Sleeping in Style: Six Hotels for Fashionistas
Paris, London, Berlin, New York, Amsterdam, Milan: these six cities are definitely on the revisit list of every fashion fan, regardless whether it’s to attend fashion weeks, to go on a shopping spree in a brand-new pop-up store or just to get some street-style inspiration. To ensure that you can travel in style as well, we’ve discovered a hotel in each city that deserves the title of “style icon”.
HOTEL LE BELLECHASSE (PARIS)
Appearances can be deceiving: from the outside, the facade of No. 8 Rue de Bellechasse looks elegant but unremarkable, like most of the houses of the 7th arrondissement. Behind the entrance, however, a colourful fantasy land lies hidden – designed by none other than the visionary Christian Lacroix. Le Bellechasse is the third hotel by the French designer, who also designed the Notre Dame Saint Michel and the Petit Moulin, and its opulent-playful charm is typical for his style. Each room is a creation in itself, mostly based on oversized sections of old pictures, which adorn the walls and ceilings and range from butterflies to old astronomical drawings, collages of medieval castles and modern photographs. They are complemented by fluffy carpets, golden wallpaper and heavy curtains. Stepping out of the door, you find yourself right in the heart of the quarter Faubourg Saint-Germain, where trendy boutiques and pop-up stores abound. The way home after a day of shopping is thus thankfully short!
What clotted cream is to scones, the Claridge’s is to the fashion metropolis of London: it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Every Christmas season, the Christmas tree in the lobby is decorated by a well-known designer, such as John Galliano; Paul Smith has a store in the hotel; and Diane von Fuerstenberg, who calls the Claridge’s her “home away from home”, personally designed twenty of the hotel’s suites and rooms. During Fashion Week you’ll find more street-style stars and fashion icons here than at most shows, and even the Royal Family is a fan of Claridge’s. As legend has it, the style of the hotel, which opened in 1856, is pure elegance: from the Superior Queen Room to the more than 200-square-meter-large Royal Suite, the Art Deco furniture and splashes of colour are arranged with great attention to detail. There are also a large gym and spa area with products by Sisley and various restaurants. Five o’clock tea at the hotel is a must – as we said earlier: scones with clotted cream.
THE EXCHANGE (AMSTERDAM)
What happens if you ask students and graduates of the Amsterdam Fashion Institute to design hotel rooms? A 17th-century house right in the heart of Amsterdam’s centre was exposed to this experiment, and we can tell you this much: it is avant-garde, creative, unusual, funny. The 61 rooms range from 1- to 5-star categories and each room is different. Here’s a selection of what you can expect: a room with chairs and tables covered by a kind of gray jumpsuit as a husk. A four-poster bed that is surrounded by an installation that is reminiscent of a wooden corset. As decoration, there are oversized buttons or psychedelic mandala patterns on some of the walls, and on the floor you might stumble over artful accumulations of thread. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is not that of a museum of modern art – despite its avant-garde style, the hotel is surprisingly homely. This is due in part to the hotel’s own café, the Café Stock: for breakfast, regional products and homemade bread are served, and in the evenings, locals meet here for a glass of wine.
SENATO HOTEL (MILAN)
Industrial chic and minimalism are all well and good, but sometimes you just feel like more: more gold, more marble, more luxury. Thankfully, the Italians are real masters of “more”, as Milan’s Senato Hotel proves once again: black-and-white marble dominates the lobby, and behind the reception, golden lamps in the form of gingko leafs provide a warm welcome. For more than four generations, the building was home to the Ranza entrepreneurial family – and the familiar atmosphere has remained: instead of hundreds of anonymous rooms, the boutique hotel only has 43, all designed in the neo-classical style: white king-size beds contrast with herringbone parquet flooring, black curtains and marble bathrooms are real eye-catchers, and panoramic windows let in ample daylight. The café, too, is flooded with light and while you sink into one of the café’s black, curved velvet sofas, the enticing aroma of Italian cuisine rises from your plate on the table.
HOTEL PROVOCATEUR (BERLIN)
Berlin is not only the capital of hipsters today, it was already so during the golden twenties – see the award-winning series “Berlin Babylon”. The interior of the Hotel Provocateur revives the zeitgeist of the flapper dress, bob and cigarette holders: the lobby is almost nonexistent, instead guests fall almost directly into the dim restaurant, where Duc Ngo spoils them with French-Asian cuisine. And what would the twenties be without a buzz? Right, nothing. The bar is therefore the heart of the hotel: the menu alone is a work of art in itself – and the drinks you’ll find in it as well: let’s just take the “Chelsea Smile” as an example: its mixture of Hendricks gin, Papidoux calvados, tonic water, vanilla, lime, and chili is indeed quite unusual. The excellent drinks and the heavy red velvet curtains create an enticing atmosphere of erotic high-class kitsch that continues in the rooms: dark, rich colours, golden faucets and velvet everywhere.
ST. REGIS (NEW YORK)
The selection of luxury hotels in New York is exceptional: extraordinary high-class hotels that exist only once in almost every other city in the world, you’ll find here in droves. Nevertheless, the St. Regis still stands out from this crème de la crème. Its unique feature are three exclusive suites: the Tiffany Suite, the Dior Suite and the Bentley Suite. Especially the first two are the dream of every fashionista who either loves Christian Dior’s New Look or does not only want to have breakfast at Tiffany’s but would rather move in there. When you enter the Dior Suite, you’ll feel like you’re in a 1950s Parisian townhouse: Soft taupe, gray and blue tones, and mid-century French chic – including a chaise longue, of course – set the tone. Sketches and photographs of Dior’s creations adorn the walls. In the Tiffany Suite, on the other hand, one colour in particular dominates: the incomparable Tiffany turquoise, which can be found on the walls, on the headboard of the bed or as a pillow. The suite’s highlight is a gigantic chandelier made of pearl strings. Each suite includes two rooms as well as a table for ten people, and looks out on Fifth Avenue – making a stay here an unforgettable experience.
Photos courtesy of: Fotos: Claridges Hotel London; Hotel Le Bellechasse Paris; Hotel Provocateur Berlin; Robert Holden/Hotel Senato Milan; The St. Regis New York; The Exchange Amsterdam