Viewpoints on Sleep: “Escape into an idyllic, sensual world…”Featured July 16 Words by Florence Derrick, Liz Hoggard
City centre comfort | From €310
Belgian Architect Charles Kaisin is the darling of the design press and his first boutique hotel, in Marrakech's bustling Kasbah, is proof why. A secret door leads to an interior courtyard with pillars, stunning metalwork and planting, overlooked by 12 individually styled bedrooms with huge beds, flowing drapes and quirky local art and craftwork (many rooms also have a private roof terrace). It's just 10 minutes from the spice markets of the medina, the El Badi Palace and the famous Jemaa el Fna market square, yet you'd never realise once inside.
Kaisin says his inspiration is the Baudelaire poem L'Invitation au voyage and Almaha does indeed invite you to escape into an idyllic, sensual world. Dinner is served in the library, where 1,083 books are folded into letters of the alphabet, spelling out the Baudelaire poem, while the Pixel Room - decorated with 23,000 diamond shapes cut from silk, depicting a scene from the Jemaa el Fna - is a dreamy place to enjoy mint tea and pastries. The rooftop bar and pool, and terrific hamman and spa complete the package. The riad even has a signature orange-flower scent. You'll dream of it for months....
Arthur Hotel, Jerusalem
Cosy townhouse | From €164
In Jerusalem, you want to stay in the thick of it: for the stone walls of the Old City to be an easy stroll away, an excellent falafel joint to be around the corner and to be able to hear the musical discord of sunset songs from your hotel balcony.
Arthur Hotel covers these bases and adds the kind of delightful details you hope for, but don't always get: geometrically patterned antique tiles adorning the lobby and dining-room walls, along with nostalgic black-and-white photography, food that packs a punch and bluesy jazz on soft repeat in the background. So Ella Fitzgerald croons over an exquisite Middle Eastern breakfast platter - up there with the best in the city - and before you've even admitted that you don't know where to start in the Old City's warren-like streets, the staff have drawn up their top tips on a tourist map. Jerusalem can be disorienting at times, but finishing each day at the Arthur feels like a homecoming.
Frankfurt | From €69
Mix the comfort of a hotel with the sociable, DIY aspect of a hostel and you get the Moxy hotel chain. Aimed at young trendy travellers, formal buffets are out and a 24/7 self-service kitchen is in, with sushi, currywurst and spätzle for the taking. The fast wi-fi facilitates a digital guestbook, streaming guests' videos and Instagram uploads, while floor-to-ceiling art differentiates each room. Conferences can be relaxed affairs, with beanbags, blackboards and wooden elephants in the Moxy's meeting spaces.
Paris | From €408
The French capital's latest arty boutique sprung from the imagination of renowned Parisian designer Jean-Louis Deniot. The interior is minimalist, decked out in white marble and handmade furnishings in textured fabrics, like velvet and tweed. Even the air is chic, scented with spicy musk, perfuming evening arts events
and dinner at the high-end Réjane Brasserie. The general vibe is a quiet and discerning home from home - provided your home is very, very deluxe, that is.
Kenshō Boutique Hotel & Suites
Mykonos | From €369
All whitewashed stone walls, stripped-wood floorboards and minimalist white furniture, this Greek-island boutique has just 25 suites and 10 rooms, making it an exclusive and brilliant little find. The colours stick to the serene hues of the nearby houses and beach at Ornos Bay - turquoise, royal blue and milky white - then there's the private plunge pools, crisp linen sheets and hot tubs; a gourmet restaurant that pairs locally caught fish with modern Mediterranean flair; plus a spa, hammam, sea views. Be quick...