Best Boutique Hotel (With a Theme) - 2003
This theater district gem offers the plush décor and elegant rooms that travelers expect from a boutique hotel, but it also offers a great gimmick -- a board-game theme that charmingly permeates every aspect of the experience. The lobby is dotted with the likes of checkers and backgammon, and guests can choose from an extensive menu of games and puzzles -- including Life, Boggle, and Yahtzee -- to be delivered to their doors, room-service style and free of charge. New arrivals can even opt for a "Check-In Challenge" and go up against the house in blackjack for a chance to win free upgrades and other modest prizes. The Serrano is a great place to book out-of-town friends and even a good getaway for locals, since it's also pet-friendly. The rooms can be a little small if you're accustomed to newer hotels, but you'll likely be too focused on your Scrabble board to notice.