As Design Hotels™ wraps a bow on the year, we do so with the welcome addition of seven new member hotels that span the globe—as ever, unified by exemplary concepts. From Portugal’s Douro River to the far reaches of China, join us in celebrating a year well-curated with these holistically centered expressions of creativity.
Set majestically upon the banks of the beautiful Douro River, Douro41’s harmonious dialogue between rock and soil, river and edifice, recalls the minimalism of a traditional vineyard terrace and yet is augmented by glass that accentuates its views. As the only Design Hotels™ member in Toronto, the cosmopolitan Canadian city is perfectly reflected at The Drake Hotel. A cultural institution in its own right, the 19-room, one suite hotel is defined by live music, wellness and creative workshops, jam sessions, artist talks, yoga, and more. A jaunt to the American west coast now means respite on the craggy Californian shores at Timber Cove Resort.
An extensive renovation strongly emphasizes the property’s iconic architectural bones and artistic soul. Further south, in the historic heart of León, a 19th century casona has been transformed into Hotel Emiliano. Preserved by the National Institute of Anthropology and History, the hotel retains many of its charming original elements such as the patio with its wooden and clay pergola, quarry stone details, and framed doors and windows.
At Hotel Alaia in Chile, a 12-suite property puts guests just moments from one of the country’s top surf spots—a picturesque stretch of coastline and natural wonder in itself. Rock chimneys, a panoramic lobby, and an endless tapestry of native woods and black rock characterize this low-impact, future-friendly property. When eastern aesthetics and holistic wellness philosophies beckon, two distinct Chinese retreats fit the bill.
At Tsingpu Tulou Retreat architect Hua Li, of TAO (Trace Architecture Office), emphasizes the essential meaning of place by presenting an exterior that seems untouched by time. Tsingpu Yangzhou Retreat on other hand is a lyrical concrete tale retold, informed by Neri & Hu’s fresh take on traditional Chinese architecture.