A stream of purified drinking water comes out of a spigot from the wall at this green hotel; or give your grandkids a sleepover in a teepee in this handsome hotel room. Take your last chance to WFH for a month in old Hollywood glamour. How about a charming general store in the hotel lobby in Jackson Hole? After a year of Arm-Chair Traveling, these dreamy places are now back IRL to indulge in.
These hotels are exceptional enough to use as the starting point for a post-Covid vacation, and then to let the resulting location fall around it. The more living I pack into my years, the more I want an upgraded hotel experience as an integral part of my trip. Bad morning coffee has me waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Tired décor is a snooze. Lousy service is lame. We’ve put together four fantastic places to build a trip around–in Brooklyn, Seattle, Los Angeles, or Jackson Hole—for whatever kind of adventure is your thing. We kept it in the U.S. as the lack of Covid restrictions make planning easy, or for the flexibility of a spontaneous spin.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Is it an overstatement to say that 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is the best hotel experience I’ve ever had? No, it’s not! And not because the accommodations are so over the top, or that the staff is at your beckon call. I’ve never experienced a hotel stay where my needs were so seamlessly anticipated and met, and yes, by such a pleasant team. On top of all that, the place is an organic, textured, fresh stunner with soaring lobby ceilings, a plant-covered, concrete wall and touches from the earth everywhere. It is LEED Gold-Certified. Have you ever seen a triple-distilled, separate water faucet in your room to cut out plastic water bottles? Or felt like you’re giving back to the earth by taking a shower? 1 Hotel gathers its waste water and gives it to the adjacent park to water the landscape.
If you book by September 22nd, the Summer Solstice Offer gives you flexible cancellation, up to 40% off room rates, and a $30 credit at their restaurant, the Osprey. Recently, I stayed in the Bridge King room, with a view straight on to the Brooklyn Bridge. I got to experience the view of the Manhattan skyline too when I panned around the open floor-to-ceiling window in my room. The decked-out rooftop with even more spectacular views, and a small pool and bar is the perfect place to lounge around or get work done. Go to Neighbors for a quick bite or The Osprey for a farm to table experience in a casually, chic setting.
As I walked around the quiet neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights with its historic, spectacular, family townhomes I took in how different it felt from my home in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park. It was so quiet and from another era. I stayed at Hotel 1 for several days because I was getting some work done in my apartment. I decided to stay in Brooklyn because I haven’t experienced it much, even though it’s just 20 minutes away. It turns out that Hotel 1 has its share of guests who live close by and take staycations at the hotel. And they can bring their dog too.
Hotel Theodore in Seattle
Grandkids and the family dog can sleep in a tepee, while your Tesla is plugged in overnight. This Emerald City gem gives medical professionals and teachers 25% off, and us ordinary mortals get the Stay Two Nights, Third Night Free deal for stays through June 30, 2021.
Hotel Theodore is in ever-green Seattle’s prime neighborhood, just a few blocks away from Pike Place Market. This urban-haven is detailed with a sense of craft, and with artwork curated by the Museum of History and Industry. Get a free beer at check-in and java all-day with Seattle’s buzzy coffee scene. There are complimentary bikes to explore the city, and if you book a suite you can soak away any stiff muscles in a clawfoot bathtub that is separate from the bathroom. Made is a chic spot in the Lobby offering coffee and chai, as well as takeaway breakfast items.
Bainbridge Island is a ferry ride across the shore; the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is a must-see; get tickets to the world-acclaimed Pacific Northwest Ballet; chow down in the vibrant food scene, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors in a temperate summer climate.
Villa Carlotta, Los Angeles
Glam and gentle restoration have balanced the historic Villa Carlotta with iconoclastic vibes and guests. The Mission-Revival architecture and sumptuous, eclectic and modern furnishing is more like a great home than a commercial property. Wonderful, because Villa Carlotta is a long-term residence for 30 days or more. Imagine reading a manuscript by the pool walled by tall cypress trees, and rose bushes mingling on the lawn. There are patios with crushed-rock floors, framed by arched windows and punctuated with palm trees. The gathering spaces with community tables and outdoor living rooms are the refuge of creatives and entrepreneurs.
Since discovering Villa Carlotta a few years ago, it has been my dream to spend a month there. Although rates vary* they’re fairly-relative for a month of fantasy-living in the movie-making capital of the world. Every residence has a cute kitchen, and all the amenities that make it better than home. I envision a friend, here and there, joining me and my dog to hang out for a few days. Or my sons could spend a couple of weeks with me and work remotely. L.A. is booming and the ocean is always in style. Trips to the fantastic Getty Center museum in Malibu, dinner in the massive courtyard under the open sky at Manuela’s in the Downtown Arts District, and shopping on Rodeo Drive are all in a day’s plan. We’ve spent the last year dreaming up an escape from our isolated, compromised lives. This is it. *Monthly rates available on request www.villacarlottala.com
The Anvil Hotel in Jackson Hole
Don’t expect Moira Rose to come walking out of this converted motel, with a skunk-striped wig on saying, “You are bored, lethargic, and practically dripping with ennui.” This is no Rose Motel, and Jackson Hole is mountains above Schitt’s Creek.
The Anvil Hotel is bold, simple, but never plain. The devil is in the details like raw brass fixtures, custom iron beds and Woolrich blankets—it’s cowboy, mountain-town, stalwart design that isn’t kitschy. The rooms are highly functional and handsome, with some pretty elements–as if they had the touch of a good woman.
The lobby operates a unique setup as a mercantile for the public, and sells cool goods, and coffee and treats from local town spots. Glorietta serves wood-fired fare, handmade pasta, and even a Tomahawk steak, with sophisticated, hand-crafted cocktails.
The Anvil is about $450 a night (discounted at 15% if you have an Annual National Parks Pass) in a town that can quickly slide into four-figure rates. Jackson Hole has a burgeoning art scene, and at the end of June hosts a Food and Wine Festival (scaled down in 2021), and the Grand Teton Music Festival in July and August. People come from all over to explore Jackson Hole’s inspired outdoor backdrop to a sophisticated scene. Majestic, yet unassuming.
The world is opening up and we are craving exploration and growth through travel again. The last year has made even the simplest of vacations now seem fantastical. These hotels are stellar.
Dawn Bell Solich moved to Manhattan a few years ago to pursue passionate living in the city of her dreams, and to kickstart her writing career. A curiosity for everything, she writes and curates content about all of creative living. She is a cheerleader for women over 50 taking on a new world in this dynamic stage of life. https://www.instagram.com/plumage59/