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THE VACATION REPORT the east side

Discover five of America’s best new boutique hotels in lively neighbourhoods from Detroit to Miami.

Words by Monica Mendal.

DETROIT

THE SIREN HOTEL

Much of what makes Detroit, or ‘Motor City’, so iconic is that its charm can only be discovered when you dig deep. Innovative restaurants and cool enclaves continually pop up in this metropolis – you just have to know where to look. That sense of inconspicuous romance and energy have lured creatives from New York and Silicon Valley to the entrepreneurial city and The Siren Hotel (thesirenhotel.com) downtown characterises the mystery that is Detroit’s current narrative. It’s set in the historic Wurlitzer building, a music industry hub built in 1926 that had been deteriorating since the 1980s and was recently brought back to life by design firm ASH NYC. Beyond the building’s iconic exterior lies a welcoming interior with warm design elements, such as velvet banquettes in jewel-tone hues, with elegant nods to old Hollywood. Around the neighbourhood, you’ll find other retrofitted spots, such as The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (mocadetroit.org) which is housed in a converted auto dealership.

The Siren Hotel, Detroit
The Siren Hotel, Detroit
The Siren Hotel, Detroit
The Siren Hotel, Detroit
The Siren Hotel, Detroit

NEW ORLEANS

HOTEL PETER & PAUL

The allure of well-known New Orleans neighbourhoods like the French Quarter and Uptown has long been the draw to the country’s jazz capital. Thanks to recent developments, travellers are now flocking to other NOLA neighbourhoods, like the once unassuming Mairgny. The neighbourhood's newest attraction is Hotel Peter & Paul (hotelpeterandpaul.com), housed in four 19th-century buildings that once made up the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic church and school. From the minute you enter, you’ll see the developers stayed true to history and context. Portraits of religious icons are sprinkled on the walls, and the rooms are furnished in colourful gingham, with art work sourced from local estate sales. Nearby, be sure to browse antiques on Royal Street and get dressed up for a Creole dinner at Commander’s Palace (commanderspalace.com). Israeli newcomer, Shaya (shayarestaurant.com), is also a worthy option for dinner. Then, top the night off with beignets at the classic Café du Monde (cafedumonde.com).

Hotel Peter & Paul, New Orleans
Hotel Peter & Paul, New Orleans
Hotel Peter & Paul, New Orleans
Hotel Peter &  Paul, New Orleans
Hotel Peter & Paul, New Orleans

MIAMI

LIFE HOUSE LITTLE HAVANA HOTEL

While Miami has long been synonymous with South Beach, its decade-long cultural renaissance has re-energised areas including Brickell, Wynwood and the Design District, making it a city of style and substance. With these developments luring in a global crowd, one mustn't forget that Miami’s Latin heritage runs deep. A new boutique property, Life House Little Havana (lifehousehotels.com), is bringing attention to the area surrounding the bustling Calle Ocho, known for the energy of its local Cuban community. This is the first of a number of Life House hotels which aim to integrate design and technology to create an immersive space that fosters a sense of community, whichever city they’re in.

Life House Little Havana hotel, Miami
Life House Little Havana hotel, Miami

WASHINGTON, D.C.

THE LINE HOTEL

Politics aside, D.C. has experienced an influx of cool boutique hotels and nightlife venues unaffected by legislative temperatures. While historic Georgetown is still a must-visit area, the newly opened The Line Hotel is shining light on the energetically diverse Adams Morgan neighbourhood. Like a number of other architecturally distinctive Sydell Group properties, The Line Hotel (thelinehotel.com) was resurrected from its past life as a church. The neoclassical building sits proudly atop stairs that lead you through ionic columns. The architecture is so grand that is could easily be mistaken for one of the city’s political landmarks. Conversely, the lobby is comfortable and warm, with booths and tables set up for chatting, co-working or sipping on cocktails. The residential-style rooms with eclectic furnishings and local art can even make you forget you’re in a hotel. For dinner spots around the neighbourhood, try Lapis (lapisdc.com) or Tail Up Goat (tailupgoat.com).

The Line Hotel, Washington, D.C.
The Line Hotel, Washington, D.C.
The Line Hotel, Washington, D.C.
The Line Hotel, Washington, D.C.

CHARLESTON

ZERO GEORGE

The pastel antebellum architecture and the palmetto trees that punctuate Charleston’s cobblestone streets aren’t the only things to love about this Southern city. It might be small, but it’s brimming with history and old-world charm balanced by modern nuances. Settling in to Zero George (zerogeorge.com), a quaint hotel spread throughout five restored historic buildings with just 16 guest rooms, you’ll immediately feel at home. The aesthetic is warm and elegant in an unpretentious way, styled as you’d imagine a Southern home would be. You also have some of the best food Charleston has to offer on your doorstep. Just a short walk and you’ll find the laid-back 167 Raw (167raw.com) for oysters and fish tacos or Butcher & Bee (butcherandbee.com) for inventive, Southern food with local ingredients. For dinner, don’t miss Chez Nous (cheznouschs.com) or Xiao Bao Biscuit (xiaobaobiscuit.com).

Zero George hotel, Charleston
The Style Report
The Style Report
THE STYLE REPORT