15 fashion designer hotels around the world

Luxurious stays in rooms designed by Missoni, Bulgari, Lacroix, Versace, De La Renta, and more.

Highlights
Weinmeisterstraße 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Run by the famous Spanish shoe brand, Casa Camper is a stylish boutique hotel neatly situated in the middle of Mitte’s hip fashion and culture district. Designed by Jordi Tió and Fernando Amat—the founder of Barcelona’s iconic design store Vinçon—the devilishly good-looking interior is defined by clean lines and striking furniture set against rust-red walls. The rooms are deliberately minimal, with wooden floors and slick designer furnishings, but are decidedly comfortable and include eco-friendly touches such as water-recycling showers. Instead of an in-room minibar concept, the hotel offers a 24-hour buffet that is free for guests. Plus, the hotel’s prime location ensures easy access to the swanky drinking, dining, and shopping options in the neighborhood.
94 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach QLD 4217, Australia
Luxury and opulence define Donatella Versace’s fashion sense. This Roman-style palace with Brazilian marble, Italian mosaics, and gold columns, is no departure from her aesthetic. Details from the custom bath products to gold-and-fuchsia-patterned upholstery were conceived by the designer. From $492. 61/(0) 7-5509-8000. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue.
171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW, UK
From the moment the smiling doorman ushered us into the sleek, burnished lobby of the Bulgari, my sister and I felt like a couple of celebrities taking a discreet trip to the capital city. The type of luxury you get here is of a very distinct kind: a feeling that no expense has been spared in the gleaming dark wood of the corridors and the glow of gold tile around the spa; the soft, low lighting throughout the hotel made us feel like we were in a place that values discretion and sophistication above all things. The service was fantastic—reminiscent of the policy of the famous Harrods, opposite, that no matter how bizarre the customer’s request, they will do their very best to fulfill it. And as for the rooms—well, my sister said she’d never slept in a better bed in her life. And that seems to sum up the Bulgari ethos: Whether it’s the food or the spa treatments or simply having a bath in the gorgeous marble bathroom, they want it to be the best experience you’ve ever had of that kind.
Symphony Style Mall Arabian Gulf Road Salmiya, Salmiya 22012, Kuwait
“Buongiorno, Signor Farley,” said Umberto, the head waiter at Hotel Missoni’s Cucina restaurant. By the beginning of the third day of my stay, the staff knew my name. And what I drank with breakfast. An espresso doppio was delivered to my table a minute later. “Prego,” the server said.

You’d think I was in Italy. In fact, I was 2,500 miles southeast of the country’s heel, in the capital of diminutive, oil-rich Kuwait. Opened in spring 2011, Hotel Missoni, owned by the eponymous fashion and home furnishings house, is one of many designer-conceived hotels that have popped up around the globe.

I have to confess: I have a complicated relationship with fashion. Maybe it’s related to my childhood. (Isn’t everything?) In the seventh grade, I wore a T-shirt to school that read, “My Son Is in the Navy.” My trend-conscious peers, who clearly had no sense of irony, laughed at me until the final bell rang. When I wore bowling shoes to high school, I was similarly mocked. How would I do in a hotel designed by a couturier?

I was picked up at the airport in Kuwait City in a Maserati (a complimentary perk for all Missoni guests). Not a bad start.

The property (like its sister hotel in Edinburgh, which opened in June 2009) is the brainchild of the Missoni family matriarch, Rosita. The hotel’s 169 rooms were designed to feel like her home. Compact Hans Wegner wishbone chairs and tuliplike Eero Saarinen–designed tables rest on hardwood floors, and everything—espresso cups, towels, even the swimming pool—displays the colorful striped patterns Missoni is known for. Generous helpings of turquoise, gold, and beige are splashed throughout the hotel to evoke the bayfront landscape outside, and every room looks out on the ever-expanding Kuwait City skyline. Like many things Italian, the hotel is simple and comfortable.

The Missoni team, which is fine-tuning its approach before opening hotels in larger markets, learns fast. There are no design hotel clichés here: no faucets with the function designed out of them, no overly formal staff. “Are those Camper shoes?” a waiter asked me one day at breakfast. I nodded. “Like bowling shoes,” he said. “Very cool.” Here, it seemed, fashion and I got along great.

965/2577-0000, from $414. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue. See more fashion hotels around the world.

Two E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
For a New York experience that’s equally extravagant and convenient, visitors should consider a stay at this five-star hotel, located just blocks away from Midtown Manhattan sites like Central Park, the Museum of Modern Art, and Carnegie Hall. Built in 1904 by John Jacob Astor, the Beaux-Arts building houses 239 rooms across 20 floors, plus an incredibly prized means of accessing each one—an original brass-and-marble staircase runs from the lobby level to the 19th floor (a development that cost Astor $1 million of his $5.5 million investment in the hotel). Once guests do land in their rooms, it will be tough to leave thanks to the signature butler service, available 24/7 for any number of requests, from the everyday to the once-in-a-lifetime. One of your asks should most definitely be a reservation at the on-site King Cole Bar, where bartender Fernand Petiot allegedly invented the Bloody Mary in 1934.
Burj Khalifa - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Giorgio Armani chose the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, as the site of his first namesake hotel, which is swathed in the Milanese designer’s sober minimalism and signature bronze, brown, gray, and taupe color scheme. Guest rooms occupy the first eight floors, plus levels 38 and 39 of the soaring 163-story tower; the hotel’s curving floor-to-ceiling windows show off panoramic views of Dubai’s surreal desert-meets-skyscraper skyline. Armani-clad “personal lifestyle managers” assist guests with everything from delivering cappuccino and complimentary Armani/Dolci chocolate to arranging art gallery tours and desert safaris. The top-to-bottom branding is an inseparable part of the experience: Nearly every object in the hotel—toiletries, pencils, even sugar cubes—bears the Armani logo. For guests who want to take the look home, it’s easy to hit the in-house Armani Privé boutique. For those seeking more brand variety, Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping malls, sits right next door.
Loma de Marion, Cartagena, Cartagena Province, Bolivar, Colombia
The seven-room Tcherassi Hotel and Spa is an ode to modernism set in a renovated 250-year-old mansion. Colombian-born fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi named each room after a fancy fabric (the trilevel penthouse is called the Gazar). After a chocolate-particle scrub at the spa, head to the rooftop Aquabar for a champagne-and-cognac Silvia Royale cocktail beneath the stars. —Milena Damjanov From $432. Calle del Sargento Mayor N 6-21, 57/5-664-4445, tcherassihotels.com. This appeared in the March/April 2011 issue.
Brook St, Mayfair London W1K 4HR, UK
It says a lot about the values of Claridge’s that the hotel once refused Katharine Hepburn entry because she was wearing trousers (strictly not allowed for women at that time). Instead, one of the world’s greatest actresses was asked, politely, if she would enter through the back door. Though this outdated tradition no longer stands, there is much about the historic Mayfair hotel that remains timeless. The downstairs Art Deco lobby looks as elegant as the day it was built in 1931, thanks to a renovation at the turn of this century. And the staff, who got their moment in the spotlight when the BBC aired its Inside Claridge’s documentary in 2012, continue to busy themselves, discreetly meeting the wants and whims of every guest. Upstairs, the story is slightly different, with the hallways and corridors starting to show their age. But the hotel’s willingness to work with a trove of contemporary designers—Diane von Furstenberg, India Mahdavi, and David Linley among them—has ensured the rooms, and the hotel, have not been left to languish entirely in the past.
Jl. Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Set on cliffs above the Indian Ocean, this posh resort is made up of 59 spacious villas that blend local stone and wood with Bulgari-made fabrics. It’s a luxurious combination of contemporary Italian design and Balinese traditional architecture. From $880. 62/(0) 361-847-1000.
Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Designed by Oscar de la Renta, who was also a guiding force in the original vision for Puntacana Resort, Tortuga Bay Hotel has 13 freestanding villas comprising 30 suites, each with Frette linens, a kitchenette, and a balcony or terrace with views of the Caribbean or La Cana Golf Club. Hotel guests landing at Punta Cana International receive fast-track passage through customs, pickup by a private driver, personal concierge check-in, and keys to a golf cart for getting to the resort’s Oscar de la Renta Tennis Club, two golf courses, and Six Senses Spa.
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