By offering local charms, access to adventure, and more intimate service, boutique hotels give luxurious chains a run for their money – especially among travelers in the know. From a two-suite lighthouse escape on a private island off the Maine Coast to an unexpected art haven in the Bluegrass State, here are the best small stays in the country.
Hotel Ballard, Seattle
The neighborhood surrounding Hotel Ballard is the place to escape the Space Needle and Pike Place Market set and stroll between Nordic design shops, breweries, and hip restaurants. This 29-room luxury boutique hotel is hung with Scandinavian paintings and decorated in calming grays and golds. Get cozy around the fire pits on the small rooftop to take in the bay views and take advantage of the access to the 75,0000-square-foot Olympic Athletic Club on the ground floor - a 24-hour gym with two pools, squash courts, and much more. [Rooms from $239; hotelballardseattle.com]