It’s been a year of lots of travels and new discoveries. My top 9 of 2017 consists out of new, impressive hotels that just popped up this year but also out of some that have been going strong for years already but are still just as inspiring. In random order.
Hotel National Arts & Metiers in Paris.
Perfectly located on the border of the Marais and the quartier of Montorgueil this 70-room hotel offers an entirely new Parisian experience. Designer Rapheal Navot strikes a balance between the raw materials and French craftsmanship, the modern architecture and design hidden behind a classic Haussmannian facade. The perfect place for an anonymous hide away or if you’re not sleeping there (it’s not cheap) just go for their extensive breakfast buffet in the morning or for a cocktail in their bustling bar in the evening.
Hotel Providence Paris
Another hide away in Paris but completely different than the one listed above. A lot smaller with only 17 rooms this gem indulges you in the typical Parisian atmosphere. Marble mosaics, tastefully chosen vintage items, designer fabrics as wall coverings, brass details, gorgeous handmade headboards and a private DIY cocktailbar in every room. Feels a bit like stepping back in time but provided with all its modern benefits.
Scarabeo Camp, Morocco
Yes, I know, I might be driving everyone crazy with this one. And I already did the same a year ago but I can’t get over this place. If you’re really looking for a place to relax, take a step back and disconnect from your busy life or just the hustling and bustling Marrakech, go here. After three times again this year, I still can’t get enough. Read more in my earlier post here or check their website: http://www.scarabeocamp.com
Beldi Country Club
I wouldn’t call it just a hotel because with its 14 hectares to explore you can spend days here discovering new finds. A huge rose garden, different swimming pools, a spa, a pottery, a glass fabric, carpet shops and much, much more. It feels more like a luxury Moroccan village, on a 15 minute drive from Marrakech. Will post more about this one soon.
1898 The Post, Ghent
This old post office building, located in the very heart of Ghent offers an exquisite designer hotel with 38 rooms and some of the best views in the city. This hotel suits its historic city perfectly and really gives you the local sense of place. The antique furniture and natural but dark colours of the interior design create a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Gives you the relaxed feeling of being at home. Or at least one I’d hope to own one day.
The Hoxton Hotel, Paris
Yeah, what’s to say about the Hoxton hotel that we don’t know yet with their famous hotels in London and Amsterdam? Well, they strike again. This time in Paris in a huge, gorgeous 18th century residence in the 2d arrondissement. The lobby and restaurant with its comfy velvet chairs and couches is the newest hangout in town for both locals and tourists. Good coffee, cocktails in the evening and French inspired food all day. You might me in the centre of the city but this is a place you don’t really want to leave and you can easily hang out there all day long for sure. More about this hotel on my blog soon!
El Fenn, Marrakech
I guess everyone who’s been in Marrakech before must know about this place and I dreamed about sleeping here when I just visited it in the beginning of 2016. Well, that dream became reality this year and it didn’t disappoint.
It’s been open for years now and won the prestigious Mr & Mrs Smith award for Best Dressed Hotel in 2014 already. And now, at the end of 2017 it’s still going strong and it remains the place to kick back and enjoy the exotic grandeur and historic architecture, the tranquility of the perfectly decorated hideaway nooks, one of the 28 exquisite individually styled rooms or suites with its even more impressive bathrooms, or just a lunch on the 7000ft2 rooftop terrace. El Fenn is the perfect retreat in the middle of the exotic city of Marrakech. Do save up some money for this one though.
The Ned, London
Okay, I must admit, I didn’t sleep here so I have no idea what the rooms looks like but I couldn’t help falling in love with this old bank building. Maybe it was cause I was in the middle of my Peaky Blinders episodes on Netflix but I felt like Tom Shelby could walk in any moment. The Ned’s huge grand banking hall operates different types of restaurants. From Asian to Jewish to Hawaiian, everyone will be able to find a place to settle. Still it gives you a typical English atmosphere, a bit 20s but more urbane and gentlemanly. You can definitely feel the building’s banking heritage. A sleepover next time please!
Berber Lodge, Marrakech
After my first visit in April I knew I had to go back to this place and I’m hoping for more visits again in the future cause this surely is a magical one. Read and see more about it in my post earlier this year.
Kasbah Bab Ourika, Morocco
Another one in Morocco and also another one I didn’t actually sleep in but definitely put itself up on my wishlist. I just spend a day at this Kasbah in the Ourika Valley and it must be one of the most enchanting places around Marrakech. Around a 40 minute drive from Marrakech through the Moroccan landscape you’ll find this uniquely located retreat with breathtaking views on the Atlas Mountains. The freshest organic ingredients are being sourced from their own garden with which they produce their pure Moroccan/ European menus that reflect the season. I can’t really tell you something about the rooms (yet) but I’m sure they will be dazzling as well. Next year hopefully..
Looking forward to more travels and discoveries in 2018! What are your favorites? Any tips are welcome. Happy new year!
Hi there! If you could only choose one of these three for two nights, which would it be – Berber Lodge, Scarabeo or Kasbah Bab? We’re staying arc El-Fenn in town! Xx
We, my wife Marleen and I, are travel journalists and photographers ourselves. May we recommend Uzbekistan. If you need to know more, please ask. We go there several times a year
John Reinhard – Marleen Tutenel