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Ever wonder how your hotel of choice came to be? We shine a light on the starter point, the raw ruin or crumbling beauty to show you how it all began, with props to the dedicated dreamers who bring them back to life.
Whilst most people wisely steer clear of a crumbling abandoned building, others, thankfully, are drawn to them like a bee to nectar and instantly fall in love - for they can see a future and a purpose. Hospitality has long been the saviour of many a derelict country pile, an unloved former town hall, an ivy-clad monastery, or just a noble house that lost its residing family.
From decay to beauty, these are the hotels inspired by love, design and creativity. Below we tease you with some of the pre-creation photos, naked in the raw state; we begin the tales of restoration from the bare architectural bones of a ruinous state to what are today fabulous hotels, guesthouses and love nests of heritage, style and design.
Bookmark your next trip away in one of these aged beauties.
If you crave a sense of what the real Mallorca is all about - then this place is for you - wrapped in twisted olive trees and citrus groves, expect a clever remake of monastic solace smothered in contemporary design and modern luxury.
This hotel sanctum of aesthetic cool in Arco near Lake Garda sits harmoniously alongside an inhabited nuns’ cloister – testament to both of their calm demeanours despite offering a widely different scale of accommodation.
And even more calm and at ease are Monastero Arx Vivendi owners Steffi and Manuel, who talked to us at The Aficionados about their astonishing restoration project and the gorgeous hotel they’ve created.
Renovations complete, it was time for Thomas and Ruth to add their own mark – a clean and simple aesthetic which merged Scandinavian design with Swiss charm, using a less-is-more objective without being afraid to choose classic design pieces as seen in the use of Danish furniture and iconic objects collected by Ruth. The overall result is one of crafted comfort and homeliness, which comes from conscious design.
A restoration den of raw genius – a weathered Tuscan house close to Montefollonico that has been allowed to expose her weathered elements, complemented with chic salvaged interiors.
Gail and Miles Curley know the power of their greenery-filled outdoor setting in the urban hub of Lisbon. In fact, it was the garden that they first fell in love with – a wild untamed space that they knew would translate as chilled, all-natural exclusivity in a buzzy city that never sleeps.