Celebrity sightings, Art Deco architecture, and Hollywood hookups. DealBase offers its Top 10 list of hotels where America’s past and culture runs high. Some of these hotels have passed their 100th anniversary while others are fairly new, but all represent a little slice of America in the USA’s most visited cities.
BOSTON: Historical American Charm
XV Beacon Hotel — Between the Freedom Trail and other cultural and historical landmarks, sits the XV Beacon Hotel, a classic representation of mixing the past with the new. Located on the site where a former Boston merchant built his mansion in 1722, the current Beaux Arts building was designed in 1903.
The XV Beacon is acclaimed for preserving its historical charm (like original cage elevators) while adorning it with modern styles and amenities (like high-tech gadgets and chauffeured Mercedes-Benzes). Be sure to visit “The Fed” (short for Federalist) restaurant for New England cuisine and The Wine Cellar, located in the original foundation of the 1722 building. Find cheap flights to Boston
CHICAGO: Modern American Architecture in the Windy City
Park Hyatt Chicago — Famed for being the capital of modern architecture in the U.S., Chicago has been at the forefront of encompassing America’s fascination with pushing the limits of the modern skyscraper.
At 257 meters tall, the Park Hyatt Chicago is a fine example of this. The interior of the hotel pays homage to classic American modern architectural icons such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. You’ll find rooms designed with dark woods, black granites, oversized windows and leather Eames chairs, with views of the Windy City’s impressive modern skyline and Lake Chicago.
If you’re craving more modernist architectural history, head to the hotel library with its collection of books on Chicago-influenced architecture and design or just walk outside to see a living example of modernist architecture. Find cheap flights to Chicago
LAS VEGAS: The Ultimate American Adult Playground
Bellagio — Coined the “Entertainment Capital of the World”, Las Vegas is the quintessential American adult playground for dining, gambling and nightlife. The Lake Como-inspired Bellagio hotel is the epitome of Sin City’s obsession with decadence and opulence.
Built in 1995 on the site of the demolished Dunes hotel, the Bellagio was the most expensive hotel to have ever been built at the time (with a price tag of £1 billion!). Bellagio’s playground equipment includes: high-limit poker rooms that have been used for World Poker Tournaments; free “Fountains of Bellagio” performances that draw swarms of onlookers every 15 minutes; original Picasso artwork; and a Cirque du Soleil’s “O” show (with its 3.8 million litre water stage—the first of its kind). Find cheap flights to Las Vegas
LOS ANGELES: The Reigning Hollywood Hotspot
Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows — Few hotels have maintained their glamour and appeal like the Beverly Hills Hotel has. It continues to attract a never-ending list of Hollywood bigwigs in the movie, television and music industries—just like it did from the very start in 1912.
The hotel quickly became a hotspot for Hollywood starlets and scandalous Hollywood hook-ups in the 1950s (Carole Lombard & Clark Gable Katherine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy, Marilyn Monroe & Yves Montand). Former celeb guests include: British royalty, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich—with the occasional guest lingering on to make the BHH their residence (like Hollywood mogul Howard Hughes). Head to the infamous pink and mint-coloured striped Polo Lounge for the best bet on celeb sightings. Find cheap flights to Los Angeles
MIAMI: A Living American Art Deco Museum
Miami’s South Beach offers so many prime examples of classic American Art Deco architecture that we had to include three hotels representing the popular design movement. Typified by its geometric shapes and influenced by the technology and modernism of the times (1930s and 1940s), the Art Deco style is preserved in these must-visit hotels:
The Carlyle Hotel South Beach — The archetypical example, the Carlyle was built in 1939 by architects Kiehnel & Elliott. The hotel has been immortalized with its pink neon lights as an Art Deco landmark in such movies as The Birdcage, Random Hearts and Scarface.
Delano Hotel — This classic Art Deco hotel built in 1947 boasts the first indoor-outdoor lobby and was most recently revamped by interior designer Philippe Starck. After you’re done lounging by the pool (with its underwater sound system), check out the Delano’s impressive international art collection with works by Dali, Eames, Gaudi and Man Ray.
The Tides South Beach — This property has a remarkable Art Deco façade and although Kelly Wearstler notably redesigned the hotel in 2007, the building retains its original charm. Tastefully mixing vintage with modern, The Tides has been nicknamed “The Diva of Ocean Drive.” Find cheap flights to Miami
NAPA: American Wine Country Splendor
Auberge du Soleil — Just one hour north of San Francisco, California’s wine country is one of the top viticulture areas in the world, and is known for its superb Cabernets and Chardonnays (so superb that they’ve beaten France’s versions—twice—in the infamous “Judgment of Paris” competitions).
Built as a tribute to the Provence region, the Auberge du Soleil property sits on 33-acres of private groves and vineyards. Designed in pure “California Style” by Michael Taylor, the property features private terraces, over-scaled furniture, an outdoor sculpture garden, a world-class restaurant, and little touches that only the finest resorts could provide (like a free mini-bar stocked with locally produced snacks). Your palette won’t ever get bored, as there are over 250 wineries in close proximity. Find cheap flights to San Francisco
NEW YORK CITY: The American Big Apple “Palace of Secrets”
The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel — Since 1930 this hotel has had more presidents, celebrities, politicians and royalty staying here than most other hotels. And with a hotel staff notorious for its discretion—plus a network of tunnels—there’s good reason why the NY Times calls The Carlyle a “Palace of Secrets”.
If only these walls (or tunnels) could talk. President John F. Kennedy owned an apartment on the 34th floor for almost a decade (eating breakfast here the morning he was assassinated and allegedly sneaking Marilyn Monroe in through the tunnel system after she sung him “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”); Princess Diana elected The Carlyle as her favourite American hotel to stay at; and Woody Allen plays jazz here weekly.
The Carlyle remains one of the few standing buildings in NYC unobstructed by high-rises—the views of Central Park and the Big Apple skyline are priceless. Find cheap flights to New York
SAN DIEGO: “America’s Finest City”
U.S. Grant — With year-round sunny days and warm weather, coupled with an abundance of family-oriented activities, San Diego has coined itself “America’s Finest City.” For a taste of history, stay in the U.S. Grant hotel built by the son of President Ulysses S. Grant in 1907 and named after his father.
Famous guests that have laid their heads here include Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh and 12 U.S. presidents. The hotel is located within walking distance of the restaurant- and bar-packed Gaslamp Quarter, and a short trip away from attractions such as Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and more. Find cheap flights to San Diego
SAN FRANCISCO: The American City By the Bay
Fairmont San Francisco — For a classic San Francisco experience of earthquake-ridden history, terrifying cable car rides, incredible architecture and some Tiki-inspired Mai Tais, head to the Fairmont. Perched atop Nob Hill, affording views of the entire city, the Beaux-Arts style beauty was designed by architect Julia Morgan and opened on April 18, 1907—exactly one year after the giant earthquake that levelled the city.
The United Nations was drafted here in 1945 and since then every U.S. president has stayed here. Situated on the only place in the city where all the cable car lines cross, you’ll be able to speed downhill in any direction to explore the city. During the evening, head to the Fairmont’s Tonga Room for an entertaining spectacle of a rain-filled Tiki show with a Mai Tai night cap. Find cheap flights to San Francisco
WASHINGTON D.C.: The American Government Hub
The Hay-Adams — Located directly across from the White House in Lafayette Square (hence their slogan “Where nothing is overlooked by the White House”), the Hay-Adams hotel has a rich American political past.
The Italian Renaissance style hotel was built in 1928 on lots formerly occupied by the homes of politicians John Hay and Henry Adams. Hence why if you’re afraid of paranormal activities, stay clear of the fourth floor where the ghost of Henry Adams’ wife allegedly haunts guests.
The Hay-Adams has hosted a plethora of notable guests including Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Sinclair Lewis and most recently—the entire Obama family in January ’09 before they moved across the street to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Find cheap flights to Washington D.C.
DealBase.com searches through thousands of hotel room prices around the world meaning they’ve got the largest collection of hotel deals and discount offers on the planet. Jessica Stout for Dealbase