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 10 of our favorite design hotels in the world, all of which boast envy-inducing interiors as well as first-class service.
Ett Hem, Stockholm
The Ett Hem is a chic, 12-room boutique hotel housed in a 1910 townhouse in a posh part of the town, and so special that it is worth visiting Stockholm simply to stay there. The décor is by British designer Ilse Crawford and it’s 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.
Kasbah Tamadot, Morocco
Sir Richard Branson fell in love with this kasbah in the Atlas Mountains and transformed it into a luxurious boutique hotel with tented suites and a spa. Today, Kasbah Tamadot is one of Morocco’s most memorable escapes. All bedrooms are decked out in traditional Moroccan and Bedouin style with antiques from around the world, and each of the 15 bedrooms in the main house boast unique views, style and layout.
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 royal guesthouse with a hip twist that is perfect for design aficionados and those who prefer boutique properties.
Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland
Newfoundland-born architect Todd Saunders designed the dramatic Fogo Island Inn, an architectural marvel, to sit on a jutting outcrop of rocks that have been dated to be 420 million years old. Everything, from the clothes hangers to the knitted throws are thoughtful design additions to the guest rooms with art and comfort in mind, but the star is the full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the incredible seascape.
Cotton House, Barcelona
Formerly the private home of the wealthy Boada family in the late 1800’s—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 semi-permanent camp on the banks of the Mara River boasts stylish tents, solar power and 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 an handcrafted, ultra-luxe retreat whose whimsical interiors bring out the inner child in all who stay. Each room differs in décor and color scheme, giving the accommodations a personal, handcrafted feel. Antiques and custom-designed light fixtures abound, as well as original art and life-size dress mannequins.
Hotel Marques de Riscal, Spain
Architect Frank Gehry’s bold hotel design for one of Spain’s great wine producers put the Rioja region on the map as a travel destination. The property’s rooms are all different (due to the building’s unique shape and roofline), but each features a calming, modern décor 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 closer resembles a luxurious six-star hotel than a safari lodge. Each bedroom is individually decorated with artwork and furniture from various different cultures—African beaded necklaces sit amidst Japanese screens while British botanical prints and Chinese porcelain share shelf space—yet somehow it all works perfectly.
Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana
The lavish Ranch at Rock Creek offers incredibly stylish rooms, suites, houses and tented accommodations in what is a personal and gorgeous interpretation of a Wild West adventure. If you’re lucky enough to visit at the same time as Jet Zarkadas, the ranch’s fascinating designer, point to any of the objects she handpicked in the rooms, and she’ll tell you the source and provenance of each object. “I wanted the interiors to tell the stories of this part of Montana,” she says, “The stories of the Native Americans, of the miners and of the wranglers and ranchers.”