Noted in Noted

  • Tugu-bali-room-rejang-suite-05

    Hotel Tugu Bali

    Hotel Tugu Bali has been around for almost two decades, but remains unique in a hotel scene that has plenty of beautiful luxury hotels but little in the way of highly individual or historic places. Founder Anhar Setjadibrata is Indonesia's largest collector of cultural antiquities and designed this hotel, along with properties in East Java and Lombok, to house his collection. Set between rice paddies and the ocean, and surrounded by lush gardens and lotus ponds, its highly considered interiors evoke Indonesia’s splendid ancient kingdoms and colonial era. Two rooms are filled with art work and objects from early 20th-century expat painters, while other rooms feature Javanese Art Deco touches or 19th-century wooden framed stained-glass windows.

    Indonesia Noted On February 15, 2015
  • Boulevard Leopold

    Boulevard Leopold

    Belgium has so many small, beguiling places to stay, we could happily devote at least a couple of years to nothing but them. This beauty in Antwerp's Jewish quarter has long pushed all of our ‘sense of place’ buttons (the B&B's concept statement even reads a bit like the dating profile we'd have if we had one: no nonsense, easy going, a sense of romance, comfort, discretion, forgotten glory). Three rooms and two apartments occupy a classic late 19th-century townhouse. Stuffed with antiques and original features – tiled bathrooms, clawfoot baths and working marble fireplaces – it's a look that is at once a theatrical fantasy and profoundly contemporary, a mark of Bert Verschueren and Vincent Defontainers' fashion world credentials.

    Belgium Noted Uncategorized On February 5, 2015
  • miramonti

    Miramonti Boutique Hotel

    Klaus Alber and Carmen Kruselburger realised their long-held dream of owning their own hotel in 2007 and have gradually transformed this alpine veteran into an absolutely contemporary, but deeply souful, place to stay. Perched on a mountainside by the edge of a forest in Hafling, high above the city of Merano, and just below the local ski slopes of Merano 2000, the location is spectacular and the lounge, restaurant, spa and rooms all make the most of the gobsmacking mountain views. Miramonti's perfect ratio of simplicity and quiet luxury is itself charming, but it's the intimate atmosphere, a very human scale, and hands-on presence and warmth of Klaus and Carmen's staff that totally transcends the ordinary.

    Italy Noted On February 1, 2015
  • the-singular-patagonia

    The Singular, Patagonia

    End of the earth ambience and an intriguing, sensitive refit of an early 20th-century industrial site? An unequivocal ‘si’ from us. The Pedro Kovacic-designed public spaces in this Puerto Natales hotel, once the heart of a boom-time sheep processing plant, are ruggedly masculine but indulgently luxurious, while 57 cosy, modern, glass-fronted rooms make the most of spectacular views of of the wind-whipped Última Esperanza Sound and mountain peaks beyond. There’s no lolling by a pool this far south, instead days are filled with treks to the Torres del Paine national park, kayaking, horse riding and boat trips through the Patagonian fjords to see hanging glaciers and icebergs.

    Chile Noted On January 2, 2015
  • chateaudelaresle

    Château de la Resle

    As someone who always choses white over red, many of my favourite places in the world are also, perhaps not uncoincidentally, great white wine producing regions. This six room B&B between Chablis and Auxerre beckons, though not just for its proximity to Grand and Premier cru vineyards. With its ivy-clad pale render, a steep slate roof and oeil-de-boeuf windows, one might imagine yet another faux historic mashup inside, but no. Dutch expats Johan Bouman and Pieter Franssens have retained the 17th-century boiserie, beams and baroque fireplaces, but otherwise opt for an entirely modern, très pays bas fitout, commissioning pieces from the Netherlands' hottest designers.

    France Noted On December 18, 2014
  • hotel-nord-pinus-tangier


    Anne Igou, the woman behind Arles’ legendary Hȏtel Nord-Pinus, opened a second in Tangier, Morocco, a few years ago, and with Igou’s extraordinary eye in evidence throughout (think vintage pieces by Jacques Adnet and Charlotte Periand effortlessly paired with original tile work and North African fabrics), it soon had the same cult following of its much-storied sibling. Occupying the highest point in the Kasbah, there are spectacular Straights of Gibraltar views: according to the wonderful Carol Prior, of Morocco by Prior Arrangement, the big blue vistas can even be had from the bath in one of the suites.

    Morocco Noted On December 15, 2014
  • hotel-hotel-canberra

    Hotel Hotel

    Architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin’s visionary early 20th-century blueprints for Australia's new capital were never fully realised, but their mystical modernism lives on, cited as a key influence by Hotel Hotel’s owners Johnathan and Nectar Efkarpidis and aesthetic curator Don Cameron. Deciding to focus on ‘how best to convey authenticity, narrative relevance and a curated experience that is personal’, they've combined carefully chosen 20th century furniture with primitive art, found objects, antiques and design work care of a team of ‘makers and artists’. Happily for Canberra, that means a hotel that’s unpretentious, sexily tactile and deeply evocative of place.

    Australia Noted On December 11, 2014
  • lavilla1901

    La Villa 1901

    Nancy, in north-eastern Lorraine, was France's Art Nouveau hothouse, Emile Gallé’s École de Nancy an unlikely coming together of the region’s booming steel and glass industries and the sensuous, so-hot-right-then whiplash curves of the natural world. Visionary metal-worker turned Modernist architect and designer Jean Prouvé was also born into this milieu. This spendid mansion house,  a particularly beautiful example of the signature local style and former family home, is an apt choice for design pilgrims to take in the city's rich architectural heritage and museum collections. Owner Isabelle Jung-Hutin's way with colour and mad, enchanting detail is moody and seductive; each room has a distinct look and design references.

    France Noted On December 8, 2014
  • Ottmanngut78

    Ottmanngut Suites & Guestrooms

    The very-Viennese Italian spa town of Merano has never lacked for hotels. This reinvented family guesthouse is, however, a standout, evoking the city’s past in its enchanting interiors. Like many of Südtirol’s hotels, it’s family owned and managed. This latest incarnation comes care of the owner’s grandsons, who have tackled the update with a creative, relaxed and very modern spirit. Rooms have their own collections of antiques, paintings and rugs that gently recall Merano's glory days, but are light and airy. And, just beyond the beautiful tiled breakfast room, lay the hotel’s own terraced mini-vineyard and a backdrop of orchards and alpine peaks.

    Italy Noted On December 4, 2014
  • sauris

    Albergo Diffuso Sàuris

    The German speaking village of Sauris, in Italy's far north east, is remote, reached via a steep mountain road and a thousand switchbacks. While a devastating earthquake 40 years ago saw many of the region's beautiful wooden houses abandoned, the Albergo Diffuso – 'widespread hotels' – programme has rebuilt and updated a number of these in the mountain top Sàuris di Sopra, and its lower counterpart, Sàuris di Sotto. All have great facilities (full kitchens, open fires, expansive balconies and modern bathrooms) but most importantly, give you the rare opportunity to taste Friulian village life in a pristine, and persistently rural, alpine setting.

    Italy Noted On December 1, 2014
  • hotel-stadt-rosenheim

    Design Hotel Stadt Rosenheim

    A mid-size, well-priced hotel with a convenient and calm location, friendly, professional staff. Sounds like your standard German business hotel, right? While all that applies, what comes as a surprise in perennially 'safe' Munich is the decor. The original hotelier family recently re-purchased the hotel and have reverently (and smartly) left much of the 60s, 70s and 80s wallpaper, making for a happily vibrant and naturally textured look and feel. Rooms are entirely individual: there's strict and streamlined modern, some moody monochromes and, our favourite, a few sporting a riot of Bavarian florals.

    Germany Noted On November 27, 2014
  • duneile

    D’une île

    A bucolic retreat in a conservation area of Basse-Normandie, just 90 minutes from Paris, this hotel-meets-medieval-village was dreamed up by Dutch expats Michel Mulder and Sofie Sleumera, a musician and fashion designer respectively. Guests are accommodated in a clutch of brocante-filled cottages, ancient and cosy, and there are some that can sleep four to six. A super convivial central cafe/restaurant/bar area dispenses coffee, wine and evening meals cooked with love and using locally-sourced produce. The surrounding countryside of Le Perche is a treat, with little-visited evergreen forests, rivers, medieval castles, manors and authentic rural villages.

    France Noted On November 23, 2014
  • Noted-Gasthofgruenerbaum

    Gasthof Grüner Baum

    Südtirol’s quietly booming hotel scene is based on a centuries-old culture of hospitality. Gasthof Grüner Baum, one of my discoveries for the Lonely Planet Italy guide back in 2013, made it into their Top 10 Best Value Stays for 2014. This enchanting, very stylish 500 year old inn sits in the centre of the walled ‘city’ of Glurns, in the Val Venosta. A stylish, contemporary fitout gives the gorgeous old bones respect, its beautiful austerity enlivened with a wonderful collection of objects, some precious, other curiosities, and cosily boiseried library and guest stü

    Italy Noted On November 20, 2014
  • mojavesands

    Mojave Sands

    While there's always been a number of wonderful places to stay in Palm Springs, up at Joshua Tree, not so much. Texan transplant Blake Simpson appears committed to changing this. He's remodelled and crafted a classic 1950s motel by hand over a decade, with the occasional helping hand of a talented crew of LA design-royalty friends. But LA-bling it's certainly not, with a laid-back desert ethos, interesting upcycled decor, all solar power and most food sourced from a communal kitchen garden. Soon to follow,  is another motel conversion/re-imagining, this time right in the centre of town. 

    Noted USA On November 17, 2014
  • Patina


    With an authoring trip for Lonely Planet in the offing (and some binge viewings of the History Chanel's Vikings), I spent a lot of imaginary time in the west coast of Norway early in 2014. There's a little B&B in the Voss region where I longed to visit and, when I finally made it there in June, found it as delightful as I'd imagined. At the heart of the heritage protected village of Evanger, between the iconic Hardangerfjorden and Sognefjorden, this cafe, second hand 'butik' and B&B is a wonderful mix of Nordic simplicity and the rustic, and well, patined, look Norway has made its own.

    Norway Noted On November 13, 2014
  • VillaLaetitia-Italy

    Villa Laetitia

    Rome's recent past can be just as enthralling as its ancient history; this early 20th-century villa is a stunning example. Nestled in a residential street, across the Tiber from Piazza Popolo, the 1911 gem was re-imagined as a bijou hotel by Anna Fendi Venturini in 2007, a ‘retirement project’, taken up after handing over the reigns of the Fendi firm to her daughter. There’s a wonderful synthesis of rationalist rigour, Liberty grace and effervescent Roman glamour at work, each room a mini-museum of exquisite 20th-century furniture, photographs and Fendi accessories. Plus the location ensures you get to feel as if you’re a local, while being a meander away from anywhere you’d care to go.

    Italy Noted On November 6, 2014
  • taioheritagehotel

    Tai O Heritage Hotel

    Hong Kong’s beaches and outer islands are surprisingly serene and traditional, a wonderful way to have a holiday from your Hong Kong holiday, especially if you are visiting during the swelter of high summer. While this kind of escape has usually required a private rental or hostel, there’s now a rather special seaside hotel. Housed in the former colonial police headquarters in Tai O, a fishing village with stilt house-lined canals on the deep green island of Lantau, it has simple, elegant rooms with idyllic views and a good seafood restaurant. The colonial architectural features include shady arcades and a pitched tile roof.

    Hong Kong Noted On November 3, 2014
  • DarNejma

    Dar Nejma

    A few steps from Tozeur’s enormous palmeraie, at the heart of the medina, Dar Nejma hides behind its high brick walls. From the outside, nothing distinguishes it from other houses in the old city, but it’s an oasis within an oasis within. This is how it was intended by Dominique Airault-Cousin who designed and built in compliance with local traditions and how it’s lovingly maintained by Airault-Cousin's family, friends and local staff. One of the most beautifully detailed, if delightfully understated, small hotels I've ever seen, there's a lushly planted courtyard pool and large, madly romantic rooms each decorated individually, right down to hand-mixed colour on the walls.

    Noted Tunisia On November 2, 2014
  • LocandaRR

    Locanda Rosa Rosae

    The watery Veneto flat lands that fan out beyond Venice are a dreamy, disorienting world. Palazzo-stays are ubiquitous round here, but if you long for something less Palladian, Rosa Rosae fits the bill. A ‘crazy’ architect and his creative wife decide to save a ruined mill dating back to 1570 and open it to guests... you had us at buongiorno. Betty and Silvio describe their place as being about  ‘an atmosphere of family and peace, essential and soft’. Candle lit original interiors, recycled wood and stone and metal, the odd contemporary piece and painting, white linen sheets: bliss.  

    Italy Noted On October 30, 2014
  • MonteCarloBeach

    Monte Carlo Beach

    A low-slung 1920s ‘Riviera Red’ beauty, the Monte Carlo Beach sits right by a cyprus-circled beach and Olympic-sized saltwater pool. Once the scene of between-the-wars scavenger hunts and costume parties, care of socialite Elsa Maxwell, it’s again firmly back on the Monaco map, sporting an elegant India Mahdavi refit. Rooms are gently nautically themed (ah, how I love a porthole), and done in bold primaries that nod both to the hotel’s glory days and to contemporary tastes. The hotel’s relatively modest size – there’s 40 rooms – mean it’s not hard to imagine you're staying at someone's sprawling Med estate.

    Monaco Noted On October 29, 2014