A new spate of urban luxury hotels has taken boutique hostelry into some of the most interesting quarters of their respective cities. In New York, the 113-room Jade Hotel (thejadenyc.com) celebrates retro style — witness art deco-inspired rooms, a pocket library shelved with books written by local authors, and a bar modeled on a speakeasy — in bohemian Greenwich Village.
In London, architect David Chipperfield has transformed the socially prominent Mayfair brasserie Café Royal into a 159-room hotel (hotelcaferoyal.com), blending historic public spaces including the gilded Grill Room and a bar featuring an absinthe fountain with streamlined guest rooms above.
In Argentina, the Buenos Aires Grand (buenosairesgrand.com) — from the folks behind the Iguazu Grand — just opened in the Recoleta neighborhood and features a rooftop spa and fitness center.
In Singapore, the new Sultan (thesultan.com.sg) unites 10 vintage two-story shophouses (traditional storefronts with residences atop) in the historic Kamplong Glam district to house 64 rooms with unique configurations and modern decor plus a Moroccan restaurant.
Just outside of Washington, D.C., beside the historic C&O Canal, Capella washington, d.c. (capellahotels.com), hosts 49 rooms plus a rooftop pool and bar, and touts service innovations such as flexible check-in and check-out times as well as guided backstage tours of the Washington Ballet.
Just across the street from the Liberty Bell and Independence Park in Philadelphia, the newly opened Hotel Monaco (monaco-philadelphia.com) lures guests with whimsical design set in classic architecture. With a nod to its historic setting, the hotel will offer guests kites in each guest room beginning in April so they can make like Ben Franklin in a nearby park.