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Holiday Travel: Pads for Parents

Holiday Travel: Pads for Parents

Five hip hotels for visiting family.

?No matter how great your folks are, there's definitely some truth in the whole "too close for comfort" concept, especially when there?s that new bar/boy to check out. With visiting moms and dads in mind, the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith have lined up five fabulous hotels to house the 'rents. Of course, you love your folks, so they have to stay stylish: forget chintz and chains, think top-end and tempting -- fit for all kinds of kin, whether old school, nu school, or too cool for school. Or heck, even you, too! Going home for the holidays doesn?t always have to be a homestay.

Ames Hotel -- Boston, MA.Some parents peaked in the Sixties/Seventies, style-wise. Others continue to set trends. If your ma and pa fall into the latter camp, book them into the stripped-down, sexed-up Ames Hotel in Boston, once the HQ of a shovel company. The shovels may have gone but the industrial feel remains, thanks to the moody grey-and-black palette, stainless steel furniture and frill-free rooms. Hipsters go a bit mushy and wobbly-kneed when they hear the word "industrial," so it?s unsurprising that the hotel?s stark restaurant lures the fashion pack like mice to cheese.

1 Court Street, Boston; doubles from $195

Stonehurst Place -- Atlanta, GAWhen in Georgia, ask yourself, "What would Rhett do?" Given the kind of company he preferred, keeping his clan away from home would definitely be a priority. Step forward Stonehurst Place, a quiet 19th-century inn on a leafy, tree-lined street in historic Midtown Atlanta. Everything about this hotel is mother- and father-friendly: gracious architecture, original fireplaces, art-hung walls, residential setting, fuss-free rooms and an indulgent approach to breakfast: organic spreads served on gold-rimmed china, with treats such as banana nut bread, baked pears with cinnamon raisin toast, and strawberries with whipped cream. There?s no restaurant or bar, so this is ideal for peace-seeking but independent parents.

923 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta; doubles from $159

St Regis Hotel -- San Francisco, CA Bentleys, butlers, bar -- you'd be forgiven for thinking all the hotel?s plus points begin with a 'B'. (That is, until you factor in the high-tech spa, sexy restaurant, and the vineyards of Napa Valley, a 90-minute drive away.) The St Regis has much to be proud of: set alongside some of the city's finest museums in the sociable SOMA district, its new tower was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (of the Lever House, Burj Khalifa, and One World Trade Center), and offers remarkable city views, naturally. Best of all, you get both quantity and quality. Rooms rival the city?s biggest, and aren?t short on luxury, either.

125 3rd Street, San Francisco; doubles from $359

Elysian -- Chicago, IL If your parents come into their own when dressed in cashmere and cocktail duds, book them a room which aims for the stars (along with the rest of Chicago?s Gold Coast high-rises). Glamour is the thread that runs through the Elysian, where subtlety is sacrificed for high-octane impact: towering ceilings, classical sculptures, sunburst chandeliers ? and that?s just the lobby. The food here is equally elegant with one of the hotel?s two restaurants holding a Michelin star up its (immaculate) sleeve. For coiffed moms, there?s a Becca make-up counter (Dad can enjoy an Old Fashioned in the bar). The spa will make them both feel like spring chickens again.

11 East Walton Street, Chicago; doubles from $395

The Surrey -- New York, NY Even the fussiest family member would pipe down when faced with the Beaux Arts beauty of The Surrey, and its prime Upper East Side setting (Museum Mile beckons). This Lauren Rottet-styled hotel deals in all kinds of indulgence: rooftop garden with butler service, Daniel Boulud-restaurant, sexy bar, and spa. And there?s a gym. Does mama like Chanel? There are plenty of touches to take Coco's fancy: padded leather walls and writing pads, white and black lacquer and a bar modelled on a Chanel compact. If your folks bed down here, they?ll be in good company: a glittering cast of movie stars and politicians has passed through its doors since it opened in 1926, including JFK, Bette Davis, and Claudette Colbert.

20 East 76th Street, New York City; doubles from $515

For more accommodation inspiration and to book your stylish parents' stay, visit or call 800-464-2040.
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