First, Asian pod hotels led the way on co-living. Then, Europe proved the value of design-minded brand names. Now, the U.S. hospitality industry is taking yet another cue from the international market: micro-boutique hotels, the next big—or very small—thing in travel.
Thankfully, the “micro” in this category of boutique hotels doesn’t refer to the size of the rooms, but to the limited number of rooms; usually, to be considered a “micro-boutique” hotel, properties must offer 10 rooms or less as well as access to added amenities. First coined by the two-room 40 Winks Hotel, opened in East London in 2009, the category has grown in the years since to include prestigious luxury accommodations such as Rome’s Fendi Private Suites, Phuket’s ultra-luxury Iniala Beach House, and Cartagena’s Mansión Tcherassi.
As with many international trends, the U.S. market has been slow to adopt—but new openings from Los Angeles to New York City have signaled that the micro-boutique hotel trend may finally be making its mark stateside. Whether you’re avoiding over-eager paparazzi or just the need to put on pants, these are the top spots to get your ultra-private travel on—without leaving the country.
Located above one of the trendy Los Feliz neighborhood’s best bars, the five-suite Hotel Covell is a hidden gem near Sunset Junction, Barnsdall Art Park, and Griffith Observatory. Uniquely decorated room options are individually inspired: Chapter 1 is an homage to the rustic American Midwest, Chapter 2 to 1950s New York, Chapter 3 to Parisian beauty, Chapter 4 to old-world elegance, and Chapter 5 to 1970s charm. All beds are outfitted in Parachute sheets and all accommodations include private baths stocked with products by Malin & Goetz.
Hotel: Kim Sing
A bonus feature of the summer 2017 relaunch that took Chinatown’s historic Kim Sing Theatre from closed vaudeville and film house to hip event space, the Hotel: Kim Sing can accommodate up to 10 overnight guests. Each of the two-story hotel’s three bedrooms offer en suite bathrooms and additional half baths, while the property grounds feature lounge and work areas, a private courtyard, and an open kitchen with the option of hiring a private chef.
Kinn Guesthouse MKE
A family operation coming to Milwaukee with three generations of hospitality experience, the Kinn Guesthouse MKE brings a new chapter of travel to this under-the-radar Midwestern city. The property’s eight suites feature a bright, contemporary design finished with exposed brick, and offer guests a balance of hotel services and homey comforts, including Apple TV, common kitchens, and self-serve laundry. The suites—including the two-room master—range in size, and can be combined in varying arrangements for families or groups wishing to take over a block (or all) of the hotel property.
Longman & Eagle
Part local watering hole, part updated take on Chicago’s classic inn culture, the Longman & Eagle offers two floors: the first a public restaurant and bar, the second a six-room hotel. The rustic aesthetic carries seamlessly between levels and concepts, as streamlined rooms beckon travelers with standalone tubs, curated minibars, and Netflix-streaming flat-screen TVs. The speakeasy-style hotel also features the patio Off Site Bar, one of the city’s only Highball Machines, and a packed calendar of community events.
This Northern Washington micro-boutique hotel flips the concept of hospitality on its head: Instead of removing guests from the surrounding landscape, Rolling Huts highlight—and immerse its guests in—the unspoiled scenery of the Pacific Northwest. The six mobile huts are equipped with sleeping platforms, modular furniture, small refrigerators, microwaves, fireplaces, and Wi-Fi, as well as outdoor picnic tables, portable toilets, and water faucets. With the setting of a tent combined with the amenities (and temperature control) of a hotel, the Rolling Huts are the next step for disruptive “glamping.”
Snake River Sporting Club
Where 800 acres of rugged landscape reminiscent of the Wild West meets the conveniences of the tiny home movement, the Discovery Village at Snake River Sporting Club has established itself as the ideal destination for the modern adventurer. Each of the four one-bedroom hotel-rooms-on-wheels come with access to a private fire pit and patio, as well as club activities including skeet shooting, archery, golf, horseback riding, and fly fishing, plus the first infinity pool in Jackson Hole.
The 404 Hotel Nashville
The sister concept of The 404 Kitchen in The Gulch neighborhood, The 404 Hotel offers the ultimate in exclusivity by way of the hotel’s renowned “invisible” service. While staying at the adults-only and pet-free property without a front desk, guests enter with a code provided via email—but they still have access to onsite staff and daily housekeeping.The five-room hotel also offers complimentary parking, additional loft accommodations, and room service from the James Beard Award nominee next door.