If you love to travel, chances are you love a good hotel room. It's a good time to be a tourist as boutique hotels that are well designed, thoughtful, clever and economically priced are on the rise. The Graduate Hotels, located in select University towns across the US, are drool worthy perfection...
This is the Graduate Hotel in Athens, Georgia, home of UGA and over 36,000 students. The idea behind the hotel concept is smart as it offers out of town visitors, of which there are many, a better option than the typical chain hotels found around a University and celebrates the best of that community through local food, design and culture. Here in Athens, which is also a large music town, local bands play live in their very own hotel music club. And with rooms averaging $120 a night, it's a fantastic deal.
The rooms are a wonderful mix of colors and patterns with a preppy vibe. As college towns tend to be fresh and vibrant, the design aesthetic is too. You'll find Georgia pine green walls, collegiate tartan pillows, a framed chalkboard that has a chemical equation for sweet tea. I personally love the tv cabinet which features six vintage inspired oil portraits of individuals that represent the local southern communities.
This is the Graduate Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia, home to the University of Virginia with over 21,000 students. As Charlottesville is a town steeped in history, the designers mixed traditional American and colonial motifs with replicas of vintage furnishings and a bit of modern design. The tv cabinet is covered in the silhouette style of the Jeffersonian era but with figures of local celebrity residents or former students, like Dave Matthews, Tina Fey and Sissy Spacek.
And this is the Graduate Hotel in Oxford, Mississippi. It feels the most Southern and I must admit, it's the one I want to see in person the most. Ole Miss is the popular University here with over 23,000 students.
At this location, which is an ode to famous writers and Southern musicians, they also have a rooftop bar with live blues bands and classic cocktails. And how can you not love bubblegum pink floors? It makes me think of how many times I shake my head at bad, ugly carpeting on floor after floor of the standard hotels I've stayed at that lack any semblance of thoughtfulness or personality or charm or welcoming feeling. Can you tell I'm bitter? Well a pink floor is certainly the perfect antidote to that.
Learn more about Graduate Hotels, which includes locations in Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan as well as soon to open locations in North Carolina, Nebraska, Virginia and California, here.