World's Best Design Hotels

Ball & Albanese

From urban oases to mountain hideaways, these design hotels represent the best in elegance and class.

The first
design hotels sprang to life in the 1980s, when Ian Schrager opened the
landmark Morgans Hotel and the Royalton Hotel, both in New York. The properties
offered chic and intimate lodging for guests more interested in a buzzing,
social lobby and hotel bar scene than the austere Four Seasons and Fairmonts of
the day. Now, more than two decades later, the term “design hotel” has been so
overused and abused that it’s difficult to know exactly what it means.

Fortunately
we have our own definition today: A great design hotel is small, thoughtfully
planned, meticulously executed and creates an environment unlike any other.
Each is a place where tactile materials, craftsmanship and distinctive,
cutting-edge design all come to the fore. From the otherworldly desert canyons
of Amangiri in Utah, to the bright and airy rooms at the 12th-century
watchtower of Italy’s Torre di Moravola, to the vast collection of contemporary
art at Louisville, Kentucky’s 21c Museum Hotel, these ten properties define
what a design hotel should be.