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Stay in style

What better way to escape the constraints of modern life than by checking in to a hotel where luxury is positively embraced? Hayley Ard seeks out the world’s most scintillating retreats for a winter break

City Guide
Hayley Ard,

Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam
Hotel Pulitzer occupies a unique position in Amsterdam’s luxury hotel scene. It comprises 25 restored canal houses dating back to the 17th century and boasts an elegant courtyard. Guests can also enjoy views of two of the city’s most picturesque canals, the Prinsengracht and the Keizersgracht. Despite the hotel’s historic pedigree, the décor is contemporary and eclectic. All rooms have been recently remodelled and bathrooms come with heated marble floors, obviating the need for slippers.

Hotel Pulitzer, Prinsengracht 315–331, 1016 GZ Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 523 5235

Nobis Hotel, Stockholm
The newly opened Nobis Hotel has eschewed excess in favour of a radical approach to luxury. Comfort, efficient service and discreet elegance have been placed at the fore. In the lounge, an Orrefors chandelier is offset by clusters of cacti while in the bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling Carrara marble chimes with the minimalist packaging of the Byredo toiletries. Proving that no detail is too small, the bistro even approaches sandwich-making as an art form.

Nobis Hotel, Norrmalmstorg 2-4, 111 86 Stockholm, +46 (0)8 614 1000

Park Hyatt, Istanbul
This hotel is the ideal destination for high-end shoppers: there are Emporio Armani and Gucci stores on the ground floor and fashionable boutiques are a short stroll away in the Nişantaşı district. Décor is wonderfully contemporary and rooms come with a 42-inch flat-screen television, an iPod docking station and climate control. The luxury bathroom amenities, designed exclusively by French perfumer Blaise Mautin, give a sleek finish.

Park Hyatt Istanbul, Maçka Palas Tesvikiye, Bronz Sokak 4, Sisli, +90 (0)212 315 1234

Claridge’s, London
Guests at this Mayfair landmark, with its 1930s-themed décor, meet elegance at every turn and it’s no surprise that royals and A-listers return time and again for a hit of absolute glamour. A number of rooms and suites have been designed by Diane von Furstenberg and are a fashionable bonus; the designer’s signature prints spiral from the curtains to the carpets in fuchsia, ink and electric-lime. One stay and you’ll be hooked.

Claridge’s, Brook Street, London W1K 4HR, +44 (0)20 7629 8860

Raffles Hotel, Singapore
Raffles has always been associated with timeless luxury and a series of renovations has made it even more desirable to the jet-set crowd. Opened in 1887, this is a dream bolthole for those who prefer colonial grandeur to minimalism; expect period details such as oriental rugs and teak accents. Don’t leave without trying a Singapore Sling at the renowned Long Bar, inspired by the Malayan plantations of the 1920s.

Raffles Hotel Singapore, 1 Beach Road, +65 6337 1886

Hotel Silken Puerta América, Madrid
This 12-floor hotel is a visual delight. Architects and designers including Jean Nouvel, Marc Newson and Victorio & Lucchino have brought a strong aesthetic imagination to every space. Look out for the shoji (Japanese-style room divider) on the 10th floor and the light installations in the lobby. The all-white Space Club rooms, designed by Zaha Hadid, draw inspiration from science fiction, while the two presidential suites display the works of photographers Nobuyoshi Araki and Alain Fleischer across the ceilings.

Hotel Silken Puerta América, Avenida de América 41, 28002 Madrid, +34 91 744 5400

Majestic Hotel, Barcelona
The Majestic Hotel has been in the Soldevila family for three generations and its family culture remains an inspiration for guests and the 240 members of staff. Architect Josep Juanpere has kept a classic feel to the interior design: the display cabinets and glasswork have been made by artisans and the furniture is a rich mix of walnut, oak and mahogany. The hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant El Drolma combines a suitably grand colour scheme of espresso browns and deep reds.

Majestic Hotel, Passeig de Gràcia 68, 08007 Barcelona, +34 93 488 1717



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