Quirky guest rooms and artsy interiors are rampant in boutique hotels, but we've also noticed chain properties -- even known budget-friendly ones -- investing in chic decor to lure design-minded travelers. One hotel brand that has pleasantly surprised us is Best Western, which operates over 4,000 hotels across the world. Within the brand's three levels -- Best Western, Best Western Plus, and Best Western Premier -- individual hotels often forego the typical bland furnishings and opt for unique touches to help them stand out. Scroll down to see 10 of our favorite stylish Best Western properties.
1. BEST WESTERN Ft. Walton Beachfront, Florida
The 100-room Best Western Fort Walton Beach is the most stylish hotel on the beachfront block -- possibly even the island. With bright and funky Art-Deco inspired decor, it is a welcomed reprise from the monotony of pale and outdated decor too often found in Florida beachfront properties. However, the hotel's age still shows; wear and tear is noticeable in certain features and within the overall design. While this Best Western may lack a few features found at nearby hotels (such as a restaurant and fitness room), the rooms here have a much more contemporary and fresher feel, and come with comfy beds and deluxe bedding. Direct beach access and proximity to many points of interest make it a nice value for many types of travelers, especially families.
2. Best Western Premier Opéra Faubourg, Paris
Somewhere between “Sherlock Holmes” and “Austin Powers” lies the inspiration for this upper-middle-range hotel’s kitschy and colorful decor. The 103-room Best Western Premier Opéra Faubourg is a pet-friendly, non-smoking hotel less than two miles (about 15 minutes via Metro) from major Parisian attractions including the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Moulin Rouge. The Opera neighborhood is alive with dining choices, featuring menus from around the globe, and ample shopping. Guest rooms, while small, have expected comforts like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars.
3. BEST WESTERN Mornington Hotel, London
Not your typical chain hotel, the mid-range Best Western Mornington Hotel has the aesthetic of a stylish boutique with the amenities of a major chain. Well-located directly across from Hyde Park, near Lancaster Gate, it puts guests within easy reach of most of London's major sights via the tube. Rooms are small and the historic building means that space in general is quite compact, but the free breakfast buffet is plentiful, there's a cozy library bar, and prices are reasonable when compared with other similar hotels in central London.
4. BEST WESTERN PLUS Castle Green Hotel In Kendal, Cumbria
The 99-room Best Western Plus Castle Hotel in Kendal is a cozy hotel with competitively priced rooms on the outskirts of the Lake District in a welcoming and quiet setting. The hotel offers modern interior decor, lovely English gardens for afternoon tea, two gyms, an indoor pool, a steam room, a casual pub, and a restaurant. Traditional, clean rooms feature flat-screen TVs and balconies that overlook the gardens. Some guests complain about the high cocktail prices and weak Wi-Fi. The Riverside Hotel’s restaurant is more affordably priced.
5. BEST WESTERN Hotel Marais Bastille, Paris
This 37-room mid-range Best Western is a step above most chain hotels, with bespoke, artsy details and comfortable, bright rooms. Interior designer Michel Jouannet blends contemporary, vintage, and industrial accents, embracing the property’s trendy Marais location. A decent breakfast buffet is served every day and guest rooms are air-conditioned, though the individually controlled units don’t work year-round. While the immediate area is a hot spot for boutiques, bars, and cafes, many major Paris attractions can take over 20 minutes to reach by foot.
6. Best Western Premier Marina Las Condes, Santiago
Best Western Las Condes, which finished construction in 2010, is an uncommonly modern, stylish member of the Best Western family. Rooms feature sleek decor, wood furnishings, well-stocked minibars, flat-screen TVs, and contemporary bathrooms; some have great views. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi are standard perks at Best Westerns, but Premier Marina Las Condes' glamorous rooftop pool, well-equipped fitness center, and cute street-side cafe exceed expectations. And with Santiago's best shopping just five minutes away, this hotel is made (and priced) for a more upscale crowd.
7. BEST WESTERN PLUS Art Hotel Noba, Rome
The Best Western Plus Art Hotel Noba is a contemporary three-pearl hotel with an artistic flair and stylish interiors. Located outside of the city center, it's far from Rome's top sights and thus best for travelers who are comfortable using public transportation and appreciate being in a local neighborhood. The hotel has a cafe and bar that serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as cocktails. Business travelers are catered to with multiple meeting spaces and a computer work station. The hotel's 62 rooms are just as stylish as the common areas and include minibars and flat-screen TVs; plus, some have private balconies.
8. BEST WESTERN PREMIER Terrace Hotel, Perth
A slice of Perth history comes to life at the upscale Best Western Premier Terrace Hotel. This beautiful 15-room property was originally built in 1895, and after decades of repurposing and renovations, is today an Art Deco-inspired gem in the city’s business district. Guest rooms are spacious and chic with Apple TV and other high-tech features, and bathrooms have gorgeous black marble and soaking tubs. Given its proximity to the convention center and the recreational spaces near Swan River -- both are within a 15-minute walk -- the hotel is conveniently located for both business and leisure travelers. Public transportation is within a five-minute walk of the hotel, and the street is lined with plenty of restaurants and shops.
9. BEST WESTERN, The Connaught Hotel, Bournemouth
This upscale, 56-room chain hotel, located in an historic building, is a cozy place to stay just a few blocks from Bournemouth's beach. Renovated in 2013, the hotel's interiors are elegant and refined, with subtle Art Deco furnishings and some original features. There are two high-end restaurants, and the excellent spa and indoor swimming pool attract many guests. Bournemouth's beach and town center are each a 10-minute walk away, and the hotel also offers free parking, which can be hard to come by in this town. Rooms are simply and elegantly decorated, although many are on the small side. While it's not right in the town center, the hotel's rates offer good value for those who will make use of the on-site facilities.
10. Best Western Hotel Plus Los Espanoles, Santiago
This sleek hotel offers renovated interiors that distinguish it from other Santiago Best Western options. Rooms aren't enormous but do offer contemporary decor in soft neutral tones. Other perks here include a sunny fitness center, rooftop solarium with outdoor pool, and spa. Though this hotel comes at a slight bump in price from other chain hotels in Santiago, the superior design and extra amenities justify the cost.