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Copper-trimmed granite facades exceed the budget of most contemporary hoteliers. Which is why historic buildings make superb hotels with character. One of the latest, the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel, revamps a 1906 office tower. An unusual U-shaped cutout in the exterior illuminates the building, complete with a 30-foot lobby atrium dome. Its 300 rooms contain de rigueur electronics, as well as views of the Pirates at play in PNC Park, located across the river from the Cultural District landmark. Reinforcing sense of place, the smart lobby bar The Bridge showcases photographs of the city’s many bridges. Rooms from $119. (412) 562-1200, www.renaissancehotels.com