“There are three reactions to a piece of design. Yes, no or WOW! WOW is the one to aim for.”
We’ve handpicked a selection of stylish modern hotels all with the wow factor. From minimalism to wabi-sabi, mid-century modern to postmodern, each of these super slick boltholes have taken a whole new approach to design that is guaranteed to make you stop and stare.
You may be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped onto another planet. Otherworldly Viceroy Los Cabos is the out-of-this-world retreat imagined by esteemed Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragonés. Majestically connected by elevated waterways, this sleek futuristic oasis of white-washed cubes, surrounded by dramatic reflective pools, poses a stark design contrast to Mexico's desert landscape. Set beside the mesmerizing blue Sea of Cortés, this dream resort is a one of a kind experience. Formed of 192 recently renovated rooms, the contemporary design comes to life with a fine fusion of the best of the natural landscape and modern luxury. Floor-to-ceiling windows enable guests to enjoy the magnificence of the outside within their own stylish suites. This ambitious creation acts as a blank canvas with cinematic views around every corner, incorporating elements of light and water. The impressive lobby interiors are courtesy of Mexican design company, Al Arquitectura de Interiores. Every which way you look, this place is pure fantasy.
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi centres on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Finding beauty in the passing of time, embracing nature in its rawest form, whilst understanding that nothing lasts forever. Design Hotel Tyrol has embraced this aesthetic, which permeates throughout their effortlessly stylish hotel. Situated in Rablà near Merano, beneath the imposing beauty of the Dolomites, this eco-sanctuary is a shrine to nature and wellness. With exposed concrete flooring and natural wooden walls, set beautifully against moss-green terraces, and endless apple meadows, the colour palette perfectly matches the great outdoors. In their own words, “Design is important to us, but comfort is our biggest aim,” and with a multitude of amenities, including an indulgent new house spa, a sleek black glass cube, imagined with the help of their architects, it’s safe to say they succeeded. Come for the design, stay for the bliss.
CHAO Beijing is an experience. A multi-level feat of architecture and design that is at once breathtaking as it is simplistic. Created around the “nest” concept, CHAO provides an alternate habitat for its guests. Located in the bustling district of Sanlitun, this 180 room masterpiece succeeds in providing a space that is both a hotel and an exhibition centre. A series of spaces that cater for every aspect of life from business to leisure, travel to living. Cultivated by Germany's gmp Architekten, this thoroughly modern structure combines a mosaic of materials and textures resulting in at times, almost futuristic design. Even the inspired lighting, courtesy of GD-lighting design, has been adopted to further enhance the almost psychedelic experience. The play between light and shadow, colour and translucence, the result is nothing short of extraordinary. Representative of Modern day China, CHAO has become the model of hotel renovation. Prepare to be blown away.
Hotel Schgaguler is not your average hotel. Designed by Peter Pichler Architecture, the Milan based team behind this monolithic structure, the emphasis is on sustainability, with the design inspired by the ‘simplicity of life,’ a minimalist contemporary property with a Scandinavian twist. Set within the UNESCO heritage-protected village of Castelrotto, in the heart of the Dolomites, this transparent glass fronted property invites guests to experience not only the hotel, but also its magnificent surroundings. Unlike its rustic counterparts in the world of Alpine hotels, Hotel Schgaguler offers a design that blends harmoniously with the snow-capped backdrop whilst succeeding in being a visual masterpiece in its own right. A 42-room sanctuary of pure wellness and luxury, using a Nordic palette of white and neutrals, the result is both simple yet inviting, immaculate yet calming. A breath of fresh air, along with a truly innovative approach to design.
When Italian designer Piero Lissoni, and his team at Lissoni Architettura, was commissioned to reform casaFantini/lake time, magic was guaranteed. Well known for the modular sofa system he created for B&B Italia, this contemporary furniture designer works around the ethos of being “true to the local context, culture and community.” When presented with this project his goal was to modernize the original white stucco home, which dates back over 200 years, without losing its sense of history. Set on the shores of Orta Lake in Pella, arguably the most romantic lake in Italy, it was equally important to ensure the reform was in keeping with its natural surroundings, and in fact to enhance the existing natural legacy. The result is a stunning fusion of old-world charm and modern comforts wrapped up in the tradition of artisans of stone, metal and wood. If the view here is everything, reflected through the abundant use of glass, water is the thread that binds it all together. This is after all, “lake time.”
Behind a stunning white marble façade, lies the eighteenth-century Milanese palazzo, Bulgari Hotel Milan. Walking distance between Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, this fashion hot-spot is ideally situated for the style-conscious traveller. Black granite, glass and Burmese teak combine to create a dark and elegant décor. Under the expert guidance of architectural and design duo, Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel, this property has become the chic, iconic establishment it is today. The interior styling of the hotel’s Secret Garden can be attributed to the talented and local firm, Fase Modus Architettura. The Dom Pérignon Lounge & Raw Bar, hidden behind the modernist exterior, provides an oasis of relaxation within the beating heart of the city, where the dark theme continues. Think dark wooden flooring, wooden columns, topped by a canopy of draped ivory canvas. Furnishings, custom designed by Cassina Contract are black, with accents of gold. The design is fashionable opulence. Stylish, without any expense spared.
The magic that is Hotel Muchele, and the forward-thinking Ganthaler family behind it, was recognised in 2017 when the prestigious international Future Prize was bestowed upon the hotel, as Trendsetter in architecture, ecology and gastronomy. From the unique hotel façade made of porphyry stone to the stunning bar created by Merano designer, Moroso; to the ambitious hotel facelift in 2014, assisted by architect Stephan Marx, as well as the stunning design suites and rooftop penthouses designed by the celebrated Patricia Urquiola. All or nothing, these forward-thinking hoteliers went for it all and won. First built in 1952, this South Tyrolean home away from home combines timeless design with the beauty of nature, blending seamlessly into the breathtaking backdrop of Burgstall. Each room comes alive with unique furniture and décor created by the design and production experts at Moroso. Take to the heavenly terrace, which merges with the living room during the summer, and lay back on one of the Moroso sofas as you breathe in the spectacular panoramic view. Rich in Porphyry stone, chestnut wood and green illuminated balconies, and suddenly, “nature and architecture become one.”
If you’re looking for an urban Alpine haven, we have just the place for you. Situated within the spectacular Arlberg and the Lechquellen Mountains, Berghotel Biberkopf is where Alpine lifestyle meets urban style. This ideal ski in/ski out hotel is heavily focused on architecture and design, with large panorama windows and a heavy use of wood, bringing the spectacular outside in. A delightful sanctuary of serenity and comfort, there are 65 rooms and 8 suites to choose from, each boasting the most breathtaking views over the powder-covered mountains beyond. Colours are rich and warm, centred around a design philosophy that focuses on sustainable materials and natural wood. Immerse yourself in the wonder of nature which is ever present throughout this stunning Alpine hotel. There’s even boot heating available, so you’ll never have cold feet again.
In the heart of Psyrri, arguably one of the coolest neighbourhoods in Athens, brimming with young creatives alongside traditional craftsmen, lies 18 Micon Str. What was once a historic workshop has today been converted into a lively boutique hotel. Inspired by Micon, the ancient Greek painter and sculptor, the property has been built around the three fundamental materials of construction: brick, cement and wood. To understand this unique property, one must first understand the authentically Athenian and working-class Psyrri, the heart of this project. From neoclassical buildings to ancient ruins, both Psyrri and Micon Str succeed in beautifully marrying the rich history of this land with a thoroughly modern aesthetic. Each of the 15 uniquely designed rooms comes with a marble bathroom, locally handcrafted furniture and a minibar, the result of which is a chic, laid back and effortlessly contemporary vibe.
Set on the banks of the Salzach River, Hotel Stein is quite possibly the finest hotel in all of Salzburg. Once an inn back in the Middle Ages, this luxurious hotel today is a world of artistic elegance and luxury. Formed of individually designed rooms and suites, the template is modern art meets contemporary design for the décor, whilst the colour blue permeates throughout the hotel infusing peace, harmony and the notion of infinity. Salzburg has been heavily influenced by Italy since the 16th century, and Hotel Stein is the epitome of ‘Salzburg meets Venice,’ showcasing the perfect mixture of Austrian and Venetian influences.This further makes sense when you learn that the owner of this exceptional hotel is none other than Rinaldo Invernizzi of Barovier & Toso, the world’s oldest and most celebrated glassmakers, hailing from Murano. From luminaires and handcrafted decorations of Venetian glass made by Barovier & Toso, to selected fabrics by the world-famous fabric house Rubelli, everything has been produced exclusively for the Hotel Stein. Each masterpiece showcases a harmonious combination of modern art and contemporary design at this Medieval fairytale getaway.
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