Fashion designers can’t resist having a finger in every design pie and hotels offer the ultimate showcase for their fashion philosophy. They’re also excellent for people-watching. See just how fashionable a hotel can be.
The boutique Bellechasse is in Paris – still pretty much Fashion Central for haute couture, you’d have to say. On the arty Left Bank, it leans heavily towards the we-must-not-leave-any-surface-untouched style of décor. Rich fabrics, larger-than-life vintage prints (everywhere!) and fantasy colours envelope guests in the relatively intimate-sized (ie small) rooms.
The breakfast room is especially lavish with detail. But then, couturier Christian Lacroix was never known for his restraint. His hotels (he has now designed three) capture the fantasy of his runway fashion: quirky, romantic, and really very Parisian.
We love the Schiaparelli pink Pink Salon, Gigi restaurant with each chair a different jewel-like colour and the spa’s extravagant headdress-style light fitting.
Rooms and suites are more under-played, but still Ascot-smart. The hotel is highly individual, and sometimes frivolous, just like Treacy’s hats.
In a city more known for glitz than good taste, Dubai’s Armani Hotel is as sublimely simple and refined as Armani’s trademark perfectionist tailoring. The pared-back minimalism is just what you’d expect – and yet it still surprises with the lustre of the finishes and the Zen-like calm of the spaces.
Colours are, of course, on the beige/chocolate/cream spectrum with loads of ever fashionable black. Being in the stiletto-slim tower of the Burj Khalifa adds extra glamour. Giorgio Armani himself is said to have overseen most every detail.
You can shop for a little Armani clothing, so you are wearing the brand, and even choose some delicious Armani dolci from the boutique.
It seems an unlikely outpost, but Italian fashion house Missoni – renowned for its passion for pattern – boasts a luxe hotel on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. (There’s also a Missoni Kuwait – it’s a global world!)
Outside, the building is clean-lined contemporary. Inside the hotel positively zings with vibrant colour and masses of pattern, plus Missoni sheets, Missoni bathrobes and Missoni products with a background of cool jazz, all under the creative hand of Rosita Missoni. Even the doormen wear Missoni-patterned kilts.
Really more hip than haute, but the design house responsible for Camper shoes has created two hotels (in Barcelona and Berlin) that bring ‘Camper spirit and values to the hotel world’. Ergo, their hotels are about design form and function, sustainability, innovation, practicality.
Casa Camper Barcelona, in a restored 19th century Gothic tenement, has bikes to ride (they encourage cycling and walking) and a complimentary 24-hour buffet. Furnishings are stylish, streamlined (maybe even a little stark for some) but eminently practical and right on trend – just like their footwear.
As a brand, Versace channels the more-is-more aesthetic – more gold, more gilt, more colour, patterns and texture. And Queensland’s Palazzo Versace has all that – and more. The hotel is permeated with Versace designs, including a swag of iconic Medusa’s heads, acres of marble and mosaic and an antique chandelier that once hung in the State Library in Milan.
You could definitely imagine Donatella Versace enjoying the sun, the wellbeing centre and Vanitas restaurant. Private marina? Naturally.
It’s completely OTT, but if extravagance is your style (or you’d like it to be) this may well be your hotel. And it is on the Gold Coast.