The boutique hotel's location just can't be beat: The Oread provides guests with great views from the top of Mount Oread at the north end of the University of Kansas campus (perfect for visiting KU parents and alums). Upper levels of the hotel include viewing terraces, where you can look out over the Kaw River Valley. The building is a fortresslike sight in itself, too. Though it's new, it looks as if it's been there for at least as long as the campus' 1800s historical buildings. Native limestone architecture mirrors the minimalistic, contemporary decor. The Oread is a towering 15 floors (11 above ground, 4 below) with banquet and meeting rooms, a theater, business center, and 99 guest rooms and suites. On Jayhawk football game weekends and in warm weather, revelers pack the outdoor upstairs bar The Nest. The hotel is within walking distance of the campus Spencer Museum of Art and the Kansas University Natural History Museum. Each spacious guest room has a granite bathroom with eco-friendly bath products, individual climate control, plush linens, 50-inch flat-screen and free Wi-Fi. There is a tanning spa on-site as well as 17 bars and four restaurants (The Bird Dog, Five 21 and places to get a pizza, sandwich or ice cream). Double room rates from $159. Themed weekend packages available. A free shuttle brings guests into downtown Lawrence to shop and dine along vibrant Massachusetts Street.