12 Boutique Hotels Outside Major U.S. Cities That Make the Case for a Road Trip


One of the many benefits of a luxury resort is the myriad of amenities. From multi-story spas complete with plunge pools, treatment suites, and impeccably decorated lounge spaces to renowned resident restaurants that even the locals are dying to try, resorts can grant just about any whim its thousands of guests may have. That said, the one comfort sprawling resorts can’t offer is a sense of charm that comes with a bed-and-breakfast or a quaint hotel.

For those travelers looking to swap plastic keycards for brass skeleton keys, take a short road trip outside just about any major city. The old—sometimes antique—cabins, manors, and villas tucked in the charismatic nooks of towns you’ve probably heard of but never visited are worth the drive. Plus, there’s no shortage of charming lodgings available: A luxurious take on the classic 1920s American motor lodge in the Berkshires; a 19th-century historic mansion turned bed-and-breakfast in Galveston, Texas; and a European-inspired château in Oakhurst, California, to name a few. No matter where you book a reservation, you’ll surely make it your new go-to for a sweet escape.

The DeBruce

Set atop a grassy hill overlooking the Willowemoc Valley in upstate New York’s Catskill Park, The DeBruce hotel is where clean and simple design meets ages-old architecture. Erected in the heyday of America’s silver-mining era, The DeBruce, formerly the Maple, St. Brendan’s, the Willowemoc, and the Ararat, was one of nearly 20 hotels in the area. Today, it’s the only one still standing.

Each of the 14 guest rooms is elegant in its own right, but some are perhaps a bit more enticing. The ones with clawfoot tubs and sweeping views of the neighboring valley and river and mountains are like something out of a rustic dream. Every nook and cranny of The DeBruce is informed by the hotel’s historical bones—especially in the Great Room, where the walls wear a textured and gentle plaid wallpaper and the ceilings don their original brass light fixtures. Other common areas include a conservatory in which the original fieldstone fireplace keeps the space even cozier; and a tackle room, which functions as a modern-day mudroom. Feel free to take off your muddy post-hike boots or sopping wet pool towels here before heading to the resident restaurant, where executive chef Eric Leveillee will whip up a truly decadent dish.

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