this year i have realized how interested i am in hotels. i love critiquing their soap packaging, or their room key design. i am always curious about what kind of snacks they offer, or the furniture they put in the rooms. i find myself reading their menus and checking for robe comfort. after traveling to 3 countries and multiple cities last year, those special details really stand out to me now. i spend a great deal of time doing research on where we should stay…it’s become sort of a hobby for me (who knows, maybe it will be a career someday!)

i used to be the kind of gal that didn’t want to splurge on a hotel room. i figured i was barely IN the room, i wanted to be out exploring, so i was not going to spend over 200 dollars just to sleep in a room. then i started teaching blogshop and boy have things changed. most of the time after we get done teaching we are so exhausted, we eat dinner and head back to the rooms and work on our laptops. we are on crazy schedules (waking up at 5:30am in NY, which is 2:30am for us back in LA, or teaching 4 classes in a row) so it’s very important to us to feel comfortable in our hotel room. both of us are workaholics and don’t get great sleep, so we finally made a pact that we would book nicer hotels from now on. (in the beginning, we were sleeping on friend’s couches. which was fun, but definitely not the best night’s sleep)

here are a few of my favorite hotels along the way! they would all make awesome vacation spots…

1. hotel st. cecelia – i gotta say, this was one of my most memorable hotel experiences. we stayed in one of the bungalows and every last detail was fantastic. it felt like you were sleeping in a luxury treehouse with a living room complete with a velvet couch. the beds were heavenly. the pool had this big neon sign (see here) and even the room keys were rad. plus, you could walk to south congress for tons of restaurants and bars.

2. the wythe hotel – i am writing this post from that bed up there. holy cow this room is special. we asked for the corner room (always ASK at places because a lot of the times they have it available and can switch you into it for free) and the views are spectacular. the walls are brick, the ceiling is wood, and the bathroom is white subway tile. classy stuff. the rooftop bar is stunning. the whole place just has a very cool vibe. it’s not the most “warm and cozy” place…but that’s alright with me.

3. the cullen – we stayed here for over a week and felt so at home. the room was actually split in two so angela and i both had beds separated by a divider which made it feel like we had our own rooms. i still remember not ever wanting to get out of that bed. they had amazing packaging on their soaps (i may have taken a couple as a souvenir)  a wonderful staff, and rooms full of quirk (like this donkey on the glass.) the hotel restaurant was also quite good!

4. the hoxton – this hotel is actually really affordable for what you get. it’s a great location in shoreditch, happening vibe, and modern design. you get this adorable breakfast shown above delivered to your doorstep every morning (little things like that sure make you remember a place, huh?) we are headed back to teach in london next month and already booked our room again. also, it’s sure nice when you walk into a hotel and can connect to fast wifi with no password or charges. they do things right here.

5. the viceroy – preeeeety glamorous, this one. if you are coming to LA for a vacation, i really like this spot. the colors are fantastic, the pool will make you feel fancy, and it’s near the beach. maybe this is where you will book for an anniversary or something special…

also, the ace hotel is always a good choice if you want stylish and not a million dollars, we have heard great things about the jane hotel in new york and are going to try it out when we go back to teach in may.

we are headed to spain & paris next month for vacation and i booked these two apartments (here and here) to switch it up this time. i’m crossing my fingers that they are as great as the photos & reviews! i really love sharing my hotel experiences either on the blog or over on instagram, hopefully you enjoy following along and making notes about your future travel plans!

(all photos by: designlovefest instagram)



Add your own

  • 1. angela  |  February 19th, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Oh man, what a rich girl post! That’s not to say you haven’t earned your point of view – it’s evident that you’ve worked, and are working, very hard to get where you are… but still… this post reeks of privelege.

    My husband and I love to travel, mostly road trips (3 times from east to west coast! and many other trips). Our lodging usually involves pitching a tent out under some stars and vowing only to eat at local restaurants and coffee shops in each town we visit. We love this. We would also probably love to stay in these fancy hotels, but however hard we work (and we work hard), I don’t see us affording trips like these anytime soon without putting ourselves in debt (which we don’t dig).

    I love reading this blog, and others like it. But sometimes I feel I can’t connect or identify with the lifestyles being represented in blogs such as yours. I am a creative, and I’m a damn hard worker – that is some common ground I can stand on – but every now and then I realize that while the bloggers I follow often make several trips in a year to trendy hotels and foreign shores, I will have to save for over a year, sacrificing things like brunch and pretty dresses, to take my very first trip out of the country… and when we get there, we’ll probably camp.

    Am I alone in this, readers? If so, it’s cool. I’m not mad… in fact I’ll probably feel lame about posting this in a few days when I’m no longer PMSing.

  • 2. angela  |  February 19th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    please just go ahead and delete my comment… blargh

  • 3. Kristen  |  February 19th, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Def keeping this post for reference! I’m with you, hotels are so fun! It’s all in the details.

  • 4. alicia  |  February 19th, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Details are everything! I still have a hard time spending money on hotels because….well, vacation itself is expensive, flights, food, transportation, touristy-goodies. But son enough I hope to splurge on these goodies every now and then :)
    I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers and instagrammers staying at the Ace Hotel, so that’s high on my list :)

  • 5. bri  |  February 19th, 2013 at 10:30 am

    angela! i am so sorry you feel like that. i am definitely not trying to come off as braggy, i promise. these hotels have become more like an office than a hotel to us, so we do try to stay comfortable. i have stayed in so many wonderful, affordable hotels before i started traveling so much (like the ace!) a lot of these are definitely for special occasions :) have a great day, bri

  • 6. Kate @ Striped Cat Studio  |  February 19th, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I totally get what you mean Angela, but to be honest sometimes it’s best to just take a step back and say, “Hey, it’s pretty to look at on someone’s blog!” I’m just starting a freelance business and I have basically no money, so fancy hotels are kind of out of the question for me too! Same with the trendy outfits & art I post on my own blog–truth is, I own almost nothing that I actually feature (and if I do, there’s a good chance it was a gift from the BF who was stalking my blog for present research). Not to say I’m not totally jelly of Bri’s awesome career and trips ;)

  • 7. Bettina  |  February 19th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I’ve always wanted to stay at the Wythe, I’ve heard such great things about his hotel!

  • 8. kimberly  |  February 19th, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    There is nothing better than a fab hotel, esp when you’re working. (So many end up blending together). I used to travel to Sydney to work every month for years, and getting a great place to stay became a must. You can’t work and be uncomfortabl!

    On your shores, one of the coolest looking hotels I stayed in was The Pelican in Miami. All the rooms were themed.

    Oh, and the best small hotel in Mexico city is The Red Tree House.

  • 9. Sara  |  February 19th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Bri! I booked two nights at the Hoxton for Blogshop London! I have heard great things and always wanted to stay…thought Blogshop would be the perfect opportunity! So I guess I’ll be seeing you around!

  • 10. Adrienne B  |  February 19th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I am obsessed with unique hotels and love all these great finds! Thanks for sharing!

  • 11. B (Make Do and Spend)  |  February 19th, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    I loved staying at The Jane – the rooms are tiny (we had a bunk bed, cabin room) but there’s still the feeling of being in a boutique hotel with the free robes and slippers. And it’s in a great area!

    Thanks for sharing these hotels – always great to get travel tips!

  • 12. anne  |  February 19th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you so much for these tips, Bri! When I see your images on Instagram, I always wonder where you’re at. That picture of the hotel you’re at in NYC is AMAZING! My husband and I will definitely have to check it out. If you have tips for hotels in Boston or DC, please do share!

  • 13. Karen  |  February 19th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    I’m going to check out that hotel in Brooklyn next time I’m out there. My favorite spot – and I’ve only been there once (for free) is the Honor Mansion in Healdsburg, CA (Sonoma County). Here’s the link: http://www.honormansion.com/honor-mansion-lodging/cottage-suites/garden-suite.html. I’m saving up to go on my birthday next year.

  • 14. Płytki Łazienkowe  |  February 20th, 2013 at 2:28 am

    in such a hotel would be great to spend the night, especially as it is hard and busy day

  • 15. Sam  |  February 20th, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Love this post! I love researching places to visit in new towns so this is very fun to view :)

  • 16. Susan  |  February 20th, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I am so excited about the Wythe…hope to stay there soon! Thanks for sharing your favs!

  • 17. Karen  |  February 20th, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Wait a minute… I read your post yesterday and then today, two more bloggers I read talked about how great the Wythe is. Hmmmm. Is that a coincidence? Or is this a “sponsored” post? Semi-sponsored? I guess what I’m wondering is… did you get to stay for free at any of these places? I’m only asking because I used to be a travel writer and so I know all about the ad as editorial stuff. Only, I suspect you would have told us if that were the case.

  • 18. Rosie  |  February 21st, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Interesting post, I think I’m going to check out the Hoxton in London. When possible, a good hotel makes all the difference.

  • 19. bri  |  February 21st, 2013 at 10:11 am

    hi karen! nope, we paid to stay at the wythe :) just loved it and wanted to share!

  • 20. Emily  |  February 21st, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I absolutely love the Ace Hotel – its a fun and quirky hotel that is also really reasonable! I love that all the rooms are different and a photo booth in the lobby surely doesn’t hurt.

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  • 22. leann  |  February 21st, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    hi bri! i saw this post the morning of my 3rd & final interview with the viceroy hotel. ive been a HUGEEE fan of you and dlf so i knew it was meant to be when i read your little blurb on the viceroy. long story short…I GOT THE JOB!

    just thought i’d share :)

  • 23. bri  |  February 22nd, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    awesome leann! congratulations!

  • 24. Cate  |  February 26th, 2013 at 6:51 am

    I just got back from a 10 day trip to London and decided to splurge on one night in a hotel (a nice break from crashing at friends’ places). I also stayed at The Hoxton and love loved it! Breakfast delivery, great location, close to the tube, super friendly staff, just the right amount of hip. Still bummed I didn’t get a go at the photobooth… There is something so magical about checking into a good hotel. Love this post!

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