Hotel Emma

San Antonio

Texture. If there were just one word to describe the design of this 146-room River Walk beauty, that’d be it. Nubby kilim pillows on rough-hewn leather sofas. Concrete-tile floors covered over by ethnic rugs. Reclaimed industrial light fixtures. Chipped plaster walls. In this circa-1894 structure, once home to the city’s Pearl Brewery, NYC-based design firm Roman and Williams merged old with new and industrial with elegant to create a layered, lived-in space that feels not unlike the home of a worldly turn-of-the-century oil scion. And it’s not just easy on the eyes, either. With complimentary pour-overs, a fireplace-dotted terrace, a rooftop pool and a handful of A+ on-site eateries, Hotel Emma’s easy living, too. (Rates start at $350; thehotelemma.com)

Shop Where You Sleep

We could get lost in the goods and wares at Curio at Hotel Emma, the property’s on-site shop. Topping our souvenir list? Handprinted textiles by Los Angeles-based Block Shop.

Brass plumbing fixtures(left) pop when paired with porcelain vanities and creamy custom tiles. (We’re also digging the way that ocean-blue ceiling sets off the pendant.)


Thompson

Nashville

When you set up shop in one of the hippest ’hoods in town (The Gulch, between Music Row and downtown), you’d better have some serious style cred to make nice with the neighbors. Good thing the Thompson—all midcentury mod and warm wood and open airiness, thanks to Parts and Labor Design—has style in spades. We’re particularly smitten with the lacquered cabinets and the black penny tile in the suites, and the mint-green-and-brass palette at the John Besh-fronted Marsh House restaurant. Other bonuses: floor-to-ceiling windows with expansive city views, a rooftop bar and a location that puts you in strolling distance to some of Nashville’s must-visits. See you at The Station Inn! (Rates start at $409; thompsonhotels.com)

Parts and Labor Design livened up an otherwise neutral corner of the lobby with a punchy, textural wall hanging.


Ace Hotel

New Orleans

Another Roman and Williams property, this Warehouse District spot caters to bright young things while paying homage to the New Orleans of centuries past. An army of in-house designers scoured antique shops for furniture and found objects, then worked with 30 local artists to create a moody, multicultural vibe that feels simultaneously old and new. Worth noting: The hotel boasts the South’s first Stumptown Coffee Roasters location, a rooftop bar-slash-pool-slash-garden and a stunner of an oyster bar, Seaworthy, that’s worth a visit even if you aren’t booking a room. (Rates start at $139; acehotel.com/neworleans)

Deep, dark tones are used throughout the Ace—the designers call it an “elegant, moody painter’s palette.” Art-Deco touches, like the bespoke light fixtures in on-site restaurant Josephine Estelle (left) and in the guestrooms themselves, are a nod to the building’s history.


Hotel Saint Cecilia

Austin

It’s a favorite stopover for touring musicians, and it’s clear why: Saint Cecilia was the patron saint of music, and her eponymous hotel has a distinct rock ’n’ roll vibe (and one helluva vinyl collection). “Hotel,” though, is a bit of a misnomer: The Liz Lambert property is more like a small estate, with a main house that oozes Southern charm (hello, wraparound porch), as well as six poolside bungalows and three studios spread around lush, uber-private grounds. Add in the heated lap pool, shaded terrace and swank lounge, and you might never check out—you’ll be too busy playing rock star. (Rates start at $430; hotelsaintcecilia.com)

Shop Where You Sleep

Hotel Saint Cecilia’s lobby doubles as a pop-up shop. We’d come home with this locally crafted fragrance made with flowers grown on the hotel’s property.

While we love designer/owner Liz Lambert’s flair for melding new and old in the interior spaces, it’s the outdoor lounge areas that really caught our eye. That tile? Those indigo bistro chairs? The striped awning? Major design envy.