Brand Profile: Design Hotels™ is a curated portfolio of independent, one-of-a-kind properties around the globe. What started as a vision for design-driven hospitality, has grown into a global lifestyle brand that is synonymous with distinctive architecture, interior design and, most importantly, innovative hospitality experiences. The portfolio encompasses the ultimate selection of exceptional luxury and boutique hotels, united by a commitment to individuality, progressive design and cultural authenticity. For our properties, functionality and exceptional service are mere table stakes. Found in the world’s most vibrant neighborhoods, they go beyond the offerings of a traditional hotel to serve as gathering points for influencers, world travelers, and local creatives. As cultural hubs, they offer a place to share, inspire, interact, and celebrate Original Experiences—moments no other property can provide. Welcome to Design Hotels,
1. Concept: Each Design Hotels™ property has a strong, unique identity and a distinguishing factor—the irrefutable thing that makes it wholly original. The concept starts with the original purpose of the structure, the history of the neighborhood, the personality of the place, then evolves organically from there. From a gorgeous 300-year-old palace transformed into a contemporary Moroccan destination, to an Italian eco-resort that evokes the cells of surrounding monasteries, every property offers a truly unique story through its architecture, design, programming, gastronomy, and amenities.
2. Architecture & Design: Member properties feature thought-provoking design and architecture, in both public and personal spaces. From an haute pueblo hotel awarded “best architectural restoration in Mexico,” to Singapore’s first and only warehouse-converted hotel, properties boast unique architectural design rooted in local culture. Our spaces go beyond great style and design, reflecting the Original’s personality and often greater purpose behind the business. Where one property’s rooms are decorated with locally salvaged driftwood and lava through collaboration with local artists, another’s feature old ship railings that evoke an indirect homage to the neighboring port.
3. Local Integration: Members are more than hotels, offering a destination for travelers and locals alike. Properties boast unique spaces and cultural programming that make them focal points for neighborhoods and gathering points for the local arts, architecture, and design communities. Through these spaces and programming—ranging from master classes on the Vedic tradition by a world-renowned Vedic priest to a series of immersive rituals on agricology — the properties become a gateway to authentic local experiences. By encouraging visitors to mix with locals, and providing them daily opportunities to do so, Design Hotels™ properties make guests feel as if they are a part of the local scene and regional culture from the moment they arrive.
4. The People Behind: Each Design Hotels™ property reflects the vision of an independent hotelier, an “Original” with a passion for cultural authenticity that is enhanced by thought-provoking design and architecture. These personalities behind the property combine their local knowledge and passion for the unexpected to create unforgettable moments for their guests, and maintain a frequent on-property presence. Each Original is, by definition, profoundly different. Yet they share essential traits: Originals take risks. They possess a fearless imaginative spirit and a strong sense of aesthetics. Often they are not hoteliers by trade yet are driven by a passion to deliver a wholly unique hospitality experience.
5. CSR: Member properties are focused on social and environmental responsibility, giving back to their local communities while also taking steps to drive global change. From the ground up, from building materials to local programming, they are driven by purpose. They are led by global thinkers but local doers, people whose local involvement makes them neighborhood heroes. Through their programming or talent programs, properties support local innovators and changemakers to communicate on important topics of change. From protecting local reefs and beaches, to investing in the local childhood education system, properties actively seek out ways to lead their local communities in social responsibility, inviting guests to engage throughout their journey.
6. Brand: Each property has its own strong brand, combining the property and local area’s culture and heritage with the Original’s passion. From a wreath making workshop with local bohemian romantic florists who have decorated the property for years, to retro-futuristic art that invites the guest to reflect on the idealized image of “the worker” that dominated Soviet propaganda, each property pulls through its own unique brand across the property and throughout the stay.
Structure: The Design Hotels brand is part of Design Hotels AG, a separate public company based in Berlin, Germany. Upon purchasing Starwood, Marriott acquired 74% of Design Hotels AG and a controlling interest the company. Marriott appoints the CEO and four of six Supervisory Board members.
Locations: There are currently over 300 Design Hotels™ globally, more than 125 of which participate in Marriott Bonvoy, allowing guests to earn and redeem Bonvoy points for their stays.
Price Tier: Varies by property due to their individual and independently owned nature
Category: Upper Upscale
Target Customer: Travelers seeking the unusual, the individual, and the unexpected. Those who prefer an experience over a cookie cutter room, a local immersion over the consistency of a known brand. Travelers like-minded in their pursuit of singular aesthetic environments, genuine local culture, and transformative, boundary-pushing travel experiences that defy conventional notions of luxury. Global thinkers in search of purpose and meaning, and not just the luxury component of living.
Hotel Amenities: Varies by property according to their individual and independently owned nature and the passion behind the hotel independent concept.
Spotify: Design Hotels™
Key Brand Executives:
Peter Cole, CEO, Design Hotels
Ellen Cory, Vice President, Brand – Design Hotels
James Bardwell – James.Bardwell@marriott.com