Runway-channeling, chic designer hotels owned by fashion designers

The Greydon House in Nantucket.Douglas Friedman

Dutch Treat in Brazil

UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa
UXUA Casa Hotel and SpaCourtesy photo

Dutch designer Wilbert Das oversaw every aspect of the brand Diesel, from denim to eyewear, shoes and advertising, before chucking it all for the laid-back beach town of Trancoso in northeast Brazil, where he opened UXUA Casa Hotel and Spa in 2009. Its 11 former homes of fishermen are filled with furnishings made by local artisans, share a rough-luxe style, and now act as showrooms for his new line, UXUA Casa. Das promises no two pieces will be alike in the line, which includes Trancoso-made textiles, lighting fixtures and furniture. Rooms from $555; 011-55-73-3668-2277;


More Room at the Inn

Tcherassi Hotel + Spa
Tcherassi Hotel + SpaAndres Lesmes

Colombian designer Silvia Tcherassi has fashioned a breezy 42-room inn in the romantic heart of walled Cartagena from a 250-year-old colonial mansion and a neighboring building. Arched porticos ring a pool-centered courtyard at the Tcherassi Hotel + Spa, shading a 40-seat Italian bistro and bar. Expect two more restaurants, including one on the rooftop; a sleek, light-flooded spa; and a Tcherassi boutique. Among the airy, predominantly white rooms, the most expressive reside in the old wing, with exposed stone walls and wood floors. Rates from $320; 011-57-5-651-7050,


The Soul of Ferragamo

Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco estate's new Villa Agresto
Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco estate’s new Villa AgrestoMatteo Carassale

Massimo and Chiara Ferragamo of shoemaking fame, have a sizable stake in Italian hospitality, including four chic hotels in Florence. Deeper into Tuscany, their 5,000-acre Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco estate will introduce its 11th villa this spring, the five-bedroom Villa Agresto with its own infinity pool and vineyards. All of the villas are repurposed 17th- and 18th-century farmhouses bearing Chiara’s touch in fabrics, ceramics, marble and antiques. Another coming attraction: a new rose garden. Rooms from $617, villas from $1,067; 888-767-3966,


Home, Sweet Fendi Home

Fendi Château in Surfside in North Miami
Fendi Château in Surfside in North MiamiCourtesy photo

Why rent the runway, when you can own it? The new 12-story Fendi Château in Surfside, a beachfront enclave just north of Miami, holds just 58 condos, each with glass walls, oceanview terraces and interiors that include marble finishes and custom cabinets by Fendi Casa. After a day at the beach, relax in a whirlpool on a deck overlooking the limitless horizon. Unit range is $6 million to $25 million, making for a very stylish vacation home; 305-944-4440,


Beauty in Bali

View from the lower pool cliff of the Bulgari Resort in Bali.
View from the lower pool cliff of the Bulgari Resort in Bali.Courtesy photo

Few competitors rival the Bulgari Resort, Bali in elegance. Near the sacred temple of Uluwatu on the island’s south shore, the 59-villa Bulgari recently added five mansions with private pools, pool houses, full kitchens and staff butlers. Leave yours for the atmospheric spa, where check-in takes place in a 100-year-old Javanese carved wooden house, or the private beach, reached via an elevator from the clifftop property. Post-sunset, dine in the romantic Italian restaurant surrounded by a reflecting pool filled with floating lanterns. Villas from $1,012; 011-62-361-847-1000,


Unbuttoned Ease

The Greydon House in Nantucket.
The Greydon House in Nantucket.Douglas Friedman

The perfectly prepped-out bellmen and reception clerks at the new 20-room Greydon House on Nantucket pay homage to the original button-tab Gant shirts designed to influence New Englanders and college campuses everywhere by Elliot Gant, grandfather of the hotel’s owners. The interiors are suitably nautical but far from yacht-clubby thanks to funky design firm Roman and Williams, mixing industrial and antique styles with unbuttoned ease. Rooms from $600; 508-228-2468,

Elaine Glusac is a Chicago-based freelancer.






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