From treehouses to igloos, there’s no shortage of hotels that offer a unique sleeping experience. But as Mr and Mrs Smith founder, James Lohan, reveals, some are more wonderful than others. He rounds up five wonderfully quirky places to stay that are as stylish as they are special, whether you’re after a hip city break in the Big Apple or an quiet weekend at an English country home.
QT Sydney – Sydney
For a theatrical welcome on arrival in Australia’s harbour city look no further than QT Sydney. The former state theatre is packed full of drama and eccentricity, blending gothic, art deco and Italianite architecture with quirky cool interiors. You’ll want to explore every nook and cranny from the Gilt Lounge cocktail haven to the hip day spa, everything here is touchy feely; ooh look at that. The lift responds in tunes to the number of people inside – love songs for duos and party tracks for groups. Glamorous door girls in bright red bobbed wigs tend the door and there’s a laid back Euro style café on the ground floor. You could find plenty of reasons to stay holed up in here if it wasn’t for sparkling Sydney beckoning you from beyond this playground’s doors. A stay at the QT Sydney starts at £254 per night. See the website for more information.
Maison La Minervetta – Sorrento
Bright reds, blues, stripes and geometric design strike a daring pose in this nautical themed coastal getaway in a 50s villa perched on cliffs on the Amalfi Coast. What started out life as a restaurant and small hotel is now a fully refurbished hip getaway with floor to ceiling windows in every room and three sun terraces (head to the upper-most for cocktails, mid-level for chilling and to the lowest for a Jacuzzi pool) – all are perfect platforms for admiring the panoramic view. Maison La Minervetta is considered and cluttered – ocean themed artworks and design magazines dress it as quirky and colourful. With enviable views over the Bay of Naples, complete with bobbing boats and Vesuvius as a backdrop, you’ll struggle to tear yourself away. A stay at Maison La Minervetta starts at £157 per night, including breakfast. See the website for more information.
Domaine les Roullets – Provence
Formed from the remains of a Roman garrison, this historic homestay is a delight of twists, turns and architectural quirks and is now a luxury B&B with elegant grounds including vineyard, fruit orchard, olive orchard and gardens. The décor is subtle and stylish, mixing French sophistication with modern art. Domaine les Roullets is a countryside retreat with a 360 degree view – it’s easy to see why the Romans stopped here, it’s just a pity they didn’t have the luxury of a tree canopied courtyard and lengthy heated pool. A stay at Domaine les Roullets starts at £183 per night, including breakfast. See the website for more information.
Ace Hotel – New York
Youthful, hip and with art lined walls, the Ace Hotel in New York is one for the creatives. Rooms feel like über cool urban apartments but there’s something for all budgets – ‘bunk’ rooms offer just that while deluxe are for those who are handy with the plastic. Communal areas shout no expense spared. With an industrial edge, the hotel is very user friendly – you can review your room bill via your flat screen TV. Look out for the personal touches – some guests even report receiving hand written notes asking them to come back soon. A stay at the Ace Hotel starts at £122 per night. See the website for more information.
The Pig – Hampshire
If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a Pig surprise – this super stylish stay in Hampshire is a country house hotel cloaked in oriental carpets, vintage croquet mallets and oil paintings from bygone days. Enjoy excellent fare at the top class restaurant where meals are made with fresh ingredients that are locally sourced – the menu changes daily. The dining room has a conservatory feel with old wooden school chairs, foliage-covered trellises and a colourful mosaic floor. This hotel comes with a wisteria-clad exterior and old oak tree in the front drive, a walled garden out back, some pigs (of course), a tennis court, and a spa shed. What’s not to like? A stay at The Pig starts at £129 per night, including breakfast. See the website for more information.