Cape Town’s Gorgeous George hotel exhibits the best of local design says interior architect Tristan du Plessis, in this video produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD awards. Gorgeous George, which was named Hotel of the Year at the 2019 AHEAD Middle East and Africa hospitality awards, is a 36-room renovation of a pair of historic buildings in downtown Cape Town, South Africa.
The project was the most heavily-awarded hotel at the ceremony, also taking home awards in the Renovation, Restoration & Conversion, Suite and Visual Identity categories. Located in downtown Cape Town, Gorgeous George is a boutique hotel designed for both visitors and locals to enjoy, according to du Plessis.
“We set out to create an urban hotel, a hotel that became the lounge for the local neighbourhood,” he says in the video interview, which was filmed by Dezeen in Dubai on the day of the awards ceremony.
“The brief here was to make something that would fit very well into nature” explains Thorsteinsson in the video interview, which was shot by Dezeen at White City House in London on the day of the AHEAD Europe ceremony. “We wanted basically to have continuity between nature, the interior and exterior,” he continued.
Design Group Italia chief design officer Sigurdur Thorsteinsson explains how The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland immerses guests in nature in this video produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD Awards.
The 62-room resort hotel is embedded in the lava formations and turquoise geothermal pools of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon complex, which is situated within the UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland was awarded in the Resort Hotel category at the AHEAD Europe hospitality awards, which took place in London in November.
Design Group Italia handled the project’s interiors, in collaboration with Icelandic firm Basalt Architects who were responsible for the architecture of the resort.
From a Bon Appétit online review:
Maison de la Luz is in the Warehouse District, right by the Ace Hotel (they’re sister properties and share gym and pool amenities). Once I stepped inside the lobby, I noticed all the weird but fun safari vibes, courtesy of design firm Studio Shamshiri. There was the very Wes Anderson check-in desk, art on the wall with hieroglyphics, plush ochre- and mustard-hued suede couches, white marble coffee tables with funky feet, and cute mushroom-shaped lamps. It was a design dream.
I travel so much, and at Maison de la Luz it felt more like you were in someone’s home than a hotel. Each room had such a good mix of stuff, like someone picked out every little thing to put on display. It wasn’t a cookie cutter business person hotel. Rather it was an elegant sanctuary in the middle of crazy town New Orleans, and writing this makes me want to go right back—just to stay at this hotel.
To read more: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/maison-de-la-luz-new-orleans
From a Jetsetter online review:
Once owned by the Medici family, this 2,700-acre, 800-year-old medieval village in Montaione fell away from the public eye—that is, until lifestyle hotel brand TUI Blue saw its potential. With the help of the surrounding village’s government, the town has been resurrected into a sprawling five-star resort. Il Castelfalfi, the region’s first new-build hotel in years, offers suites with both sunrise and sunset patio views. Across the street, a disused tobacco factory is now an adjacent boutique hotel, ruinous farmhouses have become holiday homes, and acres of surrounding lands now make up Tuscany’s largest golf course.
The property feels miles away from anywhere thanks to the rolling hills that surround it on all sides, but the village offers a few quaint distractions including a small alimentari (grocery store) as well as a pizzeria, Il Rosmarino. At the entrance of the village is the tower of the ancient castle, La Rocca, now home to La Rocca di Castelfalfi, whose patio is a beautiful place to watch the sunset over Tuscan specialties like Ribollita and ravioli.
To read more: https://www.jetsetter.com/hotels/province-of-florence-italy/montaione-italy/view/hotel-il-castelfalfi/
From a The Spaces online review:
French literary greats Marcel Proust and Émile Zola visited Les Bains after its opening as a bathhouse in the late 19th century. Decades later in 1978, designer Philippe Stark transformed the place into a nightclub, welcoming a different calibre of guests through its doors. David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Karl Lagerfeld were among the people to make a splash at this Paris institution.
The new Les Bains hotel, revamped by architect Vincent Bastie, features a restored grand entrance that stays true to its Haussmannian roots. Designers Tristan Auer and Denis Montel were drafted in to design the interiors, while outdoor areas have also received an update, including the courtyard, opened up to draw in more light.
Les Bains, the iconic Paris nightclub, has reopened as a 39-room hotel five years after partygoers last enjoyed a drink and a dance. It’s the latest chapter in the life of the 1885 Haussmannian building, which has played host to a who’s who of the creative world.
Les Bains will retain its famous party spirit when the bar, club and restaurant open later this month. And the likes of Jagger and Bowie might still feel the need to let their hair down when they step onto the dance floor, which mimics Stark’s chequered design from 1978.
Les Bains, 7 Rue du Bourg-l’Abbé 75003 Paris
From an Architectural Digest online article:
Champagne is a lot bigger than it seems. Vineyards can be up to an hour away from each other depending on traffic, so it’s best to pick a home base in the heart of the region. The luxurious Domaine Les Crayères was the former home of Madame Pommery’s daughter (Pommery was a 19th century French businesswoman who took over her husband’s successful wine business after he passed away). The space was transformed into a hotel in the early 1980s, where it still retains some of the Belle Époque sensibility from its previous owner.
Champagne is one of those places in the world that there’s truly no bad season to visit. Yet, before you let the bubbles get to your head, remember to plan everything in-advance as many vineyards are small, independently owned, and can’t always accommodate walk-ins. The place is also very spread out, so you should consider renting a car or hiring a driver if you’re booking several tastings. Luckily, getting to Champagne is easy, as it’s only a two-hour train ride from Paris. In fact, some travelers even opt to simply make a day trip out of it. Time spent aside, the grandiose French architecture all the way to the glow of the vineyards will warm your heart (no, it’s not just the alcohol) and have you immediately wanting to come back.
To read more: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/design-lovers-guide-to-champagne-france
From a Wall Street Journal online review:
FINICKY WESTERN EATERS would still be relieved to find filet mignon on the French menu of the hotel, now known as the Nikko Kanaya, a 90-minute drive from Tokyo. The dining room itself looks much as it did when it first opened, in 1893 and eagle-eyed diners might notice that the wooden pillars are decorated with flower carvings that echo those of the nearby Toshogu shrine. The views from the guest rooms are likewise unchanged—forest-covered mountains in the background, the same fastidiously manicured gardens in the foreground that the Einsteins strolled in 1922. Other parts of the hotel feel mildly haunted, like a Japanese version of “The Shining.” The wood-paneled lobby is well worn, stairwells creak noticeably and a shadowy cocktail bar features fading black-and-white photos of forgotten ’20s parties, with men in tuxedos and women in frocks smiling at the camera.
THE 19TH-CENTURY FOREIGNERS who first ventured to the Japanese mountain town of Nikko came away enchanted by the scenery: ornate Shinto shrines set among rivers, forests and waterfalls. But those same visitors were less impressed with the lodging options. Many griped about the local inns, furnished with futon-beds set on the floor and paper walls that offered no privacy. And the food? Overly exotic at best. British traveler Isabella Bird offered a typical review: “The fishy and vegetable abominations known as ‘Japanese food’ can only be swallowed and digested by a few, and that after long practice.” In 1873, in an attempt to cater to Western sensibilities, Zenichiro Kanaya, a 21-year-old temple musician, opened rooms in his family house, serving guests simply-prepared poultry, rainbow trout and eggs.
To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-japanese-hotel-is-a-glorious-relic-from-a-lost-world-11571314355