“When you get into a hotel room, you lock the door, and you know there is a secrecy, there is a luxury, there is fantasy. There is comfort. There is reassurance.” Diane von Furstenberg summed up, in only a few words, the enchanting art of hospitality. While the glamour of air-travel and cruise ships has been lost in a world of budget airlines and all-inclusive culture, the charm of a beautifully curated hotel stay is as coveted as ever. For design lovers around the globe, booking into a hotel is an opportunity not only to experience exquisite service and relaxation, but to indulge in a new environment, where every fabric, finish and fitting has been expertly shaped to enhance the away-from-home experience.
At the recent British Institute of Interior Design conference, legendary designer and hotelier Olga Polizzi, as well as design directors from Intercontinental and Hilton Hotels, took to the stage to talk about the art of hotel design, sharing some of their insights and favourite destinations around the world. Ahead of industry-leading hospitality design event Sleep, which takes place later this month, we at Topfloor are taking the opportunity to shine a light on three of the great hotels we have had the pleasure of staying in.
Upper House, Hong Kong
An unassuming consideration for visual unobtrusiveness makes the experience of staying at Hong Kong’s Upper House undeniably memorable. Elegance and contemporary style are found apparent in ever design detail. Designed by the city’s own design prodigy Andre Fu, the interiors take inspiration from Asian and Western influences, including wonderfully curated site-specific and nature-inspired artworks.
Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Although it is a flawlessly restored 1835 palace, Rambagh Palace Hotel, even with all its courtyards and pageantry, wasn’t built for a queen. It was in fact built for the queen’s favorite handmaiden. Later used as a royal guesthouse and hunting lodge, these days it is considered one of Rajasthan’s most luxurious hotels. The province’s symbol, the peacock, lends its name to the suite we stayed in complete with four-poster bed, a bejewelled peacock, hand-made silk drapes and fabrics, crystal chandelier, gold-leaf frescoes, and french windows that open onto the gardens and from which we watched a spectacular display of summer lightning.
Belmond Hotel Monasterio, Cusco
Opened in 1995, the Monasterio broke new ground in Cusco by being the first luxury hotel to occupy a landmark building. As impressive as any Venetian palazzo, the Monasterio is housed in the 16th-century Seminary of San Antonio Abad — which occupied the site of an Inca palace — it’s a marvel of stone masonry, colonial escutcheons, Cusco-school artworks and arcaded walkways. Discrete background organ music and the rarefied atmosphere at over 11000 feet above sea-level conspire to induce a meditative calm – particularly useful at check-out time. paying the bill. When walking around the hotel feels like a soul-nourishing museum visit, it’s unsurprising that even non-guests pop in to take a look.
As designers of bespoke rugs, we have worked in collaboration with luxury hotels in New York, London, Paris, China, the Middle East and elsewhere to create unique, high-quality designs that enhance the spaces they occupy. Explore our diverse collections here.