Major cities are hubs for culture, cuisine, and nightlife meant to be shared with all your favorite people. Yet, if you want to plan a group trip, it can be difficult to find a place for everyone to stay that feels cohesive, safe, and convenient.
Airbnbs can be hit or miss, and a block of hotel rooms can feel disconnected—both from your fellow travelers and the local experience. But identifying a well-situated and well-priced city setup has recently gotten considerably easier in certain cities, though you may not have heard of some of the better options.
“About 10% of our customers are what we would consider ‘friend trips,’” says Nitesh Gandhi, who in 2016 founded Locale, a hospitality group that furnishes high-end apartment-hotels in luxury residential buildings. “There’s definitely some education that can be done to let people know that this kind of accommodation exists.”
Boutique and apartment-hotels are increasingly courting larger groups of travelers, from families to groups of friends. Here, a few hotels that serve groups stylishly and affordably, making a city break that much more accessible for you and your crew.
New Orleans, Louisiana
After a long, likely humid, and nothing-short-of-exhausting day in New Orleans, you’ll come back to Domio Baronne St. to refresh and restore so that you can do it all again the next day. This apartment-hotel is perfect for groups who want a home base close to the chaos but far enough away to breath. The attention to design and decor bring a cohesive touch of New Orleans into your room, inspiring you and making you wish to stay longer.
Complete with amenities like a rooftop pool and gym, along with cozy interiors and stocked kitchens, you and your posse will feel at home in no time. The hotel is located in the Warehouse District, which gives you access to museums and brunch spots you may have otherwise missed. Best of all, the rooms are surprisingly affordable. From studios to two-bedroom suites, this hotel is perfect for the party of two or the party of many. The Domio apartment-hotel brand offers accommodations in 14 other U.S. cities as well as London.
New York, New York
Home to a year-round rooftop bar and brunch service enjoyed by actual Manhattanites, the art-filled Freehand New York is a calm oasis that still keeps you right in the middle of the action. Their Bunk and Three’s Company rooms sleep four and three respectively and are furnished with the same mid-century modern pieces and textural accents that fill the hip common spaces. There are two bars, two cafes, and a restaurant on site (for the lazier members of your party), but the hotel’s Flatiron location with several subway lines within walking distance means most of the city is easily within reach.
Located on one of the most dynamic streets in Austin with excellent nightlife and incredible restaurants, Locale Rainey Street also boasts a rooftop pool overlooking downtown. Around 20% of the units at this location have two bedrooms. Locale aims to create experiences that take the best of what you might find in a home and merge it with hotel amenities—and the result is comparable to the best hotel suite you could find for about a fifth of the price. Guests get access to a full apartment, kitchen, washer/dryer, coffee, tea, a dishwasher, and cookware. Access your room via kiosk or keyless entry (no waiting in line at a front desk).
Locale partners with multifamily apartment buildings, leasing out blocks of units or entire floors, and views coexisting with the building’s residents as a major perk, even hosting quarterly events for guests and residents to mingle (the pool and the gym are also shared amenities). Locale serves travelers with properties in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Nashville, and San Francisco.
Shoreditch, London, UK
Shoreditch, one of London’s most artistic and vibrant neighborhoods, is prime for a night out: It’s home not to only incredible independent galleries and vintage shopping, but also to some of the best bars and restaurants in the entire city. After an evening of laughing, drinking, and dancing your way through the English capital, appropriately-named Crashpads will make you feel right at home.
There are two ways to do things here: Either keep the entire team together and rent one of their mega lofts or divide and conquer by taking up a few units in their series of stylish mini-lofts, all within walking distance of one another to keep everyone together and—after a long trip—perhaps provide some much-needed space.)
Amsterdam’s Lloyd Hotel is a cultural destination in its own right with 117 rooms, each one uniquely laid out and fitted with custom pieces by leading Dutch designers. Its most spacious rooms feature playful (and highly Instagrammable) features: Think sloping wood-beamed roofs, statement staircases, swings, hammocks, and, in one case, a bed that sleeps seven.
An in-house restaurant serves up meals made of locally-sourced and organic ingredients in a high-ceilinged exhibition space or on a sunny wood-clad terrace, and the hotel’s location just a few tram stops away from Centraal Station make it well-positioned for exploring all the city has to offer. Rates start at €140 for suites that come with a king bed and have room to add three more.
The Revolution Hotel is an ode to its home city with design details, amenities, and commissioned artworks that celebrate Boston’s legacy as a hub for innovation. Corridors are carpeted with illustrations of historical figures like Paul Revere and Malcolm X, rooms are kitted out with luxe textiles and toiletries produced locally, and a three-story sculpture featuring objects invented in the region—like Converse sneakers, basketballs, and typewriters—towers in the lobby.
A significant proportion of the hotel’s rooms are triples and quads with access to a set of private bathrooms down the hall (rather than a single ensuite) making simultaneous showers a non-issue, and a colorful co-working space in the basement doubles as a games (and pre-game!) area in the evenings.
Providence, Rhode Island
Picturesque Providence, Rhode Island, will appeal to history buffs and the design-minded alike. Lanes lined with awe-inspiring examples of period architecture are complemented by walls of thought-provoking street art and the downtown is full of really good food. The place to stay is at The Dean, a sleek hotel featuring pink-tinted lighting and beautifully minimalist rooms fitted with dark wood, vintage furnishings, and artwork by RISD photographers.
One of the town’s top restaurants, north, is located in the building, along with karaoke bar The Boombox, a sexy cocktail lounge, and an outpost of local coffee chain Bolt. Groups are catered for by bunk rooms that sleep four, or a set of rooms that can be combined to create space for ten and a private bar.
Another stay making the case for the growing trend in apartment-hotels, the Adina gives your entire group—up to six people—easy access to central Copenhagen. From the stylish rooms, some of which overlook the city, it’s just minutes to the famous canals, shops, restaurants, and natural wine bars that wait on every corner of the Danish capital city. If you like your time here, try an Adina location on your next big group vacay; they also have locations in popular German destinations like Berlin and Munich, as well as down under in Melbourne, Sydney, and more.