Surely the only the thing better than taking a trip or a holiday is taking a trip to a hotel – or even an Airbnb – where the design has been so beautifully and thoughtful done that you come away with more than just a suntan and a well-rested glow, you leave with a head buzzing full of design ideas for your own home.
Ten years after first staying there, this writer still has fond memories of the way the designer-owner of Maison La Minervetta in Sorrento displayed his eccentric collections of curios and objets d’art against a bold palette of red, white and blue, with an expansive backdrop of the sea through enormous picture windows.
If you’re yet to get away this year, allow the interior designers, artists and creatives below to get the ball rolling with some of their favourite holiday homes and hotels for interiors inspiration.
“hotel/be/julien.en-gb.html”>Hotel Julien is bang in the centre of beautiful Antwerp, where two grand 16th-century houses have been conjoined and restored exquisitely. It’s hard not to linger in the communal hallways, drinking in the marble cornicing and the grand curve of the two old stairwells, one in unfinished oak, the other resplendent metal work. The hotel celebrates all these classical details but adds a modern element with their finesse and finish, and their bold use of colour contrasts in natural hues. The rooms hark back to the best of Conran in the ‘90s, old Ercol, Eileen Gray, unfinished wooden slat blinds, pure linens, books that want to keep you in the hotel, striped kilims and beautifully detailed white marble bathrooms with gloss-painted doors. Black, white, wood, marble. Everything solid and certain.
We have also stayed at August, Hotel Julien’s sister, which was also lovely but the location in the Jewish Quarter is less central and for my taste, it was a bit too grown up, though it has a great, great bar.”
“One of the most unsettling things about the hotel and hospitality industry is the disposability. Everything from the furniture to the bedding to the carpets has a (usually) very short life span and is so harmful to the environment, so you can imagine I don’t always sleep that easy in hotels, having said that, there are some wonderful gems like The Gunton Arms, near Cromer in North Norfolk. It’s owned by art collector Ivor Braka, whose vision is amazing – he chooses things as if he was furnishing his own home, often using antiques, always favouring quality that he knows will last and that customers will truly appreciate and benefit from.
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I think it magically feels like home to everyone from the locals using the pub to people making a special trip there to enjoy the best steak cooked on an open fire below a priceless piece of art. We were lucky enough to be involved in the project but really the best bit has to be the bedrooms, designed by Robert Kime, which are a dream and so comfortable!”