Sleep meets style at these high-fashion places to stay
1 ARMANI HOTEL, DUBAI, UAE
Take a stroll through one of its countless mega malls (one of which, Dubai Mall, also happens to be the world’s biggest) and you’ll notice that Emiratis really, really likes designer labels. This hasn’t slipped by the directors of luxury fashion houses, who are flocking to the desert metropolis to open up glitzy hotels bearing their brand’s name. The first – and the one still reigning supreme – is the Armani Hotel.
Housed in the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – the 10-storey hotel was the first hotel opened by fashion designer Giorgio Armani (he’s since opened another in Milan). Overseeing every design detail personally, from the neutral colour palette, through to the marble floors and floral arrangements which are limited to two colours per bouquet, the fashion heavyweight has included signature details and furnishings across the 160 rooms and suites.
There’s also a spa, six restaurants and a retail area selling Armani (obviously). Plus, every guest is assigned a personal lifestyle manager to take care of their every whim, from night-life bookings, to childcare.
2 ST REGIS NEW YORK, US
The plush St Regis boasts not one, but three designer suite collaborations. Designed in partnership with iconic jewellery brand, Tiffany & Co, the Tiffany Suite represents a marriage between two of New York’s luxurious institutions. Decked out in signature Tiffany blue, the lavish accommodation comprises an eight-person dining room, kitchen and a master bedroom with king-size bed and Italian marble bathroom.
A little piece of Paris in Manhattan, the Dior suite was designed using inspiration from the label’s French ateliers. A palette of muted greys and purples is accented with silver furnishings and distinctive design details that come straight out of the Paris fashion house. The most recent addition to the designer suites is the Bentley Suite. Decorated to reflect the luxury car brand – think polished wood, stitched leather and metalwork skills applied to furniture and fittings – a stay here includes complimentary use of the resident St Regis Bentley.
3 PALAZZO VERSACE GOLD COAST, QLD, AUSTRALIA
The embodiment of the Italian label’s “more is more” mantra, the Palazzo Versace Gold Coast’s location – on an exclusive waterfront setting – is only rivalled by its jaw-dropping interior. Designed by Donatella herself, the palatial Roman-style pile is a tribute to opulence, with intricate mosaic flooring set into marble floors, an abundance of crystal chandeliers and gold everywhere. Bespoke Versace home furnishings see the signature Medusa head logo on almost everything, which will appeal to label snob guests. Nothing has escaped the famed designer’s notice, with Donatella even lending her eye to custom-made hotel bath products.
4 BULGARI HOTEL & RESIDENCE, LONDON, UK
One of the world’s premier luxury brands, Bulgari, has applied its Midas touch to jewellery and watches, handbags and fragrances. And the luxe label is also intent on adding hotels to its ever-expanding empire, with a portfolio of properties in Milan, Bali, Beijing, Tokyo and Dubai, and with Shanghai, Moscow, Paris and Dubai all set to open in the next two years.
But one of the gems in its hotelier crown is the Bulgari Hotel & Residences in London.
Set in posh Knightsbridge, the noexpense-spared build was the first luxury hotel to be built in London for 40 years when it opened in 2012.
Designed with a contemporary Italian aesthetic in mind, small touches include personalised “in residence” business cards for guests.
The haute hotel also houses one of the capital’s most in-demand spas at the centre of which is an Instagramworthy 25m vitality pool surrounded by four-poster daybeds.
5 HOTEL DU PETIT MOULIN, PARIS, FRANCE
Effortlessly chic and channelling some serious “je ne sais quoi”, the Christian Lacroix-designed Hotel du Petit Moulin is a boutique hotel like no other.
Positioned in the trendy Marais area in a historic former 17th century bakery, the unassuming structure still has its original shop frontage, which belies the fantastical interior within. Individually-designed luxury rooms and suites vary dramatically, with themes spanning baroque, rococo and couture, each with plush bespoke Lacroix textiles and highly decorative walls.
The hotel is handily within walking distance of some of the City of Lights’ top sights, including the Picasso Museum and the Opera Bastille.
6 ROUND HILL HOTEL AND VILLAS, MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA
Located around a restored 18th century plantation house in Montego Bay on Jamaica’s north coast, the fivestar resort has been a mecca for visiting A-listers since the ’50s – John F. Kennedy honeymooned here and actor Noel Coward was one of the first cottage owners on the property. And today Ralph Lauren is continuing the tradition by calling the slice of Caribbean paradise home for part of the year, residing in his own villa in the area. Given his neighbour status, the American fashion mogul was happy to makeover 36 oceanfront guest rooms in the resort’s Pineapple House. Featuring furnishings from his home collection and luxurious bamboo four-poster beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and freestanding rain showers, the designer has also worked his magic on the resort’s Cocktail Bar where guests can sink a sundowner before dining in the adjacent seaside restaurant.
7 BANNISTERS BY THE SEA, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Located in picturesque Mollymook, motel-turned-luxury boutique hotel, Bannisters by the Sea has turned this previously sleepy corner of the NSW South Coast into a destination in itself.
Perched high on a headland overlooking the golden sands of Mollymook’s Surf Beach, which teems with marine life including a resident pod of dolphins, spoiled city slickers can take in the view from the edge of its modern infinity pool while indulging in stellar treatments at the on-site day spa, and glasses of bubbly from the nearby champagne bar.
Luxury at Bannisters was taken up a notch two years ago when Aussie fashion legend Collette Dinnigan marked her first foray into interior design by making over two of the penthouses in the property.
Both feature expansive decks with uninterrupted ocean views, a spacious living room, kitchenette, master bedroom with king-size bed and ensuite with marble vanities, a bathtub big enough for two, separate shower and heated floors.
Unique touches include antiques hand sourced by Collette from all over the world, including chairs bought in France covered in Belgium linen, and selected works by homegrown artists.
If that isn’t enough A-list for you, Bannisters is also home to British seafood king Rick Stein’s only Australian restaurant.
8 FENDI PRIVATE SUITES, ROME, ITALY
For ultimate fashion immersion, the Fendi Private Suites allows shoppers with a hefty bank balance to shop at the flagship store in Rome, and stay there too. Both corporate headquarters and store, the five-storey Fendi palazzo overlooks the city’s most exclusive shopping street, Via Condotti and comprises atelier, Zuma restaurant (the city’s first), cocktail bar with outdoor roof terrace, and on its third floor – accessed via a discreet, marble-lined lift – seven Private Suites. The accommodation has been designed by Fendi’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld with the brand’s aesthetic in mind – a neutral palette and minimalist furniture – with opulent touches such as satin sheets and Diptyque candles. Haute heaven!
Indulge your high fashion senses at swish hotels such as Hotel du Petit Moulin, Paris, and Fendi Private Suites, Rome. ROME