Design plays an important role in shaping the travel experience. Exploring a new city engages all our senses and thoughtful design impacts the memories we create of any new destination. To mark Design Shanghai 2019 which takes places from 6-9 March 2019, Agoda, one of the fastest growing digital travel platforms, shares a list of unique design-led hotels from around the world, which with their thought-provoking and evocative design, each of these beautiful properties promises guests a memorable stay.
- The Murray Hong Kong, a Niccolo Hotel, Hong Kong
Located along the legendary Cotton Tree Drive in the heart of Hong Kong, The Murray opened its doors in January 2018 after being refurbished under the Hong Kong Government’s Conserving Central initiative. Originally built in 1969 by British modernist architect Ron Phillips, this white tower is a former office building known for its distinctive three-story arches and recessed windows.
In its second life as a modern-day luxury hotel, it retains its original rich aesthetics, while terraces and rooftop restaurants offer panoramic views of the Hong Kong Park and the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
In just one year since its opening, The Murray, Hong Kong has been ranked #1 hotel in China in Conde Nast Traveler’s ‘Readers’ Choice Awards 2018 and has also received multiple awards for its energy efficient design.
2. Hotel Proverbs, Taipei
Designed by renowned Taiwanese architect Chen Rui Xian, Hotel Proverbs Taipei in Da’an district is a must-visit for design aficionados. The hotel’s minimalistic design and abundant mix of materials such as copper, natural wood, leather, stone and fabric are a nod to Spanish modernist painter Franciso Goya’s complex and dream-like work in “Los Proverbios” (proverbs), lending the hotel an aura of mystery.
Visit the Hotel Proverbs for a lush escape and a dash of indulgence (think butler service) in the city. Don’t forget to head down to the hotel’s cocktail bar for old-fashioned Taiwanese tipple served up by award-winning mixologists and sample the fresh seafood at the TK Seafood and Steak Restaurant.
3. The Shanghai EDITION, Shanghai, China
One of the newest entrants in Shanghai’s hotel scene is The Shanghai EDITION, designed by Ian Schrager, hotelier and co-founder of the erstwhile nightclub Studio 54 in New York. The property is just a five-minute walk from Shanghai’s picturesque ‘The Bund’ waterfront making it a great choice for those looking to explore the area’s architecture and museums.
The hotel occupies the former home of the Shanghai Power Company and offers a unique blend of old and new, including the windows, built in traditional Shanghainese style. The hotel’s lobby has been created to exude warmth and bonhomie, creating a perfect space for guests to rub shoulders with locals. Spend an evening at the HIYA, a Japanese lzakaya-inspired restaurant on the hotel’s 27th floor where you can enjoy distinctive champagne-based cocktails overlooking the breathtaking Huangpu river.
4. ONE@Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Located opposite the landmark Skytree Tower in Tokyo, ONE@Tokyo was designed by the distinguished Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. In designing both the interiors and the façade, he regarded the hotel as an immersive work of art, and a new base from which travelers can explore the historic city. The property is built to maintain a clean and industrial appearance, combining the natural colors of wood with white and grey to emulate the bygone Edo era.
ONE@Tokyo is located along the east bank of the Sumida River, one of the most famous spots for Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo, so plan your visit for the spring season. It’s also a great vantage point to see the Tokyo Skytree Tower at night!
5. Michelberger Hotel, Berlin, Germany
Located in the lively Friedrichshain district, one of Berlin’s most trendy suburbs, the Michelberger was transformed from a rundown factory into a stylish hotel by German furniture designer Werner Aisslinger. The playful design combines the duality of business and home, while embracing its original industrial aesthetics. Booklovers, in particular, will fall in love with the Michelberger Hotel as all its public areas and walls are covered in books and magazines.
Each of the individually decorated rooms in this cozy hotel have a mezzanine layout, with the first floor providing access to the living room, studio and bath, and the second floor housing the bed. The courtyard of the hotel houses a café and bar, where guests are often treated to performances and small concerts of all genres.
6. Armani Hotel Milano, Milan, Italy
What could be more fashionable than a hotel by the house of Armani?
The Armani Hotel Milano is the second hotel to be opened by Giorgio Armani after one in Dubai. Originally designed by Enrico A. Griffini in 1937, the hotel exudes luxury, beauty, privacy and comfort. Within the simple yet powerful façade, the hotel uses a custom series of furnishings and decor, from sleek sofas to backlit wooden headboards. In addition, high-grade materials such as onyx, georgette silks and stone are used in the rooms in a classic color palette of grey, green and pearl to create a sense of tranquility and luxury.
The Armani style and hospitality define this property, and guests can expect to have one of Armani Hotel Milano’s Lifestyle Managers hosting them through their stay. The hotel is also just a short walk from the Duomo Cathedral and the Quadrilatero della moda, Milan’s fashion district.
7. Nolinski Paris, France
A short 10-minute walk from the legendary Louvre museum, the Nolinski Paris was created by French designer Jean-Louis Deniot. Best known for combining modernity and artistry, the hotel displays the Parisian’s style vividly in this property. The blue-grey Carrara marble, soft velvet decor, bespoke furnishings and the subtle fragrance that lingers in the air are a delight for the senses.
The hotel offers stunning views of central Paris, making it perfect for a romantic getaway. The Spa Nolinski, located within the hotel, is also well worth a visit. Lit by flickering candlelight, with numerous LED-powered stars covering the ceiling of the therapy rooms, the spa exudes an ambience of warmth and intimacy.
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