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13 Chic Hotels That Focus on Design & Style

Travel is all about the journey, but oftentimes a truly spectacular hotel goes a long way in making the experience unforgettable. Here, we’ve rounded up 13 of our favorite chic hotels in the world, all of which feature envy-inducing design as well as first-class service.

Contact Indagare to book a trip to one of these chic hotels. Our travel specialists can advise you on the best room, plan great meals and activities and arrange behind-the-scenes access. 

Ett Hem, Stockholm

A stay at Ett Hem is reason enough to visit Stockholm, where this chic, 12-room boutique hotel occupies a 1910 townhouse in a posh part of the Swedish capital. The décor is by British designer Ilse Crawford and is absolute perfection: a stunning mix of classic Scandinavian design and much more modern pieces. There’s also a lovely garden and an orangerie to enjoy the abundant sunshine in the summer.

Related: Best Shopping in Stockholm

Estancia Vik, Uruguay

Estancia Vik is a true labor of love. Owners Alex and Carrie Vik had a vacation home in the area for years before buying the sprawling property on which they built the estancia, a traditional Spanish colonial structure with white adobe walls and a red tin roof. Working with some of Uruguay’s top architects, artists, designers and craftsmen, they have created a property whose exquisite interior design showcases individual passion.

Hotel Sanders, Copenhagen

For a long time, Copenhagen was a design city lacking a fabulous, design-focused hotel. All that changed in 2017, however, when the 54-room Hotel Sanders opened in the city center. The carefully crafted property, owned by Royal Danish Ballet dancer, filmmaker and designer Alexander Kølpin is a study in Danish design of the past and present—and is a supremely comfortable hotel.

Related: Copenhagen Insider Alexander Kølpin

Suján Rajmahal Palace, Jaipur

Built in 1729 as a private retreat for a favorite Rajput queen, the Rajmahal Palace has served as a residence and a guesthouse for the Jaipur royal family for centuries. When Jackie Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II visited Rajasthan, they stayed here, as did Lord Mountbatten. Today, it thrives as a hip guesthouse that’s perfect for design aficionados who prefer boutique properties.

Deplar Farm, Iceland

Guests can spend days on exhilarating excursions and nights in the comfort of Iceland’s most luxurious lodge when they stay at Deplar Farm. Located on a former sheep farm in a Narnia-like wonderland on the Troll Peninsula, the 13-room property blends into the dramatic mountainous landscape with glass walls and a grass roof, camouflaging it almost entirely when viewed from certain angles. Interiors are designed to perfection thanks to the owner’s wife, who has her own design firm known for its residential style.

Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco

Sir Richard Branson fell in love with this kasbah in the Atlas Mountains in 1998, and transformed it into a luxurious boutique hotel with tented suites and a spa that opened in 2005. Today, Kasbah Tamadot has cemented its position as one of Morocco’s most memorable escapes. All bedrooms are decked out in traditional Moroccan and Bedouin style with antiques from around the world.

Related: Indagare Ambassador Richard Branson

Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland

Newfoundland-born architect Todd Saunders designed the dramatic Fogo Island Inn to sit on an ancient outcrop of rocks (dated to be 420 million years old). Everything here, from the custom-made clothes hangers to the knitted throws, is a thoughtful design addition that supported local artists and crafts businesses. The star of this impossibly chic hotel is the ever-changing view of the sea, visible from floor-to-ceiling windows.

Related: Talking to Zita Cobb

Cotton House, Barcelona

Formerly the private home of the wealthy Boada family in the late 1800s—and later the site of the Cotton Textile Foundation—this elegant property quickly became one of Barcelona’s best when it opened in 2015. During the renovation, many original elements were restored, including intricately frescoed ceilings, parquet floors and a show-stopping marble staircase that forms the heart of the building.

Singita Mara River Camp, Tanzania

This solar-powered, semi-permanent camp on the banks of the Mara River features stylish tents spectacular access to the Great Migration in the summer months. There’s a hipster-meets-Hemingway aspect to the décor that strikes just the right note for a modern take on refined living in the wilderness.

Crosby Street Hotel, NYC

Thanks to designer Kit Kemp’s inspired vision, the Crosby Street Hotel is a handcrafted, ultra-luxe retreat whose whimsical interiors bring out the inner child in all who stay. Each room differs in design and color scheme, giving the accommodations a personal feel. Antiques and custom-designed light fixtures abound, as do original art pieces and life-size dress mannequins.

The Silo, Cape Town

Towering above Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, the Silo Hotel catches the eye with its striking glass exterior: a series of giant, pillowed glass windows tinted blue in the reflecting sun. The structure commands attention—and certainly receives it—as part of the exciting redevelopment of an historic grain silo, which also houses the Zeitz MOCAA art museum.

The Silo is the fifth venture from visionary hotelier Liz Biden (behind the much-lauded Royal Portfolio properties), and her flair for style shines in each opulent guest room. The property is a feat of industrial-meets-Art Deco design, and houses an excellent collection of South African art, a fine-dining restaurant and a popular rooftop bar with 360-degree views.

Related: Liz Biden… South Africa’s Famed Hotelier

Hotel Marques de Riscal, Spain

Architect Frank Gehry’s bold hotel design for one of Spain’s great wine producers helped put the Rioja region on the map as a travel destination. The property’s chic rooms are all different (due to the building’s unique shape and roofline), but each features a calming, modern design with light-colored wood paneling and Gehry-designed, white canvas “Cloud” lamps.

Royal Malewane, South Africa

The uber-stylish, privately owned Royal Malewane bush camp resembles a luxurious six-star hotel more than a safari lodge. Each bedroom is individually decorated with artwork and furniture from various cultures—African beaded necklaces sit amidst Japanese screens while British botanical prints and Chinese porcelain share shelf space—yet somehow it all works perfectly.

Contact Indagare to book a trip to one of these design hotels. Our travel specialists can advise you on the best room, plan great meals and activities and arrange behind-the-scenes access. 

– Emma Pierce on October 26, 2019

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