The rainbow is experiencing a renaissance. These days, hotels are rejecting neutral palettes in favour of a riot of contrasting hues. Not that this is an entirely new phenomenon: in 1948 an extreme makeover washed the exterior of the Beverly Hills Hotel in a distinctive flamingo pink to complement the California sunset. Here are five contemporary hotels set apart by their unique embrace of the colour wheel.
The Other Place Guilin Litopia
Colour helps to convey distinct identities in these 10 individually designed guest rooms, located at the foot of Guilin’s soaring green limestone karst mountains. Shenzhen-based interdisciplinary firm Studio 10 concocted the ‘Dream’ room as an art installation in which the juxtaposition of white and candy floss lacquering under a seven-metre pitched ceiling makes for a surreal serenity. Another room, named Maze, features gravity-defying staircases ripped straight from an MC Escher drawing. Green walls channel a mysterious fairytale forest, while the stairs lead to doors painted a promising gold.
Sands Hotel & Spa
To turn this 1950s motel in California’s Coachella Valley into a serious attraction, Hollywood’s favourite interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard channelled North Africa’s desert exoticisms, washing the exterior in a Saharan rose hue. The structure wraps around a swimming pool shaded by black and white Bedouin tented cabanas. Gold-plated palm tree doorknockers outside each of the 46 guestrooms hint at the canary yellow and champagne touches that Bullard uses to bring the desert sun indoors. To tease out even more retro glamour you can dine on the trend to the end, thanks to sentimental desserts with a hint of pink like the passion fruit tart with brûléed banana.
Serious fans of the visible spectrum will want to check into this funky, 59-room boutique property run by the colour-matching company Pantone. The 1970s low-rise gets an exterior refresh with a veritable kaleidoscope of tinted balcony windows. Indoors, each of the seven floors is awash in a different shade, while Pantone colour swatches hang as artworks on the white guestroom walls. Staying in this liveable rainbow means sipping tea from a purple Pantone mug while lounging on retro-chic chaises in sunflower and salmon hues. Wander down an electric orange hallway to borrow a Pantone-painted bike for a leisurely pedal around the neighbourhood. It’s hard to stay in a blue mood among all these happy hues.
Mother Nature provided architect and hotel designer Bill Bensley with the inspiration for this 23-villa luxury eco-retreat spread across four rainforest-covered hectares north of Ubud. Bensley chose four green tones, from sea foam to hunter green, to blend this hotel into its central Balinese backdrop. These notes appear throughout, from design elements in the Officer’s Tent communal living room to wall art in the split-level tented dining area. It’s all a subtle reinforcement of Capella’s environmental commitment, which started with protecting every tree from being cut down during the building process, and extends to its efforts to achieve EarthCheck certification through responsible utility use, waste and plastics management and community engagement.
Shocking pink announces the 21st century at the original headquarters of one of France’s most venerable gourmet food brands, reopened as a hotel last year. All 54 staunchly modern guestrooms and 11 suites at Fauchon Paris blend historic architectural details like sleek blackened parquet chevron floors and carefully restored Parisian shutters… with plenty of millennial pink. Guests are greeted with strawberry and lime welcome drinks in the jet-black lacquered lobby, and they’ll also appreciate the bevy of velvety pink furnishings in the private bar. Then there’s the reimagined mini bar, a funky armoire in a metallic rose tint which is filled with chocolate truffles, foie gras and champagne.