If you’re planning on booking a trip in the upcoming year and you’ve got a discerning eye for design, you’re in luck: recently the bible for the internationally hip and stylish, Wallpaper* Magazine, came out with their go-to guide of Best Business Hotels 2012. Chinese Musician Kelly Cha, Creative Director of SW1, Florence/London Alvaro Gonzalez, founder of Taschen Books Angelika Taschen, VistaJet Milan Brand Director Nina Flohr, MTC Melbourne Artistic Director Brett Sheehy, and perfumer and silverscreen royalty Frederic Malle were all chosen for their experiences dashing around the world as cultural embassadors, creative jet-setters, and entrepreneurs, to choose which luxury destinations best examplify a superior traveling destination. While many hotels choices seemed spot-on, a few were more surprising picks.
One of the top choices, the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, though it is an impressively designed location (and has a downstairs restaurant worth its own visit), its location across the bridge from the many business epicenters of NYC may make it seem too inconvenient for just a good night’s sleep. While the NoMad Hotel, A Francophilic dream, located in the Flatiron district (and run by the folks at Ace Hotel as it’s more “business minded counterpart”), is an excellent choice. It was a bit odd that none of the Morgans Hotel Group properties made it onto the list as they are prolific within the metro area (culturally and geographically), and carry an esteemed reputation within the business community of providing superior quality, design, and experience.
Below is the long list including some of the things the judges found appealing in the winners:
Hotel Georges, Istanbul, Turkey (The Winner)
Situated in an art nouveau mansion on a narrow cobbled lane in Istanbul’s Galata district, what Hotel Georges lacks in central location it makes up in atmopshere and intimacy:
Harder to find than a New York speakeasy, and inspired by Paris’ hôtels particuliers, the Georges is decorated with dark parquet floors, bespoke brass fixtures, ornamental plaster panels and handcrafted wood furnishings by local artisans. Most of its 21 rooms have balconies overlooking the Bosphorus, some even boast 10 sq m terraces with stunning sea views, while the sun-drenched penthouse has its own private swimming pool.
However, what truly won over the judges was the sheer luxury of the hotel, and it’s abundance of courteous staffers:
What makes this place irresistible for business or leisure is that each room comes with its own private butler on hand for any request.
Park Hyatt, Sydney, Australia (The Runner-Up)
Though outmatched by the Hotel Georges’ natural beauty, the Park Hyatt Sydney still has plenty going for it in terms of design, modernity, and breath-taking views:
Park Hyatt Sydney is a low-slung sandstone structure located within the historic rocks district on Sydney Harbour’s Campbell’s Cove. There are just 155 rooms, including three new rooftop suites adjacent to the pool on the fourth floor, all of which have balconies with a view. The prestigious Sydney Suite is the grandest with almost 360-degree views of the bridge, harbour and opera house. The rooftop spa features an outdoor jacuzzi overlooking the bay, while the dining room restaurant has a rich, warm décor with food by chef Andrew McKee, whose contemporary Australian-inspired menu is based around local produce. Eight Australian artists, including GW Bot, whose carved sandstone panels feature in the public areas, were commissioned to produce artworks for the hotel.
However, once again, one-on-one service and convenience wins out over beauty and sleekness, with “a business centre comes fully equipped with your every working need, including translation and secretarial services.”
And then there were the others, who though not at the very top of the list, still made quite an impression on the illustrious panel:
Originally known as the Palacio de los Condes de Miravalle, it has a red volcanic rock façade, traditional handmade tiles in the rooms, perfectly manicured patios, and a stone-forged staircase dating from the colonial period and featuring a stunning 1945 mural by Manuel Rodriguez Lozano. The palace was painstakingly restored by the Habita Hotel Group with local practice Cherem Serrano.
“There might be no better place to hold a corporate retreat than the Fasano Boa Vista. Located 100km away from the bustling business hub of São Paulo, the resort boasts the amenities of the other five-star Fasano properties, including their attention to culinary detail.”
“The Four Seasons Pudong is the hotel group’s second property in Shanghai – a sign of just how bullish the Four Seasons is about China in general and Shanghai in particular. The new build is located in Pudong, Shanghai’s financial and commercial hub on the east side of the Huangpu River, and just across from the historic city centre.”
Hotelier Florian Weitzer’s second property, this is an intimate boutique hotel located steps from the city’s historic Schloss Belvedere. Designed by architects Atelier Heisse, it is filled with a mix of antique and contemporary pieces by local designers. There’s even a teetering sailboat sculpture by Erwin Wurm and urban beehives on the roof.
Though the hotels in the piece come from destinations as wide ranging as The Netherlands to Hong Kong, the key threads seem to be spectacular views, superior (modern!) design mixed with antique flourishes, superior conveniences, and a dynamic one-two punch of a killer in-hotel bar and a five star restaurant. While all these things may seem like obvious ingredients for a successful business class destination, in this age where travelers having an increasing number of unique choices, it can’t hurt for companies to up their game–as well as keep their eye on the competition.
If you’re curious about what a creative class- favorite hotel spot looks like, you can click through our full photo gallery below.