Every year, new hotels pop up across the globe; some are built from the ground up while others utilize the architecture that is already residing in a city. When developers and designers choose the latter, some pretty stunning properties can take shape. Restored from centuries-old structures, these hotels often times feature unique spaces, vaulted ceilings, original moldings, frescoes and even secret nooks. Of the many properties that debuted in 2015, here’s a look at our five favorite hotels that were conceived out of historic buildings.
Photo Credit: Batty Langley's
Batty Langley’s — London, England
Inspired by the late Batty Langley, an architect in the 18th century, Batty Langley's is the brainchild of hoteliers Peter McKay and Douglas Blain. Restoring two Georgian town homes, the duo created an eccentric hotel in the heart of Spitalfields that feels more like a private estate than a luxury property (in the best way). Exclusive and isolated, guests can only enter the hotel by ringing a doorbell that alerts the doorman of your arrival. Around the home, guests can find working fireplaces, antique and period furnishings, handwoven rugs, oil paintings and secret surprises such as a bathroom hidden behind a wall of bookcases. All 29 guestrooms have been individually styled with a royal feel, and come with period décor, modern digital conveniences and free-standing, cast-iron tubs.
Starting Rate: $438/night
Photo Credit: La Fiermontina
La Fiermontina — Lecce, Italy
Ten years in the making, the 16-room La Fiermontina is the love-child of French-Puglian businessman Giacomo Fiermonte and local architect Antonio Annicchiarico. The pair spent the last decade building a hotel around the ruins of a 17th-century house in the ancient city walls of Lecce. The hotel is built using the same soft stone used to carve 18th century churches. French design firm Charles-Philippe and Christophe was tapped for its interiors, filling its spaces with vintage Charlotte Perriand items, modern Italian flooring, Pietra di Trani flooring and custom textiles. Contemporary artwork belonging to the Fiermonte family hangs on the walls including pieces by Charlotte Perriand and Le Corbusier. There’s an emphasis on minimalism here as design and location take center stage rather than an overworked decorating scheme.
Staring Rate: $230/night
Photo Credit: Baccarat Hotels & Residences
Baccarat Hotels & Residences — New York, New York
In case you didn’t deduce what you’re in for by the name alone, the Baccarat's abundance of crystal walls, chandeliers and furnishings will do the trick as soon as you step inside. With only 114 rooms, the former New York Public Library was transformed into the opulent Baccarat Hotels & Residences by Paris-based duo Patrick Gilles and Dorothée Boissier. Around the hotel, guests will find lavish details like pleated silk walls, fur-upholstered seating, mica-covered vaulted ceilings and silver-leaf wood paneling. Guestrooms are done in a neutral palette and feature Mascioni jacquard linens, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble baths, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris amenities and Baccarat crystal accents.
Starting Rate: $744/night
Photo Credit: The Serras
The Serras — Barcelona, Spain
The new Serras boutique hotel is stylish, modern and effortlessly cool. Set inside a building dating back to 1846, designer Eva Martínez created a hotel that pays homage to its Catalonian past while boasting a very New York City vibe. The property features tall ceilings, wood floors, monochromatic hydraulic tiles and has a warm-yet-minimalist feel. All guestrooms boast balconies with city or sea views, Art Deco-inspired marble bathrooms, top-lit rain showers, toiletries Malin + Goetz and state-of-the-art technology. The Serras is also said to be situated on the site of Picasso’s first studio (pretty cool). At the helm in its restaurant is Michelin-starred chef Marc Gascons serving Catalan cuisine. On its rooftop guests can find a small terrace and pool that overlooks the Port Vell Marina.
Starting Rate: $293/night
Photo Credit: Soho House Istanbul
Soho House — Istanbul, Turkey
Among our most favorite openings of 2015 is the Soho House in Istanbul. The member’s club hotel is set in a collection of four buildings including the former American Embassy, and is the brand’s most impressive property to date. The former Italian mansion (previously home to a wealthy Genoese merchant), now holds 87 guestrooms and suites, a rooftop pool, a prohibition-style speakeasy, night club, three restaurants and a spa and gym. From the outside, travelers are welcome by beautiful Corinthian columns, a neoclassical marble façade and stunning archways. Its interiors are decorated with marble and decorative parquet flooring, Turkish rugs, frescoes, traditional cushions and throws, custom-designed furniture by the Soho House Group’s team and vintage pieces from antiques stores. Also, guests are not allowed to snap selfies while visiting, so better leave that phone in your pocket.
Starting Rate: $272/night