Berlin – Learn how to make hibiscus juice on the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua. Walk through an open-air museum on the beaches of Crete. Take part in a wine tasting in a former bank vault in central Istanbul. Beyond the obvious, these eight new member hotels offer unique experiences that match their specific locations.
AT Aurea in Tola, Rivas, located along Nicaragua’s stunning Emerald Coast, architect Carlos Ayala combined reinforced concrete with white and gray stucco surfaces and pine for masterful effect. His aesthetic vision creates the perfect ambience for one-on-one on-site yoga sessions as well as workshops on making local staples like tortillas and hibiscus juice. Other experiences in the area include world-class surfing, sunset horseback rides, visits to local farms, and jungle walks. Explorations in different natural environments are also offered at Minos Beach Art Hotel in Mirabello Bay, Crete, where whitewashed bungalows and gardens stretch along 2.5 kilometers of coastline. From here, guests can enjoy sailing trips and organized excursions to Vai Palm Forest or Richtis Gorge, while on-site guided art walks illuminate the hotel’s open-air museum and mythology lessons immerse guests in tales of ancient gods.
Likewise, a lush Mediterranean landscape can be found not far from Palma de Mallorca. Design by Nobis, where the green accents found throughout the Wingårdhs-designed property were inspired by the island’s Tramuntana mountains. The hotel is located in an enviable spot where Old Town meets Santa Catalina, and trips to both the island’s pristine nature and the urban jungle are also easily accessible. On-site, guests can also indulge in chef Xema Álvarez’s locally-inspired cuisine that fuses Spanish-style sharing plates with contemporary riffs on Mallorcan recipes at Xalest Restaurant. Elsewhere, in the Karaköy district of Istanbul, The Bank Hotel in Istanbul The rooftop restaurant offers stunning views of the Bosphorus, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, while its status as a former bank creates a majestic stage for experiencing contemporary art and design. The building’s ancient vault now houses a wine cellar where guests can partake in tastings, and the hotel also houses a spa with traditional treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms plus a classic marble Turkish hammam White.
Across the Atlantic, two suites at Downtown Los Angeles Hotel in Los Angeles offer unforgettable experiences in themselves: one has a swimming pool in the living room and the other is fashioned from an old basketball court. The hotel is housed in a redesigned California Renaissance Revival-style building with a trio of restaurants, all helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne. High-calibre creative events, innovative yoga sessions and Portuguese-flavored menus at the Caldo Verde restaurant are also prime attractions. Further north, the recently reopened and reinvigorated Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs in historic Napa Valley, Calistoga offers an upscale yet laid back, holistic and fun environment for visitors and locals alike. Original 1950s mud baths, filled with local mud infused with volcanic ash, and three geothermal pools are now joined by an outdoor spa garden with treatment cabins; CBD-infused, sound-based aromatherapy experiences; and the House of Better restaurant.
First Design Hotels member in West and Central Africa, The Palm House in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, emphasizes local products and producers. Bistro Palmier’s seasonal dishes can be accompanied by inventive cocktails from the Bar, while the custom terrazzo flooring found throughout the property is complemented by bespoke textiles curated by Senegalese designer Aissa Dione and pieces by local artists. In addition, the restaurant, bar, terraces and swimming pool are all interconnected, with public spaces placed at the heart of the project. AT Rastrello in Panicale, a hilltop village directly between Florence and Rome, a 500-year-old palace shows off its historic past while offering modern amenities in conjunction with the local community. Each room overlooks Lake Trasimeno, and a Renaissance-style organic garden supplies fresh produce to the on-site restaurant, with a menu tailored to each day’s harvest. Plus, the staff is made up of local residents, seasonal exhibits feature regional artists, and hand-picked olives from the hotel’s own grove are used to produce award-winning Rastrello extra virgin olive oil.
ABOUT DESIGN HOTELS™
Since 1993, Design Hotels has created a portfolio that today includes more than 300 privately owned and operated hotels that reflect the vision of independent hoteliers – or “Originals” – passionate about culturally rooted hospitality and the design and architecture of point. From pioneering boutique hotels in New York, Paris and London, to rising stars in Shanghai, Mexico City and Nairobi, to remote peaks, hidden beaches and off-the-beaten-path getaways, each design-independent hotel The hand-picked collection component of the hotels is a very unique creative expression, rooted in the history, culture and nature of its surroundings.
Founded by Claus Sendlinger in 1993, Design Hotels offers its members in-depth knowledge of the travel industry, from advice on market trends to international sales representation. The company is headquartered in Berlin with branches in Los Angeles, New York and Singapore. In 2019, Design Hotels partnered with Marriott Bonvoy, enabling its member hotels to have both a broader and more selective reach while offering its Community the benefit of the industry’s leading loyalty program. designhotels.com | @designhotels | #designhotels