10 Chic, New, and Affordable Hotels in the Desert

by Kristine Hansen

10 Chic, New, and Affordable Hotels in the Desert

by Kristine Hansen

From Scottsdale to Baja, desert destinations are attracting hip, new (or newly renovated) boutique properties—trading cookie-cutter design for highly fashionable, highly intimate digs. The best part? Room rates are low. Here are 10 of our faves.

From Scottsdale to Baja, desert destinations are attracting hip, new (or newly renovated) boutique properties—trading cookie-cutter design for highly fashionable, highly intimate digs. The best part? Room rates are low. Here are 10 of our faves.

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Mountain Shadows

Located in Paradise Valley, Arizona (near Scottsdale), Mountain Shadows is surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. Originally opened in 1959 and rebuilt in 2017, new features include an art gallery (exhibiting mostly local, Modernist artists), poolside cabanas, and an all-day restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling windows and—in premium guestrooms—balconies welcome tons of natural light. From $195/night

Located in Paradise Valley, Arizona (near Scottsdale), Mountain Shadows is surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. Originally opened in 1959 and rebuilt in 2017, new features include an art gallery (exhibiting mostly local, Modernist artists), poolside cabanas, and an all-day restaurant. Floor-to-ceiling windows and—in premium guestrooms—balconies welcome tons of natural light. From $195/night

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Holiday House

Straying from typical Southwestern aesthetics, Holiday House in Palm Springs—which opened in 2017—features a beachy white-and-blue palette throughout its 28 guestrooms rooms. Floral wallpaper, framed seaside scenes, and woven fabrics complete the look. “Fried Chicken Fridays,” al-fresco dining and drinking, and a stylish pool effortlessly coax guests into relaxation. From $159/night

Straying from typical Southwestern aesthetics, Holiday House in Palm Springs—which opened in 2017—features a beachy white-and-blue palette throughout its 28 guestrooms rooms. Floral wallpaper, framed seaside scenes, and woven fabrics complete the look. “Fried Chicken Fridays,” al-fresco dining and drinking, and a stylish pool effortlessly coax guests into relaxation. From $159/night

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Hotel San Cristobal

Liz Lambert’s trending Bunkhouse Group (which includes three hot Austin hotels) opened its first property south of the border, and it’s every bit as stylish as we’d expect it to be. Hotel San Cristobal in Baja, Mexico, features 32 funky rooms—think ‘70s-inspired shower tiles, tasseled pillows, and colorful Mexican blankets—situated around a dreamy pool and lounge with ocean views. From $235/night

Liz Lambert’s trending Bunkhouse Group (which includes three hot Austin hotels) opened its first property south of the border, and it’s every bit as stylish as we’d expect it to be. Hotel San Cristobal in Baja, Mexico, features 32 funky rooms—think ‘70s-inspired shower tiles, tasseled pillows, and colorful Mexican blankets—situated around a dreamy pool and lounge with ocean views. From $235/night

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Hotel Luna Mystica

Last year, an enclave of 10 vintage trailers, dubbed Hotel Luna Mystica, popped up eight miles from Taos, New Mexico. Each one has a quirky name and theme, like “Jazzy”—outfitted with Mexican floor tiles, leather benches, and a cow skull—and is insulated to withstand chilly desert nights. Hammocks and fire pits encourage guests to chat and enjoy the 12 surrounding acres of nature. From $70/night

Last year, an enclave of 10 vintage trailers, dubbed Hotel Luna Mystica, popped up eight miles from Taos, New Mexico. Each one has a quirky name and theme, like “Jazzy”—outfitted with Mexican floor tiles, leather benches, and a cow skull—and is insulated to withstand chilly desert nights. Hammocks and fire pits encourage guests to chat and enjoy the 12 surrounding acres of nature. From $70/night

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La Serena Villas

Built in 1933, this secluded 18-villa property—set in downtown Palm Springs and framed by the San Jacinto Mountains—was revamped in 2016. Suites feature private patios, clawfoot tubs, and fire pits; and crisp white interiors feature Spanish-style furnishings with eclectic accents, like a yellow peacock chair from the ‘70s. There’s also a spa, restaurant, and bar on site. From $196/night

Built in 1933, this secluded 18-villa property—set in downtown Palm Springs and framed by the San Jacinto Mountains—was revamped in 2016. Suites feature private patios, clawfoot tubs, and fire pits; and crisp white interiors feature Spanish-style furnishings with eclectic accents, like a yellow peacock chair from the ‘70s. There’s also a spa, restaurant, and bar on site. From $196/night

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The Downtown Clifton

Open since 2015, but fresh off an expansion, The Downtown Clifton in Tucson, Arizona, earns hipster cred with turntables in the rooms, Roku on the TVs, and splashy works by local artists on the walls. Buildings at this motel date back to 1947 but have been completely refreshed. Think of this as a cool vintage motel—minus the shag carpet and floral bedspread. From $99/night

 

Open since 2015, but fresh off an expansion, The Downtown Clifton in Tucson, Arizona, earns hipster cred with turntables in the rooms, Roku on the TVs, and splashy works by local artists on the walls. Buildings at this motel date back to 1947 but have been completely refreshed. Think of this as a cool vintage motel—minus the shag carpet and floral bedspread. From $99/night

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Hotel Adeline

Glam and gorgeous, Scottsdale’s Hotel Adeline opened in early 2018, following a $12 million renovation. The renewed interiors stay true to its midcentury-modern roots, while offering luxury perks like an infinity pool, fitness center, whiskey bar, and three restaurants (including Selfmade, which features cool macramé wall hangings and an outdoor fireplace). From $89/night

Glam and gorgeous, Scottsdale’s Hotel Adeline opened in early 2018, following a $12 million renovation. The renewed interiors stay true to its midcentury-modern roots, while offering luxury perks like an infinity pool, fitness center, whiskey bar, and three restaurants (including Selfmade, which features cool macramé wall hangings and an outdoor fireplace). From $89/night

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Campera Hotel

This Baja hotspot comprises 10 bubble-like cabins, designed in France, each with a private bath and clear roof, which make for surreal sunrises and stargazing. Open since 2017, Campera is surrounded by sprawling vineyards (this is Valle de Guadalupe, after all), and guests can enjoy morning coffee at the bistro table set outside their front doors. From $145/night

This Baja hotspot comprises 10 bubble-like cabins, designed in France, each with a private bath and clear roof, which make for surreal sunrises and stargazing. Open since 2017, Campera is surrounded by sprawling vineyards (this is Valle de Guadalupe, after all), and guests can enjoy morning coffee at the bistro table set outside their front doors. From $145/night

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Hotel Paseo

While not quite boutique, this 150-room Autograph Collection property—which opened last spring in Palm Desert, California—makes the list for its sleek, stylish decor and restored Airstream trailer, bookable in the coming months. Airstream guests have access to hotel amenities, including the spa, chic poolside cabanas, and access to Desert Willow Golf Course (for a charge). From $125/night

While not quite boutique, this 150-room Autograph Collection property—which opened last spring in Palm Desert, California—makes the list for its sleek, stylish decor and restored Airstream trailer, bookable in the coming months. Airstream guests have access to hotel amenities, including the spa, chic poolside cabanas, and access to Desert Willow Golf Course (for a charge). From $125/night

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The Monkey Tree Hotel

This 1960s-era Palm Springs property, designed by Albert Frey, got a makeover in 2016 thanks to a couple of Brooklynites. Each of the 16 rooms features top-to-bottom midcentury design, including a vibrant yellow-and-teal palette and retro furnishings—right down to the ice bucket. From $159/night

 

This 1960s-era Palm Springs property, designed by Albert Frey, got a makeover in 2016 thanks to a couple of Brooklynites. Each of the 16 rooms features top-to-bottom midcentury design, including a vibrant yellow-and-teal palette and retro furnishings—right down to the ice bucket. From $159/night

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