Hotels, Inns, and Resorts with “The Look”: An Interior Designer’s Travel Wishlist


As an interior designer-slash-gadabout, I’m not ashamed to say that I sometimes pick my destinations and accommodations based on how they look, all other things being equal – I get my inspiration from some of the hotels I’ve stayed in. These hotels and inns don’t necessarily have to be high-end digs with designer sheets and expensive furniture (though I like those too), however, as long as they’re well-designed or unique, like the ones on my travel wishlist below.


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The luxe
I’m sure most of us imagine living the high life once in a while, and if I had my druthers and the bank account to match, I’d check in at the One&Only Reethi Rath in Maldives, which has beautiful private villas right on top of the water, decked out with a combination of furniture made out of natural materials and only the most modern amenities, or the Hotel Canaletto in Venice, with its palatial rooms with marble floors, chandeliers, grandiose draperies, and stunning views of the Venetian canals.

The hip
Whitepod Eco-Luxury Hotel in Switzerland has gorgeous geodesic-shaped pods are eco-conscious, high-tech, lovely in white canvas during the winter and in green, to fit with the verdant Swiss summers, and of course, hip because environmental responsibility is tops in my book.

For more metropolitan cool, there’s the Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore. This boutique hotel has a variety of playfully designed rooms in whimsical, Pantone, and monotone themes that are just a sight to behold.

The traditional
For a taste of local culture, I like the idea of staying in heritage hotels or inns such as Clove Hall Residence and 23 Lovelane Hotel, both in Penang, Malaysia, and the various ryokan in Japan (especially the ones with onsen, like the Tawaraya Ryokan in Kyoto. These beautifully preserved inns give travelers a glimpse of design traditions and culture of the country.

The wacky
Fans of The Beatles and whimsical architecture will also get a kick out of the Yellow Submarine hotel in Liverpool that is in a boat decorated with psychedelic coloring and mod-inspired accessories like gold records and a scooter.


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The multithemed Winvian Farm in Connecticut has some rather unusual cottages like a treehouse, a beaver dam-inspired lodge, and one with a fully-restored 1968 coast guard helicopter, all wonderfully detailed to capture the intended themes.
These are just a few names off the very long list of impeccably designed hotels I want to stay in if I had a chance. I hope I get to visit all of them some day!

Hey there, I’m Scott Jay Abraham, an interior designer with an incurable case of wanderlust and an endless travel bucket list that you can find in my blog.

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