Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Periscope Hotel

Periscope Hotel, member of YES! HOTELS forms a new space of modern design that depicts the global concept of city resort hotels. Its location in Kolonaki, the ever active and cosmopolitan heart of Athens, brings the guest into the social, cultural and business pulse of the city. Periscope at number 22 of Haritos street consists of 22 modern rooms - 4 of them Junior Suites as well as 1 luxurious Penthouse Suite with an exclusive private Jacuzzi on the hotels rooftop. The spacious Penthouse Suite offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Acropolis and Lycabettus. Rooms are characterized by modern aesthetics and ergonomic design.
X Factor: Electronic periscope individually controlled for a personal "site-tour" of Athens.

New generation of backpacker accommodation in India

There's an orange revolution going on in the world of travel, but this time it has nothing to do with Stelios. TATA - the group behind the famous Taj hotels - has opened its first indiOne "Smart Basics" hotel in the thriving south Indian city of Bangalore. Think of it as a slightly richer and rather less fluorescent cousin of the familiar easy brand. From £11 per night (pre-tax) for a single, backpackers can enjoy an ultra stylish "Smart Space" room with a 17-inch wall-mounted flat-screen TV, 24-hour cable, wireless internet and full air conditioning. You retain your room for exactly 24 hours after checking in, and get full access to the cyber cafe, gym and laundry facilities. It's 25 minutes from Bangalore airport and 45 minutes from the city bus terminal and railway station. The group is now rolling out similar indiOne hotels in 10 destinations across India, including Pune, Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) and Varanasi.
Added bonus: Flat-screen TVs.
Price: £11 for single; £12 for double (pre-tax and excluding breakfast).

Sunday, 31 December 2006

Lux 11

When the Wall went up, the old centre of Berlin, Mitte, went to the East. Fifteen years after reunification, Mitte has reasserted its status as the beating heart of the city, home to the hippest shops, restaurants, theatres and, increasingly, hotels. Lux 11, in a revamped, white-painted heritage building, is the newest kid on the block and already looks set to be one of the most popular. Its concept is high style, low cost (and long stay, even lower cost). Maid service is every third day and fridges can be stocked to order. Each of the 72 apartments has a kitchenette with pots and pans and even a small dishwasher (although, in the smaller rooms, dinner parties would have to be held in bed). Designed by Claudio Silvestrin and Giuliana Salmaso, London-based architects responsible for many Armani outlets, the colour scheme runs a narrow spectrum between white and a muted Chinese green. Floors are polished concrete or bleached wood, but other materials are sumptuous, such as the suede headboards and taffeta bedcovers trimmed with fake fur. Flat-screen TVs, faxes, Wi-Fi, DVD players and huge hairdryers (with diffusers) are standard. To one side of the lobby is an Aveda Spa and hairdressers; the groovy restaurant, Shiro I Shiro, serving Asian-Italian fusion food (with a sushi bar) is to the other. Staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful and all look like models.


Anna Missirian pestered the authorities for seven years before she was granted permission to convert the magnificent monument of Imaret, the Kaval seminary built by Pasha Mehmet Ali in 1817. Prominently positioned in the cobbled Old Town, its multiple archways crowned by more than 100 domes. The restoration took only 22 months. Entering the walled compound of Imaret is like stepping into another country. There is something of the Moroccan riad about the arched walkways surroundings courtyards filled with orange trees, marble fountains and Arabic inscriptions. Each of the 30 rooms and suites have a distinct personality. Some are harem-style, with built-on wooden beds and velvet cushions heaped on window seats. Others are more like Byzantine chapels, sunlight filtering through skylights in exposed-stone domes. Egyptian chandeliers hang over giant beds draped in emerald brocade. All the bathrooms are spectacular, with sunken marble baths and beaten-cooper sinks. Original features are accented by natural materials, muslin drapes and kilims. Lighting is seductive and technology discreet (flat-screen TVs and stereos are concealed in closets). If you want to leave the world behind, ask for a room overlooking the courtyards. At dusk, when the courtyards shimmer with candlelight, Imaret is almost embarrassingly romantic. Honeymooners head for the pool-house, where steps lead into two cocoon-like pools lined with bronze tiles. Heady sensuality permeates everything, from the young staff on a mission to spoil you to the Eastern-inspired dishes created by chef Georgia Nikopoulou (poached from the Sani Asterias Suites in Halkidiki). Breakfasts are lavish and all served to a classical soundtrack as seagulls swoop past picture windows.Imaret

Pure Hotel

Fans of austere contemporary design will love this 50-room newcomer near Frankfurt's main train station. As at many design hotels, the place is mostly self-service: No one fusses over you when you arrive in the lobby, which evokes A Clockwork Orange, right down to the rounded edges on the furniture and the backlit bar that also serves as the reception desk. The all-white rooms contain leather-upholstered headboards and wall-mounted media centers, and although your desk may block the wall outlet and thin walls can mean undesired intimacy with the neighbors, wireless Internet access, great Thai herbal toiletries, and feather duvets put the Pure a notch above other style contenders. There's no restaurant, but Frankfurt's best pizza place, 7 Bello, is a few doors down and does takeout.
When to go: Late fall and winter, when the weather is perfect for sampling apple wine.
Which room to book: Nos. 509, 510, and 511, on the top floor overlooking the backyard patio (doubles, $167–$417. The Pure

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Commune Hotel By The Great Wall

The Commune by the Great Wall has won several architectural prizes and international recognition. It is now an avant-garde styled hotel open to the public thereby ensuring its place as a ‘museum of contemporary architecture’ and enabling more people to appreciate its beauty.
Every guest at the Commune Boutique Hotel receives outstanding service with each of the houses retaining a butler.
And as an architectural museum, the Commune still impresses. The hotel is made up of 11 modernist villas and a club house, all poised at daring angles in luscious forest, each with a different designer from the ranks of Asia's most interesting contemporary architects. It's immediately obvious why it bagged a special prize at the 2002 Biennale di Venezia. If you can't afford to stay there (and prices start at £660 a night) you can always visit - tours cost around £10.
Of course, nothing can detract from the fact that it possesses one of the ultimate heritage selling points - a private path that leads on to the Great Wall of China - and views of the wall from several of the villas. Photo Gallery

Friday, 22 December 2006

Beyond Hotel...Stay with Luxx

Bangkok's Smallest Hotel LUXX, one of the smallest hotel in Bangkok introduces a new taste of luxury for its guests. The new home for the young, hip and trendy traveler is bringing design, comfort and experience to a new level. From being a home of one of the owners to a left alone building, a young architect and designer merge a vision to create a premium class accommodation facility to fit the taste of the young, hip and trendy.
The Holistic Concept of Accommodation
Beyond Hotel is a philosophy translated to its features and amenities. It is a 4-storey twin hotel building composed of a mezzanine floor and 13 individually designed rooms and suites. Each room is built on a studio concept and features a heavenly bed space, cable TV with hot and cold shower. Suites are perfectly structured into one-bedroom set-up with LCD TV, personalized DVD player, coffee and tea making facilities, minimalist pantry and private views overlooking the newly created courtyard that reflects the spirit of calmness and zen. The wireless wi-fi internet access offers in the rooms and the lobby totally free of charge.Gallery

The Widder Hotel

This is where some boutique hotels really excel, combining inventive design with historic features. One of the most gracious examples is the Widder Hotel in Zurich (00 41 44 224 25 26; www.widderhotel.ch - doubles from SFr665/£280 without breakfast) created out of eight medieval townhouses.
This mixes wooden beams and old stone walls with ultra-modern staircases and fittings. The décor of the 42 rooms and seven suites is truly eclectic, ranging from sleek modernism to sumptuous wooden panelling. Resourceful touches include the use of mirrors to produce a sense of space in some of the smaller bathrooms. The restaurant serves Swiss specialities along with other dishes, while the bar is a hip hangout.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Hotel Unique, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Hotel Unique's name, it is an appropriate one. The design is inescapable — the structure is by Niemeyer protegé Ruy Ohtake (himself one of Brazil's most famous architects) and takes the form of a half-disc, flat at the top, like a penny perched on its edge, with the top half sawn off. The result is not just a striking silhouette, but an ingenious way to skirt the 85-meter maximum height restriction, while concentrating its guest rooms toward the top for ideal city views — in fact there are only 4 rooms on the narrow second floor, and 30 on the top floor.
Alternately, the hotel resembles a cartoon boat — the face is weathered copper, with circular porthole windows, and the curved underbelly that would be the ship's bow and stern are paneled in wood. Ribbon-thin sheets of concrete anchor the fore and aft to the ground (and guard against the seeming possibility of the whole thing rolling over). The rooftop lounge is floored in wood, like the deck of an old ship, and the water is up here as well in the form of a deep crimson swimming pool (which, we admit, seems a bit more decorative than functional).
Still, this is a self-consciously hip boutique hotel, and the decor is highly modern, anything but conservative. Reception, rather than the typical imposing monolith, is just a couple of chairs around a small table with a bottle of chilled champagne. The guest rooms may not be as overstated as the structure, but they have their own daring flourishes. Rooms at the edges curve with the outer wall's arc, and furnishings extend mischievously into the upper corners. The bathrooms are a bit avant-garde, with sliding dividers separating (or not separating) them from the bedrooms transparent bathtubs. — just make sure you are traveling with someone you know well, or would not mind getting to know better.

Experience Hotel LKF

Amid the bustling skyline of Central, Hong Kong – Experience Hotel LKF – your tranquil sojourn nestled in the heart of the city's hip and vibrant Lan Kwai Fong neighborhood. When the hustle and bustle of the city meets an intimate and unique place – Hotel LKF by Rhombus, momentous things happen.
With 95 deluxe rooms, highly personalized attention and seamless service to each guest, you will experience the intimacy of belonging. The striking night view of the Hong Kong skyline glistening into your room, the soft and lavish bed sheets, the warm feeling of goose down pillows and all those little details will tuck you into the luxurious contentment for a sweet night's sleep. All rooms and suites are designed for the comforts of home along with a contemporary photographic masterpiece in each room – putting you in touch with a distinctive energy and personality, brilliantly reflecting of the boldness and diversity of Hong Kong 's spirit. Careers