Photo: DuoMo Hotel
(design by Ron Arad)
Photo: Hotel du Petit Moulin
(design by Christian Lacroix)
It seems that everywhere you look there's a designer announcing plans to open a luxury hotel. Savvy
fashion designers have been lending their prestigious labels to everything from cafes to curtains for years.
More recently, Italian brands Armani
have entered the luxury hotel business, and the trend shows no signs of abating.
Last year Giorgio Armani
announced his partnership with Dubai-based Emaar Properties. Together they will open an hotel in the landmark Burk Dubai - planned to be the tallest building in the world - as well as a location in Milan by 2008.
One of the most stunning new properties is the "neo-Baroque" Byblos Art Hotel
, located just outside Verona in the Italian countryside. The experience is like staying in an art and design museum, with labelled contemporary art and classic designer furnishings through the common areas and guestrooms. Many hoteliers strive to offer guests a comfortable, relaxing experience.
Not so at designer Ron Arad's
futuristic DuoMo hotel
project, due to open this spring, in Italy's somewhat downmarket holiday resort town of Rimini. "I do not want to make people feel at home, because they're not at home," is Arad's categorical statement. Certainly, the noMi bar and club takes centre stage. Placed right next to the entrance to the building, the street-side wall can retract to let summertime revellers spill outside. In contrast to the party atmosphere, relaxing, colour-adjustable guestrooms will exude a Zen-like calm.
British milliner and accessories designer Philip Treacy's
elegant 1920s-inspired styling and five-star service at the G hotel
in Galway, Ireland has brought the rural area to the attention of fashionable travellers.
Last year Christian Lacroix
was deservedly heralded for his chic interior design at the intimate Parisian bolthole Hôtel du Petit Moulin.
In Hawaii, honeymooners can cuddle up to cushions made from Vera Wang
wedding dress fabric in the bridal designer's $4,000 per night suite at the romantic Halekulani Resort.
Looking ahead Fabrizzio Gaggio, CEO of Lungarno Hotels - the Ferragamo
-owned group in Florence - has announced a new hotel opening in Milan this spring.
New York-based fashion designer Catherine Malandrino
is to open a 22-room boutique hotel inside a 17th century palazzo in Florence later this year. Bvlgari's
next hotel project is in Bali. Missoni
has confirmed its plans to expand into the hotel market. The first three properties due to open in 2007 will be in Edinburgh, Dubai's Palm Island and United Arab Emirates. It is expected that Missoni will have 30 hotels opened or under development by the year 2010.