Luxury Hospitality Daily News
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There are hotels and then there are cultural destinations, places where guests become part of the local ecosystem, properties that truly push the boundaries of what hospitality means today.


There are hotels and then there are cultural destinations, places where guests become part of the local ecosystem, properties that truly push the boundaries of what hospitality means today.

Category: Worldwide - Events - Communication/Marketing
This is a press release selected by our editorial committee and published online for free on 2022-09-26

And behind the doors to each of these places is a person or a team with a vision—and the drive to bring that vision to life.

These eight Design Hotels members and their Originals especially exemplify such visions becoming realities around the world, from Mediterranean and Jamaican shores to serene countryside villages.Founded by world-renowned art collector Dakis Joannou, YES Hotels group is known for making waves in Greece’s hospitality scene with museum-worthy art and design concepts.

One of their first properties, NEW Hotel, was envisioned as a gesamtkunstwerk by the Campana brothers, and for Noūs Santorini, their newest property and first outside Athens, young local artists were tapped to create site-specific works.

Additional artworks adorning this sublimely contemporary Cycladic property come from Joannou’s own private collection.

Originals Christos Xenos and Venia Xenou are also known in the Greek hospitality world, specifically on the island of Zakynthos. Christos owns 12 properties on his native island, but for Olea All Suite Hotel, he paired his own expertise with his daughter Venia’s contemporary sensibilities.

Together, they created a sprawling retreat with 93 suites revolving around a 4,000-square-meter pool, with streams and smaller pools flowing between island-like clusters of tropical-modernist cube structures.

The brothers Klaus and Mortiz Dissertori are synonymous with contemporary hospitality in the Dolomites.

With the South Tyrolian properties 1477 Reichhalter, Villa Arnica, and Hotel Schwarzschmied under their belts, they have become known for places with exceptional gastronomic and guest experiences—and their newest property, Parkhotel Mondschein, in Bolzano, is no exception.

Here, centuries-old features, including the building’s original stone staircases, high ceilings, and stucco decorations, are complemented by contemporary statements, such as lamps by Hay and site-specific artworks. Like all of the Dissertori brothers’ properties, Parkhotel Mondschein is a timeless retreat for locals and visitors alike.

Further south in Italy, in the village of Panicale, Umbria, is Rastrello, for which Original Christiane Wassmann fully restored a 14th-century palazzo.

The property captures the natural beauty, rich history, and organic goodness of the countryside, but more than that, the team makes a strong commitment to the region through various partnerships.

Local artisans made bespoke furniture found throughout the hotel; ingredients for the farm-to-table restaurant are grown in an onsite garden; and every fall the Wassmann family visits to harvest olives from the property’s grove and make their own Rastrello premium extra virgin olive oils.

Meanwhile, in Gottingen, Germany, a city known primarily for its academic history, FREIgeist Hotels are spearheading their own hospitality movement, transforming an off-the-beaten-track destination in Lower Saxony from an intellectual hotspot to a design-lover’s dream.

Original Georg Rosentreter is a self-described perpetual globetrotter and foodie, and as such, his hotels, including the newly opened FREIgeist Göttingen Nordstadt, feature delectable dining options, inventive bars, and interior design concepts exuding worldly influence. This combination results in contemporary hubs for locals, curious travelers, and students of life.

In Paphos, Cyprus, Original Thanos Michaelides drew inspiration from Aphrodite, the island’s patron goddess of love and beauty, to create Almyra.

Behind the property’s sleek lines and custom furniture crafted by local artisans was a vision to create a place where the ideas associated with “boutique hotel” and “family resort” could be combined.

The outcome is a contemporary resort accessible to both romantics and those with kids in tow: high-end design features are augmented by four pools, a tennis court, an ultramodern spa, and five restaurants.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Grupo Habita has helped pioneer Mexico’s boutique hotel scene for more than two decades. Founded by Originals Carlos Couturier and Moisés Micha in 2001, the group’s properties are each uniquely distinct, focused on reflecting their surroundings.

At their latest all-villa property, Hotel Terrestre in Puerto Escondido, the natural elements are invited in and guests are encouraged to go out: each villa has a garden, outdoor bathroom, two terraces, and a pool.

Plus, the entire property was built with materials sourced from within one kilometer of the hotel or created onsite, and every ray of light is received and leveraged, allowing Hotel Terrestre to run on 100 percent solar power. “We use a local team every time we build a hotel, and we read the surroundings and their traditions to integrate the local culture into our project,” Couturier says.

Supporting the local community is also a cornerstone of the picturesque Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica.

“In 1994, when we created Rockhouse, I thought about the hotel from a philosophical perspective, about it being a sustainable and responsible property,” Original Paul Salmon says.

Following these thoughts, Salmon’s mission was to build not just a hotel but a charity and a model for responsible hospitality. So, parallel to the cliff- and seaside resort, Salmon founded the Rockhouse Foundation.

Today, the foundation has raised over $5 million and applied it to transforming Jamaican educational centers, including supporting six schools and building a library. In addition to local cultural excursions, hotel guests can also sign up to spend a day volunteering at a Rockhouse Foundation school.

About Design Hotels

Design Hotels represents and markets a curated selection of over 300 independent hotels in more than 60 countries across the globe. More than a collection of hotels, the company is a collection of stories. Each property reflects the ideas of a visionary hotelier, an "Original", someone with a passion for genuine hospitality, cultural authenticity, thought-provoking design and architecture. Each "Original" stands for the individual, aesthetic and service-driven experience that his or her hotel provides.

In 2017, Design Hotels launched Further, a traveling laboratory for experiential hospitality that transforms hotels across the globe into temporal hubs of thematic exploration. The mission behind Further aligns with the values of the future-facing Promad, a new generation of traveler embracing progressive travel and global nomadism. First identified by Design Hotels in collaboration with leading futures consultancy The Future Laboratory, the purpose-driven, self-actualizing Promadic movement is set to shape the future of hospitality.

Founded by Claus Sendlinger in 1993, Design Hotels offers its members insightful travel industry knowledge, from market trend consultancy to international sales representation. The company has its headquarters in Berlin and branches in London, Los Angeles, New York and Singapore. In 2019, Design Hotels joined forces with Marriott Bonvoy, enabling its member hotels to have both a greater and more selective reach while offering its Community the benefit of the industry’s leading loyalty program.

About Marriott International, Inc.

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of nearly 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 139 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy, its highly-awarded travel program.

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