Oh, the holidays! Manic shopping, overladen tables, stuffed bellies and crazy relatives. This year, slip away from the seasonal madness and retreat into the festive spirit abroad. With these five member properties, Design Hotels(TM) proposes spirited destinations. Who said, “Home for the holidays?” We say, holidays away! www.designhotels.com/holidays_away
Make memories on Mallorca this year at Puro Oasis Urbano. Christmas dinner, cocktail parties and carousing in an 18th century palace bring aristocratic glam to the festivities. Spice-up the season at Bentley Hotel in Istanbul. Celebrations spill into the glittering streets as locals and visitors ring in the New Year where east meets west. Trade in the turkey for a four-course dinner at London’s Charlotte Street Hotel. Champagne, legendary fireworks and late English breakfasts ring in the New Year in stylish Soho. A Ferrari and high-class shopping await in Florence at Continentale. Sip fine Italian wine overlooking the Arno River and enjoy private access to Ferragamo Creations’ shoe wonderland. Traditional rituals and Bulgarian banquets meet modern aesthetics in the heart of Sofia at Sense Hotel Sofia.
Set in a restored 18th century palace in Palma de Mallorca’s historic La Lonja district, Puro Oasis Urbano merges Moorish casbah antiquity with international contemporary allure. The 51 room hotel’s ancient walls give strong allusions to its regal past while the interior evokes Miami’s South Beach swank. Settle in for the season’s excesses as the eve of the 24th sees in-house restaurant Opio playing host to a Christmas dinner tasting menu by chef Leon Altamirano. Forego stale traditions and dance the yuletide away with renowned Balearic DJ Isaac Indart. New Year’s Eve summons the celebrations with a 20-course cocktail dinner as resident Puro DJ Sebas Ramis lays the soundtrack for a new year.
Open-Air in Istanbul
Sitting at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul’s Bentley Hotel stylistically embodies the convergence of the two lands. Clean, harmonious lines and glasswork frame the visceral energy of the streetscape while inside pale hues contrast with rich woods to create calm. With 40 rooms and 10 suites, Bentley Hotel and its central location welcome the world for the legendary festivities, as locals and visitors alike descend upon the hotel’s doorstep for the Nisantas? New Year’s street party. Revel in the open-air bash with live music and exuberant partygoers as the city erupts in fireworks. Those seeking the subdued and authentic are invited to the neighborhood restaurant Solomanje, where traditional music and fare typical of the region’s cultural wealth are served-up in a cozy atmosphere.
Charlotte Street Hotel, in the heart of London’s buzzy West End, sits at the epicenter of the New Year’s party. 52 rooms and suites, individually designed by Kit Kemp, infuse modernity into fine British tradition. Original artworks and two log-burning fireplaces make this a home-away-from-home, an ideal setting from which to enjoy the season’s indulgences. Avoid a night spent hailing cabs as the hotel’s restaurant Oscar hosts a four-course New Year’s dinner, followed by an intimate screening of When Harry Met Sally in the state-of-the-art private cinema. Watch the brilliant fireworks, champagne in-hand, to ring in the New Year, while a proper English breakfast and late check-out ease you into 2014.
Florence, Ferragamo and Ferraris
Considered the crown jewel of designer Salvatore Ferragamo’s family-owned Lungarno Collection of hotels, Continentale in Florence will satiate any shopping and decadent whim. The 14th century property harkens back to the dolce vita of the 50’s and 60’s with equal parts harmony and irony. Opulent public spaces welcome idle moments and an acrylic bar glows alternately pink, orange and white. Cross off wish-lists as the 43-room hotel facilitates luxurious tendencies with in-room breakfasts, a Ferrari at your disposal and exclusive private visits to Ferragamo Creations boutique. A private personal shopper takes care of any indecision while the White Iris Beauty Spa works any kinks from a day of conspicuous consumption. Christmas and New Year’s galas overlooking the Arno River at award-wining restaurant Borgo San Jacopo will emphatically punctuate a year very well spent.
All Senses Banquet in Sofia
On an amber-tinged boulevard in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sense Hotel Sofia is a new classic in the ancient city of Sofia. Made up of sophisticated spaces and contemporary design, the 71-room hotel sensitively contrasts the significant architecture of the neighborhood. Christmas spirit and Bulgarian tradition meet with a warm welcome of local red wine and home-baked cookies, while the magic of the season is captured in lovingly prepared regional feasts. New Year’s Eve celebrations get elevated at the rooftop bar, boasting 360 degree views of the enchanted city and historical St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral. Elegant dining, curated performances and colorful pyrotechnics keep the party going to the wee hours.