My Design Travels

london's boutique hotel style

Deirdre Brennan - Tuesday, October 14, 2014
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San Domenico House,
in my very favourite part of London, was a great find recently.
Both the architecture and orange brick are synonymous with certain areas of London and I have always loved both. This boutique hotel is tucked in behind Kings Road and Sloane Street and only a short walk to Sloane Square.

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There is probably no further criteria for me on my hunt for accommodation in London, apart from of course, the style and ambiance of the interior.  I have discovered that I can really only relate to classic cosy English town or country house style.  Not contemporary minimalist which is prevalent and extremely uninviting !!

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Even Kit Kemp with her Firmdale Hotels of which there are many in London, does classic English style with a modern edge, to perfection. If I am in London I like to feel that I am living there, not staying in a hotel .. if you know what I mean !!

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The first of the boutique hotels in London to make one feel as if you were actually staying with friends was Blake's and it remains an icon.

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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).

 

 

la suite west, london .... the latest from anouska hempel

Deirdre Brennan - Friday, November 09, 2012

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Anouska Hempel has done it again with La Suite West, a luxurious boutique hotel in a beautiful part of London.

Inverness Terrace is just to the north of Hyde Park's Kensington Gardens.

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I have spoken before of her first beautiful boutique hotel in London, Blakes.  There have been other hotels in the meantime, however for me, La Suite West combines the best of them all.

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There is something in the way Anouska Hempel places cushions, her lamps in the restaurant, the symmetry of the potted plants in the garden or art on the wall ... she has a signature style ... and it all started with Blakes. 

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The combination of sleek lines, an asian influence in the detailing and yes .. the symmetry, works beautifully in this elegant London Victorian terrace.

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Her very smart colour palette of 'black and white' is complimented by the extensive use of luxurious marble and timber finishes and fine detailing.

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La Suite West ... Anouska Hempel at her best !!

 

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.

london olympic luxury

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, July 28, 2012

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I am sitting here in Sydney full of Olympic Spirit .... no not in London !!! Tickets scarce and crowds crazy, so very happy to travel when London returns to normal. However should I be over there, I have decided that the Firmdale Hotel Group do have the most exciting properties to choose from .... and in all the right locations .... Covent Garden, Haymarket, Soho, Knightsbridge, South Kensington and my favourite Dorset Square.  What could be more divine than this Regency terrace overlooking a leafy square.  

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Kit Kemp loves colour and plays with fabric in a very adventurous way.  Each property is unique ... in fact, each guestroom is unique, from what I can see. She combines slick contemporary with traditional pieces and details, very brave indeed.

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Firmdale call it 'fresh contemporary English style".  I have to say that I have not always been sure that it all works but looking at the newest addition in Dorset Square I have been won over.  Either my taste has changed or I have taken time to 'just get it'.

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I acknowledge they are quirky, however the attention to detail is exceptional, the furniture and furnishings are beautiful and I am sure the experience would be pure 5 star. 

Dorset Square is where I would be staying ... just a short walk to Marylebone High Street, an area I love with its gorgeous shops and cafes ... oh so civilised compared to the rat race of Oxford Street not so far away.

Would love some feedback on any of the Firmdale properties .... 

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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