April 2, 2018 / Luxury Lifestyle

Amazing Spaces: 7 of the Most Stylish Luxury Hotels

Put design at the heart of your next vacation with a stay in one of these beautiful luxury destinations


Looking for more from your vacation than a stay in a generic hotel room? We've found seven hotels around the world that pair stunning style and impeccable design. From pastel-hued coastal glamour in Florida to regal city grandeur in London, rural beauty in Portugal to beachside bliss in Mexico, nautical chic in Hong Kong, and a forest paradise in Thailand, these hotels have gone above and beyond the norm. A stay in one of their suites is to immerse yourself in a luxurious work of art…

1. Hotel Esencia, Xpu Ha, MexicoThe sleek Beach Suites at Hotel Esencia give direct access onto the sandy shores of Xpu Ha, where chef Dimitris Katrivesis works his magic with local ingredients at the Mistura restaurant.Set on the gorgeous Caribbean coast between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Hotel Esencia recently unveiled 11 new suites that further enhance its reputation for offering the region’s best boutique hotel experience. Six Beach Suites give direct access to Xpu Ha beach, while five Jungle Suites are sheltered by the hotel’s sumptuous gardens. Another new addition is the spectacular Mistura restaurant, which occupies a stunning spot under a beachfront palapa. Acclaimed international chef Dimitris Katrivesis fuses Peruvian and Japanese flavors with the finest ingredients of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula.

2. Keemala, Phuket, ThailandKeemala works in harmony with the environment, celebrating and protecting the forest surrounding its ecologically designed villas. The view from the private pool deck offers the perfect, verdant escape from city life.Perched high in the canopy above Kamala Beach, on Phuket’s western coast, Keemala is the gateway to the quieter side of the island. Designed by Bangkok-based Space Architects, 38 villas peek out from the palm fronds, their cantilevered pools offering resplendent views from all angles. With a brief to design the resort based on the legend of the four (fictional) clans of this Thai island, quash deforestation, and minimize environmental impact, the team at Space Architects created four types of lodgings using ecologically sound building materials and techniques. The largest of these, the Clay Pool Cottages, each have their own lap pool suspended over the network of pathways that runs through the resort. Inside, interior designer Pisit Aongskultong has used local teak, stone, and plush fabrics, while deep stone baths are placed next to the floor-to-ceiling windows so you can soak up the sea views. Outside your villa, there are nature walks, yoga classes, and a spa to enjoy, while on-site restaurant Su Tha offers delicious dishes with ingredients sourced from the kitchen garden.

3. The Fleming Hotel, Wanchai, Hong KongThe Osteria Marzia bar and restaurant at The Fleming in Hong Kong mirrors the elegant nautical theme found throughout the hotel, and is the ideal spot for a cocktail before enjoying an Italian-inspired dinner.Anyone who has visited the Hong Kong waterfront will know the iconic Star Ferry vessels that take visitors on tours of the harbor. Those ferries were the inspiration for A Work of Substance, the design firm that overhauled the city’s Fleming Hotel. With a new nautical/industrial design, the hotel features the deep reds and bottle greens of the ferries’ walls, ship-like corridors, and brass nautical elements such as porthole-shaped mirrors. The adjoining Osteria Marzia serves tasty food inspired by the diverse flavors of Italy’s coastal regions. 

4. The Franklin, London, UKOld-world glamour and modern luxury combine in the tasteful bedroom suites of The Franklin Hotel in London. Situated in Knightsbridge, it’s a great base for shopping at nearby high-end boutiques and stores.Billed as “London’s sexiest hotel,” The Franklin blends bold Italianate design with the gentility of a traditional London townhouse. Forming part of a Grade II-listed terrace designed in the 1840s by architect du jour George Basevi, the hotel makes the most of the building’s heritage while updating it to offer five-star luxury. In 2016, renowned interior designer Anouska Hempel completely renovated the space, taking inspiration from her travels and Venetian architecture while accommodating the existing original Victorian features. 

5. The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach, Florida, USAPalm Beach’s Colony Hotel, opened in 1947, offers a colorful and quirky take on colonial style, from its flamingo-pink exterior to bedrooms and suites decked out in cheerful floral prints with a distinctly Floridian flavor.The playful glamour of Palm Beach’s pink-hued Colony Hotel has long attracted European royalty, American presidents, and Hollywood legends. Recently undergoing a five-year revamp, The Colony has added bold and colorful new touches to its British colonial look. As the hotel celebrates its 70th anniversary, new owners Sarah and Andrew Wetenhall are aiming to appeal to Palm Beach’s next generation of residents and visitors with a range of experiences that reflect modern Palm Beach life. Guests can take advantage of yoga by the pool, beach amenities, and tailored kids’ activities, as well as bike hire. 

6. São Lourenço do Barrocal, Alentejo, PortugalThe rustic dining room at São Lourenço do Barrocal pays tribute to the building’s farming heritage, while the whitewashed bedrooms make the most of the original vaulted ceilings for a sense of light and space.Hotel design comes in many shapes and sizes. In Alentejo, Portugal, it comes in the form of a beautifully restored 19th-century farmhouse. After falling to ruin in the 1970s, São Lourenço do Barrocal has been lovingly brought back to life by José António Uva, whose family has owned it for eight generations. The hotel now offers spacious guest rooms and suites housed within the original farm buildings along a central cobbled street. The interiors take inspiration from local farm villages: traditional terracotta floors, whitewashed walls, and soaring vaulted ceilings. A farm-to-table restaurant showcases local produce, while an on-site vineyard provides the perfect wines to accompany the seasonal menu. 

7. Amanyangyun, Shanghai, ChinaThe ancient dwellings that make up Amanyangyun were saved from demolition and rebuilt brick-by-brick within a camphor forest. The pool deck offers the ultimate in peace and tranquillity.If you like your vacation accommodation to have a backstory, Amanyangyun will take some beating. The resort, 17 miles from Shanghai, is the result of a 15-year conservation project entailing the relocation of a forest and the reconstruction of a historic village. Twenty-six rebuilt ancient dwellings, each transformed by Kerry Hill Architects into unique suites, villas, and common spaces, now make up Amanyangyun. The resort's Antique Villas come with a private pool and Jacuzzi, while its Ming Courtyard Suites offer expansive, light-filled sleeping and living quarters featuring Asian-inspired, minimalist wooden interiors. And this being an Aman property, guests will also find a spa, and five restaurants and bars, throughout the forest.

Gourmet Escapes: Food-Focused Vacations


  • Interiors & Design
  • Travel, Food & Drink

Luxury Defined Editors
present the best in luxury lifestyle, travel, design, style, art, and property from around the globe