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Destinations

10 of the most breathtaking design hotels in the world

From mid century modern oases to mountain extravagances, these design hotels represent the best in sophistication and splendor.

by Briana Seftel

Frank Gehry one said, “architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” That’s a motto to live by when it comes to designing a hotel. From gilded 19th century wonders to steel and glass in the desert, these 10 hotels are some of the best examples of timeless design.

Biltmore Miami

The Biltmore Miami

Leave party-crazed South Beach behind in favor for stately and refined. “Built in 1926, the iconic Biltmore (a national landmark) brings timeless luxury to a hotel scene overwhelmed by skin-deep glitz” (Oyster.com).

Palm Springs
Palm Springs

Parker Palm Springs

An extensive renovation in 2007 gave a much needed facelift to a Palm Springs institution. With two outdoor pools, a full-service spa and stunning interiors designed by Jonathan Adler, the Parker is at once classic and modern — Palm Springs in a nutshell. Surrounded by 13 acres of lush, green grounds, the Parker remains a favorite of privacy-seeking celebs. Tablet says this town, after all, used to be where the stars fled to from Hollywood—and the Parker is a conscious attempt to recapture the glamor of those bygone days.”

Hotel 1898

An extensive renovation in 2007 gave a much needed facelift to a Palm Springs institution. With two outdoor pools, a full-service spa and stunning interiors designed by Jonathan Adler, the Parker is at once classic and modern — Palm Springs in a nutshell. Surrounded by 13 acres of lush, green grounds, the Parker remains a favorite of privacy-seeking celebs. Tablet says this town, after all, used to be where the stars fled to from Hollywood—and the Parker is a conscious attempt to recapture the glamor of those bygone days.”

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Park Hyatt Tokyo

Designed by famed architect Kenzō Tange, the Park Hyatt practically floats above the frenetic city below. “Lose yourself in the dizzyingly hypnotic luxury of this Shinjuku lodge, star of Sofia Coppola’s iconic film, Lost in Translation” (BlackBook).

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

You can expect any hotel in Abu Dhabi (one of the richest cities in the world) to be above and beyond. Notable on the list of top hotels is the Yas Viceroy, a futuristic abode looking more like an airport hanger than hotel. Built around a Formula 1 circuit, stand out features include a LED canopy, 11 dining options, a traditional hammam and access to a 18-hole golf course. Travel + Leisure says, “this 499-room hotel has brave-new-world bravado and future-is-now daring to spare.” When in Abu Dhabi, excess is expected.

The Langham Chicago
The Langham Chicago
The Langham Chicago

The Langham

“Architect Mies Van De Rohe’s River North centerpiece the Langham Hotel is simply bursting with luxury” (Time Out). Van De Rohe is considered among the pioneers of modern architecture, along with Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier.

Nashville

Hermitage Hotel

Named one of the Historic Hotels of America, the Beaux Art Hermitage is a bastion of elegance in honky tonk land. “The Rolls Royce of Nashville hotels, the Hermitage has been a favorite overnight stop for presidents, visiting royalty, and a slew of celebrities” (Concierge.com).

Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Machu Picchu may get all the attention, but we think this hotel in Peru is a world wonder in of itself. “One of Cusco’s top hotels, this beautifully restored 1592 monastery of San Antonio Abad is a national historic monument” (Fodor’s).

Ett Hem

Ett Hem

Ett Hem isn’t the typical modern, Scandinavian hotel when you think of Stockholm, but that’s why we love it. Looking like something out of Architectural Digest, the 12-room hotel (translating to “home” ) is just about the prettiest home away from home. In a townhome dating back to 1910 and dripping in pure country luxury, Ett Hem reflects the city’s desire to step away from harsh design and into something much more appealing. Travel + Leisure notes, “we especially appreciated how every member of the staff, from the chef to the housekeeper, stopped to offer us a warm välkommen.”

The Prince

Melbourne is one of the coolest cities in the world right now, so why shouldn’t their hotels reflect that? “Cutting-edge design, contemporary artworks and sculptural furniture, and spare yet inviting luxury make this boutique hotel perfect for aficionados of unfussy elegance” (Fodor’s).

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