Hoteliers and design experts from around the world impart their tips on how to bring a slice of holiday luxe into your home
Positano: Le Sirenuse
“To grow Bougainvillea Glabra Sanderiana across indoor walls, it needs to be directed upwards, so we use tiny, close to invisible, nails which are hammered into the wall and some natural raffia strips. A strip of natural raffia is wrapped around the nail head and then to the bougainvillea branch/tendril, directing it upwards. These branches should never overlap… we always maintain a distance between the branches, adding elegance.” – Giulia Sersale at Sirenuse Hotel
“Bring the lemon yellows of the Amalfi Coast into your home. The first thing that comes to mind are flowers… a bunch of daffodils in a vase immediately makes a difference. Yellow is the colour of sunshine. It is the icon of spring. But I also have to say that the yellow sofas and chairs in the Le Sirenuse bar have attracted many admirers. Their colour derives from the floor tiles. These tiles’ design is a classic of the Vietri tradition, and my father-in-law decided to upholster the living room with the yellow and blue of the tiles. In a city house, with a marble or wooden floor it takes a bit of courage to use yellow to cover a sofa, but it shouldn’t be. Yellow is a warm colour and pretty neutral. It can replace cream if used on the odd single armchair, next to a leather sofa or something covered with a darker colour. It makes every room shine and you can always mitigate it with a more traditional cushion of top.” – Carla Sersale co-owner at Sirenuse Hotel
Puerto Rico: Finca Victoria
“Finca Victoria’s design approach is to create an eclectic, balanced and unique space that resonates with the warmth of a carefully tailored home. We layer antique furniture with modern details such as local artwork and crafts, vintage wall hangings and drapes and we add touches in the rooms such as hammocks, which can be hung on balconies or even inside the bedrooms.
“We all inherit pieces from family members, and we collect special finds from previous trips, but the key to putting all this together is too not worry too much if the pieces are from the same period or style. Be playful and use your intuition to compose your own special corners which will tell a story, a collection of travels and memories. I would always suggest a hammock in your room. Try it!” – Sylvia De Marco, owner of Finca Victoria
Barbados: Cobblers Cove
“I love rooms with a sense of airiness and breeziness, but with the light from outdoors filtered by gauzy linen curtains. This gives such a softness and grace and also a youthfulness to a room. A confident but limited and repeated colour palette is very soothing.
“I’ve always loved conservatories or garden rooms for the sense of holiday they invoke, so I try to recreate that Bajan sense of informality and lightness of touch by using rattan furniture and wicker on rush matting and lots of ferns and indoor plants in wicker baskets – it makes being inside feels like being outside. There’s a transparency to rattan furniture which is really attractive and light. It also doesn’t block spaces which is useful in making a room feel light and un-cluttered. The glass hurricane lamps and mirrors help this too, catching the views from outside and reflecting them so that the rooms have more depth to them – and of course, hurricane lanterns with mirrors behind them are always magical at night. Mirrors, glass, rattan, rush, candles, linen. You can’t go wrong with those.” – Sam de Teran, owner and designer at Cobblers Cove
Santa Monica: Shutters on the Beach
“The interiors of Shutters on the Beach have always been inspired by the classic and timeless beach houses of Southern California. One of Shutters’ current design signatures is a white bookcase wall carefully accessorised to complement its beachside location. Lining some of your shelves at home with coffee table books and your favourite new or vintage beach reads is a great place to start. After that, carefully curate ‘found objects’ that evoke the colours and textures of the sea and sand, like blue and white pottery or inlaid bone or ivory boxes. Classic nautical floats, candles in sea glass vessels, or a decorative dish to hold your seashell collection are all beautiful accents and easy to find on line at boutiques such as @RoomsandGardens Santa Monica or @RoomattheBeach Malibu.” – James Smith, design liaison at ETC Hotels.
Paris: The Peninsula Paris
“Pick a palette of restful, natural colours, but add some personality with a beautiful artwork or sculpture. Gently abstract pieces work in any room. Think about symmetry – identical bedside tables and lamps make things look tailored. Position a beautiful chaise longue or seductive chair in the window to give a room a sense of comfort and luxury. Every room needs fresh cut flowers in a beautiful vase. Choose just white roses with very little greenery: it’s very chic.” – Arnaud Boucher, director of rooms at The Peninsula Paris
Provence: Airelles Gordes
“Dark cherry wood furniture with the palest shades of cream, olive green or yellow walls combined with antique-looking art and artefacts will create a suitably 18th century palatial-feel. Decorate with floral cottons in red and green to complete your romantic Provencal-palace design. To finish, add small bouquets of lavender around the house to help transport your senses to Provence.” – Madeleine Munier, general manager at Airelles Gordes
Marrakesh: Royal Mansour
“Invest in a Berber-inspired rug to a living room (Beni Ourain style rugs are very popular in Europe), along with a Moroccan copper lamp (either pendant-style or for a side table), and a Moroccan coffee table in cedarwood or maillechort. For those with outside space, think about lighting it, in particular the corners, with pretty lanterns of varying sizes and shapes, to create a magical and intimate area to unwind in.” – Ghita El Fouiri, press and PR manager at Royal Mansour
Beverly Hills: Beverly Hills Hotel
“The Beverly Hills Hotel is quintessential Hollywood glamour – the things that make our much-loved ‘Pink Palace’ so iconic are its distinctive exterior, which was painted pink in 1948 to complement the sunset colours of LA, its green and white stripes, its red carpet entrance, and its signature banana leaf print.
The stylish pink and green motif runs throughout the hotel, from the Polo Lounge to the poolside cabanas, and the hotel’s signature palm print has sparked a global trend. Our much-loved Martinique banana leaf print was created by CW Stockwell, and introduced exclusively to the hotel in 1942 by decorator Don Loper. This bold and vibrant design has been touted as one of the most recognisable wallpapers in the world, and has an iconic status amongst designers and guests alike.
To get the look in your own home, use colour palettes inspired by warm Southern California tones, such as rust, pinks, greens and golds, and reference the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel font, stripes and palm prints either through wallpaper, art work or accessories; our online shop sells a number of items in the original palm leaf print, and the wallpaper itself can be purchased through CW Stockwell. Finally, and importantly, make use of greenery – at the hotel you’re surrounded by 12 acres of tropical gardens and exotic flowers, such as 80-year-old palm trees and banana leaves.” – Edward Mady, general manager at Beverly Hills Hotel
Bali: Como Shambhala Estate
“The interior design of Como Shambhala Estate was conceived by Koichiro Ikebuchi. The aesthetic combines Asian and European influences, high-spec fixtures, handmade furniture, Indonesian artefacts and architectural details that exude the spirit of the region.
“The design has a zen-like feel and spaces are uncluttered and minimal, using natural materials where possible. The signature colour pallet throughout the design encompasses shades of white and cream, which are used for fabrics like curtains, pillows, lampshades and furniture coverings. Decluttering a bedroom and adding a white orchid, white scatter cushions, bedding or an Asian inspired vase can create a simple yet chic look that can easily transform a space.” – Chris Orlikowski, group PR and communications director at Como Hotels and Resort
“Creating space is important. It helps the mind that is overly active to calm and creates room for things that can inspire. Choosing to create a space that transports you to a place of tranquillity, beauty and comfort is a luxury that we all can give ourselves.
“Make room for a vase of flowers, a potted plant, a bowl of fruit, a candle or two or perhaps a stack of beautiful books. A few simple things to get you started could be clearing the floor of all the things that really belong in a cupboard or elsewhere. Stacking your books either on a shelf or on the floor. How you display your books also depends on how creative you want to be – all the trinkets and small accessories can be grouped and placed on a shelf or a table making them more of a feature than sprinkled all over the place.” – Marika Kessler, interior designer at Goldeneye
The Cotswolds: Dormy House
“Use mood lighting to zone your space. If you have an open-plan space in your home which you use for multi-purpose living, a bit like a hotel room or suite, you can create different cosy zones using lighting. Table lamps, reading lamps and standard lamps are ideal for zoning – choose soft light to create a relaxed ambience. Candles are a must for me. I’m Scandinavian, and we light candles every day – they are lit from breakfast time right through to evening.
“Use vintage pieces in a contemporary setting – I believe vintage and contemporary styles can complement each other beautifully, something you’ll see throughout Dormy House, and the other properties on the Farncombe Estate – The Fish and Foxhill Manor. I look for vintage pieces that serve a purpose – either for storage or display, as well as things that are just beautiful to look at every day. It’s an added bonus if the vintage pieces have a story or some history which evoke lovely memories and create stories to hand down to the next generation.
“Mix of texture and prints. We love mixing soft textiles with natural woods at Dormy. Wooden floors look great with large rugs which again can be used for zoning cosy areas with in a room. Using a variety of prints also creates interest as long as the colour palette is guided by the same tones. Do not be afraid to use different textures on walls either – textured wallpapers, fabric, wood cladding and leather can all be used to create a totally new feel in a room.” – Nette Reynolds, co-owner and design director at Dormy House
“I’d describe our interiors at Vora as minimalistic Cycladic design. It’s a minimal space, but never cold or bare – we focus on creating a graceful aesthetic for guests, combining a soothing palette of white, beiges and greys with darker wood.
“To recreate a similar calm, cocoon-like feel at home, pair back the amount of stuff you have on display. That doesn’t mean throw everything out – it’s more of an editing process to filter your favourite items and make them the focus. If it’s hard to choose, you could have some of your things on rotation, if you have the storage space. At Vora, we selected the minimal objects in our rooms very carefully, choosing the highest possible quality furniture and simple decorative items, letting their simple beauty speak for themselves.
“A good example is our use of Zirini ceramics – we place some beautiful pieces from this Greek pottery in our rooms in an understated way – a small vase with a single dried flower stem by the sink, a solitary bowl on a shelf to break up the books – creating small, stylish vignettes that the eye is peacefully drawn to, rather than overwhelmed by.” – Yannis Bellonias, owner at Vora Santorini
Hong Kong: The Upper House
“I think it is a fantastic idea to install a minibar inside the bedroom – complete with a fridge to keep the beverage cool as well as the usual suspects including a kettle and coffee machine. The convenience elevates the experience of the bedroom tremendously.
“Another suggestion is to adopt the use of glowing pendants throughout. It creates a sense of warmth and residential calmness that shall immediately transform an environment to make it cosy and sensuous.” – Andre Fu architect at The Upper House
St Tropez: Hotel Byblos
“Inspired by the colours of Saint-Tropez and the Mediterranean, with its colourful facades, Hotel Byblos’ design is famous for its use of bright colours but also the influence of its Lebanese origins. The original owner was a huge collector of antiques from the Middle East – antique headstones from the Mediterranean Basin, sculptures and mosaic fragments from the Roman era. This in turn inspired ceramists Jean Derval and Roger Capron to design the various fresques and mosaics throughout the hotel, also inspired by mythological representations.
“To recreate the feel of Hotel Byblos in your own home, introduce accessories in materials such as brushed clay and stone in warm yellow and burnt terracotta shades, as well as natural, sculpted wood. Byblos is known for its bold and beautiful ceramics and intricate mosaic works, and this can be brought into the home through artwork, tiling, or furniture. When choosing mosaics and tiles, avoid anything glossy and choose materials with a textured, natural finish.” – Christophe Chauvin, general manager at Hotel Byblos
Mexico: Hotel Esencia
“Consider hammocks. You don’t have to live in the tropics to have a beautiful handwoven hammock on your balcony, patio, living room or in your bedroom. I find something soothing about seeing a hanging hammock, maybe the geometry of the curved line – it’s as visually pleasing as it is functional. You’ll have the best read or siesta you’ve ever had on one of these!
“Also, flower arranging can be seen in many different perspectives and needn’t be complicated. You don’t even need flowers. I love our Mexican blown glass bubble vases – just one palm branch is like visual poetry, the graphic lines, and the idea of having a little bit of nature indoors.”
Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, artistic director at Hotel Esencia
Napa Valley: Auberge du Soleil
“Imagine the softened rich colours of Provence and be guided by a natural tone-on-tone palette of ivory and cream, straw and pale cocoas, olive and sage – and then enhance that palette by introducing nature-inspired patterns and organic textures. Think printed linens, textural wovens, hand-hewn wood, and rustic stone. Bring the outdoors in with olive trees in baskets or terracotta pots, and heighten the olfactory experience with fragrant rosemary, bay and lavender. Light a candle, open a bottle of wine, and breathe… relaxation guaranteed!” – Suzanne Tucker, designer at Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection
Shanghai: The Middle House
“Mix together both Western and Asian influences. The western aspects keep the room feeling modern and current, but with added accents of Asian influences through shapes (consider divider walls with cut-outs or partitions to create multi-use, adaptable spaces), pieces of furniture and decorative art pieces (think about Asian-inspired wooden bird cages or vases).
“Textures play a key role at The Middle House, while furniture is classic Shanghainese furniture, but elevated. The key is balance between the two styles. Colours are a great way to shape the ambience. Our interiors are inspired by our location so we use a lot of green colour tones through accent cushions and rugs. The green reflects the bamboo-inspired walls in the lobby, complementing the natural colours of the dark wood and creating an elegant yet calming environment inspired by our location, which works well in natural light.” – Michael Faulkner, general manager at The Middle House
Sri Lanka: Resplendent Ceylon Tea Trails
“Tea Trails is the world’s first tea bungalow resort, spanning 2,000 acres of tea country and comprising five colonial style bungalows, each originally built by British tea planters in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) between 1888 and 1950, and designed to mimic the architecture of the home country.
“We have designed the bungalows with special touches that celebrate our heritage in contemporary style which you can recreate at home for a feel of Sri Lanka during self-isolation. Our broad verandas overlook tropical gardens and emerald tea fields so ensure you stock up on lush green plants from your local gardening store to fill your garden or balcony with greenery; tree ferns and tropical plants are common in the region and possible to purchase in the UK.
“Rattan and teak furniture pieces bring old world warmth to the room, whilst large cushions with a splash of colour add a touch of exotic flair. A.W. Plate & Co offer a beautiful variety of vintage photos to browse or purchase to print for your home, with the founder arriving in ‘Ceylon’ in the 1890s. For your tableware, serve Gin & Tonics in traditional highball tumblers alongside freshly roasted cashews, and Ceylon tea from homegrown Dilmah Tea in fine China teacups and a teapot with a colourful tea cosy. If you have a lawn, you could add a Jacques croquet set to the outdoor setup which will also serve hours of entertainment during sunny days in isolation, along with a generous pouring of Pimms.” – Malik Fernando, owner at Resplendent Ceylon
Portugal: Alma Lusa
“To bring Portuguese influence into your home, pretty ceramics and tiling are your go-to. Don’t be afraid of mixing and matching colours. The dining tables at our hotel’s Delfina restaurant are always dressed up with ceramic plates of differing shades and sizes – they add a romantic, elegant style to a dining room – but beautiful tiling works well on staircases and in kitchens or bathrooms, too. I suggest visiting Remodelista for Portuguese azulejos, Costa Nova to dress up a dining table with beautiful tableware, and Amara for quirky ceramics and ornaments by Portugal’s much-loved artist and brand, Bordallo Pinheiro.” – Miguel Simões de Almeida, founder and CEO at Alma Lusa
Indonesia: Bawah Reserve
“There is an art to the dreamy drapes that characterises a room’s interior. The housekeeping staff at Bawah Reserve have trained hard to hang it just so, so this one might take a little bit of practice. Too tight won’t do, too soft and it looks limp. By day it is dressed to look fresh and by evening it is let down to encourage deep sleep. This is a great way of bringing memories of whimsical, sun drenched days into your home and can offer a restful Bawah-esque sleep.
“The other tip involves using everyday objects and converting them to lights and lamps. Much of decor elements at Bawah Reserve are locally manufactured because we want to champion traditional methods and local artisans. The myriad of basketry shapes and weave patterns that can be found throughout Indonesia are a constant source of ideas. From rattan fish traps to bamboo winnowing baskets, these have inspired the many versions of lamps to be found through the resort. These types of crafts are easily translated into a home setting.” – Boon Yang Sim, designer at Bawah Reserve
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