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While the art deco movement may have originated in Paris—and more specifically at the 1925 decorative arts exposition—its glamorous aesthetics proved popular in countries as far-flung as India and Vietnam. On this side of the Atlantic, the emergence of the movement coincided with the economic boom of the 1920s. A new crop of high-end hotels sprang up all over the country, designed according to the trends du jour.
The overly decorated styles of the past gave way to a more modern interpretation of luxury—geometric patterns, sweeping curves, glamorous furnishings, mirrored surfaces, and monochromatic palettes. Art deco design was opulent and still very lavish, but in a sleek, more streamlined way. Needless to say, its allure lasted beyond the Jazz Age and well into the 21st century. Here, we take a look at some of the most beautiful art deco hotels around the world that will give you some serious design inspiration (and wanderlust).
Le Cinq Codet, Paris
Housed in a former France Telecom building from the 1930s, Le Cinq Codet is a triumph of art deco architecture and modern design (the property is also part of Design Hotels).
The hotel was restored by architect Jean-Philippe Nuel who did a marvelous job paying homage to the building's art deco heritage by incorporating portholes, curved banquettes, and oak paneling.
Sunset Tower Hotel, Los Angeles
In 1938, an advertisement promoted the Sunset Tower Hotel, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, as "Hollywood's most distinguished address," and the property certainly still lives up to this description. Conceived by architect Leland A. Bryant, the hotel opened its doors in 1929 and became an instant sensation among Hollywood's A-listers. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and John Wayne all resided here at some point in time while guests flocked to the property for its glamorous art deco vibe and stunning views of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
The Beaumont, London
One of London's best luxury hotels, The Beaumont, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, is housed in a Grade II listed art deco-style building that dates back to 1926 and is designed by architects Wimperis & Simpson. From the black-and-white granite chequerboard flooring of the lobby and the leather banquettes and mirrored pillars of the American Bar, to Antony Gormley's sculpture, ROOM, that can also function as an extension to one of the suites, The Beaumont perfectly combines Great Gatsby-era glamour and modern aesthetics.
Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China
Located on the Bund riverfront, the historic Fairmont Peace Hotel is the epitome of art deco luxury. The lobby's stunning octagonal glass skylight and custom-patterned stone mosaic floor, as well as the lavish furnishings of the rooms and suites, reflect the hotel's Roaring ‘20s heritage.
The Savoy, Westminster, London
The Savoy, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, built in classic Edwardian and art deco styles underwent a major four-year renovation in 2007 that was unveiled by none other than the Prince of Wales himself. But the property remained every bit as glamorous as its heritage dictates. After all, it has welcomed the likes of Edward VII, Charlie Chaplin, and The Beatles—and was the center of London's high society in the 20th century.
Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee, France
For nearly 100 years, the iconic Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Mediterranee, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, has provided luxurious accommodation to some of the world's most prominent figures who, in the summertime, flock to the French Riviera to relish its sun-drenched beaches and coastal glamour. Overlooking the chic Promenade des Anglais, this landmark hotel, also listed as a historic property and a 20th-century monument, was built in 1929 at the height of the art deco movement. It also includes a sun deck with magnificent views over the Mediterranean, a casino, a theater, and a swimming pool.
Azerai La Residence, Vietnam
Located on the southern bank of the Perfume River and across from the ancient Hue Citadel, Azerai La Residence is a former colonial governor's mansion built in the 1930s. The three-story building has a distinct central bay façade that connects its two modern-day wings. Inside, teak wood floors, geometric motifs, and art deco furniture hint at the property's lavish past.
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, Miami
Located in the city's art deco district, The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, underwent an extensive renovation and re-opened in 2019. Guests can now enjoy all the modern amenities you'd expect to find at a Ritz-Carlton property while taking in the hotel's opulent art deco vibe—herringbone flooring, plush oversized furniture, and brass accents are a stylish nod to the past while the beautiful ocean views and pops of color add a vibrant Miami touch.
The Chatwal, New York
A Manhattan landmark hotel, The Chatwal, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, was built in 1905 and enlarged in 1915. It became the epicenter of the theater community in the city and was the home of the first theatrical society in the U.S. In 2014, the hotel was revamped by Thierry Despont, who incorporated many of the building's original features into the new design, such as the floor-to-ceiling fireplace at The Lambs Club.
The Waldorf Astoria, New York
The iconic Waldorf Astoria New York in Midtown Manhattan has almost as much notoriety as New York City itself. Designed by architects Schultze and Weaver, the art deco building was completed in 1931 and has since been an integral part of the city's social and cultural life. The hotel's grand ballroom, a four-story-high space with its own Broadway stage, has served as the background for countless parties and galas.
Hotel Martinez, Cannes
Hotel Martinez, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property and an art deco gem on the French Riviera, was completed in 1929 and given a significant redesign in 2019 by Parisian architect Pierre-Yves Rochon. Inspired by the Mediterranean joie de vivre, Rochon incorporated a coastal palette and chic contemporary furnishings in the rooms and suites. He also brought back to life the sophisticated art deco features of the property, such as its stunning staircase. Hotel Martinez also houses La Palme d'Or, the only two-Michelin-star restaurant in Cannes.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, India
The breathtaking Umaid Bhawan Palace, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, was once the largest residence in the world—and part of it is still used by the royal family. And while its imposing façade is Indo-Saracenic, the stylish interiors are distinctly art deco. The property is also a favorite of celebrities—Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas tied the knot here in 2018.
The Peninsula Shanghai, China
Located along the Bund, The Peninsula Shanghai, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, stands out in a city that offers plenty of luxury accommodation options. The property's granite façade features decorative grilles and bronze accents reminiscent of the Roaring ‘20s. Inside, the exquisite art deco-inspired interiors and world-class amenities deliver an unparalleled experience.
Don Cesar, Florida
Opened at the height of the Great Gatsby era in 1928, Don Cesar hotel, also known as the Pink Palace, is a National Historic Landmark once frequented by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The property's most recent multi-million-dollar renovation enhanced its art deco image while also adding modern amenities and sleek furnishings.
While the building that houses Claridge’s, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, precedes the art deco period by about 20 years, the hotel underwent a Great Gatsby-esque makeover in the 1920s and became the playground of London's socialites. Art deco pioneer Basil Ionides added several glass screens in the foyer and reading room, while Oswald Milne got rid of the old carriage drive and instead built a more elegant Roman stone façade. Milne is also responsible for the property's stunning mirrored foyer.