BERLIN, Germany – Whether it’s Mediterranean warmth, Caribbean cool, dramatic snowscapes or big city thrills that engage attention this season, Design Hotels has them all.
“We are excited to welcome ten exceptional and diverse properties to our portfolio. We have not only increased our presence in major hubs like New York and London, but found natural luxury retreats in St. Barts in the Caribbean and in Rovinj, Croatia,” says Design Hotels Founder and CEO Claus Sendlinger. “Although different in look and feel, the hotels all share one characteristic: they are deeply rooted in their neighborhood. They act as ambassadors for their region, offering guests meaningful experiences along with a connection to their surroundings.”
Grand Goes Glam
Legendary hotels in some of the world’s most glamorous cities attain new-age relevance thanks to careful nurturing and original renovation work. In New York, this enormous task was carried out by the artistic touch of Julian Schnabel for Gramercy Park Hotel. Kissed by the bounteous (and city’s only) private park, the curated art flourishing inside the property is an enviable contemporary collection. In the UNESCO-listed historic heart of Bern is Hotel Schweizerhof whose understated luxury and reclaimed glory also includes tech essentials for today’s traveler. Therefore stuccoed ceilings, quaint Juliet balconies and grand chandeliers bestow the right kind of majesty to cozy modern furniture and conveniences. Across the channel in London is Blakes Hotel, the iconic property from Anouska Hempel that has recently undergone a multimillion pound refurbishment. With a fusion of eastern and western styles, the hotel rooms’ eclectic design transports guests to other worlds and eras. In Barcelona, the 1920s-Chicago-skyscraper-inspired Grand Hotel Central goes back to the 20th century to invoke the romance of Catalonian high society, yet stays at the top of modern opulence with its rooftop pool. While in a quiet enclave hidden from the bustle of the wealthy Salamanca district in Madrid sits Hotel Único, a tranquil 19th century palace that belies the heart of a sophisticated, with-it hotel. Find iconic modern furniture alongside luxurious fabrics, mosaic floors and a quaint garden.
At the other end of the spectrum, Design Hotels has fantastic new remote destinations. Perfect for the time of year, three are winter wonderlands: Nira Alpina, a sanctuary on the Swiss slopes, offers warm hospitality and an enviable ski in / ski out location. Opening in November 2011, it is just five kilometers from St Moritz and a great year-round destination. In Zermatt, Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort is a mini hamlet composed of five chalets each contemporary yet cozy, where clean lines and expansive interiors converge with local materials like felt and loden. Situated in Kitzbühel, the bosom of the Austrian Alps, is Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort, a farmhouse converted into an elegant retreat with a large spa and Tyrolean-style restaurant. In warmer climes, showing off Caribbean lifestyle at its best, is Hotel La Banane on St. Barts, an homage to ’50s funk in vibrant colors. The nine bungalows of this intimate resort are named after well-known modernist architects from Pierre Jeanneret to Jean Prouvé. Design Hotels™’ first member in Croatia is Hotel Lone in Rovinj. Thanks to the building’s Y-shape, guests can enjoy uninterrupted views of the island-speckled coastline or the historical Mediterranean forest from each of the 248 rooms and suites.
The complete list of ten new members with opening dates is below.
FRENCH WEST INDIES
La Banane, St. Barts (November 2009)
Gramercy Park Hotel, New York (August 2006)
Hotel Kitzhof Mountain Design Resort, Kitzbühel (January 2005)
Hotel Lone, Rovinj (July 2011)
Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona (January 2006)
Hotel Único Madrid (April 2011)
Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort, Zermatt (December 2009)
Hotel Schweizerhof Bern (May 2011)
Nira Alpina, Silvaplana (November 2011)
Blakes Hotel, London (refurbishment: 2011)