World's Best New Affordable Hotels
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We scoured the globe to find the best new hotels out there. Making our list is harder than you think! Each of these independent properties has to meet strict criteria to even be considered: they must have a unique story; their design sense must speak to the local culture instead of being generic and corporate; and they must (no exceptions!) be available for under $150 per night.
You'll hear the owners' stories. You'll find urban retreats in some of the planet's most expensive cities. You'll take in unobstructed ocean views from your private balcony. You'll commune with nature. Bottom line—you'll never want to leave.
Hicksville Trailer Palace owner Morgan Higby Night isn’t the first creative type to find inspiration in the rugged, lunar landscape of Joshua Tree National Park (see also: Gram Parsons, U2). But the Los Angeles–based writer and producer (Shortbus, Talking About Sex) has certainly taken his artists’ retreat there to an audaciously kitschy level. “I was already going out to Joshua Tree two to three days a week to write my latest screenplay,” Higby Night says. “It made me think that maybe other artists in L.A. also needed a place to get away to work.”
Higby Night installed 10 vintage trailers, a solar-heated saltwater pool, and an archery and BB gun range on his two-acre desert plot last April. Each unit has a distinct design scheme and amenities: a jukebox filled with punk tunes, a TV stocked with horror (and only horror) movies, and bunk beds that, for an extra $50 a day, can be tucked away to make room for a film editing suite. And guests don’t have to worry about curious day-trippers traipsing the grounds: Directions are only given out to folks with confirmed reservations. hicksville.com, from $75.
Like many French Quarter spots, the Hotel Le Marais, steps away from Bourbon Street, greets guests with plenty of flash: The lobby is all bright colors, mirrored tiles, and party music. But enter one of its 64 renovated guest rooms, and the tone shifts. The mostly neutral decor subtly references the city—eggplant throw pillows, photos of Louisiana landscapes—without playing to clichés. Some rooms even have wrought-iron balconies overlooking the internal brick courtyard (and its heated saltwater plunge pool) lit with both old-fashioned gas lamps and neon purple lights. hotellemarais.com, from $110.