Hotels & Restaurants
The Independente Hostel & Suites in Lisbon will shift your perspective when it comes to hospitality geared towards the budget-traveler. A modern concept revolutionized by the property’s three brothers, this “boutique hostel” is a far cry from the typical militaristic bunks, bland food and generic amenities.
Situated on a downtown square close to Chiado, a hip shopping district, this 11-room, four-suite hostel is a late 19th century mansion, the former residence of a Swiss ambassador, and still resonates with its historic beauty. Black-and-white inlaid marble floors, lofty stone archways, wrought-iron staircases and molded plaster ceilings with intricate medallions greet guests. Lobby walls painted a bold fuschia-red pop against the neutral backdrop.
Posted by Suzanne at 17 June, 2013
Enter the Radisson Blu Riverside, a Gothenburg business hotel that has ventured into more of a boutique atmosphere, embracing eclectic design and an overall more personalized vibe than your typical corporate travel destination. Stockholm-based Doos Architects created these “intimate” spaces for a modern hotel catering to the business set. The specific area of Lindholmen where the hotel is situated was a former shipyard, and has recently transformed into a science-technology-innovation epi-center.
The Radisson Blu Riverside is constructed of solid materials such as wood, iron and copper, while interior elements consist of glass and steel within a rich color scheme creating a strong, yet warm aesthetic. The juxtaposition of materials is thought-provoking. For instance, upon checking in, an imposing structure of copper presides, while nearby in the restaurant and bar, Cuckoo’s Nest, buttery leather banquettes are welcoming, clad in a multi-stained mix of woods, some with silky pillows, while colorful lighting pendants above casting a cozy glow.
Posted by Suzanne at 13 June, 2013
Named after Sir Norman Macalister, an early British governor of Penang, Malaysia, Macalister Mansion is a contemporary boutique hotel located in the center of Georgetown. This early 20th century colonial mansion has been completely renovated by Singapore’s Ministry of Design, in collaboration with hotel owners Dato Sean and Datin Karen. The restoration of this 100-year-old building is in accordance with the city’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Upon pulling into the driveway entrance, an oversize faceted bust of Sir Macalister greets guests, lending to the quirky sophistication which embodies the hotel’s redesign. The imposing exterior is a vision in bright white with its intricate traditional facade. With eight rooms and distinctive lounging and dining areas, the property intrigues.
Posted by Suzanne at 12 June, 2013
Nestled into the upscale, oceanside enclave of Laguna Beach, Seven4One is a chic boutique hotel boasting 12 rooms, two suites and endless views of the Pacific. The redesign and renovation was completed by Horst Architects, a neighboring firm. This contemporary property sits right along South Coast Highway and embraces the sun, sea and sand–plus vibrant greenery–quintessential to its Southern California environment.
Built with sustainability in mind, the hotel’s exterior consists of reclaimed wood (from old buildings in East Los Angeles) in a hue reminiscent of weathered drift wood, as well as Corten steel which lends a warm, rust patina to the otherwise modern structure. Simply exquisite, though, is the two-story living green wall which faces the street as well as the main interior courtyard. Brimming with various species of greenery, this wall is an organized art work lending soft texture and dimension to the facade.
Posted by Suzanne at 11 June, 2013
Sloped into a lush hillside along the River Thaya south of the Czech Republic lies the private Hunting Lodge. Envisioned by architectural firm Basarch, this modern stone and wood structure seems to organically emerge from the earth below. Sporting members and their guests are invited to stay for gaming or simple relaxation on this picturesque property.
Located on a game preserve and tucked into an elevated grassy berm, this eco-friendly project features a green roof which provides insulation and is naturally infiltrated with rainwater. Massive stonework and stacked timber on the concrete-block facade offer additional climate-control for the interiors, as well as a rustic palette which becomes one with the surrounding land. Large sliding glass doors and a rooftop skylight allow for dense natural light to penetrate and reflect off of the white-walled spaces. The lodge itself sits upon a flood plain and despite being consequently raised to accommodate rising water levels, still manages to camouflage effortlessly with the rural landscape.
The linear salon features an elongated table with contemporary chairs and a reinforced concrete ceiling with wood impressions which plays well against the minimalist black and white fireplace. Above the hearth, the wall space is adorned with sets of antlers from past hunting expeditions. Furnishings are sparse in wood and earth-toned fabrics.
The ceiling of this main living area is raised towards the skylight, creating height which enhances both ventilation and an airy ambiance. Fully retractable glass walls open to a terrace overlooking the vast preserve roaming with wildlife. Such idyllic design distinctively blurs the boundaries between inside and the great outdoors.
The kitchen is masculine, with sleek stainless cabinetry and black glass tiles and range. Three bedrooms with modular beds and animal skin rugs, clean-lined baths and various work and storage areas complete the rest of the one-story floor plan.
The Hunting Lodge by Basarch exemplifies the natural essence of structural, functional and green modern design.
Posted by Suzanne at 6 May, 2013
Located at 7, rond-point des Champs-Élysées and housed in a 19th-century mansion now the Beaux-Arts building, Cafe Artcurial has undergone a chic renovation by architect and art collector Charles Zana. Situated in the renowned Parisian auction house of the same name, art enthusiasts can now dine on fine Italian cuisine in high-style after bidding on antique books, contemporary art, vintage photography and jewellery.
Rich appointments in deep wood, marble, leather and textiles complement the tonal shades of beige, brown and black which encompass the elegant, modern restaurant. Geometric, diamond patterned wall panels (created by Zana) and exposed masonry share this same serene color palette, enhancing the airy space.
One point of distinction is the shelving by Pierre Bonnefille which was specifically built to effectively display an array of fine art and objects from the continuing auctions, creating an interchangeable exhibition space for diners.
Natural light cascades through the pitched skylight roof and vast, classic windows with black wood frames, while chained pendants of vintage glass globes and oversized bubble-shaped wall sconces by Luigi Caccia Dominioni for Azucena contribute a warm glow as evening falls. The matte black leather banquettes, marble-topped tables and chairs were custom-made by Zana, whose inspiration was derived from the designs of Gio Ponti and Ettore Sottsass. A Carrara marble bar dominates the space, and transitions the adjacent dining room which overlooks the surrounding private gardens.
The fresh, sophisticated interiors of Cafe Artcurial by Charles Zana magnificently blend contemporary design with historical beauty and intrigue.
Posted by Suzanne at 6 May, 2013
Founded in 1959, the family-run Shtarkman Erna hotel in Nahariya, a northernmost coastal city in Israel, was recently renovated by interior designer Batya Buchnik. This quaint property is considered a “family hotel” according to its third-generation owners and now exudes a well-balanced mix of modern design and European influence.
Situated steps from the renowned beach, promenade and town center, the charming Shtarkman Erna Hotel is popular with families and business travelers alike. The hotel is located in a culturally-rich area near a hub of attractions including a performing arts center, playground, botanical zoological gardens and more.
As you enter the lobby, framed photography illustrates the historical past of the property and its owners. By descending a few steps, you arrive in the intimate library area which offers books in various languages and features a table-for-two with chess set.
Just off this nook is the shared living room and dining space which is well-appointed and reflective of traditional European culture. Heirloom collections of pictures, books and music from the original German founders were gracefully restored contributing to the serene and elegant ambiance. In the living room, rustic brick pillars, warm wood floors, tasteful rugs and glowing sconces contribute a cozy vibe to the space, while rich textures like velvet and mixed wood furnishings (some painted in cheerful hues) add a luxurious touch. The dining room features several tables which welcome communal gatherings for the bountiful Israeli breakfast served each morning.
Posted by Suzanne at 30 April, 2013