Hotel accommodations are coming of age with an unlikely feature: bunk beds. Once elementary, these lofted designs are now elevated as trendsetting hotels bump up room categories to accommodate small crowds of four or more. Outfitted with top-of-the-line mattresses and indulged by all of the hotel’s signature perks, they’re designed to make traveling in a group – from bachelorette parties to family reunions – possible without booking an adjoining room (or forcing the least-popular friend to sleep on the pull-out). These rooms are big enough for the two of us – and all of our friends, too.
The Asbury Hotel, Asbury Park
Photo: Courtesy of the Asbury Hotel
Opened inside a former Salvation Army building just one block from New Jersey’s shore, The Asbury Hotel offers a special room where one size fits all. The Octo room’s four plywood bunk beds, anchored with built-in banquettes for additional seating, come with double of everything: two rainfall showers, toilets, and sinks, plus amenities by NYC’s Malin + Goetz. The mattresses double down, too, pillow-topped and loaded with plush pillows, which begs the question: Is it room enough for eight, or a party?
The Drifter Hotel, New Orleans
Photo: Nicole Franzen for Design Hotels
Throwback sleepovers fit the bill at The Drifter Hotel, a modern makeover of a 1956 motel in New Orleans. Its neatly designed Bunk Room takes the nostalgia up a notch with a set of polished, solid-wood bunks that fit full-sized beds by Casper (maker of the supposed perfect mattress) and are tucked with white Frette linens. Ceramic tiles line the floors, and walls feature art by artist Butch Anthony – a major upgrade from the typical bunk-bed backdrop (posters of Tom Cruise and *NSYNC).
TRUNK (Hotel), Tokyo
Photo: Courtesy of TRUNK Tokyo
The bunks inside Tokyo’s capsule hotels aren’t for everyone, but at Shibuya’s TRUNK (Hotel), full-size beds rest futon-style (right on the floor) while overhead, lofted bunks share the same dreamspace. Sure, guests are sleeping on top of one another, but, at least in the six-person Balcony Junior Suite, everyone can get their own headspace out on the leafy balcony.
Freehand New York, New York
Photo: Adrian Gau
From Miami to Los Angeles, and now its latest edition in New York, Freehand Hotels’s properties fold Roman and Williams’ crowd-pleasing finesse into a range of extra-accommodating room categories: Quad, Super 6, and Super 8. The hip cocoons don’t sacrifice comfort (twin-size mattresses are the same brand used at Freehand’s upscale sister, the NoMad Hotel) and work on a budget (all four properties start at $50 per bunk).
Generator Rome, Rome
Photo: Courtesy of Generator Rome
Hostels aren’t what they used to be – they’re better. The most ambitious hostel-ier, Generator Hostels, has steadily lifted bunk rooms in European outposts from Stockholm to Amsterdam. In Rome, the Quad rooms are all the more friendly for groups, stocked with custom-designed metal bunks with built-in lockers across parquet floors. And fear not: There’s no need to shuffle through hallways to shower with strangers, because these private rooms come with en suite bathrooms (ones that embrace the colored grout trend, no less).
The Dean, Providence, Rhode Island
Photo: Christian Harder
Delightfully spare, Rhode Island’s The Dean takes a page from classic dormitories inside The Classmates room, pared-down and perfectly sized for a group of four. But the old-school nod isn’t a textbook example; even on a student’s budget, the room’s Matouk linens, rainfall shower, and custom-scented toiletries are all grown-up and well-groomed.
The Robey, Chicago
Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels
Three’s in good company at The Robey, a Design Hotels member in Chicago that’s more hybrid than hotel or hostel – in addition to traditional rooms, an annex of lofts features industrial-chic bunks inside the former 1929 office building. A hotel project by Belgium’s Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merckx Interiors, it reads like a European hostel, but since when did any of those come with Le Labo toiletries and room service?
South Congress Hotel, Austin, Texas
Photo: Nick Simonite
On Austin’s most happening street, South Congress Hotel spreads across an entire city block with a whole ground floor of homegrown boutiques and restaurants – and community is especially at home inside the Bunkroom Suite, where a set of rich wooden bunks are, like the rest of the hotel, custom-made. With a seriously large bathroom, a roomy living area, and a private balcony, no one needs to fight over the bottom bunk, because everyone gets a queen-size mattress.