April 29, 2009

Boutique hotels by signature designers are popping up across the country faster than you can say "room service." A few of the latest, from coast to coast: BOSTON The Bulfinch Hotel (107 Merrimac St.; 617/624-0202; www.bulfinchhotel.com; doubles from $169) brought in Campion A. Platt (who designed New York's MercBar and the Park Avalon) to re-create its historic building a few blocks from Beacon Hill. The 80 rooms have leather headboards, white-on-white damask striped sheets, and sleek marble bathrooms—all at an affordable price. NEW YORK Kimpton's first venture in Manhattan, 70 Park Avenue (877/707-2752; www.70parkave.com; doubles from $469), has a pied-à-terre-inspired look—pale stone foyers,mahogany armoires, floor-to-ceiling mirrors—courtesy of the City Club Hotel's Jeffrey Bilhuber. In its Silverleaf Tavern, chef Kevin Reilly (formerly of Union Square Café) puts a contemporary spin on a local classic: a knish stuffed with short ribs. PALM SPRINGS Jonathan Adler has converted the former Merv Griffin Givenchy Resort & Spa into the Parker Palm Springs (4200 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760/770-5000; www.theparkerpalmsprings.com; doubles from $150). The 144 rooms and villas reflect Adler's quirky sensibility with bamboo-framed leopard-print chairs and bird-themed tapestries.
—Rima Suqi

Parker Palm Springs

70 Park Avenue

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants' first New York outpost, set in quiet, largely residential Murray Hill, may not exactly have the sexiest location, but it's one of the city's better-kept secrets: a mid-priced, boutique-size hotel with the same style and amenities as those in the $$$$ range. The 205 guest rooms, though on the small side, have been outfitted by designer Jeffrey Bilhuber (whose celebrity clients have included Iman, David Bowie, and Peter Jennings): minimalist, pale-wood furnishings, large mirrors, and wall-mounted flat-screen TV's all help the spaces feel airier than they are. Downstairs, the slick, golden-lit Silverleaf Tavern is a great place to unwind for predinner cocktails.

Bulfinch Hotel

A group of Boston real estate developers challenged Campion A. Platt (the designer responsible for New York’s MercBar and the Park Avalon) to re-create this historic 1900 building in an up-and-coming neighborhood a few blocks from Beacon Hill. The resulting 79 small rooms (average: 250 square feet) have brown leather headboards, white-on-white striped damask sheets, sleek marble bathrooms, and user-friendly touches like cordless phones and free high-speed Internet—all at an affordable price. The triangular shape of the building (similar to New York’s Flatiron Building) results in unique Nose Rooms, one on each floor, which have taller ceilings, larger windows, and an additional 100 square feet.

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