Nate Storey
January 01, 2015

A highly subjective survey of the latest design features, amenities, and quirky little touches we heartily approve of.

British sculptor Antony Gormley’s geometric suite, simply called Room—at London’s Beaumont Hotel—is equal parts accommodation and art installation. You emerge from a narrow staircase into a dark, fumed-oak space with nothing but velvet blackout curtains and a powder-white bed—the effect is an allenveloping emptiness that’s enhanced as you stargaze through the high window. $$$$

Designer François Champsaur gave Hôtel Vernet, in Paris, a très chic face-lift for its 100th birthday, adding eye-popping color to the Haussmann-style building with apple-green banquettes and bright-yellow frescoes. But a morning croissant under the original Gustave Eiffel stained-glass dome is still what makes this place special. $$

Kimpton’s Santa Barbara, California, debut hotel, the Goodland, serves its house-made take on Cracker Jacks in playful boxes at the bar. It’s everything it claims to be, especially after a day riding the waves. $

Oceanfront rooms at the new Kata Rocks Phuket resort in Thailand have floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the endless Andaman Sea—and embedded TVs in the ceiling so CNN doesn’t spoil the view. $$$$

Moxy Milan’s flesh-forward design isn’t for every taste, but the massive wall paintings of half-naked couples and Do Not Disturb signs with shirtless male models are bold departures from the ordinary. $

The legendary Horween Leather Company fashioned punching bags and portions of a custom boxing ring for Soho House Chicago, a nod to the building’s past life as a belting factory and to the city’s pugilistic history. $$

Hotel Pricing Key
$ Less than $200
$$ $200 to $350
$$$ $350 to $500
$$$$ $500 to $1,000
$$$$$ More than $1,000

Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

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