Cheech Sanchez
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Design Insider: Designer Hotels for Creative Vacations

Watching your family and friends pack up their skies/snowboard/sleds/bikinis/surfboards and jet off on vacation while you’re stuck behind your desk in the freezing cold (or if you’re in the southern hemisphere – sweltering heat) can bring on a severe case of holiday envy. There are a million places you’d probably rather be than at work – so instead of blank-staring your computer screen while you daydream about the smell of sun tan lotion and taste of Mojitos, get productive. Start planning your next trip.

And be creative about it! The beach and sun can be fantastic, but if you want to get your creative juices flowing, try staying in an art or design hotel. While plenty of hotels use art as a selling point, few manage to blend art with experience to provide a relaxing and inspiring stay for art and design enthusiasts the way that boutique art & design hotels do.

Here are a few M.I.S.S. favorites to dream about spending your next vacation…


Hotel Fox (Copenhagen, Denmark) With 61 rooms designed by 21 of the world’s best graphic designers and artists, Hotel Fox is the holy grail of hotels for any art and design traveler. This room, #302 (Harmony’s Helm), was designed by Friends With You and is in the x-large room category (there’s also small, medium and large). Rates start at around 730DKK ($140US) for a medium room. You can even request your favorite room (no guarantees you’ll get it!). The staff are very friendly, and bicycles are available for hire from the hotel lobby if you feel like riding around the royal city. Visit Hotel Fox


Das Park (Ottenheim, Austria) Designed by Andreas Strauss, this experimental hotel is located in a park in Austria and is open from May through October (the rest of the year would be far too cold!). The rooms are constructed from re-purposed concrete drain pipes and the hotel operates a ‘pay what you wish’ policy. Visit Das Park


Propeller Island (Berlin, Germany) Designed by German artist Lars Stroschen, a much more appropriate title for this hotel would be a “living in a work of art” – a museum hotel where guests stay in the sculptures. Containing 30 unique rooms, all furnished with custom-made individual handiwork including ‘floating’ beds, nothing  quite like it can be found anywhere else in the world. Visit Propeller Island


Art Luise Kunsthotel (Berlin, Germany) What more could any art lover in Berlin ask for than a gallery where you can spend the night with a view of the Reichstag building and the Spree River. A hotel for art enthusiasts, a hotel for individualists, a hotel for people who love the experience of something different. Visit Art Luise Kunsthotel


Baby Grand (Athens, Greece) With Mini Cooper cars turned into reception desks, graffiti murals commissioned by local artists and Smurf and Spiderman rooms, the Baby Grand is an unusual juxtaposition against the ancient ruins and art of the Greek capital. Doubles start from $278US per night. Visit the Baby Grand


Hotel Des Arts (San Francisco, USA) With 38 rooms painted by local and international artists (including Buff Monster and Shepard Fairey), Hotel Des Arts is a must for any traveling designer. Materials used include wall-mounted vinyl records, plastic bags, graffiti, fabrics, three dimensional art work and other installations. Visit Hotel Des Arts

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