Rest Your Head - BISHA

BISHAToronto, Canada

Charles Khabouth is a renowned Lebanese Canadian nightclub impresario and restaurateur, not to mention Toronto’s nightlife kingpin, who is fond of serving-up flashy, immersive and upscale experiences. Hailing from Beirut, the Paris of the Middle East, where appetites for nightlife and entertaining are deeply engrained, it’s little surprise that Khabouth’s sultry new Bisha hotel in Toronto – his first foray into the hotel industry – articulately reflects the midnight mood and downtown edge of the electric entertainment district of the vibrant capital of the Canadian province of Ontario.

Stepping into the 44-storey Wallman Architects-designed Bisha tower – a name that nods to his childhood nickname – is like entering the dramatic abode of a Saudi prince. Whilst the tower’s exterior form boasts a dramatic façade of glass and steel, complemented by the traditional red brick cladding and stone trim of the retained heritage building at its base, inside is all crushed velvet walls, mosaic marble flooring, hypnotic artworks and an intimate, dimly lit atmosphere, conducive to slick business deals, clandestine meetings and naughty liaisons. The lobby is a real showstopper, with a snazzy floor of custom-cut marble and walls of iridescent jet-blue velvet. Elsewhere within the building, dramatic blacks and whites, bold geometric floors and sensual textures lend to the general highly charged interior design aesthetic, all courtesy of Toronto’s Studio Munge

A hotel and condo hybrid, floors 9 through 42 contain luxe one and two-bedroom apartments. The hotel part comprises 96 rooms including 13 suites on the eight floors below the residences. A standard hotel room (which starts at around USD400 per night) boasts custom furniture against chalk-white walls – including a velvet couch and a glossy black Art Deco-inspired armoire – 300-count Frette linen, a sumptuous bathroom with heated floor and deluxe toiletries by cool Swedish brand Byredo, including its new Bal D’Afrique fragrance. Chic touches like super-slim TVs suspended from the ceiling and a retro mini-bar cart filled with truffle chips, Red Bull and iStore essentials lend to the rock-star feel. Floor-to-ceiling windows yield views and plenty of light, while blackout drapes ensure you can sleep ’til noon.

On the 44th floor there’s Kōst, an epic rooftop restaurant and patio with panoramic city and lake views. Anyone who’s been lounging too long downstairs may well be blinded by the white oak walls, ivory ceramic table-tops and floor-to-ceiling windows (which look out onto an infinity pool, with the CN Tower in the background). Directly below Kōst is a private events space that can comfortably accommodate more than two hundred guests. Oh, and the seventh floor’s hotel suites were designed by Lenny Kravitz (yes, he’s a designer now).




In recent years Colombia has undergone a remarkable transformation and made huge strides in restoring security and stability to the nation. Today, the country’s boundless energy and genuine spirit fill every corner of the land, and music, dance, food, art, fashion and style saturate its conurbations. Nowhere is this more evident than the historic 16th century Caribbean walled city of Cartagena de Indias, a fairytale destination of romance, legends and superbly preserved beauty and remarkable secrets, contained within centuries-old colonial stone walls.

Cartagena was granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1984 and remains one of the most authentic and well-maintained examples of Spanish period colonial architecture in the world. A maze of cobbled alleys, ornate bougainvillea-covered400-year-old houses, crumbling mansions and massive churches that cast their shadows across plazas, music, aromas and pulsating rhythms greet visitors in every corner of city. Horses and carts clatter through the streets and flash mobs dance in pretty squares. Whilst the whole of Colombia is designed to be explored at ground level, once visited, the nation’s undisputed Caribbean queen saturates with her architectural gems and embraces with her alluring charms to such an extent that it’s truly hard for one to leave.

The recently opened Conrad Cartagena resort hotel, on the north side of the walled city, is a veritable first-class oceanfront oasis, boasting a tropical atmosphere with vibrant colours and Caribbean flavours. Aside from the 268 rooms including 31 deluxe suites, Cartagena’s new hospitality queen offers seven restaurants and a wealth of leisure facilities, including four swimming pools, a scenic 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed TPC golf course, a sprawling spa with a multitude of treatment rooms including a couples’ suite, a well-equipped fitness center, a dreamy beach club, a kids club, an executive lounge for VIP guests and expansive sandy beaches. In short, staying at Conrad Cartagena affords visitors to Colombia’s VIBRANT Caribbean city the perfect place to recover after a night out on the town and rejuvenate in readiness for the next!


DOWNTOWN CAMPERStockholm, Sweden

Capital of Sweden, largest city in the Nordic region and one of the fastest growing commercial hubs in Europe, Stockholm oozes down-to-earth confidence and dynamism. Nestled between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic Sea, spread across fourteen islands connected by bridges and canals and surrounded by forests and abundant countryside, few cities on the planet can match Stockholm’s stunning natural setting. And, unsurprisingly, Stockholm has a long and proud history. Gamla Stan, the old city dating back to the 13th century, is one of the best-preserved medieval districts in Europe. Elsewhere, buildings and boulevards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries abound, giving the city elegance in spades. The combination of architectural marvels set in such a natural environment makes Stockholm a visually unique metropolis and a complete delight to explore. Though the visual experience alone should be enough to position the Swedish capital at the top of everyone’s city break list, it is the city’s contemporary design and fashion industries, as well as its cosmopolitan hospitality, café and restaurant culture, that allows Stockholm to stand globally alongside much larger international peers. Nowhere is the city’s sophistication more evident than the recently opened 494-room Downtown Camper, conceptualised by Swedish design practice Stylt Trampoli and owned by Nordic hotel company Scandic.

Downtown Camper’s location – on Brunkebergstorg Square slap bang in the centre – offers spectacular views of Stockholm’s most famous landmarks, including the Royal Castle, Stockholm City Theatre and Globen arena, and its close proximity to the city’s main shopping streets and cultural venues makes the hotel a veritable hub for urban exploration.

Accommodation comes in all shapes and sizes, from a 12m² “Cozy Single” with city views, to a 25m² “Double Sleep” window-less cabin with a king-size bed, spacious suites in three different sizes, and “Camper Co-Living” rooms which comprise adjoining bedrooms, central gathering areas and can sleep up to 12. A warm, earthy, nature-inspired theme runs through the interiors, complete with welcoming reading nooks, log-shaped bedside tables and pendant lamps reminiscent of a campfire. Crowning the hotel is the “Nest”, a private, residents-only rooftop wellness sanctuary, set against a backdrop of panoramic urban vistas, and featuring experience showers, heated pool, gym, sauna, yoga area and a juice and cocktail bar.



Located some 20 kilometres north of the Tunisian capital, adjacent to La Marsa, Gammarth is an upmarket seaside resort known for its exclusive hotels and fancy shops. Here, north of the ancient ruins of Carthage and located on a sandy site that steps down to the Mediterranean, Four Seasons Hotel Tunis recently débuted, exuding 5-star elegance through a charming North African lens, and using simple fabrics and furnishings in response to the refined, yet casual vernacular of the region.

Designed by San Francisco-based firm BraytonHughes Design Studios, which also oversaw the construction of the property, the concept for Four Seasons Hotel Tunis grew out of a week-long discovery tour of rich Tunisian culture, dating back to the time of the Phoenicians who settled in 1000 BC. The traditional houses of Tunis’ medina were the inspiration for a series of 2-3 storey interior courtyards that became the entry ways to each of the hotel’s guest rooms. Meanwhile, the hotel’s main entrance, about 50 meters above sea level, together with its exterior architecture, step down the hill like the nearby village of Sidi Bou Said. The overall result is both imposing and striking, yet warm and inviting.

A grand dome hovers above the mosaic floors of the lobby, which is also anchored by a sculpture by celebrated artist Yahya Turk, described by many as the ” father of Tunisian painting”. All 203 guestrooms are mirrored after simplistic, romantic North Africa homes, with locally-sourced stone floors and lightly coloured plaster walls. Cool, open rooms are endowed with contemporary divans, locally crafted rugs and regionally inspired artwork. Even standard rooms feature a living area, bedroom, a generously-proportioned terrace and a full, oversized bathroom.

Like the rest of the hotel, the spa has been designed with an intense sensitivity to the local terrain, complete with classic Islamic-style arches, Tunisian black and white tiled columns, plaster and wood architecture, and detailing reminiscent of the location’s hillside towns. Four Seasons Hotel Tunis is both a sanctuary of modern luxury and style and a gateway to city’s wonderful seaside lifestyle.

Rest Your Head - HYATT REGENCY

HYATT REGENCYAmsterdam, Netherlands

Just outside the central canal belt though centrally located, Hyatt Regency Amsterdam ticks numerous boxes as a highly desirable place to stay for both business and leisure travellers when visiting the Netherlands’ capital, and is the first and only hotel in the city to achieve BREEAM sustainability certification, taking great pride in its eco credentials.

Bordering the leafy and increasingly trendy eastern Plantage district – full of parks, 19th century buildings and a host of museums – Hyatt Regency Amsterdam is housed within an attractive, purpose-built modern structure, that spills into a series of period townhouses. Blending contemporary design and creature comforts with creative nods to its neighbouring institutions, the hotel’s spacious and light filled spaces are in stark contrast to the typically more cramped experiences that are often the hospitality norm for properties converted from Amsterdam’s historic buildings.

Inspired by the nearby Hortus Botanicus, there is a massive living wall and plants everywhere, whilst Indonesian touches add eye-catching accents to the décor in honour of the Tropenmuseum a few minutes away. Hence spending time in the seamless common areas of this hotel is a real pleasure, not to mention both calming and uplifting.

Upstairs, the 211 rooms and 15 suites are generously proportioned and continue the design theme of light-flooded and contemporary décor, with clean lines and comfortable soft furnishings, complemented by colourful botanical print artworks. All rooms have dedicated workstations and many have boast views over the city’s skyline, towards historic buildings, canals or nearby parks. All bathrooms have walk-in rain showers. All suites have deep soaking bathtubs. The hotel’s biggest lodgings – The Spinoza Suite – offers apartment-like living with separate living and dining rooms, a kitchenette and huge closets.

Mama Maken, the hotel’s signature restaurant, offers an interesting menu of traditional Indonesian dishes, complete with a bar serving cocktails inspired by well-travelled spices, herbs and plants, a carefully curated selection of craft and specialty beers, and a good selection of European and new world wines. And on Friday nights a guest DJ provides a funky musical soundtrack which lifts the atmosphere at the start of each weekend.

Anything but a buttoned-down business hotel and a true 21st century property, Hyatt Regency Amsterdam successfully pulls-off flawlessly what is almost unheard of in the industry – to be a full-service hotel appealing to both business and leisure travellers, without compromising style, heart and soul. Service is warm and personal. Bicycles are offered to guests to explore the surroundings. Bespoke walking tours are arranged to suit all types of interests. Though the well-equipped gym is open 24 hours, residents are encouraged to go jogging in the fresh air of nearby Oosterpark, or around the perimeter of the botanical gardens and zoo.

Much like Amsterdam itself, Hyatt Regency Amsterdam offers an innovative and fresh product in the Netherlands’ capital, whilst embodying enough nods to city’s heritage to gently yet constantly remind you that you’re staying in one of the world’s most fun and colourful metropoles.



With its combination of luxury hotels, trailblazing restaurants, world-class golf courses and outstanding fishing, complete with vistas that will jam your Instagram feed, Los Cabos, set at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, delivers the quintessential Mexican beach holiday. Just a two-hour flight from Los Angeles, this vacation oasis, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, unsurprisingly attracts a healthy celebrity quotient pretty much year-round. With its pleasant desert-like weather (think dry and hot days and cool, breezy nights) there’s really no bad time to visit Los Cabos. Jennifer Aniston is regularly spotted at hotels like the One&Only Palmilla, and George Clooney loved the area so much that he built a beachfront pile and flipped it to a Mexican billionaire for a tidy sum.

Widely considered to be the best place for snorkelling in the area, Bahía Santa María (also referred to Santa Maria Bay) is brimming with a multitude of tropical fish and marine life. This is largely thanks to its placid waters being a protected fish sanctuary and part of an underwater reserve. Edged by a serene horseshoe-shaped bay and surrounded by cactus-covered rocky cliffs, brightly coloured fish swarm through chunks of white coral and golden sea fans. It is in this cherished location that Montage resorts – which are situated all over the States – has built a high-end resort of contemporary design that sits lightly in its idyllic setting, and is sensitive to the beautiful environment surrounding it.

Joining the private residential community of Maryville Los Cabos, perched upon the best piece of beach in Cabo and set within 39 lush acres, luxury Montage Los Cabos resort will open in May 2018 with 122 generously-proportioned guest rooms and suites, a sprawling full-service spa and multiple dining options, as well as 52 whole ownership residences.

In addition to ocean views from every hotel room and residence, the extensive use of natural woods and stones, plus native planting indigenous to Mexico will create a timeless environment that reflects the careful balance, care and elegance in the resort’s design. And being the first international outpost of Montage, the American brand has really gone to town with the resort’s facilities, which will include a Fred Couples Signature golf course in addition to onsite tennis courts, a 20,000-square-foot pool spanning two levels, sport fishing, sailing, surfing, yachting, horseback riding and countless other leisure activities.



Located in the town of M’diq about 20 miles east of Tangier, and nestled between the Rif mountains of Northern Morocco and the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean, this imposing resort courtesy of French luxury hotel brand Sofitel, invites guests to experience the ultimate combination of nature, Moroccan art de vivre and French artistic inspiration in one uber-cool oasis of well-being.

Conceptualised and fashioned by French-Lebanese architect Galal Mahmoud, of Beirut based firm GM Architects, Sofitel Tamuda Bay’s architecture and interior design were conceived as a smooth and seamless transition between indoors and outdoors, uniting sophisticated Moroccan culture with modern architecture, in interiors rich in colour and texture that are highly characteristic of the local way of life which has evolved over so many centuries. The result is a hotel that is strongly inspired by the glamour of the French Riviera in the 1950s and ‘Fauviste’ artists including Matisse and Rouault, that makes the most of a wonderful stretch of land between Fnideq and M’diq, where the sand is golden, the waters are crystal clear and the weather is almost always good.

Guests are accommodated in a range of rooms, plus suites of varying sizes, eight bungalows and five villas. All rooms are designed in an arty-chic fashion and positioned in an idyllic setting on the edge of one of the Kingdom’s most beautiful beaches. The gorgeous beach villas touch the sand. Interiors are cool, bright and uncluttered so blend seamlessly with the magical natural landscape.

Lounge around the turquoise-blue pool or in a beach cabana. Indulge at Le Marche du Saveurs’s expansive all-day dining buffets, or feast alfresco at the SO Beach Lounge, before sipping on a signature cocktail at the Koudiaz Bar. Night owls will enjoy the SO Lounge, a fully-fledged nightclub that regularly plays host to international DJs. And for those wishing to rest and relax, the onsite SoSPA is the perfect place to unwind, with hammam rituals among the many therapies on offer.

Rest Your Head - THE DIXON


Situated between Tooley Street and Queen Elizabeth Street within London’s characterful and historic Tower Bridge Conservation Area, The Dixon encompasses a sympathetic conversion of the Grade II listed 1906 John Dixon Butler police station and Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court, together with the addition of a new-build extension to the rear of the property, to create a unique boutique hotel which is deeply imbedded in the local community.

Set to open in Autumn 2018 and offering travellers a unique take on the boutique hotel experience, guests will enjoy a warm, neighbourhood feel in the heart of the British capital whilst staying just 200m from London’s iconic Tower Bridge. Socially and culturally immersive, The Dixon will be as much about enjoying the local community as it will be about feeling comfy and at home. And cleverly reflecting the building’s former role, the hotel’s Courthouse café will serve as a both a neighbourhood gathering place and artistic hub, that will welcome not only hotel guests but also locals.

Part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, The Dixon’s 193 rooms including 9 suites, will redefine the traditional boutique hotel, by seamlessly incorporating local culture through an artful mix of heritage design. Think simple brickwork, plenty of natural light, tall windows and modern British-designed furniture sitting alongside more classic pieces, original Georgian oak panelling and reclaimed pieces from the Courthouse. Tasteful, curated works courtesy of local artists will adorn the walls, and The Dixon’s support of the local arts will extend far beyond the hotel, with a diverse and carefully orchestrated cultural programme, including special access to the local theatres and studios surrounding its central South East London location. The Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and the diverse offerings of the new Bridge Theatre are all just a few minutes’ walk away from The Dixon, which will undoubtedly make this hotel the funky, well-connected and perfectly situated new kid on the Tooley Street block when it opens later this year.

Rest Your Head - TREEHOTEL


Inspired by Jonas Selberg Augustsen’s film ‘The Tree Lover’ (a tale of three urbanites that build a treehouse together in the forest), it all started in 2010 with Britta and Kent Lindvall’s dream to turn a 1930s retirement home into a guesthouse in their home village of Harads, about 70 minutes from Luleå airport in the north of Sweden. The end result is far from an ordinary B&B, and although there are eight guest rooms in Britta’s Pensionat, it is the Treehotel that people travel from all corners of the globe to experience.

Seven Scandinavian architects have now built treehouses for Treehotel, including a bird’s nest, a UFO, a mirrored cube and the most recent addition unveiled earlier this year, ‘The 7th Room’ designed by Norwegian architects Snøhetta. There is also ‘The Blue Cone’ with a double bed and two singles, approached by a ramp way; the rectangular shaped ‘Cabin’, a favourite with honeymooners, boasting mesmerising views into the surrounding forest; and ‘The Dragonfly’ comprises two separate bedrooms with two double beds of four singles. Whilst the characteristics of each of the seven tree houses differ tremendously according to each’s particular design, all are minimalist with eco-loos and basins, and simple pine walls and floors. ‘The 7th Room’ is the only tree house which has a shower (showers are available in two sauna houses) and is the largest and highest house, with a capacity to sleep five. All hang in a pine forest, far above the ground in deepest Swedish Lapland, and the silence within the tree houses is palpable.

There is a small clearing above each tree house from which the Northern lights can be seen on a clear night. Reindeers with their Sámi herders and the Arctic Circle are easy day trips, and Treehotel is well placed for fishing, in summer or winter, in the wide Lule River just a few minutes away. Classic Swedish massages are available. There’s a zip-line onsite, and other activities include moose safaris, ice-fishing and dog-sledding – plenty to occupy even the most energetic of Lapland adventurers!


VILLA MAHABHIROMChiang Mai, Tnailand

On the banks of the Ping River, the historic city of Chiang Mai – Northern Thailand’s largest city – dates back to the 13th century and was the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom until 1558. Today, Chiang Mai strikes a fine balance between the traditional and the contemporary, the old heart of the city still retains its historic walls and moats, and the city’s long and leafy boulevards offer an alluring alternative to the Thai capital, Bangkok. Instead of traffic-choked urban sprawl, travellers find a picturesque downtown easily navigated on foot, where the air is clean and the climate mercifully cool. Amid the multitude of temple spires in the old town, barefoot monks in flame-coloured robes collect alms in the morning and street vendors hawk their wares by night. In complete contrast, a short bike or scooter ride out of the city soon leads to densely rainforested countryside interspersed with natural waterfalls.

On the road to the historic Wat Umong temple, the original seat of the Sri Lankan tradition of Buddhism in Lanna, lies Villa Mahabhirom, a new luxury bijou resort which opened last year. Conceptualised as a sophisticated yet comfortable boutique hotel, that threads history, culture, community, arts and craft with a sense of peace and wellbeing, Villa Mahabhirom comprises only 14 spacious traditional 14th century stilted teak Thai houses. Each of these historic dwellings was rescued from dereliction, meticulously and lovingly restored, and filled with objets d’art and bespoke furnishings. The owners, who have been friends since their childhood in Bangkok, have eclectic yet interesting tastes, and hence some of the accents and detailing ranges from French settees to gold enamel pieces from the Ayutthaya period. Each house features a private, open-air balcony overlooking the resort’s lush tropical gardens, and the intimacy and privacy of this stunning property genuinely lends itself to relaxation and calming reflection.

Though there are plenty of dining options in town, and chic Nimmanhaemin neighbourhood with its plentiful bars, cafés and restaurants is just 10 minutes away by car, be sure to stay at Villa Mahabhirom for dinner at least once.

Rest Your Head - WEST HOTEL

WEST HOTELSydney, Australia

Named after its location on the western corridor of Sydney’s central business district – close to Darling Harbour and just five blocks from Wynyard Station – the eye-catching West Hotel is only the second new property to be built in the city’s CBD for more than 15 years. But unlike many places to rest one’s head in the capital of New South Wales, West Hotel’s distinctive character offers a UNIQUE taste of design splendour in the city’s newest cultural hub, and appeals to both curious corporate guests and discerning travellers seeking a more authentic Sydney experience.

Architects Fitzpatrick and Partners have incorporated some cool design elements within the fabric of the building, which set the hotel apart from others in Sydney, including a cool open-air central garden atrium. Meanwhile, a variety of modern classic design elements have been skilfully crafted throughout the interiors, courtesy of interior designers Woods Bagot: the same design firm behind many of Qantas’ new airport lounges, including the new domestic business lounge in Brisbane. Throughout West Hotel, a colour palette which reflects the character of Sydney Harbour and its natural surrounds, is complemented with rich, textured hues and married with bespoke artworks and graphic floors. Whilst sculptural lighting and natural stones successfully offset edgy industrial detailing with polished sophistication.

Each of the hotel’s 182 guest rooms feature state-of-the-art in-room entertainment systems and functional work areas for the busy corporate traveller. Whilst the four sleek suites – boasting views of either the Barangaroo precinct or Sussex Street – feature a separate living room and a private bedroom as well as an oversized bathroom laden with amenities by celebrated Melbourne born hair stylist Kevin Murphy.



Feeling more like the Mediterranean than Southern California, it’s hard to believe that the rambling 102-acre Terranea Resort, on the Palos Verdes Peninsula overlooking Catalina Island, is only 30 minutes from the melting pot of bold creatives and eclectic world cultures that is Los Angeles, and conveniently positioned between LAX and Long Beach airports offering easy highway access to Hollywood and Disneyland.

A member of the Destinations Hotel family, Terranea inherited the site of the old Marineland oceanarium, designed in the 1950s by architect William Pereira, who was responsible in part for LAX’s iconic Theme Building. In the 1980s, after Marineland went bust, the site lay dormant for decades, which was perhaps a blessing in disguise since this preserved its original coral trees. More than two decades after Marineland shipped off its whales and closed its gates, and the culmination of 10 years of planning and costing some half a billion Dollars to build, the 582-room resort opened in 2009 atop the same ocean bluffs in Rancho Palos Verdes.

So large it can host five weddings at the same time, and with one of the largest ballrooms in Los Angeles County, Terranea occupies one of the most spectacular settings of any hotel in the States. Eight years after it opened, the resort has just unveiled a USD40 million restoration by Chicago-based design firm BAMO. Retaining the hotel’s classic Spanish Colonial style, the redesign also now embraces the casual elegance of coastal California. Today, guests face the daily option of choosing between the sybaritic life or one of adventure. You can sip cocktails in front of the Lobby Bar’s fireplace, out on its heated terrace, or around the private fire pit outside your own bungalow or villa for that matter. Guests can also lounge at any of four saltwater-treated swimming pools, two of which are adults-only, and frolic down a 140-foot waterslide in another.

More than 350 of Terranea’s guest rooms are located in the main hotel. With full kitchens, 50 three-bedroom ocean view casitas and 32 villas are nicely private. The twenty bungalows in front of the spa and closest to the sea cliffs have their own little secluded vibe. All accommodation has seen upgrades, including new décor and furnishings, plus the addition of locally sourced artworks to complement the coastal tones and refined palette. The 50,000ft2 spa now has 25 treatment rooms. Onsite Catalina Kitchen has reopened, complete with an overhauled interior, new external décor and an open kitchen and new bar. And a new casual outdoor dining venue – The Grill at Terranea – has also been unveiled. For non-Terranea guests, the impressive buffet brunch alone, at Catalina Kitchen with its enormous shaded patio, is worth negotiating L.A.’s freeways for.