The Most OTT Hotels In The World

These characterful hotels border on bad taste, don’t know the meaning of “remove one accessory before you leave the house” and are probably where you’d find Iris Apfel sipping whiskey from a china tea cup… In short, they’re outrageous and bloody brilliant.

Olivia Squire is the Editor of THE SHIFT, a
blog about contemporary high-end travel trends, news and hot hotels
from LE Miami, the travel trade event celebrating the world’s most
creative and rebellious travel brands.

These characterful hotels border on bad taste, don’t know the
meaning of “remove one accessory before you leave the house” and
are probably where you’d find Iris Apfel sipping whiskey from a
china tea cup… In short, they’re outrageous and bloody

21C Museum Hotel

Louisville, US

A night at the museum takes on a whole new meaning at 21c Museum
Hotels, the brainchild of collectors that uses art to revitalise
secondary city centres. At their Louisville offshoot, the spirit of
the city is literally imbued in the walls by The Practices of
Everyday Life, an immersive installation transforming restaurant
Proof on Main into a gaudy explosion of colourful ephemera telling
the personal and public histories of Southern Indiana, complete
with custom wallpaper celebrating local flora. Meanwhile, Asleep in
the Cyclone elevates a functioning guest room into a crazy canvas,
topped with a kaleidoscopic domed ceiling.

Grand Amour Hotel

Paris, France

Created by graffiti artist/fashion designer/club mogul André
Saraiva, Grand Amour is a love letter to the Parisian
salons and Viennese cafés of the 20th century, where artists would
mingle, drink, live and create among like-minded souls. It’s also
Saraiva’s Parisian home, which might explain the deeply
idiosyncratic approach to design, from candy-pink corridors to
turquoise-tiled bathrooms. All 42 rooms are unique, inspired by
Saraiva’s travels and with details tilting towards a certain mode
of creation – think Hermès typewriters for the poets and easels for
the painters. The overall effect is a sprawling sense of many
times, places and people existing in surreal (dis)harmony.

Hotel Hotel

Canberra, Australia

This quirky hotel-cum-community was brought to
life by the intersection of sixty creative minds and multiple
layers of national history, fused into a complex, determinedly
Australian narrative that recognises the past through a
contemporary lens (see the award-winning timber structure by
Melbourne-based March Studio in the lobby as proof). The apotheosis
of this non-linear approach comes in the Monster Salon and Dining
Rooms, a retelling of Australia’s proud post-war immigrants and the
enthusiastically kitschy taste for the OTT they brought with them.
Perspex mirrors, beaded columns and a 1970s-era chandelier jostle
for attention in this thoughtful yet extroverted space.


Reykjavik, Iceland

Club Tropicana packs its suitcases and uproots for the North at
this mischievous
. Huddled along the Reykjavík coastline, the rainbow
stripes on its unassuming warehouse exterior hint at what’s to
come: an eclectic mix of custom pieces by Icelandic designers and
big-name works from the likes of Ettore Sottsass and Mario Bellini
(think gold palm trees and teal velvet chairs). Elements that
caught our attention: bathrooms boasting the avocado-and-salmon
combo beloved of 1970s housewives; a drum kit the colour of a
tequila sunrise; and a mirrored cube in the middle of the
restaurant concealing a karaoke booth (fellow diners can see, but
thankfully not hear, wannabe rockstars).

Hotel Not Hotel

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Hotel Not Hotel is that rare creature where
artistic experimentation meets a total lack of pretentiousness. In
fact, we’d go so far as to say it’s pretty damn funny, with a
surreal sense of humour that questions the parameters of
hospitality. Each room has a unique story forged by members of
design collective Collaboration-O, all clustered in a giant ‘living
room”. Choose from the “Crisis-Free Zone”, a confessional-style
sleeping pod with wooden carvings that keep out evil; secret
bookcase rooms with one-way mirrors hidden behind paintings;
Spanish villa Casa No Casa; and a repurposed tram cart.

Faena Miami Beach

Miami, US

Anyone familiar with founder Alan Faena’s taste for the
fantastical won’t be surprised by the theatrical turn taken at his
Miami Beach property, particularly given the added involvement of
director Baz Luhrmann. Eschewing the beachy minimalism of many
neighbouring hotels, Faena is all-out glamour: a dizzying whirl of
detail that includes seashell-clad columns, a Parisian-style
cabaret theatre, custom murals and gold pillars in the lobby, and a
colossal chandelier that responds to storms on the Argentinian
pampas. The award for most ‘grammed, however, goes to Damien
Hirst’s gilded woolly mammoth; a fitting symbol for modern Miami’s
clash of excess, playfulness and artistic excellence.

House For Essex

Essex, UK

This eccentric work of art by Turner Prize-winning Grayson
Perry, dreamed up in collaboration with FAT Architecture and Living
Architecture, is a flamboyant example of how to pay homage to an
area’s history in a way that goes beyond mere re-enactment.
Inspired by shrines and fairy tales, Grayson imagined an Essex
Everywoman, Julie, to whom the House is a tribute. A cross
somewhere between a barn and a chapel, it’s filled with colourful
tapestries, pots and mosaic floors reflecting Julie’s story, with
guests also encouraged to follow a pilgrimage of her life across
Essex’s socioeconomic borders.

The Whitby

New York, US

The just-opened Whitby is the second New York import from
British hoteliers Tim and Kit Kemp, transplanting their signature
English estate feel to the streets of Manhattan. This latest
addition to the collection continues their Bloomsbury Group-esque
clash of prints and colours, from the floral wallpaper designed in
collaboration with muralist Melissa White, to the cabinet of
porcelain objects depicting iconic New York scenes by Martha Freud.
Our favourite detail is the 52 baskets sourced from the British
Isles that hang over the bar; a space that flirts with chaos but
never submits to it.

Hotel De JoBo

Paris, France

Much like the muse that inspired it, Hotel de JoBo is no
shrinking violet, but rather a true wildflower – or to be more
accurate, a blooming rose. A converted convent, the hotel was
reimagined in homage to Napoleon’s first wife, Joséphine Bonaparte.
A child of the Revolution and poster girl for the aristocratic
decadence of the era, Joséphine’s penchant for leopard print, pink
and cascades of roses – she had 240 species planted in her
Malmaison garden – is reflected by designer Bambi Sloan with a
modern, rock’n’roll edge. Gilded mirrors, black lacquered furniture
and patterned wallpaper form an ambience as thoughtful as it is

Hotel Zoo

Berlin, Germany

If Gucci’s 2017 campaign was a hotel, we think it might just be
Berlin’s Hotel Zoo. As the name suggests, there are animals – lots
of them – prowling throughout, from the emerald-green carpet
emblazoned with crouching leopards designed by Diane von
Furstenberg, through to leather hippos and topiary giraffes.
Birdcage-clad chandeliers in the dining room, wine gum-coloured
Chesterfields in the guest rooms and the recurrence of a tastefully
distasteful lime and purple palette proclaim a wild side disdainful
of convention.

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