At Aurea in Tola, Rivas, situated along Nicaragua’s stunning Emerald Coast, architect Carlos Ayala combined reinforced concrete with white and gray stucco surfaces and pine to masterful effect. His aesthetic vision creates an ideal ambiance for onsite one-on-one yoga sessions as well as workshops on how to make local staples like tortillas and hibiscus juice. Further experiences in the area include world-class surfing, sunset horseback rides, visits to local farms, and jungle walks. Explorations into different natural environments are also offered at Minos Beach Art Hotel in Mirabello Bay, Crete, where waterfront whitewashed bungalows and gardens stretch across 2.5 kilometers of coastline. From here, guests can enjoy curated sailing trips and excursions to the island’s Vai Palm Forest or Richtis Gorge, while onsite guided art walks shed light on the hotel’s open-air museum and mythology classes immerse guests within the tales of ancient gods.
Likewise, a lush Mediterranean landscape can be found not far from Palma de Mallorca’s Concepció by Nobis, where the green accents found throughout the Wingårdhs-designed property were inspired by the island’s Tramuntana mountains. The hotel is situated in an enviable location where the Old Town meets Santa Catalina, and journeys into both the island’s pristine nature and urban jungle are equally easily accessible. Onsite, guests can also indulge in chef Xema Álvarez’s locally inspired cuisine that fuses Spanish-style sharing plates with contemporary riffs on Mallorcan recipes at restaurant Xalest. Elsewhere, in the Karaköy district of Istanbul, The Bank Hotel Istanbul’s rooftop Terrace Restaurant boasts unbeatable views of the Bosphorus, Hagia Sophia, and the Blue Mosque, while its status as a former bank sets a stately scene for experiencing contemporary art and design. The building’s former vault now hosts a wine cellar where guests can take part in tastings, and the hotel is also home to a spa with traditional treatment rooms, a sauna, and steam rooms as well as a standout classic white-marble Turkish hammam.
Across the Atlantic, two suites at the Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel in Los Angeles offer unforgettable experiences in and of themselves: one has a pool in the living room and the other is fashioned from a former basketball court. The hotel is housed in a reimagined Californian Renaissance Revival–style building with a trio of dining destinations, all of which are helmed by James Beard Award–winning chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne. High-caliber creative happenings, innovative yoga sessions, and Portuguese flavored menus at Caldo Verde restaurant are also prime attractions. Further north, the recently re-opened and reinvigorated Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs in the historic Napa Valley town of Calistoga offers an upscale yet laid back, holistic, and fun environment for visitors and locals alike. Original mud baths from the 1950s, filled with volcanic ash–infused local mud, and three geothermal pools are now joined by an outdoor spa garden with cabana treatment rooms; CBD-infused, sound-based, aromatherapy experiences; and the House of Better restaurant.
The first Design Hotels member in West and Central Africa, La Maison Palmier in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivorie, places a focus on local products and producers. Seasonal fare at Le Bistro Palmier can be paired with inventive cocktails from Le Bar, while the custom terrazzo flooring found throughout the property is complemented by bespoke textiles curated by Senegalese designer Aissa Dione and pieces by local artists. Moreover, the restaurant, bar, terraces, and pool are all interconnected, with public spaces placed at the heart of the project. At Rastrello in Panicale, a hilltop village directly between Florence and Rome, a 500-year-old palazzo shows its historic past while providing modern amenities in collaboration with the local community. Each room overlooks Lake Trasimeno, and a Renaissance-style organic garden provides fresh produce for the onsite restaurant, with a menu adjusted to each day’s harvest. Furthermore, the staff is comprised of local residents, seasonal exhibitions feature regional artists, and olives handpicked from the hotel’s own grove are used to produce award-winning Rastrello Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Design Hotels™ represents and markets a curated selection of over 300 independent hotels in more than 60 countries across the globe. More than a collection of hotels, the company is a collection of stories. Each property reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier, an "Original", someone with a passion for genuine hospitality, cultural authenticity, thought-provoking design and architecture. Each "Original" stands for the individual, aesthetic and service-driven experience that his or her hotel provides.
In 2017, Design Hotels™ launched Further, a traveling laboratory for experiential hospitality that transforms hotels across the globe into temporal hubs of thematic exploration. The mission behind Further aligns with the values of the future-facing Promad, a new generation of traveler embracing progressive travel and global nomadism. First identified by Design Hotels™ in collaboration with leading futures consultancy The Future Laboratory, the purpose-driven, self-actualizing Promadic movement is set to shape the future of hospitality.
Founded by Claus Sendlinger in 1993, Design Hotels™ offers its members insightful travel industry knowledge, from market trend consultancy to international sales representation. The company has its headquarters in Berlin and branches in London, Los Angeles, New York and Singapore. In 2019, Design Hotels™ joined forces with Marriott Bonvoy, enabling its member hotels to have both a greater and more selective reach while offering its Community the benefit of the industry’s leading loyalty program.
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