Shabby-chic hotel design is a study in the art of textural contrasts: vintage leather, velvet furniture, deliberately faded rugs, woods, and rich prints. When shabby-chic is done well, the end result is cozy and homey, but still impressively stylish. Below, take a peek at five of our favorite shabby-chic hotels.
The Bowery Hotel, New York City
With 135 flawlessly appointed rooms, a super-hip bar tucked away in the nostalgic, velvet-filled lobby, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, and bike rentals, the Bowery Hotel redefines class in a gentrified downtown neighborhood where punk rock and squalor once ruled.
With just 30 hippy-chic cottages in secluded Treasure Beach, Jake's is a member of Island Outpost, Jamaica's trendiest hotel group. Guests come to unplug -- there's no phone, Internet, or TV in the cottages. The black-sand beaches aren't Jamaica's most impressive, but the Driftwood Spa, on-site painting and yoga classes, and excellent food make this a particular favorite.
Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City
The Gramercy Park Hotel currently sets the bar for New York cool -- hence the celebrities in the lounge and the paparazzi on the sidewalk. It offers ultra-luxe but small rooms done up in high Boho-chic style, a gorgeous gym, and a young, attentive staff. True, even guests sometimes feel excluded from the glamour-fest in the bar. But the place is utterly unique.
Petite Ermitage, Los Angeles
It's a matter of taste. The hotel's bohemianism -- think hipsters and distressed fixtures -- will appeal to some but not others. Oyster's take? We dig it, man. For half the price of some of its competitors, you get a newly renovated, truly unique boutique with large suites (many with kitchens) and a lovely rooftop pool.
The Greenwich Hotel, New York City
This virtually flawless 88-room TriBeCa newcomer (opened in 2008 by Robert de Niro, among others) offers large, homey rooms, breathtaking design, and very attentive service. Even better: free Wi-Fi; free minibar snacks; and free Wii video games by request. Better still: an underground pool; Shibui Spa; premier gym; and the new Locanda Verde restaurant.