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Design Diary: The world’s most Instagrammable hotels

Creature comforts go on the back burner when competing with social media likes

Tabloid

Did you even go on a holiday if you don’t report it on social media? Book yourself a stay in one of these hotels and watch your ‘influencer’ stock skyrocket.

 

1. The Silo Hotel, Cape Town

The building that has taken the design media by storm for its dazzling cushion-cut windows that gleam like gemstones against the azure Capetonian sky and the gritty concrete exo-skeleton was in fact, once a fully functioning silo. Set at the edge of the V & A waterfront, the silo that first opened in 1924 reopened to the public recently, having undergone a massive re-configuration under the watch of architect Thomas Heatherwick. Sat above the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the hotel, whose interiors are designed by Liz Biden occupies the former grain elevator sections of the silo. As if taking inspiration from the jewel-like windows, the interiors offer a flourish of jewel tones in the most luxurious finishes, set to double aspect ceilings and an eclectic furniture selection. By day, Heatherwick’s trademark windows dazzle in the light; post sunset, the city’s dazzling lights are reflected in the many bevelled mirror-clad surfaces inside. Original works and limited-edition prints from the museum speak of regional culture and society from a modern perspective.

 

2. Morpheus Hotel, Macau

Zaha Hadid Architects recently unveiled their latest hotel project, which, according to them is the ‘world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton’. Which means, the intricate external crochet-like net that ensconces the otherwise rectangular building negates the need for internal walls or columns, allowing a free-flowing space inside, void of typical restraints. The building’s form is further dramatised by three punctures that frame magnificent views of the city and offering up space for restaurants and lounges. While the interiors are remarkable in their own right, it is the kaleidoscopic atrium that is the real star of the show. Running the height of the hotel between the two towers, an undulating network of triangulated voids informed by traditional Chinese jade carving techniques lends high drama that has a sense of familiarity, while remaining strictly in the ZHA universe of parametric, future forward architecture.

 

3. Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen

This hotel is design royalty from head to toe. Copenhagen’s first skyscraper, the building was designed by Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen and originally opened in 1960. One of the most celebrated examples of modernist architecture, it was also Jacobsen’s labour of love — he oversaw the minutest detail of the building. Space Copenhagen’s redesign centred on preserving its extraordinary character without turning it into a shrine for Jacobsen. As a result, the master’s vast catalogue of iconic furniture finds new expression, finished in innovative materials and staged in a very contemporary setting. While some might lament the apparent disregard to certain classic Jacobean details, the hotel is quite literally a masterclass in Danish design.

 

4. Shoreline Hotel Waikiki, Hawaii

A stone’s throw from Honolulu’s famous beach is the landmark hotel that has had a neon makeover. US design studio BHDM display a penchant for bold, electric colours, that in offering a pop-art take on the island’s exuberant flora and fauna, caters to a growing need among clients for a social media-savvy design solution. The design team dived into a melange of prints, art and furniture — in a mix of bright, punchy colours. Bespoke carpets and vibrant wall murals set the tone for the overall design that honours the classical architecture of the property and brings it into circa 2018 all at once. Tempered with white and ombre surfaces for relief, and old-style neon signs just in case you missed the point, Shoreline tries hard to be ‘the’ hangout for the influencer generation. It almost succeeds — that is, if one can ignore how fast it could be dated.

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