There was a time when you’d walk into a hotel and you knew exactly what to expect. There was—and still is—a uniformity in big, chain hotels that provides a familiar sense of relief and comfort. And for some travelers, that familiarity of being at a hotel, with its big white comforters, plush robes and slippers, and standard buffet breakfasts is enough. The minute you step inside, you escape the cultural nuances of the city in which you’re visiting. You return to that reliably comfortable space with a square of dark chocolate on your turned-down bed that tastes universally the same in every country.
Millennial travelers, however, aren’t interested in the predictable comforts of a chain hotel. Many want accommodations that are an extension of the destinations they’re visiting—not a departure from them. They don’t want to feel like they’re in a hotel, but rather a home: personal and authentic. The growth of boutique hotels around the world is a result of the sheer abundance of millennial travelers who seek them out. Young travelers today have an appreciation for travel in the purest form, which is why many of these hotels today are focusing on design and architecture, and on creating a space that is not separate from its destination, but immersive.
For millennial travelers, these boutique hotels have to do a few things in order to appease them: Whether it’s infusing pops of millennial pink or art deco decor, personalizing the rooms with locally sourced surfboards and guitars, adding cozy hammocks to the shared spaces, or decorating the rooms in a way that makes them feel like their own bedroom—if their bedroom was in another city or country. There isn’t one design aesthetic to define a millennial hotel. What they share in common is that they aren’t a departure from the city; rather the architecture, design, and quirks deeply personify its destination. But what the best millennial hotels do is provide an endless amount of Instagram-worthy content, and at the end of the day, it’s really as simple as that.
Below, the 10 Boutique Hotels Millennial Travelers Will Love in 2019.
One of the coolest travel trends we saw in 2018 was airstream camping. If you could even call it camping…okay fine, glamping. At El Cosmico in Texas’s small, trendy desert city, Marfa, the room accommodations, or shelter (as they call it) range from trailers, yurts, teepees, and tents. Pick your poison and rest assured that all will be decorated to satisfy your desert-Instagram dreams.
Azúcar Hotel, in Mexico’s sugar capital and untapped beach town, Veracruz is exactly that—sweet. You can expect an eco-conscious design with thatched-roof bungalows and pink hammocks at every turn. It’s the ultimate place to unwind, chill and detach.
While many know Ibiza as a party town consumed by house music and raves, that’s not exactly the Ibiza that locals call home. At Los Enamorados, you’ll escape to the Ibiza as it’s known to its natives with bohemian, hippie vibes that are actually pretty chill.
A respite from the busy city center of Moscow, Pokrovka 6 is a whimsy alternative to the decadent hotels in the center of the city. The rooms are decorated with pops of color and each feature a house desk with a desk lamp nostalgic of your childhood bedroom. The friendly staff, who is available to help secure your reservations at all the local spots is one of the best aspects of the stay.
From the creators of Rockhouse Hotel, newly opened, beachside hotel, Skylark is a younger option featuring colorful, retro decor reminiscent of Jamaica’s bohemian beach scene of the ’60s and ’70s in the heart of Negril, Jaimaca.
El Fenn is the ultimate color story, fully personifying the city that occupies it. Like an ad campaign out of the local souk’s catalog (if there was one), each room and public space is an amalgamation of the traditional trades of the region. Everything there is to love about Marrakech can be found within the walls of El Fenn.
Just a short distance away from Mexico’s popular surf mecca, Puerto Escondido, adult-only Hotel Escondido is a refuge with beachy hut accommodations that are a modern take on traditional Oaxacan design. Architect Federico Rivera Rio thought of everything when he designed this off-the-beaten-path Mexican oasis by installing sliding walls to give guests mountain and sea views and incorporating private terraces with hammocks and plunge pools so that people can immerse themselves in nature without having to leave the room.
While Los Enamorados is representative of the Ibiza known to most locals, Paradiso Hotel will appease those looking for the cool, kitschy party scene Ibiza has come to be known for. Pink, art deco glamour is what you’ll find throughout the entire hotel.
El Rey Court
Newly renovated, El Rey Court is Santa Fe’s best-kept secret. The space is decorated in classic, Southwestern style with succulents and Aztec upholstered furniture and pillows. The hotel mirrors the world of Georgia O’Keeffe, whose museum can be found nearby.
G-Rough is industrial and chic in that cool hipster way. It’s meticulously designed, but still feels cool and undone—exposed concrete walls with modern art and eclectic, vintage furniture are sprinkled throughout the hotel. It’s a departure from Ancient Rome, yet an introduction to the Rome of today, which is young and cool with an if-you-know-you-know kind of attitude.