De L’Europe |Holland (Blue)
At the heart of Amsterdam’s historic district is the elegant De L’Europe hotel. And at the heart of De L’Europe hotel is a bright blue gem: The Prestige One Bedroom Suite. Taking inspiration from the patterns, colours and atmosphere portrayed by the Dutch Masters’ paintings, the suite is classically simple combining neutral furnishings with an electric blue colour scheme.
The suite–wrapped in quaintly illustrated light blue wallpaper and dusty blue paint–is adorned with furnishings of soft and electric blues. The bedroom’s blue headboard, bed cover, soft ottoman and chairs is broken up and lifted by neutral tones in the dark wooden floors, wardrobe and tables. Peppered in classic paintings by Dutch Masters, including Rembrandt and Willem Claesz Heda and with spectacular views of the city’s historic centre and over the Amstel River, the room’s modern luxuries are in the details. Sensor lighting, in-built TVs in the bath and heated floors elevate guests’ stays from great to exceptional.
Inspired by the Dutch Masters, De L’Europe’s other suites also boast bold colour schemes: be it the red in the Deluxe rooms, the sunny yellow in the Junior suite, or the Provocateur Suite’s primary colours, where Van Gogh is reflected in the starry night ceiling of lights over the circular bed.
As well as the rainbow of rooms and suites, De L’Europe boards a host of wonderful features that make it a stand out destination hotel. The spa and wellness centre furthers the luxury experience, and offers a tranquil haven to indulge and pamper with organic products and expert therapists. While a spa visit offers a great way to enjoy the hotel, it’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Bord’Eau is not to be missed. Headed up by executive chef Richard van Oostenbrugge, the menu presents seasonal ingredients brought together with modern technique to offer exceptional dishes with Austrian, French and Swiss influence with flavour at their heart. The hotel’s other restaurant, Hoofdstat Brasserie offers relaxed and refined international cuisine for all occasions. Complimenting the restaurants, the hotel has an impressive private wine cellar and bars, as well as a warm-weather terrace that gives onto the beautiful Amstel River.
Saint James Paris |France (Turquoise)
Saint James Paris is the French capital’s only chateau-hotel and some may say, the most unique in décor. Located in the affluent Paris St. Germain district and designed by Bambi Sloan, the part-castle part-townhouse’s interior is an eclectic and modish extravaganza. The hotel was a canvas for Bambi to show her love of combining styles and telling tales through her designs: surrealist and bold prints and colours clash with historical furnishings.
Each of the hotel’s rooms–foyer, library-cum-bar, dining room and even stairs included–is splashed with own theme or design scheme. The hot-air balloon wallpapered staircase honours the hotel’s location as the first ever hot-air balloon airfield; the John Steed junior suite pays homage to the English ‘Avengers’ television series with bowler hat lampshades; and the bar-cum-library and Michelin-starred restaurant are adorned with leopard-print carpet. In amongst the burst of interior design eccentricities, the hotel’s deluxe room stands out as a colourful haven. Bambi’s turquoise tribute to designer Madeleine Castaing, the deluxe room has been named ‘La Petite Madeleine’. Matt turquoise walls coat most of the walls, silk turquoise curtains drape over the chateau’s large windows, a matching sofa stands out in front of a jet black feature wall and turquoise ornaments and accessories are dotted around the room.
Elsewhere in Le Saint James Paris’s walls, the other guestrooms boast their own unique décor. The junior suite’s rich rouge walls and red curtains and accessories are lit with a classically gaudy chandelier, while the superior room, named ‘Last Queen of Scotland’ clashes leopard-print wallpaper with tartans, animal skins-draped walls, a bright red door, skirting and curtains, and antique furniture. Celebrating Paris’ rooftops, the rooms named ‘The Grey One’ and ‘The Other Grey One’ have a colour scheme that reflects the chic concrete capital with the utmost style.
While Le Saint James Paris’ rooms are a highlight, the hotel’s amenities and features turn the boutique hotel into a luxurious lair. With floor-to-ceiling bay windows, the hotel’s one Michelin star restaurant is headed up by Virginie Basselot. Expect dishes that showcase her refined seasonal French cuisine and creativity with both flavour combinations and plating style. The adjacent Grand Library hosts an astounding collection of beautiful books, as well as the hotel’s bar. Reminiscent of a private club, the bar-cum-library is encased in wooden panelling and peppered with leather chairs, guests and members of an international club who have access to the hotel’s facilities can rub shoulders over cocktails, wine, Champagne and other drinks concocted by expert mixologists.
Head down the infamous stairway of hot-air balloons to the spa where you can unwind under the magic of the treatment rooms, steam rooms and exercise room, which combine oriental and western décor to enchant and relax.
Casa Cuixmala |Mexico (Orange)
First built as a private family retreat and ecological reserve, today Casa Cuixmala stands transformed as an ultra luxury hotel in 25,00 acres of Mexico’s lush and beach-lined Pacific coast. The hotel’s architecture is influenced by colonial Mexican, Moorish and Indian style, with high ceilings, open rooms, an abundance of natural light, ornate windows and curved rooms. The décor splashes bold colours that stand out against the mostly white walls, azure blue sea and lush green surrounding foliage.
In particular, the Cuixmala Suite–the biggest of all of Casa Cuixmala’s rooms–is one of the great suites of the world, and boasts a tremendous orange exterior and decor. With a massive bedroom with a seating area and fireplace overlooking stunning ocean views, the interior’ white walls are broken up by bright orange bed covers and ornaments, while the sea’s blue contrasts magnificently. The deluxe bathroom has a shower and bath, both with spectacular view and an outdoor living area with a splash pool that gives onto the private beach.
Also part of the Casa Cuixmala, the other three suites have similarly intricate architectural details and bold colours and luxuries like private terraces and ocean-view baths, as well as oversize bedrooms and living area.
Cuixmala’s restaurant, Casa Gomez offers sophisticated cuisine that uses organic ingredients sourced from the hotel’s own organic farms and ranch. The produce, which is harvested only hours before being served, is combined with meat and fresh seafood, making for Mediterranean-like dishes with Mexican influence. The setting on the grand dining terrace of Casa Cuixmala with its panoramic views of ocean, mountains and lagoons is magical.
Casa Cuixmala is perched on a hill overlooking over two miles of private beach, an ideal spot for horseback riding, beach combing and home to the hotel’s turtle protection program. At the bottom of a grand staircase, on the Palapa beach is the oversized salt-water pool.
Cuixmala offers a myriad of nature experiences, which can be appreciated on foot, by mountain bike but perhaps best of all on horseback. The exotic setting of Cuixmala is further enhanced by herds of antelope and zebra, which can be observed up close by our guests. The ideal beach experience takes place at Caleta Blanca, the calm private beach, which offers kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding among other activities or just lounging on a picture perfect beach. Cuixmala also offers fishing, sailing, tennis, yoga, spa treatments and a wide range of eco adventures.
Wanderlust |Singapore (Yellow)
Self-confessed experimental boutique hotel, Wanderlust is one of Singapore’s most creative places to stay. Located in an old school in Little India, the hotel is spread over four levels and 29 rooms, each of which was designed by a different local design agency.
Walking into Wanderlust, the lobby–designed by Chris Lee and Cara Ang of Asylum–boasts the theme of ‘industrial glam’ with its attention-stealing curved feature wall plastered with a meandering montage of vintage print adverts that reflect the neighbourhood’s culture. Featuring a base palette of industrial shades–dark grey and deep browns–the lobby also plays on contrasts where at one side, stands an old-fashioned metal collapsible gate is redone in gleaming gold and a handsome Frank Gehry sofa rests next to Trent Jansen handmade seats crafted out of recycled road signs.
Each of the remaining three levels has a different theme. Inspired by pantone, the second floor’s rainbow corridor leads to the customised mosaic-tiled Jacuzzi and past eleven rooms, each of which is entirely dedicated to one hue. The rooms are adorned in a myriad of colours, including blue, cyan, green, red, orange, purple, pink, grey, white and black. However, it is the yellow pantone deluxe room that steals the show, with its vintage cast iron bathtub.
On the third floor, a black corridor lit by neon signs leads you into nine bright white rooms. Using paper as its inspiration, five rooms are known as ‘Origami’ with sharp undulating ceilings and lighting systems that allow guests to choose from four colours to ‘paint’ their room; and the remaining four, themed ‘Pop-Art’, which tap into the child in all visitors and allow them to immerse themselves in animated scenes of stencilled art installations.
The final floor, named ‘Creature Comforts’ is inspired by all things fantasy with rooms entitled ‘tree’, ‘typewriter’, ‘bling’, ‘ASCII and ‘space’. Like walking through a fairy-tale, the rooms have the likes of a giant monster holds up lights, a forest tree is bursting with friendly creatures, a floor-to-ceiling rocket and friendly aliens, and a giant typewriter.
Wanderlust is also host to traditional French restaurant Cocotte in the lobby. Serving French cuisine by chef Anthony Yeoh, it offers rustic dishes in a casual, communal setting. The restaurant features restored timber flooring with old wine crates propped on walls. Taking centre stage is a large circular, communal table topped grandly by a giant Moooi chandelier.