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.

Castle Hill Inn

Newport, Rhode Island’s Castle Hill Inn is the reimagined hotel version of its former status as a summer home to Alexander Agassiz, a prominent Harvard University marine biologist and naturalist. Agassiz built the shingle-style mansion in 1875 and filled it with Chinese and Japanese bronze sculptures and delicate porcelain, many of which are still scattered throughout the space. When Agassiz died, his son and daughter-in-law inherited the house, enjoying it every summer until 1938 when the Great New England Hurricane swept through Rhode Island and cut off the peninsula from the mainland. After that, Mrs. Maximillian Agassiz said goodbye to her beloved summer home, and, four years later, it became an impromptu base for naval officers during World War II.

After the war, however, Castle Hill was transformed into a spectacular hotel to the stars, providing a much-needed beachside retreat for everyone from Grace Kelly to playwright Thornton Wilder. Even all the years later, the elegant inn’s charm is relatively untouched, save, of course, for modernizations designed to accommodate 21st-century travelers.

Each of the 33 guest accommodations, which range from beach cottages perched atop sand dunes to a 560-square-foot lighthouse suite on the third floor of the original Agassiz mansion, boasts unparalleled views of either the water or the immaculately manicured grounds.

Highlander Mountain House

Less than three hours outside Atlanta, Highlander Mountain House is where Victorian elegance meets contemporary style. Tucked within the Highlands, North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the 18-room hotel is a design-centric Anglophile’s dream: The walls are adorned with original Cherokee, Joseph Albers, and Sally Mann art; the interiors are equal parts rugged Appalachian lodge and refined English estate; and there are countless plush textures and colorful patterns at play. As for the aesthetic, owner Jason Reeves explains, “Hospitality is storytelling, so once I found the right historic property in Highlands, I knew I needed to immerse myself in the context of the area and pull on some threads that would help define the space and the experience.”

Whether you book your stay in the effortlessly elegant 150-year-old main house or in the cabin-inspired bunkhouse, you’ll hardly want to leave—except, maybe, to lounge by the wood-burning stone-surrounded fireplaces in the lobby or dig into the wild boar ragu at The Ruffed Grouse, the hotel’s seasonally inspired eatery.

The George

Makeup mogul Bobbi Brown is what we’d call a renaissance woman: She’s an entrepreneur with not one but two cosmetic and skincare lines (Bobbi Brown and Jones Road), and she’s the creative director behind The George, a Georgian inn in Montclair, New Jersey. She and her husband, Steven Plofker, undertook the project together, transforming the circa 1902 historically protected structure into a quintessentially British-inspired boutique hotel. The couple’s renovation wasn’t the first the former mansion had undergone: It was originally built as a private residence for Charles Van Vleck and later converted into a charming lodge (dubbed the Georgian Inn), and in the 1940s it was transformed into a residential hotel for short-term stays. The powerhouse couple bought the building in 2012 and, six years of renovations later, opened The George’s doors to guests.

The 31 bright and airy rooms and suites, some of which are enveloped by lightly distressed charcoal-painted wood panels, while others feature charming exposed brick, are impeccably decorated with a sophisticated edge. Ever the perfectionist, Brown spared no detail. Even guests’ furry companions are greeted with a pillowy soft dog bed.

The Neighborhood Hotel

The Neighborhood Hotel in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood may not take a road trip to get to, but it’s basically on the water, which makes it quite the destination, in our opinion. Plus, this chic space lives up to its name: It’s a former walk-up turned residential-style hotel with the original banister staircase leading to the 14 well-outfitted suites.

The creatives behind the hotel’s design tapped The Heirloomist to make the building owners’ family memorabilia into art throughout the space’s guest rooms and common areas, making it feel like a true neighborhood hangout spot. Perhaps most important, The Neighborhood Hotel is a friend to Instagram; there’s no photogenic detail left unchecked here.

TOURISTS

A restorative oasis in the Berkshires—North Adams, Massachusetts, to be specific—the 48-room single-story hotel was cleverly designed as a contemporary take on the traditional American motor lodge from the early 20th century. TOURISTS, however, is more luxe than it is anything else. The wood structure’s rooms come with chic powder-coated metal sliding doors and enormous windows with unrivaled views of the surrounding Hoosic River and Appalachian trails. For those who want to spend some time outside their guest rooms, opt for an en plein air massage, foraging walk, waterfall meditation, or an open-air yoga session.

The Chloe

New Orleans’s The Chloe is the collaborative brainchild of restaurateur Robert LeBlanc, interior designer Sara Ruffin Costello, and architect Thomas Sully, who transformed the 19th-century former mansion into a whimsically decorated 14-room hotel. It’s not just a hotel, though; it’s also a restaurant, bar, pool, and patio whose lively and sophisticated energy mimics the historical Uptown neighborhood in which it resides. Owner Robert LeBlanc notes, “There is a beautiful and haunting Mother Love Bone song called ‘Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns’ that references New Orleans. It is a moving song that is seemingly interpreted differently across various listeners based on their own lens. That’s exactly how we want people to experience both New Orleans and The Chloe.”

The sweet details, including the turntable and accompanying Fats Domino or Allen Toussaint records, a lavish armoire that unexpectedly leads to a sitting nook or bathroom, and the collection of stunning local art, not so subtly reference the history of the neighborhood. Interior designer Sara Ruffin Costello adds, “The interior design highlights The Chloe’s historic 1850s architecture, riffing on popular period elements like exotic Orientalism, a moody color story, and a whiff of the occult. The hotel is meant to feel as if it has been in the same worldly, bohemian family for generations but made culturally relevant with contemporary art and photography.”

Carr Mansion

While the 19th-century Greek Revival former residence was in the process of undergoing major restorations and renovations, Shannon Eddings, the Austin-based interior designer tasked with decorating the space, started collecting. Her impressive assemblage comprises antique furniture and rugs, brass decor, and a sweeping collage of coastal paintings, which fit her design ethos, which is equal parts provincial and nautical. She notes, “I used many classic paint colors that are considered ‘historic’ and kept as many original details as possible. I thrifted and antiqued a lot to keep the decorative elements unique, and then I sourced a few brand-new pieces for each room.”

Just an hour outside Houston, the charming haunt’s rooms each boasts a tailored theme that transports anyone staying there to the glamorous eras of the past. For instance, the Governor suite, a coastal-inspired space with a robin’s egg blue–painted door, a regal velvet canopy above the bed, and the estate’s original fireplace, is named for former Texas governor Richard Coke, who used to spend his scorching Lone Star State summers at the Carr Mansion. Eddings adds, “My goal was for people to have a visual experience when visiting the Carr Mansion. I wanted to create something that they wouldn’t forget, aesthetically speaking. Color is powerful, so that was my primary tool for leaving a lasting impression on this incredible circa 1800s house.”

The Maidstone

The white shingled cottage at 207 Main Street has been an East Hampton hallmark since its construction a century and a half ago. Throughout much of the 19th century, the Greek Revival served as a tannery that offered short-term housing for those whose saddles were in the midst of repair. It didn’t become the glamorous icon known for its rotating roster of stylish socialites until the 1920s when The Maidstone Arms swapped its status as a rustic tannery to a full-service inn.

Co-owned by the husband-and-wife duo of native New York writer, movie producer, and director Jonathan Baker and Swedish hotelier Jenny Baker, together, the creative couple infused the historic spot with a unique quirkiness and warmth that’s hard to come by in the Hamptons. Perhaps one of the most eccentric spaces is Karen Blixen, a guest room named after the Danish writer who authored Out of Africa. The interiors of the third-floor space honor the author with a zebra-printed rug; a fog-hued, palm fronds-patterned wallpaper; and a myriad of African decor. There are 16 additional rooms and three cottages that each pays homage to Scandinavian luminaries, including revolutionary furniture designer Verner Panton; dramatic soprano Birgit Nilsson; and past, present, and future Scandinavian monarchs.

The Claremont

On the tip of Southwest Harbor, Maine, The Claremont proves the power of renovations, which the 137-year-old historic spot unveiled just in time for Memorial Day last month. In addition to the classic New England–style guest rooms in the main building, The Claremont’s charismatic dwellings also include 12 stand-alone cottages surrounded by the hotel’s resident restaurant, a seafood-centric spot along a private dock on the water, a carefully curated cocktail bar, and nostalgic sweets shop. Plus, with luxe spa treatments, dips in the heated pool, games of croquet, strolls through a sprawling garden, every water activity imaginable, and even celestial lawn parties, guests certainly have plenty to do during their stay.

Château du Sureau

This modern-day stately château may be in Oakhurst, California, but it’s reminiscent of a centuries-old, storied castle in the French countryside. Settled within a nine-acre property in the rolling foothills just outside Yosemite National Park, the 10-room Château du Sureau is a beacon of Old World charm. Aside from regally furnished suites, the estate also offers fine fare at the Elderberry House restaurant, relaxing treatments at Spa du Sureau, and the ultimate seclusion at a private two-bedroom Villa Sureau.

San Ysidro Ranch

If there can only be one extravagant hideaway in Montecito, California, the historic San Ysidro Ranch would certainly be a top contender. Ty Warner, the owner of the 128-year-old ranch, wants guests to feast their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls at the charming 38-cottage getaway that’s nestled within the foothills. The cottages all possess sweet names like the Gardenia Cottage and the Kennedy Cottage (where Jack and Jackie celebrated their honeymoon). This serene oasis may boast a quaint feel, but it’s where Hollywood’s elite comes to relax by the pool, stroll the botanical gardens, and dine at the Stonehouse in a 19th-century former citrus-packing building. There’s also a renowned spa, live music, private wine tastings, private and group yoga classes, and a privileged pets program. Needless to say, there’s plenty to do.

Gallery: 15 Best Tiny House Rentals on Airbnb and Beyond (2021) (Architectural Digest)

  • Slide 1 of 15: This Atlanta tiny house packs plenty of vintage style into a small space. The bright and airy home has two queen beds and a full kitchen. The backyard comes equipped with a large farm table, fire pit, and a Ping-Pong table. Close to public transportation, the house is the perfect home base for visitors looking to explore the city. $111, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 2 of 15: Known as the Hudson Valley Glass House, this beautifully designed tiny home in upstate New York is set on 30 acres with views of orchards, vineyards, and wildlife. The 180-square-foot dwelling is filled with modern comforts including Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and a well-stocked kitchen. Guests can buy fresh eggs from the host’s chicken coop and grill on the fire pit. The home is just 90 minutes from New York City and is close to Hudson Valley’s attractions, including Storm King Art Center. $285, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 3 of 15: Another one of the best tiny Airbnb rentals we’ve found is this blissfully isolated and nature-rich cabin in the woods of North Carolina. This rustic living space contains two full bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, a screened-in porch, and a deck. Outside, you can explore the forest, or discover a pond within walking distance. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are also minutes away. If you’re looking for a woodsy tiny-house vacation, you’ve found it! $115, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 4 of 15: This bohemian hideaway is found in the heart of Joshua Tree, the popular desert oasis two hours east of Los Angeles. Its impeccably designed contemporary interior offers ample space, with a complete living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. In addition to the full bathroom with shower, there's also an alfresco soak tub outside overhung with string lights. It’s perfect for a romantic getaway, and about as off-grid as you can get while still accessing Wi-Fi. $250, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 5 of 15: This design-forward home impresses from the minute you swing open its turquoise double doors (with digital lock for self-check-in, no less). The living room’s contrasting black beams on white planking is stunning, and inside the bathroom you’ll find subway tile and minimalist decor. As one happy reviewer put it: “What it lacks in size it more than makes up for in style and functionality. Between the houseplants, the adorable decor, and the distance to downtown, this place is a must-stay!” $111, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 6 of 15: All the comforts of home await in this colorful Orlando tiny home that sits right on Lake Fairview. The house rental comes with access to a paddleboard, fishing poles, and a tandem kayak, so you can really enjoy all the lake has to offer. It’s a truly unique find, of many tiny homes nestled inside this lake community. Plus, downtown Orlando is just 10 minutes away by car. $103, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 7 of 15: The light-filled tiny house is 240 square feet and is located in the Del Valle area outside of Austin. The rental, which has been featured on HGTV, sleeps two and features a full kitchen, a dining and workspace, a bathroom with a full-height shower, and even a washer/dryer combo unit. When creating this home, architect Davis Richardson focused on sustainability and included cross-ventilation, a smart air conditioner, and a composting toilet in the design. $129, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 8 of 15: Sure, the panoramic windows are the real eye-catchers here, but this off-the-grid tiny home sports many more fun design details, including the floor-to-ceiling blond wood, standing shower, a built-in bed and storage, and the distinctive black trim on the exterior. Nearby is Lake Eau Claire and the Augusta State Wildlife Area. $173, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 9 of 15: Both a tiny home and an A-frame, this quirky, rustic cabin is a glamping destination. It’s nestled between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks in Montana, and wild elk sightings are not unheard of. Relax in the hot tub or take a fully solar outdoor shower after a long day of exploring the 100-acre property and nearby hiking trails. $189, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 10 of 15: Tropical tiny house living doesn’t get better than this. Say aloha to a vibrant tiny home bursting with island vibes. It sits on a five-acre property that boasts coffee plants, and avocado, banana, and citrus trees, with plenty of walking paths throughout. Wild turkeys and chickens roam the land for a full flora-and-fauna experience. The house itself features a full bedroom with a queen-size bed, a kitchen, and a bathroom complete with soaking tub. Each room is a colorful affair, with shades of melon, turquoise, and yellow throughout the home. The house sleeps up to six guests, thanks to the two sleeping lofts that provide extra space in addition to the primary bedroom. $150, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 11 of 15: Previously sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson’s summer workshop in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Silo Studio is all charm. Situated on the Santarella estate, this round, two-story cottage is surrounded by acres of gardens, ponds, and forest just waiting to be explored. The interiors are as storybook as the façade, with an exposed timber structure, beautifully restored antique furniture, and a cozy fireplace. The bedroom features a romantic canopy bed beneath the 35-foot conical ceiling, and views of the trees and a lily pond. While the studio is popular in the summer months, it has been winterized for cozy cold-weather visits. $256, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 12 of 15: This tiny home in Portland, Oregon, has been featured on Tiny House Nation for its sustainable design and creative interiors. The 350-square-foot structure is constructed from reclaimed materials and is colorfully furnished to provide a one-of-a-kind stay. The loft bedroom is accessible by stairs (so you won’t have to climb up a ladder), and the sofa also converts into a bed. The bathroom is outfitted with a mini claw-foot tub, and the kitchen’s stove and refrigerator were sourced from the Hood River History Museum. Although the tiny house is tucked away on a quiet, tree-lined street, turn the corner and you’ll find yourself in the bustling North Williams Avenue neighborhood, home to some of the city’s best galleries, restaurants, and shopping. $45, Airbnb. Get it now!

  • Slide 13 of 15: Getaway creates retreats a few hours outside of major U.S. cities featuring cabins originally designed by students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. One of Getaway’s collections of tiny cabins is situated in leafy upstate New York. Although easily accessible by train, these quiet holiday rentals are just remote enough for real relaxation (you’re welcome to pack your phone away in a provided lockbox). With sleek designs that emphasizes functionality, the two- and four-person cabins boast wilderness views, full bathrooms, kitchens, and wireless speakers—but no Wi-Fi. $159, Getaway. Get it now!

  • Slide 14 of 15: Getaway also offers 43 simple but stylish tiny homes just two hours outside of Boston at a former family-run campground in the woods of southern New Hampshire. If you need more convincing to go off the grid for a weekend, the surrounding forest and lakeside location make a compelling argument. With Getaway, you can live simply, take a break from technology, and refresh—all while experiencing what a tiny house has to offer. The 160-to-200-square-foot cabins are spread over 40 acres and each has a fire ring and picnic tables for s’mores and fireside dining. $229, Getaway. Get it now!

  • Slide 15 of 15: Mt. Hood Tiny House Village is made up of five handcrafted holiday homes just outside Portland, Oregon. The 233-square-foot Scarlett Tiny House (center) is a dreamy city escape, sleeping up to five guests and boasting a full kitchen. This farmhouse-inspired space is full of antique goods and repurposed materials. The other homes range in size from 175 to 260 square feet and are outfitted in different styles, from the masculine Atticus to the rustic Lincoln to the floral and feminine Savannah. The site is operated by Petite Retreats, which also has tiny-house villages in Leavenworth, Washington, and South Hampton, New Hampshire. $139, Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. Get it now!

Atlanta, Georgia

Marlboro, New York

Rutherfordton, North Carolina

Joshua Tree, California

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Orlando, Florida

Austin, Texas

Fall Creek, Wisconsin

Adorable A-Frame in Bonner, Montana

Holualoa, Hawaii

Lee, Massachusetts

Portland, Oregon

Catskill Mountains Home Away From Home

Southern New Hampshire Getaway

Tiny House Village in Mt. Hood, Oregon

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