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design hotels

We just love when the design of a hotel is so dreamy, so chic, so completely fabulous that it catapults the hotel into a destination unto itself. That’s exactly the story behind these stunning global Kimpton hotels, which despite their bucket-list locales, tempt guests to never leave their blissful interiors. Whether you’re a design aficionado or just love to stay in the dreamiest design-focused hotels on the globe, we partnered with our friends at Kimpton to curate this guide to the dreamiest design hotels in the world.

Kimpton St. Honoré Paris

Dreamy Design

A recent addition to the City of Light, Kimpton St. Honoré Paris is an architectural marvel that was once home to the Samaritaine de Luxe department store in Paris’ gilded opera district. Renowned French architect and interior designer Charles Zana has worked his magic here – retaining the 1930s art deco spirit of this 1917 Nouveau building while adding 21st-century luxury design elements like a stunning rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city and an indoor heated pool. Drawing inspiration from chic Parisian apartments, St. Honore’s interiors – airy and light with pops of color – come with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, impressive artwork, and many have freestanding bathtubs and balconies overlooking the iconic city.

Design Standouts

  • Sequoia, the hotel’s stunning rooftop bar and garden (also by Zana) showcase Paris’ most iconic views of the Eiffel Tower and Opéra Garnier.
  • The building’s elegant art-deco staircase and vintage timber elevator (‘lift’) have been restored to their original grandeur.
  • La Suite Honoré on the hotel’s top floor is lavish with a dining lounge, private balcony, oversized tub, and magical views of the Eiffel Tower.

Why You’ll Never Want to Leave

The views, as noted, are among the best in Paris – from the privacy of your personal balcony to the seasonal tenth-floor rooftop bar and garden serving signature cocktails, French wines, light tapas, and fine champagne (well, naturally). Then, there is the heated indoor swimming pool – a rarity in Paris – and an intimate spa with two elegant treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, and customized treatments by the French brand CODAGE, Paris, made in the south of France. You’ll also fall in love with the playful, breezy vibe of Montecito, a casual brasserie with lush greenery and vibrant jewel tones by design legends Humber and Poyet which is a nod to contemporary California fare: fish tacos, langoustine tostadas, cobb salad, truffle pizza, and acai bowls.

Curated Experience

Tempting as it may be to immerse yourself in the gorgeous design, do venture out. With its location in the Opéra Garnier neighborhood, the hotel is only a short, 11-minute walk to the Louvre; and close to Place Vendôme and Tuileries Garden. Or take a bike and further explore the city and parks through a partnership between the hotel and nearby family-owned La Roue Libre bicycle shop.

Kimpton Vividora Barcelona

Dreamy Design

In opening the authentic, yet distinctly contemporary Kimpton Vividora Barcelona, IHG partnered with local interior design studio, El Equipo Creativo, to create unique spaces that celebrate the style and culture of the city. In the lobby, the motion of the nearby sea is reflected in a cascade of glass lamps and three stone reception desks reference the fountains in the Gothic patios. Throughout the hotel,  subtle, earthy tones also pay homage to Barcelona’s urban landscape while deep Mediterranean blues nod to its city meets coastal setting. Borrowing inspiration from upscale Barcelona apartments, the guest rooms and suites have warm leather headboards, blue-crafted ceramic bathroom tiles, locally designed furniture, bespoke bath products, and natural woods.

Design Standouts

  • Designed to connect locals with hotel guests, the design team created GOT Coffee & Cocktails on the hotel’s ground floor – serving local artisan coffee, Catalan cheeses, and small plates by day and natural wine, homemade vermouth, and signature cocktails by night. 
  • ‘Classic Blue,’  Pantone’s 2020 Color of the Year, is the highlight hue in the guest rooms evoking the swirling beauty of the sea.  
  • The bathrooms are super chic with warm flooring contrasting with cool stone surfaces.

Why You’ll Never Want to Leave

The sea is nearby, however, it will be hard to tear yourself away from Terraza de Vivi rooftop bar, with its stunning pool, luxe sun loungers, and lush greenery where you can indulge in signature cocktails and small bites while offering panoramic views of the city. At night enjoy delicious Mediterranean fine dining, steps away at Fauna, the hotel’s restaurant set one floor above the Gothic district. Here, the Chef has designed an innovative menu fusing Spanish cuisine with a modern twist.

Curated Experience

Venture out to explore the hotel’s neighborhood, the Gothic district. Take in the Picasso museum, meander through the labyrinthine streets replete with boutiques, buzzy restaurants, and stunning architecture. Walk or hop aboard a custom design-forward tokyobike or bespoke branded skateboard. Fun.

Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo

Dreamy Design 

Manhattan meets Tokyo at Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo, a 151-room hotel set on a buzzy intersection of dynamic Shinjuku. With design interiors led by the famed Rockwell Group, the hotel’s style fuses artisanal influences and traditions – clean lines, Japanese woodworks, Japanese Yukata and fan designed by Hiroko Takahashi, a permanent exhibitor at the V&A in London and famous for her abstract-designed kimonos, and metal floral inlays on charred headboard (a modern twist on Ikebana)- with a cool New York City vibe and bold pops of color. Here, guests will find sculptural plaster walls upon arrival, a three-dimensional folding wall in the lobby, and sublime rooms with oversized baths and incredible views of Shinjuku Chuo Park.

Design Standouts

  • Art exhibit space – unique to Tokyo – that works equally well as a wedding chapel or runway for a fashion show
  • The Neon ‘Oh Tokyo’ sign in the all-day cafe, The Jones Café | Bar, is a nod to the dazzling lights of the Shinjuku district. 
  • District Brasserie, Bar, Lounge, the hotel’s NY-inspired modern brasserie, features rich blue plaster walls and a luxe bar with leather-wrapped handrails.

Why You’ll Never Want to Leave

The hotel’s vibe is so quintessentially Japanese-zen, you’ll want to cocoon in the cozy touches and design elements.  We love that every room includes beautiful Japanese artist-print robes and yoga mats, so you can flow through asanas and mindful meditations. In contrast, the New York vibe of all-day cafe and bar, The Jones Café | Bar, with its amazing espresso and craft beers and classic American fare means you can immerse yourself in an international culinary experience without setting foot outside.

Curated Experience

Even if you’re not planning to get onboard a train, it’s worth the easy stroll to Harajuku Station just to people watch. The colorful array of sweet treats lining the way – cake pops in the shape of a kitten or panda-bear ice cream cones – also make it an experience to remember.  For a more tranquil Zen moment in the city, take a bike ride around Yoyogi Park, famous for its beautiful cherry blossoms in spring, and adjacent to the Meiji-Jingu Shrine, the most iconic shrine in Tokyo and draws millions of visitors every year.

Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok

Dreamy Design

An immersive, whimsical artful design experience awaits at Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok, an urban oasis located in Bangkok’s upscale Lumpini district. The hotel was designed by local famed interior design firm, P49 Deesign, which also curated and commissioned many of the stunning art pieces lining the walls, public spaces, and closets of this 362-room (there are also 131 luxury serviced apartments) property. From the bird-themed wall illustrations gracing the guest rooms to the kimono-esque bathrobes designed by Belgian-born artist Christan Develter for Tube Gallery and hand-made by Thai artisans found in each closet, the connection between the hotel’s design and Thai artisans runs deep. Maa-Lai, derived from the traditional Thai floral garland symbolic of welcome, good health, and respect, honor guests and the evidence is everywhere. Rooms are minimalist with organic fabrics in a soothing white, cream and neutral palette and the bathrooms are spacious, many with oversized, freestanding tubs.

Design Standouts

  • The stunning embroidery in the lobby, depicting stitch by stitch, the Rossukon flower, a year-round Thai blossom, and the braided rope sculpture inspired by the joy that rain brings to farmers and their crops. 
  • The guest rooms design celebrates the city’s rich history and urban creative scene through a minimalist blend of handcrafted Thai textiles with oversized modern furnishings, while the metallic touches reflect the city’s eccentric side
  • The outdoor infinity-edged pool hidden in the hotel’s third-floor ‘secret’ garden.

Why You’ll Never Want to Leave

The hotel’s amaranth spa by HARNN fuses ancient wisdom with modern pampering techniques like the 120-minute ‘The Signature,’ which includes a foot bath ritual, rose skin purifying scrub, lymphatic drainage massage, express facial and hair nourishment. Keep the zen vibe going by lounging around after in the spa’s colorblock robes handmade in northern Thailand.

Curated Experience

Explore the hotel’s luxurious neighborhood of Lumpini, home to fine-dining restaurants and high-end homes and villas, some housing ambassadors, and dignitaries. For a more adventurous outing, have the concierge arrange a visit to the Pak Khlong flower market. The largest flower market in Bangkok, Pak Khlong situated in Old City, is a sea of orchids, lilies, roses, and every flower imaginable. It’s also close to Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, a must-see.

Kimpton Fitzroy London

Dreamy Design

Stretching an entire city block along the eastern side of Russell Square in Bloomsbury, Kimpton Fitzroy London looks every bit the grande dame with its historical turrets, arches, and life-size statues of British queens. While inside, contemporary interiors beckon the discerning traveler to settle in and stay a while. The building was originally designed by architect Charles Fitzroy Doll in 1898, and recently modernized by designer Tara Bernerd & Partners (whose monograph is placed on each coffee table) and features contemporary art and textiles by British artist Kit Miles. Guest rooms come with dreamy beds, warm taupe textures, and exquisite attention to detail in every corner – from luxurious bedding and waterfall showers to toiletries by award-winning perfume designer Azzi Glasser.

Design Standouts

  • The lobby is rich and opulent with dark woods and an original 1898 marble-tiled floor depicting the constellations of the zodiac. 
  • Fitz’s Bar by designer Russell Sage features opulent fabrics and antique curios as well as a giant disco ball and burlesque touches.
  • The Palm Court restaurant features a soaring glass ceiling that floods the room with light, and is designed with chic comfortable seating and loads of greenery. The newly opened Galvin Bar & Grill offers a modern-day approach on British food with a menu that focuses on ethically sourced produce in striking surroundings. 

Why You’ll Never Want to Leave

Immersing yourself in a little slice of London history makes it hard to want to step out into the modern world. Add to that Fitz’s cocktail bar (named after Charles Fitzroy Doll) with its throwback velour sofas, shiny disco ball, and famous for its negronis and especially its twist on a white negroni (with a berry-filled ice cube). Then there are the comfy guest rooms. We especially love the corner suite, with its walk-in waterfall shower and indulgent roll-top bath tub offering amazing views over Russell Square.

Curated Experience

Continue the architecture theme with a visit to the John Soane Museum, formerly the home of the neo-classical architect John Soane. The museum holds many drawings and models of Soane’s projects and his personal collections of paintings, drawings, and antiquities. To truly step back in time, explore the museum by candlelight.

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Edinburgh

Dreamy Design

Made up of seven interconnected Georgian townhouses, Kimpton Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, a 199-room hotel in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, New Town, oozes mid-century glamour thanks to its red-retro telephones, dark woods, vintage vinyl record players, and cocktail shakers scattered about. Throughout the hotel, which is also an ode to historic Scotland, plush fabrics, velvet curtains, and layers of tartan pillows and throws add a textural color pop. The suites are especially fun with their roll-top bathtubs and decadent beds with handmade mattresses. We love, too, the curated art, and stacks upon stacks of vintage books, celebrating the golden age of travel.

Design Standouts

  • The glass-roofed Aizle restaurant, once an open courtyard, is now an airy, light-filled indoor/outdoor dining space that’s perfect for Scotland’s moody climate and offers an ultra-seasonal, sustainable menu by up-and-coming Chef Stuart Ralston. 
  • Updated Edwardian bathrooms featuring old-school fittings, tongue-and-groove paneling, and glossy dark subway tiles.
  • The elegant plasterwork and marble fireplaces in guestrooms.

Why You’ll Never Want to Leave

The Spa at Charlotte Square, which has undergone a $1.7 million renovation is reason alone to never want to leave. Treatments are by ishga; classes (yoga, Muay Thai, spin) are plentiful and we love the mood-lit pool and steam and sauna water circuit. Start the day with a light breakfast in The Garden – eggs to order – and end it, after spa treatments at BABA, the hotel’s acclaimed Middle Eastern restaurant serving Mezze-style sharing plates (pitta and dips, shawarma, and Scottish lamb cooked over charcoal) or for a more formal dining experience, try Aizle’s six-course tasting menu. You can even get married here – indoors in an 18th-century Georgian townhouse, with original features or outdoors in the hotel’s stunning private garden.

Curated Experience

Reserve the hotel’s Tesla chauffeur service to explore New Town with its chic, cosmopolitan vibe, and Old Town’s twisty medieval streets with views of the iconic Edinburgh castle. Also, visit the Stockbridge area where you can stroll from Dean Village along Water of Leith to find an amazing artisanal food market; hike Arthur’s Seat for panoramic views of the city; or secure a coveted table at The Devil’s Advocate, a hidden gem tucked away on Rose Street North Lane.

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