In my travels I have endured accommodations ranging from the backseat of my car, to one of those motels where you sleep in your clothes on top of the sheets, to a quaint hideaway B&B, to Michelin rated luxury 5-star resorts. At this stage of my life I've seen a lot of different hotels and it's the funky modern ones that resonate the most for me.
Until recently, you wouldn't necessarily think "funky and modern" when booking your stay in Pittsburgh, however this city has a growing collection of brand new stylish and eclectic hotels to choose from. Here are four that have captured my fancy:
(Shown above). Since 2010, the Four-Diamond LEED certified Fairmont hotel has set the bar for a cool and modern hotel experience in downtown. Combining clean lines, great city views, sustainable and environmentally conscious building materials and of course, just-right service, the Fairmont led the way to a swanky stay in Pittsburgh.
Chill with a glass of wine and some live jazz at Andy's for a happening happy hour. Or go upstairs and fine dine on locally-sourced, internationally-inspired dishes at Habitat.
All in all you will be impressed by the service and the Fairmont's attention to stylish and modern detail.
Kimpton's Hotel Monaco
In the heart of mid-town, Hotel Monaco charms my traveler's heart with mod if not odd luxury accents throughout. Look for bird cages as art installations and light fixtures. Take a seat in the "living room" and feel like you're hobnobbing in a vintage Monty-Python sketch. Take refuge in a comfy plush room with all the lux details you would expect and a few you may not.
When you're hungry, head down to The Commoner for some modern American fair with Pittsburgh flair. Enjoy the Pittsburgh Cookie Table for dessert!
Woven neatly into the youthful and vibrant culture of Pittsburgh's East End will be the hot new Hotel Indigo. Slated to open in May 2015, this 135 room LEED-certified multi-building restoration shines with sharp modern rooms and a surprising city-bound tree-lined courtyard. Relax in your spacious room or take a walk through one of Pittsburgh's most diverse neighborhoods.
Of course you're in easy walking distance to shopping and a wide array of fine dining choices including Hotel Indigo's own Wallace's Taproom. While there, sample a cold one on tap from one of the Pittsburgh's craft breweries or savor a pour of something stronger from a local distillery.
Same neighborhood, different cool...
The NYC based Ace Hotel chain has decided to open their 8th boutique property just around the corner from the Hotel Indigo. I've seen a proposed opening of summer 2015 but the targeted open date has been a bit of a moving target.
No matter. If Ace does it up the way they have at their 7 other locations, we should be prepared for Americanized, Euro-cool curiosities with some fun hipster touches. Be ready for comfort without excess in a well curated 21st century, bike-friendly, pet-friendly and just plain friendly small boutique hotel experience.
As Pittsburgh captures more and more attention acquiring accolades for just about everything, that all important question will be asked more and more often... Where should you stay when you visit Pittsburgh? Of course where to stay often comes down to the price and availability but for me, cool counts because traveling well means staying well.