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American Hotels Wake Up

Here, three fresh U.S. hotels. Bringing a modern flair to Portland, Oregon, is Hotel Lucia (877/225-1717; www.hotellucia.com; doubles from $115). Leather couches in the black-and-white lobby and 679 photos of celebrities and world leaders throughout the hotel (by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist David Hume Kennerly) enhance Lucia's minimalist interiors. · After being closed for 78 years, Houston's legendary Sam Houston Hotel (1117 Prairie St.; 877/348-8800 or 832/200-8800; www.samhoustonhotel.com; doubles from $299) has reopened as a downtown hot spot with 21st-century amenities. The rooftop bar, Veranda, is already a hit with the fashion flock, and John Sheely's Riviera Grill serves a mean chocolate torte. · Set to open later this month in New York City, the Maritime Hotel (88 Ninth Ave.; 212/242-4300; www.themaritimehotel.com) is the latest enterprise from Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson, masterminds behind the nearby Park restaurant. The structure was originally the Maritime Union (which explains the porthole windows). The 120 rooms will have the functional elegance of a luxury ship. There are also two 120-seat restaurants and the largest garden space of any Manhattan hotel.

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