Soho House Chicago, USA Each new property in the rapidly expanding Soho House empire seems to outdo itself and bring something new to the mix. The group’s latest outpost - this time in the Fulton Market area of Chicago - is no exception. And we should know, collaborating with Soho House’s design team on a collection of bespoke boxing equipment for the club’s 15,000 sq ft gym as part of this year’s Handmade exhibition (W*185).
The gym, with its full-size boxing ring is just one of the draws of what is the group’s biggest and best club yet. It also includes 40 guestrooms, a Cowshed spa, screening room and what is starting to become a signature rooftop pool, bar and kitchen. Housed in a former belting factory, built in 1907, the design team has seamlessly blended the building’s original features with all these essential amenities. Non-members can take solace in the fact that the lobby lounge and two restaurants - Pizza East and Chicken Shop - have their own street-side entrances and are open to the public.
113-125 North Green Street, Chicago, IL 60607; Tel: 1.312 521 8000; www.sohohousechicago.com
Dave Burk of Hendrick Blessing
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El Blok, Vieques, Puerto Rico Located on the compact 135 sq km Puerto Rican island of Vieques, El Blok is an intimate 22-room eco-hotel designed by local firm Fuster + Partners. They have not only harnessed thermal and solar power to generate electricity and heat, but also made clever use of local materials to create coral-inspired perforated panels that allow light and air to filter naturally through the building. Inside, most of the furniture is made locally, such as the almond tree bar and the reclaimed mahogany retro chairs, while a wild collection of coconut fibre sculptures by San Juan-based artists Jamie and Javier Suarez hold court. The Puerto Rican theme continues through to the hotel’s restaurant, which refocuses seating by the bar to emulate the socialising often found in a town square. Helmed by chef José Enriques, El Blok serves up elevated renditions of traditional dishes to complete the experience.
58 Calle Flamboyan, Esperanza, Vieques; Tel: 1.787 741 6020; elblok.com; Rates from $215
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The Peninsula, Paris, France We’ve been looking forward to the launch of The Peninsula Paris ever since the hotel group announced, six years ago, that it was going to make its European debut. Located a short walk away from the Arc de Triomphe, the 200-room property occupies a century-old building, which was previously the Hotel Majestic – one of the city’s grande dames. Both the façade and the interior has been meticulously restored by local craftsmen, and the hotel now comprises six dining areas, including a rooftop restaurant with views of the Eiffel Tower, a 22m indoor swimming pool and a lobby featuring a bespoke Lasvit chandelier made up of 800 individual hand-blown crystal leaves. With its own dedicated in-house technology team, The Peninsula Paris can safely say it has the world’s most technologically customised rooms, where everything – from laundry collection to bathroom ambience – can be controlled at the touch of a button.
19 Avenue Kléber, Paris; Tel: 33.1 5812 2888; www.peninsula.com; Rates from €695
The Peninsula Hotels
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Aberdeen Street Social, Hong Kong The latest offering from hospitality pundit Yenn Wong and Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton holds court at PMQ, an enclave of historic buildings in Hong Kong’s creative district revamped to house creative studios, workshops and cafés. Shanghai-based design firm Neri & Hu nod to the classic colonial setting, steering clear of pastiche with a relaxed ground floor café and bar featuring simple steel and wood interiors framed by teal blue framed floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a terrace and landscaped garden. Inside is local artist Adrian Wong’s geometric installation of barbershop lights, rustic chic brass and copper fixtures, and Aberdeen Sweet Social’s takeaway baked goodies and homemade hot chocolate. Upstairs, accessed via an Art Deco-inspired hallway with Arne Jacobsen-decorated wallpaper and crisp green and white tiling, is Atherton’s fuss-free modern British bistro with an eye-pleasing palette of weathered oak, custom-made furniture, bronze mesh screens and green-tinted glass. A semi-open kitchen serves the likes of braised ox cheek with roasted bone marrow and sourdough crumb.
PMQ, G/F, JPC, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong; Tel: 852.2866 0300; www.aberdeenstreetsocial.hk
Aberdeen Street Social
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Platea, Madrid, Spain After its final screening almost a decade ago, a former cinema (and home to legendary basement nightclub Cleofás) has now been reincarnated as a major culinary destination by four of Spain’s most in-demand chefs: Ramón Freixa, Paco Roncero, Pepe Solla and Marcos Morán. Located in Madrid’s Salamanca district, the listed building designed by Spanish architect Luis Gutiérrez-Soto in 1952 has been meticulously restored by Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, whose interiors hint at the decadence of the 1950s with polished metal work and plush upholstery, allowing the splendour and drama of the original features to take centre stage. The venue’s signature restaurant, Arriba (run by Freixa) can be found on the first tier, while the remaining chefs have teamed up to create the ultimate tapas spread serving traditional Spanish classics. Also available is an international assortment of eateries from Peruvian to Japanese and Italian and for entertainment, the old stage features daily concerts and DJ sets.
Goya, 5, Madrid, Spain; Tel: 34.9 1219 2305; plateamadrid.com
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Riad Mena, Marrakech, Morocco Surrounded by narrow, bustling streets and quintessentially Moroccan stone alleyways, Riad Mena stands discreetly on the eastern edge of Marrakech’s legendary Medina. Art pundit Philomena Schurer Merckoll took three years to transform the traditional Moroccan house - originally a private residence - into a sleek five-room lodging, featuring polished, modern interiors by local designer Romain Michel-Ménière, interspersed with traditional gems such as vintage kilims, original tiles and leather poufs. Unwind in a traditional hammam or sit under the stars on the terrace where vegetable tagines, couscous and teas are served to a backdrop of old movies. The hotel also boasts a permaculture farm. Located just outside the city in Ourika Valley, two small guesthouses, a hammam and natural swimming pool will be available by the end of the year.
Riad Mena, 73 Derb J´Did (off Place Douar Graoua); Riadmenaandbeyond.com; Rates from €140
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The Laundry Canteen & Bar, London, UK The creative workspace launched by Ed O’Brien from rock band Radiohead and entrepreneur Raj Nayak three years ago, has just acquired a new canteen. Located on the ground floor of the building, which once housed a 1960s commercial laundry, the warehouse space is decked out with bare bulb-lighting and an eclectic collection of wooden and upholstered furniture. Its mouth-watering menu is inspired by British classics from soft boiled kedgeree ‘scotch’ eggs to salt and spice roasted pork belly. We recommend the vegan aromatic yellow curry, washed down with a 'Little Green' - a soothing cocktail infused with coriander, cucumber and mint.
2-18 Warburton Road, London E8 3FN; Tel: 44.8 986 0738; www.thelaundrye8.com
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