From the high-drama NoMad in New York City to a revived mid-century gem in Desert Hot Springs, California, we've pulled together a selection of our favorite American hotels featuring modern architecture and inventive design. Even if you can't get away for one last weekend before the flurry of fall descends in full, take a moment to daydream with our slideshow.
The Commodore Hotel in Astoria, Oregon, (population 10,000) is not exactly conveniently located, tucked away near the ocean's edge at the mouth of the Columbia River. But the mysterious tale of the hotel's past is enough to draw visitors for a night or two in the now-modern quarters of the historic getaway. The hotel interior sports a distinct maritime feel combined with a pinch of Scandinavian minimalism. See more of the Commodore Hotel here.
Interior designer Jacques Garcia referenced his first studio apartment in Paris as the model for NoMad's guest rooms. The city views are unbeatable—and check out the tiny writing desks. See more of NoMad here.
Two Los Angeles designers resuscitated a down-at-the-heel John Lautner building, giving architecture fans a chance to spend the night in a mid-century gem. Notice how the designers forewent blinds or curtains on the windows and glazed walls, offering guests sleeping masks instead, to maximize the experience of Lautner’s legendary approach to daylight. Photo by Jaime Gillin.
In the newly renovated Hyatt Hotel in Minneapolis, rooms are conservatively appointed with high-quality but unpretentiously detailed furnishings and artwork—homey in an appropriately midwestern way, without feeling kitschy or unsophisticated. The architects cite strong partners—including engaged purchasing agent (The Stout Group) and general contractor (Mike Johnson)—as being vital to identifying materials and manufacturers for everything from the tiles and furnishings to the showers and sinks. See the entire new Hyatt slideshow here. Courtesy of 2012 Peter Peirce.
The Hotel Americano's exterior, designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten, is constructed from old conveyor belts taken, arranged, and reused to create the hotel’s metal mesh encasement. See more views of Hotel Americano here.
Upon approaching the Saguaro hotel, the exterior seems quite tame, with a clean, white façade greeting guests from afar. But up close, signs of life start to show, with pops of color emanating from various sides and unexpected places. For example, the porte-cochère’s underside is a lovely surprise, painted with the yellows and light greens from the hotel's palette of desert wildflowers: Staghorn Cholla, Sunflower, California Poppy, and Lantana Camara. Catch more views of the Saguaro here.
Set against the backdrop of the dry desert hills, the Ace's white buildings are an unpretentious makeover of an existing, rundown roadside motel. L.A.-based firm Commune and the Ace's own design team, Atelier Ace, approached the project as a curatorial endeavor, commissioning a number of artists and artisans from southern California and the Southwest to piece together the design elements. See more of the Ace Palm Springs here.
If you're looking to crash in a pad that has actually appeared in the pages Dwell, look no further than the iT House in Pioneertown, California. It appeared in the November, 2008 issue. Available for vacation rental on Airbnb (and you can also read the original story here).
During the worst of the recession, companies looked to DIY and low-cost creativity to innovate. One company to jump aboard the creative revamp bandwagon is the notoriously cheap Motel 6 chain. The pillar of downmarket roadside accommodations, Motel 6 is reskinning their shabby (and not chic) interiors to give them a touch of modern minimalism and an air of modest luxury. Check out the changes here.
The prevailing approach to landmark preservation in New York tends to be either/or—i.e., if it’s not worthy of embalming, knock it down—which has deprived the city of many fine buildings that might have enjoyed second lives via a mixture of historic and contemporary design. The Chatwal, an 83-room new hotel off Times Square, exemplifies such a mix. Click here to see the thoughtfully-appointed interiors of the preserved Chatwal.