Travelers tracking the hot hostelry usually brace themselves for a haughty hotel staff who specialize in putting the "snoot" in snooty. From South Beach to downtown L.A., a chilly check-in can strangle delight no matter how many Aveda amenities appear by the sink. So it's a pleasure to come across a hotel that's both stylish and friendly. Downtown San Diego's 10-month-old Ivy (600 F Street; +1 619-814-1000) will make a guest feel both fussed over and cool at the same time.
As luck had it, I spent my two-night stay in a handicapped-accessible room. Usually a design afterthought, my room at the Ivy was certainly the coolest one I'd ever been in. (Though it lacked the funky design flair in the hotel's 6th-floor suites, with their see-through shower panels between bath and bedroom. Those frost up at the flick of a switch for the more shy among us). But my room more than sufficed, what with its fresh fruit, complimentary copies of Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone and the Keurig coffee machine, an idiot-friendly device that dispenses shots of Green Mountain dark roast with a flourish. So intent on playing barista, I almost didn't notice the wall-mounted HDTV.