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With these three Hot List 2022 hotel winners, there is as much to do beyond their doors as there is behind them—from perusing historic waterfronts to traversing national parks. Here, how to turn an overnight into a proper stay, complete with planning tips for places in Los Angeles, Montana, and Charleston.
Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel
Originally constructed in the 1920s, the Downtown L.A. Proper is a true feast for the senses. Local designer Kelly Wearstler’s eclectic boho-chic sensibility—practically synonymous with Southern California lifestyle—nods to the property’s roots while bringing it into present tense. The entrance to the South Park District hotel is a grand one, with vibrant jewel toned hand-painted frescos on the domed ceilings, nodding to California’s historic affinity for Spanish and Moroccan design. From the art to the textiles to the locally-stocked mini bars, treats—both visual and otherwise—are everywhere you look. Each of the 148 rooms feature cozy appointments like Fili D’oro linens, Aesop bath amenities, Parachute Home robes, and quirky design pops balanced by warm neutral tones. On the lobby level, well-heeled Downtowners dine at Caldo Verde, the first of two restaurants by James Beard Award winning chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne. Upstairs at Cara Cara, you’ll find the 5,000-square-foot rooftop bar perfectly suited for sundowners.
There’s a lot to explore outside the hotel’s doors, too. Start your day with a flat white at Matte Black Coffee, then explore the expansive Original Los Angeles Flower Market, then stop by Moskatels, where local stylists and designers do their prop shopping. Drop into Sonoratown for what are arguably some of the city’s best flour tortillas. Then, for happy hour, head over to Rossoblu for a sun-drenched round of bocce ball, or dip into birria tacos and elotes at one of the city’s authentic collections of street vendors at Alameda Night Market, which takes place on Fridays thru Sundays. —Krista Simmons
Montage Big Sky, Montana
Big Sky has always been more rugged than refined, but the debut of the Montage, the region’s first true five-star resort, is a harbinger of change. Located within the exclusive 3,530-acre Spanish Peaks enclave, the 139-room, ski-in/ski-out property transports guests to Europe with its elevated après scene at Alpenglow (raclette cart service, a champagne by the glass program) and truffle-laden Northern Italian dishes at Cortina restaurant. Beartooth Pub and Rec is a parent’s dream, with wood-fired pizzas, arcade games, and a bowling alley. An in-house activity center can arrange anything from ski lessons at the hotel’s designated beginner’s area to wildlife safaris in nearby Yellowstone National Park. And trust us, you’ll want to build in a down day for pampering at the 10,000-plus square-foot spa.
If you’d like to get a taste from what lay beyond the property, hop in Montage’s complimentary Cadillac and head to the casual new ramen spot, Niseko Ramen, for five styles of ramen, from a spicy miso to a curry shoyu, complemented by an interesting selection of sakes and Japanese whiskeys. For something that skews a little more ‘cowboy,’ do Tips Up, a two year old dive bar where old skis and snowboards collected from the community cover the ceilings, and known for its live music, shot and beer deals, and comfort foods like fried chicken sammies. The scene is a little more polished at Beehive Basin Brewery, a two-year-old microbrewery that uses a seven-barrel brewing system to craft a half dozen styles of beer. Pop in for a tasting or grab a growler to go. —Jen Murphy
The Loutrel, Charleston
Inspired by Charleston’s famed gardens, The Loutrel weaves garden inspiration into every detail of the hotel. Botanicals and citrus from the rooftop garden make their way into creative craft cocktails at the Veranda Lounge in the hotel’s vaulted lobby. Try the “White Point” which blends gin with lemon, egg white, and cardamom-cherry bitters. You’ll find locally distilled spirits and home-brewed ales on the lineup as well. Walk your drink up to the mezzanine “Clubroom,” grab a book, or tackle a puzzle of Charleston’s ancient Angel Oak. You’ll definitely want to spend time on the rooftop terrace, an all-day lounging spot cooled by harbor breezes, where you can hear the bells chime as formations of pelicans glide silently over church steeples.
The Loutrel has all the comforts and style you would expect of a brand new, flagship boutique hotel situated in the heart of the peninsula. Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits in the historic market, a block north, make a great grab-n-go snack while you’re exploring. Walk three blocks west for King Street shopping and designer threads such as Billy Reid, Ibu Movement, and RTW. Grab a complimentary hotel bike to cruise south along the cobblestone streets and seaside promenade of the old city, peaking through wrought-iron gates at urban courtyards and centuries-old houses (some of which you can tour). End your day due east at Waterfront Park, then hit up the oyster bar at Amen Street before heading to The Loutrel’s rooftop for some sunset therapy. —Allston McCrady
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