Archive for May, 2011
Be prepared for surprises in a room at the crazy bear, where it’s reckoned some 85 per cent of surfaces are covered in leather…
Four and a half years in the making, Crazy Bear Beaconsfield opened in 2008 to spectacular reviews worldwide. The hotel is the oldest documented building in Beaconsfield, and was formerly a coaching inn dating back to the 15th century. It has been meticulously restored and elaborately redesigned to provide dramatic architecture and extravagant luxury. The hotel consists of 10 individually designed guestrooms, two fantastic restaurants and a selection of private dining rooms and bars, all of which play host to an astonishing amount of leather. Rumour has it that 85 per cent of all surfaces at Crazy Bear are covered in the stuff and because of this, the hotel is luxurious and extravagant but in a way that screams ‘girls’ pampering weekend’!
The room I stayed in was up its own staircase and behind a surprisingly plain door (the sort you would expect to find a mop and bucket behind.) The room was dark with old beams and black leather floors. There was an amazing Bang and Olufsen entertainment system, independent temperature control, and touch and mood lighting. All very cool features, but my favourite thing about the room was the incredible copper bath, which filled up from a water source in the ceiling. (continue reading…)
In the world of product design, Patricia Urquiola is already a legend and her recent foray into hotel design (masterminding a stunning design scheme for the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona) proves she is versatile as well as highly creative. Urquiola was born in Spain but runs her own design studio in Milan. She continues to design for some of the most successful international furniture brands including Moroso and B&B Italia. Many of these designs feature in the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona as well as bespoke products.
How did the hotel’s location influence your concept?
It was a fundamental element. Passeig de Gràcia is, in my impression, the centre of Barcelona and the hotel is in the most expressive part of it; the Cerdà Eixample neighbourhood, nearby Gaudí’s Casa Milà and Casa Batlló and also apartment buildings by Puig i Cadafalch and Domènech i Montaner. Here you experience the Catalan heritage of the 19th century – the soul of Barcelona. (continue reading…)
Renowned Furniture and Product Designer Patricia Urquiola has turned her talents to hotels, imbuing this latest offering from Mandarin Oriental with a cool aesthetic and featuring both bespoke furniture and customizations of her designs for leading brands
Interior designer: Patricia Urquiola
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona is a 98-room hotel with an impressive location at the very centre of Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia. Close to the city’s famous attractions including Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, there are plenty of places of interest for tourists as well as architecture enthusiasts. Thanks to the imagination of Spanish-born designer Patricia Urquiola the Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona should prove yet another essential stop-off on any design trail through the city. (continue reading…)
Wanderlust in Singapore is one of three properties that Loh Lik Peng opened this year, all of which are immaculately designed. Loh (who was born in Dublin but went to live in Singapore with his parents in 1997) has a real interest in design (particularly iconic furniture) and as well as seeking out the most fascinating areas for his schemes, makes sure that he employs great creative talent to work on them. He hired several different practices to work on Wanderlust, with impressive results.
What makes Little India such a special place for a hotel?
It’s a little ethnic enclave in Singapore that is pure and unadulterated. If you know what the rest of Singapore can be like you’ll know this is a really rare quality. I think Little India retains an unsanitised authenticity that lends it a unique air. It’s chock full of people; unruly, with sights and smells and food more reminiscent of Bombay than what people associate with Singapore. It’s absolutely perfect for a little boutique property. (continue reading…)
Owner Loh Lik Peng largely chose graphic designers to work with on the creation of his new boutique hotel in Singapore, with spectacular results
Interior designer: Asylum, DP Architects, fFurious, Phunk Studio
Located in the Little India district where Indian immigrants once reared cattle and livestock, and in a building that was first the Hong Wen School (in the 1920s) and later home to the Buddhist Welfare Association, Wanderlust is a hotel with some stories to tell even before you encounter its wild and wonderful new interiors.
‘Visitors and guests to Wanderlust will reconnect with a small part of their childhood and once again be enchanted with what made them want to explore the world,’ Says Wanderlust’s owner, the hotelier Loh Lik Peng. ‘I wanted to make the adult world into a fun playground once again.’ (continue reading…)