Here to stay? - Issue 157 - Magazine | Monocle

thumbnail text

Meem Townhouse
Sóller, Mallorca

Mallorca has much to recommend it and the small town of Sóller in the northwest of the Balearic island now boasts a smart new hotel to use as a base for exploring. Meem Townhouse has seven guest rooms, all suites, huddled around a courtyard in a building dating from 1800. Studio Al Cuadrado Arquitectura is behind the sensitive, neutral-hued fit-out, which pays respect to the original structure, keeping plenty of exposed beams and original doors while making the most of the building’s high ceilings and extensive natural light. The interiors have been created by a who’s who of Spanish brands, including tiles from Mallorcan firm Huguet, furniture from Valencian manufacturer Expormim and tasteful textiles from Nanimarquina in Barcelona – all worth putting on your shopping list. You’ll leave feeling as beautifully restored as the house itself.

Nine Orchard
New York


Nine Orchard, a new hotel on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is set in a building that dates back to 1912. The overhaul of the 14-storey property, which has stood empty since 2006, preserved many original features, including the pearly façade and vaulted ceilings. The 116 airy guest rooms are dressed with camouflage-green drapes and floral headboards; some have giant bathtubs and private patios with exquisite views of the cityscape. Downstairs, the Swan Room, a striking former bank teller’s room lined with chandeliers and dusty-pink and red booths, serves cocktails and small plates devised by Ignacio Mattos. At the neighbouring Corner Bar restaurant, also from Mattos, diners eat classic dishes, such as burgers and steak tartare, and drink martinis in a welcoming brasserie atmosphere

Rosewood Vienna

The first thing you notice as you enter the lobby of Rosewood Vienna is the absence of a lobby. There’s no registration desk, no fuss and no noise, just a subtle, tasteful look that the hotel’s interior designer, Alexander Waterworth, says is an homage to the city’s design-and-arts heritage. There is also an overwhelming sense of calm and privacy, unexpected in a place just a few steps away from Graben, one of Vienna’s main shopping drags. Check-in happens above, in the first-floor gallery that serves as a welcome area and offers a view of the intricate geometric chandelier below, custom-made by Viennese design studio Mischer’traxler. The entire property has a feeling of intricacy, mainly because it consists of four historic buildings, including a 19th-century neoclassical gem that once housed the headquarters of Austria’s Erste bank.


The higher up you go, the more twists and turns there are, each bend of the corridor punctuated by works from contemporary Austrian and international artists. But that never creates a sense of confusion or alienation. Quite the opposite: you feel a part of a special world, exclusive yet familiar. That recognition is achieved with references to designs from Vienna’s storied past; to enhance the effect, most of the furnishings were made by companies from the area. One of these is Backhausen, a hallowed textile producer renowned for its Jugendstil patterns, six of which, created by pioneering fin-de-siècle architect and designer Josef Hoffmann, were revived for Rosewood. These motifs went into everything from upholstery to stationery across the hotel’s 71 guest rooms and 28 suites. There are also lighting fixtures by Bakalowits and silverware from Vienna Silver Factory. “This is how you get a sense of place,” says Waterworth, whose London-based design studio put nearly six years of painstaking work into the project before it opened this summer. “You can’t beat local people bringing years and years of history.”


The hotel, Rosewood’s 30th opening since its inception in 1979, is surrounded by some of the Austrian capital’s finest restaurants but it keeps up with the competition. The Neue Hoheit brasserie on the top floor, designed by Viennese company Kroenland, serves Austrian classics, such as schnitzel, goulash and boiled-beef tafelspitz, as well as a wide selection of fish, all from Austrian farmers. For a hotel where room rates can be expensive, the menu is surprisingly low-priced and beats many of the more famous establishments nearby. Don’t miss the rooftop bar and its nine signature cocktails, one for each of Austria’s federal states. Like the restaurant, it welcomes non-staying guests and is an experience in itself, not least for its panorama of  Vienna’s picturesque First District.

Images: Pernilla Danielsson, Stephen Kent Johnson. photographer: Stefan Oláh. 

Share on:

X (formerly Twitter)




Go back: Contents



sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Subscriptions start from £120.

Subscribe now





Monocle Radio


  • Global Music