The Riviera Palm Springs
1. The Riviera Palm Springs, A Tribute Portfolio Resort—Palm Springs, Calif.
It’s not a real oasis, but The Riviera Palm Springs has the glitzy Starlite Lounge, Sidecar (helmed by a hip mixologist); and two poolside bars—because you get thirsty in the desert, right? Attracting locals for its be-seen heartbeat, the 398-room Riviera embodies an escape from routine. Three outdoor pools and an 11,000-square-foot spa dilutes daily life’s harsh realities, as does the resort’s signature Palm Springs, an eco-forward, land-to-plate restaurant that gets its produce from adjacent Coachella Valley. Overnight rates from $139, @rivieraps
2. Hotel Emma—San Antonio, Texas
Shack up with the ghosts of beers past at Hotel Emma. In the Alamo City’s former Lone Star Brewery, near the River Walk’s hum, surrounded by a restaurant- and a boutique-abundant commercial sector, this 146-room hotel plays up its brewmaking past with industrial artifacts woven into the interiors. Lavish textiles, leather-sheathed chairs and a grand piano in the namesake Emma Koehler Suite ensure regal coddling. In the library, turn the pages of some 4,000 books; then nosh at Supper, An American Eatery. Overnight rates from $350, @thehotelemma
3. SLS Las Vegas, A Tribute Portfolio Resort—Las Vegas, Nev.
We expect surreal and largesse in Sin City—that’s part of the enchantment. With SLS Las Vegas, A Tribute Portfolio Resort, surreal gets a dose of supercool. On the North Strip, composed of three towers that encompass 1,613 rooms and suites, SLS embraces edgy with playful, smile-provoking art—think images of hands pointing toward toilets and flying people painted on hall walls. Just downstairs, eight restaurants and three nightclubs keep the Vegas vibe alive. Overnight rates from $55, @slslasvegas
4. The Gwen—Chicago, Ill.
Be blown away in the Windy City at The Gwen. With interiors enlivened by panels created by sculptress Gwen Lux in 1929, the 300-room hotel rises above River North on the Magnificent Mile. Dramatic and glamorous, The Gwen connects with Chicago’s pre-Depression, Gatsby-like glory. A stone’s throw from the storied attractions of The Loop, it may lure you away from the city’s award-winning restaurants to dine at The Gwen’s three exceptional venues. Overnight rates from $190, @thegwenchicago
5. Mama Shelter—Los Angeles, Calif.
Ooh la la! It’s not the Eiffel Tower, but Paris comes to Los Angeles with Mama Shelter, the 70-room outpost of a canny French chain. Burrowed between Sunset and Hollywood boulevards in a 1930s-era building, the affordable retreat sports mismatched retro furniture, marble baths and seriously sumptuous bedding. Exuding the Beverly Hills bungalow of a bygone film star, rooms have stacks of movie scripts to peruse and custom-made beauty products from Absolution. Overnight rates from $159, @mama_shelter