As we kick-off the New Year Design Hotels™ welcomes nine new member hotels into the fold. These properties epitomise the ethos and values that Design Hotels™ holds dear – from sustainably smart architecture, the regeneration of treasured buildings to effortless living paired with mindful design. The new additions reach across three continents and introduce new destinations from the tranquil setting of Belize to the picturesque island of Sicily and the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia.
After celebrating a significant milestone in 2013 with the 20th anniversary celebrations, Design Hotels™ is getting this year off to an exciting start, reaching new heights with a portfolio featuring over 260 member hotels in 170 destinations worldwide. www.designhotels.com/newadditions
Miss Clara, Stockholm, Sweden
One of Stockholm's most treasured Art Nouveau buildings, the former Ateneum girl's school, is about to be reborn. Under the management of the dynamic Nobis Group, with Alessandro Catenacci at the helm, Miss Clara – named after the school's first headmistress Clara Strömberg – will be a welcome addition to the city's hotel scene. Built in 1910, the old school building is in the process of been lovingly restored under the direction of Gert Wingårdh. High ceilings, expansive windows and grand rooms, hallmarks of the building's original architects Hagström & Ekman, remain gloriously intact. All 92 rooms follow Wingårdh's unique concept of an outwardfacing property, where the windows which overlook the popular Sveavägen boulevard, are treated as -center stage-. At street-level, a vibrant restaurant and bar will thrive on the urban buzz of the evolving Stockholm City district.
25Hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, Germany
Due to open at the end of January, 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin is the first Berlin property from celebrated hotel group 25hours and is set to become an integral part of City West's new legacy. Located in a 10-story high-rise, the hotel is part of a complex of 1950s-era historic buildings including the Zoopalast cinema and the so-called Bikinihaus, a unique post-war architectural icon. The transformation of the Bikini Berlin project – including the hotel – is being coordinated by local firm KEC Architects. Historical preservation has been a focus of the redevelopment, while at the same time creating a modern, progressive space. Thanks to the hotel's location between Berlin's zoo and Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (memorial church) and the lively shopping street Kurfürstendamm, there is a world of contrasts that can be seen from the hotel. Using the surrounding -urban jungle' as inspiration the interior design, carried out by Studio Aisslinger – with award winning maestro Werner Aisslinger leading the team – reflects its unique location. One of the cornerstones of the project is the hotel's rooftop bar and restaurant. With its wide-open design and 360-degree panorama the space offers views across the
Piet Boon Bonaire, Kralendijk, Bonaire
Just 30 miles from Curaçao and 50 miles from Venezuela the inviting Caribbean island of Bonaire is a tranquil place edged by turquoise seas. Spaced out along the waterfront in Kralendijk, the island's capital, sits Piet Boon Bonaire, a tropical collection of nine private villas. The property is designed and owned by world famous Dutch designer Piet Boon who is known for the subtlety of his choice of materials, colors and the elegance of his craftsmanship. Six of the villas sit right on the beachfront, with secluded, expertly crafted spaces leading onto private terraces and pools. Three villas are set further back from the shore exuding the tranquility of their setting. Slender pillars flank the wide entranceways, and clean stone lines run parallel to the sandy shoreline, partially separating bedrooms and kitchens from the sundrenched terraces outside. Shards of warm sunlight flood in through wide, slatted windows and partitions made of bone-colored pebbles, while lofty ceilings and dark stone floors ensure a sense of cool, barefoot style. www.designhotels.com/piet_boon
The Royal Snail, Namur, Belgium
The Royal Snail is the first contemporary hotel of its kind in Namur – capital of Belgium's French-speaking province Wallonia. Located at the foot of a citadel, the hotel is inspired by the history and traditions of its locale. Masterminded by architects Julie Valette and Olivier Simon of local agency BURO 5, the four buildings of the hotel blend harmoniously, without undertaking any major structural alterations. Paintings by 19th century Namurborn artist Félicien Rops offered inspiration for the interiors, and the city's symbol, the snail, has been incorporated into the hotel's branding. In the same vein, the owner of the property, Belgian businessman Vincent
Dardenne, was eager to ensure that the 30-room hotel was not only inspired by locals, but also created by them. The result is a smart blend of ecological thinking and regional integration, with furniture, beds and linens hand produced by craftsmen from the area. An intimate spa, outdoor pool and manicured gardens provide plenty of spaces to relax while the landmark restaurant, L'Agathopede has become a destination in its own right.
SKT. PETRI, Copenhagen, Denmark
Situated on a beautiful street in Copenhagen's Latin Quarter, SKT. PETRI offers modern urban living matched with pared down style and to-the-point functionality. Norwegian hotel magnate Petter A. Størdalen recently acquired the hotel and has big plans for the former 1930s department store. Those already familiar with his Nordic Hotels & Resorts group will know which delights – from the design to the service – await. Mirroring the experience guests have at THE THIEF in Oslo and Copperhill Mountain Lodge in Sweden's Åre, the conceptual focus will clearly be the hotel's locale. Skt. Petri will undergo extensive renewal and renovation in the coming year.
Anemi Hotel, Folegandros, Cyclades, Greece
With its ethereal beauty and enchanted landscape, the Cycladic island of Folegandros is an unspoiled paradise. Anemi Hotel sits against the rocky terrain of the picturesque village of Karavostasis, making a memorable impression with a dozen two-floor whitewashed buildings. Seamlessly reflecting the island's tranquility, architect Alexandros Samaras' design for the property has harmoniously blended the expansive complex with the natural landscape. Limiting the buildings' height to only two storys throughout has ensured they do not interrupt the serenity of the surrounding landscape. Inside, 44 rooms and suites are peppered with furniture by the likes of Charles & Ray Eames, B&B Italia and Vitra, brought together by owner Stavros Papagiannis, who has successfully injected the hotel with an underlying mood of simplicity and modernity mixed with a traditional Greek spirit.
Grace Beijing, China
Grace Beijing is set within a former 1950's Bauhaus-style crystal factory in the capital's cutting edge 798 Art District – a thriving center for art, fashion and architecture. The building's design was inspired by Hong Kong's colonial architecture, which is echoed in its high ceilings and arching doorways. Each of the 30 rooms and suites has its own contemporary design in a subtle twist of modern and traditional aesthetics. The interiors reveal a modern take on Ming Dynasty décor, from the striking furniture and muted colors of the lobby to the bolder colors of the bedrooms. Inspiration was also found in the surrounding neighborhood, with graffiti art, film stills by award winning director Wong Kar-Wai and contemporary photography by Beijing-based photographer Chi Peng, adorning the walls. Food and drink is a vital aspect of the Grace experience. The hotel's Mediterranean restaurant Yi House is a popular destination for local and international artists and designers, as is the Bar 798, the hotel's
cool, laid-back cocktail lounge.
Zash Country Boutique Hotel, Riposto, Sicily, Italy
In eastern Sicily, amidst rambling citrus groves, sublime views of Mount Etna, the sea and sprawling vineyards, sits Zash Country Boutique Hotel: a 1930's manor house, former winery, and a Mediterranean garden all rolled into one. Architect and owner of the hotel, Antonio Iraci together with his partner Carla Maugeri were determined to retain as many of the property's original features as possible, and to create a dwelling that showcased its surrounding environment. The result is a nine bedroom hotel, set within a lush garden with panoramic sea views and interiors which feature oak flooring, volcanic stone cladding and high vaulted ceilings. Wide refurbished windows and glass walls shape the building, flaunting the hotel's magnificent surrounding. Located in the entrance of the old winery, the hotel's bar offers a relaxed informal atmosphere, serving some of the region's best wines and evoking a sense of the building's past lives through its stone walls.
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, Stepantsminda, Georgia
With peaks reaching a formidable 5,000 meters, the dramatic Caucasus Mountain Range delivers a spectacular backdrop for Rooms Hotel Kazbegi, the first hotel of its kind in northern Georgia. The building was designed by young Tbilisi-based duo Nata Janberidze and Keti Toloraia, representing the new generation of young Georgian designers. The sleek hotel, a striking structure of wood, glass and steel features 156 rooms, all with breathtaking views across the mountainous terrain. Designed to be as discreet as possible, the lodgings blend into the
surrounding landscape while the floor-to-ceiling windows in the lobby lounge keep the interior and exterior visually linked. A restaurant serving traditional Georgian fare interspersed with a host of international dishes is accompanied by a cozy bar with its own fireplace and cigar menu. Meanwhile a sweeping sun terrace provides a place to relax and soak in the rugged surroundings.