The World’s Best Hotels, According to A-List Designers

October 28, 2019

What is a great hotel if not a home away from home? We asked 6 top designers known for their brilliant work and undeniable mastery in creating warm, yet imaginative lodgings to each share their absolute favorite hospitality project plus a beloved hotel that they didn’t design but adore all the same.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design

Sands Hotel & Spa; Indian Wells, CA: “It’s not the most glam or prominent of my projects but the Moorish mid-century interiors are magical: Mad juxtapositions of tile work that blend pattern and shape with wild abandon. It has special energy and makes me smile!”

Villa Treville; Positano, Italy: “This is my favorite spot to visit at the moment. It was once the rambling villa complex of director Franco Zeffirelli and was designed by the great decorator (and my idol!) Renzo Mongiardino; so pair that with the views and position high on a bougainvillea-strewn cliff overlooking the Amalfi coast, and the recipe for perfection is complete.”

William Paley, Tony Chi & Associates

The Rosewood London; London, England: “I love how the modernity and humor of our design for the interiors contrasts with the glorious Belle Epoque architecture — an exemplar of a renovation done right.”

Chateau Marmont; Los Angeles, CA: “In my frequent travels to the city, I’ve grown to love this hotel. Its mystique and unique smell, the rooms with their damp plaster walls and leaded glass windows, the dark tiled floor lobby — it has an undeniably LA ethos.”

Ken Fulk, Ken Fulk Inc.

The Battery; San Francisco, CA: “We designed it as a private social club, but with the chicest hotel rooms in San Francisco. If you book a room, you gain access to the spa, gym and bars, and get to hang with some of the coolest folks in town!”

Chateau Marmont; Los Angeles, CA: “I never feel more like a rock star than when I check into the Chateau Marmont. There’s nothing better than a lazy Sunday brunch by the pool. I put on my big sunglasses and pretend not to be looking at the bevy of celebrities who are inevitably milling about.”

Will Cooper, ASH NYC

Hotel Peter and Paul; New Orleans, LA: “It’s a full campus of buildings set on a city block with the school, rectory, church and convent marching down Burgundy Street. There’s a hallowed energy that we channeled, and so many nooks-and-crannies and special design experiences.”

Chiltern Firehouse; London, England: “I’m a sucker for a Balazs property. His level of detail and execution is top notch. I’ve never been been one for a stuffy, ritzy hotel that feels claustrophobic. Chiltern has all the necessary luxuries (heated bathroom floors, fireplaces, etc.) but still feels very casual and current. It’s sexy but comfortable and luxurious — a hard trifecta to achieve!”

Alexandra Champalimaud, Champalimaud Design

Raffles Hotel; Singapore: “It’s a national monument in the country, so to have been selected to work on that project and for it to have come out as beautifully as it has is humbling.”

Villa La Coste; Provence, France: “A charming place in an idyllic location.”

Ashley Gillen, Paul Duesing Partners

Tucker’s Point; Bermuda: “This project resonates personally not just for the decor, but for the experiences I had while working on it, like being able to explore the island and its fascinating heritage.”

Claridge’s; London, England: “I love feeling like I’ve traveled in time to a distinctly bygone era, which is what I want to feel when traveling to London. It sets me in the right mood to explore or scout for projects. Great hotels should create an experience and set the stage for the traveler to integrate.”