Where do hipsters go when they want to lay their heads far from home? Why, to these stylish properties on the forefront of design and amenities.
From art-curated hotels to cocoon showers, here’s your hipster’s guide to hotels in the U.S.
1. Surfer chic: The Goodland, Goleta, Calif.
You’ve never seen SoCal like this. The Goodland in Goleta, just minutes from Santa Barbara and home to the University of California Santa Barbara, is a former Holiday Inn Express that has been turned into a hipster wonderland. Hip is ingrained in everything here, from the bottle-opener drawer pulls to the beaded curtains in the Outpost restaurant.
You’ll know you’re in the right place when you pass by the vintage Woody and Air Stream, a favorite hangout of local artists, parked out front. Enjoy the museum-quality art that dots the walls, including pieces by local graffiti artists.
Every room, sleek and stylish with a surfboard mounted above the bed, features a Crosley turntable for listening to your favorite vinyls, which you can borrow from the hotel’s record concierge. Enjoy on-site yoga, pool parties with live music, weekly outdoor movies, the digital photo booth in the lobby and complimentary bike rentals. It’s a 10-minute drive to Santa Barbara — or you can take the Amtrak. And don’t miss the homemade Cracker Jacks at happy hour.
2. Beach mod: Viceroy Santa Monica, Santa Monica, Calif.
Just two hours south is another home for hipsters seeking a beachside respite from the throes of Los Angeles. The Viceroy Santa Monica, mere steps from the Santa Monica pier, offers a fantastic view of the Pacific.
From its bright yellow library to its sophisticated tented cabanas and outdoor pools, the Viceroy Santa Monica has a cosmopolitan coastal appeal. Rooms offer custom armoires instead of closets, Lucite and glass tables and pedestal sinks. Grab a house bike and head down the oceanside bicycle path to people-watch at Venice Beach. Hipsters won’t want to miss the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica and poolside yoga on weekends at the hotel.
3. Art appeal: The Alexander, Indianapolis
You might think the Midwest an unlikely spot for a hip hotel, but Indianapolis broke the mold last year. The Alexander is the first art-curated hotel that has partnered with an art museum — in this case the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
More than 40 works of art are woven throughout the downtown hotel, including a piece made entirely of hair combs depicting Indianapolis’ own Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first self-made woman millionaire (she worked in the beauty industry). There’s also the birds in flight, made from old vinyl records with one from some other prominent Hoosiers, the Jackson 5, at the forefront.
Each guest room has its own work of art, and the minimalist design makes the room feel spacious despite its standard size. Inside each room is a full-size refrigerator and mini-kitchen with utensils, closeted washer-dryer and a small dining table and chairs. Enjoy a view of the Indianapolis skyline, trendy Fountain Square and the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium, and take a ride on a complimentary bike along Indianapolis’ cultural trail.
4. Too cool for school: The Study, New Haven, Conn.
You don’t have to be studious to stay at The Study on the campus of Yale University, but you can expect a professor-cool vibe. Designed as a sophisticated and stylish yet comfortable option for those visiting the campus or the New Haven area, this boutique hotel is best described as “cultured” from head to toe, with references to design, art and literature throughout. Photos of Yale line the walls and stacks of books (you might even spot a signed edition), newspapers and magazines are at every turn. Plenty of coffee, tea and snacks are available to keep your brain fueled at the 24-hour Lobby Café. Wireless access, for all your most studious needs, is free.
Desks are a highlight of the guest rooms, with a choice of an ergonomic chair or a soft leather chair and ottoman for delving deep into your book of choice. You’ll find sleek marble bathrooms with glass showers and an in-room safe large enough to hold your laptop. Choose a suite for fantastic campus views and a fully stocked bookcase.
5. A surprise for the senses: Hotel ZaZa, Dallas