10 of the best design escapes

These retreats are filled with interiors inspiration

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Maison Souquet Paris, France

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Jacques Garcia, an enfant terrible of French interior design, has embraced the insalubrious past of Paris’s Montmartre district to create a pleasure palace just a stone’s throw from the Moulin Rouge. Influenced by the concept of the maisons closes, the sumptuous houses of ill repute that once served as playgrounds for the rich, Maison Souquet channels the best of Belle Epoque style. For this Parisian hotel, Garcia has channelled early-20th-century design trends, from oriental to art deco and Napoleon III. The result is a veritable feast made possible by fine gilding and enamelling, myriad peacock feathers, thousands of metres of fabric and the designer’s fertile imagination.

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+33 1 48 78 55 55; maisonsouquet.com

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Burgh Island Hotel Devon, England

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This Grade II-listed art deco hotel has a magical, movie-like feel to it, from the exquisitely restored rooms to its illustrious back story. Set on the eponymous private island off the south Devon coast, Burgh Island was built in 1929 by the splendidly named mogul Archibald Nettlefold. During the late Twenties and Thirties it attracted the great and the good from London society, becoming one of the most fashionable retreats of the era. Agatha Christie used the hotel as inspiration for her Poirot mystery Evil Under the Sun, while Noel Coward came for three nights and loved it so much he stayed for three weeks.

01548 810514; burghisland.com

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Hotel SP34 Copenhagen, Denmark

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Set in the Danish capital’s Latin Quarter, SP34 has an ambience and style that tap in to the laid-back vibe of the surrounding galleries and vintage shops. With a simple Scandi palette, the decor is cool and calming. Many of the items around the hotel are bespoke, from the reclaimed Swedish pendant lighting to the headboards in the rooms and the brass hooks embedded in the plastered walls. There’s even an SP34 chair (pictured above), inspired by an abandoned piece of furniture unearthed in the basement during renovations. With many of the seductive pieces available to buy, be sure to bring a large suitcase.

+45 33 13 30 00; brochner-hotels.com/hotel-sp34

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The Reading Rooms Margate, England

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In the 18th century Margate was popular with London dwellers who came to enjoy clean sea air. Frequenting the town’s reading rooms was another pastime – one that has influenced the name of this luxury B&B on one of the town’s historic squares. With backgrounds in events and design, owners Louise Oldfield and Liam Nabb have beautifully married their talents, working hard to get every detail right in each of the three rooms. With calming Farrow & Ball whites, antique lighting and hand-carved beds, as well as breakfast served to your room on an antique butler’s tray, you’re bound to feel renewed following a stay here.

01843 225166; thereadingroomsmargate.co.uk

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Siren Cornwall, England

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Rural retreat meets boho chic at this cosy Cornish hideaway for two. Under the thatched roof of this pretty seaside cottage the vibe is decidedly decadent. Take a dip at nearby Coverack Beach before returning to flamingo-inspired decor, kitsch Seventies art and flashes of macramé, which set the stage for an intimate cocktail party. Whip up a couple of Harvey Wallbangers and watch the waves crash in from the room-for-two window seat. The clawfoot bath (rather than shower), and well-stocked kitchen complete with an Aga are traditional elements that remind you this is very much a place where you can escape the pressures of modern life.

01637 881183; uniquehomestays.com/unique-escapes/luxury-solo-travel/uk/cornwall/coverack/siren

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The Beaumont London, England

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Behind its Grade II-listed 1927 facade The Beaumont perfectly captures the high-gloss opulence of luxury travel in the Jazz Age. Throughout the hotel, original art deco credenzas, light fittings, lamps and tables punctuate the rooms, corridors and lobbies, while a comprehensive collection of original art spans the early 1900s to the mid-Fifties. The American Bar is strewn with over 300 original photographs of early-20th-century movers and shakers, taken by the likes of Cecil Beaton and fashion photographer Horst P Horst. In contrast, the dark oak-clad bedroom and piercingly white marble bathroom of Antony Gormley’s habitable installation ROOM starkly situates The Beaumont in the present.

020 7499 1001; thebeaumont.com

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Gleneagles Perthshire, Scotland

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Don your tweeds and transport yourself to a more glamorous era at the famous 850-acre Perthshire sporting estate. Under the experienced eye of interiors experts David Collins Studio, some of the most iconic parts of the hotel – the American Bar, Glendevon Lounge, Century Bar and Lobby Lounge – have been transformed. With interiors this lavish, who cares about the Scottish weather? Design details worth raising a wee dram to include the vintage lights that flank the marble fireplace and the restored original panelling in the American Bar, as well as the beautiful glass and ceramics made by home-grown artisans.

01764 662231; gleneagles.com

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Godney Arts House Somerset, England

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With much of its art and furniture for sale, this self-catering former gentleman farmer’s home is in a constant state of renewal, always combining the eccentric with the traditional. Sleeping up to eight, the 18th-century property is owned by Jane Peck and Simon Ledson, a designer and artist respectively, who share a passion for interior design. The muted hues, stripped-back walls and flagstone floors, rescued from nearby Glastonbury Abbey during the Reformation, set the scene for industrial lighting, retro furniture and boho touches. The result is a comfortable (and comforting) rock star’s lair, bordered by cider farms, tea rooms and nature reserves.

07980 000329; sawdays.co.uk

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Cas Gasi Ibiza, Spain

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Staying in the home of an antiques expert guarantees you’ll be surrounded by a plethora of inspiration. Margaret von Korff and husband Luis Trigueros Juan restored this 1880s farmhouse in the Ibizan countryside and now run it as a boutique hotel. When sourcing pieces, Margaret abides by one simple rule: they must be lovely. Some of the antiques at Cas Gasi belonged to Margaret’s German-Spanish family; others she picked up on her travels or via her auction house in the nearby village of Santa Gertrudis. Whitewashed walls provide the perfect backdrop for a dazzling mix of heritage pieces, Mediterranean inspiration and modern art.

+34 9 71 19 77 00; casgasi.com

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Berdoulat & Breakfast Bath, England

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Antiques fans will adore this two-room B&B which combines classic English design with influences from south west France and Turkey. Architect Patrick Williams and his wife Neri, a photographer, spent 18 months renovating the 1748 property, built by John Wood the Elder, the man behind The Circus and other city landmarks. Some of the antiques come via Patrick’s French childhood home, Berdoulat. Neri’s heritage and passion for good food are evident in the Turkish breakfast, which sits on the menu alongside the full English. The couple’s enviable collection of Penguin paperbacks are found in the library, which also houses an original Hepplewhite sofa.

01225 334798; berdoulatandbreakfast.co.uk

A short break can be hard work – chances are you’ll arrive at your hotel clutching a list of ‘must-see’ museums and tourist sights to conquer in a mere 48 hours. Instead, why not make your immediate surroundings the highlight of your trip by staying in a design-driven hotel or antiques-filled oasis? It’s the perfect excuse to sidestep the tourist hotspots and linger in bed or at the hotel bar to source some ideas for your home. Inspired by everything from Georgian seaside splendour to boho chic and Belle Epoque glamour, our round-up of 10 hotels, B&Bs and cosy cottages all provide a stylish refuge from everyday life. It’s time to pack your bag, switch off your phone and take in some serious style.

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Words: Eleanor O’Kane