Five of the Best Design Hotels around the World

From ultra-glam new openings to a couple of old(ish), rough luxe favourites, we’ve picked out a handful of top hotels for interior-lovers...


Istanbul Edition

Last month’s opening of the Istanbul Edition attracted a bevy of big names from fashion and film – from Bella Freud and Richard Nicoll to Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger. Style-wise, Ian Schrager’s latest design hotel is one part traditional Turkish – channelling the city’s Byzantine and Ottoman influences with a lot of glittering gold and silver on show – and one part sleek, understated and contemporary, coming together into a very beautiful whole. (And it’s not every day you can say that about a Marriott Hotel...)


Faena Hotel + Universe, Buenos Aires

Unlike the ‘Starck by name, stark by nature’ minimalism of St Martin’s Lane and the Sanderson, Faena Hotel + Universe is a full-blown flamboyant fantasyland. While it veers from the sublime (plush velvet, glinting gilt edges and general baroque excess and belle époque swirliness) to the ridiculous (unicorns’ heads adorning the walls of the restaurant), it never stops being an awful lot of fun.


Hotel Bellechasse, Paris

And there’s certainly nothing stark about Hotel Bellechasse, Christian Lacroix’s Paris design hotel. With rooms featuring huge motifs of dragonflies, moths, medieval courtiers and swirling astrological symbols alongside vibrant splashes of colour, the whole place has a wonderfully dream-like quality running through it.

Hotel Sezz, St Tropez

Opened in 2010, like its Paris sister hotel, Hotel Sezz is the brainchild of Christophe Pillet and Shahé Kalaidjian. One of our picks of Cote d’Azur hotels fit for a movie star, its colour palette of creams, greys and whites blends with stainless steel, wood and polished concrete, while classic pieces of furniture (from the likes of Emeco, Porro and Oluce) were picked out by a consultancy team of Italian interior design editors. It’s all very, very stylish, in other words.

Ace Hotel, New York

Not for the Ace Hotel New York the design hotel standards of pared-down minimalism or florid flourishes; it’s a case of gritty urban chic all the way. Opened in 2009, its rough luxe styling mixes a liberal dash of vintage in the communal areas, like artfully battered Chesterfields and even a stuffed animal or two, with striking graphics, stencils and exposed pipe work in the rooms. All at (fairly) hipster-friendly prices, too.

Looking for something a little homelier than our pick of five of the best design hotels? Check out our favourite budget boutique hotels. Or see ELLE escapes' full collection of places to stay.

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