Judged by a panel of industry experts, the annual European Hotel Design Awards celebrates newly opened European hotels that showcase exceptional construction methods and interiors. After visiting each shortlisted property, the panel meet to debate their merits and select their favourites. From the best renovation to the best spa, here are the winners of the 2015 European Hotel Design Awards
The Beaumont Hotel
Headquartered in London’s swanky Mayfair district, Beaumont Hotel is the first foray into luxury lodging by restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King. While the Art Deco interior echoes the building’s history, the judges particularly cited the hotel’s boldly modern, three-story Cubist-style suite as a “genius” touch.
Mandarin Oriental Bodrum
Set amid 150 hilltop acres overlooking the gleaming Mediterranean, the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is the hotel group’s first property in Turkey. The rooms and public spaces were designed by Antonio Citterio to blur the boundaries between inside and out, especially in the suites and villas, which have their own private plunge pools and terraces.
The Peninsula Paris
The Peninsula Paris poured 580 million dollars into the four-year restoration of the 1908 Belle Époque building where George Gershwin composed “An American in Paris” and the Paris Peace Accords were signed. Judges praised the meticulous and imaginative update that resulted in 200 luxurious rooms, as well as the lower-level spa and indoor pool, and private rooftop terraces.
Les Bains‘ storied past began in 1885, when it opened as a Parisian bathhouse. By the 1970s it was a star-studded nightclub-cum-pool-party—envisioned by the then-unknown Philippe Starck—before closing in 2010. A four-year renovation downsized the bar in favor of adding 39 rooms, designed by Tristan Auer, that pay homage to those glamorous days and feature red-velvet sofas like the one Andy Warhol had in his studio. Not only did Les Bains earn praises from the judges for its “lived-in local narrative,” but it also captured the Hotel Design of the Year award for being “simply breathtaking from every angle.”
INK Hotel Amsterdam
Clues to its past are nearly everywhere you look at INK Hotel Amsterdam. This boutique property was once the headquarters of Dutch newspaper De Tijd, and the contest’s judges were impressed by the way architects at Concrete, a local firm, had “created a lively and welcoming lobby clearly informed by the building’s historic past use.” Oversize typeset letters decorate the walls of the lobby, while the library lounge is covered with newspaper-plate “negatives”—a nostalgic throwback to pre-digital days.
Denis Montel of RDAI, responsible for designing Hermès boutiques around the globe, was commissioned to bring his vision to La Salle-à-Manger, the restaurant at Paris’s Les Bains hotel. Judges declared it “a memorable, sexy, and enchanting restaurant.” The dramatic ceiling, sculpted in undulating domes of dark red-lacquer that seem to melt down the walls and supporting columns, is softened by a fabric-covered wall of gradient tones. Judges also gave a nod to Le Reservoir, the private dining room that was once a 50-foot-tall water tank.
Mandarin Oriental Bodrum – Spa
The expansive Spa at Mandarin Oriental Bodrum expands upon the hotel’s guiding philosophy that, in a setting such as this, design shouldn’t detract from nature. The judges took note of how perfectly the Turkish retreat integrated indoor and outdoor environments, including private cabanas with sprawling terraces, an 85-foot indoor pool as well as several outdoor vitality pools, and open-air lounging areas.
Le Bar at Hôtel Plaza Athénée
Architecture firm Jouin Manku was aiming for something quite different than the traditional hotel bar rife with antiques and crystal when designing Le Bar at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, and the judges commended him for it. In the early evening—underneath a cloud of sapphire fabric (more than 500 yards)—a faint blue light suffuses the space, suggesting a restless, stormy sky. The bar itself is a sweeping arc of clear resin mixed with streaks of white paint, giving it the appearance of clouds. But come at 11 p.m., when the room is bathed in red light as a DJ spins house music and Paris’s well-heeled club crowd takes over.
Garden House Suite at Rosewood London
The rooftop Garden House Suite at Rosewood London owes its name to the terrace accessed through the den, providing an oasis of greenery as well as picturesque views over the courtyard below and the city’s rooftops beyond. Inside, the suite invites comparisons to a fine manor house, with its living room, library, den, Italian-marble bathroom, powder room, and private service entrance. Judges called it an urban sanctuary that “takes the trophy for its luxurious residential feeling.”