Marvels and metamorphoses
Anciens entrepôts ou bâtiments commerciaux se prêtent au jeu des transformations et deviennent cocons pour voyageurs en quête d’expériences insolites.
In fairy tales, love triumphs over evil spells and the frog turns into Prince Charming. Here, an office building from the 1970s, which was briefly an art school, has become a hotel in the Upper Town under the energetic supervision of playful designer Lionel Jadot. Sweeping aside convention, he showcased the raw concrete, warming it up with solid pine. The result is a welcoming, unpretentious place: restaurant with a simple Italian menu, rooftop lap pool and bar, games room in the basement and skateboards and scooters for guests. A pied-à-terre receptive to every activity.
132, chaussée de Charleroi. Tél. +32 2 537 17 87.www.jamhotel.be
The Windamere, in the Himalayan foothills, seems to have been forgotten by time. Built to accommodate bachelor tea planters from Scotland and England, it has retained its very British identity, reflected in the high tea with scones, jam and cucumber sandwiches served in a lounge with floral decoration. Cozy touches include roaring fires lit in the bedrooms at 5pm, a 7pm hot water bottle slid between the sheets, and fires stoked again just prior to bedtime.
Observatory Hill, Darjeeling. Tél. +91 70 6335 8488.www.windamerehotel.com
Hôtel La Lanterne
A past life as an office block seems a long way away in this Left Bank hotel, with its Murano glass lamps, huge mirrors, hammam and indoor pool beneath a 12th-century stone ceiling. The black-and-white photos cladding the walls, and the lights referencing Parisian street lamps, are like dazzling echoes of the City of Light.
hôtel La lanterne
12, rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève. Tél. +33 (0)1 53 19 88 39.www.hotel-la-lanterne.com
Situated in the heart of the theater district (difficult to be more central), this boutique hotel with 74 rooms shuns grandiloquent marble and monogrammed monotony to reinvent the pleasure of playingand sleeping. On the site of the former Baquet theater, the scene is set: a few spotlights, judicious use of black and gold, sliding curtains here, there and everywhere, and even wardrobes with costumesin short, a spectacle unto itself. Unless it’s merely a beautiful stage for the actor of the evening: you.
Rua Sá da Bandeira 84. Tél. +351 220 409 620.www.hotelteatro.pt
Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch
As its name suggests, this (literally) magisterial hotel occupies a former magistrates court. The dark paneling, the monumental staircase, the cupola, the restaurant housed in what was once the sentencing room and the former cells transformed into cozy compartments where you can enjoy a drink all bear witness to its past life, while the rooms are resolutely modern. The hotel also boasts a pool and, more unusually, a bowling alley.
courthouse hotel shoreditch
335-337 Old Street. Tél. +44 (0)20 3310 5555.www.shoreditch.courthouse-hotel.com
Sometimes it takes several hands to write a new chapter. In Cape Town, the conversion of this 57-meter-high, agro-industrial monument brought together the ambitious Zeitz MOCAA, the museum of contemporary African art, which will open at the end of the month, and a five-star hotel. Six stories with a velvety decor, 28 rooms and 3 restaurants offering multiple views of the ocean and Table Mountain. An urban chrysalis that has just opened at the tip of South Africa.
Silo Square. Tél. +27 (0)21 671 5502.www.theroyalportfolio.com/the-silo
Titanic Hotel Liverpool
Stanley Dock is the story of a giant. Here, two huge 19th-century warehouses offer an impressive testament to the city’s past. The one to the north, originally used for rum and tobacco, has been transformed into a spacious hotel where the smallest room measures 56 m2. The liner after which the hotel is named was supposed to be unsinkable. Let’s hope that’s the case for this place, which opened in 2014 and offers an authentic afternoon tea.
titanic hotel liverpool
Stanley Dock, Regent Road. Tél. +44 151 559 1444.www.titanichotelliverpool.com
Le Cinq Codet
Tucked away in a quiet street between the Invalides, the Eiffel Tower and the Musée Rodin, this 1930s building was for a time occupied by France Télécom. Today, it’s a calm refuge bathed in light, with a curved facade, huge windows and interiors revamped by Jean-Philippe Nuel, who made good use of the space, creating a patio, roof garden and ceilings 5 meters high. With all this going for it, from September 8, the hotel will be hosting installations as part of Paris Design Week.