If there is one thing that Scandinavians are good at, it’s design. So it’s not surprising that you can find the most stunning hotels in these countries. Miss Clara is a design hotel with a boutique feeling in the center of the Swedish capital Stockholm. The hotel is located in a beautiful Art Nouveau building from 1910, that was formerly a girl’s school Atheneum. The rooms are sparsely furnished but they are very comfortable, with beautiful dark herringbone floors and the use of good, solid materials. The rooms have large windows and the walls to the bathroom are made of frosted glass to fully make use of the natural light that floods in the rooms. It is such a beautiful hotel, that embraces the Art Nouveau style, with a wonderful warm feeling and decorated with an exquisite eye for design, I would love to stay in Miss Clara when I go to Stockholm.
Hotel Le Pigalle in Paris is all about the local neighbourhood. Pigalle is an area in Paris that certainly isn’t boring, named after sculptor Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, it is a neighbourhood that has always attracted thugs, artists, musicians and adventurers. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec lived and worked here. The owners of Le Pigalle found that the neighbourhood lacked a spot that really reflected the vibrant energy of the area, so Le Pigalle was born. It is a very local hotel, the croissants come from a local bakery, the books are selected by a local bookstore, the music is chosen by local DJ’s and the hotel team makes sure you will truly experience the places, people and stories that make Pigalle such an interesting Paris neighbourhood. If I have to choose one word to describe this hotel I will go for ‘cool’. The hotel is mainly furnished in neutral colours with the occasional pop of red (a nod to the Pigalle reputation no doubt). The hotel rooms aren’t big but they are decorated with interesting artwork and great furniture. It doesn’t really feel like a hotel room, it could easily be a bedroom from a local (I certainly wouldn’t mind having a bedroom looking like this), which is exactly what the hotel wants you to experience, it’s all about embracing the Pigalle neighbourhood.
In the cultural center of Amsterdam stands this 5-star hotel that combines historic architecture with modern design named the Conservatorium Hotel. You know I love historic architecture with modernity, not long ago I shared with you the QVEST Hotel in Cologne where they combined neo-Gothic architecture with modern interiors. The building of the Conservatorium Hotel was designed late 19th-century by Dutch architect Daniel Knuttel as a bank office. In 1983 the building became the homebase of the Sweelinck Conservatorium (that’s were it got its name!) after they were forced to move because the building wasn’t big enough anymore the building was bought by The Set who would make it into a hotel. They asked Italian architect Piero Lissoni to design the hotel and the result is stunning! I love the occasional pop of colour in the interior of the hotel which is filled with Italian design (more Italian design can be found in this apartment in Rome). So if you, as a design lover, want to take a trip to my capital city then a stay in the Conservatorium Hotel might be a good idea.
It’s no secret that I love combinations of old and new design and this hotel in Cologne, that links history with modernity, is a perfect example of why it works so well. Located on a quiet square in Cologne, Germany stands this former historic city archive. The building was designed by Friedrich Carl Heimann and was built in a neo-Gothic style which is also very prominent in the interior of the building (those windows!!). The QVEST hotel was designed by Michael Kaune (the owner of QVEST Magazine) who has a big love for modern design and most of the artwork and furniture in the QVEST Hotel comes from his own personal collection. This beautiful hotel is filled with design classics by Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe and together with a wonderful photography and art collection makes this hotel a dream for design lovers.
Japanese architecture and design is well known for its minimalistic feeling. This hotel in Tokyo truly embraces that peaceful and serene feeling that characterizes Japanese design. The rooms in Hotel Aman Tokyo are decorated with traditional Japanese furniture, from washi paper sliding doors to a furo deep-soak bathtub. I love how they created nice window seats to fully enjoy the view of Tokyo and just imagine sitting in that bathtub, wow! Next to a restaurant and a bar that you ususally find in a hotel does this hotel also have a large wellness centre with a swimming pool, 8 treatment rooms, a fitness centre and large Japanese hot baths with gorgeous views over Tokyo. I’ve never been to Tokyo but I think I have found my hotel if I do!
Fancy a trip to Stockholm? Situated in a residential area in Stockholm stands this former private residence from 1910 by architect Fredrik Dahlberg, that is now turned into a hotel called Ett Hem (A Home). The owner of the hotel, Jeanette Mix, wanted to create a hotel that would keep the personality of the private house. Together with British designer Ilse Crawford from Studio Ilse (you can see her own amazing London apartment here) they truly created a hotel that feels like home. The hotel has 12 rooms with beautiful comfortable furniture and soft colours. Outside there’s a wonderful garden, ideal for a nice outside summer breakfast or a relaxing evening. I absolutely love this, hotels can feel very unpersonal and a bit cold, but this truly feels and looks like a home.
I don’t have any plans of traveling to Paris anytime soon, but when I see these pictures of Hôtel Providence in Paris I might change my mind. The hotel was built in 1854 and it breathes the Parisian feeling. The hotel with 18 rooms (every room having a custom-made bar!), a downstairs bar and a restaurant is decorated with vintage furniture which gives it a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Just look at the pictures and dream yourself in Paris.