For the fashion set, September marks the beginning of a whirlwind period of travel — from New York to London to Milan to, finally, Paris — for the runway shows and designers’ latest collections. Inspired by all this wanderlust, we asked interior and residential designer David Netto to share some of his favorite (a.k.a most stylish) hotel haunts around the globe. With Milan Fashion Week underway, he kicks off his list with the above luxury stay in the heart of the Italian city…
Milan is a city that concerns itself with style more than any other, yet strangely that has not resulted in any definitively chic hotel. (This is not a problem with restaurants — just go to Giacomo Bistrot and Bice and you’ll be right where you want to be). However, working with what we have, my recommendation is to go modern and stay at the Bulgari Hotel. Interiors are dark, sleek and atmospheric, but the real living room is the superb garden, an oasis of tranquility from all the Vespas and smoking, and smoking while on a Vespa. Did I mention smoking?
We can’t all have a house decorated by Jacques Garcia, but we can stay at L’Hotel for a couple of nights. It’s not practical, the rooms are tiny, but the lessons you can learn about atmosphere (and faux painting) in this place are worth it. Decadent, too: In the basement, there is a pool so bring your slingshot — in a regular suit, you might not fit.
From where I sit, anybody who comes to London and doesn’t want to stay here is crazy. If it was good enough for Churchill, Onassis, Garbo and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea was in the elevator with me the last time I stayed), it’s good enough for you. Why is it so great? Let me count the ways, but the Art Deco interiors are tops — like being on a great British ocean liner in the Thirties. It’s a lesson in how modernism can be nothing but class.
Small Point Club, Phippsburg, Maine
This is not strictly speaking a hotel, but if you know someone who is a member they can put you up in one of the 15 guest rooms. Get to know one so you can get yourself here. It’s a humble, magical place, everything Maine should be about, and the wooden building transmits sounds — make a note of that. Take a book up from the library and have lobster Newburg for Sunday breakfast before you walk on the tidal flats in the fog. Remember where you are and understand, this is a chic interior.
Stockholm is a city very dear to my heart, and style means different things in different places. Swedes are thrifty and practical by nature and this hotel, in a former military barracks on an island, is both of those things — but romantic, too. Look at the water from the chic white dining room and think about all the money you’re saving by not staying at the Grand. This place and its clean, stylish decoration are kind of a regional secret — and Rolfs Kök, the awesome restaurant where they sent me to dinner, is kind of a secret too.
Benesse House, Naoshima Island, Japan
This one’s really hard to explain, but it involves travel to the southernmost islands of Japan, udon noodles, contemporary art, sleeping on a futon and minimalistic architecture by Tadao Ando. You in?