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Luxury fashion houses Lagerfeld, Gucci, Armani and Lacroix (to name a few) are renowned for spinning straw into gold on the runway. So it’s no surprise that when given the ultimate blank canvas – a luxurious hotel to design – the results are out-of-this-world chic. Here is a peek inside some of the world’s chicest, fashion-fabulous designer-designed hotels, definitely worth traveling for.

The Karl Lagerfeld Tower, Grand Lisboa Palace, Macau

Currently celebrating its soft opening, this 271-room The Karl Lagerfeld Tower in Macau is an East-meets-West masterpiece and the world’s only hotel tower designed by the late fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld.  The creative force behind Chanel as well as his own label, the Kaiser spent five years visualizing and designing the tower before his death in 2019. Guests will find bits of his eclectic personality  in every detail (patterns, materials and decorative elements) of the hotel – from the eye-catching cherry blossoms to the wall fixtures, a reflection of the late designer’s  take on chinoiserie. Suites are spacious and feature commissioned furnishings right down to the circular room dividers, a nod to traditional Chinese moon gates.

Worth Traveling For

The lobby lounge is a nod to Lagerfeld’s passion for books and his famous photo studio library in Paris— more than 4000 books are on display all paying homage to his devotion to style. The spa – with its striking black marble and gold mosaic touches –  is also reflective of Lagerfeld’s eloquent signature style.

The Royal Suite by Gucci, The Savoy, London

Gucci and The Savoy go way back. Guccio Gucci, founder of the iconic fashion house, worked as a bellboy at the hotel in 1897. The story goes that the luxurious bag and trunks he carried for the aristocrats staying at the hotel inspired him to create his original leather goods company. In 2021, Gucci’s centenary year, The Savoy announced plans to have its Royal Suite transformed by the house of Gucci. Furniture and decorative items are all from the Gucci Décor collection, while art and antiques from auctioneers Christies are being carefully curated to complement both the cool high-end Gucci aesthetic and traditional Savoy heritage.

Worth Traveling For

Along with the Gucci gifts, use of the hotel’s Rolls Royce (within a three-mile radius), and private shopping experience at Gucci’s London boutique, guests can actually purchase any item in the Royal Suite (via Gucci or Christie’s).

Armani Hotel, Dubai

Located in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world – the 160-room Armani Hotel Dubai is exactly what you’d expect from the Italian fashion designer. Sophisticated and minimalist, Armani’s signature grays and browns are subtly complemented with a crisp cream color palette, sleek furniture, leather-clad walls, Eramosa stone floors, zebrawood panels and unparalleled views of Dubai’s skyscraper skyline.

Worth Traveling For

Armani’s signature stamp which has made its way onto everything from the shampoo to the flatware to the sugar cubes used for tea and coffee. Flower arrangements, too, are the work of Armani/Fiori which has a retail outpost in the lobby – right next to Armani/Dolce which sells chocolates and jellies, and Armani/Galleria, where you get your couture fashion fix. 

Round Hill Hotel and Villas, Montego Bay, Jamaica

Once the vacation spot for the Kennedys — President Kennedy penned and practiced his inauguration speech here— this classic Jamaican hotel is also a favorite of American designer Ralph Lauren. The designer not only owns two villas here (High Rock and Orchid), he also designed the 36 guest rooms at the Round Hill, adorning them with four-poster mahogany beds, white linens, rocking chairs, checkerboard-tiled porches, rain showers and louvered windows.

Worth Traveling For

The old-school familial ambience and sense of tradition. Every day at 4 p.m. tea, sandwiches and cocktails are served under the bar’s striped awnings and each week guests gather on the sand for a formal beach barbecue.

Grand Piano Suite, Claridge’s London

Belgian-born fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg, whose signature wrap dress has icon status, is known to love Claridge’s in London (also a fave hotel of the royal family). As testimony to the 30 plus years she has stayed here, von Furstenberg designed the hotel’s stunning Grand Piano Suite.  Her signature style is instantly recognizable in the raspberry and chocolate palette, swirls of velvets and silks, and DVF prints ranging from animal prints to chinoiserie florals. Other touches include Murano glass sculptures, a mix of vintage and contemporary pieces and photographs taken by the designer during her travels.

Worth Traveling For

The grand piano of course.  Complemented by an ornate marble fireplace and antique dining table, the piano serves as the grand centerpiece for this fashionable stay.

Hotel Le Bellechasse, Saint Germain, Paris

This playful couture hotel by famed French designer Christian Lacroix, sits on the stylish Left Bank in the center of the Faubourg Saint-Germain district. Known for his signature avant-garde designs, the property’s color palette of dark reds and golds pays homage to Lacroix’s love of aristocratic elegance. Each room is exquisitely designed to feature bold graphics, large soaking tubs, lush damask curtains, and lavish hues.

Worth Traveling For

The hotel’s opulently decorated breakfast room —  an entire wall is covered in a post-impressionist mural of fruit trees before a night sky and another large mural features swimming fish. The terrace area also offers dreamy views of Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. 

Betseyvilla, La Barrita Mexico

If minimalism isn’t your aesthetic, head to Mexico (American fashion designer Betsey Johnson’s favorite place in the world) for a lively and crazy colorful stay in her villa. The fashion icon, known for her bright hair and wild outfits, worked with Mexico-City-based architect Andrés Benítez to revamp her four-bedroom, six-bath home (available for rent on airbnb) into a Mexican-Italianate style villa. But don’t worry, the feel is still Betsey: a bit rocker, a bit glam with douses of hot pink, eloquently combined with open air, lots of light, a fabulous claw tub and an outdoor kitchen by the pool.

Worth Traveling For

The portraits and photos of Johnson – zillions of them scattered throughout the house, along with the designer’s original drawings and artwork. Fashion immersion indeed.

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