8 Design Hotels for Stylish Stays - Full-Time Travel

8 Design Hotels for Stylish Stays

8 Design Hotels for Stylish Stays  

By Esme Benjamin

If you fancy yourself a bit of an aesthete and spend ages clicking through hotel photos online before selecting one that speaks to your taste in decor, we get it. Even before the age of Instagram there was something incredibly alluring about surrounding yourself with beauty while on vacation. Nurture your inner style snob as you peruse our list of hotels for design lovers and nerd out over perfectly placed coffee table books, curated art collections, historic flourishes, rich color palettes and clean modern lines. 

Casa Delphine (San Miguel de Allende, México)

Courtesy of Casa Delphine

Casa Delphine is just as stylish as you’d expect given that its owner, Amanda Keidan, is also a jewelry designer. After falling in love with the artistic city of San Miguel de Allende during a vacation for Day of the Dead festival, Keidan bought and overhauled an old 5-bedroom hotel, transforming it into a zen hideaway decorated with antique furniture, hand-loomed rugs, decorative tiles and mellow shades of blue and grey. During the pandemic, Casa Delphine began offering “Sabbatical Sessions,” a one week stay with daily creative classes (everything from cooking to ceramics) organized by a concierge, so you can indulge your artistic side while exploring one of Mexico’s hottest destinations. 

Listen to Amanda Keidan tell her story of moving to Mexico on The Trip That Changed Me podcast >>

The Peninsula Paris (Paris, France)

Entryway of The Peninsula Paris' Historical Suite | Courtesy of The Peninsula Paris

While every room in The Peninsula Paris has an air of French refinement, the hotel’s standout space has to be The Historic Suite. Drawing inspiration from the building’s past, local artisans were hired to recreate period decor as it would have been a century ago. Marble fireplaces, gilded cornicing and crystal chandeliers are complemented by modern furnishings and bronze sculptures by the artist Nathalie Decoster to create a unique and beautiful space that feels utterly Parisian. While The Historic Suite offers plenty of elegant nooks for a celebratory tipple, make sure you check out the hotel’s rooftop for unbeatable views of Paris street life and the Eiffel Tower. 

Dimora delle Balze (Noto, Sicily)

Courtesy of Dimora delle Balze

Situated in the bucolic Sicilian countryside, inside a lovingly restored and beautifully crumbly estate, the Dimora delle Balze embodies the Mediterranean good life. Each of the hotel’s 11 rooms is inspired by an artistic work or its creator, and has its own distinctive mixture of textures, materials and colors. Think: jewel colored velvet, easy breezy linens, antique wood and shiny ceramics. Spend your time relaxing by the pool or opt for a workshop like pastry making or photography.  

Santa Monica Proper (Los Angeles, USA)

Courtesy of the Santa Monica Proper Hotel

Superstar interior designer ​​Kelly Wearstler is the woman behind the Santa Monica Proper’s distinctive aesthetic. Each of the hotel’s sun-drenched rooms is filled with custom-designed furniture in warm shades of caramel and sand. Potted palm trees and bamboo accents give public spaces a very on-brand beach-y feel, and the hotel’s roof terrace and pool are the best places in the neighborhood to get a cocktail while watching the deep blue waves of the Pacific roll in.

Esmé Miami Beach (Miami, USA)

Courtesy of Esmé

If you thought it was virtually impossible to find a laid-back enclave in buzzy South Beach, think again. Recently opened Esmé Miami Beach is tucked away down Española Way (a cobbled street full of bistros that feels distinctly European), a five minute walk from the beach and removed from the crowds. There’s a clear Spanish influence at Esmé, from the rose and emerald hued rooms to atmospheric El Salón, a moody bar with tapas bites and classic bistro chairs. Spend your day lounging by the rooftop pool or stroll down to the water and take advantage of the hotel’s beach chair and umbrella service.  

Bulgari Resort Bali (Bali, Indonesia)

Courtesy of Bulgari Hotel Bali

Indonesia’s most popular island is full of beautiful hotels with dreamy pools set amid unspoiled jungle, but in our opinion Bulgari Resort Bali has an aesthetic edge. A thoughtful blend of Italian and Balinese design, it incorporates natural elements of the surrounding landscape, from hand-cut volcanic stones to rich bangkiray wood. Each Bvlgari villa has a clean, modern interior with decorative flourishes made by local artists and craftspeople, and outdoor areas with plunge pools, open-air showers and ocean views. Continue your cultural immersion with a Melukat Purifying Ceremony, cooking lesson or a visit to an artisanal workshop to learn about the crafting process.  

Tortuga Bay Hotel (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic)

Courtesy of Tortuga Bay Hotel

Created by Santo Domingo-born fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, the Tortuga Bay Hotel in Punta Cana manages to be effortlessly stylish and luxurious without being overtly opulent. Settled on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic on a 1,500-acre ecological reserve  with miles of pristine beaches, the 15-villa hotel has a quintessential DR feel  – natural materials and a neutral palette, accented with tropical pops of green and yellow. Botanical paintings adorn the walls and rooms boast elegant four-poster or canopy beds. The Tortuga Bay Hotel gives each guest a golf cart to zip between their villa, the oceanfront restaurant, golf course and the Six Senses Spa and Wellness Center.

Royal Mansour Marrakech (Marrakesh, Morocco)

Courtesy of Royal Mansour Marrakech

The riads of Morocco are a dream for design lovers, with their beautiful interior courtyard gardens and shaded rooftop terraces. If you’re looking for your own little oasis in Marrakech, it doesn’t get better than the Royal Mansour, an intricately designed luxury hotel composed of 53 private riads – each one subtly different from the rest. Relax amid sumptuous furnishings and carved wood, plush curtains and decorative mosaic tiles, steam in your private hammam or read a book on the terrace. The Royal Mansour Marrakech is known for its wellness programming, which includes everything from private fitness classes and pampering treatments to nutritional programs and sound baths, all centered around its breathtakingly gorgeous white-latticed Spa Royal Mansour.

Featured image courtesy of Dimora delle Balze

"This sculpture is called "Transmission" by artist Daniel Popper. Its a reminder that we are all rooted in love, unity and the divine. She stands a towering 28 feet tall and is located on Mojave Moon Ranch in Joshua Tree. The land is private property, so you can see it from the viewing platform off of Sunfair Road. And take it from me, it's best viewed at sunset."

Reel: @johnofah

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen