My Design Travels

hotel lancaster paris, still my favourite ... for the moment

Deirdre Brennan - Thursday, November 27, 2014
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My favourite hotel in Paris has always been the very stylish Hotel Lancaster. Interestingly, at the moment, two of the most iconic and glamorous hotels in Paris, The Ritz and Hotel de Crillon, are closed for renovation. 

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The Hotel Lancaster is all about pared back elegance ..

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a sophisticated, muted colour palette ..

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its artwork, chandeliers and Louis XV and XVI furniture ..

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and of course .. has something for everyone.


Beautiful hotels in Paris, particularly at this time of the year, are for slipping into for a hot chocolate and luxuriating.  If you are checking in .. all the better.  I can't wait for the grand openings of The Ritz and Hotel de Crillon. 




Ham Yard Hotel London ... modern British style

Deirdre Brennan - Monday, June 16, 2014
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Firmdale Hotels has opened another hotel in London this month with Kit Kemp the designer working her magic.  She is renowned for her confident play with fabric patterns and bold use of wallpaper and artwork. 

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Kit Kemp is also incredibly clever with the detail.  I have had the pleasure of visiting a number of her other hotels in London ... the Knightsbridge, Number 16 and The Pelham and can say that I have loved all that she has accomplished.  She has a signature style ... however each property, very much it's own look and feel.

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At the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, colour and pattern have been taken to a new level. Even though some of her pattern combinations I find almost too bold, they work and I can only marvel at the attention to detail. 

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There are areas with schemes such as the Suite above, that for me, don't work.  There is just one fabric too many !!! and there will be those who think it is fabulous.  

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The drawing room, for reasons quoted above, falls into the same category.  However, I do feel that this room is probably a lot more appealing in reality, so will put it down to the photograph ... I find it difficult to imagine the very clever Kit Kemp getting it wrong ... or am I not fully appreciating modern British style.



 



loving london's boutique hôtels 2014

Deirdre Brennan - Friday, April 11, 2014

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The Pelham Hotel in Sth Kensington is, for me the perfect location in London.  A short stroll to the V&A or along the gorgeous Walton Street to Harrods ... more specifically, their Stationary Department. 

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Kit Kemp the designer has created a luxury town house style hotel, the interiors 'a tailored version of grand English style'.  I love the idea of individually designed bedrooms, and there are 52 to choose from.

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What sets these hotels apart is the unexpected ... the combination of antique and contemporary furniture ... quirky lighting and modern art set within a a wood panelled drawing room or library ... it is perfect. 






hotel guestrooms with a difference... the siam, bangkok

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, April 20, 2013

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Without doubt it is the individuality of The Siam that sets it apart.  Renowned hotel designer Bill Bensley has incorporated the old with the new and created a unique 5 star hotel, full of charm. 

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This is not your typical hotel guestroom ... with Thai Colonial influences, lamps hanging on black silk ribbons, travel collections ... all so very personal. 

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The elegance of suites with sumptuous furnishings, exquisite detailing and such interesting memorabilia.  

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Memorabilia that has been collected and sourced for each of the individually themed suites.

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Always glimpses to the exotic orchid filled gardens ...

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Black and white and distinctly Art Deco.  Such attention to detail.

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I ask the question again, why can't your average hotel guestroom, or even just the expensive ones, be that little bit more exciting or individual.  It isn't only about the finishes and furnishings ... it is about creating spaces that make patrons feel at home or somewhere better than home.

 

 

loving the langham, london

Deirdre Brennan - Sunday, December 30, 2012

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The Langham Hotel, London ... just a short stroll from Oxford Street, Regent Street and Marylebone High Street ... shops, shops and more shops. This is a very stylish hotel in a fabulous location. 

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Classic Room

I love the warmth and attention to detail in all the rooms ... from the entry level Classic Rooms to Grand Junior Suite.  There are of course larger suites, however I simply can't imagine needing anything larger than the gorgeous Grand Junior suite ... particularly when you are out and about shopping and exploring all day. 

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Grand Junior Suite

I think what I love most is the interesting use of colour throughout ... both elegant and adventurous, to say the least. I don't know why all hotels don't do doona's/duvet's ... they are just so inviting.  Well actually I do know why.  Changing covers still remains a nightmare for housemaids. (Have to say I find it a challenge and only have a couple to do at any one time.)

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Artesian

Lovely to know there is the traditional Palm Court to return to for Tea after all that shopping ... or the Artesian for a cocktail before dinner.  I do love the exotic Orientalism !!!

A stay at The Langham would not be complete without a stroll through Regent's Park or a visit to the Wallace Collection (also fabulous Tearoom).

 

 

the south place hotel London ... glamorous and hip !!

Deirdre Brennan - Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Described as the Shoreditch end of the City of London ... this is the part of London where it is all happening.  Every new bar, restaurant and hotel that I read a review of, seems to be in this locale.

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The very smart Conran designed guestrooms appeal to both business and leisure travellers.

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The first hotel venture by the D&D London group, this hotel has 80 guestrooms, two elegant restaurants, three bars (one secret garden bar), roof top terrace and sponsors its own art prize !!!

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... and so much to explore beyond the confines of the hotel.

french style .... hotel lancaster, paris

Deirdre Brennan - Thursday, July 19, 2012

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The Hotel Lancaster in Paris is without doubt the prettiest hotel in Paris.  An extremely chic boutique hotel .... is this not just exactly what one would expect when we think of Parisian style.

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I adore the simple, pared back elegance which allows the architecture to shine. 

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This is the most sophisticated use of colour .... so subtle, yet only for the brave.  Shades of lavender, lilac and aubergine teamed with shades of grey, crisp white and hint of gold .... how divine !  Not as easy as it looks to achieve the perfect balance.

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I have always loved the tile and marble combination in a bathroom ... somehow it creates character.  It is so much more interesting than head to toe marble which is an easier option by far.  How decadent to have your own dressing table and in the bathroom... only in Paris !!

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This interior is timeless ... classic and contemorary all rolled into one. Their collection of artworks and antiques complimented graciously by the sumptuous colour palette and subtle attention to detail.

Having said all that, how inviting does that sofa look. Perfect for putting your feet up after a day shopping in Galeries Lafayette.

I knew I was going to fall in love with this hotel when I spotted those lavender grey striped awnings and gorgeous flower boxes.

 

 

hotel plaza athenee, paris .... a stylists dream

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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I fell in love with these images as soon as I saw them however just couldn't help but wish all hotel rooms felt this inviting.  It seems that no matter how much money one pays for that touch of luxury, hotel rooms do seem a little lacklustre. Yes it is the finishing touches .... flowers, candles, magazines and the extra scatter cushions .... and yes I have spoken about it before.  For any number of reasons this is the area that seems to have been eliminated from either the brief or the budget or both.  Therefore it is the boutique hotel with the fastidious attention to this sort of detail that we seek out .... the hotels that appear in glossy magazines and coffee table books.    

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These images show the beautiful Plaza Athenee in Paris .... a stylists dream ....miles of silk curtaining, elegant panelling and architectural detail, glamorous chandelier and sumptuous furniture.  Why aren't all hotel rooms filled with armfuls of fully blown roses, french champagne on ice and fragrant room candles !!!! 

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claridge's .... a very british residence

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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We all think of afternoon tea when we hear the name Claridge's, however I was fascinated to learn more of the history of this favourite London icon while reading one of my favourite blogs ..... from Mulberry.  

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Mulberry, another British icon known for its luxurious fashion and leather goods, chose Claridge's for the fifth time to host its Autumn/Winter 2012 show during London Fashion Week.              

As part of sharing this experience with its readers Mulberry asked Claridge's about its history and for any interesting facts about the hotel.

I hope you enjoy these snippets about Claridge's as much as I did.  It will make it all the more meaningful when next you meet there for afternoon tea.

PS.  There is something terribly smart about black and white floors whether they be tile or marble, large or small .... and the entrance at Claridge's .... just so glamorous !!!   

 

 

home away from home at the greenwich hotel new york

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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There is something rather special about boutique hotels like The Greenwich Hotel in New York.....they are so much more homely and inviting than the larger hotel chains....even if they are 5 star !!  The attention to detail during the design process is one thing but the concept of the smaller hotel offering a little more is what really makes the difference to its clientele. 

The additional decorative items that you don't see in the bigger hotels such as the occasional throw rug, coffee table books, magazines....the sort of decorative pieces that you would have in your own home or would like to have, are generously incorporated into both guestrooms and public spaces.   

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Having spent a number of years working on the interior design of large hotels and small, there is only so far the big hotels are prepared to go when it comes to individualizing either the guestrooms, lobbies, restaurants or bars.  Yes it is a staffing issue.....after all straightening books and decorative items does take time!!! 

The reason I don't go back to hotels I have worked on is that I have been known to plump up cushions or reposition a collection of items on a coffee table !! I have to say that a large part of the thought process when incorporating all the gorgeous extras is how it will stand the test of time .... and the general public.

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Wonderful boutique hotels like The Greenwich have no two guestrooms alike.  They are elegantly eclectic .... incorporating delicate silk rugs, interesting art collections, glamorous mirrors and libraries of books...and are truly a luxurious home away from home.

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