Dutch design studio Piet Boon has designed this former church of a military hospital in Antwerp into the stunning restaurant of Sergio Herman and Nick Bril called The Jane. I love it when churches get converted when they’re no longer in use (see also this church in Spain converted to a skate park). There are so many beautiful architectural churches in the world that are no longer used for it’s original purpose, it would be a shame to lose that and this way future generations can still admire the wonderful architecture of these buildings that were built hundreds of years ago. This restaurant in Antwerp combines elegance and refinement with attitude and humour, a good example of that is the stained glass in this building, at first it looks like traditional stained glass that you see in most churches, but when you look closer you will not see martyrs or saints but a collection of objects, animals, food and other things. These windows were created by Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel of Studio Job and add a nice touch of humour in the design of this restaurant. A dinner in restaurant The Jane is not only a pleasure for the stomache but also for your eyes.
In the 13th-arrondissement of Paris, on the Rue Édouard Manet, stands this beautiful blue coloured C.O.Q Hotel (C.O.Q stands for Community of Quality). The thought behind the hotel is that it is a club run by and for it’s members. Clients, friends and visitors can all use the hotel’s city guide ánd they can contribute to it so you can share your experiences and finds with other travelers to the wonderful city of Paris, such a nice idea!! The C.O.Q. Hotel is designed with a special attention to details and the desire to value the modern French know-how. They created a boutique hotel that feels like a personal home, the rooms are so elegant and comfortable decorated in these fantastic blue tones and antique artwork. And to make the hotel even more perfect, it has a winter garden, lovely to sit back and relax after a long and hectic day in Paris!
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.
In Berlin with views over the Spree river stands this former factory from 1880 that is turned into a residential property that you can rent on Airbnb. The loft is a combination of modern features such as the new bathroom and kitchen, and original raw elements such as the exposed brick walls and the concrete ceiling. The owner of the industrial loft is an art gallery owner so it comes as no surprise that the loft is filled with a great art collection that is always changing. The loft is sparsely furnished with vintage items and the bedroom and bathroom area is seperated from the rest of the loft with two thin walls to create some privacy in such a large space. This loft is truly a wonderful stay for art and design lovers.
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.
Airbnb isn’t just a great way to find a place to stay for your next travel destination, but also (if you’re like me) to find amazing interior inspiration. I have posted unique stays in France, Amsterdam and Van Gogh’s Bedroom and this time I am traveling to Barcelona. I have never been to Barcelona but when I’m looking at this apartment in a palace I might consider a trip to southern Europe. The apartment is situated in a Gothic neighbourhood in the middle of the city surrounded by the wonderful historic sights that Barcelona has to offer for example La Sagrada Familia (a church designed by Antoni Gaudí), the Picasso Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The apartment in the palace, belonging to an old Catalan nobility, still has its original features such as high ceilings, 18th-century frescos and mosaic floors. The apartment is decorated in a mixture of old and new and I think it has a bit of an bohemian feel to it which I love and I especially love the big wooden windows/doors of almost 6 meters high. There is an open bathroom situated in the bedroom with the cool black walls and the platform bed is an excellent way to create storage space underneath. What about you, fancy a trip to a palace in Barcelona?
Have you ever wanted to transport yourself into a painting? Well, you can! I have posted wonderful Airbnb stays before (a cave in France for example) but this must be the most amazing room I have ever seen, seriously this room actually looks like a painting! The Art Institute of Chicago created this room after the painting ‘The Bedroom’ by Vincent van Gogh. The second version of the painting (the first sustained water damage) is in hands of The Art Institute of Chicago who now have an exhibition called Van Gogh’s Bedrooms. Not to get your hopes up though, the stay in the bedroom is fully booked, but you can see the exhibition ‘Van Gogh’s Bedrooms’ from february 14th – May 10th.
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!