The best of the new boutique and luxury designer hotels from around the world
The Standard — London
A 1974 Brutalist structure is now home to The Standard's first outpost outside the US. Designed with long-time collaborator Shawn Hausman and interior architect Archer Humphryes, The Standard draws inspiration from its cool Camden surroundings and the historic Kings Cross neighbourhood. The hotel's own Sounds Studio, which acts as a platform and incubator for London's musical community, and the library lounge (with in-house librarian) both reflect the neighbourhood's connection to punk, politics and intellectual thought.
Il Palazzo Experimentale — Venice
The Experimental Group's latest property, in Venice's Dorsoduro neighbourhood, offers proximity to cultural attractions like the Guggenheim Collection and Galleria dell'Accademia, but also a quiet canal served by the hotel's own pontoon, an intimate rooftop terrace and the Experimental Cocktail Club, designed by Milanbased Cristina Celestino, so it's an ideal spot from which to explore the city or enjoy a more relaxed experience. Housed in a Renaissance palace revived by designer Dorothée Meilichzon, the hotel offers 32 sumptuously outfitted rooms and suites, as well as Il Ristorante Adriatica, the famed Italian Supper Club's first location in its home country.
Cour des Vosges — Paris
In the fashionable and historic Marais district, contemporary design meets the country's regal past at Cour des Vosges, the latest addition to the evok Hotels collection. Designed by Lecoadic Scotto on the national heritage site of the former Hôtel de Montbrun, the twelve-key 17th-century residence overlooks the charming Square Louis xiii and surrounding pinkbrick houses. A Roman bath, ground-floor terrace, tea room and myriad period pieces complement the accommodation and come together to create a distinctly French joie de vivre.
J.K. Place Rive Gauche — Paris
Architect and interior designer Michele Bönan has transformed the former European Consulate into J.K.'s first property outside Italy, which offers a chic French twist on the brand's Italian dna. Each of the 30 rooms is unique, with private and public spaces outfitted in an eclectic mix of custom furniture and restored pieces from the city's famous flea markets. Furthering the brand's vision to bring the warm and convivial spirit of Italy to the French capital, the restaurant — conceived in collaboration with Casa Tua — offers a private homestyle culinary experience.
Aman — Kyoto
A secluded garden in Japan's ancient imperial city is the site of the newest Aman, located close to Kinkakuji temple and at the feet of the mountains to the city's north. Designed by Kerry Hill Architects, the resort is inspired by traditional ryokan and onsen, and comprises a series of stand-alone pavilions nestled in a hidden valley of 32 acres of forest and gardens. Each of the 24 guest rooms and two villas has been crafted in harmony with its idyllic surrounds to encourage calm, relaxation and contemplation.
Santa Monica Proper — Santa Monica
Billed as the ‘first high-end lifestyle hotel to open in Santa Monica in two decades', the Santa Monica Proper makes its home in a restored 1920s Arthur E Harvey-designed Spanish Colonial Revival building. Realised by the doyenne of Cali cool Kelly Wearstler, the hotel features elements of historic Spanish architecture and Moorish details interwoven with local art and design pieces that embody the city's laid-back lifestyle. What's more, the hotel boasts the Westside's only rooftop pool deck.
Sonop — Namibia
On the southern edge of the stunning Namibian desert, Sonop is the ultimate in isolated luxury. The ten-tent camp sits atop a group of boulders surrounded by rolling dunes, and in reference to the refined travel of the British colonial era, each tent is furnished with a rich array of antiques, carpets and precious woods, though the solar energy, Wi-Fi access and infinity pool make it the perfect retreat for any modern traveller.
Raffles Hotel — Shenzhen
Raffles Hotel occupies the top floors of an 80-storey tower in the One Shenzhen Bay development area, affording guests striking views over the bay. Created by LW Design, interiors of the 168-key hotel are inspired by Chinese culture, from black lacquer doors to patterned white marble and traditional furniture pieces, and the entire space is given a luxurious spin. ‘The real emphasis was to create an ambience which reflects everything a guest would wish for in their home, whilst adding the conveniences that a hotel brings,' says design lead Pia Sen. Of course, the four drinking and dining options and luxe spa don't hurt either.
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