It is no hyperbole to state that we are the most well-travelled generation in history. So much so that it’s no longer uncommon to jump on a transatlantic flight from Paris to New York for a weekend break. Some might even fly from Singapore to Melbourne for dinner. Best Design Guides inspired by Wallpaper shortlist made a selection of the 10 Best Urban Hotels, check it out!
This unprecedented level of jet-setting poses its own unique challenges, with urban hotels – particularly those in urban centres – vying for differentiation, scrambling to make a play for that prized check-in. Business centres and mediocre gym facilities are now banned. In their place, says Maria Kuhn, vice president of public relations at Kempinski, are wiretap blockers and personalised fitness programmes. Convenience is a priority, with location transport access, check-in process, intuitive electronic connections and a whip smart concierge topping the list.
Thompson, Chicago, US
Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast District, Thompson Chicago is the 11th addition to the brand’s expanding hotel portfolio. Interiors are by British designer Tara Bernerd, who was also responsible for the brand’s London property, Belgraves, and she has ensured they complement the industrial setting of the existing building, introducing a bold autumnal colour palette in petrol blues, blacks and deep reds, with luxurious finishings in rich velvet materials.
Opening Date: December 2013; Rates: From $305
Address: 21E Bellevue Place; tel: 1.312 266 2100; www.thompsonchicago.com
See Also: The most luxurious Paris hotels
Ace Hotel, Los Angeles, US
The Ace Hotel is housed in what was formerly the United Artists building, built in 1927 by architect Howard C Crane. Atelier Ace and local outfit Commune Design stripped the interior down to its minimalist core to reveal poured concrete ceilings and columns that enhance the colourful rooms featuring Isamu Noguchi lamps and Pendleton blankets. The structure also contains the opulent Artists Theatre, which the hotel has preserved for use as an event space.
Opening Date: January 2014; Rates: From $379
929 South Broadway; tel: 1.213 623 3233; www.acehotel.com
The Ludlow, New York, US
The Ludlow is another hotel in the hospitality portfolio of Sean MacPherson and BD Hotels (see the Marlton Hotel next), though it’s their first in the city’s Lower East Side. Once a derelict building abandoned in the 1980s by its original developers after the financial crash, MacPherson saw potential in its solid red brick façade and factory casement windows and rescued it, transforming it with steel and glass doors, marble mosaic floors and a grand limestone fireplace in the lobby. The ground floor entrance leads straight through to a rear courtyard, a rare amenity in Manhattan.
Opening Date: June 2014; Rates: From $295
Address: 180 Ludlow Street; tel: 1.212 432 1818; www.ludlowhotel.com
Villa Rosa Kempinski, Nairobi, Kenya
The rapidly expanding Kempinski group has recently opened the doors of its second Kenyan property, this time in a prime city centre location in Nairobi. Architects Symbion, one of East Africa’s biggest firms, are behind the imposing pink edifice, while international design consultancy DWP oversaw the interiors.
Opening date: December 2013; Rates: From $298
Address: Chiromo Road; tel: 254.20 360 3000; www.kempinski.com
Hotel Hotel, Canberra, Australia
The idiosyncratically named Hotel Hotel occupies a section of the Nishi complex in the New Action village. Don Cameron and Nectar Efkarpidis designed the hotel in keeping with the complex’s ethos of sustainability and design excellence. Its location allows guests to enjoy lakeside and mountain views while surrounded by a highly active arts and culture scene.
Opening date: November 2013; Rates: From A$275
Address: 25 Edinburgh Avenue; tel: 61.2 6287 6287; www.hotel-hotel.com.au
The Temple Hotel Beijing, China
Tucked away in the tightly packed streets surrounding the Forbidden City, The Temple Hotel’s evocative past as a Qing dynasty temple is in stark contrast with the contemporary architecture and renovation that was recently recognised with a UNESCO award for cultural heritage conservation. Original wood and tiles were used throughout the restoration, and a contemporary lighting element was introduced by Ingo Maurer.
Opening Date: November 2013; Rates: From CNY 2,133
Address: 23 Shatan North Street; tel: 86.10 8401 5680; www.thetemplehotel.com
Sofitel So, Singapore, Singapore
The new Sofitel So is housed in one of Singapore’s rare gems, the former Eastern Extension Telegraph building, dating from 1927. Interiors are by local design firm Miaja and the hotel’s signature designer Karl Lagerfeld. Highlights include a dramatic hexagonal light installation in the lobby and a gold-tiled infinity rooftop pool.
Opening Date: June 2014; Rates: From SGD $130
Address: 35 Robinson Road; tel: 65.670 16800; www.sofitel.com
Okko Hotel, Nantes, France
This fast-expanding hotel concept was the vision of three men, Accor Group co-founder Paul Dubrule, ex-Suitehotel CEO Oliver Devys and designer Patrick Norguet. This idea is to eschew the traditional hotel attributes – there is no reception desk, no breakfast room, no lounge, just one living space, the Club, which is staffed 24/7. A kitchen offers snacks and refreshments throughout the day, and a business corner houses two computers and a printer. Selected items are on sale in an in-house shop, and a curated selection of newspapers, books and magazines are available.
Opening Date: January 2014; Rates: From €125
Address: 15 Rue de Strasbourg; tel: 33.2 52 20 00 70; www.okkohotels.com
JK Place, Rome, Italy
Housed in what was once Rome’s school of architecture, JK place Roma – the third property from hotelier Ori Kafri following ones in Capri and Florecne – is once again designed by architect Michele Bönan. Minutes from the city’s best shops and sights, the hotel’s elegant bedrooms feature mid-century furniture, sculptures and marble with bold splashes of colour.
Opening date: September 2013; Rates: From €600
Address: 30 Via di Monte d’Oro; tel: 39.06 98 26 34; www.jkroma.com
Edition Hotel, London, UK
Close to Oxford Street, the London Edition is the second offering from Ian Schrager’s new pairing with Marriott (following the Istanbul Edition) and is housed within the grand confines of the old Berners Street Hotel. Key details have been meticulously restored by Schrager and international design firm Yabu Pushelberg to feature a warm palette of dusky rose, khaki and mustard, elegantly furnished with eclectic pieces inspired by Salvador Dali and Donald Judd.
Opening Date: October 2013; Rates: From £268
Address: 10 Berners Street; tel: 44.20 7781 0000; www.edition-hotels.marriott.com
We hope you enjoy this 10 Best Urban Hotels all over the world from New York, Paris to London! Best Design Guides pretends to be an inspiration for all the travellers and design lovers!
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