Whether you’re looking for a spot to host the fam during the holidays or sneak in a weekend staycay, having a cheat sheet of hometown hotels in your arsenal is an absolute MUST. And because no one really wants to put up the in-laws at anything drab, the digs on your list better be smashing. To help cue up a stunning list, we asked some of our favorite interior designers to share the hotels that they recommend to visiting friends. From posh, little under-the-radar boutiques in Greenwich to designer-done affairs in San Francisco, these rockin’ hotels are guaranteed to dazzle both you and your crew. The only thing left to do? Room service, please!

Pink drapes and matching red headboard and cowhide rug add a pop of color to this hotel room.

Austin & Dallas

Hotel Saint Cecilia is quintessential Austin, from the shady grounds to the eccentrically decorated suites. Their private lounge and pool are reserved for guests only, and are the perfect place to have a pre-dinner cocktail.”— Sarah Wittenbraker

South Congress Hotel or Hotel Ella.” — Shannon Eddings

The Four Seasons, Houston.” — Paloma Contreras

Dining and bar area with starburst chandelier and mid-century inspired dining chairs.
Photo courtesy of The Hoxton


“One of my best friends is an incredible travel advisor so I know I can count on wherever she stays as being the most noteworthy hotel of the moment. As of late, it’s The Hoxton Chicago in West Loop.” — Sarah Vaile

The Langham Chicago is the ultimate luxury experience—great staff, the only 5-star spa in Chicago, nice views, and a good location—what more could you ask for?” — Summer Thornton

The Peninsula Chicago.” — Shelley Johnstone

Hotel room with black wet bar, queen sized bed, and distressed leather loveseat.
Photo by Aaron Haxton

Los Angeles

“The Firehouse Hotel, in the Arts District.” – Sally Breer from ETC.etera

The NoMad is currently one of our favorites. It is a beautifully designed building in the heart of Downtown and mimics the original Italianate NoMad Hotel in New York City.” – Studio Life/Style

The Sunset Tower Hotel.” – Pierce and Ward

“I still think the Beverly Hills Hotel gives the most L.A./Hollywood bang for your buck. There is always the old school aspect to it, plus such rando star sightings that it’s sort of fun for an out-of-towner.”  – Mary McDonald

Classic hotel room with upholstered headboard and paneled walls with peach throw.
Photo courtesy of Noelle


Noelle Nashville, a historic Art Deco hotel that was recently reimagined by a Nashville favorite architect Nick Dryden. So many local artisans contributed to the hotel—it truly expresses Nashville in every way!” — Rachel Halvorson

The Thompson Nashville.” — Chad James

The Omni Nashville or the new Westin Nashville—both are right downtown.” — Sarah Bartholomew

New Orleans

Soniat House. It’s an authentic New Orleans experience.” — Ware Porter

Windsor Court.” — Shaun Smith

Eclectic hotel room with red, blue, and white color scheme in the printed drapes, floral wallpaper, and oversized headboard.
Photo courtesy of The Crosby Street Hotel

New York

The Surrey, so my friends can invite me to the gorgeous private rooftop bar for a drink.” — Courtney Coleman from Brockschmidt & Coleman

Freehand New York has great rooms and amazing pricing!” — Tilton Fenwick

Crosby Street Hotel because of the décor by Kit Kemp.” — Lindsey Lane

The Marlton Hotel NYC in the West Village is great if you don’t mind micro-tiny rooms.” — Celerie Kemble

The Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca is gorgeous.” — Nick Olsen

The pool area of the Umstead Hotel and Spa features wood lounge chairs with green cushions.
Photo courtesy of the Umstead Hotel and Spa

Raleigh & Charlotte

The Umstead Hotel and Spa! Conceived and built with the muses of art and nature, it is designed to restore and rejuvenate. My husband and I even book a room occasionally for an easy staycation!” — MA Allen

Duke Mansion. It’s in the most beautiful neighborhood in Charlotte.” —Barrie Benson

San Francisco

“The recently-opened Proper Hotel, designed by Kelly Wearstler. Great vibe, great art, and great cocktails.” — Eche Martinez

Hotel Kabuki. Great location, reasonably priced and a unique experience.” —Katie Martinez

Hotel Drisco in Presidio Heights is quiet and small. It’s been closed for renovations, but opened again recently.” — Beth Martin

Related: Designers’ Favorite Hotels for a Getaway >>

Lead photo by Aaron Haxton


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October 30, 2019

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