Upgrade Your 'Staycation' at These Hotels

There's no reason to hang out on your fire escape when you can splurge for a night out at one of these hip hotels.
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) -- The U.S. Air Transport Association predicts that 3.5% fewer people will fly during Labor Day weekend this year compared to 2008. Rather than leave seats empty, major carriers will likely pack flights in and offer fewer deals.

With the economy struggling to emerge from its doldrums, the argument for taking a "staycation" -- time off spent close to home -- has never been stronger. If you live in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, there's no reason to hang out in your backyard or your fire escape when you can upgrade to a night out at one of these hip hotels.

TheWit in Chicago offers top-notch restaurants and a central location.

TheWit, Chicago:



opened in May, chocolate cookies were the best amenities that

Hilton Hotels'

Doubletree brand had to offer. TheWit is the company's first foray into the boutique hotel market and is designed to compete with the W Hotels of

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide



The 27-story glass and steel tower on Chicago's historic State Street puts guests in close proximity to shops and theaters inside the Loop area. Start your mornings at theWit's hip gym and then hit the spa for an organic facial. Fine dining at Todd Stein' Italian restaurant, Cibo Matto, or Bradley Manchester's State and Lake, and a rooftop bar and lounge mean you don't have to leave the building for fun.

The hotel's airy rooms start at $170 a night and offer floor-to-ceiling views of the city's skyline.

Rosewood Crescent Hotel, Dallas:

If you're from Dallas, you're probably familiar with this grand dame of hospitality. Only five minutes outside downtown, the

Rosewood Crescent Hotel

is the home of the only Midwest location of the Nobu high-end sushi chain.

When guests arrive, they will find a dramatic belle époque hotel façade with a glass-enclosed lobby. A $195-a-night holiday rate lands you a room with a king-size bed and lackluster interior-facing views from a Juliet balcony.

The marble bathrooms are even better in the suites, which start at $395. The price includes concierge to help you secure a premium lounge chair at the rooftop pool or complimentary town car service to North Park or Preston Hollow. Weekends tend to be mellow in Dallas, which makes it easier to check out its downtown or nearby Turtle Creek.

Thompson LES, New York:

Manhattan's Lower East Side is one of New York's preeminent artist communities. It's also home to the equally avant-garde

Thompson LES

, a hotel known for its asymmetrical façade and high-design interior. For $294 a night, a deal by New York standards, you'll be in a prime location to explore the East Village, browse local art galleries or enjoy the latest exhibition at

Gallery Bar

while sipping a pint.

The Thompson LES's sexy, modern rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and art by Lee Friedlander. You can spend your evenings eating at Shang, its new restaurant and bar, or dancing at Above Allen, its rooftop bar and pool.

Shade Hotel, Los Angeles:

Manhattan Beach is one of the city's priciest beachfront neighborhoods, with picture-perfect streets lined with glossy white and glass houses. Residents with model-perfect bodies surf in nearby El Porto, shop at its boutiques and cut loose in its lively bars.

Shade Hotel

is an anomaly of the local hotel scene, which is filled with divey surf motels with weekly and monthly discounts. Rooms at this boutique hotel start at $355 a night, which brings you within walking distance of the pier and beach. Its Zinc Bar is popular with local professionals. And its retractable shoji screens and two-person tubs make for a relaxing stay.

-- Reported by Michael Martin of JetSetReport.com in Los Angeles


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Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com -- a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in In Style, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine, ITV and BBC.