While there’s plenty to be said in favor of the new, sometimes the best things stem from a solid original foundation. Industrial structures like warehouses and factories are finding new incarnations as luxury hotels, challenging designers to get creative with old bones and drawing in guests who seek a sense of history and character.
In New York, the Wythe Hotel (Brooklyn) and the Refinery Hotel (Manhattan) were resurrected from a cooperage and a hat factory respectively. In Istanbul, the brand-new Shangri-La Bosphorus brings opulence to the banks of the river in the form of elegant rooms converted from a former tobacco warehouse.
In Louisville, Kentucky, what first began as a storage space for bourbon and tobacco is now the 21c Museum Hotel—a multipurpose facility that comprises a hotel, a contemporary art museum and a cultural center. And the remote Fabriken Furillen, once a limestone refinery, is an isolated 16-room property on a Swedish island, where neighbors are few but the scenery is stunning.
Here are ten cutting-edge hotels that come from humble origins.