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EXCLUSIVE | Hotels We Love: Chic & Cheerful Budget Boutique Hotels

EXCLUSIVE | Hotels We Love: Chic & Cheerful Budget Boutique Hotels

A fresh-faced crop of appealingly priced boutique hotels is brightening up the hotel horizon, full of high-tech amenities and free extras.

Those looking for hip digs on a budget no longer have to pack blinders and dull down their expectations to the tired old chains and motels of yore. These new boutique hotels ready to give the chic and cheerful traveler an eyeful of their hot d?cor.

Some of the big hotel names have caught on and enthusiastically rolled out hipster offshoots, teeming with soothing amenities and prices that leave change to fritter away on soju mojitos and other hipster sips. Starwood Hotels is on the verge of offering airy Aloft properties in Lexington, Mass., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Rogers, Ark., and Beijing, China, as well as airport options in Charleston, S.C.; Chicago O'Hare; and Philadelphia. Currently the Montr?al address is the only one actually welcoming guests. Another 69 properties are scheduled to open across North America in the next couple of years. Two dozen colorful Hotel Indigos, part of InterContinental, stretch from Albany, N.Y. , to M?rida in the Yucatan. Free wireless and uplifting color schemes star at all properties. Our favorites of these cleverly done Indigos are the Chicago Gold Coast and Scottsdale, Ariz., Old Town locations.

Lucky 7s
Here are my favorite contenders in the hot category of affordable luxury:

1. Nylo Plano at Legacy, Dallas
8201 Preston Road, Plano, Texas
972-624-6990
www.nylohotels.com
from $189
Promising that it allows you to "stay unique," Nylo offers edgy design, 176 slick guest lofts (including 45 allergy-friendly PURE rooms), and all-around confident quarters. Rooms are iPod-ready and offer complimentary WiFi and bottled water. A hip outdoor courtyard has a grill and an outdoor stage with a DJ hookup, perfect for throwing parties. Nylo Warwick, in a suburb of Providence, R.I., should be hot on the heels of this opening, with Irving, Texas, next on the list.

2. Townhouse Hotel, Miami
150 20th St
305-534-3800
www.townhousehotel.com
from $115
Jonathan Morr's playful South Beach address offers minimalist chic on the beach. With the ocean, Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road all within ambling distance, it's a clever choice for the gay traveler with an eye on the budget. A complimentary Parisian breakfast, in-room fridges and flatscreens, and a sexy palette are part of its allure. The rooftop lounge is another seductive spot to catch some rays or eye candy.

3. Hotel Grace, New York City
125 W. 45th St., New York, New York
212-354-2323
www.room-matehotels.com
from $249
The former Hotel QT has a host of cheeky chic amenities from the swim-up bar to the glass reception wall showing the pool antics behind. Rooms offer complimentary WiFi, fridge, DVD player and free local calls. A DJ plays six nights a week and there are even underwater speakers, so you'll always have a soundtrack. Pets are welcome for a $100 cleaning fee.

Part One | Part Two

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