Whichever way you turn to light, there is no denying its intense effect on our state of mind. It is why we’ve turned the spotlight on the most arresting lights, big or small, among our member hotels around the world. Get inspired: See the light!
Set in the heart of Vilnius, Lithuania’s Old Town, Yes Design Studio envisaged Hotel Pacai to perfectly echo this quarter’s 17th-century Baroque grandeur, yet augmenting it with a contemporary twist. Here, soft deep tones were used to dominate the hotel’s public areas and smooth lighting, such as the pendant light, used to complement historic elements, such as the arches and frescoes. Across the Atlantic, Santa Monica Proper Hotel reflects its sophisticated beachside setting with artful interpretations of coastal elements, such as the midcentury mouth-blown crystal mushroom lamps by Peill and Putzler and the nautical Knotty Bubbles sculptural light (further down) by Lindsey Adelman made of handblown glass bound together with knotted rope.
A showcase and showroom for modernist masterpieces, the vaulted halls of The Qvest Hotel in Cologne, Germany, marries neo-Gothic architecture with a museum-worthy collection of modern design, art, and photography. In the hotel’s public space, the iconic Gräshoppa floor lamp, by the female pioneer Greta Grossman, stands attendance on Eames’ chairs. On the Greek island of Paros, Parīlio’s timeless Greek architecture and subdued color palette acts as a canvas for standout design elements, such as the Flamingo pendant lamp by Antoni Arola.
In Berlin, a former courthouse and women’s prison has been sensitively transformed into a hotel, Wilmina. Here, the spatial experience is softened by a huge and delicate light installation of little glass balls, like jars of fireflies, suspended from a glass ceiling that, at night, reflects them upwards into what appears to be a never-ending night sky. At Perianth, a modernist building from the 1930s has been reimagined into an unusual hotel where classic corridors have been spurned in favor of short hallways that link the lounge of each floor with the rooms. The interior design by K-Studio is directly inspired by the streamlined modernity of the architecture where even the lights follow the curves of the walls.
Minimalism meets majesty at Palazzo Daniele, in Italy’s Puglia where monastic décor exaggerates the grandeur of ceiling frescoes and standalone design pieces, such as the Fortuny floor lamp and the Taccia table lamp by the Castiglioni brothers in 1962. In L.A., award-winning designer Kelly Wearstler—instantly recognizable for her eclectic sensibility, fearless use of color, and penchant for custom pieces—brings her hyper-local approach to Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel. Drawing inspiration from the neighborhood, Wearstler layers vestiges from the 1920s, such as the rare Stilnovo style chandelier with elements of Spanish, Portuguese, Mexican, and Moroccan design.
Ingo Maurer, lighting designer
Nobis’ Alessandro Catenacci has a knack for handpicking historical buildings and turning them into world-class hospitality offerings. At Blique by Nobis, in Stockholm, a 1930s industrial warehouse structure is defined by beautiful concrete surfaces, with interiors awash in leather, textiles, and warm lighting, such as Vico Magistretti’s iconic Atollo lamp. At Nobis’ outpost in Copenhagen, a Paolo Rizzatto wall light provides directional light in the lounge area.
Achille Castiglioni, designer
For an extraordinary hotel, such as the Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, a renovated 15th-century monastery of the “Crutched Friars” in the Netherlands, nothing less than an extraordinary lighting designer would do, namely, Ingo Maurer. His celestial creations throughout the hotel are a fitting ode to this once divine place. Another beautiful old building, this time in Bolzano, South Tyrol, Parkhotel Mondschein is resplendent in historic stucco, wide corridors, high ceilings, ornate carpentry, original herringbone parquet, and a grand multilayered chandelier composed of oval amber and frosted and clear glass elements by Mazzega.
Set in a former military barracks and an adjoining industrial warehouse, Kazerne in Eindhoven, Netherlands, is made up of inviting functional spaces that are fluid, open, and largely devoid of visual barriers, such as walls. Instead, stimulating visual design in the form of Aptum’s innovative lighting line, consisting of graphic shapes, has been custom-made to hang in the stairwell, while Alex de Witte’s Big Bubble pendant lights draw one deeper into the gallery space. The last spotlight on this list is fittingly a Bauhaus floor lamp BH 23 at The Robey whose playful form includes an arm that can be aligned with a counterweight. It’s everything we love about good design: irreverent, striking, and space defining.