At Sloane, LONDON hotel interior

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Stylish stays: three artfully designed hotels in London, Lisbon and Los Angeles

30 May 2024 • Written by Belle Rice and Charlotte Hogarth-Jones

BOAT explores three artfully designed hotels in London, Lisbon and Los Angeles...

The Pendry West Hollywood, LA

If art and design is on the agenda for your next visit to the Golden State, then The Pendry West Hollywood should be number one on your hotel list. Perched atop the hills on Sunset Boulevard, within a stone’s throw (or, let’s face it in LA, a short drive) of established five-star institutions like the Chateau Marmont and Sunset Tower, this gleaming new hotel sits in the centre of the action.

Martin Brudnizki’s interiors at The Pendry are an artful blend of mid-century, art deco and contemporary
Credit: Christian Horan

The clever interiors concept was executed by Swedish interiors architect Martin Brudnizki, who is responsible for the decor at members’ club Annabel’s in London, revamped hotel Splendido Portofino and the soon-to-be-launched Four Seasons superyacht. 

Brudnizki is an old hand when it comes to blending art deco glamour with contemporary city living; here he adds a splash of California panache with the lacquered navy walls and chequered marble floors of the lobby, and the rooms’ opulent velvet headboards and mid-century modern gold-accented wardrobes.

When guests arrive on the chess board-like forecourt, they’re greeted by the art installation Sunset Jewel by duo Cao Perrot, featuring Swarovski crystals sculpted into a tree. Part of the West Hollywood Urban Art Program, it’s the first of many impressive design features that guests encounter – not least the giant “Portal Icosahedron” sculpture (a 20-faceted polyhedron, for those a little rusty on their ancient Greek) by local artist Anthony James, which glows in the foyer.

Credit: Christian Horan

 Each room has impressive floor-to-ceiling windows that look out either onto the Hollywood Hills or down towards Melrose with the sprawling city below, and a bathroom fit for an Oscar winner with full Hollywood vanity lighting, sleek marble tiling and waterfall power showers. The mid-20th-century infused aesthetic doesn’t stop there, however. 

On the rooftop, the Slim Aarons-esque pool is for guests only and walled by a large glass panel for a panoramic city view. There’s more art deco at Merois, the Wolfgang Puck fine-dining restaurant which serves up Asian fusion cuisine with a touch of classic Californian. Puck’s son and protégé Byron is often on hand, overseeing the rooftop and the ground floor eatery Ospero, which offers European fare and can’t-miss pizzas.

Credit: Christian Horan

The icing on the proverbial cake? The playful champagne vending machine offering mini bottles of Moët & Chandon at the downstairs bar – and buyers can win a free night’s stay. The on-site amenities for the Pendry pay homage to its Hollywood roots too – alongside a 464-square-metre spa, private bowling alley and members club, there’s an intimate music venue for live gigs – a nod to the many LA legends who performed at the iconic House of Blues, which previously occupied the very same spot.

Credit: Christian Horan
PalÁcio PrÍncipe Real, LISBON

Tucked away behind double-height wrought-iron doors that open onto an expansive terrace and lush, colourful gardens, Palácio Príncipe Real is a hidden Portuguese treasure. Located in the centre of Lisbon, the palácio is the dream child of a British couple who chanced upon the elegant home in 2014 and spent six years restoring it in painstaking detail.

Built some 150 years previously as the grand residence of a 19th-century Teixeira da Mota society family famed for its parties, this four-storey villa has now been restored to its former glory – albeit with all the 21st-century facilities you can dream of.

Credit: Francisco Nogueira

Upon arrival, it instantly feels like home, and with just 28 rooms – each featuring high ceilings and full-length windows (some open out to an external balcony that leads down to the lawns). The hotel has an intimate feel, heightened by the friendly hands-on attitude of owners Gail and Miles Curley.

The pair, who are keen sailors and own a Chris-Craft that they keep down the coast in Setúbal, share a love of design, and while Miles devoted his attention to taming the wild gardens to just the right side of pristine, Gail turned her focus to the interiors.

With even the smallest room starting at 22 square metres, each is kitted out with a smart Drummond shower, Dyson hairdryer, Smeg minibar and Byredo amenities. In larger rooms and suites, guests find themselves surrounded by Portuguese tiles on the walls and large freestanding copper baths. Fireplaces keep temperatures warm even in the winter months, when Lisbon might not be at the height of its tourist season but nevertheless attracts visitors for its mild Mediterranean climate and food and wine offerings.

The owners spent six years restoring and transforming the grand 150-year-old private residence into an elegant boutique hotel
Credit: Francisco Nogueira

Around the palácio, colour is key, with each room showcasing distinctive schemes designed to enhance the already beautiful framework of the space. Aside from the impeccably designed bedrooms, there’s plenty of space for guests to truly relax here; from the perfectly symmetrical staircase with its full-height skylights that let natural light funnel down through the centre of the house, you’ll reach the spacious sitting room with its crystal chandeliers and landscaped azulejo tiles with murals on top.

Credit: Francisco Nogueira

Splashes of colour are added to the monochrome bar with pomegranate velvet chairs, and the pretty breakfast room is a delight to come downstairs to in the morning – although if the sun is shining, the outside terrace is the place to enjoy your morning coffee by the lawn.

The Palácio is ideally located right in the centre of Lisbon, a short drive away from the Marina Parque das Nações which hosts yachts up to 230 metres. And after busy days in the city (or for lazy mornings in the heat), the secluded swimming pool and small spa beckon. Quietly disguised behind manicured hedges and surrounded by hammocks and tall palms, this tranquil space feels as private and serene as being on board your own boat, but with the buzz of busy city life just moments away.

Rooms are large and colourful, while the grounds host a pool
Credit: Francisco Nogueira
At Sloane, LONDON

Last year, no fewer than 16 superyachts visited London. And if you’re planning on staying for more than a night, it’s likely you’re going to want to relocate to somewhere a little more central – and glamorous – than the city’s docks and marinas.

Enter At Sloane, London’s much-hyped new boutique hotel. With just 30 rooms, and some on the smaller side, “boutique” is the right word here. But what it lacks in square footage, the property more than makes up for in location. The shops of the King’s Road are on the doorstep, the Saatchi Gallery minutes away, and the fine dining and social scenes of Chelsea and Mayfair close by.

Part of the buzz around At Sloane stems from its connections to the grand Hotel Costes in Paris, a favourite of Yves Saint Laurent and Catherine Deneuve. At Sloane is by the same hotelier, Jean-Louis Costes, who worked with designer François-Joseph Graf and the 300-year-old Cadogan Estate on a six-year renovation of the historic building at No 1 Sloane Gardens.

Originally crafted in 1888 by architect Edwin Thomas Hall – who designed the Liberty & Co store on Carnaby Street – the façade of the building was kept intact while major works occurred inside. These included adding a sixth floor to house the hotel’s light and airy restaurant.

The interiors are characterful and sophisticated, with bold patterns, prints and tiling throughout – thanks in part to the dozens of artisans who created more than 21 different carpet designs and 50 custom-made fabrics.

From the lounge to the restaurant, hundreds of carefully curated objets, books and trinkets line the shelves, including Greek-inspired ceramics in the restaurant, while an abundance of free-standing lamps create a warm, inviting glow.Rooms have stained-glass windows and sleek bathrooms, while black and white photos of famous faces, from Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis to Julie Andrews, adorn the walls.

The Sloane Suite is the jewel in the crown: a 38-square-metre apartment that boasts a dining area with a separate bathroom – perfect for hosting guests in a more private setting (and which a selection of BAFTA stars found useful for recent press interviews and photocalls).

The overall effect is grown up, and the mood changes throughout the hotel. At the top you’ll find whisper-quiet rooms for escaping the city hubbub. Head to the moody speakeasy style basement bar, however, and there’ll be a party ready and waiting. Here, there are cosy candlelit nooks for settling down into, a sultry vibe, and a resident DJ every night.

Small wonder that the hotel has become a new favourite with out-of-towners looking for a mid-term base. Longer stays of three to six weeks are common, as are “staycations” by those in nearby Chelsea. When we visited, a resident Monégasque had just arrived, settling down for a month of business and pleasure, while the hotel expects a flurry of visitors when the PAD and Frieze art fairs are on later in the year. Make sure you’re first in the queue.

First published in the May 2024 issue of BOAT International. Get this magazine sent straight to your door, or subscribe and never miss an issue.

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