Best Hotel Designs – 2019 Platinum List Nominees
Vote for your favorites through June 30, 2019
From Chicago and Malibu to Paris and London, these properties capture the glamour of travel through their unique architecture, décor and furnishings. Help us determine the best in luxury travel for the 2019 Celebrated Living Platinum List Awards. Your vote will help select the top properties. Voting ends June 30. Read about the winners in our Platinum List Awards issue, on planes September 1.
San José del Cabo, Mexico
With its minimalist architecture and magical lagoon-like setting, the Viceroy Los Cabos is in many ways a fantasy—almost as if you had walked into your own imagination. The hotel sits at the southernmost point of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, where the arid desert landscape meets the Pacific Ocean.
The 192-room beachfront hotel is a study in contrasts, those juxtapositions enhanced by Arquitectura de Interiores (AI), the Guadalajara-based designers who recently refreshed the four-year-old hotel. From a distance, it has a sculptural and almost monolithic presence, elegant in its simplicity, but step through its doors, and it opens fully
to the sea—in this case, the Pacific Ocean’s Bay of Cortez.
Inside, the public spaces and guest rooms feature white walls and a neutral color palette. Yet within that calm, quiet framework, the designers sought to express the creative exuberance of Mexico by highlighting the country’s culture, starting with an artisan-made wrought-iron gate and hand-carved wooden door. The designers sourced most of the furniture from Mexican craftsmen and manufacturers. For AI, the primary goal was
to contrast “materiality and solidity against reflections, whiteness, air and light.”
Thus the color scheme invokes the black of the local clay, white from the linen and cotton of Mexican beach garments, and taupe and khaki from the Cabo sand, letting intricate geometry and natural patterns “add movement”
to the interiors. The idea, says designer Guillermo Ortiz, was to incorporate “layers
of bold materials, regional textures, tone and color schemes and rich patterns.” The design is at once “minimal and cozy, a canvas for discovery.”
The Viceroy Los Cabos—originally known as Mar Adentro—was designed by the much admired Mexico-City-based architect Miguel Angel Aragonés. Aragonés created a landscape that is an interplay between solid and void, architecture that is simultaneously dense and airy.
The hotel’s most dramatic space is the outdoor Nido bar and restaurant, with an overarching latticework wooden canopy that encloses the dining area and frames the view of the sea beyond. It’s an artistic intervention, a work of the architect’s imagination, and built by local craftsmen from palo de arco, a wood from trees that grow only in the Baja peninsula. That design perhaps best expresses the overall philosophy at work at the Viceroy: It is sculptural and very contemporary, but at the same time artisanal and very Mexican. It tells a compelling story of a particular place, one where the desert yields to the sea, and yet from that dramatic tableau, creates a tranquil spot to enjoy it all.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Reborn in 2015 after the renovation of a longtime private club of the same name, the Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s amenities speak to its athletic past, including an indoor bocce court in the gaming room just off the lobby. Don't miss a drink at Cindy's, a rooftop bar with some of the best views in the city.
Faringdon, United Kingdom
Set in a refurbished service station, this homage to mid-century Americana designed by the creatives at Soho House incorporates turquoise leather booths, mod furniture and a bright neon sign in a bid to create a Midwestern motel in the British countryside.
Malibu, California, United States
With elements like teak soaking tubs, outdoor fireplaces, shoji screens and tatami mats, this resort pairs traditional Japanese design with the comforts of a California spa. Featuring stunning ocean views, the 16-room property soothes guests with earth tones and linear lines.