Riggs Washington DC.
Riggs Washington DC.
Image: Jennifer Hughes

Our eyes were firmly on America last month and, post-election, mine are still fixed. Only now, they’re on a knockout selection of new hotels that have recently opened there. As soon as I can, I plan to hop on a plane and make the most of a newfound breeze of positivity blowing across the huge nation — and a little of their luxe hospitality too.

1. THE TIMES SQUARE EDITION, New York

For this, I’m even prepared to bend my “Stay away from tourist-trap Times Square” rule. And for a chain hotel, nogal. Yet Marriott International’s Edition Hotels are anything but run of the mill — they are a partnership with the creator of the boutique hotel concept, Ian Schrager. They are also all seriously trendy. In this case, check out the edgy interiors and four restaurants developed by John Fraser, who brings the Michelin stardust. And the liberal use of indoor foliage across the whole place — divine! 

2. CAPTAIN WHIDBEY, Washington state

Wes Anderson would surely fancy a weekend away at this cosy Pacific-Northwest hotel. Have a look at the pics and you’ll see why. Aesthetics aside, who wouldn’t want to escape to a cabin on an island a short drive from Seattle? Captain Whidbey is a revamped historical inn that has had the full hipster treatment — including rooms and cabins conjured up by trendy US designers. I’d bomb out, walk, watch whales, sleep, binge on moules-frites, drink cocktails — all ideally with Jason Schwartzman. 

Captain Whidbey.
Captain Whidbey.
Image: Supplied
Captain Whidbey.
Captain Whidbey.
Image: Supplied
Captain Whidbey.
Captain Whidbey.
Image: Supplied
Captain Whidbey.
Captain Whidbey.
Image: Supplied

3. THE PROSPECT, Hollywood

If you’re going to hit Los Angeles, then do it properly. Ensconce yourself in a suite replete with chinoiserie wallpaper, gold-leaf ceiling, leopard-print carpet, and a four-poster bed. Basically, make like you’re some glamorous star of the Old Hollywood era. The new Prospect hotel will totally enable this kind of behaviour. The old girl is named for Prospect Boulevard (the original name of Hollywood Boulevard) and was built in 1939. Now she has been revamped by top designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard and boasts 24 rooms that all come standard with Diptyque amenities and Derek Rose bathrobes. 

The Prospect.
The Prospect.
Image: Jaime Kowal
The Prospect.
The Prospect.
Image: Jaime Kowal
The Prospect.
The Prospect.
Image: Jaime Kowal
The Prospect.
The Prospect.
Image: Jaime Kowal
The Prospect.
The Prospect.
Image: Jaime Kowal

4. THE DIVE MOTEL, Nashville

In the warm heart of Tennessee, the Dive Motel offers a deep immersion into retro kitsch. And by that I mean it has 23 differently decorated rooms, ranging from rustic luxury cabins to the honeymoon suite with side-by-side-soaking bathtubs. All the accommodation has a standard “party switch”. This spins a disco ball to the tunes of Dive Radio’s four channels: sex, drugs, rock & roll, and sleep. Guests also have access to a banging hotel pool. And the property’s Dive Bar. It’s all achingly cool, and I want in. 

5. PALIHOUSE, Miami Beach

The original Art Deco Greenbrier Hotel (built in 1940) has been refashioned and is now one part the kind of destination in which you’d imagine a Florida retiree taking up, and one part utterly chic escape. I’m yearning for a visit to one of my favourite cities, and this is where I’d choose to stay. A new addition to the Paligroup’s hotels, it boasts a laidback air, tropical but not obvious colour palette, lots of light, and a lovely pool. Most of the 71 suites have kitchenettes, so you can do your own thing, when not hanging out in Palihouse’s super cool neighbourhood, of course. 

Palihouse.
Palihouse.
Image: Supplied
Palihouse.
Palihouse.
Image: Supplied

6. THE GRADUATE, Nashville

A darlin’ canopied bed to lay your weary body in, a karaoke bar with animatronic backup band, vases of bright blooms, and a rooftop bar inspired by Dolly Parton. Seriously, is this the dream getaway or what? I’m mad about this new Nashville Midtown spot for its crazy, cool aesthetic and obvious celebration of the finest that Music City has to offer. Meet you there to share a party-time pitcher and belt out our own version of Jolene

The Graduate.
The Graduate.
Image: Steve Freihon.
The Graduate.
The Graduate.
Image: Steve Freihon.

7. RIGGS, Washington DC

Got a beer with Joe scheduled at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Might I suggest you base yourself at the stellar new Riggs Washington DC for the visit? Because the joint is based in the previous Riggs National Bank in the Penn Quarter, there are touches of its former life everywhere. Even the hotel’s 181 rooms and suites are inspired by safe-deposit boxes. The regal but engaging establishment is pet-friendly and has its own Priority bikes that you can use to sightsee. Its First Lady suites are super fancy. They include amenities such as a freestanding baths, beautiful china and — wait for it — a baby grand. 

Riggs Washington DC.
Riggs Washington DC.
Image: Jennifer Hughes
Riggs Washington DC.
Riggs Washington DC.
Image: Jennifer Hughes
Riggs Washington DC.
Riggs Washington DC.
Image: Jennifer Hughes

 From the December edition of Wanted, 2020.

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