Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong’s most awarded boutique hotel, Mira Moon is a hideaway amidst the bustling Causeway Bay neighbourhood. The whimsical design was inspired by the story of the China Moon Festival, reinterpreted through the hotel’s chic, modern décor. A contemporary version of traditional myths are told through furnishings that combine stylish details with ancient Chinese elements. From the entranceway to the award-winning restaurant Supergiant and the tranquil Secret Garden, the ambience is sleek, yet informal. Design atelier AB Concept created the fairytale-themed interiors while applying traditional Chinese craftsmanship, such as carved timber panelling, latticed wooded ceilings and wavy white shelves. Oriental carpets, glazed ceramic vases and rose red floral window blinds reflect Chinese mythology, making Martin Lee’s unique hotel a new beauty to behold. The hotel oozes drama and energy echoing the surrounding neighbourhood’s vibrant nightlife.
Housed in a 20th century publishing house, the new Stamba Hotel showcases the brutalist architecture from the Communist era with the original structure restored and elevated with contemporary interiors and modern style. Celebrating the city’s industrial heritage, the property is considerately refurbished with elements from the original building factored into the design. This includes the publisher’s print drying beam that runs through the trees and foliage dominating the hotel’s five-storey-high atrium lobby. Repurposed printing paraphernalia, large warehouse windows, steel balconies and Soviet-era pendant lamps are some of the vintage elements mixed with faux fur chairs, soft leather headboards and colourful feature walls as some warmth and contemporary sass to the décor. Some nostalgic references to the 1920s and 30s, including a gilded freestanding bathtub in each guestroom, also adds a quirky layer to the interiors.
The Drake Hotel
The Drake Hotel is not simply a turn-of-the-century building that has been refurbished to house a funky boutique hotel in Toronto’s very trendy Queen West neighbourhood. It is also a hub for the city’s creative scene with an eclectic program of performance and visual art. A top spot for live music, artist talks, yoga sessions, creative workshops and exhibitions, The Drake perfectly marries contemporary art with history through the high- and low-brow look and feel. The mid-century modern design – from the lobby’s brass lined staircase and original granite floors to the furious dashes of colour and retro furniture unique to each guestroom makes the hotel is a constant talking piece. Soothing textures such as wood, glass, leather and brass create warm public settings and comfortable backdrops to showcase local talent which brings hotel guests in contact with the local community.
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
Set in the industrial hub of East London, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch is an extension of the hotel and restaurant brand headed by world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa and actor/director Robert De Niro. Hidden behind a bold façade of glass and concrete, the hotel is flanked by cantilevered steel beams pointing East to acknowledge the hotel’s Asian roots. With a view to merging Shoreditch’s industrial heritage with Japanese artistry, the interiors reflect a textural interplay throughout the property. Japanese patchworks, tea sets and Oriental design pieces are contrasted with polished concrete, patinated metal and dark stone, as well as timber and brass accented through lighting. Double-height foyer doors create a grand entrance, while other architectural highlights include sunken courtyard terraces, a feature wall of repurposed clay roof tiles and a deconstructed geometric pattern based on sumi-e – an ink painting technique central to East Asian art and philosophy – which appears throughout the hotel.
Set on Barcelona’s prominent Passieg de Colom, just minutes from the Gothic Quarter, The Serras features spacious rooms with balconies that offer a front row seat to this trendy neighbourhood. Fronted by a historic façade by celebrated 19th century Spanish architect Francesc Daniel Molina, the hotel is also the site of Picasso’s first studio where he painted Ciencia y Caridad in 1897. The new stylish rooftop terrace would surely provide artistic inspiration. Interior design by Eva Martinez features rounded and ergonomically-shaped furniture in the public spaces imparting a cosy comfortable feel with a Mediterranean colour scheme of white, silver, mustard, blue and green. The 30 rooms and suites are a study in black and white graphic delight, with abstract prints on the headboards and carpets taking cues from the city’s ‘modernista’ period, with dashes of mustard to add some warmth.
Hotel St George
Set in the heart of the Finnish capital, Hotel St George offers a contemporary style in a meticulously refurbished landmark building. Run in collaboration with the Helsinki Art Museum and the National Gallery, the property displays a rare work by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, whose large-scale sculpture of a dragon is one a many striking pieces on the property. Originally home to the Finnish Literature Society and later the printing press for the country’s first newspaper, some elements of the building date back to the mid to late 19th century. A centrepiece, the Winter Garden, was crafted to filter the natural light that flows through the space, which acts as a spotlight on a specially commissioned six-metre-long brass bird sculpture by Finnish artist Pekka Jylhä. Interior design by Carola Rytsola features handcrafted, classic, yet modern pieces, with state-of-the-art technology artfully installed to encourage an excellent nights’ sleep – this includes a monitor under the bed to inform guests how they slept the night before.
Built in 1888 and originally serving as the city’s state ministry, Tortue Hamburg is a charming property connecting guests to the Stadthöfe district, which consists of five single houses, connected by four inner courtyards. With an appealing mix of modern, historical and French-influenced interiors, this new hotel presents a vibrant design offering from well-known interior designers, Kate Hume, Joyce Wang and Stephen Williams. From wool carpets on oak parquet floors in lilac, blue and red rooms that are punctuated by historic pillars, customised furniture and chandeliers, the property celebrates the era of the new Bohemian. Beyond the ornate historical façade and statement architectural features, the property is awash with brass and plush fabrics that add a touch of contemporary style and comfort.
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