10 design-driven hotels for your vacation


For many of us, the long-awaited summer break has officially arrived, and in preparation, dozens of hotels have opened in time for those lucky enough to get away for a while. These days, hoteliers aren’t shy about bringing in the best designers in the game to make sure every detail is top-notch. Here, we pick out some of our favorites – from minimalist cave retreats in Ibiza to maximalist getaways in downtown Los Angeles.

The standard
Bangkok, Thailand

The Standard’s arrival in Bangkok was long overdue. Working alongside the in-house design team, artist and designer Jaime Hayon designed spaces typical of his colorful and eclectic style. Filled with custom details, artwork and design classics, the entire space feels like a fantasy world in the middle of a concrete jungle. Throughout, Hayon and the team drew on local cultural and historical references, and public spaces provide visitors with space to interact with the city’s music, food, arts and communities.

Madrid, Spain

For his new Madrid outpost, Ian Schrager assembled a design team consisting of longtime collaborator John Pawson and Parisian designer François Champsaur. Together, the powerhouse trio created interiors for the edition that merge relaxing minimalism and art, all inspired by the vibe of the surrounding area in bustling Sol. Throughout the four-story hotel, interiors are quintessentially Pawsonian, with high-quality materials lending a hand to the “less is more” statement.

Harads, Swedish Lapland

If you’re looking for an extreme escape, delve into a Lapland forest to stay in a treehouse designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). Named “Biosphere”, the design sees an orb-shaped structure with a covered exterior of 350 birdhouses. After crossing a suspension bridge, visitors are transported to a space that feels moody and secluded — with dark-toned interiors and organic materials inspired by the fullness of the surrounding woods. Although small, the room has everything needed for a luxury hotel stay, including a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the landscape.

Downtown LA proper
Los Angeles, California

Kelly Wearstler’s Downtown LA Proper is designed to transport you to multiple countries in one building. Its base is grounded in the aesthetic associated with Mexican Modernism – with details inspired by French, Portuguese, Spanish and Moroccan cultures. Throughout, earthy tones are paired with colorful accents. The kind of space where you notice something new with every turn of your head, the fixtures and finishes were created by local Los Angeles artisans, with the highlight coming in the form of a stained glass installation made by local glassmaker Judson Studios.

Villa M
Paris, France

Located in the Parisian district of Montparnasse, Villa M was designed by the Franco-Brazilian studio Triptyque Architecture in collaboration with design icon Philippe Starck. The overall concept is based on creating a space that feels immersed in nature while being in the middle of the city. Its exoskeleton is covered in medicinal plants, fruit trees and perennials, while inside the interiors have been kept relatively minimal, with organic colors paired with classic contemporary furnishings.

The Beach Caves at Six Senses
Sant Joan de Labritja, Ibiza

This year, Six Senses Ibiza owner and developer, Jonathan Leitersdorf, has collaborated with creative director, Ben Pundole, to unveil an addition to his Baleric Islands hotel. Named the Beach Caves, the new venue offers Latin-inspired dining, art and music in a space designed by a studio named Diego & Alexeja. In addition to the entertainment areas, the Beach Cave Suites feature a fully functional recording studio and suites that have been built into the side of the cliff.

Hotel Marcel
New Haven, Connecticut

Going on a road trip in the United States? Why not take a detour to spend a night in a modernist icon? Designed by architect Marcel Breuer in 1965, this iconic building was brought into the 21st century by Becker and Becker and Dutch East Design, who worked together alongside the Hilton Group to create the 165-room Hotel Marcel, comprising a restaurant, gallery, and meeting space. Throughout, there are plenty of mid-century details. Its sustainable credentials are also appropriate for modern times, and since its renovation the hotel has been able to generate enough renewable energy to support its operations.

Harding Boutique Hotel
Ahangama, Sri Lanka

The Harding Boutique Hotel is located in the coastal town of Ahangama in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. Through its design of the building, Anarchitect sought to pay homage to the architectural genre of tropical modernism, which originated in the country and which sees buildings integrated into their natural landscape, through the use of large open spaces that connect to a sprawling environment. . Expect to see raw concrete surfaces paired with a pink-pigmented pool deck and dynamic wooden facades.

Hotel As
Toronto, Canada

Ace Hotel Toronto has only just officially opened, but we can’t wait to visit. Marking its first inaugural home in Canada, the newly built hotel houses 123 rooms and features a design scheme led by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects. Located in the city’s historic Garment District, the exterior uses a red brick facade. Inside, the lobby is clad in red oak lining and is suspended by steel rods to provide guests with different vantage points to enjoy the impressive space.

Xigera Safari Lodge
Masarwa, Botswana

Each of the 12 guest suites inside Xigera Safari Lodge are furnished with their own bespoke furniture and fittings, many of which have been made in collaboration with South African gallery Southern Guild. The getaway is located at the western end of the Moremi Game Reserve and overlooks the floodplains of the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside, its decoration pays homage to the heritage of its environment.


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