercise bikes to your room upon request. Or stay in bed and lounge amidst feather beds and duvets. The hotel is pet-friendly, so bring Fido along, too.

Washington, D.C.
Providing a funky juxtaposition to the otherwise stately D.C. vibe, the Hotel Helix provides stylish accommodations close to Logan and DuPont circles. Situated steps from fashionable bars and hip hotspots in neighboring locales like Adams Morgan and U Street, the hotel provides for an unconventional stay. Colors abound–from the mural outside and the one-of-a-kind artwork to the carpeting in the lobby and the fluorescent colors in the bathrooms. With 178 rooms, 18 suites and 12 specialty rooms with names like Zone, Eats and Bunk, every traveler from singles and couples to families and business travelers can find a room to fit here. The Helix Lounge Restaurant has a seasonal outdoor patio, and the living room houses a nightly manager’s complimentary Bubbly Hour. Travelers who want to relax in their rooms can take advantage of luxurious in-room spa services, Aveda toiletries and an honor bar with Pop Rocks, Starbursts and $100,000 Bars–not your usual nuts and crackers.

Portland, Ore.
In LoBu, the up-and-coming Lower Burnside neighborhood across the river from the downtown, Jupiter Hotel provides an offbeat, contemporary alternative to mainstream Portland hotels. In this 80-room motel you can get your hair cut at the Wack Salon, enjoy a facial or massage at Mana Massage (you can opt for in-room treatments, too), and rock out to your favorite indie band at the Doug Fir Restaurant and Lounge. If you choose to hole up in your Ikea-esque room, you’ll notice floor-to-ceiling murals of forest and cityscapes. Take advantage of complimentary yoga mats, doors with blackboard slates to scribble on and comfy platform beds. Night-owls will benefit from special rates by checking in after midnight.

San Francisco
Bringing a bit of Vegas to the Bay, Hotel Serrano offers you the option to challenge the front desk to a game of blackjack at check-in. Win, and you could get a free upgrade, appetizers at the onsite Asian restaurant Ponzu and more. Lose, and the hotel requests a $5 donation to a local pet charity, the San Francisco SPCA. If that sparks an interest in more game playing, the hotel boasts an extensive collection of games and puzzles. The 17-story Spanish revival building houses 236 Spanish and Moroccan-inspired rooms, including the A.C.T. Suite, which resembles the nearby Geary Theater with a stage-like bedroom. In honor of the close proximity to the theater district, dramatic influences abound–from bold draperies to whimsical details. Gather in the lobby in the morning for coffee and tea and in the evening for a complimentary wine reception. Families with babies, toddlers or furry pets are welcome and can take advantage of various conveniences from playpens to chew toys.

Los Angeles
In the heart of Brentwood, where Sunset Boulevard hits the I-405, Hotel Angeleno’s landmark high-rise tower on the West Side houses 209 stylized guestrooms and suites. Panoramic views of L.A., including the Getty Center, are in sight from the 17th-floor penthouse steakhouse restaurant. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool or lounge by the fireplace. If you retire to your room, you’ll enjoy views from a private balcony or the latest movies and shows on plasma TVs from the comfort of a pillow-top mattress, Italian cotton linens and fluffy duvet. Tech-gadgets include iPod Nanos with personalized podcasts and music or GPS navigational devices for use in your car. Car-less guests can make the most of the free shuttle service to local destinations within a three-mile radius.

Las Vegas
For an alternative to the mega-sized casino-hotels along the Strip, the Desert Rose is an oasis. Leave the hustle and bustle of the Strip but stay within steps of the action at this three-story hotel featuring 281 rooms and two-bedroom suites. Unwind in the lounge that resembles a western mountain lodge and take advantage of the complimentary hot buffet breakfast and weeknight social hours with beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks. Minimalist accents include dark woods, slate floor tiles, a fireplace and plush-but-sleek couches and chairs. Outside there’s a landscaped pool area that has a spa and courts for basketball and paddle tennis.

With a riverside location near Michigan Avenue, Hotel 71′s 39 floors boast a panorama of postcard-perfect views of the Chicago River and the city’s skyline. This posh hotel’s décor features custom furnishings, signature artwork, and video-installation pieces by local artists. Leopard-print accents adorn the modern reception area; and because the guestrooms are extra-spacious, they feature a seating area of a leopard print chaise or oversized chairs for relaxing in style. Every guest has 24-hour access to the gym and will enjoy the H2O+ bath products and oversized towels post-workout. If you suffer a late-night snack-attack, the mini-bars are stocked with Dean & DeLuca goodies and the hotel offers an in-room dining service. When snacks don’t cut it, a new restaurant and lounge will be available.

Centrally located in the heart of Miami’s South Beach Art Deco district, Hotel Nash is a block from the beach and a quick jaunt to boutiques, cafes, restaurants and clubs. Each of the 55 guestrooms is decorated in an organic jade-green and ivory motif with marble-tiled bathrooms and rainfall showerheads. The unique Duplex Suite is a two-story room with a queen pullout sofa on one floor and a king-sized platform bed on the top level, while the Penthouse Suite features floor-to-ceiling windows and magnificent views. The public areas are scented with aromatherapy, and the terrace is home to three pools filled with fresh, salt and mineral water. Mark’s South Beach, the in-house restaurant, is a local favorite serving Mediterranean food that highlights area ingredients.

Vancouver, B.C.
Channeling a South Florida vibe in the heart of Vancouver’s shopping district, the Pacific Palisades hotel emphasizes a breezy, hip atmosphere. Opt for an EarthCare Rate to save 10% and proceeds from your stay will go towards a local environmental charity–plus you’ll enjoy organic chocolates at turndown. Not only that, but also if you drive a hybrid vehicle to the hotel, you’ll get a 50% discount on parking. Nightly wine receptions bring guests together in the modern, chic lobby; and the Zin Restaurant means you don’t have to stumble far for local, gourmet cuisine. For some peace and quiet, splurge for in-room spa services or maintain your yoga practice with a complimentary yoga kit which includes a mat, block and strap. The MBODY Fitness and Wellness Spa features a 55-foot indoor swimming pool, poolside cabana, steam room and more. Pets are warmly welcomed with V.I.Pets amenities including: dog biscuits and cat treats, a Pacific Palisades orange Frisbee, a bowl, pick-up bags and more.

Montreal, QC
Nestled into the tree-lined Sherbrooke Street at the foot of Mount Royal and in the heart of Montreal’s Golden Square Mile, the Chateau Versailles exudes historic significance, artful surroundings and a personal touch. Every one of the 65 guestrooms and suites in this renovated, Old-World Edwardian building is unique, comprising distinct combinations of texture and color schemes. Several suites even have cozy gas fireplaces. The historic property maintains its refined heritage while being cosmopolitan and chic at the same time by contrasting vibrant colors with original crown moldings. Plus, pieces from local artists add an artsy flair. For the athletically inclined, the hotel lends out complimentary yoga and jogging kits. Guests who desire special packages have many at their fingertips, ranging from romance and shopping to spa and gay travel.


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