Making of Hôtel Les Roches Rouges / Travel Diary The Other Ibiza Feature The New Utopias / Trend Forecast The Future Laboratory on Travel with Mementos from Alicja Kwade and Azuma Makoto
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Issue Nº 13 / 2017 / Edition Hotel Hotel
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TO BREAK THE RULES, YOU MUST FIRST MASTER THEM. THE VALLÃ&#x2030;E DE JOUX. FOR MILLENNIA A HARSH, UNYIELDING ENVIRONMENT; AND SINCE 1875 THE HOME OF AUDEMARS PIGUET, IN THE VILLAGE OF LE BRASSUS. THE EARLY WATCHMAKERS WERE SHAPED HERE, IN AWE OF THE FORCE OF NATURE YET DRIVEN TO MASTER ITS MYSTERIES THROUGH THE COMPLEX MECHANICS OF THEIR CRAFT. STILL TODAY THIS PIONEERING SPIRIT INSPIRES US TO CONSTANTLY CHALLENGE THE CONVENTIONS OF FINE WATCHMAKING.
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Trend Forecast The Future of Traveling Well
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Original Experiences What will you remember? Three poems tell of unforgettable experiences that leave you forever changed.
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Letter from Claus Sendlinger
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Made by Originals From geolocation technologies and artificial intelligence to the rising importance of culture, community, and conscientiousness, leading trend forecaster The Future Laboratory gives us a glimpse into the travel of tomorrow.
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Travel Feature The New Utopias
Design Hotels™ Founder and CEO on the great shift currently taking place in the travel and lifestyle industries.
Every hotel ref lects the vision of an independent hotelier — an “Original” — with a passion for cultural authenticity, genuine hospitality, and thought-provoking design.
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Locator Design Hotels™ Portfolio 16 – 23
Mementos What’s in an Object?
How the inf luence of Burning Man and other alternative gatherings has helped spawn an almost spiritual movement of ideas and culture across the globe — and opened up new worlds of possibility in the realm of lifestyle travel.
68 – 81
Travel Diary The Other Ibiza The entire worldwide collection of Design Hotels™ properties, spread across 4 maps and 104 pages of listings, with descriptions and full-color, high-resolution images. From m ountain to beach, city to village, here you’ll find all 281 p roperties in 59 countries. Explorers welcome!
Four of our favorite artists, thinkers, and influencers share a souvenir from their travels that reminds them of a meaningful experience.
Beyond the nightclub hype and boilerplate beach luxury, writer Thomas Rogers sets out to discover the other side of the famed Balearic island.
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Making of HĂ´tel Les Roches Rouges The creation of a great hotel, from conception to completion, in the words of the people who made it happen.
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Letter from Claus Sendlinger Something major is happening in the travel industry, as The Design Hotels™ portfolio, which today I’m so proud various societal shifts impact the way we think about to say comprises 281 handpicked independent hotels hospitality. Today’s travelers take great design and in 59 countries throughout the world, represents so amenities as a given. They are searching instead for many of the properties currently pushing the travel originality and meaning, for experiences that broaden industry into the future, from Les Bains, the hybrid their horizons and open their minds. Paris hotel and cultural space that has lived many lives, as bathhouse to Proust and nightspot for the 80s beau At the same time, new media technologies and apps are monde, to Gramercy Park Hotel, a New York institution enabling travelers to experience destinations in more and art-world legend, to Rome’s G-Rough, where the meaningful ways. The most exciting hotel brands today guest feels more like they’re visiting old friends, and are not merely offering accommodation; they are com- Hotel Hotel in Canberra, a sustainable “vertical village” munity hubs, delivering cultural, spiritual, and intellec- that includes a cinema and numerous cultural venues, tual programming to like-minded locals and tourists alike. local shops, and cafés. Perhaps some of my own travels over the past year could help illustrate the point. I recently visited Burning Man, the annual festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert that has helped mainstream the idea of temporary communities built on spiritual and cultural ideals, and Summit at Sea, an annual gathering which took that concept one step further by focusing explicitly on innovation and entrepreneurship. I spent New Years at Habitas, whose temporary tent villages have pioneered the integration of the festival experience into the hospitality industry. And I was in New York to oversee the move of our office into NeueHouse, the workspace collective setting the bar for today’s nomadic creative class hungry for community and cultural programming. All of these organizations are, in some sense, disrupters, signifying various elements of a shift now taking place within the lifestyle sector that’s comparable to what happened at the end of the 1980s, when a generation began looking for completely new hospitality experiences. We began Design Hotels™ in 1993 as a response to the first shift, and it’s essential we evolve on pace with the second.
But in order to stay on pace with evolving desires, we realized it’s essential for us to research and understand our Community. With this aim, we started creating Design Hotels™ Projects and other temporary hospitality experiences, so that we could directly communicate and interact with our Community. We started in Tulum, with Papaya Playa Project, then went to Mykonos and Rio. But over the past year we took this evolution one step further with La Granja Ibiza. We reactivated one of the oldest farms on the island and called it “La Granja,” the simplest Spanish word for a farm. See, for years I’ve been telling friends that the farmhouse is the golf course of the 21st century, and I mean this in both a literal and figurative sense. On one hand, urban farming has exploded. Today, there are supermarkets where you can pick a head of lettuce out of the hydroponic unit where it’s being grown. The farmhouse is a seedbed for growth, but it’s not just about farming vegetables. We’re farming ideas, human connections, communities. People are turning away from speed and mass production toward slowness, experience, and connection. ▶
“ The farmhouse is the golf course of the 21 st century ”
So that’s where cultural, intellectual, and spiritual programming comes in. If you can create a space where there is meaningful exchange, then you are serving an authentic desire and bringing a Community together through shared experiences. That’s why we mindfully select member hotels based on their local integration and cultural sensibility, and it’s a big reason we’ve decided to relaunch Directions, to reflect the evolution of the wider Design Hotels™ Community. We hope you will find something here to spark your interest and incite your mind, but most of all we hope it will inspire you to put down the magazine and begin exploring.
Sincerely, Claus Sendlinger Founder & CEO of Design Hotels™
opposite page La Granja Ibiza — A Design Hotels™ Project. top Shot from the boat at Summit at Sea. middle Burning Man 2016. bottom Before leaving Tulum.
Four artists, thinkers, and influencers from the Design Hotels™ Community share a souvenir from their travels that reminds them of a meaningful experience.
Co-Founder of NeueHouse
I received this leather laptop folio from my parents on a trip back to my hometown of Dublin. It keeps them top of mind, which is a nice comfort, given that I live in New York many miles from home. Beyond the emotional connection I have to it, it resonates on a deeper level in the context of a world so saturated by technology, which often feels cold, sterile, and all too precise. This memento represents an analogue age, displaying the warm blemishes of use — the patina of time. Unlike the throwaway culture of fast fashion and the increased pace of obsolescence in technology, the pleasure of this tactile object actually improves over time. Perhaps just as curious is the inherent conflict, that while the wabi-sabi form of the folio speaks to its heritage and a different era, its function supports one of the most powerful tools of the information age. ■
Azuma Makoto Botanical Artist
This is an experimental work I created consisting of an exposed-root bonsai pine tree, suspended inside a cubic frame. The tree represents the complex aesthetics of nature, and the quadrangle symbolizes man-made beauty. In 2015, I set off on a journey to observe this artwork under various environments and locations around the world: in an abandoned thermal power plant in Belgium, on a glacier and beside a geyser in Iceland, in the sea by Ishigaki Island in Japan … But the most memorable was in the Nevada desert in the USA, where this picture was taken. I had to walk alone under a burning sun, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius, carrying the pine tree and the frame on my back. There was no predetermined destination. I just had to keep searching for a location where the piece could randomly exist in the middle of the desert, imagining how the sand whirling by the roaring wind would look entwined with the artwork. ■ 19
Alicja Kwade Artist
Every time I see coins in wells, ponds, bird baths, etc., I photograph them. This naive gesture, the meaning of which is understood by everyone, has a certain melancholy and, in its contradiction, is deeply human. ■
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Eduardo Castillo Co-Founder of Habitas
The water that this coconut provides is my natural hydration, physically and metaphorically. It’s my own welcoming to the life that lies before me. I’m building a dream — something I only imagined possible further along in life, when everything slowed down and all I had left was time. I’m building a place where I’ll be able to not only share my music, but also share immeasurable happiness and inspiration. A place where we will be reminded of the simple things in life and the treasures that lie around us. It’s a journey from which I never want to return. ■
Emma Staughton Inspired by Vila Monte, Moncarapacho, Portugal
Emma Staughton Inspired by Gramercy Park Hotel, New York City
Emma Staughton Inspired by Nira Alpina, Silvaplana, Switzerland
John Voigtmann Made by Originals
La Bandita Townhouse
ohn Voigtmann did what many have dreamed of: He chucked a high-stress New York job and moved to the Tuscan countryside. A former vice president for Sony Music, he came upon an old farmhouse in Tuscany’s Val d’Orcia and in 2007 reopened it as La Bandita, an acclaimed eight-room country resort. In 2013, he opened La Bandita Townhouse, a 12-room property in the village of Pienza. “I wanted to create a way to experience something that is often overlooked,” says Voigtmann, “the gentle sweetness of daily life.” How did the concept for La Bandita come about? It was remarkable to me that in an area with all that beauty, those stunning villages, there were so few places to stay in the Tuscan countryside. One found either big resorts removed from the real Italy or musty old villas. My wife was in the travel industry and I traveled for a living and both of us knew that what we liked wasn’t here. So we simply created what we ourselves desired — something stylish but modern, luxurious but informal, relaxed but serious, with a sense of personality. I wanted a place where my friends and friends of friends could relax in the area. What was the biggest obstacle? Italy’s million building laws! If you have three floors you are required to have an elevator. But historic regulations say ‘No elevators!’ Are there any new projects we should know about? I’m certainly not a hotel mogul in the making. I want to be here on property so I can meet the guests and share their stories. ■ 31
THE F UTUR E of TR AV ELING WELL From geolocation technologies and artificial intelligence to the rising importance of culture, community, and conscientiousness, offers leading trend forecaster a glimpse into the travel of tomorrow. The world of travel is changing fast. Thanks to 4G, the internet is now something that we carry with us in our pockets wherever we go. Added to this, a more globalized society is normalizing the experience of regular travel to far-flung destinations. However, as we head towards the year 2020 and beyond, the way that we travel will undergo a further set of revolutions, as digital natives — people too young to remember a time before the Internet — use new tech tools to make traveling more convenient and fulfilling. As they instigate a new set of trends, they will dial back to the meaning of traveling well.
In the future, reconnecting with the simple joy of travel will be more important than ever, as people long to feel wonderment instead of ambivalence, to feel culturally immersed rather than culturally insulated. Crucially, the successful future traveler will feel like the world is once again a place rich with serendipity and prospect. New technologies will be accompanied by a focus on the themes of creativity, community, and conscientiousness.
The future of travel will be revolutionized by new media technologies and apps that allow us to experience destinations in a more meaningful way. Serendipity, “There is a danger with technology that we overestimate poignance, and culture will still be the qualities that its importance,” says Martin Raymond, The Future lie at the heart of traveling well, however, our routes to Laboratory’s co-founder. “Traveling well has always them will shorten if we use technologies to the best adbeen about face-to-face encounters, serendipity, culture, vantage. Meanwhile, a more socially engaged traveler and acquiring wisdom. In the future, we will become will look for more from trips when it comes to learning better at using technologies to reach these ends.” and forming opinions. ▶ 33
Geo-audibles and virtual reality It’s no surprise that smartphones are the prevalent tools of communication today, however, innovative apps show a glimpse of how the real world will be overlaid with media technologies in the future. Detour is one such app which shows how audible content and geo-location technologies can combine to give travelers an intimate experience of a destination. After turning on the app, the user simply walks and listens. The immersive city guide is triggered by GPS and provides witty accounts of the areas that the user walks in, and features audio accounts from locals. The app, which has just gone global, is an early example of how geolocation media will one day revolutionize how we experience the world around us, bringing us to new areas and re-introducing serendipity and chance into travel.
I asked an eight year old how he does multiplications and he replied: ‘with my phone.’ Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, England
We are at the base of colossal growth in new media technologies according to industry statistics. Worldwide, revenues for augmented and virtual reality are expected to reach $162 billion in 2020 according to International Data Corp. Virtual reality is already showing how it will become pivotal to how we gather inspiration and plan trips in the future. Evidence for how this will become the new normal can be seen from innovative projects such as Google Expeditions. The initiative by the tech giant has launched in schools across the globe and enables teachers to take children on virtual tours, to inaccessible destinations like Machu Picchu or Antarctica, to even further flung places like the International Space Station. Using a simple cardboard viewer and app, smartphones are turned into ad hoc virtual reality headsets. As technologies like this become more commonplace, we will become more used to trybefore-you-fly travel that shows us immersive scenes of destinations before we commit to getting on a plane. The current generation of tweens and teens will come to expect this kind of tech-enabled stimulus as they grow into their 20s and 30s. “This generation doesn’t recognize technology as technology,” Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, England, tells The Future Laboratory. ▶ 34
opposite page The view through Google Cardboard viewer. bottom Using a simple cardboard viewer and app, smartphones are turned into ad hoc virtual reality headsets.
top Loof by The Lo & Behold Group is home to Singapore’s creative scene. bottom middle The reading room and tea salon at Looksee Looksee. bottom left A receptionist at Hotel Magdas, Vienna. bottom right Hotel Magdas, Vienna.
The AI concierge future, giving individual neighborhoods a safety rating. In the future, traveling well will also mean learning, adventure, and testing yourself in new environments. A new raft of luxury tours are springing up as travelers become more eager to understand world issues. New York Times Journeys is one such initiative, which enables guests to accompany award-winning journalists to learn about topics such as the Israel-Palestine conflict, Journy is a holiday concierge app that provides people or women and society in India. The tourists travel by with a local’s view of a specific area. Before their trip, private jet in small groups, and the journalists call on the users of Journy complete a quick travel questionnaire, expertise of previous interviewees and local experts to which provides a framework for the concierge service to give real insight on issues facing communities. This form plan around. Holidaymakers then subsequently receive of high-end highbrow tourism will chime with consumers a personalized itinerary for their trip, which ranges from of the future as they become more active in social issues. food recommendations to activity bookings.
While virtual reality has the ability to immerse people in the experiences of others, meaningful travel will always come from getting out there and having your own. In the next decade, we will see a new raft of artificial intelligence concierges draw on data from our online behavior to introduce us to the travel experiences that we crave the most and direct us to them quickly.
One of the key battle lines being drawn is how AI can start to speak to humans in their own language. Rather than trawling websites, checking prices, and looking at reviews online, services like Mezi enable people to converse with a semi-virtual assistant using a messaging app. Previously a shopping concierge, the company recently branched out from fashion e-commerce into travel. Mezi now allows people to book flights and restaurants simply by having a one-on-one conversation over its messaging app. Crucially, the app can field complicated requests like, “I need a vegan restaurant near the conference center,” which makes it a very human and seamless journey for the traveler. Currently, Mezi works by combining what it refers to as shopping and travel “experts” with an AI called Smart Assist. Over time, the AI will learn from how the experts interact with users and be able to field more and more requests on its own, making it a virtual assistant in the truest sense. As luxury travelers develop a taste for trips that are more intrepid, AI will combine with big data analytics to serve as a real-time safety guide. GeoSure Global is a new info tech startup that pulls information from a huge variety of data streams such as Interpol, UN, WHO, plus city crime stats, human rights organizations, and crowdsourced reports. Using this, it scores cities on six categories: overall safety, physical harm, theft, basic freedoms, disease & medical, and a dedicated, data-rich women’s safety measure. The company plans to provide an even more granular snapshot of safety conditions in the
Conscientious travel InGalera in Milan is a restaurant inside a prison. Other than the chef and head waiter, the restaurant is run entirely by inmates. The restaurant is a creative corporate social responsibility venture that blends commerce and social healing. It’s a trend that many hoteliers are already tapping into, as environmental sustainability and positive local integration become qualities ever more important to the discerning lifestyle traveler. In the face of too many air miles, climate change, and inequality rife in many countries, the modern traveler is yearning for a new kind of experience, which marries conscientiousness with hospitality. Crucially, these experiences must have a concrete, measurable impact on the world. Magdas Hotel in Vienna, designed by architects AllesWirdGut, is a high-end hotel which, aside from catering to 78 paid guestrooms, also has two residential suites reserved for up to 25 non-paying refugees. The rehabilitation of the former asylum-seekers begins in the hotel staff, as a majority of the present staff are former refugees. “Magdas would not work if it was a run-of-themill hotel,” says Gabriela Sonnleitner, head of Magdas. ▶
We're all about real talk — not robots. Leiti Hsu, Co-Founder of Journy
left GeoSure Safety Ratings cover six critical safety categories: overall security, physical harm, theft, basic freedoms, disease, and specific threats to women’s safety.
All about culture
The age of the creative community
Contemporary travelers are also broadening their expectations of what a hotel should offer, and the traveler of the future wants a stay that is about lifestyle as much as lodging. Flower shops, art galleries, bike shops, and record stores are becoming standard fare for locales that want to imbibe a local culture.
Since The Future Laboratory coined the term “bleisure” (business + leisure) in 2009, the lines between our work and free time have blurred even further. The digital world has exacerbated this — by 2017, global average media consumption is set to reach 506 minutes daily, according to ZenithOptimedia. This means we will spend more than half of our waking life occupied by some kind of media.
Going forward, we will see more hospitality experiences that up the cultural ante to appeal to the modern, discerning traveler. Early examples of this include Canberra’s Hotel Hotel, a holistic concept from the Australia-based Molonglo Group, founded on the fertile principles of sustainability, community, diversity, and lifestyle. The hotel is located on three levels of the Nishi residential building, a sustainable “vertical village” that contains within it facilities delivering the best of global cinema, independent book and pop-up stores, music, and local cafés and bars. Another reference point is Looksee Looksee in the lively Kampong Glam neighborhood of Singapore. Set in an 1820s shophouse in a district steeped in arts and culture, the communal space by leading hospitality business The Lo & Behold Group aims to bring the city’s burgeoning creative scene a step closer to the public. Its evolving library is curated by thought-leaders across various lifestyle sectors as a show-and-tell of titles that have inspired their work and life.
In this era, the modern bleisurite will look for experiences and places that allow them to break away from the incessant updates from their smartphones, and stimulate creativity through community. Crucially, traveling well will mean serendipitously meeting with potential business collaborators in settings that nourish and inspire creativity. Hospitality projects like Ace Hotels, Soho House, and the growing portfolio of Design Hotels™ Projects, are already harnessing this growing desire to foster creative communities that blend work and play with a collective cultural identity. Even as our world becomes more networked and we become inured to the novelty of departing from the places we call home, the three cornerstones of community, culture, and conscientiousness will form the basis of all meaningful travel experiences. ■
top left Swarm Trap, a project by MANY MANY and Honey Fingers in collaboration with Nishi Gallery and Hotel Hotel. top right Hotel Hotel in Canberra by Australia-based Molonglo Group. bottom For the Swarm Trap exhibition, shown at Nishi Gallery, curator Nicholas Dowse asked designers from various fields to create temporary bee shelters, which will then be placed in the bush between Melbourne and Canberra.
Das ist ein Musterrtext was auf dem Bild zu sehen ist.
hen you’ve been given the reins to a company credited with introducing frozen pizza to Germany and changing the face of its food industry, hospitality might seem a divergent path. But Günter Wagner’s decision to open a hotel is not as much of a detour as it may seem; his father owned a hotel in the town of Braunhausen, and Wagner even attended culinary school and worked in a Michelinstarred restaurant. When he retired from Wagner Frozen Foods, the Saarland native’s mind returned to hotels. The result is La Maison Hotel, the first upscale hotel in the stunning French-German city of Saarlouis, and one that is transforming the local hospitality scene.
What is your favorite place in La Maison? I have so many favorite places, but one of them is the hotel park. It offers a particularly impressive view of the hotel’s architectural ensemble, both the historic villa and the modern extension. What is your favorite dish at the bistro, Pastis? In the summer, it’s definitely our Caesar salad, because the quality of our organic ingredients is quite special: crisp, fresh, and full of flavor and because the Pastis house dressing is simply so delicious. In the winter, it’s Beef Bourguignon, because it conjures luck in the belly. What’s your favorite word? In German, it’s Fantasie, because it makes life more colorful, and in French, it is savoir-vivre, because I really appreciate the French art of enjoying life. At La Maison Hotel, my team and I have tried to make both of these words come alive. ■ 40
La Maison Hotel Made by Originals
Making of Hôtel Les Roches Rouges Text Charly Wilder Photography Stephanie Füssenich
Every great hotel is experienced as a totality, an immersive environ ment that functions seamlessly, organically — a unified vision. Yet a hotel is also a collaboration, honed by many hands and diverse sensibilities. It’s an ever-shifting, living thing, born from an idea and a place in time. And it’s a story, the kind best told by a multitude of voices. What follows is one such story, depicting the creation from conception to completion of a great hotel — Hôtel Les Roches Rouges, a sanctuary of
barefoot Riviera luxury housed in a renovated late-1950s structure within a natural reserve in the coastal commune of SaintRaphaël between Saint-Tropez and Cannes. We spoke at length to the core team behind the property, opening in May 2017, including Valéry Grégo, the visionary hotelier who masterminded the project and founder of the Perseus hotel group; Perseus brand manager Vanina Kovarski, who was instrumental in shaping the guest experience; architect Hugo Sauzay of 42
renowned Parisian design firm Festen, who led the renovation with his partner, Charlotte de Tonnac; art director Antoine Ricardou, responsible for the hotel’s visual identity and arts programming; and gardener Stan Alaguillaume, who worked in conjunction with Paris-based landscape architect Gwenaelle Grandjean to develop the property’s four distinct garden plots. The result is a behind-thescenes account of how this singular destination set among the rocky coast of the Côte d’Azur came to be.
HĂ´tel Les Roches Rouges
previous page Valéry Grégo at Hôtel Les Roches Rouges. top Grégo chose his team from a group of people he has worked with for a long time. bottom left The view of the Mediterranean from Hôtel Les Roches Rouges. bottom right Color swatches and materials.
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges
Chapter I DISCOVERY Valéry Grégo Within my network in France, there was a group of sellers running small three-star hotels in fantastic locations, and they were looking for someone to buy. A friend of mine knew them and got in touch with me very early in the process. We drove there from Nice, and I was taken by the scenery. It’s all blue, on the water, not too many houses … And then comes the hotel, which you can’t really see at first. Because the road is on a small cliff, which is almost the height of the hotel, all you can see is the top floor. He said, here we are, and I was like, ‘What?!’ It looks like a one-story building, five bedrooms, a bit too small. But then you go down into the building …
Vanina Kovarski You enter and straightaway, through the big windows, you see the sea. It’s really on the rocks. I first went there in the summer of 2015 when Valéry was in the process of buying it. It’s a bit like being on a big boat. There are very few properties on the French Riviera that are like les pieds dans l'eau, which means feet in the water.
It’s a journey, you know, and half the fun is in the journey. So within this group of people, I will select them according to their strengths for a given project. VK I’ve known Valéry for years, and when he created his hotel group, Perseus, he asked if I wanted to be part of it. I’m in charge of branding and product development. I’m from Belgium and my stepfather was a travel agent, so I grew up visiting hotels and I’ve always been passionate about hotels. Antoine Ricardou I met Valéry when we worked on Le Pigalle in Paris, and I am in charge of the visual identity of all the Perseus hotels. We work on the brand statement, we decide the artists we are going to use, and then we work on the identity. HS We work very often with Valéry. We worked on the Pigalle project in Paris. For Hôtel Les Roches Rouges, we created all the interiors and exteriors and we created a new swimming pool and all the terraces. We are also part of the discussions on identity and the art program.
VG I realized the location was phenomenal, as opposed to most of the locales in Saint-Tropez and Cannes, which are very built up. This hotel is in a natural reserve, called Massif de l’Esterel. For a very long time you couldn’t build there. In French Riviera terms you could say it’s secluded — very limited construction around. When you’re at the hotel all you can see is green and blue.
Stan Alaguillaume I am a landscape architect working on different Mediterranean gardens. I worked with Valéry on another garden in Nice. I am from Paris, and I went to the National School of Landscape Architecture in Versailles, and later I was chief gardener at the Domaine du Rayol. I design the garden, then afterwards I do consultation and tendering with comHugo Sauzay After seeing the view you forget every- panies that plant it. But if I am a landscape architect, thing you’ve seen one minute before. And you under- I am also a gardener. I love gardening and I love plants. stand the area when you are inside. VG My education is in literature. I started in finance, VG There was this guy, the seller, about 65 years old. then moved into hotel development 15 years ago and We had a quick chat, we got along, and he explained that’s all I’ve done since. But to me, it’s not just about what he wanted to do. I told him what I wanted to do. background. It’s about what you have to say. I always And that’s it. There was not really any long negotiation tell my team, all I have to offer is a vision. I do it with with a lawyer. We just sat down for 15 minutes and the hotels. I could be a butcher or a baker, I would do it rest is history. It doesn’t always go this smoothly but the the same way, with my own eyes. I think a lot of the way we do business, it’s really built on what I feel when success of the project lies not so much in whom you I discover the site for the first time and relationships choose but in the amount of effort you put into the with people. Then it took a long time to get things done relationship that you have with these people. I spend but we would always come back to that day when we a lot of time with them, fine-tuning, discussing. That’s shook hands — the framework of the deal was set. why we can’t do multiple projects at once. Chapter II THE TEAM
Chapter III VISION
VG I choose people based on the small group I’ve been VG I knew on that first visit exactly what the project working with for a long time because we trust each other. would look like.To me, it’s a calling. I don’t even choose. ▶ 45
It just comes to me. The building, the blue, the green … everything that unfolds comes very, very naturally. Feeling far away from everything, that’s really the core of the kind of experience we want people to have. AR My work begins before everything. With Valéry, we work on what we call the brand statement. So each time, we create a small booklet that describes our vision for the project. Before finding the right architect, before finding the right food or everything you’re going to have in the hotel, we are putting down all of our thoughts and visions for the project.
architecture between me and the view.’ So when I gave the brief to the architects, I told them I want customers to have the same feeling I had when I first came in and all I could see was the water. So let’s make sure, whatever we do, nothing obstructs the pleasure of being so close to the water.
HS It’s an interesting building but not an old, charming building. It’s really long, really pure. During the 1980s there was a modification we didn’t like at all — this red cylinder in the middle and new balconies. We took away everything we didn’t like from the 1980s and ‘90s, to go back to the original 1950s, ‘60s look. The most imVG This is what was in my head from the very begin- portant thing is not the building but the environment: ning. We do that with every project, because it’s how we the sea, the view of the Mediterranean, the little island. stay consistent. And we use that throughout the project up until the hotel has opened. There are no long discus- VG Don’t turn it into a fancy fashionable refurbishsions, even with the architects. The way we work is the ment. Let’s just make choices based on architecture concept in my head, Antoine takes it out and puts it into from the ‘50s, so that things feel natural. images.We talk, we talk, and this document comes out of it. We make 25 versions and then we cast the document HS The first thing we did was to refocus on the view. in stone. That’s the brief for PR, that’s the brief for the So all the windows from the lobby facing the road are architects, for F&B, for services, everything. blur windows. You can see light inside but then you come into the space and you are totally wow. We made VK The region has developed a lot. There’s a long the windows wider, larger, higher. Regarding materials, tradition of holidaying by the sea in the South of France. we did something very white, clear, no graphics, really It dates back to the 1850s when they started to have pure. We took off a lot of things from the façade. We put trains along the coast. And that’s when it really devel- in a new swimming pool — a long, thin concrete basin. oped into the French Riviera as we know it.They had the The old one was a typical ‘90s one, a bin shape, really Orient Express and all these trains that took people from cheap, almost with a dolphin inside. We used a lot of Paris to the coast, and later the English would come. Opus Incertum, a type of patina used here in the ‘60s. We used it for the flooring outside and in the restaurant HS One hour away by car, there is the Eileen Gray to have an overture between outside and inside. house. She made a villa called E-1027. It’s really close to the sea, really pure, really wide, really cubic. It’s like VK We learn about the history of the place, learn about a little Roches Rouges, so it was a big inspiration for us. the region. Sit with the architect and see how we can reveal the building and respect its history. Then you AR I try to look for inspiration in places that haven’t develop the rest of the product: choosing amenities, already been tapped out. So I spent a lot of time deep setting up collaborations, developing the menu, setting in the Provence looking at things like old factories. up the website and newsletter. I could be inspired by something like a petrol station in the backcountry. Inspiration comes from places where HS If you take the lobby, you open the blur window people really live, and when I put things on the wall, to come in and everything is concrete — it’s to take I’m not trying to make the space cool at all. I’m trying your mind off of the structure. We didn’t build a to put people in a space that feels real. standard reception desk. We built a long, long table in wood on the side so that there’s nothing between Chapter IV TRANSFORMATION you and the sea. Everywhere except outside and in the restaurant is in polished concrete, because we are VG There’s a saying from a Sri Lankan architect called on the sea and sometimes there are wet feet. It’s five [Geoffrey] Bawa, and he says, ‘Don’t put too much stars, but we don’t want to do something showy. ▶ 46
previous page The hotel is located in a natural reserve called Esterel, which is still very secluded. The surrounding red rocks — roches rouges — inspired the hotel’s name. top left The exterior design goes back to the 1950s and ‘60s French Riviera style. top right Charlotte de Tonnac of Festen Architecture. bottom left Valéry’s vision is illustrated in the brand statement — the blueprint for the entire project development. bottom right Unappealing add-ons from the 1980s and ‘90s were removed.
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges
So when we use wood, it’s a beautiful oak. We use some terracotta ceramic, everything from South of France, everything authentic. SA The project at the beginning was to have a naturalist garden — not a decorative garden but a garden that would speak of the Mediterranean country. So with a lot of aromatic plants, not an English garden, not with a lot of green grass. We are not in England — we are on the Mediterranean coast! Imagine rosemary, rock rose, myrtle, lavender, naturalist language, and lots of aromatic flowers. During the summer you have less flowers but more perfume, because essential oils help Mediterranean plants survive the dryness. The salt water makes it difficult for the plants to live on the waterfront. So we tried to get only plants from the coast. VK You would think that a palm tree is what’s supposed to be in a garden by the sea but actually there are many other plants that would be more suitable. SA We have four different gardens at Le Roches Rouges. By the sea, we have a wild flowering garden in the rocks with mostly small plants, a lot of biodiversity. On the Mediterranean bank we have the main garden, where we have a lot of aromatic plants and herbs. Then there’s another garden, a pine forest. And it is here that we have the ‘green room,’ a very flat, enclosed space under the pines, which is the only place where you can be without noise, without the sea, to read a book or just sit in reflection. Then there is a fourth, very small tropical garden, because we have a little place protected by the building from the sea and the salt. A garden is a process. It is not like a building, not like decor. The garden will be what it will be in four years. What is important is the dynamic of the plants. Little by little those plants that we plant now will give us a lot of spontaneous plants — like a garden of movement, with a lot of evolution, a lot of surprise for the gardener and the visitor. AR Working on identity, it’s not reserved to graphic design. Visual identity is a mix of materials, the surface of the table, what you touch, the proportions of the space, the art hanging on the wall. HS We have concrete in the bathroom but in the shower it’s ceramic tiles made by Arndt. These are not industrial things so there is imperfection. Like in the sea, sometimes there is imperfection. The bathrooms have marble basins, terracotta for the spa floor. We have
carpenters, mostly from Portugal, who make everything to measure. We got a lot of the ceramic and terracotta from Céramiques du Beaujolais. On the outside of the closet door is rattan cannage, a style of weaving typically used on chairs. And we use this same pattern to do the ceiling of the restaurant. It’s a way to hide the electrical wires going across the ceiling and it’s also a way to insulate sound. It’s always the same pattern, different sizes. It’s inspired by the feeling of a house in the ‘60s in the South of France. VK In the room, we have local products, because we want people to feel the area through little touches and details. So you’ll have chocolate or a biscuit from a local artisan, water parfumée with herbs from the garden, or lemon grown nearby. In the room, you’ll also have a walking stick, but not a decorative walking stick, a proper, technical walking stick. You’ll have snorkeling gear, sun hats. Not a famous brand but a traditional hat made in the neighborhood. We’re collecting books to put in the rooms, which will range from Provençal cuisine to famous architectural sites of the area to books about local varieties of honey. The amenities are from Le Labo, a brand based in the nearby town of Grasse. AR We’re going to have big letters on the rooftop, and those letters, HRR, will be metallic. It’s going to look like it’s been there forever, no illumination or anything, just these metallic letters. In 2016, there are so many things with LED and light that make it more visible. But people in the South of France in the ‘50s were not able to put lights on like this because it was too expensive. What I found really interesting is that at night when the moon reflects onto the sea, you see the letters through the light of the moon, this backlight, and it’s going to be so beautiful, so the signage, you’re going to see it but just with natural light. HS Budget is an interesting point. Because the hotel is on the sea, there is a lot of damage each year. You have to think about this, that in the winter the sea will come inside the building. You have to imagine that the ground floor will be submerged. When we did inside furniture, we used concrete, and all the soft things you have to think about removing from sea level and storing them, both inside and outside. All the sea-level windows close with metal planks to protect them from rocks that come in from the sea. So we had to find solutions for it to be less expensive. ▶
We are working with a company, called ERM. They HS Everything in the rooms is bespoke, mostly made follow the project and find solutions to get the budget by Portuguese carpenters, except for the chairs: terlower, so they did a really smart technical intervention. racotta lamps, laser ceiling lamps, tables in lava stone with metal feet — simple but noble materials. But we VG What’s a typical day? A year before opening, also found some amazing vintage ‘60s pieces. we’re drawing plans. We review architectural plans and we decide should we go this way or that way. VG We have two partners who we work with on furShould the restaurant be like this or like that? It’s niture — vintage on one side and new on the other really the definition of the project. Six months before, side. So Hugo, Charlotte, and I, we go together. And I would say a quarter of the day is making sure that when I say it’s a journey, it’s a proper journey. We go to the ongoing work is giving the results we expect. I’m Avignon to an antique fair for a day in a half, then the on site talking with guys, we decide on the color, we next day we go to Montpelier to another antique fair. make tests. We change, we adjust. Twenty-five percent We do that five, six times a year. We could do it a very is getting ready in terms of service delivery, so putting different way, but it’s so much fun. the website together, all the collaterals, hiring staff, getting all the systems and process in place. Twenty- VK In the neighborhood village there are people playfive percent is about procuring what’s going to be in- ing [the Provençal form of boules known as] pétanque. side, so buying pieces of furniture, every little object. We’ve arranged for the president of the local pétanque And 25 percent is building all the partnerships: artists association to come a couple times a week and teach we want to work with, the guys who do the music, people how to play. Another activity will be open-air working with the chef on F&B, and what suppliers cinema in our garden. And just in front of the hotel, and partners to work with. there’s the île d'Or, or Golden Island, which is a very renowned diving spot. So we’ve collaborated with a Chapter V COLLABORATION nearby diving center that will pick up guests and take them there and also do snorkeling tours. There’s a VK In terms of finding local partners, I think the best woman specializing in walking in Esterel National Park, approach is always to go and wander around on your which is all red rocks. That’s the meaning of les roches own. I spent weeks visiting the neighborhood village, rouges, by the way, ‘the red rocks.’ This lady, who is a going to the port, to the tourism office and learning specialist in the region’s plants and flowers, will take about local actors and communities. One local tells guests on walking tours. We want people to come to the you to talk to another, then that one recommends hotel, relax, be far from everything, enjoy themselves, someone else, and it goes on from there. enjoy the view. But if they want to be more active, we are giving them the chance to do authentic local stuff VG We have two restaurants based on local food, fish with local people. So they are learning about the place and seafood in Provence. And then we said, if we want and the history of the region. to make it really authentic then we need to find partners — fishermen — that will bring the catch of the day VG For the art program, it’s the same. I do that with on a daily basis to the hotel. That’s a decision, not to Antoine. We go on journeys meeting people. He will go to traditional suppliers. select artists that he thinks are relevant. And often it’s not just about what they do — it’s about who they are. VK One of these guys who will deliver the fish to the So we had worked on the Pigalle in Paris with a tattoo restaurant, he’s a real local guy I found on the port, and artist named Jean André, and I said to Antoine, ‘I want he speaks with the accent of the south. I asked him if to work with Jean André at Roches Rouges. I don’t he would take visitors out to go fishing. He said, ‘Yeah, know how — just find a way.’ I’ll do it but only one or two at a time and they have to wake up at 4 a.m.’ It’s traditional fishing, not the five- AR It’s like with the Eileen Gray house in the South star thing where they just throw the line for you, but the of France, Le Corbusier was using the house in the real respect for sea life, ethical fishing. These are real summer before he got the Cabanon and he drew eight collaborations. We met different people and chose the murals on the walls [Eileen Gray didn’t really like the ones who are most passionate. murals, by the way, but that’s not the point]. ▶ 52
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges
previous page The interior design is faithful to the architecture of the 1950s French Riviera. top left Reinforcing the structure between the floors of the building. top right As well as on-site meetings, Valéry and the designers go on regular excursions to find the perfect piece of furniture or art. bottom A work in progress …
all drawings Draft images of the hotel’s gardens, consisting mainly of plants that adapt well to the salty, dry maritime terrain.
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges
This is what Jean André is doing at Roches Rouges. And it’s scary to invite someone to draw on your wall when it’s brand new. Trust me, when we go into the model room with Jean André and we’re like ‘Okay, let’s go,’ and he’s there with his big pot of paint and his big brush … it could have been a disaster! But Valéry is like that. He just says, ‘Okay, we decided to work with this guy. The room is yours! Carte blanche!’ VG It’s a very, very collaborative approach. It’s not just me deciding. It’s the whole group. In France we say colonie de vacances. It’s like summer camp. We go to summer camp and we end up with a hotel. Chapter VI EVOLUTION VG For me, it really starts with a place, and then it’s a matter of how truthful you are with what you see in that place — it’s about revealing what’s there. You can travel to Provence and often restaurants will serve some sort of mild version of what people think is food in Provence, which comes from a sort of globalization of dishes that you can find everywhere. It can be good or bad, but the question is: is it a dish from that region? To be truthful to a place, it means authentic. If you say I will be locally rooted, then our responsibility is to not put in too much of what we have in mind, or of what we think clients will expect, but to reveal the place, the region. And that’s more difficult than it seems.
top Hugo Sauzay of Festen Architecture on the construction site of Hôtel Les Roches Rouges. bottom An image from the Brand Statement. The hotel is located on the rocks only 10 meters from the Mediterranean Sea.
AR No one cares about the graphic identity of a hotel, what the logo looks like, the monogram, or whatever. What people will remember after they’ve come to the hotel is the material in the shower. Someone will remember the little matchbox he keeps in his pocket. Someone will remember arriving at night and seeing the hotel reflecting the moonlight. VG When I say I have a vision, I make mistakes every day, don’t get me wrong. I travel to the hotel on a regular basis when they’re open. I would say I go once a month at least. And I just spend time over there to see what’s going on, and then I adapt. It’s a work in progress. We change small things. Sometimes customers they have their own way of apprehending the space. You thought they would use this door, but guess what: they used that door. ■
Alexandra Efstathiadou Made by Originals
Ekies All Senses Resort
rom a very early age, Alexandra Efstathiadou has been deeply inspired by design. It’s the culmination of a childhood dream to transform a hotel she used to visit with her parents into Ekies All Senses Resort, a pared-down eco retreat that combines playful Greek design with barefoot seaside luxury. After nine years working with different architects and interior designers, Efstathiadou transformed the resort into a showpiece for Greek culture. “I want to present the country through narrative design, architecture, and art. I want a history behind it, but in a modern way,” she says. What is your favorite place in the hotel? In the morning it’s the treehouse daybed — perfect for a not-thinking start to your day. Who is your current favorite Greek designer? Thanos Zakopoulos from CTRLZAK Art & Design Studio. I really admire his approach to product design. What is your weirdest habit? I could name a few... At Ekies, everything is in an odd number: 69 rooms, three identical chairs, five candles, seven pillows. Don’t ask me why, but my subconscious only accepts odd numbers! Oh, and I never close the lids of bottles. Weird and annoying for others... xaxa! ■
UTOPIAS Text Gisela Williams
How the influence of Burning Man and other alternative gatherings has helped spawn an almost spiritual movement of ideas and culture across the globe — and opened up new worlds of possibility in the realm of lifestyle travel.
It all started with the words, “Let’s burn a man.” On a summer solstice evening 30 years ago, a bohemian drifter named Larry Harvey spoke those words to about a dozen friends, torched an effigy of a man, and watched it go up in flames on San Francisco’s Baker Beach. The rest, as they say, is history. In 2015, Burning Man attracted almost 70,000 participants, some of whom camp out and live in complete freedom for more than a week in the Nevada desert. The only rules are based on the festival’s 10 Principles, which include “radical self-reliance,” “radical inclusion,” “leaving no trace,” and “decommodification.” Festivals are no longer just about listening to live music and celebrating the seasons. The influence of Burning Man and other alternative festivals has helped spawn an almost spiritual movement of ideas and culture across the globe, particularly in areas where the influence of organized religion is on the wane. It also taps into a growing community of lifestyle travelers who, in a time of increased mobility and digital connectivity,
are increasingly embracing a nomadic lifestyle that blurs the lines between life, work, and play. What is it about Burning Man and like-minded festivals that inspires an almost religious fervor? When asked to describe what Burning Man is, Larry Harvey often defines it as an experience that is about “transcendence and connecting with something bigger than you are.” Brett Leve, one of the five founders of Summit, a series of festival-like conferences about ideas, which have taken place in Tulum, Utah, and on a ship en route from Miami to the Bahamas, says that most of us in the Western world have “lost all our rites of passage. My bar mitzvah was not a rite of passage. There is no related understanding of self or adversity or pilgrimage involved.” He points to Burning Man, or the Camino de Santiago, a network of ancient pilgrim routes across Europe that come together at the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, as a communal ritual that fills the void. “Burning Man is like a modern rite of passage.You travel to a remote place, set yourself in a harsh climate and then have to be self reliant for at least 36 hours.” ▶
To get to the Ezera Skanas festival in rural Latvia, most people leave Riga at midnight and drive more than 100 kilometers, mostly through forest, to the remote Kala Lake. Small groups start arriving around 2 a.m. Silence and solitude is encouraged, especially once people get into small boats [their own or rentals] and push them out on the dark water, the bright stars above their only source of light. “Entering the water in the dark is such a dramatic event that it changes one’s state of attention,” said one of the three founders, Reinis Spaile. “People are disoriented. It’s like entering a dream.” Bobbing in the darkness, eventually the sky lightens and you can see the shadows of other surrounding boats. Music starts to play and as the sun rises, it peaks. You can finally see the musicians that are performing on floating stages. “You wake up communally to a new day and a new place,” described Spaile. “It is like a modern ritual.” Started five years ago by about two dozen friends as more an off-the-grid happening than a festival, Ezera Skanas has since developed into something bigger than the founders ever imagined — this year, despite no promotion, there were about 3,500 visitors from around the globe. They have rejected offers from corporate sponsors, instead paying costs with ticket sales and support from the local government, explaining that “commerce takes the attention away from one’s experience.” This year, four bands were chosen to perform, starting with improvised instrumental jazz and leading into electronic folk and pop vibes from Fenster and Mikko Joensuu. Next year, there are plans to be more organized and to set up camps of designers, video makers, and choreographers two weeks before the event in order to add the additional disciplines of performance art and dance to the festival.
all pictures Ezera Skanas Festival 2016
The burning obsession with transformative festivals has created a new niche in the world of travel. Like surfers chasing the ultimate wave, techno music lovers follow DJs around the globe, flying from Ibiza to Las Vegas. For those pursuing that next big idea, ▶ 60
Entering the water in the dark is such a dramatic event that it changes one’s state of attention … Reinis Spaile, Co-Founder of Ezera Skanas
top A sunset ritual at San Giorgio Mykonos. bottom Lucid Sundays, a weekly event series at La Granja Ibiza, focused on electronic and world music.
events like TED and Summit will lure them wherever the latest guru of innovation might be. For these travelers, the journey is less about the destination and more about the content and the crowd. At the same time, it’s often the destination that makes the festival. The more dramatic the setting the better. As Spaile said, “Nature is the stage. We found that the major star of our festival is the landscape and then it’s about how we add to it.” Modern communication technologies are what allow and inspire these plugged-in modern nomads, be they festival goers, tech workers, or digital commuters, to seek new experiences around the globe. They’ll spend a few months in Berlin and then a few months in Bangkok, couch surfing or finding a temporary rental apartment. It’s this growing creative tech set that hospitality pioneers are currently trying to create dynamic multi-use hubs for. What Soho House is for the international entertainment industry, smaller hospitality projects like Roam, with co-living spaces in Bali, Madrid, and Miami, and Zoku, a live-work long-stay concept in Amsterdam, are trying to build real-time spaces where their like-minded transient guests can connect for work and play.
When the first Design Hotels™ Project, Papaya Playa, came onto the scene five years ago along the Mayan Riviera in Tulum, it was one of the first examples of a permanent hub for the type of modern nomad one finds on the festival circuit: a bohemian crash pad and boutique hotel on the beach, a house party and think tank all in one. Claus Sendlinger, the CEO of Design Hotels™, along with Emilio Heredia, the owner of the original property, paid special attention to the mix of guests, inviting international DJs and wellness gurus on a regular basis to move bodies and minds. The Papaya Playa Project concept was so successful that the team went on to create similar projects in Rio and Mykonos, and most recently they debuted La Granja, a 10-hectare farmstead in central Ibiza. The founders of Summit, and owners of Powder Mountain (10,000 acres of land in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains), haven’t yet built a hotel, but they will soon break ground on an “Alpine town 2.0,” according to Elliott Bisnow, one of the five founders. Powder Mountain will be home to several boutique properties, co-working spaces, a recording studio, and a handful of laid-back cafés and restaurants. ▶
left, right Summit Powder Mountain 2014.
top A Summit Session. bottom Chase Iron Eyes, a representative of the Lakota People’s Law Project, speaks at the opening session of Summit Outside on Powder Mountain.
The most important element, though, is the community. Already, the town has a committed crowd of dedicated guests and collaborators that includes Richard Branson and the spoken word poet IN-Q, who were converted to the cult of Powder Mountain by the founders’ long running Summit events. “The common ground is that they are people of integrity that view their work as transformational,” Brett Leve describes. In the summer of 2016, Dan Blackledge, creator of the alternative Hideout and Unknown festivals, debuted what is essentially a festival island on the previously uninhabited
Croatian isle of Obonjan. Call it summer camp for adults. Guests and visiting artists stay in a variety of low impact accommodation, from luxury tents to “forest lodges”; on offer are events like night walks with resident astronomers as well as meditation sessions and concerts throughout the day and night. Blackledge points to social media as one of the reasons why the festival scene has grown so quickly and claims that platforms like Instagram have actually inspired people to get out into the world and experience the things they see others doing. “That’s why people are spending more money on experiences rather than material objects,” he said. “And that trend will just grow.”
If that is true, then Kfir Levy and Eduardo Castillo of Habitas are on the right track. The two DJs have already taken their traveling, invitation-only event around the globe, from a farm in California to a remote beach in Thailand. They have found that their community is so moved by the gatherings and experiences that they curate, they are now trying to implement them into unique hotel properties that already exist. “We want people to constantly be in a child-like state of wonder, always discovering things,” said Levy. That might include wandering through a forest and then suddenly coming across a musician playing the violin or a hundred people being given torches and led along a river at night to a tent in the middle of an orchard where they are then served an elaborate feast. “We are excited to create permanent installations at special hotels around the world,” described Levy. “It might be like a village of beautiful tents in the hotel’s garden with special wellness programs and amazing dining experiences.” Thierry Teyssier, of the cultish Maison des Rêves properties in Morocco, has always pushed the envelope in terms of embedding moments of surprise and wonder within his projects. He too is working on a new concept of travel that involves pure theater set within stunning natural landscapes. For the moment he is not saying anything but he did reveal that it would involve “100% experience.” In many ways, transcending experiences are now to hospitality what contemporary design and architecture was in the late ‘90s. Today’s most forward-thinking hotels harness this desire for meaning and use it to build communities. “The next level of innovation in hospitality is not about changing the designer but instead is about changing the content and creating a community around multi-functional space,” said Claus Sendlinger. “It’s all about dynamic collaboration.” In the meantime, Burning Man has just announced, in a full-circle moment, that the non-profit organization has purchased a 3,800-acre ranch in Nevada that will function as a year-round destination. In the notice that they posted on their website, they asked the question: “What if we had a place to experiment with and apply the 10 Principles, 365 days a year...?” At Hotel Burning Man, the festival will never end. ■
top, bottom Habitas curates one-of-a-kind gatherings and installations for the spiritually curious.
We want people to constantly be in a child-like state of wonder … Kfir Levy, Co-Founder of Habitas
avid Seargeant has embraced disparate aesthetic innovations in hotel design to create a portfolio of cool, 21st-century boutique hotels in Sydney and across Australia. As the managing director of Event Hospitality & Entertainment, one of Australia’s leading entertainment, tourism, hospitality, and leisure companies, he set out to restore key architectural and design features while introducing a contemporary aesthetic that is both provocative and theatrical. Set within the heritage-listed Gowings department store and the State Theatre, in the heart of Sydney’s central business district, QT Sydney is a 200-room landmark that revives the rich, colorful past of two of the city’s most iconic buildings. Can you name one of your early inspirations? I was fortunate to have visited New York shortly after Ian Schrager opened the doors to his groundbreaking Morgans Hotel, and I was truly inspired and believed that this design-driven, experience-focused hotel concept represented the future.
QT is known for its eco-friendly approach. Can you share one more of the hotel’s recent forays into sustainability? We have launched a beehive initiative at select QT properties that will help boost natural pollination and protect wild bee genetics, while also helping to pollinate QT’s completely sustainable rooftop gardens, which supply our restaurants with organic herbs and vegetables. ■ 66
QT Sydney Made by Originals
In Search of
THE OT H ER I BI ZA Photography Cristina LĂ&#x201C;pez
Beyond the nightclub hype and boilerplate beach luxury, Thomas Rogers set out to discover the other side of the famed Balearic island. 69
Day 1 The first thing that strikes me is the color. Looking out the window as my plane descends into Ibiza, the reddish brown of the coast vibrates against the grayish green of the island’s parched vegetation. The second, as we drive into the hills, is the surreal procession of nightclub billboards lining the roads: “Privilege,” “Pacha,” words evoking that frothy blend of high-end debauchery and mass tourism that so many people have come to associate with Ibiza, for better or worse. But as we get further from the coast, the city gives way to farmland, the billboards to trees. Russell, our driver, came here two and a half years ago from Ireland, and like thousands of others before him, never left, drawn in by the island’s unique “energy.” “The first winter is the toughest,” he says, as our van drives up a hill towards La Granja, the 10-hectare farmhouse estate where I’ll be staying. “It’s ok if you have a job but otherwise things get survivalist.” Most of the island’s permanent residents depend on tourism for their livelihood, with lives marked by frantic activity in the summer months, and long, quiet winters. They inhabit a parallel Ibiza defined not by parties and package vacations but by the soft pace of authentic island life, Balearic tradition marked by a colorful, sun-drenched hippie heritage. That’s the Ibiza I came here to find. Russell turns off the paved road onto an uneven path signposted with a simple letter “G.” As if crossing the threshold to another world, we drive slowly, silently, through a thick forest of gnarled trees and thicket, blanketed in a ghostly layer of chalk-white dust. Finally we break through the trees and the dust clears to reveal La Granja, unfurling before us like a hilltop oasis. Anchored by a century-old stone farmhouse and a terraced garden with a glimmering swimming pool, the estate overlooks a vista of rolling farmland and sloping woods — and beyond that, the sun-basked blue of the Mediterranean Sea. I walk up to my lodgings, a cavernous room bathed in dark wood and deep shadows, accented by dapples of warm island light. Looking down on the pool from my private terrace at the working farm below, I feel like I’ve traversed decades in the half hour it took to drive from the airport. As the sun sets, I head down to the terrace for my “farmer’s table” — La Granja’s signature five-course meal that mixes the estate’s produce with other local ingredients, a meal that doubles as a metaphor about bringing together visitors and locals.
José Catrimán, La Granja’s chef, came to Ibiza from Barcelona five years ago, but grew up in Patagonia. A handsome man in his late 30s with cropped black hair and a warm laugh, José stands before an outdoor hearth overlooking the hills. Helpers bring up baskets of fresh vegetables and fruits from the farm below as smoke escapes from the oven. “My mom taught me to cook, in a tiny village,” José explains. “There are no cities in Patagonia.” When he came to the island, he found a home in the woods, planted a garden with vegetables. Now he presides over a kitchen supplied by several acres of dedicated farmland, with beetroot, squashes, and figs, and a pig named Coco. My meal starts with fresh gazpacho, made with garlic and almonds, a crisp salad made of homegrown La Granja produce, and culminates with a whole fish, which José debones at the table.The meal is exactly what I wanted: I can taste the earth, the sunlight, the island’s very essence. The sun dims, and the only light I see is the gentle twinkling of faraway cars driving from the city. Day 2 The following day, José leads me back through the center of the island and past a procession of farms, small cafés, and warehouses, to his favorite picnic spot. We climb down a steep cliff at Sa Caleta, a secluded stretch of coast on the southern corner of the island, and clamber over some concrete trenches until we arrive at a set of abandoned fishing shacks. The cliffs are the bright red color I noticed from my airplane windows — a result of the island’s iron-rich soil — but the seaside rocks are grayer, rougher. Other than a small pebbly beach a kilometer away along the cliffs, there’s no sign of other human beings, only the empty shacks with palm-thatched awnings and the sound of the waves crashing against concrete pilings. José explains that fishermen used to store their boats here, but now locals use them to swim or sunbathe: there’s a nearby sign warning visitors not to start fires; an old tile table in front of one of the shacks, partly eaten away by the sea. In the distance, planes occasionally rise through the sky. The island’s legendary house music scene made it a huge draw in the ‘90s, but it wasn’t until budget airlines arrived a decade later that the island became the destination that it now is.This August, nearly one-and-a-half million people came through Ibiza airport, but La Granja, set among the island’s pastoral inlands, seems far-flung from this globalist hubbub, and I’ve barely seen any signs of other tourists. ▶
top José Catrimán, La Granja’s chef, serves up the “farmer’s table.” bottom Baskets of fresh vegetables and fruits are brought up from the farm below.
previous page The pool terrace at La Granja Ibiza. top Sa Caleta, a secluded stretch of coastline on the southern edge of the island. bottom A picnic, prepared by José Catrimán, La Granja’s chef.
top A view of the cove from “Julia.” bottom José talks shop.
Later, I head out to meet José just outside San Antonio, the island’s second city. In the last few years, it has become Ibiza’s preferred spot for package tourists, and the center of the city is arranged along a harbor lined with restaurants and people hawking tickets for the island’s big clubs. Driving through the outskirts, I notice the half-finished remnants of Spain’s pre-crisis construction boom and the first signs of the tourist masses: groups of sunburnt men wandering down the street. When I get to the beach, José pulls out several jars of fresh ceviche — including one made with octopus — and together with his friend Manuel, we head out on their retrofitted fishing boat, Julia. The life of an Ibiza chef, he explains, is built on local connections: “If a chef works for a wealthy client, he’ll recommend a friend when the client needs someone else,” he says. “Gradually, we all just kind of get to know one another.” As Julia bobs in the waves, we point to distant tourists in powerboats. “My life feels very far away from all that,” José says. That night, José sends me to a restaurant that his friend, former Noma chef Boris Buono, opened in the bottom floor of his apartment 14 months ago: Ibiza Food Studio. Hidden among the winding cobblestone alleyways of Ibiza Old Town, the place is so hard to locate that I only find it when one of the restaurant’s servers sees me wandering aimlessly down the street and points me in the right direction. The atmosphere feels more like a private party than a proper restaurant — I can see Boris and his tattooed and pierced sous-chefs preparing the food in the open kitchen, there’s a washing machine in the bathroom, and the host, a brassy Mancunian with a generous pour, invites me to smoke on Boris’s personal balcony. Over the next three hours, I experience one of the best meals of my life, an extraordinary six-course odyssey that includes, among many other surprises, a salmon with beetroot and avocado so smooth it slowly dissolves in my mouth and veal tartar smoked with Ibiza pine — as Boris places it in front of me, he lifts up a cloudy glass cloche and the smoke wafts up to the restaurant’s ceiling. As the evening goes on, the vibe becomes more jovial and takes on the air of an intimate island house party. An Indian man tells me that he’s just written a Bollywood movie about a plane hijacking; an Icelandic woman with a pixie cut and feather earrings screams: “Everybody tells me I look like Sharon Stone!”
After dinner, I wander through Ibiza Town’s quiet city center. At this point in the evening, the tourist shops hawking jewelry and flowing white tunics have closed down and the streets are empty aside from a few latenight revelers. Just inside the Old Town’s fortified walls I find La Mezcaleria, the island’s first mezcal bar since it arrived here a couple years ago. The bar is intimate, with chatty groups of Spanish-speakers spread along a few tables and congregating on a small outdoor patio. Mezcal is a Mexican liquor made from various kinds of agave plants — its best-known variant is tequila — but can have many different flavors and textures. “You could compare it to wine,” says Javier Solórzano, one of the Mezcaleria’s owners. He brings out some shots, each with a slightly different chorus of flavors, and a few cocktails, some sweet, some sour. Because the agave cactus needs to mature before the juice can be extracted, mezcal production is a relatively long process. “People say it’s like ‘liquid sun’ and creates a kind of euphoric lucidity,” he explains. In his view, that makes it a perfect match for Ibiza: “The people who come here like to try new things, and they like to get high.” Day 3 The first major hippie wave washed up on the island in the 1960s — a natural precursor to the rise of the island’s dance culture. Today it feels like a tangible part of the island’s DNA, and is reflected not only in the sartorial choices of many locals, and their fondness for mezcal, but in the program of rituals that regularly take place at La Granja — like sound baths, designed to maximize introspection; group meditation sessions; and a full moon ritual. The day after my trip to the Mezcaleria, I overcome my skepticism and sign up for something described to me as a tobacco ritual, a mysterious event that will take place in a forested area on the estate. That evening I meet Erin at the base of a footpath near the farmhouse, where she greets me with the brightest seemingly unforced smile a stranger has ever given me. I’m here for a healing ritual in which, Erin explains, she will give me a mixture of tobacco and herbs called rapé (mercifully pronounced “hah-pe”). She is dressed in a white smock, and based on her facial expressions seems to be floating a half-inch above the ground. After a short walk through creaking forest, we arrive at a small wooden platform on a hill arrayed with a small altar of flowers, crystals, feathers, candles, and a container of water. ▶
top left The view of Ibiza Town from Boris’s personal balcony. top right Boris Buono works the kitchen at the Ibiza Food Studio. bottom “People say it’s like liquid sun.” A generous pour at La Mezcaleria.
previous pages A ritual altar and citrus trees on the grounds at La Granja Ibiza. top Artists in residence at La Granja. bottom left Preparing for the tobacco ritual. bottom right Erin burns sage.
As the sun approaches the horizon, Erin explains to our circle of six participants that the ceremony is a healing ritual with roots in Brazil — a way of cleansing people’s minds and spirits by inserting pulverized tobacco leaves, mixed with herbs, into their sinuses with a wooden pipe. Before we begin, a tiny hummingbird appears and flits around the flowers on the altar. Erin sits before me, gazing intensely into my eyes. “Good journey, brother,” she says softly, then shoots the tobacco up my nostril. My eyes water and my head becomes light. Erin’s friend Shamir, an Austrian sound healer, begins chanting and blowing into a pipe that resembles a didgeridoo. The other participants sway lightly, and as I lay down and look up at the stars, I reflect on the island’s curious energy, as various people have described it to me. It would be a cliché to argue that time moves more slowly here, but at the very least, life feels lighter, smoother than on the mainland. I listen to the crickets cricketing amid the trees, and Shamir chanting his chants, and feel the island seeping into my brain. Still floating from the tobacco, I meet up with another ceremony participant, a Frenchwoman, in the magic triangle, as people call the area between La Granja’s outdoor DJ booth, pool, and its rustic-extravagant bar set among the branches of an old-growth carob tree. As we sip our “mezcal mules,” the impromptu dance floor fills up and begins moving to the layered, psychedelic electronic music played by a young Belgian DJ. “I love it here,” she tells me, bellying up to the carob bar under a canopy of branches and Balearic stars. She recently moved from Brussels to the island, she says, and La Granja has become a kind of cultural beacon. “It’s totally different than anywhere I’ve ever been,” she says. After a few minutes she hugs me, and bounds back over to the small cluster of revelers dancing and laughing in the cool nighttime air. Day 4 On my last morning, I take a cab down to Cala Saladeta, a tiny beach about 20 minutes from the farmhouse, nestled under a craggy rockface that I have to climb over for 10 minutes before I reach a corner of the small azure cove. The mostly Spanish-speaking crowd is subdued and beautiful. The water is crystaline and just cool enough, shimmering under the radiant midday sun. Seagulls flash white against a cloudless cobalt sky, calling softly over the swelling sea. The beach feels like the ultimate symbol of the “other” Ibiza I’ve experienced over the last several days: unpretentious, warm, beautiful — and hidden in plain sight. In the distance, I see a large tourist boat dock on the other side of the cove, but none of its passengers venture over the rocks. The beach remains ours. ■
Thomas Rogers is a freelance writer based in Berlin who has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, New York magazine, and Rolling Stone. When exposed to the sun, he turns a pleasant shade of pink.
Emilio Heredia Made by Originals
Papaya Playa Project
milio Heredia has spent the last 30 years dedicated to his own spiritual development through the study of yoga, karate, the Tao, and Corporal Psychotherapy. With degrees in electronic engineering and finance, he has served as chairman of various financial institutions in Mexico and New York. Twelve years ago, Heredia moved to Tulum and later opened the Papaya Playa Project, a communal playground for the creative community, set on the Caribbean coast. Created in collaboration with Design Hotels™, Papaya Playa is also a sustainable community that learns from and gives back to the local Maya.
You’ve lived all over North America. Why did you decide to set up your first hospitality project in Tulum? I chose Tulum because I wanted to be in a beautiful place that is full of nature, respect, and the values I grew up with. My aim is to help preserve that for the generations to come. How important is it to work with local people and materials? It’s key, to be aware of the carbon footprint, the transportation and irrational excessive use of materials. What is your definition of happiness? Going beyond the paradox of confusion, beyond all individual illusions of this life, living without judgment, being free, loving all and everything. ■
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Sheer Driving Pleasure
Jamaica Belize Bonaire
Saint Lucia Grenada
La Paz, Bolivia
53 Rooms / USD 197 – 650
A luxury hospitality pioneer in Bolivia for art-inclined, design-savvy travelers, Atix resonates with the spirit of the breathtaking city of La Paz. Here, bold cosmopolitan travelers experience exquisite local cuisine, world-class design, and a thrilling landscape of deep red canyons and glowing sunsets. Designed to be a live-in art gallery, the 53-room Atix, which means “one who thrives” in Quechua, displays fine-art photography and artwork in the guest corridors, rooms, and common areas by native artist Gastón Ugalde — known as the Andy Warhol of the Andes. The hotel invites guests to a rooftop bar set next to an enticing infinity pool and Jacuzzi where they can experience world-class cocktails and gourmet cuisine inspired by the soaring Andes and its people.
Argentina / Belize / Bonaire / Brazil
Hotel Pulitzer Buenos Aires, Argentina
104 Rooms / USD 80 – 230
Nestled between the frenetic hustle of the Microcentro business and shopping district and the leafy old-world charm of the Recoleta — a well-heeled district known to locals as “Little Paris” — Hotel Pulitzer offers visitors to Buenos Aires a unique vantage from which to take in this dynamic, thriving city. Upstairs at the 13th floor Sky Bar, caipirinhas and mojitos flow, while patrons take in the sunset al fresco. Poolside chaise lounges beckon guests to stretch out and bathe in the sun eight stories above the bustling streets. A sophisticated sanctuary, Hotel Pulitzer offers a prime location for business travelers and culture-hunters alike.
El Secreto 13 Villas / USD 450 – 1,150
Ambergris Caye, Belize The secret is out. Contemporary yet bucolic, El Secreto is setting a new standard for the Caribbean resort. Each of its impressive 13 thatched-roof villas has been designed with the locale in mind, and ocean views and landscaped grounds take center stage. El Secreto Restaurant delivers guests the best organic produce Belize’s Ambergris Caye can offer, while the Ikal spa acts as the ultimate gateway to total relaxation with its program of Mayan influenced treatments.
Piet Boon Bonaire Kralendijk, Bonaire
10 Villas / USD 500 – 1,415
Just 30 miles from Curaçao and 50 miles from Venezuela, the inviting Caribbean island of Bonaire is a tranquil place edged by turquoise seas. Out along the seafront in Kralendijk, the island’s sedate capital, is a collection of 10 sophisticated villas by Dutch design icon Piet Boon. Five of the properties at Piet Boon Bonaire lie on the oceanfront, with secluded, expertly crafted spaces leading onto private terraces with private pools and access to the sea. Five additional villas sit farther back from the shore, but just like the oceanfront properties, they are equipped with signature furnishings that complement the island’s tropical beauty.
Felissimo Exclusive Hotel
1 Villas / BRL 3,000 10 Rooms / BRL 799 – 1,400
Balneário Camboriú, Brazil Designed by esteemed Brazil-natives Paulo Alves, Ligia Sievert, Finando de Souza, and Vicky Schramm, Felissimo Exclusive Hotel is set on a hill 500 meters from Amores beach, lending it one of the best views in Balneário Camboriú. The 10 secluded rooms and two villa-like lofts, which can be transformed into one big accommodation, present an air of simple opulence thanks to warm native woods, wide-open verandahs, and sun loungers that enable one to take in the incredible mountain and beach scenery. Felissimo Exclusive Hotel focuses on personalized and discreet service, which guests can enjoy at the intimate pool and hot tub area, as well as on the gazebo-style deck of Bistro Felissimo restaurant.
La Ferme de Georges
7 Villas / BRL 850 – 1,500
La Ferme de Georges beckons those who crave slowed down culinary indulgence, locally-inspired modern design, and stunning natural landscapes. Perched on the edge of the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, the property is surrounded by hundreds of turquoise lagoons and dunes that are especially loved by kitesurfers, who flock here for the area’s optimal wind conditions and flat waters. The goodness of nature is at the heart of the property’s concept. The restaurant serves fresh international cuisine using locally sourced ingredients from its organic gardens. Seven white-walled chalets — fashioned from local wood, brick, and palha, or straw — boast a tropical, minimalist aesthetic using natural materials, inviting hammocks swaying on private terraces, and curvaceous design pieces inspired by the sand dunes outside.
Brazil / Canada
Kenoa – Exclusive Beach Spa & Resort
12 Villas / BRL 2,480 – 4,680 11 Rooms / BRL 1,470 – 2,650
Barra de São Miguel, Brazil Neighboring a nature reserve, Kenoa – Exclusive Beach Spa & Resort takes pride in being located on the phenomenal, sunny beach of Barra de São Miguel. Each of the 23 villas and suites is in harmony with its stunning ecological surroundings without compromising the highest level of comfort and sophistication. Neutral colors set the tone for an outstanding, yet humble design language that organically manifests itself amid the wildlife. A Shiseido-equipped spa, fitness center with ocean views, wine bar, lounge, and world-class cuisine tantalize the senses and satisfy the soul.
Insólito Boutique Hotel 24 Rooms / BRL 990 – 3,124
Búzios, Brazil The Insólito Boutique Hotel is nestled on a hillside outcrop overlooking the beautiful Ferradura Beach in Búzios. The hotel’s 24 rooms reflect the artistic soul of its owner, the French-born Emmanuelle de Clermont Tonnerre, who has lovingly curated every room herself, bringing the experience of Brazil’s culture and history to life within each one. Emmanuelle has converted her beachfront home into one of the most desirable hotels in Latin America. The Insólito has retained the personal, relaxed atmosphere of a private house, while the rooms add up to an artfully arranged, environmentally sustainable journey through Brazil.
Hotel Unique São Paulo, Brazil
94 Rooms / BRL 1,052 – 23,199
The dramatic exterior, singular in style with its green copper façade, dark glass, and surrounding desert garden, seamlessly continues indoors. The public spaces are toweringly high, geometrically aligned, and carefully choreographed. The guest-rooms combine high-tech details with natural elements to create an otherworldly effect. Upstairs, São Paulo’s finest rooftop terrace offers amazing views of the city: That is, if guests can take their eyes off the fascinating crimson swimming pool that runs along its edge.
Hotel St. Paul 119 Rooms / CAD 179 – 649
Montreal, Canada One of Montreal’s first high-rise buildings has been t ransformed into one of the city’s most talked-about hotels. The captivating Hotel St. Paul may be located in a “muscular Beaux Arts” building, but its soft colors and furnishings reveal an ethereal design philosophy. Spread over nine floors, St. Paul’s guestrooms are decorated with a variety of color schemes drawn from Canada’s landscape.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
8 Rooms / USD 35,000 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 65,000
Chez Georges is a showcase of transcontinental modernism housed in an impressive work of Brazilian Brutalism. Boasting a private, seven-suite villa and a separate two-bedroom studio, the secluded property is set on the edge of a protected forest. Entering through beautiful concrete arches and a stunning six-meter-high wooden door, one is immersed in a venue of meticulously crafted textiles, rich woods, azulejo mosaics, spectacular artwork, a glorious mix of midcentury European and Brazilian furnishings, and handpicked pieces from the antique markets of Paris, Brussels, Ghent, and Antwerp. A music-lovers dream, the entire house is hooked up to a state-of-the-art music production room, transforming the villa into a huge recording studio. ChezÂ Georges is available for private hire, providing guests with a wholly unique place to experience Rio.
Colombia / Grenada / Ecuador
B.O.G. Hotel Bogotá, Colombia
55 Rooms / USD 260 – 600
B.O.G. Hotel, in Bogotá’s fashionable La Cabrera district, is the ideal place from which to explore South America’s up-andcoming city-break destination. With a design celebrating Colombia’s natural treasures — gold and emeralds — the B.O.G. Hotel offers a gateway to the thriving capital of Colombia. Mixing high-class service and amenities with a dash of decadence, the hotel is the creation of internationally acclaimed Portuguese interior designer, Nini Andrade Silva. The hotel’s restaurant serves fusion dishes that blend international flavors with Colombian gastronomic heritage.
3 Villas / USD 1,660 – 3,095 16 Rooms / USD 395 – 1,280
Morne Rouge, Grenada A sublime blend of Balinese and Caribbean elements, Laluna is Grenada’s hidden secret. The architects Gabriella Giuntoli, Salvatore Perna, and Carmelina Santoro teamed up to give the hotel’s 16 cottages and three luxury villas as much inner comfort as possible without disturbing the sweeping views that each offers its guests. Balinese furniture and handpicked artworks adorn the lobby and rooms, while the hotel’s bright colors perfectly mirror the surrounding landscape.
12 Rooms / USD 220 – 528
Set in a French-style home from the 19th century, just blocks from Quito’s main landmarks, Carlota Hotel immerses guests in the treasures of this UNESCO-listed city. An intimate 12-room, family-owned hotel, Carlota offers personalized attention, an insider’s introduction to the neighborhood, and public spaces such as a rooftop lounge with 360-degree views of the historical area; a wine cellar; an intimate library / reading room; and the Bistro, where diners can experience the traditional tastes of Ecuador. Retaining its original grandeur, the hotel is also punctuated by bright colors, rich patterns, exposed brick walls, and recovered wooden panels. Like the city in which it’s set, Carlota Hotel is a glorious mix of historical charm and contemporary flair.
Jamaica / Mexico
20 Villas / USD 195 – 495 14 Rooms / USD 95 – 225
Negril, Jamaica Hovering over a volcanic coast on the westernmost tip of Jamaica, the Rockhouse Hotel looks like something straight out of a Robinson Crusoe fantasy. Laid out in the shape of an African village overlooking the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, the hotel’s design aims to create a seamless transition between nature and man. Nautical and organic references abound in architect Jean-Henri Morin’s concept and the stunning cliffside bungalows are surely one of its highlights.
Boca Chica 36 Rooms / USD 240 – 370
Acapulco, Mexico Just steps from an idyllic cove, Boca Chica is a grand addition to Acapulco’s new era. Once the playground of Hollywood elite, this 36-room hotel was constructed in the late 1950s next to the glamorous Club de Yates and the famed Los Flamingos Hotel. Today, the vintage exterior looks like it’s straight out of a 1950s movie set; inside, however, the reinvigorated interior still channels the Cary Grant years.
Casa Fayette Guadalajara, Mexico
37 Rooms / USD 195 – 595
In Guadalajara’s up-and-coming Lafayette neighborhood, Casa Fayette reflects the changing face of the area by blending the traditional with the on-trend. Architects Estudio5 merged early 20th-century architecture with a gleaming new tower, while the Italian interior design team, Dimorestudio, borrows elements from Mexico, Italy, and a host of European designers, giving the interior a global eclecticism that mimics the inspirations behind the neighborhood’s transition. Impressive city views accompany drinks on the top-floor pool, spa, and sunbed area, while American cuisine and Mexican flavors are served on the ground floor.
Rosas & Xocolate 17 Rooms / USD 245 – 695
Mérida, Mexico Rosas & Xocolate, entrepreneur Carol Kolozs’s boutique hotel, was designed for guests who take romance seriously. Located in the grand city of Mérida, where the famed Mayan civilization first discovered cocoa, the haute pueblo hotel, endowed with one of the region’s most sought-after restaurants, is the social hub of the Yucatán’s cultural capital. Through its 17 rooms, Rosas & Xocolate perfectly melds the rustic elegance of a historical baron’s mansion with modern accoutrements and sensory delights.
Condesadf Mexico City, Mexico
40 Rooms / USD 340 – 850
Hip without being haughty, the modern Condesadf challenges the conventional codes with a new chic: informal, relaxed, and high-tech. Designer India Mahdavi has created a space offering functional originality from rooms to rooftop. The hotel is a unique flirtation with the French neoclassical style and a new encounter with Mexico City.
Distrito Capital 30 Rooms / USD 225 – 900
Mexico City, Mexico Surprising interiors, dazzling panoramic views, and doubleheight ceilings are just a few of the highlights of Distrito Capital. Designed around the idea of creative minimalism, the 30 well-appointed rooms look more like chic art spaces than hotel rooms. This upbeat and welcoming hotel, located in the skyscraper district of Santa Fe, is a testament to how cool Mexico’s capital has become in recent years.
Downtown Mexico Mexico City, Mexico
17 Rooms / USD 210 – 355
Blending colonial 17th-century grandeur with a raw industrial edge, Downtown Mexico integrates local indigenous culture into its concept while celebrating its location in the Centro Historico borough of Mexico City. The enchanting mix of colonial and indigenous culture gives the property a visibly distinct characteristic, with gray volcanic rock walls, a perfectly manicured patio, and a spectacular stone-forge staircase. The guestrooms possess a stripped-back, bohemian chic elegance, while the rooftop terrace, with a view of the historic surroundings, includes a pool and cocktail bar.
Habita 36 Rooms / USD 330 – 525
Mexico City, Mexico Wrapped in a sheath of frosted glass, Habita raised eyebrows in Mexico City when it first opened in 2000 in a 1950s-era building located in one of the city’s most fashionable districts. Glass and light are the leitmotifs in Enrique Norten and Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta’s design, acting to shroud guests from prying eyes on the streets below and to create an ethereal atmosphere in this temple of modernism.
Habita Monterrey Monterrey, Mexico
39 Rooms / USD 210 – 990
Why would a world traveler, a global nomad, an itinerant businessperson, or an aesthete want to check into the Habita Monterrey? Because the 39-room building is a curvilinear vision in black and white, guests can work in high-tech peace, and the rooftop terrace offers 360 degree views. Because service is five-star — but always cordial, never cold. Because chef Moises Carrillo’s restaurant, Lobby, and the unforgettable interior design by Parisian designer Joseph Dirand, make eating and lounging here extraordinary. That’s why.
Hotel La Semilla 9 Rooms / USD 190 – 270
Playa del Carmen, Mexico Hotel La Semilla is infused with a sense of Mexican heritage and style thanks to vintage Mexican furniture and the finest flea market finds from haciendas in the Yucatán region and around the country. The hotel possesses a laid-back simplicity with lounging spaces, such as the Cocina Loft restaurant, where mismatched pieces of furniture create the feeling of relaxing at a friend’s house. Guests are also encouraged to explore the owner’s favorite restaurants or to bring their own food to the hotel to be enjoyed in any of the public spaces or even in the garden surrounded by candles.
La Purificadora Puebla, Mexico
26 Rooms / USD 170 – 350
This stunning hotel located in the historic center of Puebla, a colonial city on the road between Mexico City and Veracruz, is the reincarnation of a former 19th-century factory once used to purify water and produce ice. This long tradition of purity remains in La Purificadora’s exclusively black and white decor, elegant use of original materials, and sweeping views offered from its 26 guestrooms.
Hotel Escondido 16 Rooms / USD 425 – 460
Puerto Escondido, Mexico Hoteliers Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha transformed a pristine stretch of Oaxacan coastline into a private paradise with Hotel Escondido. The duo behind Grupo Habita collaborated with architect Federico Rivera Río to create a modern-take on traditional palapa beach huts, each with their own sundeck and private swimming pool. After a long day surfing you can unwind with a massage at the spa or mingle over cocktails in the bar or enjoy the music room, which cul tivates a laid-back, convivial atmosphere.
Dos Casas Hotel & Spa
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
12 Rooms / USD 372 – 744
Two adjacent 18th-century colonial residences house San Miguel de Allende’s most sophisticated hub, where bespoke contemporary design melds with time-honored Mexican hospitality. Dos Casas’ 12 fully outfitted guestrooms feature midcentury modern furniture and avant-garde touches like contemporary Latin American artworks. Throughout its eccentric interiors, flashes of stone, marble, wood, iron, leather, and brass evoke Mexico’s rich colonial heritage, and a communal rooftop terrace offers guests breathtaking panoramic views of San Miguel de Allende’s 16th-century skyline. Meanwhile, Dos Casas’ on-site restaurant, Áperi, helmed by executive chef Matteo Salas, has become a local destination in its own right with its bold use of local ingredients and flavors.
Lo Sereno Casa de Playa
10 Rooms / MXN 220 – 300
Exuding the vibe of a private beach home, the intimate 10-room property Lo Sereno is nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Located in Troncones, a world-class surfing destination in Mexico, the hotel is set along a three-mile-long unspoiled beach bordered by coconut palms. Offering a fresh con temporary look with a decidedly Mexican flavor, the rooms face the ocean or an infinity pool, and feature the ultimate in barefoot luxury, private bathroom patios, and large terraces. The hotel’s kitchen offers gourmet Mexican fare, sourcing fresh local ingredients daily. A curated boutique offers guests everything from surfboards and beach essentials to books.
Hotel Matilda San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
32 Rooms / USD 354 – 894
Hoteliers Bruce James and Harold “Spook” Stream have worked together to create a space that celebrates contemporary Mexican art. Beyond the glass doors, visitors are welcomed by a selection of pieces by emerging local stars, as well as pieces by legends such as Diego Rivera, Bosco Sodi, and Aldo Chaparro. From the restaurant — with a fresh “farm-to-table” concept — to the 32 rooms and suites, traditional colonial style mixes with Mexican touches like textured wood, warm stucco, and marble, set against a backdrop of cream, brown and beige, lush caramel-colored furnishings, and bold pops of turquoise.
Casa Malca 40 Rooms / USD 490 – 1,200
Tulum, Mexico Set on an endless white sand beach in the most exclusive corner of Tulum, this 40-room Caribbean resort marries three inspiring elements — art, nature, and laid-back luxury.The property’s driving force, Lio Malca, is a lion in the art world, having specialized in works by contemporary and modern masters, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, while launching retrospectives at New York’s Whitney Museum and other top venues. For Casa Malca, he brings artwork worthy of a museum to complement an earthy luxurious charm. He has also created a rooftop bar with views of the beach, the jungle, and the best sunsets in Tulum.
Papaya Playa Project
3 Villas / USD 1,750 – 6,800 100 Rooms / USD 150 – 900
Tulum, Mexico A creative haven nestled on the coast of the Mayan Riviera, Papaya Playa, a Design Hotels™ Project, lies adjacent to sparkling waters and the only Mayan ruins on the sea. Sustainability prevails here and guests luxuriate in rustic simplicity. The Papaya Playa Project exudes healthy creativity. Its mission is to promote a holistic and spiritual life consciously in harmony with nature and with one's community. The property’s values are respect and modesty, simplicity, celebration through music and art, the cordiality between human relationships, and the common benefit of community. Papaya Playa Project is a destination for those looking to merge nature, relaxation, and spirituality.
Azúcar 20 Villas / MXN 1,770 – 7,900
Veracruz, Mexico Combining the extremes of purist simplicity and elegant style, Azúcar (“sugar” in Spanish) is a sweet collection of 20 bungalows gracing the coast of Veracruz offering authentic Mexican flavor and dramatic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Thatched roofs and curved, whitewashed adobe walls lend the villas an austere ease. Broad-slat wood flooring and clean-lined furniture as well as private terraces, an outdoor yoga space, library, and spa create a quiet haven for those weary of mass tourism.
Mexico / Panama / Saint Lucia / United States
Maison Couturier Veracruz, Mexico
18 Rooms / MXN 1,900 – 2,700
Founded in 1833 by French immigrants to the tropics of Veracruz, the estate has been converted into Maison Couturier, a resort that preserves its French origins and Mexican surroundings in a blissful paradise. Just a few kilometers from the Gulf of Mexico, this lush enclave is easily accessible by land, sea, or air. Maison Couturier is one of the few places where nature, human richness, great architecture, and an amalgamation of cultural traditions prosper in peace and harmony.
El Otro Lado
5 Villas / USD 505 – 1,640 3 Rooms / USD 480 – 580
Portobelo, Panama Modern art is placed alongside 20th-century sculptures and contemporary photography at El Otro Lado, a remote hideaway in a pristine, jungle-wrapped region of Panama. This culture- filled hotel is fully integrated with the local environment, with five villas on the 110-hectare plot including a pool and Gazebo bar and lounge. Guests can explore with a local guide; trek through swampy mangroves and lush rainforests; fish and snorkel at nearby beaches and reefs; or explore the colonial town of Portobelo and nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat Saint Lucia
14 Villas / USD 450 – 650
Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, the founders of luxury British chocolate firm Hotel Chocolat, have transformed St. Lucia’s oldest cocoa plantation, the 140-acre Rabot Estate, into a chocolate lover’s dream. Cocoa grown on the estate is used in the panoramic Boucan Restaurant, which overlooks the cone-shaped volcano Petit Piton, while therapists in the Cocoa Juvenate Spa harness cocoa’s antioxidant power for head massages and body wraps. All 14 lodges have open-air rainforest showers, plus easy access to a black-quartz infinity pool and an exclusive bar that’s wafted by cool, chocolate-scented breezes.
Hotel Healdsburg 56 Rooms / USD 399 – 820
Healdsburg, United States In northern Sonoma County, a stay at Hotel Healdsburg places three wine regions within easy reach and one of the area’s finest restaurants directly under your nose: Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen. Light is an important element of the overall design: Flooding through French doors that lead onto private balconies, under trellised walkways, or through a glass-encased, freestanding stairwell. Artfully landscaped areas embrace the garden pool and spa and spill onto public alleyways that cut across the well-kept grounds.
The Dwell Hotel
Chattanooga, United States
16 Rooms / USD 264 – 381
At The Dwell Hotel — Tennessee’s first upscale luxury boutique hotel — Old Hollywood and South Beach glam playfully contrast the historical charms of a newly renovated, three-story brick-and-limestone building set in downtown Chattanooga. Perfectly placed in the heart of the city — and midway between Nashville and Atlanta — The Dwell boasts 16 rooms, all uniquely designed with vintage furniture, rustic hardwoods, exposed brick, and curated art pieces. Here, midcentury modern meets luxury-retro, with each room evoking a journey into another era. And by expanding the restaurant, completely reimagining the hotel bar, and creating entirely new lounge areas, the hotel offers up multiple spaces for guests and locals to experience hospitality, Chattanooga-style.
Scribner's Catskill Lodge
Hunter, United States
38 Rooms / USD 81 – 864
A refuge for New York City creatives who crave a stylish, inspirational getaway, Scribner’s Catskill Lodge pays homage to the rich past of the Catskills region while reinventing the notion of the modern-day luxury retreat. Perched high on a hill surrounded by fields of grass, and beautifully reimagined by design upstarts Studio Tack, the 38-room eclectic mountain lodge is a year-round refuge for cosmopolitan explorers and adventurers looking to enjoy local art, culture, and the inspiring nature of upstate New York. Originally built in the 1960s, today’s fully renovated Scribner’s brings key characteristics of the Hudson Valley cultural renaissance to one property. Here, one can lose oneself in the dramatic western views of Hunter Mountain, the Schoharie Valley, and the fully realized promise of the ultimate luxury escape.
Chicago, United States
69 Rooms / USD 182 – 616
High above the jazz and blues bars, cafés, and boutiques of Chicago’s swinging Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods, The Robey draws a hip and creative crowd both day and night. Situated at a six-way intersection in the triangular Northwest Tower — known colloquially as the Coyote Building due to its “howling” posture, some say — the 69-room hotel, by Grupo Habita, boasts French-American cuisine, plays host to the Up & Up rooftop cocktail lounge, and offers collaborative spaces for both business and pleasure behind its limestone Art Deco façade. Add an exclusive Panorama Suite and private bar, and the reason for the hotel’s hotspot status becomes clear.
11 Howard New York City, United States
221 Rooms / USD 250 – 700
11 Howard, a 221-room boutique property in New York City’s fashionable SoHo district, combines cutting-edge Scandinavian design with hyperlocalism. More than just a vantage point for downtown exploration, the property is an art spectacle in itself and a community hub partnered with a range of local businesses and nonprofits. 11 Howard received a full interior makeover from the renowned design studio Space Copenhagen — the brains behind the world-class Noma restaurant — adding a dose of Scandinavian minimalism to a neighborhood already bursting with art, fashion, music, and countless other forms of creativity.
Crosby Street Hotel 86 Rooms / USD 625 – 5,000
New York City, United States Crosby Street Hotel reinvents Kit Kemp’s signature aesthetic to match the individuality of New York’s SoHo. Each of the 86 rooms are one-of-a-kind, and the upper floor suites offer unparalleled luxury and an impeccable 360 degree view of one of the world’s most vibrant and glamorous skylines. The Crosby Bar juxtaposes the best traditions of London and New York: afternoon tea and the perfect cocktail.
Gramercy Park Hotel New York City, United States
190 Rooms / USD 425 – 5,000
With one-of-a-kind furnishings and artwork created by master painter Julian Schnabel, the Gramercy Park Hotel is much more than a luxury boutique hotel — it’s a work of art. With 190 rooms, including nine specialty suites, the hotel is set in the heart of Manhattan, directly across from Gramercy Park, the only private park in New York City. With a lush rooftop garden for special events and engagingly designed interior spaces, the hotel offers many evocative spaces.
Hôtel Americano 56 Rooms / USD 375 – 695
New York City, United States Hoteliers, art collectors, and world travelers Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha’s Hôtel Americano combines the energy of Manhattan with the sophistication of its owners’ global backgrounds. The 56 rooms and suites, rooftop terrace, and cellar bars exude international chic, while the Chelsea neighborhood’s art galleries, parks, and Hudson River views provide visitors with a singularly local perspective. Couturier and Micha, Mexico City natives with European roots, have endowed Hôtel Americano with warm Latin hospitality, French interior design, and New York energy.
The Ludlow Hotel New York City, United States
175 Rooms / USD 245 – 1,995
The Ludlow Hotel feels innate to New York’s Lower East Side. Elegant and comfortable but with artful rough edges and personal quirks, the hotel conjures the area’s vivid history, from the “Gangs of New York” era to Jewish immigration to the wild art and music scenes of the 1980s. The 175 rooms have a lofty industrial vibe with big casement windows, furry throws on chairs, and lavish bathrooms. The hotel’s restaurant, Dirty French, by Major Food Group, serves Gallic classics with a New York sensibility, while the lobby lounge attracts the many creative types that live in this vibrant neighborhood.
Washington School House 12 Rooms / USD 295 – 2,495
Park City, United States Originally a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, the iconic Washington School House boutique hotel now serves as one of Park City, Utah’s finest lodgings. The 12-room property is curated with a collection of Swedish and French antiques, vintage modern art, exquisite fabrics, and striking chandeliers. A distinctly vintage sensibility spans the property, from the sizzling fireplace area and après-ski lounge to the heated outdoor pool and terrace. Personable “whenever, wherever” service, including abundant all-American breakfasts and the culinary delights of a private gourmet chef, ensures that guests want for nothing.
The Whitby Hotel
New York City, United States
86 Rooms / USD 915 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 1,723
Arriving in style onto the vibrant Manhattan midtown scene from the ever-inspired mind of design doyenne Kit Kemp, The Whitby is surrounded by international designer shops, restaurants, and galleries, with Central Park just a short walk away. Inside the hotel one finds 86 individually styled bedrooms and suites with many offering private terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows and all featuring Kit Kempâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s award-winning luxurious, contemporary style and innovative mix of color, pattern, texture, and art. The top floor is dedicated to The Whitby Suite, a spectacular two-bedroom headline setting, while The Whitby Bar, a drawing room, an orangery and courtyard, as well as several stylish private-event rooms and a 130-seat state-of-the-art cinema, play host to sophisticated and chic Manhattanites from morning to night.
Augarten Art Hotel Graz, Austria
57 Rooms / EUR 95 – 340
This eclectically designed glass and metal structure is all about open communication between its inner world and its outer environment. Sculptures from the hotel’s contemporary art collection wait to be discovered in the courtyard and on the roof terrace, which also provides designer seating where one can soak in the sight of the beautifully preserved city of Graz. Here, no space is overlooked as a creative and potentially inspiring venue.
Hotel Zhero – Ischgl / Kappl 79 Rooms / EUR 190 – 5,140
Kappl, Tyrol, Austria Nestled in Austria’s Tyrolean Alps, Hotel Zhero – Ischgl / Kappl is a true blend of traditional Alpine hospitality and upscale, innovative design. The hotel boasts walking distance to some of the world’s top ski, snowboard, hiking, and climbing locations and even arranges a free shuttle service to the famous ski resort of Ischgl. After a day of activity, guests can retreat to one of 79 luxurious rooms and suites or dine at the The Zhero Open Grill where executive chef Klaus Brunmayr has created a menu mixing regional and international cuisine.
Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort Kitzbühel, Austria
168 Rooms / EUR 134 – 2,472
An elegant mountain retreat in the heart of the Kitzbühel Alps, Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort blends smooth lines with rugged native textures, creating an environment where guests can savor the true essence of Austrian Alpine living. Dining options include four different restaurant areas and an enoteca, as well as the Kitz Lounge. All 168 rooms, studios, and suites, designed by co-owner Uschi Schelle-Müller, seamlessly blend contemporary lines with textured, locally sourced materials like leather and loden, and some rooms feature inspirational views over the powder-covered slopes.
Loisium Wine & Spa Resort Langenlois 82 Rooms / EUR 94 – 331
Langenlois, Austria With stunning views of the Austrian wine country and innovative architecture by Steven Holl, the Loisium is a high-concept hotel built upon centuries-old wine cellars. Holl’s bespoke furnishings and famous use of space and light give the property a relaxing and airy feeling, while natural materials placed throughout the hotel’s public and private spaces amplify the wine lover’s experience. The Aveda Wine Spa features specially created wine treatments based on grapes, grape seeds, and grape-seed oil.
Wiesergut Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria
24 Rooms / EUR 300 – 660
Located directly on the slopes in Hinterglemm, where yearround activities await, local traditions take both new and familiar forms at the Wiesergut. One senses a commitment to preserving artisanal craft at Josef and Martina Kröll’s Alpine retreat, from the locally sourced ingredients of the hotel’s restaurant to the bespoke furnishings in its 24 suites to cutting edge treatments in the multi-story spa. Each suite is a study in mindful relaxation with its earth-tone decor and wooden furnishings. Wiesergut’s ample windows render the boundaries between the pristine Alpine landscape — perfect for summer hiking or winter skiing — and the timeless comfort indoors.
Bergland Hotel Sölden 86 Rooms / EUR 286 – 656
Sölden, Austria Sigi Grüner’s 86-room resort is a complete reworking of the once-prestigious Bergland Hotel Sölden, providing adventurous travelers with every ingredient they need to enjoy an active, stress-free holiday. With direct access to the powder-covered ski slopes, hiking trails, and cycling paths that crisscross some of Austria’s highest peaks, Bergland Hotel Sölden has trained activity leaders and its own in-house sports shop and ski school. Interior spaces include subtle Austrian additions like rocking chairs and oiled oak floors and the 1,700 square meter Sky Spa offers treatments that promote lasting well-being.
Loisium Wine & Spa Resort Südsteiermark Southern Styria, Austria
102 Rooms / EUR 148 – 349
A bold and geometric architecture concept provides guests at Loisium Wine & Spa Resort Südsteiermark with the space they need to wine, dine, and relax. With a well-stocked vinotheque, a restaurant and bar for sampling prizewinning vintages, and views across open vineyards from many of the hotel’s 102 rooms and suites, wine is central to the entire Loisium experience. Sommeliers are on-site to offer expert advice on which wines harmonize with local specialties. Outside, castles and rolling hills punctuate surrounding vineyards; This part of southern Austria offers many attractions for nature lovers, such as hiking, biking, and golf.
Das Triest 72 Rooms / EUR 279 – 569
Vienna, Austria The cross-vaulted rooms are clues to the building’s former life: A coach station used by travelers on their way from Vienna to Trieste. Combining elements of imperial elegance with sober modern lines, the interiors by Sir Terence Conran convey a picture of unity and warmth that are decidedly inviting. Designer highlights in the guestrooms include Castiglioni’s high-arching standing lamp and a Knoll table and chair set by Warren Platner. Porthole windows, railings, and flag motifs throughout the hotel underline the nostalgic link to the Port of Trieste.
Do & Co Hotel Vienna Vienna, Austria
43 Rooms / EUR 249 – 1,550
Internationally renowned catering company Do & Co brings its impeccable standards to the world of hospitality with an innovative hotel on the most recognized square in Vienna. Adjacent to the majestic St. Stephen’s Cathedral, this futuristic glass and metal structure by renowned architect Hans Hollein offers sleek luxury, incredible views, and unparalleled comfort.
Hotel Lamée 32 Rooms / EUR 218 – 898
Vienna, Austria At Hotel Lamée, a mix of old and new transports guests to a bygone era with a distinct Viennese charm. Renovated with a focus on sustainability and styled to hark back to the glamour of Hollywood in the 1930s, the interiors are opulent and lavish, like that of a starlet’s dressing room. Located in Vienna’s historic 1st district, guests are immersed in the lively buzz of the surrounding streets. At Café Bar Bloom, guests can mingle with locals while enjoying modern interpretations of Austrian delicacies. The rooftop terrace offers a legendary view over the Viennese skyline.
Hotel Topazz Vienna, Austria
32 Rooms / EUR 218 – 598
Located in the 1st district of Vienna, close to many sought-after attractions, Hotel Topazz honors the city’s artistic past while setting a precedent for the future. Vienna’s first green upscale hotel combines landmark architecture with a sustainable, resource-ng philosophy. The 32 guestrooms and the penthouse suite draw influence from Vienna’s artistic heritage of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the hotel’s cozy and inspiring Salon recreates the easy-going yet luxurious vibe of a private turn-of-the-century Viennese house.
The Guesthouse Vienna 39 Rooms / EUR 255 – 645
Vienna, Austria The Guesthouse Vienna can be described in three words — home, honesty, and heritage, reflecting the hotel’s design, materials, and service. Reveling in its brilliant 1st district location (the historic core of the capital), The Guesthouse Vienna follows the calm, classic design vocabulary of Conran and Partners with cozy rooms — fitted with welcoming window seats and small libraries — where clean lines and elegant, simple forms rule. The hotel also taps into the local scene with its own Brasserie & Bakery, a popular meeting spot that echoes the city’s glorious early 20th century.
Belgium / Bulgaria / Croatia
The Dominican Brussels, Belgium
150 Rooms / EUR 140 – 1,550
Designed by the renowned Dutch design firm FG Stijl, this hotel’s sweeping archways, high ceilings, and clear references to the Dominican abbey that once stood on its site — just steps from Brussels’ opera house — impart a feeling in which the old and new Europe effortlessly meld. The dramatic, cloister- like feel extends to the guestrooms, which are situated around a quiet inner courtyard.
The Royal Snail 30 Rooms / EUR 98 – 253
Namur, Belgium The Royal Snail, located at the foot of the citadel in the Belgian city of Namur, is inspired by the history and traditions of its location. The 30 personalized rooms and suites — some framed by views of the Meuse — hint at quirky tales from the city’s past and present. This intimate bolthole is as much a place to relax as it is a springboard to explore southern Belgium. An intimate spa, outdoor pool, and manicured gardens provide plenty of space to relax while the landmark restaurant, L’Agathopède, entices guests and locals alike.
Sense Hotel Sofia Sofia, Bulgaria
71 Rooms / EUR 110 – 380
Sense Sofia is the Bulgarian capital’s first upscale design hotel, with a matchless location on Sofia’s main boulevard Tsar Osvoboditel. Many of the 71 rooms and suites have views stretching well beyond the neighboring National Assembly and St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The rooftop bar and Mediterranean fusion restaurant, popular with locals, are similarly panoramic. The owners George Chopev, Tatyana Stoilova, and Ivo Hristov aimed to create a new classic that would stand out from the area’s prominent buildings.
Hotel Lone 248 Rooms / EUR 250 – 2,200
Rovinj, Croatia Situated in Rovinj, one of the most picturesque towns on the Adriatic, and just a 10-minute walk from the main town square, Hotel Lone’s seductive minimalist curves are influenced by the area’s unique natural landscape. Built by Croatian hotel company Maistra Inc. in an ancient forest overlooking the Adriatic Sea, it offers impressive views of the island-speckled coast. Featuring 236 guestrooms and 12 suites, four large auditoriums and three meeting rooms, and a Mediterraneaninspired wellness spa, it’s a minimalist haven for business or all-out relaxation.
Cyprus / Czech Republic / Finland
Almyra Paphos, Cyprus
189 Rooms / EUR 100 – 1,200
With the crashing waves of the Mediterranean Sea within earshot, Almyra offers guests a unique emotional experience. Located on the island of Cyprus, the 189-room family-run, family-friendly resort perfectly conveys the ethos of the surrounding environment while successfully appealing to the needs of each guest. With its five restaurants and a renowned spa, Almyra offers both families and couples equal opportunity to unwind.
Miura Hotel 44 Rooms / EUR 114 – 471
Čeladná, Czech Republic The Czech village of Čeladná sits among the Beskydy Mountains, where misty peaks and ridges give way to crumbling castles and soft-flowing streams. This is where the forward-looking Miura Hotel is located — a sharp-sided steel building that lets guests enjoy high-tech spa treatments and world-class art. Indeed a rather special surprise in this untouched paradise where contemporary masters such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anish Kapoor, Tony Cragg, Henry Moore, and David Černý sit serendipitously indoors and outdoors for guests to enjoy.
Hotel Josef Prague, Czech Republic
109 Rooms / EUR 119 – 299
In the very heart of one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Europe, designer Eva Jiřičná has created a modern masterpiece. The 109-room Hotel Josef in Prague’s Old Town offers a design concept that, in keeping with great 20th-century Czech design, is a great but calming contrast to the colors and details of Prague’s Medieval center. Guestrooms are designed with a well-proportioned mix of efficiency and luxury that pervades the rest of the hotel.
Klaus K 171 Rooms / EUR 110 – 1,500
Helsinki, Finland The Klaus K aspires to go further and “take the hotel out of the hotel,” creating an ultra-designed urban lifestyle experience where contrasts abound. Each of the 171 playfully designed guestrooms has a theme illustrating the Kalevala’s primary elements: desire, passion, mysticism, and envy. The pinnacle of these is the luxurious Sky Lofts and the Sky Terrace with enviable views of Helsinki. In summer 2016, Klaus K debuted its newest concept: Studio K, a versatile, innovative multi- functional space that connects to Klaus K Bar & Lounge to accommodate up to 200 guests, providing an ideal setting for product launches, cocktail events, company parties, or even a private candlelight dinner.
Denmark / France
Nobis Hotel Copenhagen
77 Rooms / DKK 3,500 – 30,000
Set next to Copenhagen Central Station, the renowned Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum, and a short walk from the famous StrØget shopping street, the 77-room Nobis Hotel Copenhagen is housed in a historic landmark building that originally served as the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music. Star architect and Design Hotels™ Influencer Gert Wingårdh has emphasized the 1903 structure’s original architecture, while adding superior-quality natural materials and a subtly elegant color scale that is inspired by Le Corbusier. At Nobis Hotel Copenhagen, modernism meets classicism, and it’s all augmented by such amenities as a gym, a sauna with cooling pool and hammam, a bar, a lounge area, and a restaurant that serves as a new focus for Copenhagen’s downtown social scene.
Five Seas Hotel Cannes Cannes, France
45 Rooms / EUR 200 – 4,540
Guests are treated to a visual journey around the world at the Five Seas Hotel Cannes, where fine handcrafted furnishings and adornments excite the senses. With its 45 rooms and suites, the hotel is located near all of the best that Cannes has to offer. Wining, dining, and luxury are top priorities here, from the menu curated by chef Arnaud Tabarec at SeaSens restaurant, to the Spa by Cinq Mondes and Carita, to the selection of yachting options available for a day cruise or parties.
Hôtel des 3 Vallées 31 Rooms / EUR 350 – 1,920
Courchevel, France The iconic Hôtel des 3 Vallées has returned to its original 1950s layout, creating an inspired midcentury modern twist on today’s ski resort retreat in Courchevel. From the focal-point lobby fireplace to the spa area, and throughout the 31 spacious rooms and suites, natural textures and original midcentury furniture craft an antique, yet chic environment. And with the slopes but a snowball’s throw away, skiers of all levels can easily take advantage of the in-house ski service, complete with on-site locker room, ski rental, lessons, and even helicopter bookings for the most daring of guests.
Vertigo Hotel Dijon, France
42 Rooms / EUR 127 – 399
Dijon has beautiful vineyards, a rich cultural heritage, and now its first Design Hotels™ member — Vertigo Hotel, just a stone’s throw away from the dashing Darcy Square. Impres sive in its scale and charmingly Parisian in its style, Vertigo Hotel ticks all the right French boxes — Haussmann-esque building and superb wine. With a clear black-and-white color scheme, Vertigo’s 42 rooms are full of little surprises: suspended beds, a mirror-media-entertainment-system, photograph- bedecked ceilings, and numerous welcome gifts. Meanwhile, vintage Burgundy wine, Champagne, and cocktails are offered in the subtly-lit Embassy Bar.
La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel 41 Rooms / EUR 159 – 319
La Rochelle, France Within the 17th-century walls of La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel lies a transient — a modern collection of original paintings, photographs, and sculptures by renowned international artists. The hotel is decadently furnished with contemporary decor in smooth whites, soft grays, and flourishes of black. Guests can explore La Rochelle, amble through the Old Town, sail and surf in the Atlantic Ocean, or feast on the town’s freshest seafood. The hotel’s private garden invites you to indulge during the day, and in the evening, the building is illuminated in a shade of blue that recalls the color made famous by artist Yves Klein, adding tremendous atmosphere and c ontrasting with the Tour de la Lanterne in the background.
Domaine des Andéols Luberon, France
14 Villas / EUR 240 – 1,365
In 2003, Olivier and Patrizia Massart transformed 59 acres, just one hour from Avignon, into an indoor / outdoor art foundation. Fourteen old stone farmhouses were given their own unique identity — inspired by a color, theme, or artwork. Across the estate, the furniture of Van Der Rohe and Florence Knoll mingles with the art of Isamu Noguchi and Nobuyoshi Araki. Outside, concrete surfaces and sculptures that play with scale continually push the eye to see the landscape anew. So too does the exquisite cuisine of La Maison des Saveurs, where traditional elements are reframed in modern compositions.
Château de la Resle 6 Rooms / EUR 195 – 475
Montigny la Resle, Burgundy, France Château de la Resle, in the renowned winemaking region of Burgundy, is an ivy-wrapped manor house with the charm and personality of a well-loved private home. The six chic rooms and suites are taken care of by Dutchmen Johan Bouman and Pieter Franssens, who invite guests to share their personal collection of contemporary and abstract art. The château, which sits on the edge of an 800-hectare hunting forest, is just a short drive from famous wine villages such as Chablis. But with a spa, a pool, and two hectares of landscaped gardens to meander through, there’s really no need to leave.
Hotel B Design & Spa Paradou, France
14 Rooms / EUR 390 – 650
With 14 spacious suites, the family-run Hotel B Design & Spa is an elegant haven from which to explore the vineyards, olive groves, and gourmet markets of rural Provence. Tucked away on a gentle slope in Paradou, a village of 1,300 people, this contemporary interpretation of the traditional French farmhouse is equipped with a spacious spa where guests can reflect on the serenity of the limestone-speckled countryside. The hotel also features a popular restaurant that specializes in local gourmet cuisine.
Hotel Bel Ami 108 Rooms / EUR 270 – 1,190
Paris, France On the Parisian Left Bank, in the heart of Saint-Germain-desPrés, lies Hotel Bel Ami. Located in a 19th-century printing works, in which the ﬁrst copy of Guy de Maupassant’s novel Bel Ami was printed, it has recently been redesigned by architect Pascal Allaman. With 108 guestrooms and suites, Hotel Bel Ami offers a wonderful space filled with vibrant colors suitable for every mood. There is also the Bel Ami Bar, an intimate and lively spot for a light meal or to relax with subtle and original cocktails; the restaurant Les Mots Passants where you can enjoy organic food; and the Health Center featuring a gym, sauna, and Carita Spa.
Hotel de Nell Paris, France
33 Rooms / EUR 250 – 1,200
Ideally located on a quiet street in the diverse and intellectual 9th arrondissement, Hotel de Nell blends comfort and exceptional service with an innovative trend in French cuisine — bistronomie. La Régalade Conservatoire, the hotel’s bistro, serves honest yet sophisticated dishes from Bruno Doucet, one of France’s leading chefs. Guests will also marvel at the interiors by acclaimed architect and interior designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte who uses natural wood paneling, ﬁreplaces, retro lighting, and white marble in the Japanese-style bathrooms to create a warm atmosphere in the 33 rooms and suites.
Hôtel Sezz Paris 26 Rooms / EUR 269 – 1,200
Paris, France Hidden behind a classical façade in a building dating back to 1913 is interior designer Christophe Pillet’s modern masterpiece. Textured Portuguese Cascais stone walls, dark wood detailing, funky furnishings, and soft lighting make the Hôtel Sezz Paris a secret high-style gem in Paris’s usually quiet 16th arrondissement. All of it is topped off with the City of Light’s first Veuve Clicquot champagne bar, La Grande Dame.
Le Roch Hotel & Spa
37 Rooms / EUR 415 – 1,900
Location, as they say, is everything — and the elegant 37-room Le Roch, nestled between Place Vendôme, the Palais Garnier, and the Louvre, undoubtedly boasts one of the best in the City of Light. The unique design scheme soothes and invites: soft light, clean lines, and a balanced pastel palette of sage, chartreuse, and milky green. Plush, expansive sofas are an invitation to relax, while the lounge and library area is ideal for a pleasant moment of reading by the fireplace. You may prefer to spend time in the hotel’s superb courtyard garden, basked in natural light that changes with the seasons, or winding down from the Parisian pace of life in the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness and spa area, which features a private pool and hammam. Top that off with world-class gastronomy by chef Arnaud Faye, and it’s clear: Le Roch is your perfect Paris pied-à-terre.
Hotel Vernet Paris, France
50 Rooms / EUR 290 – 2,200
Situated within Paris’s Golden Triangle, in a 1917 post- Haussmann building, the iconic Hotel Vernet has emerged from a complete makeover that has seen local architect François Champsaur transform the once traditional interiors into the epitome of contemporary Parisian chic. Making the most of its surrounding architecture, the 50 guestrooms and public spaces, including the hotel’s restaurant, housed under the ornate glass ceiling originally designed by civil engineer Gustave Eiffel, have been designed with warming tactile materials in welcoming tones. A stone’s throw from the Arc de Triomphe, a host of cultural sites lie nearby.
La Maison Champs Élysées 57 Rooms / EUR 250 – 1,000
Paris, France Set in the heart of Paris’s Golden Triangle, Maison Martin Margiela’s first hotel interior uses dramatic illusions and ironic interiors. All 57 rooms offer state-of-the-art bedding, high-quality linen sheets, duvets in pure goose down, and generous amenities. Seventeen of the rooms and suites belong to the Couture Collection and are decorated with a touch of whimsy that plays with proportion and perception. The lighthearted, attentive service can be experienced throughout at La Table du 8 Restaurant, the bLind Bar, and The Cigar Bar.
Le Pigalle Paris, France
40 Rooms / EUR 140 – 485
A shining new beacon in Paris’s Pigalle district, the hotel embraces its bawdy, storied past with verve, originality, and spunk. Le Pigalle is an authentic neighborhood hotel that turns to its residents to tell interesting tales within its walls. This includes photographs and illustrations by local artists, curated music by a neighborhood DJ, and delicious baked goods delivered by a nearby bakery. The area’s “Nouvelle Athènes” (new Athens) style is reflected in the interiors, and an irreverent mix of vintage pieces, modern design, as well as souveniers make for distinct, individual design in each room.
Les Bains 39 Rooms / EUR 294 – 2,900
Paris, France A former legendary nightclub, Les Bains is, today, much more than a luxury hotel. Set at 7 Rue du Bourg L’Abbé, a jewel in Paris’s historic 3rd arrondissement, the property is ideally ensconced in the city’s old aristocratic district, a trove of atmospheric streets and architectural splendors. Thanks to the outstanding joint work of the architects and designers Vincent Bastie, Tristan Auer, and Denis Montel, the property now shines as a vibrant, connected, international clubhouse and hotel, which includes a restaurant, bars, a private lounge, a club, guestrooms, and suites.
Hôtel de Tourrel Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
7 Rooms / EUR 250 – 690
Set in a 17th-century palais in the center of picturesque Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Hôtel de Tourrel and its seven spacious suites are a midcentury design odyssey. Petite in size but grand in stature, the interiors here feature furniture by ClassiCon designers Eileen Gray and Konstantin Grcic. The ancient building is also home to an innovative nouveau Mediterranean restaurant.
Hôtel Sezz Saint-Tropez
2 Villas / EUR 1,130 – 2,300 35 Rooms / EUR 270 – 1,130
Saint-Tropez, France The Hôtel Sezz Saint-Tropez sits 250 meters from the beach within a lush wooded park on the Route des Salins. While only a short drive from the chic and b ustling village of Saint-Tropez, Hôtel Sezz is isolated enough for guests to truly sink into their holiday. The hotel’s 37 unique Christophe Pillet-designed guestrooms are built of light and air — guests can smell and feel saltwater and warm breezes from their beds and baths.
Le Fitz Roy Val Thorens, France
58 Rooms / EUR 275 – 3,355
Perched high on a Val Thorens mountaintop and nestled between the three valleys of the world’s largest ski resort, Le Fitz Roy is quintessential modern luxury in the shape of a chalet. Reviving an iconic hillside landmark, Le Fitz Roy now stands for cozy seclusion, homey comfort, and top-notch cuisine. Hotel guests also find an elaborate spa area, which includes a Turkish bath, mountain pool, and massage treatments. With an expertly staffed ski shop on-site, Le Fitz Roy serves as a luxurious launching pad for beginner skiers and Val-veterans alike.
Le Val Thorens 83 Rooms / EUR 320 – 1,255
Val Thorens, France In keeping with its pioneering spirit, Le Val Thorens was recently transformed into a present-day version of a high altitude chalet. Vintage furniture and muted textures com plement eye-catching works of modern art by the likes of Martin Richman, Gerhard Richter, and Sigmar Polke. With the slopes a clean carve away, the property serves as both a convenient kickoff and a welcoming retreat, which boasts a multi-room spa area, a panoramic swimming pool, and a fireplace cocktail lounge that’s a work of art in itself, with an anthracite waxed concrete floor and a burnt-pine ceiling.
Hôtel Les Roches Rouges
50 Rooms / EUR 425 – 830
Set on the glorious Provence coast, Hôtel Les Roches Rouges is a sanctuary of barefoot Riviera luxury. Renowned Parisian architecture firm Festen has reworked the late-1950s /early-1960s structure, stripping away unnecessary ornamentation to emphasize the clean nautical-modernist lines of classic French Riviera architecture and focus on the vast blue expanse of Mediterranean Sea just outside. The hotel offers incredible sunset views, an aromatic garden, a natural seawater swimming pool cut directly into the rock, and numerous on-site activities, including pétanque, open-air cinema, diving, and snorkeling, often enjoyed in collaboration with locals. Polished concrete, aged oak, terracotta ceramics — everything authentic to the South of France — and a focus on personal well-being, embrace guests looking for the perfect Provence escape.
Georgia / Germany
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi Stepantsminda, Georgia
156 Rooms / USD 125 – 250
This remote retreat designed by Tbilisi-based duo Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia is the very first of its kind in Georgia. The sleek hotel comprises a geometric structure with balconies and a sun terrace fashioned from steel, glass, and timber. Wood-plank floors, walls, and ceilings mimic the surrounding terrain, and the odd splash of color and leather furnishings soften the interiors while immense windows frame views of the dramatic Caucasus Mountain range. With the snowy peak of Mount Kazbek towering over it to the west, Rooms Hotel Kazbegi is one of the world’s best destinations for heli-skiing.
Rooms Hotel Tbilisi 137 Rooms / USD 160 – 700
Tbilisi, Georgia Located in the intellectual neighborhood of Vera, Rooms Hotel Tbilisi cleverly incorporates the building’s history as a publishing house into its design elements. Rife with regal sophistication, the eight-floor property boasts 137 rooms and suites, combining distinct 1930s New York vibes with oldworld Tbilisi charm. Rich, fragrant leather, mood lighting, velvety textures, and elected sounds fill the spacious fireplace lounge and cocktail bar. With a clear emphasis on all things “taste,” executive chef Henry Zimmermann, of the nouveau American restaurant, The Kitchen, concocts a delectable weekly menu using locally sourced ingredients.
Cosmo Hotel Berlin Mitte Berlin, Germany
84 Rooms / EUR 104 – 359
Cosmo Hotel Berlin Mitte, situated in the heart of Berlin’s Mitte district, is the perfect urban retreat for travelers who appreciate individualized style and hospitality, and who want the most direct access to the city’s best museums, most captivating historical sights, and hippest restaurants and clubs. Its very own Scent restaurant, serving international dishes made from local, sustainable and organic ingredients, makes it one of the top addresses in Berlin.
Das Stue 78 Rooms / EUR 230 – 3,500
Berlin, Germany Casual elegance and exquisite natural beauty surround Das Stue, a luxury destination situated within Berlin’s diplomatic quarter on the edge of the famous Tiergarten park. Das Stue derives its Danish name, meaning “living room,” from the building’s original function as the Royal Danish Embassy. With its newly added private entrance to the Berlin Zoo grounds, Das Stue is truly a singular, sophisticated urban retreat, with relaxed but attentive service and personalized comforts — like the living room of a friend so well connected in Berlin, they can offer access to the best the city has to offer.
Hotel Zoo Berlin Berlin, Germany
144 Rooms / EUR 200 – 2,500
Great cities are defined by their grandest boulevards. Fortunately, the visionaries behind Hotel Zoo, on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm, understood the magnitude of their undertaking. Refusing to play it safe, they infused a 1920s building with daring new qualities befitting a contemporary star on one of the world’s grandest stages. Spacious rooms and suites feature custom-built furniture and a bold bohemian spirit, while the restaurant and lounge serve sophisticated, avantgarde cuisine and classic cocktails amid world-renowned DJs. In short, welcome the leader of cool in Berlin’s revived City West neighborhood.
Provocateur 58 Rooms / EUR 100 – 560
Berlin, Germany Just off Berlin’s stylish Kurfürstendamm shopping street, the newest opening from the team behind Roomers Frankfurt seduces with fusion cuisine, 58 stunning guestrooms, and an award-winning bar concept. Guests of Provocateur can expect Indochine-Parisienne cuisine by the nationally renowned Duc Ngo, while sumptuous beds and the bar’s classic cocktail menu ensure that they can subscribe to the hotel’s mantra of “Stay up all night. Sleep all day.” The interiors mix 1920s Paris with the urban Berlin of today — think twinkling chandeliers, low lighting, contemporary artworks, and velvet curtains — while the building is a perfect picture of the Art Nouveau style that prevails in this exciting neighborhood.
Sir Savigny Berlin, Germany
44 Rooms / EUR 120 – 650
Among the bookshops and cafés of Savignyplatz in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district, Sir Savigny is a perfect gateway to a reinvigorated neighborhood. Creativity permeates the 44-room boutique property, with its library in The Kitchen, rotating art exhibitions, and convivial communal table. To satisfy earthier appetites, The Butcher serves top-notch Angus beef — available via a dial-a-burger button in the guestrooms — while the hotel’s interiors abound with alluring contrast: cool metals glint against calfskin and wood; Art Nouveau mingles with midcentury modern; and tradition comes into artful contact with on-trend contemporary accents.
The Mandala Hotel 158 Rooms / EUR 170 – 3,800
Berlin, Germany Potsdamer Platz is Berlin’s epicenter of modern architecture, putting The Mandala Hotel in good company. The unassuming entrance, the hidden Qiu Restaurant & Bar, the restaurant Facil, and the wonderful top-floor Ono Spa all help to provide guests with discreet relief from the area’s hustle and bustle. Interiors pare luxury down to its modern essence of serenity and subtle harmonies, but spare no expense with designer furnishings and artwork.
Hotel ÜberFluss Bremen, Germany
51 Rooms / EUR 124 – 345
Hotel ÜberFluss, Bremen’s first member of Design Hotels™, is located on a small, quiet street on the banks of the Weser river above recently unearthed medieval relics. Some of the 51 guestrooms are endowed with baths and showers that open into the rooms themselves, while the suite features a whirlpool and a Finnish sauna from which guests can take in views of the river below. Easily accessible from the city’s central railway station, airport, and motorway, Hotel ÜberFluss also provides access to Bremen’s charming marketplace and old city center.
The Qvest 34 Rooms / EUR 140 – 1,500
Cologne, Germany Located on a quiet square between the Cologne Cathedral and the Belgian Quarter, The Qvest takes its role as a contemporary refuge in the Old Town seriously. Housed in a neo-Gothic structure from 1897, the hotel features cross vault ceilings, original stucco, and Gothic windows. The interiors are a vintage and midcentury design treasure trove as well as a haven for contemporary photography and art lovers. The Qvest even offers a small library of art, design, and fashion literature in every room.
Hotel zum Löwen Duderstadt, Germany
54 Rooms / EUR 115 – 170
The renovation of the timber-framed Hotel zum Löwen, in the heart of medieval Duderstadt, is the work of a local hero businessman and art collector. Personal touches, including the art (such as original polaroids by Andy Warhol), the wine selection, and a collection of eclectic relics uncovered from the ancient cellar spaces, are placed throughout the hotel. The dark hued interiors retain the best parts of German guesthouse design. The winter garden, microbrewery, and spa have reivigorated the 17th-century building, whose largest suites have balconies overlooking Duderstadt’s red rooftops.
Gerbermühle 18 Rooms / EUR 110 – 500
Frankfurt, Germany Frankfurt’s Gerbermühle boasts everything one could desire in the German financial capital. Classical architecture (the building was a flour mill in the 1500s) is interspersed with sleek, modern accoutrements, handsome leather furniture, and a 500-seat summer garden. Luxuriously situated on the banks of the Main river, the property even offers a sense of historical romance; it was here that Goethe met the love of his life.
Roomers Frankfurt, Germany
116 Rooms / EUR 170 – 950
Classic curves meet progressive design at Roomers, an ambitious venture in Frankfurt. With its concept by the architectural firm Grübel and designer Oana Rosen, the 116-room Roomers is an elegantly futuristic, six-story hotel full of electrifying design flourishes, such as an illuminated, bubble-domed “bio-rhythmic” wellness center on its top level.
Roomers Loft 1 Rooms / EUR 650 – 7,000
Frankfurt, Germany On bustling Kaiserstrasse, a few steps from Frankfurt’s main train station, Roomers Loft is an urban oasis. Its 240 square meters of exquisitely appointed space is for guests who want five-star service in a private apartment. An ideal setting as an extended-stay suite, film set, conference venue, or romantic retreat, the loft is wonderfully integrated into the very fabric of Germany’s financial capital.
The Pure Frankfurt, Germany
50 Rooms / EUR 100 – 460
A 19th-century loft in the heart of Frankfurt was completely renovated to create The Pure — a hotel that captures the city’s open-minded, cosmopolitan spirit. Guests are invited to relax in a welcoming, homey atmosphere where the works of artist Stefan Strumbel in the lobby, breakfast room, bar, and lounge explore the meaning of the word heimat (home). Lighting and music add ambience that changes throughout the day.
East 128 Rooms / EUR 160 – 850
Hamburg, Germany In the center of Hamburg’s entertainment district, East bears Chicago-based architect Jordan Mozer’s extravagant signature, displaying a penchant for futuristic, curving forms and light, bright tones. Set over several stories, 128 rooms, lofts, and suites range in size from 25 to 150 square meters. Public spaces interlock and offer a multitude of diversions, such as a spectacular bar and lounge area, a spa zone, a high-tech gym, and a cinema. Situated in a former iron foundry, East’s restaurant features a live sushi station and a courtyard terrace for alfresco dining.
Gastwerk Hotel Hamburg Hamburg, Germany
141 Rooms / EUR 120 – 450
A converted 19th-century gasworks, the Gastwerk Hotel Hamburg turns the heavy industrial architecture of this power station into a lofty haven in the harbor city of Hamburg. Floods of natural light, backlit panels, and balcony lounges add airy touches to a solid frame of raw materials and original brick walls. Black-and-white photographs of the former architecture, soothing textures, the creative yet down-to-earth restaurant Mangold, and the rejuvenating Gastwerk Spa give this once purely functional space a spacious and good-looking new lease on life.
Side 178 Rooms / EUR 165 – 1,750
Hamburg, Germany Jan Störmer’s glass and steel architecture is the soaring stage for dramatic lighting by theater virtuoso Robert Wilson. The stark drama is softened through interiors by Milan designer Matteo Thun, whose rounded surfaces and carefully chosen colors create aesthetic warmth and vitality. Hovering above a futuristic atrium is the eighth-floor lounge where Thun suggests weightlessness with improbably curved furniture and floating disk lighting.
Sir Nikolai Hamburg, Germany
94 Rooms / EUR 130 – 750
Perched on the Nikolaifleet waterfront, Sir Nikolai is sandwiched between the center of Hamburg’s Altstadt and the super-modern HafenCity district to the south. The 94-room property is characterized by twinkling chandeliers, polished marble, and rough wood and brick. Sir Nikolai is also home to Izakaya Asian Kitchen & Bar — from The Entourage Group’s Michelin-starred Nobu restaurant team in London — which serves up Japanese cuisine, and includes a grand Library, replete with terrazzo flooring and an open fireplace.
The George 125 Rooms / EUR 147 – 462
Hamburg, Germany Offering 125 smartly dressed guestrooms and suites, Hamburg’s The George is an ingenious interpretation of an English-style social club. A pioneer in St. Georg, one of Hamburg’s most multifaceted neighborhoods, the hotel is a shining example of private and elegant business chic in a thoroughly modern Hanseatic city.
Cortiina Hotel Munich, Germany
75 Rooms / EUR 169 – 749
Rising above Munich’s historic Old Town, the Cortiina Hotel combines meditative feng shui design and “honest” materials, endowing this all-natural urban retreat with a soothing elegance that is strongly connected to the Bavarian capital’s local scene, thanks to its well-connected owners. Materials such as oak paneling, Jura limestone, and unbleached handmade cotton sheets infuse the hotel’s 75 modern rooms with a relaxing ambience that is both sensually earthy and classically refined.
Louis Hotel 72 Rooms / EUR 179 – 719
Munich, Germany The first member of Design Hotels™ to grace the streets of Munich, the Louis Hotel is a perfect reflection of the Bavarian capital: chic, poised, and full of heart. Like the bustling Viktualienmarkt where it is located, the Louis is a delightful destination for all those in search of life’s finer things.
The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar Munich, Germany
16 Rooms / EUR 110 – 380
Situated on the top floors of a former post office and smack in the middle of Munich’s most progressive district, Glockenbach, The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar is a gem in the city. Retaining the industrial building’s original façade and modernist edges, the hotel’s third-floor lofts boast unique interiors by the likes of surf maven Quirin Rohleder, composer Marc Streitenfeld, and hip-hop legend Michi Beck. Framed by architects Arnold / Werner’s warm yet characteristically raw communal spaces, Flushing Meadows is at once sanctuary and sizzling hot spot for the design-minded visitor and the discriminating Münchner alike.
Factory Hotel 144 Rooms / EUR 89 – 268
Münster, Germany Built on the site of a former brewery in Münster, the Factory Hotel is a vibrant destination for travelers and locals alike. The eclectic mix of old and new buildings fuses urban life with calm retreat and pairs a luxury hotel with a lively combination of shops, restaurants, and clubs for a one-of-a-kind hotel experience.
Hotel Bachmair Weissach Rottach-Egern, Germany
146 Rooms / EUR 189 – 1,699
At Hotel Bachmair Weissach, Bavarian authenticity and local heritage blend with simple elegance and countryside cool, creating a lifestyle resort for business and leisure. Close to Munich, on the shores of Lake Tegernsee, the hotel possesses an air of private country club, with a family-friendly atmosphere and professional service — from the 146 rooms and suites to the ﬁreside Mizu Bar with pine ceilings, wall panels, and sultry red lights. The expansive grounds offer impressive conference and event options, sophisticated Bavarian cuisine, and a sleek Spa area with heated indoor pool.
Cerês 50 Rooms / EUR 158 – 898
Rügen, Germany Located in the hub of Rügen’s most famous resort town, Binz, the award-winning Cerês is a fine example of contemporary climate-centric building. Each room emphasizes a sense of space, carefully selected to the smallest details, and comes equipped with a balcony or terrace that showcases a panoramic view of the island’s white sand beaches and glistening blue water. The effect is mesmerizing, as if the Caribbean has been transplanted to northeastern Germany.
La Maison Hotel Saarlouis, Germany
38 Rooms / EUR 115 – 315
Housed in a stately historic mansion replete with its own park in the German-French city of Saarlouis, La Maison Hotel has 38 rooms in both the historic and modern part of the building. The hotel’s cutting edge new extension wows with its bronzed, folded-aluminum exterior and oiled oak windows. A modern glassed winter garden, which is suspended over the park, accommodates the bistro Pastis and a delicatessen shop.
Becker’s Hotel & Restaurant 18 Rooms / EUR 110 – 240
Trier, Germany Located in the ancient city of Trier, Becker's Hotel & Restaurant creates synergies with the surrounding hills and vineyards through its use of wooden floors, volcanic stone walls, and the timeless black-and-white color scheme. With a philosophy focusing on the warmth of the kitchen, the hotel and restaurant convey a tradition of hospitality straight from Germany’s wine country.
AthensWas Athens, Greece
21 Rooms / EUR 190 – 1,890
The 21-room AthensWas combines classic modernism from the 1950s to 1970s with references to classical Greek architecture, giving the hotel a striking new look. Iconic furniture by modern masters such as Le Corbusier, Konstantin Grcic, Eileen Gray, and Franco Albini dot the interiors. Steps from the Acropolis and other historical gems, the hotel lies on the best-known and most beautiful pedestrian walkway in Athens — Dionysiou Areopagitou. An anthology of traditional flavors from Greece, other parts of the Mediterranean, and Asia, has made the lobby lounge a local favorite, whereas the rooftop boasts the best views in Athens.
Fresh Hotel 133 Rooms / EUR 90 – 400
Athens, Greece An electrifying medley of sleek design fused with the ancient splendor of Athens, Fresh Hotel warmly welcomes guests to a spacious, calm sanctuary. Each of the 133 rooms comes with punches of color and furniture and fittings from designers such as Philippe Starck and Zaha Hadid. The landmark Air Lounge bar, comes complete with rooftop pool, wooden deck, and olive trees, while the ArtWall Project Space brings together contemporary local artists to create an urban visual dialogue in the hotel.
New Hotel Athens, Greece
79 Rooms / EUR 175 – 2,500
New Hotel, located in Plaka, at the heart of old Athens, is an astonishing work of art. All 79 rooms and suites engage their guests with vivid, off-the-wall installations. A rooftop lounge offers panoramic views over the historic city. Overseen by Greek Cypriot art collector Dakis Joannou, and with interiors by Brazil’s famous Campana brothers, the hotel is a true Gesamtkunstwerk, bringing all the senses in an intensified visual, tactile, and somatic interaction with the objects, structures, and materials.
Periscope 21 Rooms / EUR 135 – 850
Athens, Greece Located high above the up-market shopping streets of Kolonaki, Dakis Joannou’s art-filled Periscope urges guests to explore their thoughts on modern-day surveillance. There are 21 refreshingly minimal bedrooms and suites, including a penthouse with an open-air Jacuzzi and 360 degree views of the city. On the ground floor, a casual dining concept serves quality comfort food.
Semiramis Athens, Greece
51 Rooms / EUR 165 – 465
Facing a tranquil green park in the vibrant Kifissia area, Athens’s Semiramis hotel is what happens when you give a hot designer control over every aspect of a building and its interior. Industrial designer Karim Rashid’s dazzling display of bright lollipop colors and organically shaped furniture plays happily alongside a rotating collection of contemporary fine art, handpicked by the owner and art collector Dakis Joannou.
Anemi Hotel 44 Rooms / EUR 200 – 740
Folegandros Island, Cyclades, Greece The Cycladic island of Folegandros plays host to Anemi Hotel with all the drama of a Greek myth. Against the rocky terrain of the village of Karavostasis, the hotel makes a memorable impression with 12 two-floor whitewashed buildings, unique in their delicate combination of Cycladic architecture and contemporary Greek lines. Inside, 44 rooms and suites are peppered with furniture by the likes of Charles & Ray Eames, B&B Italia, and Vitra, brought together by designer Stavros Papayiannis, who has successfully injected Anemi’s interiors with an underlying mood of simplicity and modernity.
Ekies All Senses Resort Halkidiki, Greece
69 Rooms / EUR 110 – 900
Surrounded by small rocky islands, caves, clean waters, sandy beaches, and pine tree forests, Ekies All Senses Resort respects the magnificence of its location by blending harmoniously with the landscape. Natural, unrefined materials and organic forms meld with subtle nods to Greek culture and contemporary design pieces. The “anywhere, anytime” dining concept, with three restaurants, pool and beach bars, and private dining, allows guests to sample fresh Greek fare wherever and whenever they please. Opportunities for relaxation are endless, with indoor / outdoor “Spa cabanas” at the Spa Studio and the tepid blue waters of the Aegean Sea.
Mykonos Theoxenia 52 Rooms / EUR 230 – 1,360
Mykonos, Greece A legendary classic of 1960s hotel architecture has made a glamorous comeback on the Greek island of Mykonos. First built using local stone and Cycladic architectural elements, Aris Konstantinidis’ Mykonos Theoxenia has been given a modern, 1960s-glam makeover to accommodate a whole new generation.
Coco-Mat Eco Residences Serifos
13 Rooms / EUR 240 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 620
Set on a lush, sandy beach along the Aegean shores of the Greek Island of Serifos, in a series of 1900s-era minersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; houses, Coco-Mat takes luxury to an expansive level. Here, guests are welcomed into spacious two-story apartments crafted with an eye toward unifying nature, simplicity, and elegance. Recently renovated, the beachfront Coco-Mat not only stands out for its welcoming mindset but also through its respect for traditional local architecture and contemporary sustainable practices. At Coco-Mat, authentic Cycladic design merges with an unadorned industrial order and sophisticated eco-friendly aesthetic that defines a unique new style.
81 Rooms / EUR 220 – 940
Few places better capture the pristine beauty and sense of timelessness of Mykonos than Myconian Kyma. Perched atop a hill with glorious views of the Aegean Sea, the hotel is a luxurious and secluded retreat, only a short stroll from Mykonos Town’s thriving nightlife. Here, one awakens to a light-flooded Champagne breakfast with stunning views of the sea, lavish feasts consisting of only the freshest local ingredients, a Thalasso spa with assorted treatment rooms, and personalized insider tips to the island’s many treasures. Myconian Kyma is a world of lush gardens, panoramic views, private terraces, and an art-filled environment awash in marble, wood, glass, and natural m aterials — a truly sophisticated yet family-friendly property.
San Giorgio Mykonos 32 Rooms / EUR 200 – 1,050
Mykonos, Greece San Giorgio is situated on one of the most scenic areas of Mykonos between Paradise and Paraga beaches. Long-time friends of Design Hotels™, proprietors Thomas Heyne and Mario Hertel together with Markos Daktilidis, approached the brand to design a new hospitality experience. San Giorgio is a stripped-down gypset retreat on the white shores of the Aegean. Heyne and Hertel have curated the perfect island paradise, welcoming friends, like world-renowned DJs Avicii, Afrojack, and Bob Sinclar, and bringing in the best designers, Michael Schickinger and Annabell Kutucu, also members of the Design Hotels™ family.
The Met Hotel 212 Rooms / EUR 126 – 2,000
Thessaloniki, Greece Situated right by the waterfront in Thessaloniki’s up-andcoming industrial harbor area, The Met Hotel is a 212-room cultural icon that blurs the lines between art gallery and luxury hotel. Installations by some of the world’s foremost contem porary artists have been handpicked for the hotel by Christina Chandris. The broader design concept is centered on open spaces and fine-quality materials. The hotel features an indulgent spa and chic dining options, but the real joy is in exploring The Met’s intriguing collection of artwork.
Hungary / Iceland
Lánchíd 19 Budapest, Hungary
48 Rooms / EUR 70 – 353
Lánchíd 19 provides a beautiful view of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Budapest and is situated on the Danube riverbank at the feet of the Buda Royal Castle, just a few minutes walk from the city center. Named after Budapest’s famed Chain Bridge, spanning the Danube, the hotel is a contemporary highlight in a neighborhood of predominately 19th-century architecture. A beacon of innovation while still paying homage to its historical settings, Lánchíd 19 is a perfect point of departure for discovering the wonders of Budapest.
Ion Adventure Hotel 45 Rooms / ISK 39,500 – 63,000
Nesjavellir, Iceland The perfect base from which to explore the wonders of Iceland, Ion has the ability to transform into a personal theater, where guests are the audience and the island’s incomparable natural landscape is the show. With a mellow mix of concrete chic and earthy ambiance, combined with the warm accents of locally salvaged driftwood and lava, sustainability is no gimmick at Ion, where the concept has been successfully incorporated as a design tool.
Embodying the spirit of adventurous travel and cool Nordic design that dwells in its sister property Ion Adventure Hotel, the 18-room Ion City is the citified version of Ion's original award-winning countryside retreat. Located in the heart of Reykjavik, with access to many shops, cafés, bars, and restaurants, Ion City is housed in a smartly renovated building that retains its original architectural beauty yet is augmented by outside walls featuring a motif inspired by traditional Icelandic weaving. Inside, guests discover luxuriously organic interiors defined by clean lines, Icelandic art, and a palette of gray and white, contrasted by warm-hued wooden floors. A stay at Ion City also includes farm-fresh cuisine, a go-to bar for locals, a gym, and a private dining room.
Iceland / Italy
101 Hotel Reykjavik, Iceland
38 Rooms / ISK 45,900 – 168,900
The 101 Hotel is a lightning rod striking Iceland’s new appeal to world travelers. The island’s first boutique hotel is owned by designer and gallery owner Ingibjörg S. Pálmadóttir, who has used modern lines, local artwork, and a palette of black, gray, and white to convey pure Nordic coolness. Keeping you warm are heated oak floors, a lounge fireplace, a popular bar frequented by both locals and guests, and a Jacuzzi and sauna.
Casa Angelina 43 Rooms / EUR 305 – 1,900
Amalfi Coast, Italy Perched on a cliff in the picturesque village of Praiano, Casa Angelina is a contemporary seaside retreat for the discerning visitor to Italy’s ravishing Amalfi Coast. Only 10 minutes from the popular town of Positano, the property offers a refreshing “barefoot luxury” alternative to the area’s landscape of traditional hotels and opulent resorts. Casa Angelina boasts private beach access and sweeping views of the Amalfi coastline, the Isle of Capri, and the Sorrento Peninsula beyond. Inside, bright white interiors contrast with the deep blue of the sky and sea, while clean, contemporary design and smart, detail-oriented service creates an atmosphere of unparalleled serenity.
GombitHotel Bergamo, Italy
13 Rooms / EUR 160 – 450
Bordered on one side by the Italian Alps, the medieval cittá alta of Bergamo boasts a lively community of artisans, exceptional regional cuisine, and beautifully preserved historic monuments. Featuring 13 suites outfitted by designer Giò Pozzi in natural fabrics, earthy hues, and four distinctly vibrant shades, the hotel accentuates its 13th-century architecture with carefully selected art pieces, contemporary elegance, and a distinctly creative spirit.
Hotel Greif 33 Rooms / EUR 134 – 428
Bolzano, Italy The Hotel Greif balances carefully preserved tradition with bold modernity and creativity in the heart of northern Italy’s ruggedly beautiful landscape. Each suite of the centuries-old, re-designed hotel is uniquely extraordinary — from terrace views of the Dolomites or bay windows looking onto Bolzano’s ancient Walter Square, to steam saunas or whirlpool baths. All 33 rooms are carefully appointed with Biedermeier antiques and custom textiles that create a sophisticated setting for the specially commissioned contemporary artwork.
Eden Hotel Bormio, Italy
27 Rooms / EUR 150 – 700
Nestled in the Valtellina valley in the Alps, the Eden Hotel provides access to ski slopes, thermal spas, and the historic town center of Bormio while also being a stylish destination in its own right. In Antonio Citterio’s design, four tall, narrow, wood and glass buildings are bridged with transparent catwalks, letting the surrounding mountain landscape take center stage. The overall theme is purity and refinement in dialogue with nature, a motif that continues with comfortable wood and leather furniture as well as hand-chosen accessories in the hotel’s 27 rooms and suites.
C-Hotel & Spa 18 Rooms / EUR 155 – 455
Cassago Brianza, Italy A family-run, minimalist retreat in the hilly, Prealpine landscape that surrounds Lake Como, C-Hotel & Spa uses locally sourced materials like limestone and teak to create a timeless space for relaxation. All 18 suites are soundproofed and climate controlled to create a soothing sense of isolation, and guests can expect to have their senses aroused by vibrant art installations and the rich local coffees that are brewed in the lively Italian enoteca.
Nira Montana La Thuile, Aosta Valley, Italy
55 Rooms / EUR 200 – 840
Nira Montana is nestled in the Italian ski resort of La Thuile, a laid-back area in the northwestern part of the breathtaking Aosta Valley. The rugged modern exterior belies rich wood interiors presented with a twist — think “wooded” wallpaper, Italian high-end furniture, and the nicest spa in the area. The hotel’s restaurant serves the finest Italian cuisine in the region. Set against the majestic Mont Blanc, Nira Montana is perfect for adventure enthusiasts, with rafting, fishing, and ski trails of 160 kilometers through France and Italy.
Vigilius Mountain Resort 41 Rooms / EUR 230 – 490
Lana, South Tyrol, Italy Matteo Thun’s mountain resort is an eco-friendly hideaway reachable only by cable car. The Milan-based architect has created a structure using “organic architecture” that seamlessly blends into its surroundings. The result is a 41-room resort that places an intimate dialogue between man and nature above all else in its design. With a well-equipped spa using natural products and offering views over the Dolomites, Vigilius offers a peaceful escape from day-to-day life.
La Bandita Townhouse
12 Rooms / EUR 295 – 550
Experience sensual Tuscany in a stylish residence that feels as if it belongs to a good friend who knows the best local restaurants, towns, and vineyards. La Bandita Townhouse — a 12-room luxury boutique hotel — is awash in wood beams, exposed stone walls, and comfortable vintage furniture. Tucked inside the historic center of the UNESCO World Heritage village of Pienza, a tiny Renaissance jewel in southern Tuscany, the building is a rambling palazzo where nuns lived for over 500 years. La Bandita Townhouse is all about comfort, familiarity, local immersion, and style; It is a place where one can relax, eat well, and get caught up in the rhythms of everyday life, in the true essence of Tuscany.
Filario Hotel & Residences
10 Villas / EUR 300 – 800 13 Rooms / EUR 300 – 1,300
Lezzeno, Lake Como, Italy While Filario Hotel & Residences is firmly rooted in Italian heritage and craftsmanship, its modern aesthetic and amenities cater to young, discerning travelers. The guestrooms and apartments for long stays boast private terraces and face the enchanting Lake Como. Crafted by famed Italian designer Alessandro Agrati, the rooms are a study in natural, subtle elegance. The hotel bistro offers authentic, fresh Italian dishes and the best regional wine. Filario also has its own private beach and an infinity pool that stretches deep into the glimmering blue of the wishbone-shaped lake.
Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita 18 Rooms / EUR 275 – 1,000
Matera, Italy The sassi, or caves, in which guests at Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita dwell, were carved into the rock façade in Matera, a village in the arch of the Italian boot, 2,500 years ago by the shepherds who once traditionally grazed there. The refurbished 18-room hotel, just an hour from Bari, offers its guests the rare opportunity to experience parts of Italy and its culture that have traditionally been out of bounds for foreigners.
Straf Milan, Italy
64 Rooms / EUR 199 – 1,029
At Milan’s mesmerizing Straf hotel, architect and artist Vincenzo de Cotiis has achieved his goal of creating a visually striking alternative to standard hotel design. Known also as a fashion designer, de Cotiis reflects his unique taste in his design concept, which strives for individuality in the materials used. At Bar Straf, de Cotiis has created a sort of spatial overwriting by using a hyper-decorative style. The setting brings us back to essentials, emotions, and art, blending everyday life with the future.
Eremito 14 Rooms / EUR 120 – 390
Parrano, Umbria, Italy Offering all the serenity and just a hint of the austerity of an ancient abbey, Umbria’s extraordinary Eremito hotel is set within 3,000 hectares of protected natural reserve. In a time when quietude is the highest luxury, hotelier Marcello Murzilli adopted traditional 13th-century masonry techniques to erect this atmospheric, modern monastery — Gregorian chants and silent communal dinners included. Eremito’s 14 rooms — or celluzze, as traditional monks’ cells are called — don a single bed and a contemplation niche — no telephone, television, or buzzing appliance in sight.
Hotel Viu Milan
124 Rooms / EUR 750 – 5,000
Spectacularly framed with living greenery, the 124-room Hotel Viu Milan boasts an outdoor swimming pool with 360-degree views and an enviable location between Milan’s new financial district and the city center. The hotel exterior’s spectacular vertical garden is wholly unique, as is the façade featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows that bathe the interior in light. Inside, blended colors and textures, including parquet oak flooring and dark wood, contrast perfectly with light colors and fabrics. Whether it’s a rooftop brunch, sunrise and sunset yoga courses, Michelinstarred chef Giancarlo Morelli’s authentic Milanese cuisine, a personal shopper, or live DJ sets, the Hotel Viu Milan never fails to inspire its guests with sensual experiences befitting this energized city.
Argentario Golf Resort & Spa
1 Villas / EUR 1,800 – 2,900 73 Rooms / EUR 250 – 1,500
Porto Ercole, Tuscany, Italy In a verdant valley in the Monte Argentario Peninsula in Tuscany, Augusto Orsini has created a masterpiece in contemporary design unlike any the region has seen. The Argentario Golf Resort & Spa offers an alternative vision — one that looks forward not only aesthetically and architecturally, but also ecologically. Argentario Golf Resort & Spa has 73 guestrooms throughout its dragonfly-shaped structure with flaxen limestone façade and a three-bedroom villa on the golf course.
G-Rough 10 Rooms / EUR 450 – 3,500
Rome, Italy Located in Rome’s Piazza Navona, G-Rough hotel is every bit Roman — from the inside out. Housed in a typical 17th-century bourgeois-style building, the hotel’s interiors are a pastiche with original wooden ceilings, patina walls, and meandering floor plans typical of Roman apartments. The hotel’s unconventional “Made in Italy” concept of luxury showcases iconic Italian designers and brands from the 1930s to the 1950s, such as Ico Parisi, Giò Ponti, Venini, and Seguso. And with the help of a lifestyle manager or virtual butler, one easily finds the Rome of Romans.
Parc Hotel Billia Saint-Vincent, Italy
119 Rooms / EUR 119 – 657
Saint-Vincent’s Parc Hotel Billia brings a new tradition of architecture to the Aosta Valley, a natural paradise of uncontested skiing and winding trails. Italian architect Piero Lissoni created the Parc Hotel Billia with a modern take on traditional ideals. In keeping with his minimalist style, Lissoni has united the use of typical materials of the territory with the most modern of technologies to comply with the needs of today’s guests. Its facilities have become integral parts of the Saint-Vincent Resort & Casino, one of Europe’s largest leisure centers.
Sextantio Albergo Diffuso 29 Rooms / EUR 100 – 1,000
Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Italy One and a half hours northeast of Rome, nestled in the midst of the Abruzzo, is Santo Stefano di Sessanio. It is one of the region’s most striking hilltop towns and the home of the 29-room Sextantio Albergo Diffuso, a gorgeous series of meticulously revived buildings composed into a luxurious and singular hotel. All rooms were restored using strictly local materials — primarily terracotta tiles, wood, and limestone — and by paying close attention to historical accuracy.
Zash Country Boutique Hotel
1 Villas / EUR 11,000 – 27,000 10 Rooms / EUR 195 – 700
Sicily, Italy Zash is a country hideaway, a former winery, and a Mediter ranean garden all rolled into one. Each of the 10 rooms and suites opens out into nature — through wide windows that overlook the evocative Sicilian landscape, or large glass doors that seem to use the citrus trees outside as natural wallpaper. This old manor house puts nature at the forefront, with volcanic stone cladding, oak floorboards, and chestnut window frames through which the Ionian Sea dazzles.
Ca’ Pisani 29 Rooms / EUR 150 – 600
Venice, Italy A melding of classical design and influences from the futurist movement of the 1930s and 1940s is behind Roberto Luigi Canovaro and Gianluigi Pescolderung’s concept for Ca’ Pisani in Venice. Located in the Dorsoduro area, it is well connected to the art scene, with the Guggenheim and Punta della Dogana collections, the Gallerie dell’Accademia, and much more close by. Unique door designs for each room and special “starlight” masonry are only two of the many distinct details that give each guest a feeling of individuality.
Italy / Malta / Norway / Poland
Palazzina G Venice, Italy
22 Rooms / EUR 286 – 4,480
The PalazzinaG is ideally situated in a 16th-century building directly on Venice’s Grand Canal, just minutes from Piazza San Marco and the Rialto Bridge as well as art-world gems such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Gallerie dell’Accademia. The hotel, designed by Philippe Starck, combines the best of historic and enchanting Venice with the most sophisticated tailor-made service and luxurious surroundings.
Bête Noire 28 Rooms / EUR 150 – 350
Valletta, Malta At once sultry, sophisticated, and smartly luxurious, Bête Noire is shaking up the hospitality scene in the Maltese capital of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with late- Renaissance architectural and historical wonders. Set within a converted 16th-century Baroque heritage building, the boutique property exudes subtle elegance. Monochromes, minimalism, silks, and geometric marble pay homage to the mystique and ambience of film noir while the hotel’s rooftop pool and hammam provide a decadent retreat far above the city’s gardens, bastions, and winding stone alleyways.
The Thief Oslo, Norway
116 Rooms / NOK 2,090 – 32,000
The Thief, a world-class waterfront hotel in Oslo’s exciting Tjuvholmen district, steals you away from the everyday. Located by the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, the hotel puts you right in the middle of this burgeoning cultural hub, with easy access to central Oslo. The 116 rooms offer stunning views, but the interior is equally spectacular, featuring work by established and up-and-coming contemporary artists and designers. Enjoy fresh, seasonal food at the brasserie, or relax on the rooftop terrace and marvel at the pristine water and breathtaking European architecture below.
Hotel Galery 69 21 Rooms / EUR 130 – 340
Dorotowo, Masuria, Poland Visit the lakes of northeastern Poland during the winter and you can ice skate as snow falls gently onto the red roofs of lakeside cottages. Make the same trip in the summer and you can lounge in a hammock, go sailing or fishing, or pick wild mushrooms. Artists Małgosia and Wojtek Żółtowscy knew that one of the region’s lakes would provide the perfect setting for a new kind of hotel, melding unique art with active days in the country. Aesthetically, emotionally, and gastronomically, Galery 69 takes its inspiration from the surrounding environment.
Poland / Portugal
H15 Boutique Hotel Warsaw, Poland
46 Rooms / EUR 150 – 300
To check into H15 Boutique Hotel, located on one of the oldest streets in central Warsaw, is to stay at the epicenter of European history. The 19th-century building, originally constructed as a grand private residence, has hosted secret meetings for Polish independence prior to WWI, been home to a Soviet embassy, a headquarters for the Nazi party, and a prize possession of the People’s Republic of Poland. Today, following a recent five-year gut renovation, this impressive 46-room gem celebrates its storied past while also emerging as a glorious example of contemporary luxury.
Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park 16 Rooms / EUR 140 – 320
Bornes de Aguiar, Portugal The award-winning Pedras Salgadas Spa & Nature Park shows you how innovative, sustainable architecture can wrap itself around a centuries old park. Featuring 13 modular eco-houses, two tree-houses, and one cottage, the resort is redefining traditional notions of eco-lodges and prefabrication models with elegant, inspiring accommodation. Central to the hotel is a thermal spa renovated by Alvaro Siza Vieira, who has created a space that embraces old and new while taking full advantage of Pedras Salgadas’s historic mineral springs.
Farol Hotel Cascais, Portugal
33 Rooms / EUR 148 – 750
This luxurious seaside retreat on the beautiful Portuguese Riviera is nestled between the powdered sands of Guincho beach and the picturesque fishing village of Cascais. Guestrooms in this modern transformation of the Count of Cabral’s 19th-century mansion were “dressed” by Portugal’s fashion elite. The excellent culinary offerings include sensational Mediterranean signature cuisine as well as the mind-blowing Sushi Design, creating an unforgettable sensorial experience with an enviable ocean view. The bliss of the saltwater swimming pool and a delightful cocktail at sunset provide a magical rest by the Atlantic.
Praia Verde Boutique Hotel 65 Rooms / EUR 150 – 500
Castro Marim, Portugal In an untouched eastern part of the Algarve, the Praia Verde Boutique Hotel lies snugly between expansive pine forests and white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. The 65 expansive rooms and suites at the Praia Verde offer uninterrupted views of the beautiful sea and landscape. The hotel’s suites come equipped with a separate living room and a kitchenette. The restaurant, À Terra, serves delicious country food made with fresh seasonal ingredients. The pool bar, with a wooden terrace under a canopy of green, is another place to relax over light meals and chilled cocktails. A grocery store presents the best from the region, from salt to wines and more.
Memmo Príncipe Real
41 Rooms / EUR 240 – 445
Through a narrow street and a small tunnel sits Memmo Príncipe Real — home to a secret spot with breathtaking city views and a gateway to the heart of one of the most charming neighborhoods in Lisbon. Almost levitating at the top of the hill, the 41-room property is the first five-star luxury boutique hotel in what is now the trendiest district in the city, the leafy Príncipe Real. Here, one finds the same limestone flooring used in historical buildings and royal palaces throughout the city. The hotel also showcases a mix of contemporary and classic styles, in a cosmopolitan ambience of tranquility, and impeccable service that provides the visitor with an experience that feels both timeless and authentically local.
Memmo Alfama Lisbon, Portugal
42 Rooms / EUR 140 – 400
As you weave through the narrow streets of Alfama, an urban intervention meanders into view. In harmony with the traditional houses that surround it stands a mural by street artist Alexandre Farto, behind which lies a home away from home in Lisbon: the Memmo Alfama. Set in Lisbon’s historic heart, the Memmo Alfama offers countless avenues to take in the allure of Lisbon, from neighborhood guides created with locals to a wine bar that features Portuguese gastronomy and wine. A nighttime visit to the hotel’s stunning terrace offers a sublime vantage point to take in the sights and sounds of the city and the Tagus River.
Estalagem da Ponta do Sol 54 Rooms / EUR 90 – 153
Madeira, Portugal High on the cliffs above the village of Ponta do Sol, this stark white hotel by Tiago Oliveira is composed entirely of right angles which frame the magnificence of the rocky landscape. The hotel layers itself down a slate cliff, providing several pano ramic viewpoints. All rooms have balconies and the swimming pool has an infinity edge that makes the Atlantic seem just a dive away. Aiming to highlight the surrounding beauty, interior designer Carvalho Araújo used simple black-and-whites and minimalist furnishings.
Altis Belém Hotel & Spa
50 Rooms / EUR 265 – 689
Reflecting the shimmering Tagus River, the award-winning Altis Belém Hotel & Spa is a sparkling gem that wows you with its striking architecture, Lisbon’s only Michelin-star hotel restaurant, and its location in the heart of the cultural and historical Belém district. Its subtle global / local flare enchants all the senses and comes alive in the vibrant wall panels, that take you from the Orient to the Americas, in the Feitoria Restaurant & Wine Bar, where traditional flavors blend with exotic world cuisines. In the exclusive BSpa by Karin Herzog, oxygen therapy, a Thermo Garden, and ancient oriental traditions of relaxation ensure wellness for both body and mind.
Vila Monte Moncarapacho, Algarve, Portugal
55 Rooms / EUR 120 – 800
In typical Algarve style, Vila Monte — in Moncarapacho, in Portugal’s Olhão municipality — uses white-washed stairways and natural wood to create bright, airy atmospheres. The property sprawls over nine hectares, encompassing orange and olive groves, gardens and ponds, t wo swimming pools, a tennis court, and four buildings that house the 55 rooms. Interiors were designed by Vera Iachia, who has worked with Andy Warhol and Jacques Grange. The hotel’s activity offerings include fishing in the Ria Formosa, boat tours, seafood tasting, desert island sunbathing, and trips to the Olhão market with the chef behind the hotel’s restaurant.
Hotel Teatro 74 Rooms / EUR 94 – 321
Porto, Portugal In the center of the beautiful and historic Portuguese city of Porto, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hotel Teatro is an elegant innovation set in shades of bronze and gold. Drawing connections to the former site of the revered 1859 Teatro Baquet, which was destroyed by a fire in 1888, the internationally celebrated designer Nini Andrade Silva reflects the spirit of the hotel’s theatrical and spectacular roots, while conveying a stylish and contemporary urbanity.
Memmo Baleeira Sagres, Portugal
144 Rooms / EUR 80 – 400
With its comfortable, minimalist design, Rodrigo Machaz’s 144-room hotel and spa on Portugal’s Sagres peninsula meets the needs of travelers in search of individual or family-friendly recreation and relaxation. An extensive and well-equipped business area ensures that work can certainly be mixed with pleasure. Memmo Baleeira is a way of life. Here, guests’ slates are wiped clean in order to be filled with local flavors and memories to last a lifetime.
Furnas Boutique Hotel, Thermal & Spa 54 Rooms / EUR 110 – 300
São Miguel, Azores, Portugal Furnas’ former life as a thermal center is continued with a luxurious on-site thermalcircuit spa, complete with sauna, hammam, outdoor and indoor swimming pool, and plenty of relaxing treatments. São Miguel — or, as locals have coined it, “The Green Island” — offers stunning hiking and mountain biking, as well as whale watching tours for the aquatically inclined. Nearby Furnas Lagoon and Poca da Dona Beija hot springs offer the region’s most sought-after attractions: warm waters and vapors said to hold healing properties.
Torre de Palma Wine Hotel
18 Rooms / EUR 150 – 350
At Torre de Palma Wine Hotel in Portugal’s Alentejo region, first-time hoteliers Ana and Paulo Barradas Rebelo pay homage to the adage “to live like Romans.” The former pharmacists have all the ingredients that make for good living: elegant interiors in perfect harmony with nature, wine tastings from the hotel’s own 14th-century vineyard and winery, an indulgent spa, and a restaurant that serves Alentejo’s best delicacies as well as offering culinary workshops. Ride a Lusitano horse, have a picnic in the vineyards or the surrounding nature, swim indoors or outdoors, or run through the property’s orchard; whatever you do, this is glorious isolation at its best and you couldn’t be in better hands.
Portugal / Russia / Slovenia
São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
123 Rooms / EUR 150 – 500
Inspired by the surrounding sea and the volcanic nature of the Portuguese Azores island of São Miguel, the 123-room Azor Hotel abounds with natural materials that remind guests of the property’s remote location, while remaining starkly cosmopolitan and contemporary in design. A range of excursions, sports, and local experiences are on offer, while the hotel’s rooftop pool and bar, cinema, lobby market, disco lounge, spa, and À Terra restaurant — that serves homemade dishes perfect for sharing — may tempt guests to stay put. Azor is ideally located next to the marina in Ponta Delgada, ensuring the treasures of the Azores’ administrative capital are never far away.
StandArt Hotel Moscow Moscow, Russia
105 Rooms / RUB 12,500 – 180,000
The country’s first Design Hotels™ member, StandArt Hotel Moscow, has put Moscow firmly on the hospitality map — especially for those who value top-of-the-line gastronomy, luxurious amenities, and a cosmopolitan ambience right on Pushkin Square. Housed behind a monumental Art Nouveau façade, StandArt surprises with unexpected modernism and sleek lines, boasting 105 carefully designed rooms and suites, some of which offer breathtaking views of the square. Guests and locals mingle in the lobby and the 10th-floor grill bar, or recharge with a city view and an innovative menu at Sever-Yug restaurant, courtesy of the Michelin-starred chef Angel Pascual.
Vander Urbani Resort 20 Rooms / EUR 120 – 250
Ljubljana, Slovenia Situated on the riverbank of Ljubljana, the creative neighborhood around Vander Urbani Resort affords lively medieval streets, urban hot spots, and lush parks. While the façade maintains its historical appearance, the interiors offer something fresh: 20 rooms feature high-end materials and one-of-akind design pieces, while continuous forms flow along the walls. The restaurant and the Vander wine box also take their cue from the concept, serving up fresh, seasonal food and the best Slovenian wines. On the rooftop, guests can take a sunset swim or enjoy the glassed-in yoga studio with city views.
Hospes Amérigo Alicante, Spain
81 Rooms / EUR 135 – 795
Neo-Gothic arched windows and Juliet balconies are the first impression made by this Alicante property. What began as a Dominican convent, and once housed the local prosperous bourgeoisie, is now a hotel filled with modern creature comforts. A light-filled lobby welcomes with polished white marble and glass surfaces, but the past is present again in the wrought iron work that surrounds the balcony above it. Head up to the roof terrace for stunning views of the city’s castle.
Grand Hotel Central 147 Rooms / EUR 240 – 1,450
Barcelona, Spain This recently renovated historic hotel is infused with timeless elegance and urban soul. Its spectacular rooftop pool and oversize rooms provide a discreet and luxurious hideaway amid the bustle of Barcelona’s fashionable El Born district. The city’s hotspot, the City Restaurant offers market-fresh Mediterranean cuisine while the City Bar offers a wide variety of signature cocktails. Throughout the hotel there’s an air of 1920s decadence, from the seventh-floor Wellness Suite with a private area for sauna and hammam to the rooftop bar, which offers splendid views over Barcelona.
Hotel Claris Barcelona, Spain
124 Rooms / EUR 235 – 1,500
A façade dating back to 1892 envelops a modern luxury hotel. Containing an impressive collection of pre-Colombian art as well as hundreds of strategically placed objets d’art, the Claris’s completely renovated 124 rooms are nonetheless cool and contemporary in copper, cement, and glass. The rooftop pool combines traditional tiling with a modern deck, providing a perfect view of Barcelona’s most refined neighborhood.
Hotel Granados 83 77 Rooms / EUR 190 – 630
Barcelona, Spain Behind a neoclassical façade in Barcelona’s Old City lies a luminous hotel organized around a central courtyard. Integration of high-tech materials and functionality, such as an elevator shaft at the center of the courtyard, sets the tone for public spaces and guestrooms. Extensive use of white Thassos marble and zebrawood as well as phosphorescent iron pieces gives Hotel Granados 83 a distinctly modern look tempered by warm leather accents and multifunctional living and work spaces.
Hotel Omm Barcelona, Spain
91 Rooms / EUR 220 – 1,850
Hotel Omm is the function-driven creation of architect Juli Capella and interior designers Sandra Tarruella and Isabel López. Sections of the unusual limestone façade teasingly peel back like pages of a book about to reveal the rooms inside. Yet what seems like decorative fantasy is actually functional: The façade design places windows at particular angles to the outside, shielding guests from unwanted views into their rooms while allowing direct sunlight to flood in. Interiors are based on simple lines and a fine balance of color, volumes, and natural materials.
The Serras 30 Rooms / EUR 225 – 4,200
Barcelona, Spain An urban boutique hotel overlooking the luxurious Port Vell along the Mediterranean, The Serras sits in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, only a short walk from the golden beaches, Barcelona Cathedral, Picasso Museum, and La Rambla. Owing to its key location, the hotel building itself comes with a rich history — it’s the site of Pablo Picasso’s first studio (celebrated with a Picasso Suite). The hotel features a stylish rooftop terrace, oversize rooms with tiles echoing the classic Barcelona style, and all set amid the latest technology presented in a hassle-free environment.
Hotel Miró Bilbao, Spain
50 Rooms / EUR 99 – 382
Stimulated by the nearby Museum of Fine Arts and the Guggenheim Museum, fashion designer Antonio Miró has turned this 10-story hotel into a place of rest with the sober, simple style that has made him a favorite on Barcelona’s runways. Markina black marble and pale beige tones are the pleasant backdrop to designer furnishings and a private photography collection. Indulge in well-being treatments and the exclusive Courtesy Bar when you’re feeling social or simply use your room as a cocoon — draw the curtains to open or enclose the space around you.
Hospes Palacio del Bailío 53 Rooms / EUR 225 – 1,600
Córdoba, Spain A traditional Andalusian palace built between the 16th and 18th centuries has been meticulously restored and finely balanced with contemporary design. Here, original detailing like wrought-iron balcony railings and Moorish decorative elements are combined with modern touches such as light, polished marble floors. Pure lines coupled with a sense of history and luxury reflect this getaway’s inherent peace.
Bohemia Suites & Spa Gran Canaria, Spain
67 Rooms / EUR 214 – 1,320
Hidden from the tourist areas of Playa del Ingles, Bohemia Suites & Spa’s 67 rooms and suites are soothing, ocean-front spaces where getting pampered in peace and privacy is just part of the daily routine. By placing rich native materials and scorched natural colors at the heart of his design concept, owner Rembert Euling has perfectly attuned his adult-only hotel with Gran Canaria’s raw natural beauty.
Seaside Palm Beach 328 Rooms / EUR 225 – 1,345
Gran Canaria, Spain Located near the famous Maspalomas dunes of Gran Canaria, the 1970s classic Seaside Palm Beach was significantly renovated in 2002. Celebrated architect Alberto Pinto clarified and decluttered the facility, while introducing a dramatic color scheme and materials such as brass, chrome, and travertine. Three restaurants serve up the best of what the region has to offer: The main restaurant, open year round, serves traditional cuisine on a beautiful terrace with views of a tropical garden while Esencia and La Bodega, open during peak season, offer delicious Mediterranean and tapas respectively.
Hospes Palacio de los Patos Granada, Spain
42 Rooms / EUR 215 – 2,444
A 19th-century palace and a dramatic modern building form the two parts of this urban retreat. The palace retains original details such as mosaics, trompe l’oeil ceilings, and a grand marble staircase, while the alabaster-clad building next door is a vision in white. From the cuisine to the landscaping, authenticity and originality were the guiding principles for creating a sensory experience that brings the rich cultural history of Granada into the future.
Aguas de Ibiza Lifestyle & Spa 112 Rooms / EUR 190 – 2,500
Ibiza, Spain Anchored in Santa Eulalia Bay Marina, Aguas de Ibiza Lifestyle & Spa offers a peaceful, central setting ideal for exploring the island. With interiors by Barcelona-based Triade Studio, Aguas blends the charming character of a rural finca with the highend services and savvy style of a contemporary hotel. The 112 rooms and suites have private terraces and floor-to-ceiling windows as well as quirky extras like an energy-saving domotics system. The hotel also has three outdoor pools with lush gardens and terraces where guests can sunbathe, relax, and enjoy stunning views.
La Granja Ibiza – A Design Hotels™ Project
10 Rooms / EUR 350 – 950
Wildly enveloped by the pastoral verdure of the island’s heartland, La Granja Ibiza – A Design Hotels™ Project is a 10-hectare farmstead, featuring 20 tiered acres of pine and citrus forests and fertile gardens overseen by a master farmer. Here, among the heady scents of ficus and figs, is the real Ibiza, the one untouched by time and tourism. Marked by classical Iberian architecture and traces of Moorish influences, the public spaces and 10 guestrooms feature arched walls and dark-wood beamed ceilings and doors, accented by hammered iron doorknobs and fixtures. Communal spaces, including the kitchen and pool, encourage the kinship of com munity, while ample cozy nooks for moments of simple solitude are found both inside and out.
Just northeast of Ibiza Town, the new 38-room Sir Joan brings to mind a typical exclusive members-only retreat thanks to a thoughtful spatial design that flows seamlessly from interior to exterior — from the ground-floor Izakaya Asian Kitchen & Bar and The Butcher burger restaurant to the rooftop garden and pool overlooking the marina. As a subtle homage to yacht living, interior design elements, such as sea-weathered metals, maritime ropes, yacht flooring, and monochromatic gray hues, contrast the Balearic sun. With such a dramatic dialogue between the contem porary and the traditional, Sir Joan is an oasis of indulgence for wild-at-heart nonconformists who seek Ibiza’s fi nest offerings in the heart of the Balearic Islands’ nightlife scene.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá Madrid, Spain
41 Rooms / EUR 170 – 1,600
Located on Madrid’s central Plaza de la Independencia, Hospes Puerta de Alcalá is a handsome red-brick building designed in 1883. This fine example of the Bourbon Restoration period has been transformed into 41 uniquely d ecorated guestrooms, where fine dark woods offset hues of gold, silver, and white. The landmark former apartment house now sports a minimalist style but retains the past in its moldings, columns, wrought iron, and woodwork.
Hotel Único Madrid 44 Rooms / EUR 260 – 1,200
Madrid, Spain In the center of Madrid, Hotel Único combines 19th-century elegance with state-of-the-art facilities to create an indulgent retreat in the heart of upscale Salamanca district — surrounded by boutique shops, museums, lush parks, and endless options for eating and drinking. Its 44 rooms and suites are packed with the latest audiovisual technology and decorated in warm, soothing colors conducive to relaxation. The hotel features a tranquil garden and an award-winning two-Michelin-star restaurant, which is a hit with locals and visitors alike.
Hotel Urban Madrid, Spain
96 Rooms / EUR 235 – 1,500
Taking the notions of reason and passion as a source of inspiration, Derby Hotels Collection has created a hotel in the cultural center of Madrid that blends intimacy and community, function and fantasy, art and design. Hotel Urban brings space to the cultural axis of the Spanish capital.
The Principal Madrid 76 Rooms / EUR 230 – 1,200
Madrid, Spain Located on Madrid’s Gran Via, The Principal Madrid is extremely well situated, close to all the important historic sites, museums, and parks in the capital. In short, it has the best address in town with the best views. Housed in a Spanish Renaissance style building, the interiors are an eclectic mix of furniture with a New York loft aesthetic. Renowned chef Ramón Freixa oversees Ático restaurant, featuring classic Spanish and Mediterranean dishes informed by the freshest top-quality ingredients and set amid the landscaped top-floor garden. La Terraza, a year-round garden conservatory, is lush with trees, a fountain, and an observation deck.
Hospes Maricel & Spa Mallorca, Spain
51 Rooms / EUR 150 – 1,700
The Hospes Design Team has preserved traditional Balearic design elements at Hospes Maricel in the form of archways, arcades, and pillars in marble and dense sandstone from nearby Santanyí. The arcades and terraces of the palatial building descend straight down into the Mediterranean. In its previous life, the Hospes Maricel & Spa was one of the island’s most popular haunts for the jet set. The atmosphere today is much more relaxed, but the fine skeleton remains in its neoclassical entrance and large windows.
Hotel Cort 16 Rooms / EUR 165 – 1,190
Mallorca, Spain Amid the narrow streets that crisscross Palma de Mallorca’s old town is a hotel with serene, spacious suites and a sun terrace with sun beds and a splash pool. Like an island within an island, Hotel Cort sits at the core of this historic and increasingly cosmopolitan city where a centuries-old olive tree acts as a natural meeting place for locals, making it the ideal base for weekending visitors who want to uncover the real Mallorca, far from the usual “fun in the sun” beach resorts.
57 Rooms / EUR 108 – 594
Nakar Hotel is Mallorcan through and through. Not only do the architect, interior designer, owner, and chef all call the island “home,” but the 57-room hotel is fashioned from local materials and serves “organic Mallorcan” cuisine at its eighth-floor Cuit Bar and Restaurant. Other luxuries include an indulgent spa and indoor pool, a rooftop terrace and infinity pool with views of the Old Town and the sea, and many high-tech guestrooms with king-size beds, Jacuzzis, and private patios. Nakar is also set on Palma de Mallorca’s Avinguda Jaume III, one of the liveliest shopping streets in the beachside Balearic capital.
Puro Oasis Urbano Mallorca, Spain
51 Rooms / EUR 150 – 515
Puro Oasis Urbano is a 51-room townhouse hotel in a quaint, historic barrio of Palma de Mallorca. The urban edge of the hotel’s redesign is seen in smart leather furniture and earth-toned fabrics, while the Balearic Islands’ eclectic soul ensures an energetic mix of music, modern art, and light Asian-Med cuisine at Opio Bar & Restaurant. A rooftop terrace pool flanked by daybeds, bathrooms with a spa-like finish, a recording studio, and a private 11-room wing were all added in early 2011.
Hospes Palacio de San Esteban 51 Rooms / EUR 100 – 270
Salamanca, Spain Housed in a restored 16th-century Dominican convent, the Hospes Palacio de San Esteban melds Castilian heritage with contemporary elegance. Within its thick stone walls, sumptuous amenities offer an oasis of tranquility. You can dine on fresh local cuisine in the restaurant, El Monje, located in the convent’s original kitchen, take a steam in the Turkish bath, or sip cocktails on the terrace overlooking the Old City’s splendid cathedrals. Fetching details accent the hotel’s 51 externally facing rooms, from exposed ceiling beams to lights emphasizing the golden warmth of the stone quarried from nearby Villamayor.
Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza Seville, Spain
41 Rooms / EUR 140 – 500
An 18th-century multidwelling in the fiery city of Seville is the privileged retreat of Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza. Drawing on Arabian and European styles that have influenced the Andalusian capital for centuries, the hotel is a relaxed, sophisticated fusion of past and present. Rustic natural touches abound, such as woven pull-string window shades and idyllic riverbed rock paths. Global modernity is evident in dark chocolate-colored furnishings, including wooden beds from Indonesia, sweeping beech paneling, esparto carpets, and oversize floor cushions.
Hospes Palau de la Mar 66 Rooms / EUR 140 – 700
Valencia, Spain Flying on the high honors bestowed upon them for some of the hottest restaurant and hotel interiors in Spain, the Hospes Design Team remodeled two adjacent 19th-century palaces in the center of Valencia. In the interior, modernist principles reign. Carefully coordinated design elements, mainly using Wenge wood, have been chosen for the guestrooms.
Copperhill Mountain Lodge
1 Villas / EUR 2,115 – 4,490 112 Rooms / EUR 175 – 365
Åre, Sweden Surrounded on all sides by the breathtaking Jämtland mountains, the inviting Copperhill Mountain Lodge is the first ski resort in Åre, Sweden, with a focus on design. Created by Peter Bohlin of Apple Store fame, the chic, earth-toned guest rooms and après-ski hangouts look out over Scandinavia’s largest ski area.
Elite Plaza Hotel 127 Rooms / SEK 950 – 25,000
Gothenburg, Sweden Elite Plaza Hotel is housed in a stately, palatial building dating back to 1889 in downtown Gothenburg. All of its original features have been carefully preserved, from the venerable stucco ceilings to the English mosaic floors, and now blend harmoniously with elements of modern art and design. This has generated a truly unique environment at Elite Plaza Hotel — an environment where the satisfaction and utmost comfort of guests is the highest priority.
Fabriken Furillen Gotland, Sweden
18 Rooms / SEK 2,090 – 4,190
Experience a side of Sweden you’ve never seen before at Fabriken Furillen, a cocoon of comfort in a surreal landscape that combines post-industrial stark beauty with natural splendor. The eco-friendly hotel is located in a former limestone quarry turned nature reserve on the Furillen peninsula of Gotland, Sweden’s largest island. Creative mastermind Johan Hellström used the factory’s existing infrastructure and recycled materials to create a truly unique travel experience.
Hotel J 158 Rooms / SEK 1,290 – 4,590
Stockholm, Sweden Just at the water’s edge, Hotel J is a short drive or sail away from Stockholm’s city center. Inspired by the J-class yachts of America’s Cup fame, the original 1912 brick building has been redone in a boat-house style reminiscent of the American seaside city of Newport, using wooden boards, durable cotton textiles, and solid oak furnishings.
Hotel Skeppsholmen Stockholm, Sweden
77 Rooms / SEK 1,895 – 10,000
On the small island of Skeppsholmen, in the center of Stockholm, Hotel Skeppsholmen resides in two long buildings that date back to 1699, when the “Long Row” was built to house Sweden’s Royal Marines. The Swedish historic landmark is paired with the very best of contemporary Swedish cuisine, art, design, fashion, and music, partnering with iconic brands such as Acne and the renowned Swedish Museum of Modern Art. Casually luxurious, ultramodern, and historically protected, this quaint design hotel gives visitors to Stockholm a taste of the old, a twist of the new, and a whole lot of charm.
Miss Clara by Nobis 92 Rooms / SEK 1,590 – 11,000
Stockholm, Sweden A city treasure has been revitalized. Behind a celebrated edifice lies Miss Clara; a sleek business hotel with a palpable sense of heritage at its core. The chic intermingling of marble bathrooms, furniture installations, and contemporary riffs on the building’s Art Nouveau history come courtesy of architecture firm Wingårdhs, who have honored the property’s historic significance. A lively bar and restaurant reinforce Miss Clara’s position in Stockholm’s evolving City district, while a sauna readily buffers the din of this lively city.
Nobis Hotel Stockholm, Sweden
201 Rooms / SEK 1,590 – 25,000
The two grand 19th-century buildings housing the 201-room Nobis Hotel in Stockholm were originally built and used as residential apartments. On the historic Norrmalmstorg Square, the hotel offers guests an oasis of calmly luxurious Scandinavian design as well as a scenic central launching pad to discover everything Stockholm has to offer.
Stallmästaregården 49 Rooms / SEK 1,095 – 6,000
Stockholm, Sweden Stallmästaregården, Stockholm’s first ever inn, has attracted gourmands ever since Queen Kristina’s visit in the mid-1600s. Hotelier Alessandro Catenacci has transformed the waterside retreat into a peaceful place for an idyllic getaway. The rooms and suites emulate Swedish decor of the 18th century and there are historic meeting rooms for up to 200 visitors. In the classically Swedish main restaurant, chefs serve local dishes from an open kitchen. Just a walk from the city center, the hotel offers uplifting views over the bay of Brunnsviken.
70 Rooms / CHF 350 – 1,150
Located in a spectacular sunny bay on Switzerland’s Lake Maggiore, along a tranquil parkland setting next to one of Europe’s finest golf courses, Giardino Ascona, with its 54 rooms and 16 suites, is awash in Mediterranean joie de vivre. Here, Tuscan-style villas are surrounded by a garden where the broom blooms in an intensive yellow, the scent of lavender and mimosa sweeps across the green, and water lilies open their blossoms on the lake surface. This peaceful venue is deliciously augmented by a two-star Michelin restaurant and a world-class spa focused on Ayurveda cures and therapies that preserve one’s health holistically.
The Cambrian Adelboden, Switzerland
71 Rooms / CHF 190 – 1,700
In the heart of the idylic Swiss Alpine village of Adelboden, The Cambrian looks out on one of the world’s most spectac ular landscapes. With some of Switzerland’s best ski slopes and hiking trails, this out-standing location is the ideal destination for both winter and summer. Adelboden, meaning “noble ground,” is conveniently situated about an hour from Bern and two hours from Zurich.
Chetzeron 16 Rooms / CHF 255 – 745
Crans-Montana, Switzerland Chetzeron is very high up in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. For one, you can only reach the hotel by foot, ski, or snowmobile (a snowcat shuttle is available in winter). At 2,112 meters above sea level, the 16 rooms and suites have panoramic views of the Rhone Valley and the majestic Alpine peaks, from Matterhorn to Mont Blanc. There are terraces on three levels, dotted with hammocks, sun loungers, and other plush seating; private or public bars, and the “refined Alpine” restaurant that serves local and seasonal cuisine along with the best selection of Valais wines.
Rocksresort Laax, Switzerland
122 Rooms / CHF 250 – 1,000
Eight rough-hewn stone cubes, clustered around a town square and containing 122 two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments make up Rocksresort, one of the most unique and spectacular ski resorts in the world. Located at the Laax base station, it is the only fully integrated ski resort in Europe, which makes for an extremely convenient, satisfying, and fuss-free holiday in winter as well as summer.
Giardino Lago 15 Rooms / CHF 255 – 535
Minusio, Switzerland The designers of Giardino Lago, a 15-bedroomed retreat on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore, have taken inspiration from the region’s Mediterranean climate — blessed with 2,300 hours of brilliant sunshine a year — to create a hideaway that’s both calming and enriching. Whether visitors are dining al fresco by the lake, or taking in the views from the 400-square-metre roof lounge, they’ll benefit from first-class service and an exclusive range of facilities.
Hotel de Rougemont Rougemont, Switzerland
33 Rooms / CHF 275 – 1,260
Set in the fairytale landscape of Pays-d’Enhaut, 1,007 meters above sea level, Hotel de Rougemont boasts breathtaking views of the Gstaad Dolomites. The 19 bedrooms and 14 suites use clean lines and handpicked natural materials to give each room its own character. The hotel’s Alpine brasserie, Le Roc Restaurant, serves dishes that are innovative as well as traditional and in tune with nature. There’s also a cozy lounge with a fireplace, a wine bar with the best Swiss varietals, and a gold-onyx-and-wood-accented bar. The luxurious spa offers treatments using Pure Altitude products made from organic alpine plants.
Giardino Mountain 78 Rooms / CHF 355 – 2,270
St. Moritz, Switzerland Daniela and Philippe Frutiger have created a fusion of modern and traditional comfort through sensuous interior design and attentive service. Here guests can experience the first five-star hotel in Switzerland to offer Ayurveda cures and therapies. When not at the spa, guests can savor a meal prepared in the two-Michelin-starred restaurant Ecco St. Moritz. Taken together, this cozy mountain retreat is truly an experience that nourishes the soul.
Nira Alpina St. Moritz, Switzerland
70 Rooms / CHF 200 – 910
With covered access to the Corvatsch cable cars and an envi able location just five kilometers south of St. Moritz, Nira Alpina is the perfect base for travelers to explore the rugged natural beauty of Switzerland’s captivating Alps. From the hotel’s exciting and fresh food and beverage offerings to the 70 rooms and suites, veteran hotelier Puri has combined local materials with stretches of glass that let the outside world shine in. The Nira Spa is a haven of calm with colored mood lighting and five large treatment rooms, offering authentic treatments for holistic, stress-free living.
Hotel Nevaï 35 Rooms / CHF 159 – 1,695
Verbier, Switzerland Situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters, Verbier is surrounded by more than 400 kilometers of slopes for skiers of all levels. Its boutiques, restaurants, and world-famous après-ski nightlife make this gorgeous village one of the most exclusive and exciting European ski destinations, with Hotel Nevaï as one of its most important trendsetters. The stylish Alpine resort has 33 rooms and two spectacular Penthouse Suites including a fireplace and private outdoor Jacuzzi with magnificent views of the Swiss Alps.
136 Rooms / CHF 150 – 750
In a glorious Swiss Alp setting amid supreme natural wonders, the 136-room Huus Gstaad rises as a classic Alpine chalet where one can embrace the pinnacle of adventure, taste, and comfort. Set some 1,111 meters above sea level near Gstaad in the Bernese Oberland, the former Steigenberger Hotel has been reshaped with a passionate eye toward creative concepts, engaging experiences, and visual storytelling. Inside, one finds warm, welcoming rooms with traditional materials accented by modern touches, fine restaurants, fun eateries, a stunning wellness and spa area, conference facilities, and a library / lounge with unparalleled views. Outside, guests enjoy 250 kilometers of slopes and trails, river rafting, family canyoning, rappelling, rope park adventures, bike tours, and much more.
Switzerland / The Netherlands
Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort Zermatt, Switzerland
36 Rooms / CHF 240 – 5,000
Native Alpine materials like felt, loden, and stone are fused together at Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort, a charming mountain hideaway in the Swiss resort town of Zermatt. Guests are greeted with warm textures and welcoming smiles. Young visionaries Daniel and Seraina Lauber have managed to retain much of the main building’s original 1940s features. The 36 sunlit rooms and suites have captivating views of the mountains and village and there’s direct access to some of Europe’s best skiing. Spa treatments are offered in each of the hotel’s six chalets, truly making Cervo a place to savor the charms of the real Swiss Alps.
The Omnia 30 Rooms / CHF 350 – 3,500
Zermatt, Switzerland A structural and stylistic study of traditional European influence meets American modernism; The Omnia, perched on a mountain in Zermatt, with views of the Matterhorn, combines architect and interior designer Ali Tayar’s timelessly tasteful sensibility with midcentury modernist pieces. Subtle textile patterns, original furnishings, exquisite craftsmanship, and environmentally conscious design make this an authentically comfortable retreat for those seeking a streamlined Alpine experience.
Atlantis by Giardino Zurich, Switzerland
95 Rooms / CHF 590 – 4,410
Close to the heart of Zurich, at the foot of Üetliberg hill, Atlantis by Giardino offers the best of the urban and natural worlds. A post-war modernist gem with views of lush forests and cityscapes, it once played host to numerous pop stars, from Grace Jones to Freddie Mercury to Frank Zappa. Today, the 95-room hotel, which was completely renovated in 2015, presents the ultimate in luxury combined with tranquility and Mediterranean hospitality. The Hide & Seek Restaurant offers fusion dishes with an Ayurvedic twist, while the restaurant Ecco serves up culinary magic by Rolf Fliegauf, following the concepts of his Michelin-starred restaurants in Ascona and St. Moritz.
Sir Adam 108 Rooms / EUR 189 – 850
Amsterdam, The Netherlands Located in the iconic A’DAM Tower, built in 1971 on the Amsterdam IJ-river waterfront, the 108-guestroom Sir Adam offers stunning views of the historic city and is in close vicinity to many of the city’s hippest movers and shakers. Internationally renowned music and entertainment companies MassiveMusic and ID&T are also tenants of the tower, as well as MADAM, Amsterdam’s highest nightclub, on the top floor. Sir Adam includes a state-of-the-art gym, the BeerGarden, and creative studios where guests can collaborate. ICRAVE, the renowned New York-based design studio, is responsible for Sir Adam’s rooms, a “living lobby” called The Butcher Social Club, and a music library with carefully curated tracks.
The Netherlands / Turkey
Sir Albert Amsterdam, The Netherlands
90 Rooms / EUR 169 – 750
Facing the Rijksmuseum, Sir Albert is set in Amsterdam’s pulsating De Pijp district — a cultural melting pot alive with shops, restaurants, and stylish bars. Housed in a 19th-century diamond factory, the hotel greets guests in a welcoming, cozy study in lieu of a reception and well-informed hotel staff are available to cater to every need. Amid Sir Albert’s sanctuary of sublime furniture and art one often finds city locals who have come for an exquisite Japanese dining experience at Izakaya Asian Kitchen & Bar and the restaurant’s adjoining private terrace with sweeping city views.
Kruisherenhotel Maastricht 60 Rooms / EUR 244 – 544
Maastricht, The Netherlands A beautifully renovated Gothic monastery complete with a church is the rather spectacular stage for an unusually stylish hotel in Maastricht’s city center. The harmonious result of a collaboration between famous Dutch designer Henk Vos and world-renowned lighting designer Ingo Maurer, the Kruisherenhotel proves that design has come full circle over the centuries.
Mainport Rotterdam, The Netherlands
215 Rooms / EUR 115 – 750
With an envy-inducing location on Rotterdam’s inner harbor, Mainport provides guests with butler service, 600 square meters of flexible meeting space, and a fresh perspective on Europe’s largest port city. Its 215 rooms, with interiors by designer Feran Thomassen, allow access to wellness facilities including private Finnish saunas. The self-contained spa on the eighth floor offers a Turkish steam room and rejuvenating hammam complex. Its quayside restaurant, Down Under, fuses flavors from right around the world and cocktail bar On the Rocks is famous for its signature cocktails. The harbor-side terrace is complemented by Mainport’s private dock and water-taxis ready for take-off.
Gezi Hotel Bosphorus 67 Rooms / EUR 200 – 1,500
Istanbul, Turkey Gezi Hotel Bosphorus’ gently curved façade seems to hold the city in a tender embrace. 100 percent pure Istanbul inside and out, the hotel’s rooms offer priceless views of the Bosphorus, Taksim Gezi Park, or the property’s own garden. Luxe materials combine with a contemporary design ethos to provide a homey atmosphere. A quiet refuge mere steps from Istanbul’s bustling Taksim Square, the green-certified Gezi Hotel Bosphorus offers an all-round carefree package, including first class conference facilities, relaxing hammam and spa services, and a vibrant restaurant with sweeping river views.
The House Hotel Bosphorus Istanbul, Turkey
26 Rooms / EUR 180 – 900
With 26 guestrooms and an unbeatable waterfront location near Ortakoy Mosque, The House Hotel Bosphorus is the third property by Turkish entrepreneurs Canan Özdemir and Ferit Baltacıoğlu. Designed by the same dynasty of architects that created Istanbul’s finest Ottoman landmarks, this palatial retreat now has interiors by local design group Autoban. Along with a fitness area and meeting space, the hotel offers three panoramic penthouse suites with vitalizing views over the Bosphorus, the strait that separates Europe from Asia.
The House Hotel Nişantaşı 45 Rooms / EUR 160 – 349
Istanbul, Turkey Above a Prada store on Istanbul’s classy Abdi İpekçi Caddesi is The House Hotel Nişantaşı, the second property by café pioneers Canan Özdemir and Ferit Baltacıoğlu. With ﬁve ﬂoors of lavish forms by Turkish design duo Autoban, the hotel successfully connects fashionistas with the city’s vibrant, eastmeets-west shopping scene. Guests can sightsee — Old Istanbul is within easy reach — book a personal pilates session, or kick back in one of the 45 elegantly paneled rooms or deluxe suites.
The House Hotel Bomonti
Set in Bomonti, once a manufacturing district and now an edgy, cosmopolitan part of Istanbul, The House Hotel Bomonti pays homage to the neighborhood’s bold industrial heritage through a refined aesthetic. This innovative, mixed-use develop ment, which plans to include co-working spaces and a fitness / spa facility, comprises 51 hotel rooms and 155 residences, and inspires guests with its industrial and monochromatic palette. Here, concrete floors and walls, natural stones, and blackframed factory-style glazing offset elegant detailing and rich textures of marble and timber. Carefully considered artwork and furniture create a counterpoint to the base materials, creating a sophisticated, modern style that does not rely on the traditional manifestations of luxury.
Turkey / Ukraine / United Kingdom
Witt Istanbul Hotel Istanbul, Turkey
18 Rooms / EUR 185 – 450
Situated in a vibrant and stylish residential neighborhood not far from Taksim Square, the Witt Istanbul Hotel features 18 full-service suites outfitted in subdued colors, natural materials, and eclectically bespoke furnishings. Private balconies with captivating views of the Bosphorus and Istanbul’s glistening skyline create a refreshingly mellow yet modern atmos-phere with all the comforts of home.
The House Hotel Cappadocia 45 Rooms / EUR 129 – 600
Ortahisar, Turkey At The House Hotel Cappadocia, one gets a spectacular insight into life in the 6th century. Set in a complex of adjoining caves and traditional homes, the hotel is a world of ancient carved stones. The 45 rooms are each uniquely designed and feature frescoes, crown moldings, and other original elements that evoke Cappadocia’s rich heritage. The hotel’s locally inspired restaurant and spa with Turkish hammam are part of its mission to provide a truly authentic experience. Guests are encouraged to engage with and become part of the community here in the town of Ortahisar.
11 Mirrors Kiev, Ukraine
49 Rooms / EUR 230 – 765
Experience the many facets of modern Ukraine at 11 Mirrors, a sophisticated and elegant design hotel that is the first of its kind in Kiev. A stylish, comfortable, and relaxing destination for business leaders and creative travelers alike, 11 Mirrors showcases reflective surfaces such as mirrored decorations and panoramic windows throughout its 11 stories and 49 luxurious rooms and suites. The result is a representation of contemporary Kiev that also reflects guests’ inner selves, their values, and their desires.
Blakes Hotel 45 Rooms / GBP 228 – 720
London, United Kingdom Converted from a collection of period Victorian townhouses into a stylish “couture” hotel, Blakes Hotel draws celebrities and designers to the aristocratic neighborhood of South Kensington and Chelsea. The hotel, a short taxi ride from Harrods and Knightsbridge, is easily accessible by underground and just a five-minute walk can take you to the fashion able Old Brompton Road or Kings Road. The hotel is also close to several noted museums and London’s famous Royal Parks, which include Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, and The Royal Albert Hall.
Boundary London, United Kingdom
17 Rooms / GBP 190 – 730
Boundary is located in Shoreditch, London’s most fashionable, culturally vibrant, and diverse area. Its focus on art and design pays direct respect to Boundary’s environment: A mainstay of the city’s art and design worlds, as well as one of the most historically stimulating areas of Great Britain’s bustling capital city.
Charlotte Street Hotel 52 Rooms / GBP 225 – 1,250
London, United Kingdom Kit Kemp has created yet another enticing abode at the Charlotte Street Hotel, where paintings by the famous early 20th-century Bloomsbury Group hang comfortably alongside French stone fireplaces and deliciously overstuffed armchairs and sofas. Joining Kemp’s collection of modern British art are pieces especially commissioned for the hotel, such as the mural by Alexander Hollweg in the Oscar Bar and Restaurant.
Covent Garden Hotel London, United Kingdom
58 Rooms / GBP 255 – 1,845
In the midst of the theater district’s drama, this refined, modern hotel certainly holds its own among the stars. Guests are greeted by grand curtains at the reception before entering the stage of aged woods, dignified architecture, and head-turning interiors by Kit Kemp. Her trademark abstract and figurative upholstery patterns turn up in demi-canopies, decorative headboards, flowing drapes, and even matching wallpaper. The bustling Brasserie Max is a favorite pre- and post-theater haunt for locals and visitors.
Dorset Square Hotel 38 Rooms / GBP 155 – 420
London, United Kingdom The husband and wife team of Kit and Tim Kemp reacquired their very first property, the Dorset Square Hotel, extensively refurbished it, and stamped it with Kit Kemp’s signature style: bold colors, contrasting fabrics, and one-off pieces from around the globe. The interiors are intriguing and engaging, from the plush guest drawing room with an open fireplace, to the buzzing bar and brasserie, and the 38 individually designed bedrooms, many of which look onto the leafy private garden square. The hotel is close to London’s theater and financial districts and surrounded by fashionable shops, restaurants, and world-class galleries.
Ham Yard Hotel London, United Kingdom
91 Rooms / GBP 260 – 2,950
The 91-room Ham Yard Hotel, just behind Piccadilly Circus and tucked behind five majestic oak trees, is Firmdale’s largest project to date. Providing a spot of green to the area, a wild flower rooftop garden provides sweeping views of the Soho skyline. British art is a big part of the experience at Ham Yard with artists such as Tony Cragg prominently featured. The hotel also boasts a 190-seat theater, a spa, a four-lane vintage bowling alley, and a curated pedestrian shopping area.
Haymarket Hotel 50 Rooms / GBP 240 – 3,250
London, United Kingdom A bold step away from cookie-cutter minimalism, the Haymarket Hotel fuses contemporary and classical references in an ultra-central London location. A landmark building designed by the legendary John Nash, the master architect who developed most of Regency London, the hotel’s façade features a dramatic row of columns that runs the length of Suffolk Place. Interiors are a rich, modern take on English classicism, honoring the hotel’s noble lineage.
Knightsbridge Hotel London, United Kingdom
44 Rooms / GBP 215 – 725
Within walking distance of Harrods and Harvey Nichols, the Knightsbridge Hotel is a chic addition to the luxury hotels owned and designed by Kit Kemp. Contemporary British art and African woodwork bring surprises to the otherwise traditional lobby, drawing room, and library. Bold fabrics envelop the suites and rooms, running riot with stripes, florals, and geometric designs.
Number Sixteen 41 Rooms / GBP 150 – 390
London, United Kingdom With its wrought-iron balustrades and column-supported porticoes, Number Sixteen’s crisp, white-stucco Victorian terrace feels almost residential. As always, designer Kit Kemp pays attention to subtle detail, creating a modern English sensibility that extends outdoors to an elegant conservatory and private garden. The garden’s reflecting pond, fountain, and lush foliage offer the kind of privacy that perfectly tops off a London afternoon.
The Soho Hotel London, United Kingdom
96 Rooms / GBP 235 – 2,950
At 96 rooms, The Soho Hotel is one of hoteliers Tim and Kit Kemp’s largest London properties. Kit Kemp’s contemporary British style is firmly founded on using top-notch furnishings and materials in artful combination with a plethora of styles, colors, and patterns. It’s hard to miss the impressive 10-metertall Botero sculpture in the lobby.
Town Hall Hotel & Apartments 98 Rooms / GBP 160 – 3,000
London, United Kingdom The Town Hall Hotel & Apartments is located in the heart of East London, in the former Bethnal Green Town Hall, just two minutes from Bethnal Green tube station, with ideal connections to West London and the city’s financial district. The beautifully restored establishment elegantly incorporates a restructured, contemporary interior into the elegant period property — an ideal space for any business or luxury traveler, situated in one of the metropolis’ hippest, up-and-coming neighborhoods.
Oddfellows On The Park
Manchester, United Kingdom
22 Rooms / GBP 155 – 325
Brought about by the restoration of the 19th-century Bruntwood Hall, Oddfellows On The Park offers an English country retreat just a short drive from Manchester, one of the country’s most culturally and commercially important cities. Set amid 100 acres of parkland dotted with mature oak trees, streams, ponds, and lawns, the hotel embraces its natural setting and boasts on-site activities, such as archery, golf, and a BMX cycling track; as well as a restaurant in the old ballroom; a cocktail bar clad in tweed and tartan; and a salon de beauté called The Pigsty, with a “mudroom” to pamper guests. Original Victorian design elements abound, while contemporary touches bring the aristocratic hospitality experience up to date.
Africa & Near East
Africa & Near East
Israel / Kenya / Morocco
Brown TLV Tel Aviv, Israel
30 Rooms / USD 135 – 415
Behind the façade of a former bank in the Neve Tzedek district, is the Brown TLV — a hotel defined by its rich, chocolate- colored walls, dark wood floors, and vintage-inspired furniture. The 30 rooms invite an intimate, personal experience, in contrast to the restless city of Tel Aviv outside. Here, guests find cocktail-hour lighting, leather couches, and low-slung chairs, while warmly lit hallways and the occasional piece of provocative art lead into perfectly tailored rooms. On the rooftop, guests can lounge under the Mediterranean sun, enjoy a relaxing soak in a Jacuzzi, or take a refreshing open-air shower overlooking the vibrant city.
Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel 95 Rooms / USD 208 – 455
Zichron Ya’akov, Israel After a meticulous eight-year restoration, the Mivtachim Sanitarium, Yaakov Rechter’s award-winning masterwork of postwar Brutalism, reopened as the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel, an innovative boutique property overlooking sloping forests and the Mediterranean Sea. Elma is the brainchild of Israeli philanthropist Lily Elstein, whose dream to combine luxury hotel and cultural center is realized throughout Elma’s 95 guestrooms and 750 square meters of gallery space. Elma also features two state-of-the-art performance halls, Chef Ohad Levi’s Oratorio restaurant, and a sumptuous spa.
Tribe Hotel Nairobi, Kenya
137 Rooms / USD 245 – 1,350
Warm, earthy shades and a handpicked collection of tribal crafts invite guests at Nairobi’s Tribe Hotel to explore the richness of African culture. Throughout the public areas and the 137 rooms and suites, the Ehsani and Shah families have carefully incorporated an airy feel, reminiscent of urban lofts, giving guests an abundance of space to appreciate the building’s atypical angles. An authentic Kenyan vibe can be felt throughout the property, from the sophisticated Jiko restaurant, the well-stocked library, and the garden-wrapped pool, to the adjacent shopping complex, which hosts a weekly Maasai market.
AnaYela 5 Rooms / EUR 190 – 490
Marrakech, Morocco AnaYela, a gorgeous 300-year-old palace transformed into an opulent hotel, is the jewel of Marrakech. After a full-scale restoration in 2007, the luminous two-suite, three-room city palace offers a lush indoor courtyard, a heated limestone pool, and a beguiling rooftop terrace overlooking Marrakech’s historic quarter. With so much mystique, it’s no wonder guests report feeling as if they’ve stepped into a mirage.
Mauritius / South Africa / Tanzania
Shanti Maurice – A Nira Resort
Africa & Near East
Chemin Grenier, Mauritius
61 Rooms / EUR 325 – 3,420
Set on a pristine coral sand cove on the southern coast of Mauritius and surrounded by tropical gardens, sugarcane fields, lush hills, and the turquoise Indian Ocean, Shanti Maurice offers a worldclass Nira Spa, traditional Mauritian cuisine, and 61 spacious ocean-facing suites and villas that are set directly on one of the region’s best beaches, with each villa boasting a private pool. The resort creates an authentic local experience with a vivid and easy-going ambience through the use of locally sourced products, food, and materials. This is high-styled luxury in one of the world’s most exotic and intimate settings.
Ten Bompas Johannesburg, South Africa
10 Rooms / ZAR 3,350 – 3,700
A suite-only hotel, Johannesburg’s Ten Bompas maximizes design diversity. Its public spaces, featuring graceful curves and neutral walls set off by lively prints on custom-built furniture, provide relief from the bustle of the business district. The Winehouse restaurant serves simple, delicious French fare from the hotel’s own garden. The striking architecture of Space, the hotel’s function and events center, adds a new dimension to Ten Bompas. Proprietor Christoff van Staden charged a different top designer with creating a home away from home in each of the 10 suites.
Zuri Zanzibar 65 Rooms / USD 250 – 2,500
Zanzibar, Tanzania The Zuri Zanzibar offers 300 meters of private, pristine beach, a lush spice garden, and gorgeous African sunsets, thanks to the property’s west-facing location on the northern edge of the main island of Unguja. The property not only encourages guests to make the most of its natural surroundings, but also offers bungalows and villas designed by the internationally acclaimed Jestico+Whiles studio. Here, traditional African design blends with chic modernism, while a swimming pool bar and grill, a beachside cocktail bar, and an exclusive “ dinner at the beach” service make for memorable and indulgent experiences.
South Korea China
Taiwan India Hong Kong
Hotel Hotel Canberra, Australia
68 Rooms / AUD 285 – 915
An integral cornerstone in Canberra’s NewActon precinct, Hotel Hotel harnesses the community, art, culture, and unique charm of the Australian capital through thoughtful, sustainable architecture and design. On three floors of the Japanese-inspired Nishi building, artists and designers created a brand new hotel typology where guests are seamlessly integrated into a new urban hub. The 68 hotel rooms range from cozy hideouts to sprawling suites, furnished sparingly b ut thoughtfully with new, recycled, and vintage pieces. No two rooms are alike, providing an individualized hotel experience for each and every guest.
Adelphi Hotel 34 Rooms / AUD 275 – 1,000
Melbourne, Australia Set in the heartland of Melbourne's top food, gallery, fashion, coffee, and street culture, Adelphi Hotel is a boutique property that’s captured the affections of international and local travelers alike. Reinvented three years ago with a dessert-inspired design, Adelphi’s aesthetic is playful yet elegant. With 34 beautiful rooms, an open-air rooftop pool and deck, the famous Om Nom Kitchen & Dessert Bar, a 12-seater Boardroom, and all that Melbourne has to offer at your door, Adelphi awaits you.
QT Sydney Sydney, Australia
200 Rooms / AUD 380 – 2,200
Set within two of the city’s most iconic buildings — the heritagelisted Gowings department store and the State Theatre — QT Sydney revives the rich and colorful history of theater and retail. In the heart of Sydney’s central business district, this 200-room hotel is surrounded by culture, art, fashion, cuisine, and design. Stone cladding, gargoyles, and façade detail have been carefully restored, while interior elements reference the building’s past. The lobby, linked to the bustling Market Street, invites guests in with a lively buzz, while the luxurious day spa, as well as the restaurant, lounge, and bar, attract stylish locals.
The Old Clare Hotel 62 Rooms / AUD 300 – 1,500
Sydney, Australia In Sydney’s up-and-coming neighborhood of Chippendale, the iconic Old Clare Hotel opened in September 2015. The rooms and suites, divided into heritage and contemporary loft styles, play up the soaring ceilings, timber paneling, and a mix of vintage furniture and bespoke designer joinery. The food is a big highlight at The Old Clare, where choices include contemporary Australian cuisine with an ever-changing menu at Automata, helmed by Executive Chef Clayton Wells, and Michelin-starred Chef Jason Atherton’s first restaurant in Australia, Kensington Street Social, which is the perfect everyday eatery with its relaxed Mediterranean menu.
Cambodia / China / Hong Kong
Phum Baitang Siem Reap, Cambodia
45 Villas / USD 375 – 795
Forty-five breezy, spacious villas at Phum Baitang invite guests to step into the rare, rural beauty of Cambodia near Siem Reap. At the gateway to Angkor’s World Heritage Sites, the resort is an elegant hideaway tucked in eight acres of paddy fields and lush gardens. A world unto itself, Phum Baitang offers two restaurants serving local cuisine and fusion, a pool bar, and a cigar and cocktail lounge that is reminiscent of the country’s colonial days. A spa temple with a yoga pavilion ensures that both body and soul are taken care of in this ultimate luxury retreat.
The Swatch Art Peace Hotel 7 Rooms / CNY 2,900 – 52,000
Shanghai, China The seven individually designed rooms and suites of the Swatch Group’s only hotel reiterate the brand’s commitment to creative pursuits. Apart from the stunning themed suites with one-of-a-kind sculptural pieces of furniture, The Swatch Art Peace Hotel building is also home to artists-in-residence studios and apartments, a retail space with the watch brand’s exclusive offerings, a gallery, and a penthouse occupied by the renowned pan-Asian restaurant Shook! and a rooftop bar. Discover the Shanghai of old and one that is facing the future boldly in this daring hotel.
The Waterhouse at South Bund Shanghai, China
19 Rooms / CNY 1,380 – 4,000
The Waterhouse at South Bund, located on the banks of Shanghai’s Huangpu River, inexorably raises the city’s boutique hotel stakes, leaving its competitors trailing hopelessly behind. With magnificent views of the Pudong skyline, in an area where the city’s quaint low-rise architectural heritage is still largely intact, The Waterhouse at South Bund prides itself on integra ting into the traditional local environment while challenging its boundaries, distinguishing itself as an unforgettable experience.
Mira Moon 91 Rooms / HKD 1,500 – 12,000
Hong Kong Hong Kong’s Mira Moon was conceived under the creative direction of Wanders & yoo and overseen by businessman Martin Lee. Characters from China’s Moon Festival mythology are artistically reinterpreted throughout the 91 rooms, while also reflecting the surrounding neighborhood’s colorful nightlife. Guests can enjoy Spanish delicacies at Supergiant Tapas and Cocktail Bar or wind down at the alfresco Secret Garden.
Hong Kong / India
Ovolo Southside Hong Kong
162 Rooms / HKD 1,150 – 5,200
Hong Kong’s first warehouse-turned-hotel, Ovolo Southside, is something you might expect to find more in New York’s Meatpacking District than in Wong Chuk Hang. The hotel references the area’s industrial past in its design, façade, and the utilitarian look of its Lo Lounge. Graffiti and art installations spread throughout the hotel’s public spaces are a striking mix of local and international artists. Free WiFi, minibar, self-service laundry facilities, and flexible check-in and checkout options are but some of the many reasons that Ovolo Southside is the perfect springboard from which to explore this emerging cultural hub.
The Mira Hong Kong 492 Rooms / HKD 3,300 – 48,000
Hong Kong The Mira Hong Kong is an innovative urban retreat overlooking the banyan trees and mazes of Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui, one of Hong Kong’s shopping districts. The hotel’s 492 rooms are vibrantly decorated featuring modernist chairs and glass-walled bathrooms. Inhale the soothing vapors of Chinese herbs as you’re massaged in the award-winning MiraSpa, or sample contemporary Western cuisine at Whisk, one of six specialty restaurants and bars. Stay conveniently connected when discovering the neighborhood with a portable WiFi device for use on-the-go anywhere in the city.
The Park Bangalore Bangalore, India
109 Rooms / INR 15,000 – 28,000
India’s first contemporary boutique hotel, The Park Bangalore is still a dynamic hub and meeting place in this fast growing, high-tech city. A clever mix of modern design with Indian accents, the hotel is a reflection of its location in the city’s most exciting upscale retail district. Each of the four floors showcases a different design and color scheme, crowned by the top-floor luxury residential area and private lounge — The Residence — which rewards its guests with sumptuous style and what Priya Paul calls, “white glove service without the gloves.”
The Park Chennai 214 Rooms / INR 10,500 – 40,000
Chennai, India Built on the former site of one of India’s largest film studios, The Park Chennai was designed to blend the site’s cinematic past with its new incarnation as one of India’s most design- forward hotels. An oversize movie screen greets guests in the light-filled lobby, dramatic curtains veil poolside beds on the rooftop, and the 214 guestrooms are enveloped with sensual muted tones of silver and gold.
Anya Hotel Gurgaon, India
117 Rooms / INR 5,500 – 16,000
Anya presents sophistication with a splash of Indian panache and contemporary cool in the soaring commercial hub of Gurgaon. Located on the prestigious Golf Course Road, the hotel has a fitting mantra — “luxury with an undercurrent of minimalism” — and it comes alive everywhere, from the spacious suites to the Amaltas Spa by L’Occitane, which presents wellness with an Indian soul. Anya Hotel also introduces Gurgaon’s only Spanish tapas bar and beer garden. The hotel is adorned with works by such contemporary Indian masters as Bose Krishnamachari and Chittrovanu Mazumdar, and commissioned work by Remen Chopra.
The Park Hyderabad 263 Rooms / INR 15,000 – 100,000
Hyderabad, India This iconic modern palace overlooking the magnificent Hussain Sagar Lake was inspired by the renowned jewels of the Nizams, who ruled Hyderabad for two centuries until India’s independence. The result is a unique collaboration of design talent from across the globe, showcased throughout the 263 sleek white rooms, the airy, light-filled Verandah all-day dining restaurant, and bar Aqua with a view onto the hotel’s pool and the lake beyond.
The Park Kolkata Kolkata, India
149 Rooms / INR 12,000 – 20,000
After an extensive reinvention, The Park Kolkata opened in 1967, the same year that the Beatles came to India to learn transcendental meditation. Today, the 149-room hotel has a completely new look thanks to the hands-on involvement of design gurus Conran and Partners. The current interiors are influenced by Indian psychedelia from the 1960s and Hindu meditation, which links the seven bodily chakras to the seven colors of the human body. Against a dramatic background of black and white, colors pop and inspire an electric state of mind.
The Park New Delhi 220 Rooms / INR 12,000 – 50,000
New Delhi, India The Park New Delhi features a stunning interior concept by British designers Conran and Partners, playing upon modern concepts of movement and transparency. Originally opened in 1987 and recently updated, the 220-room hotel offers a mix of Eastern hospitality and Western chic. The richness of the Indian visual tradition and globally inspired minimalist design span the hotel’s public and private spaces.
Indonesia / Japan
Luna2 Private Hotel Bali, Indonesia
5 Rooms / USD 2,250 – 3,000
Luna2 Private Hotel, named after the first spacecraft to land on the moon in the late 1950’s, is located on the beachfront in fashionable Seminyak, Bali. This exclusive-use “private hotel” has five bedrooms and is the ultimate holiday destination for groups with or without kids. Its prime location, visionary design, superstar service, and world-class Lunafood, combine to create an out-of-this-world experience. Luna2 founder and designer Melanie Hall created this ultra-modern design, which contrasts the ubiquitous “modern Bali” style and references great modernism of the past, fuelled with innovation of the future and a sense of fun.
Luna2 Studiotel 14 Rooms / USD 350 – 600
Bali, Indonesia Uniquely known as a “studiotel,” Luna2 Studiotel is located in fashionable Seminyak, a few steps from beachfront Luna2 private hotel. Luna2 founder and designer Melanie Hall’s design ethos is to “respect the past, welcome the future, and have fun in the process!” As such, elements of nostalgia, futurism, and fun permeate every aspect of the interiors, including 14 open-plan studios, an award-winning restaurant, and a 25-meter Mondrian-inspired pool. Underground is the groovy Pop! lounge bar and the ultra-plush Lunaplex 16-seat cinema, while the rooftop Space bar offers the ultimate ocean views. Superstar, personalized service is provided by an award-winning, internationally trained team.
Kimamaya Boutique Hotel Hirafu-Niseko, Japan
9 Rooms / JPY 17,000 – 76,000
At Kimamaya Boutique Hotel, a nine-room mountain lodge in Niseko, one of Japan’s most popular ski resorts, the list of activities is endless. From snowboarding in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer — after a busy day outside, you can relax with other guests in the hotel’s timber- floored Living Lounge. French-born owner Nicolas Gontard has ensured that the flavors of his homeland are represented at The Barn restaurant, which serves fresh Hokkaido produce. But it’s the unexpected combination of Scandinavian and Japanese design that creates the toasty and homey ambience.
The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon 136 Rooms / JPY 16,170 – 95,865
Tokyo, Japan Step out of the elevator and into the 13th-floor lobby and you are treated to a gently curving panoramic view of the city below. The Gate Hotel stands poised between the cultural heritage of one of the city’s oldest districts and luminous modern day Tokyo. Designed by renowned Japanese architect Shigeru Uchida, the hotel exudes a dynamic, contemporary energy in harmony with the bustling, historic neighborhood outside — home to the famous Kaminarimon Gate, Sensō-ji Temple, Asakusa Shrine, and the traditional Nakamise-dori shopping street.
12 Rooms / JPY 43,200 – 69,120
Satoyama Jujo not only borrows the Japanese terms for “mountain village” and “10 stories” for its name, but the 12-room hotel in the country’s Minami-uonuma region also conceptually tells its own stories throughout its 150-year-old structure and modern extension. A story of organic growth and harvest comes alive through the restaurant’s farm-to-table process, while the daily forest excursions, monthly events, and communal spaces — such as the lounges, bars, and meeting space — tell a story of togetherness. And with an outdoor spa-bath in most guestrooms and a chef that has a three-Michelin-star restaurant on his résumé, Satoyama Jujo offers top-notch indulgence amid mountainous rice paddies.
Malaysia / Singapore / South Korea
Macalister Mansion Penang, Malaysia
8 Rooms / MYR 990 – 1,660
A renovated and restored 100-year-old colonial mansion is the setting for Macalister Mansion in George Town, a quirky, yet sophisticated lifestyle-oriented residence where visitors can experience Penang’s rich heritage and dynamic present-day without even leaving the building. The hotel was conceived as a single holistic vision by Penangite owners Dato Sean and Datin Karen in collaboration with celebrated Singapore firm Ministry of Design. The historic building’s eight customized suites feature bespoke local artwork, while its dining, bar, and pool areas offer personalized service and gourmet food and drink.
New Majestic Hotel 30 Rooms / SGD 400 – 750
Singapore What was once Singapore’s glamorous Art Deco hotel Majestic, has been refurbished into an intelligently stylish haven for modern travelers. The prewar building’s dramatic lobby now welcomes cosmopolitan guests with its off-white terrazzo floors dotted with an array of modernist chairs under an original 1928 ceiling. Guestrooms — some with terraces and freestanding bathtubs — come in various sensuous, intriguing styles. Throughout, is an impressive art collection comprised of stunning works by local artists.
29 Rooms / SGD 300 – 650
Created with adventurous travelers in mind, the aptly named Wanderlust, in Singapore’s colorful Little India neighborhood, will delight guests with its smart yet whimsical design. The hotel’s 29 rooms are spread over three floors, each of which was created by a different design studio. Just taking the elevator to the lobby is a journey in itself! The hotel’s industrial-chic lobby, bar, and restaurant Cocotte, which serves authentic French cuisine, have quickly drawn in the locals, making Wanderlust feel like the center of the action.
Nest Hotel 370 Rooms / KRW 330,000 – 2,000,000
Incheon, South Korea The first Design Hotels™ property in South Korea, Nest Hotel is very much in keeping with its neighbor, the future city, Seoul. Located on Northeast Asia’s cultural hub, Yeongjongdo island, Nest Hotel has been designed as the ultimate retreat. The hotel’s building is a Cubist-meets-modernist masterpiece, cleverly designed to afford guests maximum views of nature and the Yellow Sea. The hotel is overflowing with services, including those you’d expect, such as a library café, minitheater, spa, and world-class dining, to the unexpected, such as glamping (glamorous camping) facilities for nature lovers and adventure-minded watersports.
South Korea / Taiwan
Glad Hotel Yeouido Seoul, South Korea
319 Rooms / KRW 240,000 – 700,000
In the glimmering skyscraper-filled district of Yeouido, aptly nicknamed Seoul’s Manhattan, Glad Hotel Yeouido is already turning things on its head. The hotel’s façade, with its unusual brick pattern, at once stands out from its neighbors’ modernist glass buildings. Bricks have also been wittily used in the hotel’s interiors. Thanks to an honest approach to design, rooms are cozy and practical with no hidden or confusing features and the hotel’s Greets restaurant and café serves fresh, seasonal food. Bar Mark’ T, inspired by Mark Twain’s favorite tipple, offers the city’s most extensive collection of Single Malt Whisky.
Humble House Taipei 235 Rooms / TWD 12,000 – 102,000
Taipei, Taiwan Located on the top floors of a “Diamond-rated Green Building” in the heart of Xinyi — the capital’s vibrant shopping, commercial, and entertainment district — the 235-room Humble House Taipei merges design, green living, and art into one breath taking property overlooking the city’s rooftops. Deceptively simple in design, the architecture serves as a backdrop for over 600 exquisitely integrated works of art. Guests can enjoy the allure of traditional tea ceremonies, relax at the spa area, and savor gourmet Italian at the restaurant La Farfalla. To top it off, Humble House Taipei boasts an innercity perk: a lush sixth-floor garden.
Hotel Proverbs Taipei
42 Rooms / TWD 8,085 – 24,255
Fronted by a rectilinear façade of black mesh, the 42-room Hotel Proverbs Taipei is inspired by the surreal scenes of Goya’s Proverbios through abundant copper, natural wood, leather, stone, and delicate fabrics. The hotel is topped by a rooftop pool overlooking the lively Da’an District, and plays host to the TK Seafood & Steak restaurant and a cocktail bar led by prize- winning mixologists. While the L’Idiot Bakery tempts guests from their king-size beds with freshly baked breads, pastries, and cakes, the butler service means that one need not lift a finger to enjoy what’s on offer. The hotel also features a multifunctional event room for up to 32 guests, ideal for business meetings in the center of Taipei’s newly developed Eastern District.
Hua Hin, Thailand
A stone’s throw from the summer palace of the Thai royal family, Hotel Bocage is a showcase of elegant minimalism in a glorious beachside setting, and a new, one-of-a-kind retreat for Bangkok socialites and beyond. Perched stealthily atop a luxury shopping center in Thailand’s fashionable seaside resort destination of Hua Hin, the six-suite property is a gateway to a stunning natural world yet still close to the action. Raising the bar for inspired design, the hotel promises attentive service, leading-edge technology, and world-class Thai cuisine. Hotel Bocage is the vision of Design Hotels™ Influencer Duangrit Bunnag, a master at creating properties that assert themselves boldly into a landscape yet also seem organically at one with their setting.
Casa de la Flora Khao Lak, Thailand
36 Villas / THB 10,530 – 65,260
A dazzling addition to the lushly tropical Khao Lak, this tranquil beachfront resort of 36 low-rise villas provides spacious privacy in unspoiled surroundings. A heady amalgamation of minimalism and cutting-edge architecture, the resort features an intimate spa and expansive gardens. The villas by VaSLab Architecture have their own private pool, and the expert staff provides “genuine Thai hospitality” to those in search of the hotel’s pervading philosophy of “rest and relaxation.”
The Beach Samui 21 Rooms / THB 8,000 – 28,000
Koh Samui, Thailand Nestled on the southern tip of Koh Samui, overlooking an archipelago of humpbacked tropical islands, lies Thong Krut, a sleepy, traditional Thai fishing village, home to The Beach Samui. This consciously designed boutique retreat invites you to rediscover life’s simple pleasures, be it floating gently in the panoramic infinity pool, dining on organic island produce in the Botanical Bar and Restaurant, enjoying a holistic treatment in the Spa, re-energizing in the Amethyst steam room, catching a movie screening under the stars, or snoozing in a beachfront cabana. There are even yoga and meditation classes to leave you both physically and spiritually prepared to explore Koh Samui’s natural wonders.
20 Villas / THB 45,106 – 73,594 26 Rooms / THB 16,618 – 33,236
Koh Samui, Thailand Like a good book, The Library contains an assortment of interesting chapters, each enticing guests to learn to live harmoniously with nature. The hotel’s library binds the property; Its collection of over 1,300 books to borrow or purchase provide a satisfying alternative to modern distractions. With its 26 stunning suites and studios, and since December 2016, 20 secret poolside villas ranging in area from 205 to 400 square meters, this minimalist resort provides ample space to read, roam, and reflect.
The Naka Phuket
91 Villas / THB 26,200 – 83,400 3 Rooms / THB 16,030 – 23,900
Phuket, Thailand Snuggled in an ancient valley on Phuket’s western edge, The Naka Phuket is a discreet tropical hideout, with glass-built villas cantilevering from the mountainside to give guests endless panoramas of the sparkling Andaman Sea. Duangrit Bunnag’s daring design makes visitors feel as though they are floating among the trees, while the spa, Olympic-sized infinity pool, and wave-lapped private beach provide space for them to seek a natural equilibrium.
7 Villas / THB 36,000 – 48,000 177 Rooms / THB 12,000 – 29,000
Phuket, Thailand An industrial-inspired resort on a popular beach in Thailand’s Phuket, The Slate offers a wealth of surprises. For starters, it is located on the secluded Nai Yang beach, on the northwest coast of the island. Then there are the interiors: Details include heavy doors on pulleys and locally crafted furnishings, all skillfully integrating the tin-mining heritage of the island with avant-garde design. The tropical resort provides plenty of opportunities, both nearby and within its perimeters — three pools, holistic therapies at Coqoon Spa, a Thai cooking school, and even an award-winning golf course next door.
The Surin Phuket 103 Rooms / THB 20,000 – 50,000
Phuket, Thailand Amid the seclusion of coconut palms and gentle slopes leading to the island’s finest shore, The Surin Phuket by Ed Tuttle is an easy blend of simplicity, serenity, and attention to nature. Elegant cottages house natural materials, such as shuttered doors, granite floors, panels of woven palm fronds, and earthcolored fabrics. Outdoors is a patch of paradise with a private verandah and secluded sundeck.
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Sixt â&#x20AC;&#x201C; when design becomes an attitude. (Stay in style and benefit from 250 spg Starpoints with every car rental)
ERCO has reconsidered outdoor lighting. The Kona projector with LED is the robust precision tool for illuminating faรงades and monuments. High luminous flux and maximum visual comfort for lighting tasks in the outdoor area. www.erco.com/kona
Outstanding design. Breathtaking optics. Leica Ultravid 8 x 32 Edition Zagato. A passion for craftsmanship, a tireless pursuit of perfection, and 100 years of manufacturing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; these aspects unite the optics specialist Leica and the legendary automotive designer Zagato. Engineers and designers at both companies have combined their expertise to produce extraordinary binoculars: The Leica Ultravid 8 x 32 Edition Zagato. It pays homage to the high arts of optics and design. For this limited series, the elegant aluminum housing is milled from a block of solid metal. A refined surface and multiple finishing steps give the binoculars a one-of-a-kindlook. Thanks to the razor-sharp, clear images with their natural colors, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a delight for both senses: touch and sight. Experience the Leica Ultravid 8 x 32 Edition Zagato today at www.leica-sportoptics.com
Leica Camera AG I Leica Sport Optics I Am Leitz-Park 5 I 35578 WETZLAR I GERMANY