For a lot of us, picking a hotel is an afterthought compared to choosing a destination.
But what happens when the place where we're supposed to simply catch some shut-eye is a destination in its own right? We've found 9 upcoming spots around the country taking hotel stays to the next level, whether they're bringing new life to a forgotten city or drawing visitors and locals together for seriously good food and drink. (Oh, and they also happen to have supremely comfortable beds.) Don't be surprised if you find yourself planning an entire vacation around a stay at one of these stunning hotels.
① The Line Hotel (Washington, D.C.):
Opening later this spring in D.C.'s Adams Morgan neighborhood, The Line is attracting plenty of buzz, and not just because it's housed inside a cavernous 110-year-old church. The hotel's dining options are slated to be some of the capital's hottest restaurant openings of 2017. After taking in the lobby's preserved mahogany pews and framed hymnals, take a seat at Rake's Progress, where James Beard winner Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen unites Southern food with mid-Atlantic ingredients. Meanwhile, chef Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto fame will be offering American comfort food with Japanese and Taiwanese influences at Brothers and Sisters.
② The Whitby Hotel (New York)
We'd normally tell you to avoid Midtown Manhattan's touristy crowds, but the just-opened Whitby stands as an exception. Even though we'd gladly stay in any of the bold, colorful rooms decorated by English designer Kit Kemp, it's the top floor's Whitby Suite, with its white marble bathrooms and two sweeping terraces that look up at New York's impressive skyscrapers, we're daydreaming about. When you're not catching a flick in one of the hotel theater's orange leather chairs, make some time for afternoon tea, where oversize windows surround plush banquettes and a ritzy pewter bar—perfect for people-watching before you head out to explore the city.
③ The Pendry (San Diego)
Despite the palm-tree lined beaches, historic museums and killer Mexican food, you'll be looking for an excuse to return to your tasteful suite at this modern hotel in San Diego's Gaslamp District. You'll probably need to set aside an entire day of your itinerary just to eat at each of The Pendry's six restaurants and bars: The huevos rancheros at Provisional, which sits inside the soaring, ornate lobby, make for an excellent afternoon brunch (which is great to wash down afterward with a pint of German pilsner at the craft beer hall). For dinner, head to Lionfish, where chef JoJo Ruiz is making the most of San Diego's seafood with caviar service, nigiri flights and grilled local swordfish. Afterward, sip a boozy nightcap on one of the Oxford cocktail bar's velvet couches before finally retreating to bed to sleep off your food coma.
④ Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club (Miami)
Once a retreat for the rich and famous (former guests include Frank Sinatra and Winston Churchill) in the 1930s, Miami's iconic Surf Club will reopen this spring as the Four Seasons, where you can relive the lavish glitz and glamour of South Beach's heydey. Cashing in a paycheck for one of the expansive oceanfront penthouses might well be worth it though, especially since famed Sicilian-born chef Antonio Mermolia is behind Le Sirenuse, the hotel's opulent Mediterranean restaurant that's going so far as to source its tomatoes from the slopes of Mount Vesuvius.
⑤ Hotel Figueroa (Los Angeles)
This historic 1926 hotel in Downtown L.A. has been meticulously restored over the past year, welcoming guests in contemporary style. Exposed wooden beams, vintage furniture and curated local artwork pay homage to the hotel's original Spanish architecture. As tempting as it may be, it'd be a shame to stay in your gorgeously appointed room all day instead of heading downstairs, where James Beard-nominated chef Casey Lane is putting his whole-animal butchery and house-curing techniques on display at Breva, a restaurant featuring Basque-inspired tapas. Lane will also be doling out wood-fired pizzas, while famed NYC bartender Dushan Zaric shakes up his signature cocktails on Figueroa's very Instagram-friendly pool deck.
⑥ 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn)
An abundance of greenery and reclaimed wood give each room in this waterfront hotel a decidedly Zen aura. Just make sure to look up once in awhile at the breathtaking Manhattan vistas to remind yourself you're actually in New York. Check out the lobby's daily farmstand offering fresh produce and locally made provisions before heading to Neighbors, a restaurant where you'll dine on dishes like burrata flatbreads with charred scallions and bowls of quinoa with baby beets.
⑦ Foundation Hotel (Detroit)
At the center of Detroit's renaissance is the aptly named Foundation Hotel, which is looking to cement Motor City as the nation's next cultural and artistic capital. Local artisans and craftsmen have been renovating the city's former fire department headquarters into a luxe boutique hotel (complete with preserved fire engine doors), while local distillers, brewers and purveyors are being called upon to help give guests a true taste of Detroit once it opens. Thomas Lents, a two-star Michelin chef hailing from Chicago, is leading the hotel's dining program, which includes a Chef's Table that will serve as an incubator for the area's up-and-coming culinary talent.
⑧ Aertson Hotel (Nashville)
Located right on the edge of Music Row and overlooking Vanderbilt University, the Aertson won't have a hard time reminding you you're on vacation when it opens in early May. An evening wine hour, along with yoga mats in each of the rooms decked out with custom art and leather-stitched headboards will be sure to put you at ease. After exploring Music City on a complimentary bike rental, head to Henley, the hotel's American brasserie headed by James Beard Award winner RJ Cooper for Tennessee cheddar agnolotti and carved-tableside duck. And, yes, there'll be a plethora of Tennessee whiskey on hand.
⑨ SLS Seattle (Seattle)
This luxury hotel chain with posh locations in Beverly Hills, South Beach and Las Vegas will make its way to the Pacific Northwest in May. Legendary designer Philippe Starck is in charge of outfitting the 189 rooms, in addition to converting the 109-year-old church next door into a grand ballroom and just one of the many dining spaces.