Hotels with a Story: Unique Designs and Narratives at Bali, Johannesburg, and Paros Destinations
Discover three hotels that go beyond luxury, telling captivating stories through their designs. From Bali’s fusion of tradition and modernity to Johannesburg’s historic ties with Nelson Mandela and Paros’ Aegean elegance, these hotels redefine hospitality with their unique narrative.
Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach – A Design Concept Based on Balinese Heritage and Spirituality
As a destination, Bali has always delighted guests with its ability to embrace the modern and traditional with a stylish and youthful zest. At Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach travelers are promised an authentic fusion of enchanting Balinese culture and contemporary creativity. Situated on Bali’s most vibrant beachfront, Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach is IHG’s first 5-star Hotel Indigo in a resort location, boasting a total of 247 rooms, 23 suites and 19 villas each inspired by the Tri Hita Karana philosophy (one’s relationship with Gods, living beings and the earth). Using the same proportions as a traditional Balinese Pavilion, the property’s design-led concept and layout are infused with local stories, reflecting the evocative culture of its surroundings. This is achieved through striking geometric patterns carved in wood, patterns extracted from traditional Balinese textiles, and lighting inspired by floating lanterns and Balinese songket weavings. The lobby itself includes a variety of multi-colored chairs and vibrant designs that evoke the spirit of traditional village gatherings (Banjar), where members of the town would bring their own chairs to meet. This unique touch pays homage to the rich cultural heritage of the neighborhood.
As nature holds a special place in Seminyak, Hotel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach captures this appreciation in both its interior and exterior designs. Tree Bar, a speakeasy like atmosphere is situated around the iconic Pohon Pole tree, sourced from Sanur and serves as the focal point of the lobby bar, symbolizing the hotel’s connection to sacred traditions. The open concept of Tree Bar seamlessly invites guests to step outside and immerse themselves in the enchanting Secret Garden Pool, enveloped by lush greenery and adorned with boho-inspired décor. The hotel’s design concept extends to the Spa Villa and guest bathrooms as it draws inspiration from the rustic interiors of huts found in paddy fields, incorporating woven hanging basket lights and wooden tables. In the guest bathrooms, a golden basin allows guests to partake in their own purification rituals, paying homage to the ancient Camplung Tanduk Temple. Through its unique design, guests are provided an authentic and immersive experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Nelson Mandela’s Influence at The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa
Just minutes from the bustling city of Johannesburg lies a five-star luxury experience at The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa. The all-suite hotel, which sits on 10-acres of luscious gardens is a hidden oasis that provides a unique blend of cultural history with contemporary touches throughout. A remarkable choice for history and design enthusiasts, the Saxon played a part in the rich and transformational history of South Africa, as it was home to Nelson Mandela for six months while he edited his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. The suite in which he occupied at the time was later named The Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite and pays tribute to Mandela’s life and heritage. Designed by Dean Simon, the platinum suite incorporates bespoke pieces of art and furniture with an authentic African feel, heavily adorned dark wood, animal skin rugs, copper lamps and geometric patterns that take guests on a journey of Mandela’s days as a young militant through his years as a stateman.
Beyond this tribute, The Saxon proudly integrates African art and culture throughout the restaurants, lobby, and guest rooms, allowing travelers to feel inspired and connected to Africa during their stay. The hotel’s commitment to embracing diverse cultural influences in its design provides a unique opportunity for guests to experience the rich tapestry of African heritage. It’s a reminder of how hotels like The Saxon can offer travelers a truly immersive and culturally enriching experience, making it a must-visit destination for those who seek not only luxury but a genuine connection to the local culture. While this December marks the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, April 27, 2024, brings an exciting time to South Africa as it marks the 30th anniversary of Freedom Day, a celebration of the nation’s journey toward unity and equality.
MINOIS Hotel: Paros’ Luxury Coastal Gem Blending History and Modern Elegance
Paros has earned its place among the top European islands to visit in 2023, renowned for its warm hospitality in the Cyclades and collection of coastal hotels with unique designs. Newly reimagined and reopened, the luxury boutique MINOIS Hotel embraces the region’s rich history through every experience. The property’s design by Athens-based architecture and design company Mutiny reflects contemporary luxury while celebrating Paros’ cultural heritage. Incorporating elements found throughout the Mediterranean, MINOIS tells a riveting story of harmonious contrasts beginning with the iconic white cubist houses – a tradition in Cycladic architecture. Throughout the property, guests are immersed in refined sophistication as lively colors and natural textures mix with breathtaking sea views, evoking a sense of serenity and calm. The property’s 44 suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the space with natural light, offering views of the sparkling Aegean Sea or the lush greenery of the surrounding landscape. High-end furnishings, plush bedding, and exquisite linens create an atmosphere of blissful relaxation, while modern amenities cater to guests every need.
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