Posts Tagged ‘cool hotels’
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]
June 4th, 2012 – This isn’t the first time Brazil’s most sought after architect collaborated with one of Brazil’s most affluent hoteliers – and we’re guessing it won’t be the last! Architect Isay Weinfeld, and restauranteur/hotelier Rogerio Fasano (who recently collaborated on the making of Fasano Las Piedras) have just put the final touches on the latest addition to the Fasano hotel collection – Boa Vista.
The hotel is a stunning complement to the 100 plus acres of native forests in São Paulo, which include 15 lakes, an Arnold Palmer golf course, groves, and carefully manicured gardens. This Fasano property is a perfect marriage of Weinfeld’s signature style, and the excellence and sophistication of the Fasano brand.
Here, a fantastic old-world authenticity exists with the incorporation of the hotel natural surroundings, which is the overall aesthetic of the establishment. The two-level building is shaped like a half moon, where the public areas such as the lobby, restaurant, and bar, and centrally located, while the suites sprawl out on the outer curves of the building.
The space is mainly outfitted with wood, stone, and glass, with the addition of some supremely cool accent pieces; many chosen from local antique shops or hand-crafted by local artisans. A variation of unique mid-century furniture pieces flood the lobby with massive wood ceiling beams that cross overhead and lead to large windows where guests can look out over the lake.
Weinfeld’s sensual design of the suites have a subtle calming effect with their creamy walls, warm wood flooring, and wicker wrapped lighting fixtures. Each suite has a private wood deck that faces the farms an endless rural landscape. Our favorite part of the hotel has to be it’s on site equestrian center with 29 pickets and 230 stalls, giving guests the opportunity to venture into nature on horseback!
Photography By Boa Vista
Maybe you have, or maybe you haven’t seen this little family of bubble rooms – but now, after the recent opening of two hotels in France, you can make one of these translucent huts yours for the night! Attrap’Rêves in Bouches-du-Rhone (near Marseille) and Sky River outside of Loir-et-Cher are the two hotels that let you sleep under the stars. The concept came from French designer Pierre Stéphane, who wanted to create a Eco-friendly space, in that once the bubble is folded up, nature remains the intact.
The bubbles are small and cozy, about 13 feet in diameter. Some are fully transparent, while others allow a little more privacy and are half opaque. Now, let’s be straight with one another, if you are looking to be pampered at the Ritz, these bubbles might not be for you. But if you want to live an unforgettable adventurous experience, immersed in nature, get to France! Who knows, you might wake up from that alarming dream with a bear staring you straight in the face….lets just all cross our fingers that this plastic bubble withstands bear claws.
Valencia’s Caro Hotel occupies a building that dates back 2,000 years. Experiencing the hotel is like pulling back layers of history – a mosaic Valencia founding of Roman from the second century BC, a staircase from the early 19th century, an Arab city wall in the hotel’s cafe from XII Century, and several Gothic arches and nineteenth-century construction details, all in one place.
The team behind Caro approached Francesc Rifé, the principal at Barcelona based design firm Francesc Rifé Studio, to come in and streamline the establishment. Caro wanted Rife, who is known for his warm, yet contemporary style, to add architectural elements to the building that reflect modern design. Creating these elements that represent the moment is another way to continue these historical layers of the building, a way to experience the past, and the present, at the same time. You truly need to see this amazing hotel in person to capture it’s true beauty and Expedia can get you there.
Rife divided the hotel up into 26 suites, each room is designed different from one another. One room is in the attic, where rustic wood beams slant down creating low ceilings, while other suites have high ceilings with grand murals and crown moldings. A glass floor was added into the hotel to allow light to travel from the sunroof to floors below, Rife designed a cool moss garden that grows on one of the floors – a small, yet unforgettable design feature within the hotel.
(Photography: Fernando Alda Photography)
As hotels on the Eastern Coast of Mauritius are building up, nothing quite fits the atmosphere, amenities, and aesthetics of the new Long Beach Hotel. The credit of the stunning look of the lodge goes to Keith Interior Design, a seasoned vet when it comes to hospitality design, with the help of their partners at M2K Architecture.
The hotel lobby is massive in size, with ceiling heights reaching nearly 27 feet high! Tall wooden blinds open up, which allows for an abundant amount of fresh air to roll through the arriving space. The entrance even has a honed wood bridge with a matching door that opens and doubles as an awning. Be sure to spread out with your luggage upon arrival in the elongated lobby and enjoy the six-foot custom metal and gem light fixtures that dangle from the ceiling.
The arrangement of the 255 room hotel is designed on a crescent, so each room has a full view of the ocean! The chic contemporary designs of the rooms blend together open-air and indoor living as woods, whites, corals, and green tones are used to create a refreshing, easy-on-the-eye suite; a place easy to relax. The Long Beach Hotel is truly a one of a kind breathtaking luxury resort that you must see for yourself!
Each public space has its own styling and mood; the different languages were created by using different pieces of furniture. The teen center is modern and chic with bubble chairs, and minimalistic design elements. Dining in the family restaurant is like snacking on a rustic beach, while the fine-dining restaurant goes for a warm contemporary feel.
Although each public space is designed to give a unique experience, the architect noted that they “kept a strong link between the different areas by using dominant neutral tones, natural stones, raw timber and crisply finished aluminum.”
The design of the Long Beach Hotel is what makes it a successful luxury resort-meets-family vacations type property, but it’s the inviting architecture and refreshing vibe of the lobby that ‘had us at hello.’ Oh – and let’s not forget to mention the infinity pool over looking the white sanded beach, but I don’t think we need to explain the awesome factor in that!
(Photographs: Sun Resort Hotels)
“Shit, what an old ugly house filled with stinking leftovers” was the response from Thomas Schacht, Co-owner of Vals newest boutique B&B The Brücke 49, when we asked him what his thoughts were when he first set his eyes on the hotel building. To be honest, when he showed us the “before” images of the ramshackle old structure we couldn’t help but agree. It only took Schacht and his wife Ruth six months to scrap nearly 3,000 cubic feet of “rubbish,” strip it down to its original form, and re-design the space. Thomas admitted that it was Ruth who kept spirits high with her positive attitude during the massive redevelopment project of the charming B&B.
The Brücke 49 just opened its doors last month and has a fantastic group of people backing the B&B. Iain Ainsworth, founder of the White Line Hotel Group, is one of their fans, and he and his team represent the Brücke 49. Ainsworth discovered the gem that is Brücke 49 while his colleagues were in the area spelunking for cool hotels. He noted, “There are some fabulous examples of Swiss design in Vals.” And quicker than you could make a cup of instant Swiss Miss, a local directed them to the newest B&B in town where they ended up at wooden door of the Brücke 49.
We have to admit, the Schacht’s story makes us just a tad jealous. The pair ditched their full time jobs working for huge corporations and moved to Vals, a quaint, utopian ski town in Switzerland, to run a cozy bed and breakfast. Thomas explained that in Vals, “Everything is working perfectly, combined with nature and everything else Switzerland has to offer. Here everything, even though the village has no more than 1000 inhabitants. From kindergarten, schools, pubic transport, the community. You have the best water coming out of the mountain for free. You have waterpower so energy doesn’t cost much. You have ‘World Heritage’ nature all around you. You have world-class design (the Therme by Peter Zumthor). You have honest, hardworking people you can trust and whom we couldn’t have re-made the house in six months without”
Once the house was stripped bare, the two began to formulate their design. They created a storyboard and a room plan, with a description of each, and a precise collage of how they envisioned the final look and feel of the hotel. This became their road map through the design process. “Ruth and I discussed every little detail and researched it on exhibitions, factory visits and trips to Milan, London, and Copenhagen,” Thomas explained. They wanted the Brücke 49 to feel like a home away from home. The pair have always been fascinated with the simple things in life and wanted that to be manifested within the space.
Both the interior and exterior needed quite a makeover. The outside of the home was revamped from a cream color to a deep grey blue color with white shutters. The door was refurbished, sconces were added, and white Brücke 49 graphics were painted onto the facade.
The interiors began to fill with solid wood flooring, white paneled walls, handmade furniture, potted plants, and unique artwork scattered throughout the hotel.
Each piece of furniture is handmade (yes, you read that right), and nothing you will find at the Brücke 49 is mass produced. Every item in view echoes with a lasting quality and are all made from solid materials. Even the porcelain on the shelves is hand-painted. Thomas and Ruth wanted furniture that would last for years without “looking sad or getting sick of them.”
The two are constantly searching for new pieces as they have a habit of selling the hotel furniture to inquiring guests. It makes he B&B a bit of a novelty, constantly evolving at the whim of both it’s curators and guests. “That means Brücke 49 is also a showroom. We give advice. We help people if they want to buy a piece of furniture or whatever we have in the house. In principle everything can be bought.” Thomas explained.
For the time being we can all live vicariously through Ruth and Thomas, but there’s always the option to join them! If you plan to venture to Vals make sure you visit our friends at the Brücke 49. And don’t forget to bring us back a cool furniture piece! (Obvs)
(Photography: Brucke 49)
In Switzerland, the 104 year old Berghotel Muottas Muragl has been completely renovated! The transformation called for the hotel to double in size, but with that, it was a massive goal of the architects and the hotel owners, Romantik Hotels, to reduce the energy consumption and create the first “plus-energy” hotel in the Alps. “This was achieved by insulating the building to be in sync with the latest insulation standards (Swiss “Minergie” ecological label) and by generating renewable energy from five different sources,” the architects explained. The post renovation energy strategy led to an impressive 64% decrease in energy consumption!
At 8,000 feet above sea level, hotel guests can only arrive two ways, by helicopter, or by one tram that goes from the village below to the hotel; making this an exclusive and private escape for ski bums around the world. An incredible feature of the hotel is the outdoor terrace, where you can sip you mimosas while adoring the snow capped peaks.
When faced with the design, the architects chose quality over quantity as they created 16 modern yet comfortable suites. The rooms are covered in local Swiss stone pine and walnut, and are complemented with plaid curtains, stand alone bath tubs, and stone sinks. Each of the 16 suites has a breathtaking view of the Alps, so don’t worry, you wont travel all the way to Switzerland and get stuck with the view over looking the parking garage!
(Photography: Berghotel Muottas Muragl)
Bouncing down Greene Street in Soho, Rafael De Cardenas is in a hurry! He is late! But, I don’t mind. I am waiting pick his brain, on what will be the first interview for Knstrct.com. Cite NYC, the showroom where we are meeting, is keeping me busy with all of its detailed and quirky home accessories. Rafael boosts himself up the small set of stairs, and comes to greet me.
He carries himself with an air of interest, that makes you want to strike up a conversation with him, even if its about tar, He’d have an opinion on it, and it will be interesting. I could tell right off the bat that he had to fight to get out of his office, I can only imagine the intense deadlines he is faced with on a daily basis. So we eagerly shake hands and sit down at some designer named dining room table, and start a quick game of 21 really important Questions.
K: Who do you like more? your mom? or your dad?
RDC: Ummmmmmmmm. No Comment.
K: What is the most important part of a sandwich?
RDC: The filling.
K: What is the last book you read?
RDC: Bill Clegg, Portrait Of An Addict As A Young Man, Its not the kind of book I normally read. I read it because I thought the author was cute….
K: Do you have a belief in certain spiritual things? (For instance, souls, nirvana, God, invisible pink unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, or heaven.)
RDC: The idea of heaven is extremely appealing to me. I have never heard of a description of heaven that does not sound absolutely heavenly. So I can’t imagine that it would be a bad place to be, or replicate, or want to be in. So aside from spiritual aspirations, I think heaven is something that we can aspire to live in our own lives, living harmoniously together. I am a little bit of a hippie in that sense, and I think people are not nice enough to each other. I believe in heaven from a spiritual aspect because I choose to, even though I was raised in an atheist household, I believe in the heaven that I subscribe to, which is not necessarily religious based. I don’t like the idea of dying, so I think that heaven is a good way of buffering that thought. I believe in heaven… and I hope I go there.
K: What is your favorite drink?
RDC: Pellegrino. The size of the bubbles are perfect.
K: What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
RDC: Pellegrino. Lemons. Chocolate.
K: How would you explain interior design to a 4 year old?
RDC: 4 year olds already have a clear intuitive sense of interior design. They are kind of always rearranging things, notice 4 year olds have a habit of not leaving anything where it is, they move it around and around, regardless of what a chair is meant to do, they may re purpose the chair to do something else. I wouldn’t want to explain interior design to them.
K: If you could be a character of fiction, who would you be?
RDC: Not a fiction character, but I love signers and performers, so If I could be any singer or performer I would be Madonna during her Blond Ambition Tour, Vogue with a cone bra, it’s all pretty awesome to me.
K: If aliens landed in front of you and, in exchange for anything you desire, offered you a position on their planet, what would you want?
RDC: If I was able to acquire some excellent singing and dancing skills in the travel portion I would want to be the most famous singer/performer on the planet.
K: If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
K: What traits in people do you dislike?
RDC: Excessive hubris, ego-mania, which is unfortunately rampant, which is kind of a horrible thing to deal with.
K: During what daily activities do your biggest ideas come to you?
RDC: Its always when I’m doing something that’s not work related. I am very present in my life when i am running.
K: Tell us a little bit about your start as a principal of a design firm, entrepreneur, and designer. I know you started at Calvin Klein, but what made you jump out and say ‘I want to start a design firm?”
RDC: It didn’t really happen that way. I was very young when I worked for Calvin Klein doing fashion. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work in fashion for the rest of my life and I thought going to school was a good way of getting my parents to support that decision, I didn’t see architecture as a means to becoming an architect, but I thought of it as a way of furthering my design education.
After getting my Masters in Architecture at UCLA, I worked for Gregg Lynn, he was my thesis adviser and I was very close with him throughout my time there. I worked with him for a year, then worked on a submission for the new World Trade Center. At that point I worked closely with Imaginary Forces to package the submission and they hired me to work in production design, it was architectural and environmental, but the emphasis would be content delivery and sort of figuring out dynamic content delivery systems for various projects. I never planned on working on my own, it appealed to me, but I don’t know a lot about architecture in terms of discipline. Gregg’s office was a very unorthodox office and I don’t really know what it’s like to work in architecture, my world was more closely aligned with artists and fashion photographers. I did not set out to have my own firm, a friend opened up a store and asked me to design it, and then it just sort of snowballed. I never had any big plans, it just sort of happened.
K: What has been the scariest moment you have had while venturing out on your own?
RDC: Money. Money is the scariest thing. Often, in a design office you can’t do all the things you want to do because you are just not well financed enough. I don’t think designers should charge more for their services, I charge appropriately. But people don’t realize that if we work on a year long project and I have 1 or 2 people on that project full time, It’s a lot of money. Most people don’t even realize how long the design process takes. I don’t think design is the hard part, it’s the money part.
K: We are living in a time of financial….modesty, with this recession. During such hard times, what is the importance of interior design to you?
RDC: There is not “no money”, there is “less money”. For what it’s worth, when there was an excess of money I don’t think design was better. In fact, I’m not going to say it was worse, but a lot of the architecture produced in the economic boom was unfortunate to say the least and now we have these giant eye sores to deal with forever. I don’t think that money is necessarily the thing that prevents design from happening. The lack of money presents challenges, and you always need some resistance in the design process or else you are operating in a vacuum. You just have to be more inventive and more creative within a smaller budget. but the importance of creating an environment that suggests a mood may be more important during times where people will be spending a lot of time at home. I don’t see it as a terribly different thing, but I think in America and Europe for the past 50 years there has been an upswing [of] aspiration where a lot of people are moving from lower to middle to upper class, within less than one generation. For the west it seems as though it’s probably the case that [it] is not going to happen for a little while. It seems that other places around the world are having their “booms” in that sense. That sort of aspiration is motivated by money, but also optimism, it is an amazing time to live in. 50′s America gave birth to so many types of design, that was definitely a time of optimism that was very well funded. There is a difference between well funded and excessive, and I think we were kind of living in a time of excess. From that stand point, the recession is not the worst thing in the world, it is kind of a good thing to have a reality check.
K: What is your favorite cheap material to use?
K: You have worked heavily in New York, Miami, and London. Do you have a preference of which city? Which do you like to work in the most?
RDC: I grew up here in New York, I am here by default. I am very blessed to be working in multiple locations. We are working all over the place, we are in south Africa, and Moscow. I love working in many places. I love New York in a way that I love my mother, I don’t think about it, I take it for granted in a sort of way. But, regardless of where the project is executed there is always a little piece of New York in it.
K: What are we going to see next from Architecture At Large?