We’ve stayed in some pretty darn stylish hotels this year, from urban city retreats to ultra modern design hotels, to charming B&B’s, sleek boutique luxury hotels, swanky 5-star chains, and countryside manor houses. Out of all of them, here are our top 5 choices from 2012:
Staying in an Irish manor house in Ireland is an absolute must if you’re exploring the Irish countryside. One of the quintessential Irish experiences, they can be found speckled throughout the countryside and offer little pockets of homey luxury. I can’t begin to describe how truly beautiful this place is!
Decked out in classy period furniture, the common rooms of this hotel are splendid, and so well appointed as to rival the interiors of most Irish castles. You can hang out in the library, which is lined with jumbo gold framed portraits, a grandfather clock, decorative chess sets and a stuffed peacock, plus books in several languages.
Klaus K is a design hotel inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, and “inspired” is 1 an apt description of the thoughtful aesthetic of this incredible hotel. Design details abound — in the lobby and the rooms, but also in unexpected places like the elevators, wallpaper, and carpet. The masterful blend of textures and colors gives you plenty to look at while the soft lighting and modern elegance create a sense of richness throughout the establishment.
With the scent of flowers wafting through the air and the mellow beat of eclectic lounge music filling your ears, this hip retreat in the heart of the city is filled with designer flare. Just steps away from the bustling shopping and dining district of 16th Street Mall, the hotel’s lobby houses shelves of graceful ceramics and is populated with contemporary furniture in bold colors juxtaposed with a western theme (think modern leather chairs with horse stirrups hanging from the arms). All this is set beneath a star-studded ceiling hung with a Moroccan-inspired globe chandelier.
Albergo Milano is both affordable and atmospheric, with comfortable, upscale rooms—a rare combination. Situated next to the picturesque waterfront, it’s also conveniently within walking distance of everything. Best of all, the property has fabulous lake views, the ultimate reason for coming to Lake Como in the first place! The sunny main building is home to the hotel’s lobby and restaurant, which serves traditional Italian cuisine. A full breakfast of meats and cheeses accompanied by fresh-baked pastries, fruit, and more (included with your stay) is served every morning in their restaurant with panoramic views overlooking the lake.
From the minute you pull up to this resort, you know you’re in for a treat. The Riviera is stylistically awe-inspiring. The lobby is lined with floor to ceiling walls ensconced in a floral lattice pattern. Illuminated from behind with glowing orange light, the walls are reminiscent of a designer honeycomb. Packed with retro furnishings, all this glitz is set beneath a sky of modern chandeliers descending from a ceiling studded with starlight bulbs.
We couldn’t resist telling you about just one more of our favorite hotels:
This hotel is right in the middle of all the action on a busy shopping street, right near Oslo cathedral, and a short walk from the waterfront too. This hotel is a design-lover’s paradise, decked out in dark blacks with an abundance of flashy mood lighting. The corridors are dark like a nightclub and illuminated by long rectangular lights that remind me of a space ship corridor. Each floor has its own lighting accent color as well as painted art flourishes on the walls.