Summer is just around the corner and we’ve scoured the globe to bring you a definitive list of the most exclusive modern design destinations on Planet Earth. From Athens to Oslo, Copenhagen to Lake Como, prepare for the ultimate holiday inspiration as we take you around the world and back on an adventure through contemporary design.
New Hotel Athens, Greece
Raw, energetic and utterly original, this exotic hotel is the perfect stage for a Greek getaway. Designed by Brazilian design duo Humberto and Fernando Campana, the hotel delights in reclaiming organic elements and transforming them into living art. The brothers are best known for their Favela Chair and Cipria Sofa but guests at the New Hotel Athens get to dine with the entire Edra collection, including the Leatherworks Armchair and Brasilia Nesting Tables.
Hotel Torre, Madrid
A treasure trove of contemporary design, Jaime Hayon takes guests on a delightful journey through Spanish history with the help of Fritz Hansen, &Tradition and Arflex (among others). Flanking the gold and marble bar are Gubi’s Beetle Barstools in green crushed velvet. Adorning the lobby beneath an enormous striped bear are his luxurious Catch Armchairs and intricate Palette Tables. In the bedroom, a mischievous Monkey Side Table by BD Barcelona keeps track of clients’ books, watches and city maps. The entire hotel is a testament to Hayon’s vivid imagination and a life spent collaborating with some of the greatest furniture brands of all time.
Mainport Hotel, Rotterdam
Nestled on the banks of the Maas is a boutique hotel that stuns from the inside out. Whether you spent your stay reclining on Moroso’s Shadowy Outdoor Chaise Lounge in front of the spectacular Rotterdam Skyline or admiring the architecture of the nearby MRDVDV Market Hall, Mainport Hotel is a must-see for any contemporary design lover.
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona
Paying homage to the hotel’s Asian roots, Patricia Urquiola creates a refreshing Zen in the heart of bustling Barcelona. The award-winning designer emphasises the Hotel’s abundant natural lighting with a gorgeous neutral colour scheme, providing a soothing backdrop for clients as they enjoy the Michelin star food. P.S., see if you can spot Foscarini’s Twiggy Floor Lamp peeping through the foliage.
Somerset House, London
One design destination slightly closer to home is Australian designer, Skye Gyngell’s, intimate new restaurant, Spring. Coined as one of the most romantic restaurants in the world, Gyngell effortlessly meshes metallic accents and marbles with pastels, including the pink &Tradition Mayor Sofa first designed by Arne Jacobsen. From the elegant Cassina Cab Chairs to the gold Atollo Table Lamp, no footstool was left unturned her pursuit of interior perfection.
The Thief Hotel, Oslo, Norway
This opulent hotel is widely regarded as the crown jewel of the Nordic Choice Hotel Group. It boasts spellbinding views over the Oslo Fjord Waterfront and is conveniently located in the heart of the artistic district of Tjuvholmen. Despite the Museum of Modern Art residing only a minute’s walk away, The Thief’s decadent interior still manages to steal the show thanks to the hotel’s self-made billionaire owner and art collector, Petter A. Stordalen. Pictured below is their gorgeous rooftop lounge featuring B&B Italia’s Canasta Outdoor Collection and Paola Lenti’s Picot footstools.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen
Last, but certainly not least, comes the Radisson Blu Royal. Pioneered by the legendary Danish architect, Arne Jacobsen, it is acted as a beacon for design lives since first opening its luxurious doors in 1960. The hotel has recently undergone a major interior renovation although of course Room 606 still remains exactly as Jacobsen designed it. Tom Flanagan, the hotel’s Area Vice President says the revamp pays homage to Denmark’s rich design tradition, recreating a world class guest experience where every piece is as iconic as Jacobsen’s original. Encircling the conference table below is Jacobsen’s iconic Swan Chair meanwhile Poul Henningson’s Artichoke Pendant Light offers an eternally stylish lighting solution, day or night.
CitizenM Bankside Hotel, London
Located just moments away from the Tate Modern and London’s lively Southbank region, this wonderful hotel is top to toe in Vitra. Bottom left is the white Eames Plastic Rocking Chair the first ever industrially produced plastic chair whose design remains as timeless now as it did when it first appeared in 1950. Nestled beneath the staircase is the Heart Cone Chair, another Vitra classic that feeds into the hotel’s vivacious couture.
Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio was recruited to create this spectacular restaurant in West London. Circus is somewhere between glamorous restaurant and after hours speakeasy. While the food is served onto the Saarinen Tulip Dining Set, patrons are titillated by daring burlesque performances and fantastically stocked bar with Artek Pendant Lamp’s glinting overhead.
Hotel Sereno, Italy
Secluded on the banks of Lake Como is the gorgeous Hotel Sereno whose wonderful interior was designed by none other than Patricia Urquiola. The region itself is home to a rich design tradition, the network of designers and carpenters that collaborated here after WW2 effectively establishing the ‘Made in Italy’ movement as it is known today. Admire the stunning vistas from the terrace bedecked in Re-Trouvé Dining Chairs or sip on a delicious espresso on the impossibly comfortable Husk Sofa. As you enter, see if you can spot Moroso’s colourful Lilo Lounge Chair and the sinuous lines of the Bend Sofa by B&B Italia in the lobby.