5 Hotels Honor Local History, Traditional Crafts, and Vernacular Forms
At home and abroad, hotels honor local history, traditional crafts, and vernacular forms.
Project: White Elephant Palm Beach, Florida
Standout: Landmark status meant the gut renovation of the former Bradley Park Hotel had to maintain its 1924 Mediterranean revival architecture, so little more was done to the exterior than adding a radiant stucco finish and a four-tone terra-cotta tile roof, but the 32 rooms and suites have been reconfigured and outfitted with custom furniture and museum-quality art.
Project: Primo Piano Posillipo, Naples, Italy
Standout: Occupying a 19th-century palazzo on the coast, the four-suite inn balances original liberty-era elements—stained-glass windows, checkered floor tile—with vintage and contemporary furniture, including Francesco Binfaré’s Damier daybeds, handmade ceramics, and artful references to such Neapolitan landmarks as the Reggia di Portici.
Project: Kálesma Mykonos, Greece
Standout: Built in the tradition of the island’s Cycladic villages—simple volcanic stone forms, whitewashed with lime—the hillside hotel sports local interior details like ceiling beams of burnt wood, normally used to make fishing boats, and is oriented to give its 25 suites and two villas stunning sunrise and sunset views over the Aegean Sea.
Project: Hotel Magdalena, Austin, Texas
Standout: Willie Nelson once built a music venue on the site of the 89-room, five-structure complex—the first boutique hotel in North America constructed entirely of mass timber—so care was taken to evoke that hip country provenance while installing an underground rainwater-collection system to irrigate the property’s many heritage oaks.
Project: Azoris Royal Garden, Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Standout: The inspiration for the renovation of the 193-room hotel, located on São Miguel island, centered on the property’s existing Japanese garden, the interiors incorporating visual references to rush-grass tatami mats and a palette that features generous expanses of wood and stone.