El Paso is said to be the origin of Tequila’s favorite drink, the Margarita. Trying to live up to its glorious past, El Paso is a town busy recreating itself as a hip and historic standout in the Lone Star State. Minutes from the border with Juarez, Mexico, these three hotels recently opened to accommodate El Paso’s transformation.
Set between historic buildings, some restored and some in the process, Hotel Indigo took over the 1960s Downtowner Inn and brought its own style of artistic creativity, vibrating with a Southwestern flair. Rooms feature modern space-age lighting, a wall of street art, plush bedding and a floor-to-ceiling window showcasing the magnificent sunrise or sunset over the downtown skyline. The pool and bar lounge are on the fifth floor, as is the front desk. Step out of the elevator to gaze over the buildings of downtown from the adjacent courtyard where guests chill by the pool with the best urban view. When the sun sets, love seats and sofas around the lit pool are the perfect place to see the lights of the same high-rises glittering in the night. Inside, friends gather around the bar or in one of the communal couches. A rectangular fire pit warms others sitting on the other patio. Staff is warm and friendly, willing to help orient you to the retro city. Opened in 2016, the boutique hotel boasts 12 floors of 119 rooms, five of which are suites. Rooms begin at $100 per night.
If a sophisticated city vibe is more your style, the boutique Stanton House hotel, residing in a 100-year-old renovated furniture store, will make you feel like you’re in a posh metropolis residence. The modern black-and-white lobby, with edgy art pieces displayed throughout, leads to restaurant Taft-Diaz set in an atrium-like space with dropping “flowers,” featuring a light show during its regular display. Named after a historic meeting between Presidents Taft and Diaz in 1909, the eatery serves fusion takes on traditional dishes. Rooms exhibit the same muted elegance with clean lines, and a smartspeaker to customize room settings and music. Full-sized bottles are available in the minibar and no two art pieces are the same within the hotel. Opened at the end of 2018, there are 42 rooms available in the four-story hotel, including four suites that open to the rooftop patio. Rooms start at $180.
Across the street, in the old Art Deco O.T. Bassett Tower is the Marriott property, Aloft. A bank of gold elevators takes you to your modern room with popping colors and daring designs. The bold motif extends throughout the hotel with a round front desk comprised of lines of light circulating around and an asteroid-like chandelier floats above. Wait for friends in one of the blue oversized chairs or meet them at the W XYZ bar, which occasionally hosts live music. Opened in May 2018, there are 15 floors with 89 rooms, two of which are penthouse suites on the 14th and 15th floors. Rates start at just more than $100.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
Santa Barbara is perfect for couples. It’s no wonder the city nicknamed the American Riviera is a place to walk hand-in-hand through the urban wine trail, gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over dinner at an award-winning restaurant or listen to the crash of waves and call of seagulls along the country’s oldest operating wharf. Yet, it’s also a great place to bring kids.
By Hainan Airlines
The wonderful thing about Italy, which evolved from a land of many kingdoms to a unified country in the 19th century, is its buildings have transformed into boutique hotels with fascinating past lives that guests can still explore and appreciate. Whether former farm houses, monasteries, castles or full-on estates, the stays not only provide atmospheric lodging and wonderfully executed regional food, but a means to immerse oneself into a different way of life — be it one of royalty or a simple existence living off the land.