The Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn is the ideal base for a second, third or 55th trip to New York – you know, when you’ve already done all the touristy things and you’re ready to live like a local, down to the bath products in your room, which are made around the corner from the hotel by soap makers Apotheke. This brand-new property is located on v. trendy Wythe Avenue, and, just like in your neighbourhood at home, you probably won’t go beyond a five-block radius the entire trip. In the mood for a cinnamon-apple doughnut? Grab one across the road at Du’s coffee shop and go eat it in nearby McCarren Park. Craving a late-night slice when you’re stumbling back from night spot Output? Area staple Vinnie’s is worth the two-block detour. Need to feel human again the next morning? Pop down the road to Bakeri for an egg-and-cheese biscuit of dreams. Or, you know, you could just chill the entire time in your room, surrounded by reclaimed-hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows and industrial-chic light fixtures, and take in the entirety of the Manhattan skyline from your balcony.
Andaz Hotel, Ottawa
We tend to forget about our fair capital as a weekend destination, but— due, in part, to Canada’s big birthday —Ottawa is having a moment. And there are a bunch of reasons why, from the exciting food scene (recommended: Riviera, for its Med-inspired fare in a gorgeous art-deco space) to a plethora of purveyors of from-scratch products, like coffee (all of Equator’s coffee is fresh roasted, organic and fair trade) and chocolate (in 2016, Hummingbird won “the Golden Bean”— basically an Oscar in the world of confectionery). In the thick of it all is the new Andaz hotel, right beside the much-loved historic ByWard Market and within walking distance of most of the city’s highlights. It’s the boutique brand’s first hotel in Canada, but you’d never know it — there’s enough Canadiana here to inspire some serious patriotism, with not a whiff of the usual kitsch that often comes with the theme. When you step off the elevator on each of the 16 floors, you’re greeted by a wall-size needle-felt map of a province or territory, and all the art on the floor is evocative of that part of the country. The well-thought-out decor incorporates lots of natural materials (wood, stone, metal), and the copper touches throughout add warmth. Rooms are spacious yet cozy, bathrooms are stocked with treats by local über-natural beauty brand Purple Urchin and the comfort of the beds is as effective as a sleeping pill. The hotel also boasts the highest rooftop bar in the city — and, thankfully, most of it is enclosed so you can enjoy the view all year round. We can attest that the bartenders’ mixology skills and a sunset over the Parliament Buildings are an excellent pairing.
Crash Hotel, Edmonton
Take a historic building with a storied past, mix it up with innovative design and just the right amount of luxe and you’ve got Edmonton’s Crash Hotel, located right downtown. Vintage charm is everywhere, and each room has its own theme — from hi-fi (complete with phonograph and retro speakers) to fun wall art (like a giant octopus mural over the bed). But, tbh, you probably won’t spend that much time in your room, considering all the amenities on-site, like the lobby cocktail bar, the pinball arcade and the hotel’s very own liquor store.
Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, Miami
How to have an indulgent Miami vacation without descending into drunken revelry: 1. Drop your bag off in your room at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach*, overlooking the buzzing (but not buzzed) pool scene and Tiffany-blue umbrellas that line the ocean beyond. 2. Head up to the new Club Level: a VIP lounge complete with concierge services that’s easily mistakable for the kitchen and living room of a well-appointed beach house. Note the champagne on ice and the range of foods to satisfy every stage of your vacation mentality, from “I just spent six weeks eating right to prepare for this trip” (try the chilled shrimp, fennel and arugula salad) to “YOLO; I’m on holiday” (get the chocolate-chip cookie). 3. Book a treatment in the Timeless Capsule, a spherical, otherworldly-feeling wellness space unveiled as part of the 1,486-square-metre spa and fitness centre’s recent $4.5-million reno. Feel your heart rate slow and the neck muscle you tweaked on the plane relax as you get a head-and-hand massage in the Zero Gravity Recliner, a device exclusive to the Ritz-Carlton that places the body in a neutral position for a sensation akin to weightlessness (12 minutes for $25; 25 minutes for $50; 40 minutes for $80). 4. Float over to the salon for a pedicure, saying “yes” to that massive glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. 5. Go to the beach. 6. Head back to a cabana on the lido deck for a poolside foot massage, and disregard the plane flying overhead trailing a “Fat Joe Playing Tonight!” sign — you’re fine right where you are. *Editors' note: The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, is closed for repairs following Hurricane Irma. It will reopen fall 2018.
Bisha Hotel, Toronto
Everyone is talking about the Bisha. Why all the buzz? Well, for one thing, it has salvaged a heritage building for its base, so it’s got bags of character. It also has a somewhat novel ethos: luxury with a friendly, laid-back vibe. And for added cachet, Lenny Kravitz, who now has a design company, put his stamp on a whole floor (the seventh). The hotel occupies the first eight floors of a 44-storey tower (the rest is plush condos), and there’s a restaurant (Kost) and a pool on the roof.
The Douglas and JW Marriott Parq, Vancouver
With its two-floor casino, eight restaurants, heaps of event space and two hotels, you and your crew may never have to leave the new luxury complex JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the Douglas. Between them, they have over 500 rooms and suites offering sophisticated design and a nature-y bent, respectively. Also key: the Spa by JW— the first of its kind in Canada — located on the 17th floor and overlooking downtown.
Dream Hollywood, Los Angeles
Hiking Runyon Canyon is a very L.A. thing to do, although from a tourist’s point of view it’s less about the healthful exercise than it is about that view of the City of Angels. But what if you want that experience without, like, actually climbing up a dusty mountain path? Allow us to suggest the rooftop of the Dream Hollywood Hotel, where we can vouch for your ability to eat a perfectly fluffy omelette while seated under a shaded pergola, your view of the hills completely unobstructed. (NB: The Highlight Room is also open for lunch, dinner and late-night beautiful-people-spotting around the adjacent pool.) And that’s not the only good eating at the newly opened property located in the heart of Hollywood: In addition to a coffee bar in the Instagram-fever dream of a lobby (plants! white marble! burnished metal accents!), there’s a Tao Asian Bistro AND the third outpost of Beauty & Essex for those nights when you want your dinner with a side of cut-glass chandelier.
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