In a hotel, designers can take whatever look they're going for just a smidge further than they would in someone's actual home. This can mean bold, clashing maximalism (hello Luke Edward Hall), but it can also mean a comprehensive exploration of muted nude tones.
By way of inspiration, we've rounded up a selection of hotels that are using color trends in bold and interesting ways. Whatever your style, there are plenty of ideas to be gleaned.
Hotels with wonderful color pairings
1. Le Sud
Ah, there's nothing quite like a complementary color pairing.
Le Sud is as bright as a summer's day on the Cote d'Azur and as refreshing as a zesty orange; it makes a welcome addition to the hotel scene in the ultra glamorous if slightly old-school resort of Juan-les-Pins.
Parisian designer Stéphanie Lizée (Hoy, Le Coucou) is behind the joyful décor at this dinky boutique address, which pays homage to the artistic history of Côte d'Azur, while keeping things contemporary with clean lines and plenty of white walls,
With less than 30 modern bedrooms, the property is small but perfectly formed. Throughout, you'll find tastefully chosen prints and ceramics that also blend harmoniously with the overall color palette.
Book a stay at Le Sud. Rooms from $150.
2. Downtown LA Proper Hotel
The Proper hospitality group, co-founded by Brian De Lowe and Brad Korzen creates rich, high-design spaces with the 'creative nomad' in mind.
Their latest California offering represents the group's latest collaboration with it-designer Kelly Wearstler. Speaking to Livingetc in 2021 she said: ‘I always say that living without color is like living without love; color is the spirit of a room. Color within a space can draw such an emotional response and can completely transform the mood, and it’s also a chance to express your voice within the space and create a personal narrative.’’
Her color-loving attitude is evident in spaces in Downtown LA Proper, which is a kind of living look-book of the top color trends of the moment. We see joyful pops of dusky pinks and terracottas, offset with patterned vintage-style fabrics. If you wish, you can reproduce the look exactly with Terracotta color from the The California Collection, Wearstler's curated color collection for Farrow & Ball.
Book a stay at Downtown LA Proper. Rooms from $250.
See more of Kelly's style in her incredible coffee table book Kelly Wearstler: Evocative Style, available from Amazon.
3. Hotel Bionda
This dinky design hotel is located in the village of Begur in the province of Gerona in Spain.
Opened in 2020, the hotel is laid out inside a 17th-century structure that has been totally refurbed and restored by Barcelona's Quintana Partners Studio. The sensibility is sustainable and the original structure of the building has been respected and materials upcycled where possible. We love the authentic detail like the terracotta "tomette" style tiling.
We enjoy the use of an overall base palette of decorating with neutrals with splashes of color thanks to contemporary artworks and statement vintage furniture pieces.
Book a stay at La Bionda. Rooms from $150.
4. Goodtime Hotel
The Goodtime Hotel is the creation of Miami hotel impresario David Grutman of Groot Hospitality and musical icon Pharrell Williams and, as the name, promises, it's a vibrant, joyful affair.
The sprawling 266-room complex, which occupies a whole city block on Washington Avenue, opened in 2021 and has already made a splash in Miami Beach thanks to its joyful, whimsical aesthetic.
The irreverent look comes courtesy of a formidable design trifecta: architect Morris Adjmi, superstar designer Ken Fulk and landscape architect Raymond Jungles. Whimsy blends with functionality and there's a distinct digital nomad feel in the communal 'library' and and the café space.
It's a masterclass in how to blend bubblegum pastels without being too cloyingly sweet. We particularly dig the green and - of course, as what's the best color to go with green? - pink pastel cabanas by the pool and the bold wallpapers contrasted with pared down vintage wood panels.
Book a stay at The Goodtime Hotel. Rooms from $200.
5. Skylark Negril Beach Resort
Staying on the pink and blue pastel vibe now but in a different setting and a different style. We're heading south now to the sandy beached and turquoise waters of Negril, Jamaica.
The color palette is reportedly influenced by the local culture and geography. The pink-toned pastels are inspired by the sky at sundown, the bold reds by the ackee fruit and the crisp light blues, of course, from the ocean. It's a winning combination.
There's a touch of retro Havana in the look, thanks to black and white chequered tile on the private patios and (you guessed it) mid century furniture pieces. We like the detail of the vintage music posters to finish.
Book a stay at Skylark Negril Beach Resort. Rooms from $150.
6. Charlotte Street Hotel
Located right in the heart of creative and buzzy Soho, the look of Charlotte Street Hotel is pleasingly and fittingly vibrant and eclectic.
Designer Kit Kemp used the Bloomsbury Group (the bohemian group of writers including Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster who congregated around London's Russel Square in the early 20th century) as her inspiration.
The feel is lofty, artistic, intellectual. We love the way block color is offset with bold pattern, in particular in the rooms where each custom headboard pops with geometric or floral patterns. It's a 'touch too much', without actually being too much.
The dusky, vaguely Deco color palette comes together in the specially commissioned Alexander Hollweg tableau that dominates the restaurant space, itself a take on Roger Fry’s 1916 fresco “Scenes of Contemporary London Life”.
Book a stay at Charlotte Street Hotel. Rooms from around $400.
7. El Fenn
Each of El Fenn's 30 rooms are exquisitely designed, with a slightly different look and color palette in each one.
The hotel was originally conceived as a private home for Vanessa Branson and is set across interconnecting riads. The decor blends Moroccan crafts with bold color and mid century furnishings.
Color-wise, we like the way the would-be cold, neutral greys and beiges leave room for the feature walls and art pieces to shine.
Book a stay at El Fenn. Rooms from $390.
8. Hotel Les Deux Gares
If you can't bear maximalism, please look away now.
Eccentric British designer Luke Edward Hall, a kind of Cecil Beaton for the modern age, has made a boutique hotel his canvas at Hotel Les Deux Gares near Paris' Gare du Nord.
Inside, the artist has combined colors and patterns characteristic of different eras. A toile de Jouy wallpaper paired with a Sixties-style leopard-print couch, pourquoi pas? O.T.T. touches like the pastel Seventies tile in the bathrooms and offbeat patterned headboards push the limits of just how far we might take maximalism in our own homes, and help fire the imagination.
Book a stay at Hotel Les Deux Gares. Rooms from $150.
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Hannah Meltzer is a Londoner by birth and Parisian by adoption. She previously worked on the staff of The Daily Telegraph’s travel desk, before moving to Paris in 2017. She writes regularly about travel and Parisian culture for The Telegraph as an expert destination correspondent. She has also written for The Independent, The Times, Vanity Fair, openDemocracy and Télérama. Recently she wrote a podcast series about Parisian culture for an LA-based production company.
Hannah is based in the 18th arrondissement in the less touristy side of Montmartre behind the Sacré-Coeur basilica. Though her life sometimes resembles a hammy cliché — sketching in sidewalk terraces, walking her beloved dog Babette through the streets of Montmartre — she is adamant she has not lost her London humour and open-mindedness, or her accent.
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