Hotel stays have never looked so good.
The latest series of aesthetically beautiful retreats to make it into the prestigious Design Hotels collection – ‘a handpicked portfolio of one-of-a-kind properties across the globe’ – has been revealed.
Here we present a handful of the properties that have made the cut. They are either new or newly renovated and include a striking fortress-island retreat in Montenegro, an office-building-turned-boutique-hotel in Malaysia, a re-imagined 12th-century monastery in Italy and a revamped hotel on Mykonos that has been given protected status by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
La Maison Palmier – Abidjan, Ivory Coast
The latest series of aesthetically beautiful retreats to make it into the prestigious Design Hotels collection – ‘a handpicked portfolio of one-of-a-kind properties across the globe’ – has been revealed. One hotel to make the cut is the Ivory Coast’s La Maison Palmier, pictured, which is described as an ‘oasis of contemporary design with vintage panache’
The ‘warm and welcoming’ guest rooms at La Maison Palmier feature expansive garden-view windows, terrazzo floors and textiles curated by a Senegalese designer
Billed as the first-ever boutique hotel in the Ivory coast city of Abidjan, La Maison Palmier is an ‘oasis of contemporary design with vintage panache’, according to Design Hotels.
Guests stroll under 200 varieties of palm trees en route to the ‘sparkling’ pool at the heart of the 74-room resort, which is made up of nine ‘low-slung’ buildings.
Design Hotels says: ‘Guestrooms are warm and welcoming, with expansive garden-view windows, bespoke furnishings, wood panelling, terrazzo floors, textiles curated by a Senegalese designer, and custom carpets in rich red or green.’
Double rooms at the time of writing are priced from £155 – for more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Wilmina – Berlin, Germany
Wilmina, a stunning hotel in Berlin’s Charlottenberg neighbourhood, was formerly a women’s prison. Bars in the upper part of the windows remain today
There’s a striking light installation in the communal space by the former prison cells at Wilmina
Formerly a courthouse and women’s prison, this stunning hotel in Berlin’s Charlottenberg neighbourhood offers a truly unique stay.
‘The historical red brick buildings that once determined the dark fates of its occupants have been sensitively transformed into a bright, hidden retreat,’ says Design Hotels, adding: ‘Throughout the hotel, original brick, glass, and steel harken back to the structure’s original purpose – including historical bars in the upper part of the windows.’
Guests can discover the hotel’s ‘secret’ gardens, a restaurant serving ‘lush’ contemporary German cuisine, and a striking light installation in the communal space by the former prison cells.
Double rooms from £202 per night – for more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Hotel Hotel – Lisbon, Portugal
Local artists curated Lisbon’s Hotel Hotel, with decor inspired by the ‘colours, playfulness, and lightness of Portugal’
Hotel Hotel has 40 rooms, a restaurant called ‘Animal’ and a studio dedicated to yoga and meditation
Art lovers will be in their element at this Lisbon hotel, as local artists are behind the hotel’s interior design, with decor inspired by the ‘colours, playfulness, and lightness of Portugal’.
Foodies should also approve. The hotel’s restaurant, Animal, serves up ‘wild and inventive’ cuisine, we’re told.
The 40-room hotel is a haven for yogis, too. Design Hotels reveals: ‘Pedrita Studio has crafted a space dedicated to yoga and meditation, with 360-degree projection and sound that allows guests to have a fully immersive experience.’
Double rooms are priced from £156 per night. For more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Mykonos Theoxenia – Mykonos, Greece
Mykonos Theoxenia has a prime position on the Greek isle of Mykonos – it sits right next to the island’s iconic white windmills
Guest rooms at Mykonos Theoxenia are said to ‘exude a cocoon-like serenity’, according to Design Hotels
When Mykonos Theoxenia was built back in the 1960s it became the first five-star hotel on the island of Mykonos and was notable, also, for its design.
Postmodern architect Aris Konstantinidis was behind the look – and the Greek Ministry of Culture moved to afford the property protected status.
Now the hotel – which has a prime position on the island next to its iconic white windmills – is more eye-catching than ever thanks to a major restoration.
Design Hotels notes that the hotel features 37 elegant bedrooms, eight deluxe suites, and four signature suites with private pools that ‘exude a cocoon-like serenity’. ‘The hotel is a natural oasis, a short stroll to Mykonos Town, and a gateway to scuba diving and day trips to Delos [an island that’s famous for its ties to Greek mythology],’ it says.
Double rooms are priced from £232. For more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Hotelito by Musa – Guerrero, Mexico
Due to open in January 2023, Hotelito by Musa lies by the Pacific Ocean in Guerrero, Mexico
Hotelito by Musa will be furnished with local palm wood carpentry and traditional stone detailing
Due to open in January 2023, this stylish new hotel is being sustainably built across 165 acres (67 hectares) of ‘sprawling palm groves and raw, untamed landscape’ by the Pacific Ocean in Guerrero, Mexico.
According to Design Hotels, the hotel – predicted to ‘redefine modern jungle living’ – will offer community art spaces, holistic wellness programmes and facilities that enable guests to ‘work, live and surf’ during their stay.
Design Hotels adds: ‘The Mexican-forward tropical modernist design will highlight ceramics from Guadalajara, local palm wood carpentry, and traditional stone detailing.’
Das Achental – Grassau, Germany
Das Achental hotel is ‘perfectly placed amid the rolling Chiemgau Alps and close to beautiful lake Chiemsee’. Above is a lounge for golfers on the grounds of the hotel
Design Hotels describes Das Achental as a ‘grand realm characterized by Bavarian tradition, yet with boldly refreshing updates’
This Bavarian retreat is ‘perfectly placed amid the rolling Chiemgau Alps and close to beautiful lake Chiemsee’, Design Hotels reveals.
Back in the 1950s, it operated as an equestrian centre, only to be transformed into a sports hotel in the 1980s. Having recently undergone a renovation, it now ranks as one of the top leisure retreats in Germany, according to Design Hotels, which describes it as a ‘grand realm characterised by Bavarian tradition, yet with boldly refreshing updates’.
Guests can enjoy two-Michelin-starred cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant, es:senz (the Michelin guide praises Chef Edip Sigl’s menu for its ‘precision, harmony and finesse’), and when they’re not fine dining, they can soak in the indoor and outdoor infinity pools, perfect their swing on the hotel’s golf course or set off on a hike in the mountains.
Double rooms are priced from £273. For more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Parkhotel Mondschein – Bolzano, Italy
You’ll detect a blend of Belle Epoque style and architecture from the 1950s and 1960s at Parkhotel Mondschein in Bolzano
Parkhotel Mondschein features an in-house yoga studio and a spa, while at the heart of the hotel there’s a pool, a bar (above) and a tree-filled park area
This ‘rare gem’ of a hotel in the Italian city of Bolzano is a melange of styles – ‘originally built in the 14th century, the structure that houses the hotel was extended in 1890 in the Belle Epoque style, with wide corridors, high ceilings, and stucco decoration’, Design Hotels reveals, adding that the building also features architectural fixtures from the 1950s and 1960s.
There’s an in-house yoga studio and a spa, while at the heart of the hotel there’s a pool, a bar and a tree-filled park area.
Michelin-starred cuisine awaits at the hotel’s In Viaggio restaurant, where guests are taken on ‘a culinary voyage’ with some dishes inspired by the Alps and others taking their cue from countries around the world, according to the Michelin Guide.
Double rooms are priced from £215. For more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Cap Karoso – Sumba, Indonesia
Cap Karoso sits on the ‘wild’ shores of Indonesia’s Sumba island, ‘surrounded by miles of wild pristine beaches’
Cap Karoso’s modernist villas feature private pools, gardens and beach views, Design Hotels reveals
Made up of a series of modernist villas, this retreat lies on the ‘wild’ shores of Indonesia’s Sumba island, ‘surrounded by miles of wild pristine beaches and a few sparse, traditional villages’.
The villas feature ‘nature-inspired plant-based roofs’, private pools, Sumba-inspired treasures, open-air bathtubs, private decks, gardens, and beach views, Design Hotels reveals.
It notes that the retreat’s organic farm ‘keeps the pantries stocked’ at the hotel’s two restaurants, with ‘international star chefs’ visiting throughout the year to create ‘unforgettable culinary experiences’.
Double rooms are priced from £219. For more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Nous Santorini – Santorini, Greece
Wellbeing is at the heart of a stay at Nous Santorini, a Greek island gem that’s dotted with gardens, private pools and a meditative fire pit
Nous Santorini’s 121 rooms and suites are housed in standalone buildings in a landscape that’s ‘awash with vegetation’
The beaches of Santorini inspired the colour palette behind this ‘stunning’ hotel, which ‘feels like an oasis on its own island of splendour’, according to Design Hotels.
The hotel’s 121 rooms and suites are housed in standalone buildings in a landscape that’s ‘awash with vegetation’.
‘Yoga, private pools, hot tubs, gardens, and a meditative fire pit put wellbeing at the heart of your stay,’ Design Hotels reveals, adding that the hotel is designed with ‘casual elegance, not overwhelming luxury’ in mind.
Double rooms are priced from £252. For more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Vocabolo Moscatelli – Umbria, Italy
Vocabolo Moscatelli, pictured, is a re-imagined 12th-century monastery in the Umbrian countryside with a ‘piazza-style square with umbrella-topped tables and a bubbling fountain’
Guests are free to order breakfast at any time of the day during their time at Vocabolo Moscatelli
‘At the core of Vocabolo Moscatelli is a revived 12th-century monastery with beamed ceilings, heavy stone fireplaces, and soft wooden floors,’ Design Hotels says of this hotel in Italy, which is crowned by the bell that the monks would ring when it was time for prayer.
The retreat features ‘a piazza-style square with umbrella-topped tables and a bubbling fountain’ and a 19th-century church that hosts light installations and dance parties.
It sounds as idyllic as could be – most suites come with deep bathtubs, there’s a ‘striking’ swimming pool to lounge beside and guests are free to order breakfast at any time of the day.
The Luma Hotel – Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
The rose-gold facade of The Luma Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, is set aglow each evening by the sunset
Guests at The Luma Hotel can enjoy a coffee from local roastery Crack Inc before heading up to their ‘serene and welcoming’ guest rooms
A former office building, this property in the Malaysian state of Sabah was transformed into a ‘vibrant’ 115-room boutique hotel by local studio Seshan Design.
‘The western-facing facade, accented with rose gold details, is set aglow each evening by the stunning Sabah sunsets,’ Design Hotels reveals.
Inside, a spiral staircase ‘stands in the lobby like a great tree’, there’s coffee by local roastery Crack Inc and ‘serene and welcoming’ guest rooms offer a view of the skyline and the sea.
Double rooms are priced from £40 per night. For more information, visit www.designhotels.com.
Ora – Priorat, Spain
Stylish hotel Ora occupies an 18th-century abbey in the wine region of Priorat in Catalonia – it promises to ‘offer visitors a unique experience around the world of wine’
Ora’s guest rooms are designed in the style of the traditional houses of the region, promising to ‘exude an Old World charm’
This charming retreat occupies an 18th-century abbey in the quaint village of Torroja del Priorat, which lies in the wine region of Priorat in Catalonia.
It’s an ideal spot for wine enthusiasts, and not just because of the location – the hotel is ‘designed to offer visitors a unique experience around the world of wine, of the landscape and gastronomy of the Priorat’. Artwork in the hotel revolves around the ‘cultures and traditions of the wine county’ and even the soap has a wine theme – it’s made from the seeds of the Priorat grapes.
Guest rooms are designed in the style of the traditional houses of the region, promising to ‘exude an Old World charm’.
For more information, visit orahotelpriorat.com.
Mamula Island Hotel – Kotor Bay, Montenegro
Mamula Island Hotel occupies a 19th-century fort on an island by Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor
A spa is housed in one of the towers and there are three outdoor pools in the centre of the fort
Check in to Mamula Island Hotel and you’ll enjoy ‘360-degree views of the glimmering Adriatic Sea’ and sunbathing on the isle’s private beach
Design Hotels says that you can ‘combine your lust for adventure with your desire for luxury’ with a stay at this unusual hotel, which occupies a 19th-century fort on an island by Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor.
The fort, built by the Austro-Hungarian general Lazar Mamula, has a dark history. During World War II, it was occupied by Italian forces under the rule of fascist leader Benito Mussolini and converted into a concentration camp that held more than 2,000 people.
Now it has been ‘painstakingly restored’ and transformed into a hotel that when it opens next year will offer guests ‘360-degree views of the glimmering Adriatic Sea’, a spa (housed in one of the towers), and three outdoor pools.
To north of the tiny island is a beach with sun loungers and bay views.
- Prices correct at the time of writing.