What is it about a classic hotel that has us wanting to make a style statement? Here, four looks for summer and the places that inspired them.

May 07, 2010

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Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

It would be a shame for any visitor to come to Bangkok and miss the splendor of the Mandarin Oriental. For more than 135 years, this Travel + Leisure favorite hotel has been at the center of Bangkok life. The 339 rooms and 35 suites are spacious and elegant and enhanced by lush surroundings and serene riverside locale. The Authors’ Suites pay tribute to the long list of literary greats who have been long-time clients of Bangkok’s Grand Dame.

Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows

Also known as the “Pink Palace,” this landmark hotel is housed in a pale-pink stucco building surrounded by tropical gardens. Originally built in 1912, the property is a gathering spot for the Hollywood elite, with former patrons ranging from Elizabeth Taylor to Paris Hilton. The hotel has 185 guest rooms—many with fireplaces and views of Beverly Hills—as well as 23 garden bungalows with extra amenities like outdoor lounges and plunge pools. The property also contains a cocktail bar and three dining options: the star-studded Polo Lounge, a poolside café, and a coffee shop with a vintage soda fountain.

Delano Hotel

When Ian Schrager opened the Delano, a revamped 1940s Art Deco building, in 1995, it was considered a brave, even misguided move, as South Beach was then seedy indeed. But the hotel changed local narratives of design and geography. Today, it's a throwback to a time when a vacation didn't involve self-improvement or saving the planet. The pool is too shallow to swim in; it's called a water salon and has furniture to sit and, of course, pose on. The ur-hip clientele can also lounge on double daybeds on the beach or in poolside cabanas equipped with flat-screen TVs. After Schrager left, in 2006, the hotel underwent a refreshment to keep pace with Miami's exploding scene. Philippe Starck's witty interiors remain grand and groovy, and the collection of furniture and objects includes works by Gaudí, Man Ray, Dalí, and Charles and Ray Eames. And happily, the white-on-white conceit of the 245 rooms survived the renovations.

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