Ken McCulloch, the creative force behind the U.K.’s chic Malmaison boutique-hotel chain and Monaco’s sleekly elegant Columbus Hotel, is now launching his third hotel brand: the hip-but-affordable Dakota Hotels. The first debuted in Nottingham (110 miles northwest of London) last June, and 20 more properties are scheduled to open across the U.K. within two years.

At about $150 a night (breakfast included), Dakota blends boutique-hotel style and comfort with budget prices. All 92 guestrooms have extra-large beds, antique leather chairs, 32-inch plasma TVs, and broadband access. The black-and-white-tiled bathrooms pamper with walk-in showers, soft Egyptian-cotton towels, and toiletries from the South of France.

Dakota’s also decked out with a restaurant, a stylish bar (with an extensive wine/drinks list and its own menu), plus a small gym and three meeting spaces. It all just goes to prove that, for once, the old adage “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always ring true — sometimes you get way more. 011-44-870-442-2727,
— Julie Mautner