The Exhibitionist Hotel London
As impressive as the restored 18th-century architecture of this repurposed townhouse in South Kensington may be, it doesn’t quite prepare guests for the modernist turn within. Hand-printed wallpaper, plunge pools and outdoor cinemas are all part of The Exhibitionist Hotel. Its eight galleries, showcasing the work of budding talent, are constantly transformed to ensure visitors a unique experience every time. Its location in the heart of cultural London, opposite the Natural History Museum and a stone’s throw from the V&A Museum, Albert Hall and the Science Museum, makes it a popular choice with the culturati.
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Amsterdam
It’s not enough that the interiors of Andaz Amsterdam were themed on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland; they had to be designed by one of the quirkiest designers alive, Marcel Wanders. The eccentric five-star boutique hotel has a surprise around every corner – furniture perches with outsized legs, giant spoons stretched across walls, toadstool lamps, big cats popping out of vertical panels and more. And if at any point you feel like you’re spiralling uncontrollably down the rabbit hole, seek respite in the hotel’s tranquil garden and luxury spa.
Le Negresco, Nice
If you’re booked at Le Negresco, you are sure to rub elbows with the rich and famous. The rococo interiors of this palatial getaway have hosted just about everyone, from Salvador Dali and Princess Grace of Monaco to the Beatles. With its iconic pink dome designed by renowned French civil engineer and architect Gustave Eiffel, Le Negresco’s walls are graced by the works of some of the best French artists –Jean Cocteau, Sonia Delauney and François Boucher to name a few. Keep an eye out for the stunning Baccarat crystal chandelier.
MONA Pavilions, Hobart, Tasmania
Named after the famous Aussie artists whose work adorns their walls, MONA’s six luxury pavilions are replete with modernist furniture, spa baths and erotic art. The last three – Roy, Walter and Esmond –were conceptualised as “inhabitable sculptures by architect Nonda Katsalidis. The hotel is said to house Australia’s largest private museum with over AUD100 million worth of art. Its collection includes works by English artist Damien Hirst, Turner Prize-winning painter Chris Ofili and Australia’s Sidney Nolan. As part of MONA’s in-room media entertainment, guests can enjoy a personal TV screening of the collection. Those visiting between June 15 and October 5, don’t forget to pop by performance artist Marina Abramović‘s show titled ‘Private Archaeology’. A 15-minute drive from the Tasmanian capital city of Hobart, the hotel includes a winery, microbrewery and multiple dining options.
Vana Retreats, Dehradun
From a flock of ceramic doves hovering under a skylight and pastel compositions of a child-like interpretation of the ocean world to the minimalist architecture of the complex itself, a visit to Vana Retreats is an Instagram page waiting to happen. It’s too bad the wellness getaway has a no photography policy in public areas. The property is peppered with almost 500 bespoke artworks, primarily the creations of Madhya Pradesh-based artist Siraj Saxena. Considered part of the Vana family, Saxena along with founder Veer Singh and Spanish boutique design studio Esteva i Esteva Arquitectura, was instrumental in constructing the retreat’s rustic-chic design language. With six dedicated treatment centres, the retreat comprises 66 rooms and 16 suites as well as indoor and outdoor community spaces. International ashram meets forest retreat meets wellness centre.
J Plus Hotel by Yoo Hong Kong
In commemoration of its tenth anniversary, J Plus Hotel by Yoo was given a swanky makeover in keeping with its original Philippe Starck design. Highlights of the HK$10 million refurbishment of Asia’s first boutique hotel include: a new facade featuring a Renaissance-style portrait that’s symbolic the hotel's rebirth, and a redesign of the 32 studios and 24 suites in bold palettes. Targeted at style-conscious business travellers and holidaymakers, the hotel is aptly situated in Causeway Bay.