Fall is traditionally the great American travel shoulder season. You can still catch the last vestiges of summer in September and early October, then dive head first info leaf-peeping adventures. A slew of new hotels helped us along in our late-year adventures in 2022, whether they included some early-season sledding in the Catskills or lounging by the lake in Texas. Here’s a look at the coolest new spots that opened across America this fall, all ready to welcome you this winter and beyond.
Graduate Palo Alto, Palo Alto, Calif.
Once upon a time, the Hotel President — named after Stanford alum and former U.S. President Herbert Hoover — was the “it” place to stay in Palo Alto. This fall, it’s been reimagined as the Graduate’s latest college town classic, a beautifully restored 100-room hotel with a beamed-ceiling lobby and Spanish Colonial architecture. Rooms are filled with Cardinal tributes, from “Whose house?” pillows to Steinbeck-inspired art. You can get great views of Silicon Valley from the President’s Terrace, a spacious rooftop bar, or grab a quick meal at Lou and Hebert’s, named after Mr. Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, whom he met on campus.
Hotel Lilien, Tannersville, N.Y.
Hotels around America have launched all sorts of creative “menus” in recent years, from pillow menus to chocolate menus. Now, this 18-room Catskills boutique brings us a sled menu. You can select one of the Lilien’s on-site sleds and careen down nearby hills. The hotel also has a gear bar, where you can rent anything from snow shoes to hiking boots. These all prove especially useful when discovering the mountains with Lilien’s resident state-licensed nature guides.
The Darwin Hotel, Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward — just northeast of downtown — gets another stunning boutique hotel, this one equipped with a lobby lined with local art and a sunny cocktail courtyard. While the common spaces at the Darwin would be worth a visit on their own, the quirky themed rooms are what really set this place apart. The reasonably priced suites, starting at about $269 a night, include offerings like the Audiophile Room, outfitted with a record player and classic vinyl, and the Bar Room, which has a custom bar and deconstructed cocktails for aspiring mixologists to try their skills.
Seven Acre Dairy Co., Paoli, Wisc.
Do you love cheese? Like, to the point you’d sprinkle gouda on your breakfast cereal if it wouldn’t get you weird looks? Perhaps your 2023 vacation plans should include a stay at this historic 1888 dairy on the banks of Wisconsin’s Sugar River. You’ll immerse yourself in America’s Dairyland as you stay in one of eight specially appointed rooms and spend your days tasting fresh cheese, butter and other lactose delicacies made onsite. You can also eat full, farm-inspired meals at The Kitchen or, during winter, dine inside one of two 15-foot winter dining globes.
Arlo, Miami, Fla.
The trendy street art mecca in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District finally got its first full-service hotel this fall with the opening of the Arlo along North Miami Avenue. The 217-room, nine-story, brightly colored masterpiece also brings Wynwood its tallest rooftop bar, Higher Ground, a kind of tropical garden in the sky. The bar’s drinks are designed by the same people who crafted the menu at Broken Shaker. Perhaps the biggest feather in the Arlo’s cap, though, is MaryGold’s, helmed by award-winning chef Brad Kilgore, who previously earned accolades for his creativity and flair at Alter.
Loren at Lady Bird Lake, Austin, Texas
Chic, nature-inspired beach resorts aren’t exactly the first thing you imagine in Texas. But the Loren, whose other location sits on Pink Beach in Bermuda, brings a distinctly Caribbean vibe to Austin with this 108-room beauty on the shores of Lady Bird Lake. Rooms have views of either the lake or the city skyline, and the infinity pool abuts the shoreline for the ultimate vacation photo op. For food, Loren has Nido, an eighth-floor restaurant whose coastal European fare is matched only by its waterfront view. Nido also has an outdoor patio, so you can see how big and bright the stars really do shine deep in the heart of Texas.
Palihouse West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.
No new hotel in America masters the art of dissonant design quite like this 95-room gem on LA’s West Third Street. Green latticework fills the hallways while pinstripes paint the pool deck, as plaids, floral patterns and checkered floors fill the common areas. Midcentury-modern blends seamlessly with a French brasserie motif, and a tour through the Palihouse is a marvel of aesthetic creativity. The sunny pool deck brings with it a wicker-filled lounge, perfect for pampering yourself with a cocktail. And the Palihouse’s signature Mezzanine Sushi promises to be a draw for food-loving locals and guests alike.
Twin Fin Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii
On Honolulu’s fabled Waikiki Beach, it’s sometimes hard to find a spot with a little personality that doesn’t feel like an overrun tourist trap. Enter the Twin Fin, taking over the Aston Hotel on Kalakaua Avenue. The massive 645-room hotel has been redone in playful, mid-mod design, with bright colors that accent the ocean, which is visible from pretty much everywhere on the premises. You can kick off your day at the 21st-story Coconut Club, which serves one of the most scenic breakfasts on the island, then order your lunch from Wolfgang Puck Express, conveniently set on street level.
Kimpton Alma, San Diego, Calif.
Don’t let the hotel’s flag fool you: The new Kimpton Alma is nothing like the Kimpton Palomar that once occupied the same site. With 211 rooms, and some stellar new restaurants, the Gaslamp Quarter’s newest hotel has rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, views out to the Pacific and a rooftop pool deck. Come spring, that pool deck will also be home to Leave of Absence, a light-fare restaurant with a wood-fired oven. For now, guests can indulge at The Desmond, the latest offering from The Rose Venice’s Jason Neroni.
The Wren, Missoula, Mont.
The boutique hotel concept gets a distinctly Montana treatment at this 73-room downtown spot set in a 1960s building. The lobby is transformed into a Map Room, where guides can explain the surrounding terrain and adventure opportunities to eager guests. Rooms are done up in barn doors and nods to the local flora and fauna, with bunk bed rooms for intrepid travelers and larger suites for families. This is no mountain hotel, though, as the Wren offers everything from Black Coffee Roasting in the lobby to Malin & Goetz products in the bathrooms.