Posts Tagged ‘boutique hotels’
November 26th, 2013 - The new Cheval Blanc Randheli represents a contemporary vision of the Maldives. Architect Jean-Michel Gathy has conceived uniquely designed spaces skillfully combining local traditions with the finest materials to create a stunning modern and graphical structure that is in complete harmony with its pristine and natural surroundings.
Guests of the hotel arrive by Cheval Blanc’s seaplane that carries the travelers for 40 minutes from the Male International Airport to the resort.
The tropical establishment consists of 45 residential-scale, open-plan villas with 23-foot-high ceilings. All accommodations feature infinity-edge pools and spacious indoor and outdoor living areas. Walls slide open for unobstructed ocean views. The resort has a poolside bar, four restaurants, a private dining space, and in-room dining.
45 residential-scale, open-plan villas with 23-foot-high ceilings. All accommodations feature infinity-edge pools and spacious indoor and outdoor living areas. Walls slide open for unobstructed ocean views. The resort has a poolside bar, four restaurants, a private dining space, and in-room dining.
Guests can swim in their vast private villa swimming pool, sunbathe on their private white sand beach, enjoy a live-cooked dinner in the garden, relaxing on a daybed on their pontoon right over the lagoon all in the intimacy of their villa.
Around the hotel is the discovery of 46 sculptural color spots, an exclusive art exhibition by French artist Vincent Beaurin, titled Couronne. Beaurin’s artwork explores the richness of a wide spectrum of color tones, creating a stimulating and inspiring collection of artwork. Made from a blend of marble and quartz sands, each spot is unique and will soon unveil its vibrant colors in one of the Maison’s villas.
Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Noonu atoll, Randheli Island is a true haven for lush vegetation. Majestic palm trees shelter the delicate ephemeral flowers creating a luxuriantly decor that changes with every season to provide a renewed sense of discovery with each visit!
Photography by Stefano Candito Photography
November 12th, 2013 – A natural jewel nestles between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range that snakes through the Mexican state of Oaxaca. A top-ten surfing and popular fishing destination, the tiny coastal town of Puerto Escondido invites with its laid-back atmosphere and beachside vibe. Hoteliers Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha, the duo behind Grupo Habita, have transformed a pristine stretch of Oaxacan coastline into a private paradise for beach bums and thrill seekers alike, with the addition of Hotel Escondido.
Located directly on the beach and surrounded by nature, rustic bungalows soak up the laid-back seaside atmosphere. Each of the 16 huts bear the traditional palapa roof, but with tradition comes innovation. Architect Federico Rivera Rio modernized these classic beach bungalows with amenities perfectly attuned to the traveler looking to unwind after a day of surfing or sunbathing.
A private pool and sundeck offers personal sanctuary outdoors, while the inside of each room features tropical wooden floors, stucco walls, and polished concrete bathrooms. Cross ventilation and air conditioning refresh after a day baking in the sun.
Hotel Escondido offers a modern take on the traditional Oaxacan beach hut, cultivating a sophisticated atmosphere with a cheerful, centrally located bar and an underground dance club that quite literally lives up to its name. Each of the bungalows emphasizes a commitment to local tradition and design with traditional palapa rooftops on each hut and tropical wooden floorboards.
Minimal, yet comfortable design elements are amplified by the myriad opportunities that the resort offers guests for both group activities and private relaxation in their natural hideaway. Surfing, boating, and kayaking lessons occur steps from the door of your bungalow, while those wishing to explore the surrounding area can explore the nearby lagoon.
Those wishing to recharge after an action-packed day of sun, surf, and nature can recline by their own private pool, unwind with an in-room massage and enjoy locally-sourced dishes inspired by the internationally renowned Oaxacan cuisine.
September 19th, 2013 – West of Fiji and southeast of the Solomon Islands is a small island nation known as Vanuatu. Time moves a little slower in Vanuatu, not that anyone there actually minds, in fact this is a big part of the appeal of the place. Emerging ever so slowly on the island is a half-realized luxury resort on a spectacular tract of land where the forest meets the sea. “We see the bones, the inner working, the structure – the important business of architecture before the detailing of surfaces and slick styling. This is architecture at its rawest.” Remarked photographer Peter Bennetts, in regards to the beauty behind Architect Kristin Green’s soon-to-be new hotel, La Plage D’hotel Du Pacifique.
The first of 18 villas are nearing completion with a strategic design that allows wind to pass through with little to no need for air-conditioning. Here, modern forms take on an ancient roman bath providing escape from the demands of the city. Areas of the resort are separated by dancing concrete limbs intertwined casting shadows to relieve one from the tropical sun.
While building the fortress, Green explored a cinematic experience, coupled with the ideas of leisure, romance and dreaming. With these experiences in mind, the architect created an open air roof garden for dining, cocktails and sun bathing, along with a casual poolside grill bar and a formal restaurant. In addition to the restaurants, the establishment features 18 undulating villas, a spa, swimming pools, and outdoor facilities including; Pétanque, beach tennis, swimming, handball & board games.
All components of the villas are custom made; complete in-situ concrete board marked walls, floor & roof, concrete benches, day beds, cast-in-place basins and handmade light fittings, inbuilt furniture, sunken baths along with timber herringbone windows which are hand carved from local timbers by local craftsman and hand cut stone floors. Green is regularly on site coordinating fabrication techniques and ensuring consistency of local construction methods.
Each villa is conceived as a robust, cyclone ready building, the result of a series of key relationship studies between man, building & the tropical landscape. The nature of the body disrobing, exposure, privacy & the personalized experience offers a certain romance and seclusion for its patrons.
The resort’s spa offers a place for the leisure, relaxation and sensual decadence that one would expect from a quality 5-star experience in the Pacifique. A concrete slide, colonnade and capital recall the Ancient Roman baths, a direct homage to Emperor Hadrian (the pool is literally measured from & at Hadrian’s villa in Tivoli, outside Rome); ‘only here can one truly dream of being lost in time’.
Irregular clusters of Pandanus & palm trees, a simple landscape of grass and white sand ground surface make bare feet in Vanuatu is an absolute must. The tree roots emerge from the ground like something of a child’s dream, creating gentle barriers and shadows. The architecture of La Plage D’hotel Du Pacifique is designed to protect from violent storms, and offer patrons are a chance at romance, to dance, dream and escape; rekindling love, offering hope for the future & their well being.
Photography by Peter Bennetts
March 7th, 2013 – Less than an hour away from Lisbon, the Areias Do Seixo Charm Hotel is nestled deep into the dunes of Portugal’s shoreline. Algrave-based architect Vasco Vieira dreamed up a magical place where originality, comfort, and sophistication move in perfect synthesis with the land. The eclectic hotel is full of an array of charming decorative accents and maintains an environmental conscience philosophy. When the owners purchased the property to build the Areias Do Seixo, they found that the land was riddled with the ruins of an old aviary. In an eco-minded response, Vieira made sure that the rubble and ruins from the old aviary were recycled into the foundation of the new hotel.
The 14 dreamy rooms are extraordinarily unique, taking the bold colors and designs of exotic destinations like India and Morocco as a starting point, and blending them with modern minimalism and imagination to create beautiful color pallets, earthy aesthetics, and irresistible bathrooms. Beds are framed with driftwood; warm gold Chinese cabinets; pod-like woodburners suspended from the ceilings, and burnished silver lamps. For those wanting privacy, there are 4 self-catering villas, each sleeping up to 7.
The overall experience that the hotel wants to give to its guests is a a trip filled with smells, tastes, and colors – a chance to reconnect with earth. The upmarket eco design doesn’t just come in the form of bed sheets and recycling, the food served at the hotel comes fresh from the hotel’s garden each day. The insulation of the building was conducted using cork on the wall cavity. The heating and cooling of water is done through the use of Geothermia, an ecological system that allows the efficient usage of the temperature existent within the earth. Circuit of compost transforming the organic matter produced in the unit into natural fertilizer for application to agricultural land to explore in the unit. To top it all off, the company is being completely transparent with their consumption data as they have implemented an Eco Clock on their website where anyone can check how much water, gas, and energy the hotel is using at the moment.
February 27th 2013 – Before the Casa De Flora Hotel & Resort opened its doors last year, KNSTRCT reported on the new resort. Now, a year and change into the opening we’re going back to see if the modernist meets tropical aesthetic is working out. A telling sign of success is the hotel was just voted one of the best new hotels by Conde Nast Traveller’s Hot List 2012 and won the Travelers’ Choice 2013 Award – not a bad welcoming into the hospitality world.
A Creative edit that captures the Casa De La Flora by Design Hotels
Normally when you think of tropical hotels, palm leaf ceilings, shabby-chic wood huts, or bamboo constructed walls come to mind, but the Cassa De La Flora is Khoa Lak’s first modernist hideaway. VaSlab Architecture took a risk when they started going down a different path and designed cutting edge architecture and it mixed with stunning tropical landscaping.
The risk turned out to be rewarding as the resort is being praised for putting Khoa Lak on the map as the new high profile, yet humble destination hotel in this beautiful town of the southern Thailand. The resort sits directly on the palm-fringed beach of Khao Lak, giving its guests stunning views of the Andaman Islands and a clean sandy beach to sink their toes into.
The owner of the new age hotel is Thai businessmen Sompong Dowpiset, who presented some challenges to that architects in the initial design phases. Dowpiset asked Vasu Virajsilp, principal architect at VaSlab, to create a unique resort that includes a series of pool villas with maximum ocean views possible. Facilities as reception lounge, swimming pool, pool bar, beachfront restaurant, spa, fitness, and library are the must-have programs in this hotel. The owner challenged Virajsilp to create a bold look of architecture that still yields to warmness and nature after its implied name, “flora”.
VaSLab’s metaphorical design manifested from the act of “arising flora”, where each concrete versus wood villa reflects as a flora form, emerges from the ground, and blooms to reach the daylight. Deviated walls and tilted roofs are characterized throughout the series of 36 cubic-form villas, where these tapered elements do not only recall the act of arising flora but they widen the rooms’ perspective frames when looking outward to the sea.
In addition to the unique suites, a reception lounge, swimming pool, pool bar, beachfront restaurant, spa, fitness, and library are all located on the property. On a side note, eco-friendly credentials come in the form of an ozone (low-chemical) purification system for the swimming pools and waste-water and rain water recycling, which was smartly integrated onto the angling architecture.
The continuity of the architectural lines can be seen also in interior space and with interior elements such as built-in beds, coffee tables, and built-in cabinets. Custom-made furniture designed by Anon Pairot Design Studio carries this thematic design as some of them represent organic form of a flora.
The landscaping and hardscaping work came from the talented designers at T.R.O.P., who extended the lines of architecture into a set of charming path ways, pavement blocks, green walls, as they act like its architecture’s root, stem, and branches.
It’s a tricky thing, trying to achieve a modernist look in paradise. Very rarely, will the harsh lines and minimalistic aesthetic of modern architecture mesh well with the traveler who is seeking an authentic tropical experience.
With that said, VaSlab managed to successfully achieve this rare juxtaposition by respecting the surrounding nature and allowing the architecture and vegetation to happily interact with one another.
Photography Courtesy of Casa De La Flora
December 11th, 2012 – Colonel Norman Macalister used to rule the roost at his beloved Macalister Mansion 100 years ago, when his small village of George Town, in Malaysia, was a tiny British shipping port. As time rolled on, the English left, and George Town has grown into a vibrant international metropolis that proudly displays its English, Chinese, Indian and native Malaysian influences. Here, the Colonel’s mansion has been transformed from a prim and proper estate, into a quirky and sophisticated lifestyle destination for art lovers and adventure seekers.
Owners of the Macalister, Dato Sean and Datin Karen, teamed up with Colin Seah, principal of Singapore-based design firm Ministry of Design, to re-work the mansion into an 8 suite boutique hotel with 5 unique hot spots to socialize and dine. The owners are proud locals, avid art collectors, and well-known investors in the local restaurant scene, which is why it comes to no surprise that the duo helped Seah in nearly every aspect – from the specially commissioned art on the walls, to the personalized and intimate service, to the unique combination of historic beauty and present-day dynamism that characterizes the hotel.
Regenerating the historic colonial building wasn’t easy. The owners wanted to reinvent the “hotel as a complete holistic concept, with all rooms, restaurants and lounge areas belonging to a single, unique vision.” Under this philosophy, each space of the mansion needed to have its own distinctive aesthetic and ambiance, but working synergistically. Upon Entry, a fractal bust of Colonel Norman Macalister welcomes guests as a bow to the Macalister’s history.
A turquoise scalloped canopy and ornate wooden doors open onto the reception area. There, the mansion’s original brick walls are exposed, reminding visitors of the building’s history while also showcasing contemporary art from local artists.
The Living Room Encompasses all day dining and provides a casual space to hang out, Seah restored and preserved the mansions original architectural features in this space, then added a playful color theme and an assortment of contemporary furnishing pieces.
Hanging plants reach their way down from the ceiling along with a collection of white and gold light fixtures to meet the artistic bistro-styled furnishings for hotel guests to enjoy herbal tea’s and an international cuisine.
Directly adjacent to the Living Room is a game room for some more day time activities. Here, guests can crack open a book, shoot a game of pool, or watch a movie.
The Den is an intimate hideout with a wide selection of cigars as well as blended and single-malt whiskies. The dimly lit space provides a night time atmosphere for hotel guests with its intricate tri-color tile floor pattern that runs up the walls, a central black leather poof, and a Gothic styled chandelier.
The Bagan Bar showcases some of the more striking aspects of the hotel’s original architecture: an ornate archway divides the room, and two columns frame a bay window nook. However, the dynamic copper-clad bar and lighting sculpture bring the room into the 21st century. The Den is a place to relax and unwind with a glass of quality whisky or cigar. Specialist in Single Cask and Single Malt whiskies which are sourced from renowned distilleries around the world!
Visitors can access the hotel’s eight suites directly from the reception! Each suite is different from the next, from a privately commissioned love sonnet in the Bridal Suite, to the spiral staircase and turret room in Room 4, to the Grace Tan textile piece in Room 7 that pays tribute to the tartan colors of the Macalister clan.
Room 3, for example, boasts a wrought-iron balcony as well as a fabric collage by Malaysian artist Lee Meiling, while Room 8 features exposed truss beams from the building’s original construction.
Wall art by Malaysia-based UK artist Thomas Powell examines the history of the mansion and commemorates the life and times of hotel namesake Sir Norman Macalister. A decedent pattern of tiny tiles help create a unique bathroom area which is provocatively open to the entire suite.
(Photography: Design Hotels & CI&A Photography)
December 3rd, 2012 – Hidden in an ancient valley on the western edge of Phuket, The Naka is Duangrit Bunnag’s most daring hotel to date. Not only because the Bangkok-based architect, Duangrit Bunnag, set out to redefine the idea of an indulgent island escape, but also because he single-mindedly followed a dream: one that would allow the hotel’s guests to float among the trees. The result is a discreet, tropical hideout, with 94 glass-built villas cantilevering out from the mountainside to give endless panoramas of the sparkling Andaman Sea.
With an outdoor pool attached to each of the secluded living spaces, guests have all the privacy they need to find their natural equilibrium. At the rooftop spa, which overlooks the forest and the ocean, cicadas provide the spellbinding soundtrack to soothing body scrubs and massages. Guests can also unwind in the hotel’s Olympic-sized infinity pool, or feel the powder-fine sand between their toes on the wave-lapped private beach. Fresh market produce is served at the hotel’s three restaurants, including The Nava, which sits along a natural watercourse that Bunnag integrated into his final design. Here, as with the rest of the hotel, there’s a sense of being cocooned in a secret valley. Design Hotels, the company who represents the Naka, walks us through the new property which will open it’s doors this spring.
Designing The Naka should have been easy. The 1,740-acre plot provided plenty of space, and the valley location – complete with a private beach on Phuket’s west coast – was already postcard pretty.
But Duangrit Bunnag, one of the best-known minimalist designers in Thailand, is a man who likes to challenge himself.
Instead of opting for traditional Thai bungalows or a blocky concrete high-rise, he created a forest of stone- and glass-built villas. Soaring away from the mountainside, these spacious and simplistic pods give guests 180-degree views of the sand-edged shoreline.
“I wanted to create something different, and nobody has ever dreamt of that in Thailand,” Bunnag said. “Actually nobody has done that in the whole world: a six-meter cantilever of the whole room.”
Rather than uprooting the valley’s trees to make way for his ambitious villas, Bunnag decided to use them as a guide. If his plans overlapped with a mature tree, he would either change the dimensions of the building, or move it to another part of the plot entirely.
The result is that the villas appear scattered across the valley, with well-established trees – many of them more than 50 years old – sprouting up from the gaps in between. In order to support the local population of cicadas and butterflies, indigenous plant species were also added during construction.
At the center of The Naka are four wooden pavilions. The pagoda-like lobby is built around a series of upright columns, making the most of natural ventilation, while the onsite wedding chapel, accented by glinting black marble, welcomes couples through its semi-transparent façade.
Both the sweet-smelling spa and The Meka (a rooftop café 40 meters above sea level) offer views as far as Patong. This notion of being close to town yet sheltered from its day-to-day bustle is key to Bunnag’s concept.
He wants guests to know that they are cocooned in a secret valley, with total privacy guaranteed until they choose to go out in search of excitement.
(Photography: Design Hotels)
November 30th 2012 – This month marked the opening to one of Zurich’s most anticipated hotel arrivals – the vibrant 25Hours Hotel. Sling away the old Swiss stereotypes, because in the former industrial neighborhood of Zurich West you’re more likely to spot independent cultural spaces and eclectic design stores than watchmakers or chocolate shops. Add jazz clubs, antique bookshops and graffiti-splattered streetscapes to the melting pot, and you have the perfect setting for the 25hours Hotel Zürich West, a property that places the local environment at the core of its design concept.
The tram from Zurich’s main train station will drop you by the hotel’s lobby, where flashes of raspberry and fuchsia furnishings light up the bar area, mirroring the area’s artistic buzz and colorful nightlife. As well as creating an energetic and joyous interior landscape, Zurich resident and award-winning interior designer Alfredo Häberli has scribbled his personal city recommendations on surfaces and objects throughout the hotel, encouraging guests to visit his favorite hotspots. Precious metals like gold, silver and platinum lend their names to the hotel’s 126 rooms. It is bronze, however, that recurs most frequently through the Living Room – an open-plan space for mingling with other like minds – the business facilities and the top-floor wellness area, which overlooks the city. Visible next door is the new campus for Zurich’s University of the Arts; an institution that attracts artists from across the globe and only amplifies the area’s creative energy as explained by Design Hotels.
Zurich resident Alfredo Häberli, the creative mind behind 25hours Hotel Zürich West. Since graduating from the Zurich School of Design, he has worked with names like Alias, Camper and Volvo to discover new ways of looking at everyday objects. His unmistakable signature style – a mixture of innovation and pure joyous energy – leaps out from every corner as soon as you step beyond the hotel’s seven-story facade.
Witty artistic and graphical interventions be found in each room and elsewhere in the property
The lobby is the beating heart of 25hours hotel zurich, and the lobby bar + restaurant contributes a great deal to the buzz. it’s where guests and visitors meet, relax and mingle over a drink and a bite, and in the evenings the mood here appropriately shifts into clubby gear.
Like many of the late 19th century factories nearby, the building looks square-edged, functional and gritty. Inside, things become more sophisticated, with the spacious ground floor reflecting Zurich’s old-fashioned reputation for sophistication, and its cheeky-bright walls and pillars echoing the free and easy vibe of Zurich West’s best nightclubs.
Custom-designed multifunctional furniture adorns the 126 rooms and suites, while splashes of vivid raspberry and fuchsia breathe life into the roomy public areas. Then there are the sightseeing recommendations from Häberli himself, which have been written onto surfaces around the building at seemingly random intervals – surprising guests and leading them on a kind of treasure hunt around the city’s most intriguing spots.
October 15th, 2012 – Nestled deep into wild shrubbery on Brazil’s Quinta da Baronezagolf course is Studio Arthur Casa’s newly completed home called Casa HS. Casas gave the 11,000 square foot home a fully transforming exterior! Brazil is celebrated for its moderate weather, and the architect is known best for his impeccable capability of marrying of nature and architecture – it only makes sense to built a home where the walls can spring open and invite the great outdoors in.
The house is compartmentalized into two dividing areas, each area has two levels. One area is designated for the children and guests, while the second area consists of common spaces and the master suite. The common areas is divided from the master suite by having the living room, kitchen, and dining room on the ground floor, and the master bedroom and bathroom with complete privacy on the upper level. The two separated areas of the home are joined by an open square pond with a rising vegetation wall on its side.
The facade is constructed out of perforated metal panels which open and close in the bedroom areas. The perforation adds privacy from the street, but insiders can still take advantage of the surrounding landscapes. The home has a modern aesthetic, but is amazingly warm and inviting with it’s natural brown tones mixed with stark white gallery styled walls. Minimalistic interiors allow for the architecture to be showcased, while equally letting in the views of the natural surroundings, which is better than even the fines piece of canvas.
October 15, 2012 – Somewhere between the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, high on the Datça Peninsula hillside, sits the chic new D-Hotel Maris. The dashingly modern hotel is the brainchild of Turkish architecture firm MIDEK/MINGÜ, who teamed up with the Singapore based architects at SCDA to create a minimalistic paradise for design loving travelers.
The 200 suite hotel room has been specifically designed for the “ultimate escape and relaxation.” To achieve this mantra, Hasan Mingu, founder of MIDEK/MINGU, used the finest materials throughout the design, calming wood tones, natural fibers, and calming symmetrical spaces – most rooms even have an over sized bath that faces a window overlooking the Aegean Sea. Mingu took such careful consideration in creating the D-Hotel Maris, that the hospitality company invited him and his team back to design their new hotel D-Hotel Marmaris, set to open in 2013.
Beyond being pampered up at the D’s soothing spa and suites, the hotel has an adventurous side too! Take out the luxury seaplane, private helicopter or chauffeured yachts, to catch a glimpse of the mind-blowing islands, luscious pine forests, and volcanic mountain ranges!
High in the Rhône-Alpes, in the south-eastern region of France, you’ll find a small ski village called Megève. The village is known less for its quality of skiing, and more for having the hottest chalets in the region. New to Megève this season is the Chalet Brickell, which has it’s own nightclub, swimming pool, theater (with beds for seats), and one of the coolest car parks you’ll ever drive into!
The interiors walls, floors, and ceilings are lined with vintage wood planks which are glammed up with fine materials such as velvet, leather, and marble. The art on the walls are one of a kind, rare shots by well known photographers, only to be seen at the Brickell.
The hotel owes the beauty of the suites to the skills of Italian craftsman who are “specialized in the construction of yachts. The walls made of wood met by an oak floor covered with thick rugs, while shagreen leather frames the doorway. Cut-velvet panels line the wall and ceiling, like a canopy above the bed, which is covered with a fur bedspread.” The hotel explained. Sounds like the perfect place to cozy up with a book and hot tea, or to head over to the private club – you decide.
(Photography Credit: Gilles Pernet)
August 29th, 2012 – Johan Hellström did it! He did what many people only dream of. The commercial photographer spent most of his life traveling the globe in search of the perfect shot. However, as he neared age 40, he longed to settle down with his wife and their two daughters. Hellström and his wife had previously spent summers being wowed by the weirdly wild landscapes in the northeastern corner of the island of Gotland in Sweden. As he begun to explore the island further, he found an old a limestone quarry on the nearly deserted Furillen peninsula. “I think it can be good to get a new start in life,” Hellström explained, and the abandoned limestone quarry was his perfect place to start again.
It’s quite a trip to get to the 16-room boutique hotel, A high-speed ferry or plane from Swedens mainland to the medieval city of Visby, then a 45-kilometer drive will bring you to the Fabriken Furillen.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted by a striking gray structure and it’s raw natural surroundings, the complete picture of Hellström’s vision.
Inside the hotel the warm interiors capture the essence of modern Scandinavian design with an eco-friendly approach. Shades of gray and white, inspired from the surrounding landscape, make up the interior spaces, and are complemented with light wood accents and industrial metal light fixtures.
The rooms are welcoming, authentic, and comfortable – most with a seaside view, but all with beds by luxury bed manufacturer Hästens.
The simple yet satisfying restaurant, formally a factory workers’ canteen serves dishes based on the local produce available throughout the year, parts of which are grown on the hotel’s own farm 10km away.
Autumn is truffle season in Gotland, giving guests the opportunity to sample rare truffles and even go on a truffle hunt as a daytime activity! The Furillen is so far removed from the busy urban world, that there, truffle hunting is one of life’s sweet pleasures.
[Photography provided by Design Hotels]
Taking color cues from the indigenous flowers of the desert region, the new Saguaro property is in full bloom. Opening in Palm Springs in February, the bold design elements pack a punch amidst the balmy backdrop of palms. The 249-room hotel was conceptualized with the idea of reflecting the colorful, vibrant spirit of the Southwest, and comes on the heels of The Saguaro Scottsdale that opened its doors in November 2011. The punchy palette can be attributed to New York-based Stamberg Aferiat Architecture, who masterfully transformed the throwback three-story structure from the 70’s into a bright, buzzing hotel, alive with color.
(Photography Provided By: Saguaro)
With fall having arrived and winter quickly approaching it’s prime time to think about where you’ll escape the elements. Who wouldn’t want to jet off to a relaxing destination and hunker down with some hot cocoa to embrace the bitter winter chill?! This week’s roundup is a compilation of the best getaway spots that fall and winter have to offer. We’re sending you off to mountain and lakeside locales and even to one winter retreat on an island no less! Don’t forget to pack a sweater and scarf – it can get chilly up there. Brrrr!
Lakeside Retreat | Huntsville, Ontario
Rolling Huts Hotel | Washington, USA
Farrar Mountain Retreat | Park City Utah
Lake Manyara Lodge | Lake Manyara National Park, northern Tanzania
Bled Island | Slovenia
The Glass House
Amankora Retreat | Kingdom of Bhutan
Das Regina Hotel | Austria
Whitepod Hotel | Switzerland
Istanbul’s new House Hotel provides historical glamour with contemporary design! One of our design favorites, Autoban, was brought on to redesign the historical building that overlooks the Bosphorus River, into a 23 room luxury boutique hotel. Autoban provided some insight explaining that the ”concept was to create a comfortable, modern luxurious world reflecting classic traces of it’s era.” To establish this concept, Autoban decided to create this space using it’s signature material pallet, marble, brass, oak, and walnut. The team integrated these materials into the hotel, without “over designing” the space, and keeping the integrity of the past. Original wall panels and ceiling moldings remained intact while Autoban added interesting features to the historical elements such as contemporary lighting fixtures, mirrors, and unexpectedly scattered decorative trinkets.
(Photography Credits: Ali Bekman)
“One of the strongest, most beautiful, most poetic, most surreal, and most powerful places in nature.” This is how Philippe Starck sums up La Co(o)rniche Hotel in only a few words. The famed designer became tremendously familiar with this key landmark in France’s Pilat-Plage district as he was selected to breathe new life into the establishment.
The hotel prides itself on it’s mystically beautiful location and it’s aristocratic history. The hotel was built in 1930, “suspended between sea and sky, nestling between sand and pines,” where it was the main attraction for princes, grand dukes and aristocratic gentlemen. The hotel was the vision of an early settler and developer, Louis Gaume, who’s family still operates the hotel today.
Through the years the hotel has been a great escape for many but was in need of a special new touch to keep it’s soul alive. The Gaume family joined forces with William Téchoueyres; whom together brought on Mr. Starck to be responsible for the design of the hotel.
Starck took inspiration from the natural seas and surrounding sands along with the local French people. The designer explained: “through the meeting of scenery and nature beyond the grandiose, an old house which is the very symbol of the region and a block of life embodied in William Téchoueyres.” (Starck has described Téchoueyres as a “burst of laughter,” which resonates with him as inspiration for the establishment’s refurbishment).
The large, traditional Neo-Basque house is a trusting characteristic of the regional style which was introduced by Louis Gaume. Leading up to the house is a long patio made up of mismatched cement tiles woven together like an elaborate Persian rug. Once through the doors you are greeted by the hotel lobby which has been preserved intact. “Dark wood, frescoes and period furniture tells us of the friendly ghosts of times past, gallants and gentlemen, the leading stars of cinema, painters, writers and a crowd of anonymous faces, all of whom shared the rare experience of time spent here.”
To contrast the preserved lobby, Starck introduced “intelligent objects, for intelligent people, who come to this intelligent place”, which consist of quirky little sculptures and intriguing trinkets.
The refurbishment is said to be based around poetic ruggedness. With a large Murano glass chandelier by French artist Aristide Najean, and personal collages, photographs, and travel journals left by past visitors are pasted onto the bright yellow walls, all creating an atmosphere which poetically reflects the history.
The hotel rooms are designed to be refreshing and surreal. White is used as the dominant color with long floor to ceiling white sheer curtains which blow with the natural breezes. The furniture placement is indicative of Starck’s style, Most beds are boldly placed in the center of the room with the desks bucked up to the back of them. The room’s contain polished sculptures, each relevant to the village and it’s people.
(Photographs Provided By Stark Network)
“Romantic. Soulful. Imperfect. Funky. The ultimate hangout for the young and creative.” Creative director Matthew Rolston describes his newest creative endeavor, the Redbury Hotel. Rolston aspired to curate a space that would “appeal to a young, creative crowd and for the design experience to feel ‘theatrical’, a little bit like actually being in one of my photographs or music videos.”
This spring we had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Redbury from famed photographer Matthew Rolston himself. We got a sneak peek into a few of the divinely designed rooms that comprise the 57 room boutique hotel. Swathed in gorgeous photography, eclectic collections of pinned butterflies, pleated silk lampshades, and ‘moss’ fringe trimmings, there is an abundance of whimsical, theatrical elements that breathe life throughout the space. The hotel buzzes with a beautiful symphony of colors and textures, elaborate paisley wallpapers, distressed leathers and linens, ‘antique’ style cotton velvets, and vintage Turkish and Persian carpets. Walking though the space you can’t help but feel a relaxed, understated sense comfort and sophistication, with unsuspecting surprises of edgy elegance, old Hollywood glamour, and bohemian flair.
Rolston reflects on the unique name that inspired the hotel on Hollywood and Vine. “The naming of the property is its most powerful branding device. It’s called The Redbury for a number of reasons. First, because the building I “inherited” was painted scarlet red. Secondly, because the word Redbury, to me, is reminiscent of ‘Ashbury’, as in Haight-Ashbury, thereby evoking images of a hippie-era bohemian eclecticism. Also, I believe, it speaks to the brand’s target audience, namely the young, the creative, the musically-oriented.”
In discussing his depth of involvement Rolson explains, “This project was acquired by Sam Nazarian (Los Angeles-based developer and head of SBE Entertainment) from its original developer in a nearly completed state. Mr. Nazarian wanted to put his own stamp on the place. My assignment was to work with as much of the existing conditions as possible, or at least adapt to them. He asked me to review every aspect, from naming to brand positioning, color codes to employee costumes, literally every aspect – from the ‘landscape’ to the ‘soundscape’ to the ‘scentscape’ to the ‘fire escape’.”
In reflecting on his inspiration behind his decadent designs, Rolston elaborates, “The ambiance is meant to convey the warmth of a townhouse, with a touch of Rock-n-Roll cool and a sense of Hollywood history. It is, after all, at the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine, – directly across the street from the iconic Capitol Records building. Again, more like a townhouse than a typical hotel. We wanted guests to feel comfortable, relaxed, and at home, but also convey an exciting sense of destination.”
A photographer first and foremost, Rolston took the utmost care and consideration when creating the lighting scheme. “Light quality is very important to me. The hotel, hopefully, exudes a warm, seductive, and inviting atmosphere, and that is supported by the lighting design. From signature wall size back-lit photo murals, to illuminated walls themselves. A rich mixture of decorative lighting, especially chandeliers, pendants, and sconces, throughout. Light sources range from fluorescent to halogen, LED and even Edison-type filament bulbs, all in warm-toned color balances.”
We also had the pleasure of dining at Cleo, the hotel’s restaurant, enjoying a sumptuous spread of hummus, beef cheek tagine, grilled octopus, and lamb kebabs. And we must admit we enjoyed a few Honey Citrus Sidecars, an utterly intoxicating (both figuratively and literally!) blend of whiskey, Cointreau, crushed mint, yuzu juice and agave nectar. A must if you’re stopping by Cleo.
Rolston shares his inspiration for creating the restaurant’s aesthetic. “Cleo”, the name of the restaurant in the hotel, was inspired by a famous photograph of Hollywood actress Theda Bara as Cleopatra from the 1917 film. There’s a 10-foot by 10-foot backlit photo mural of this image that serves as a kind of “muse” for the restaurant and stands at its entrance as a visual icon. I helped name the restaurant, and created brand visioning for every element… from the logo to the tableware, even the candles. Every detail. The restaurant is very much a part of the fabric of the overall property experience, and yet it definitely has its own identity.” – Callie Griggs
(Imagery Provided By The Redburry)
Historically, Falaknuma Palace is known to be one of the finest places in all of Hyderabad, India. The palace lives on 32 acres and sits 2000 feet above the city, the name Falaknuma literally means “mirror of the sky.” The Palace was recently renovated into a boutique hotel by Taj Hotel Group, re-dubbing the name to be the Taj Falaknuma Palace.
The palace dates back to 1884, designed by Italian Architect William Ward Marret with a layout shaped to resemble a scorpion with two stings spread out as wings on the north, with 200 lavishly decorated rooms, and 22 grand halls. Fast forward to the year 2000 when Taj Hotel Group leased the palace from Royal Family of Hyderabad and spun it into the 10 year luxurious renovation that you are viewing in these images.
The lavish renovation is fully loaded with large Venetian chandeliers, rare furniture, grand marble staircases and gurgling fountains, priceless statues, and objects d’art, stained-glass windows, unique sketches and murals encased in ornate frames, a world-class collection of crystal as well as the Mughal, Rajasthani and Japanese gardens personally conceived by the Nizam, a previous owner of the palace.
Each portion of the renovation was personally approved by the Royal Family, which leaves it’s visitors with a feeling that they are sleeping, dining, and dancing, in a palace fit for a king, making this spot one of the most luxurious travel destinations in the world. Where billiards rooms, smoking rooms, pools, ballrooms, croquet lawns, private gardens, a dining room to seat 101 guests at the world’s largest dining table, a library, turret rooms, stables, terraces with views of the city, a private petrol pump and royal garages filled with a fleet of vintage cars serve to be just some of the known pleasures and comforts of this sumptuous royal abode.
Architects Sergey Makhno and Vasiliy Butenko have dreamed up this rectilinear styled hotel called The Cubic. The boutique hotel is snuggled into a green hillside, and extends out to the sands of the Dead Sea. Each cube-like room is constructed mainly of concrete, steel, and glass, and features different colorful lighting effects which will make this hotel an interesting destination.
In February, The first Mondrian Hotel will open it’s doors to New York City. Knstrct is bringing you an inside look at the space before it’s grand opening. Mondrian Soho is designed by the long time crowd favorite, Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and his team at BNO Designs who dished up an eye catching design for their guests. The 270 room hotel features a restaurant headed by top chef Sam Talbot, an indoor/outdoor bar, gardens, courtyards that are sure to set an environment for seduction and style.
Nestled tightly into stunning natural landscapes and pushed right up against Lake Como sits Casta Diva Resort. Casta Diva is a newly renovated hotel designed by interior designer Erasmo Figini, which recently opened its doors to posh travelers who are in search for a romantic Italian get away. This fine excuse for a vacation gives it’s visitors a chance to relax in the midst of the 18th century architecture of the building while enjoying the neo-traditional interior design elements like original scrolled moldings mixed with bold punches of colors and a redefined modern spa.
The recently renovated estate was once a destination of aristocrats looking for fairy-tale landscapes. Beloved composer Vincenzo Bellini once stayed at the villa long ago, he was so enchanted with the scenery that he was inspirited to write his greatest well known works, “Norma” and “La Sonnambula” upon the estate grounds.
Hanging off of a cliff in Phuket is new boutique hotel, Villa Amanzi. The Villa has a front row ticket to the amazing Andaman Sea and provides privacy like no other can. The hotel has six stunning bedroom residences with full access to an elongated infinity pool, and a full time chef on property at all times. This luxury villa enjoys a spectacular headland location along Kamala’s exclusive Millionaires Mile and captures cool gentle breezes all year round with uninterrupted sea views from every vantage point, in one of the most breathtaking locations Phuket has to offer. Villa Amanzi’s main goal is to provide guests with the optimal environment to relax and unwind in unspoilt luxury.
The latest design to come out of the house of Philippe Stark is Parisian hotel Le Royal Monceau. The starcitect is famous for his play with proportion, bold punches of color, and his surreal creation of tiny moments within interiors that are curious enough to put your imagination into overdrive, as he did again in Le Royal. Amongst the suites and apartments, this Parisian hot spot includes a theater, kids club, spa, art gallery, shops, conference room, restaurants, and an exclusive lounge.
All Photographs courtesy of Le Royal Monceau Hotel