Less is more. It’s an expression that’s often stated as a guideline for keeping things simple. While it’s viewed as sage wisdom, it’s an adage that’s often lost on many hotel operators.
Chain hotels will work extremely hard to stand out in their neighborhood and spend big bucks to garner attention. Picture thick beams of light cast into the night sky behind sparkling water shows (despite drought conditions).
However, a countervailing approach is beginning to surface, as there are some hotels that successfully attract guests by not being noticed at all. These unnoticed properties have a sublime quality – embracing a minimalist approach featuring organic architecture and rich contextualism.
So how do you find a hotel that doesn’t want to be noticed? Fret not. Here’s a collection of hotels that feel as much a part of the landscape as the mountains, culture, and history that define the area.
Gateway Canyons Resort, Gateway, CO
The owner, John Hendricks, felt compelled to share the wondrous Gateway with others, so he designed a sustainable, outdoor recreational resort that highlights the beauty and adventure of the area. It’s as if the resort itself, with its extensive stonework and calming reddish hue, has risen out of the ground like the natural sandstone formations and grasslands that surround it.
The Lodges at Gettysburg, Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania shouldn’t need much of an introduction. It was the setting of arguably the most defining battle of the Civil War. The rolling hills and hardwoods of rural Pennsylvania are forever a part of the American story. Luckily for history buffs, The Lodges at Gettysburg sits atop the infamous ridgeline and retains the old rustic cabin feel,with period furniture and historic architecture.
Hotel Viking, Newport, RI
From the clock above the front desk depicting ancient Nordic runes to the original 1926 brass letter box in the lobby, the Hotel Viking pays homage to the “city by the sea’s” history. The silks, tapestries, and zebra-print chairs embody the opulence of the Gilded-Age, while the sleek, ebony and silver style remind us of the 1930s. Around every corner lies a piece of Newport’s rich history.
Hotel Boulderado, Boulder, CO
The Hotel Boulderado has been in a transitional state since its opening in 1909 – careful to hold onto bits of its past during its evolution. The property has undertones of late Victorian luxury, prosperity in the twenties, the hardships of the Depression, a post-war modernization, near deterioration and, finally, a tasteful restoration. Today, the hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a City of Boulder landmark.