Opulence Meets Theme: Five Hotels Around The World That Nail Niche
Here’s something a little different for those with an acquired taste: luxury hotels with a theme.
Whether you’re travelling for business or leisure, these hotels are designed to suit niche desires. Interspersed with all the trimmings of designer accommodation, themed hotels are now part of a prestigious market. What was once considered kitsch is now very much refined.
From lavish historical mansions to chic musical tributes and grungy former prisons, here are a few of the world’s best hotel stays with a twist.
Crazy Bear, England
The Crazy Bear venues began in Stadhampton, back in 1993. Since then they have opened another luxury hotel in Beaconsfield, a restaurant and cocktail bar in Fitzrovia, and a members-only club in Covent Garden. The venues are lavish, decadent, and full of masculine charm.
Think prohibition-era mixed with King Henry’s chambers; baroque interiors, white leather, black velvet, chandeliers and gold-edged trimmings.
The Stadhampton property is surrounded by farmland, hosting a butcher and smokehouse and a plethora of handmade treats and goods for the more country among us. Rooms at Stadhampton may include a brass bathtub at the foot of the bed, a Thai massage, or any of your business needs met in the boardroom or bar. Fit for the illuminati, this is truly an experience.
The Liberty Boston, the US
We’re not going to beat around the bush — the Liberty Boston Hotel is a converted prison. A brilliant example of a somewhat popular trend, this accommodation is both unique and impressive. The hotel includes fine dining, fitness, meeting rooms and your choice of grand deluxe suites.
Offering what the hotel calls an “authentically Boston experience”, the décor is richly ornate. The atrium is a wide-open space surrounded by open-balcony levels adorned with charming colours and an old-world feel.
Architect Gridley James Fox Bryant redesigned the hotel, with help from the late Reverend Louis Dwight. Dwight was the long-running secretary of the Boston Prison Discipline Society, and there is ample history to explore here.
Set in the heart of the city, this hotel infuses historical charm with blissful comfort, laying claim to the truest of true Boston roots.
The Witchery, Scotland
Andrew Lloyd Webber once said the Witchery Hotel in Edinburgh had “prettiest restaurant ever”. And alongside its spectacular dining area is equally impressive accommodation too. And for anyone missing out on a room after dinner, rooms at sister hotel the Prestonfield host similar gothic, baroque, questionably haunted accommodation.
People come from far and wide to eat at the award-winning restaurant, but also to stay in the exquisite suites. There are nine, all lavishly decorated with romantic extravagance and a hint of magic.
Thematically they range from glamourous, to theatrical, to dark and dramatic — all of them decadent. If you are inclined to eat before reclining, make sure you visit the candlelit ‘secret garden’, a hidden enclosure with painted ceilings and dreamy French windows, reserved for the cocktail drinkers and romantics.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
This themed hotel is really the stuff dreams are made of. People come from around the world to experience the views from inside the igloo rooms at Finland’s Kasklauttanen Arctic Resort. The accommodation is designed to experience nature (while remaining cosy indoors) yet also is close to the culture and sites of Lapland.
The glass igloos are essentially the rooftop above your bed, where, in autumn, you can view the spectacular northern lights. You can also book winter activities like Husky and Snow Mobile Safaris, or do some cross-country skiing or snowboarding while you’re there. You can also visit a traditional smoke sauna of which there is the largest in the world, fitting up to 100 people at one time.
There is no shortage of incredible things to do at this resort, the kind of once-in-a-lifetime thematic experience.
A Hard Days Night, England
For Beatles lovers, you can’t go past the Hard Days Night hotel. What might have one day been considered kitsch is now legendary, and for those who appreciate the band there is a lot to enjoy here.
Residing in the band’s hometown of Liverpool, this is the only Beatles-inspired hotel in the world. Part of the magnanimous Grade II listed Central Buildings, the venue has luxurious decor adorned with authentic Beatles history.
The beautifully restored building dates back to 1884, and everything is subtly kissed with hints of John, Paul, Ringo and George. With event spaces and 110 rooms including the ‘Lennon suite’, you have your stylistic choice of where and when you would like to, ahem, come together.
(Lead image: The Crazy Bear Stadhampton / supplied, all other images: supplied by hotels)
Published 04 December, 2019