These stunning properties around the world tick all our boxes for clever design, standout architecture and style. Read on to find out about the most incredible design-driven hotels to visit this year.
4 design-driven hotels to add to your bucket list
Maroma, A Belmond Hotel
The stunning Maroma, A Belmond Hotel on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast is undergoing a massive transformation. Come May, the 81ha, 72-key property that first opened in 1995 will be reimagined with elements of Mayan culture under the direction of London- based designer Tara Bernerd. It will feature 10 new waterfront suites among its 72 rooms set against the lush forests of the Riveria Maya on a private stretch of white sandy beach. Using indigenous materials, local craftsmen will create authentic aesthetics that pay tribute to the locale. The renovated spa is a collaboration with Guerlain that is full of expansive, biophilic spaces – allowing guests to feel the healing energies of nature.
Kimpton Bamboo Grove Suzhou
Known as the Venice of the Orient for its picturesque waterways, Suzhou is also well- known for its charming Unesco World Heritage classical gardens designed to be a microcosm of the natural world. Launched last November by the IHG group, the Kimpton Bamboo Grove Suzhou pays tribute to the city’s famous gardens and the nearby Prince Zhong’s Mansion in its design and landscaping. Strategically positioned floor-to-ceiling windows partition private and common spaces from the property’s garden, canal and water features, with all areas flaunting a view. World-renowned and Singapore-headquartered SCDA Architects is responsible for the interiors, showcasing a composition of clean lines and muted neutrals punctuated by pops of colours and juxtaposed by soft patterns.
Saint Gervais Hotel & Spa
Located in a spa village at the foot of the French side of Mont Blanc is the Saint Gervais Hotel & Spa, which has just opened this January as the first hotel under a new brand by the Accor hospitality group, the Handwritten Collection. Comprising a group of individual, independent hotels, each with their own style, design and personality, no two hotels or stays are the same. While the Saint Gervais Hotel & Spa, located adjacent to the Mont Blanc Tramway near ski slopes and hot springs, was built as a historic home at the turn of the 20th century, the decor is nothing like a typical alpine lodge. It is filled with art and artefacts that channel the Art Nouveau movement, and updated with contemporary touches and cool, sexy vibes.
Opening its doors this March within a restored, storied 107-year-old sandstone building a short hop away from the Sydney Opera House is Capella Sydney. To inject a touch of the contemporary into the heritage property, natural elements such as a tall green wall with 70 floral species and a canopy of weeping fig trees are planted throughout the location. Frette-draped beds and standalone tubs are par for the course in the 197 guestrooms and suites. The F&B outlets are equally dreamy-looking. Even teetotallers should check out the McRae Bar, named in honour of the building’s original architect George McRae. A 1920s-inspired drinking den reimagined for the 21st century, the watering hole is absolutely wicked-looking.