Tales Of A Vibrant History

Tales Of A Vibrant History

At the heart of any conscious restoration is the creation of a space that whispers tales of a vibrant history while embracing the essence of today and harmonising with the future; a space that paves new paths from storied pasts. Located around the world, from Montenegro to Mexico, these six hotels stand out for mindfully restoring existing structures, for thoughtfully integrating historic pasts into bright futures.


A Rustic Escape In Italy


For over half a millennium, the Reichhalter guesthouse has stood in Lana, South Tyrol, timeless and enduring. In its long history, it has been a butcher’s shop, bakery, sawmill, barn and table, but in 2018, it welcomed a new era as 1477 Reichhalter, an intimate hotel and restaurant. The 500-year-old setting marries a rich, historical structure with a fresh and sophisticated new take on hospitality: carefully prescribed updates ensure that almost nothing was changed in terms of the façade, while mid-century modern design pieces, Italian antiques and flea-market finds create an updated yet timeless feel.


Tales Of A Vibrant History
The typical guest room at 1477 Reichhalter.


Each of the eight rooms are named after former owners of the house, and two rooms even have historic tiled stoves. “Here, we have kept as much of the history, of what makes this hotel so unique, as possible. Places like this are the future,” Original Klaus Dissertori says.


For more information and reservations, call +39 0473 – 051 – 050 or email: info@1477reichhalter.com.


Reinventing A German Prison


In the heart of West Berlin, Wilmina mindfully respects its building’s heritage as a former courthouse and women’s prison while also reimagining its future. Over the course of 11 years, Originals Armand Grüntuch and Almut Grüntuch-Ernst of Grüntuch Ernst Architekten transformed the buildings, constructed in 1896, into spaces of community and warmth. “We see Wilmina as one milestone in the transformation of the city around us in a way that honours its history while also bringing in new life,” Armand says. “It’s about inverting the building’s configuration and spatial concepts, from an antisocial space to a very social space,” Almut continues.


Tales Of A Vibrant History
The former prison now welcomes guests from around the world.


Original elements like prison cells and barred windows were expanded and connected to create inviting, airy guest rooms, while soft textures and warming elements like fireplaces and lighting installations by Bocci redefine preserved structural elements, including the historic staircase, thick metal doors and aged banisters. Armand and Almut’s conscientious efforts were recognised in 2023 when Wilmina received the German Sustainability Award for Architecture.


For more information and reservations, call +49 (0) 3020 – 18050 or email: welcome@wilmina.com.


Palma’s Historic Arabic Gem


Housed in one of Palma’s oldest buildings – a medieval Islamic palace dating back to the 12th century – Nobis Hotel Palma meticulously blends 1,000 years of history with contemporary luxury. Welcoming guests in the lobby is a preserved wooden alfarje, or panelled ceiling, with a decorative element of Arabic calligraphy known as naskh – an architectural accent that has survived the building’s entire history.


Tales Of A Vibrant History
The former medieval Islamic palace sits at the heart of the city.


In some guest rooms, centuries-old ceramic-tile flooring is paired with custom Carl Hansen bedframes, Flos pendant lights, and handmade tapestries by local artist Leela Romeo. In other rooms, original wooden ceilings harmoniously juxtapose Ogeborg carpets, Örsjö tabletop lamps, and handcrafted ceramic vessels by Mallorcan artist Miquel Segura. Throughout the hotel, other standout features include cavernous nine-meter-high ceilings in the Mirall Bar, an ancient fountain that has been carefully repurposed into a small dipping pool, and the transformation of a former escape-route tunnel into the Nobis Hotel Spa.


For more information and reservations, call +34 (0) 871 – 555 – 800 or email: info@nobishotel.es.


A One Of A Kind Hotel


On an isle at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Herceg Novi, Montenegro, Mamula Island unfolds across a diligently restored fortress, first constructed in 1852 by Austro-Hungarian General Lazar Mamula. The restoration process, carried out in concert with local heritage authorities, ensured that every brick, wall, and feature was returned to its original state, while prominent courtyards and outdoor gathering spaces were developed to create an open, breathing entity.


Tales Of A Vibrant History
The fort is now home to a luxury hotel.


The hotel’s holistic approach to design allows each space to resonate based on its innate, historic elements and the surrounding natural splendour, with bespoke, modern furnishings carefully crafted from local stone, solid oak, and breathable textiles to complement the structure and reflect the the sea, wind, rocks, and crashing waves beyond.


For more information and reservations, call +382 (0) 3135 – 3450 or email: reservations@mamulaisland.com.


Banking On A Good Time


Next to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, a grand stone building has stood the test of time. First constructed in the 1920s, the former bank survived bombings during World War II and then brought its patrons into the new millennium. Now, following a considered restoration, it is the home of K5, a hotel with a restaurant, cocktail bar, café, Brooklyn Brewery taproom and 20 generously sized rooms. “The concrete structure survived fire-bombing raids; its raw interior spaces have a noticeable character and inform the atmosphere,” explains Claesson Koivisto Rune, who oversaw the hotel’s renovation and interior design.


Tales Of A Vibrant History
Small is beautiful at K5 Tokyo.


Much of this concrete has been left exposed, honouring the history of not only the building but also the city and creating an almost brutalist ambiance. Elsewhere, the raw concrete is contrasted by walls and ceilings that have been painted using traditional Japanese techniques as well as an abundance of plants, cedar-wood paneling, tables, stools, and built-ins, and colourful Scandinavian design pieces.


For more information and reservations, call +81 (0) 359 – 623 – 485 or email: info@k5-tokyo.com.


The Mexican Colonial Villa


In La Paz, Baja California Sur, Baja Club Hotel reimagines a traditional Mexican hacienda dating back to 1910, transforming the historic building into a colonial-meets-contemporary wonder. The mission-style villa, augmented by a new five-storey extension with a spa and rooftop bar, honours its colonial-era history with a double-door main entrance with amber glazing and ornamental ironmongery as well as tall ironwork windows with ornamental grills.


Tales Of A Vibrant History
The all-day diner at Baja Club Hotel.


Restored original elements, such as the villa’s high ceilings, wood beams and chandelier, are complemented by features including bathrooms tiled in the classic hacienda style and a colour scheme comprising greens and reds common to Mexican earthenware, old metals and woods and woven materials. Yet an abundance of furniture and materials inspired by the former house and work of renowned Mexican modernist architect Luis Barragán gives the hacienda an undeniably contemporary edge.


For more information and reservations, call +52 (0) 612 – 122 – 5176 or email: contact@bajaclubhotel.com.



Source: Design Hotels.

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