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What a year it's been for hotel designs! Ok, we say that every year but all in all, it's been fun covering the hotels that made their flashy mark in 2014. Some more than others.
We've put together a photo gallery of a few hotels that debuted this year and that for a variety of reasons caught our eyes. We've covered all of them over the course of the year, so if you missed their debut you can check out our other stories for a full report.
We know you know there are many, many cool hotels that could be on this list, and you probably have your own favorites from the past year. We just wanted to share a sampling of what 2014 offered in hotel design. Now share your favorite hotel in comments below!
What makes the island of Molokai special is quickly evident when you start to peruse its lodging options. Not only are there no major resorts, there is only one hotel on the island, simply named the Hotel Molokai. Unless you're renting a condo or a private home, this is where you'll rest your head during your stay.
An absence of choice can be scary, especially when traveling so far from home. But once you visit, you'll understand why the lack of a resort scene makes total sense. Molokai is by far the least touristy of the major Hawaiian islands, and if there is any doubt about its unwillingness to concede, just ask the owner of Molokai Ranch or the cruise ship industry.
With that in mind, what we found was that the Hotel Molokai perfectly fit the personality of the island, a place residents can be proud of and accept. It houses one of the two bars on the island, which is very popular with locals, especially when the weekend kicks off with "Aloha Friday" and a group of a half dozen Molokai musicians take over the stage.
Photo Galleries / Hotel Openings / Sofitel Hotels / Sofitel So Hotels / Singapore Hotels / Karl Lagerfeld / → All Tags
While we still have to wait a little longer for a hotel in its entirety by the hand of Karl Lagerfeld, we can show you exactly how his touch comes to life at Sofitel So Singapore, having toured the hotel just a week after it first opened.
His Lion’s Seal can’t be missed, whether you enter the hotel through the So Heritage Wing (the historic half facing Robinson Road) or through the newly added So Hip Wing’s main driveway you see above. Read on for much more, including what pearl of wisdom Karl included on the “BooKube” in every room (and what it is, for that matter), a preview of the gold-tiled Hi-So rooftop pool opening in July, and a gallery bursting with photos of the quirky hotel.
Photo Galleries / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Ace Hotels / Downtown LA Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / → All Tags
Decisions, decisions, decisions. We were completely torn over what snapshot from the just-opened Ace Hotel Los Angeles we should put up first.
That's because the hotel has so many awesome Ace-y things to show off--from the clever penciled artwork on the walls to the Stumptown coffee offerings, the curious library hanging above the front desk, the rooftop pool and lounge with killer views of Downtown LA and the immaculately preserved United Artists theater which was built in 1927.
But we'll show you that Ace goodness tomorrow. Today, we'll take you inside a guest room on the third floor.
Since room rates for re-opening night are currently priced at $479 (in low season!!), we're guessing that this hotel might be out of your, ahem, price range. So allow us to show you all around the hotel…virtually.
We've got pics of the different guest room categories -- from the Luxury King to the Grand Double to the Manhattan Suite, a 625-sq.ft. room with one king bed, separate living room and Park Avenue views (these are located on floors 16-20). We've also got bonus shots of Julien Farel at work and of the stunning new hotel lobby.
If you stare at these photos long enough, you might just convince yourself to book a room.
[Photos: Loews Regency Hotel]
Anyone that went looking for some serious snow action in Switzerland over the holidays got more than their money’s worth: up to three feet of it fell within the space of 24 hours this week. So it did in Verbier, the ski resort in the country’s south-western canton of Valais, long a draw for those seeking a glamorously picturesque setting to enjoy the 4 Vallées (“Four Valleys”) with its hundreds of miles of slopes.
Mostly limited to private chalets so far, (après-) skiers have a few more accommodation options these days, including the year-old Cordée des Alpes hotel, which is where we headed for the opening of the ski season earlier this month, managing to get in and out before winter brought its much-anticipated heavy snowfall. A fifteen-minute walk from the main Medran ski lift, Cordée's first impression certainly didn’t disappoint, from the typical pitched roof and wooden balconies to the rather clever rotating carved panels lining the ground floor restaurant and swimming pool.
Photo Galleries / Photo Gallery / Leading Hotels of the World / Hotel Bars / Hotel Beds / Free WiFi / Hotel Design / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Reopenings / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Toilets / → All Tags
The Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen, part of Leading Hotels of the World, re-opened its doors in May after two years of renos. After being cosseted behind scaffolding during the reno, it felt like we were unwrapping a present when we walked in. What struck us immediately was the hotel’s chic elegance that is so often the trademark of Parisian hotels. The fact that Copenhagen’s hottest hotel bar is found here, and it’s a champagne bar to boot, only added to the feeling that we must be in Paris. And – oh wait – the hotel’s name IS Angleterre, which is French for England....
A tad disoriented? Pay no mind; let yourself appreciate the fact that you’re in Copenhagen, surrounded by lush purple flowers and furniture, modern art and beautiful people, in a lovely hotel that offers warm and friendly service.
Hotel d’Angleterre currently has 35 rooms and suites, with 55 more in the works. The rooms really are a hotel lover’s dream, whether you’re a technophile or a custom comfort nut: There is Bang & Olufsen A/V equipment in each room; beds are the Swedish luxury brand, Dux; the custom hotel scent is by Danish brand, Laura Bonné (whose cosmeceuticals are also used in the spa), and the high-tech Swiss Geberit douche toilets have more buttons on their remotes than do the TVs. The rooms even have butler cupboards -- leave your shoes to be shined and they’ll magically disappear and reappear again without any human interaction whatsoever, so continue to dance naked in your room if that’s your thing. Plenty of pics below!
We’ve shown that you get whisked around Amanpuri in open-air comfort, but what is it like to spend the night here, the original Aman Resort on the western coast of Phuket? This is a case of letting the pictures doing most of the talking, but there are definitely a few things that stood for us.
You’ll find Amanpuri on Pansea Beach, a thirty-minute drive from Phuket airport, which in turn is just under two hours flight from Bangkok, the Thai capital. Architecturally, this has to be one of the most impressive resorts we’ve stayed at recently. Forty individual pavilions are scattered across a hillside, tumbling down to the Andaman Sea. The driveway swoops down to the open air lobby, just beyond is a long midnight-blue tiled swimming pool, and wide steps take you down to the white powdery beach. The timelessness of it all (Amanpuri was constructed in 1988), is really refreshing in an age where we see lots of hotel design that wears out within a matter of years.
We promised you a closer look at W Sentosa Cove when we discussed those nifty moveable phone ‘booths’ in the lobby just over a month ago, so here we are today with a gallery full of shots from the 240-room resort on Sentosa Island, a short hop from Singapore’s CBD.
Particularly popular with Singaporeans for a weekend stay-cation, the hotel has everything you expect from one of the latest W properties: slick rooms, lots of facilities that incorporate a W in their name (WET pool, AWAY spa, W lounge, Wired Business Center), and an atmosphere that is, let’s say, party-friendly. We wouldn’t bring the kids, is all we’re saying (notwithstanding that we did see some).
Having shown you an aerial view of London's Great Northern Hotel and its integration in the redesign of King’s Cross Station, we ventured over earlier this week to find out how four years of renovation had spruced up this once-derelict 1854 hotel. Not surprisingly, its location at the intersection of six London underground (metro) lines, national, and international railway stations, means there is a hive of activity around the hotel.
Once you step through the doors and move up from the buzzy downstairs bar to the guest floors and one of its 91 rooms, all of that fades away, to be replaced by unexpected silence and lots of that new hotel smell we love so much. Three available room categories include entry-level Couchettes, top-floor Wainscots, and larger Cubitts. We could happily spend time in any of them, but to us the choice for one over the other is best based on your reason for staying and your color preference. Read on to find out why.
One of the perks of staying at the just-opened Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, Calif., (aside from the kid-friendlieness, the early access to the park and the Lego pit), is that there are Lego works of art at nearly every turn.
These sculptures were done by Lego's own Master Builders and each one requires THOUSANDS of Legos to build.
Seven of the hotel's large Lego models are animated and four of them are part of the Lego dragon family (there's one at the entrance, in the lobby, out back and another in the lobby playground.) The rest are just fun to look at. We especially loved the toy monkey in our room, the play concierge near the concierge desk and the giant Lego pasta maker in the Bricks restaurant.
These are just 15 of the sculptures we spotted or loved and/or had the time to take a picture of. There are actually a total of 3,500 Lego models throughout the property. In total, more than three million Lego bricks were used to create these masterpieces. Hmmm...We bet Legoland didn't have to pick up the stray pieces from their living room floor though.
Photo Galleries / Phoenix Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Hotel Loyal Programs / Hotel Design / → All Tags
We already told you a little about Hotel Palomar Phoenix, but, perhaps predictably, we started off talking about the food. The Blue Hound Kitchen restaurant ticked all of the right boxes—but what about the rooms?
We're happy to report that our stay here was one of the most comfortable city stays we've had in some time. The room was spacious, the bed comfy for both sleeping and working on an iPad while half-watching TV, and the bathroom was also roomy and had a distinct, clean and new feel about it.
We also loved the quirky decor that raises Kimptons from the same-old, same-old pack of city hotels. When traveling for business, a designer pattern here or funky piece of art there always makes us feel slightly cooler than our reason for travel that night might suggest.
Click through our gallery for more shots inside a Deluxe room, facing downtown Phoenix, across from all the sports stadiums.