If you’re consider adding a little more glamour to your business event then Mix presents five of the world’s very best designer hotels
Sofitel So Bangkok
Designer: Christian Lacroix
Talk the talk: The French fashion designer is known for his extravagant designs that draw on rich historical references. Far from being an offhand collaboration, Monsieur Lacroix was heavily involved in many aspects of the hotel’s design. He literally signed his name on the Sofitel So Bangkok. His scrawl can be seen on an exposed part of the hotel’s super structure in the club lounge. From the staff uniforms to the room themes, his flamboyant style oozes out of the hotel that is literally So Bangkok.
Walk the walk: The Sofitel So is excellent for incentive and meeting groups. Lacroix worked with the architects to create very distinct hotel zones based around the five elements. Earth, metal, wood and water are all realised as room designs. Each element zone is built around a unique atrium that can be used as a meeting space. Groups can book their own element and feel like they have an entire hotel to themselves. Throw in multiple ballroom options, one of the world’s finest infinity pools and exquisite dining options and you’ve got a destination to die for, dahling.
Tel: +662 6240 000
Palazzo Versace, Queensland
Talk the talk: Technically speaking, the Palazzo Versace – which means Versace Palace – was designed by the architect Rocco Magnoli. The client, however, was the Versace fashion house and in 2000 the hotel opened its doors, proclaiming to the world’s first fashion hotel. Built on a historic site, the hotel is an interpretation of the Baroque style for which Versace is famed. Indeed, Versace makes everything, from the bed linen to cutlery.
Walk the Walk: The hotel can host large-scale incentive trips with 200 rooms in the main building and 72 private condominiums. There is also a private marina and three award-winning restaurants. For business, six flexible meeting rooms can accommodate up to 500 people at any one time. Expect highbrow sophistication, with a flash of garish couture for good measure.
Tel: +61 7 5509 8000
Armani Hotel, Dubai
Designer: Giorgio Armani
Talk the talk: Not to be outdone by its nearest and dearest rival, fellow Italian fashion house, Armani, opened its first hotel in 2010. As part of the Burj Khalif skyscraper in Dubai, Armani Residences was actually conceptualised by Giorgio Armani himself. The interior is furnished with an exclusive collection of products from the Armani/Casa home furnishings collection.
Walk the walk: The Armani hotel has 160 rooms and 144 so-called residences, which are essentially small condo-like apartments. A number of dining options are available, as is a special Armani store. Four event spaces are available and the largest indoor space is a 450 person capacity ballroom. Outside, a pond-side pavilion can accomodate up to 600 people. The hotel’s location on the ground floor of the Burj Khalifa means the area is particularly suitable for large-scale product launches.
Tel: + 971 4 888 3888
Hotel Missoni, Kuwait
Designer: Rosita Missoni
Walk the walk: Missoni started out in the 1950s and found success in 1967 after causing a sensation at a Florence fashion show. The brand’s models appeared without wearing brassieres and their liberation caused quite a stir. Famous for fine knitwear, in the 1990s one of the brand founders, Rosita Missoni, announced that she’d lost interest in fashion and was turning her attention to other projects. Queue the launch of Missoni homeware, carpets and, of course, hotels.
Talk the talk: Each of the Missoni hotels are designed to embrace a brand ethos of making the world more comfortable and beautiful, but never at the expense of function. The number of hotels in the Missoni hotel chain is currently only two – those well-known bedfellows: Edinburgh and Kuwait. Missoni Kuwait has 169 rooms, two restaurants, a pool and, importantly, extremely luxurious meeting spaces. The smallest space is a 50-sqm-conference room whilst the largest is a 600-sqm ballroom, perfect for lavish parties of up to 1000 people.
Tel: + 965 2577 0000
Bulgari Hotel, Bali
Talk the talk: To dedicated followers of fashion, there are very few brands more delightfully decedent than Bulgari. One of the oldest names in fashion the brand was founded in the 1800s by the Sotirios Voulgaris. To many, Bulgari is the Greek god of jewellery and, although the company made a name for itself by manufacturing shiny, desirable objects, in recent years it’s portfolio has diversified. Indeed the company has made dedicated inroads into the world of branded travel. Along with hotels, Bulgari toilet bags are issued to Emirates airline’s business and first-class passengers. Even Icarus doesn’t get that kind of swag.
Walk the walk: The Bulgari resort in Bali is as you’d expect, exclusive. Set atop a 150-metre volcanic cliff the destination is comprised of 59 luxury villas. Indeed, many of the villas feature structures carved from the volcanic rock itself. Despite the hotel’s elite proposition, the facility is still an excellent choice for business and incentive trips. A boardroom, villa and a pavilion are available for meeting use and can hold up to 150 people at any one time. If you’re planning on dropping into this modern day mount Olympus, be sure to dress the part.
Tel: + 62 361 8471000