In traveling around the country eating burgers and donuts and other things that make you look good in swimsuits, we realized that we constantly found ourselves trying to figure out the best boutique hotels to stay at in order to accomplish these things, and not really knowing who to trust. And so we asked our local editors for recommendations and once we built up enough of a list, we realized we should probably pass these on to everyone else.
How we did it: like with our food/drink stories, we based everything first on experience. Had Liz or I stayed at the place? Had one of our editors stayed there? After that, we based it on individuality: did the hotel capture the local flavor of the city/town/state? Did it feel like a boutique hotel, in terms of making you feel special and unique? If it was owned by a bigger collection of hotels, did it keep that individuality? We also factored in cost whenever possible, but admittedly ignored that factor when it came down to unique hotels on cliffs or taking over ghost towns. Some things are worth the money. And finally, we asked ourselves: does this place make you excited about traveling.