Sexiest hotels in the world at travel industry show LE Miami

By Rebecca Wallwork

They don't call it luxury for nothing. The Hotel Mar Ardentro. Photo / Hotel Mar Ardentro
They don't call it luxury for nothing. The Hotel Mar Ardentro. Photo / Hotel Mar Ardentro

Sleek interiors, room service, a huge king bed, and a Do Not Disturb sign for the door.

Sexy hotels are more accessible than ever thanks to the explosion of boutique hotels.

But in a sea of hip hotels with playful design, what makes one sexy?

Ten hotels were short-listed in the Sexiest Design category at this month's travel industry show LE Miami. These properties span the globe, and most hit a trifecta of traditional architecture, modern design and a breathtaking location.

"Creating a sexy hotel is no longer about a particular style or design," said Serge Dive, founder of LE Miami, which gathers the world's hippest hotels and most discerning travel agents and media. "It is more about creating a theatrical, glamorous environment.

"A sexy hotel embraces its neighbourhood and geography," says head of the awards panel Rana Florida, whose company Creative Class Group consults for luxury firms.

"A hotel that celebrates its diversity and culture - that dares to be different and takes risks."

This is the shortlist:

SOHO HOUSE ISTANBUL (WINNER)

One of the newest in the clutch of exclusive member clubs and hotels in the Soho House family, the Istanbul outpost opened in June 2015 in the creative Beyoglu district. Its home is a restored palazzo that dates to 1873 and has in the past served as the US Embassy and US Consulate, while bedrooms are located in a new glass construction. Large mezzanine rooms feature freestanding tubs at the foot of the bed, surrounded by full-sized Cowshed bath goodies.

Bathroom in a glass box. Tick. Photo / Soho House Istanbul
Bathroom in a glass box. Tick. Photo / Soho House Istanbul

Sexy Design credentials: Marble floors, dark wooden doors and layered textures (velvet, leather, you get the idea) create a moneyed yet laid-back atmosphere. (Members of Soho Houses are encouraged not to wear suits.)

Rooms from $391 a night.

CHICAGO ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Of-the-moment interior designers Roman and Williams (they're doing Anthony Bourdain's new NYC food hall) worked their magic on this 1893 Venetian Gothic building in downtown Chicago, preserving its best historic details and adding a rooftop restaurant with impressive views of Michigan Avenue. "There's a confidence drawn from the building's authentic Chicago roots that resonates through the design of the property," says General Manager Patrick Hatton. "And what's sexier than confidence in who you are?"

Sexy Design credentials: Custom vintage leather club chairs and lacquered wood furniture meet modern conveniences like the Carrara marble baths and boxing-style robes.

Rooms from $324 a night.

DRAKE DEVONSHIRE INN

This sister B&B to Toronto's hip Drake Hotel opened in Wellington, Ontario, in April 2015. The proprietors call it a lakeside "rough-luxe boutique property." Guests can explore the local Prince Edward Country culture or soak up art and musical performances at the inn itself. Naturally, the restaurant serves farm-fresh dishes and "lake to table" specialties.

Settle in by the lake. Photo / Drake Devonshire Inn
Settle in by the lake. Photo / Drake Devonshire Inn

Sexy Design credentials: Modern bedrooms with cozy, vintage touches like wool throws and antique finds. Fireplaces inside and out, cruiser bikes and picnic baskets available for guests.

Rooms from $261 a night.

ELMA ARTS COMPLEX LUXURY HOTEL

Elma stands for Elstein Music and Art and this property in Zichron Ya'akov in Israel's Haifa District features art gallery space and performance halls along with its 95 elegant guestrooms, pools and spa.

The views go all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Photo / Elma Arts Complex
The views go all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Photo / Elma Arts Complex

Sexy Design credentials: Clean modern rooms showcasing natural materials, with large terraces and spectacular views of the surrounding forest and Mediterranean Sea from the complex's hilltop location. Bonus: easy access to entertainment for date nights.

Rooms from $384 a night.

FAENA MIAMI BEACH

Baz! Catherine! This high-profile new hotel just north of the heart of South Beach lets Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin's signature OTT aesthetic run wild in hotel form, creating one of the most buzzed-about openings of the year. (The hotel opened in December, while other parts of the Faena development, including a music venue and condos, are still in the works.)

No need to get up. Your dedicated butler will come to you. Photo / Faena Miami Beach
No need to get up. Your dedicated butler will come to you. Photo / Faena Miami Beach

Sexy Design credentials: Opulent rooms rich in detail and theatrical pops of red set against the turquoise of Miami's Atlantic Ocean or Biscayne Bay outside. Most rooms have furnished balconies to encourage indoor/outdoor play and your dedicated butler will take care of your heart's desires.

Rooms from $568 a night.

HOTEL MAR ADENTRO

This design-forward property is the work of Mexican architect Miguel Ángel. Ocean views and clean white interiors create cool, calm retreats from the heat and beautiful beaches of Los Cabos. (Top surfing is just down the road at Costa Azul beach.) Luxury boutiques are part of the hotel complex.

Sexy Design credentials: Sleek, all-white suites, designed as square "boxes," are suspended over the water. High-end restaurants and indulgent spa treatments are part of the overall experience.

Rooms from $560 a night.

KEEMALA

Keemala is a honeymoon waiting to happen, with 38 one- and two-bedroom pool villas overlooking the Andaman Sea in the hills of Phuket. The focus is on health and wellness in the most luxurious sense.

Sexy Design credentials: That thing money can't always buy - privacy. Each villa has its own pool and most also feature stand-alone tubs and outdoor showers.

Rooms from $568 a night.

SANT FRANCESC HOTEL SINGULAR

This 5-star hotel located in the centre of Palma od Majorca sits inside a transformed 19th-century house and horse stable. Think wooden beams and original frescoes and other design details. General manager Ilka Karl calls it "understated sexy - because our beauty may not be apparent from the street."

You had us at rooftop pool. Photo / Sant Francesc Hotel Singular
You had us at rooftop pool. Photo / Sant Francesc Hotel Singular

Sexy Design credentials: Unexpected terraces and private gardens outside; lush fabrics and contemporary art inside. "Most jaw-dropping," says Karl, "is the rooftop pool and terrace which offers a panorama over the city."

Rooms from $404 a night.

THE TEMPLE HOUSE

This 100-room hotel is part of the Chengdu Daci Temple Cultural and Commercial Complex and it's a masterpiece of modern design that incorporates traditional architectural features, as seen in its dramatic hotel entrance set in a Qing Dynasty courtyard.

Anyone for a swim? The pool at The Temple House. Photo / The Temple House
Anyone for a swim? The pool at The Temple House. Photo / The Temple House

Sexy Design credentials: Crisp white linens contrast with dark wooden screens and handmade furniture in The Temple House's sophisticated modern rooms and residences. Italian restaurant Tivano is a sexy den ideal for lavish meals or romantic cocktails.

Rooms from $335 a night.

VIÑA VIK

This dramatic-looking hotel is set on a winery (hooray!) in Chile's Millahue Valley. There are just 22 suites, all with stunning views of the valley, vineyard or lake. The property is a showcase for a large collection of art and a wine-themed spa specialising in relaxing treatments incorporating grapes.

Beautiful inside and out. Photo / Vina Vik
Beautiful inside and out. Photo / Vina Vik

Sexy Design credentials: Modern design and furniture complemented with serious art. The Vik Suite has an incredible hammock-shaped carbon-fibre bathtub which will make you feel like you're being cradled by the valley.

Rooms from $1677 a night.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 09 Dec 2016 09:17:26 Processing Time: 961ms