You know summer is approaching when you spend your evenings surfing travel websites to swoon over lovely looking hotels and hideaways or you start regarding your city work trips as an exercise in finding the best urban rooftop pools. What could be nicer than the idea of shoehorning a pre-breakfast dip into your working day? Or staying in a private apartment that feels like your (very beautifully designed) home, except it has a concept gallery and shop downstairs?
At Emily’s House London, we’re lucky that travel is a big part of the job and ever mindful of sharing the nice bits with you, we’ve brought together some ideas for hotels and hideaways in the cities that we travel to especially for our showroom partner HAY and WRONG for HAY. With its HQ in Copenhagen and showrooms throughout Europe, the brand offers a perfect excuse for us to visit some of our favourite cities. Below, are a few of the most aesthetically pleasing stopovers in Berlin, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Copenhagen – all very happily just a few short hours from London.
Soho house, Berlin
Nick Jones’ Soho House empire seems to be ever expanding and it never fails to become the hippest hangout in each of the cities it occupies. The Berlin outpost with its 65 bedrooms and that aforementioned rooftop pool is in the Mitte district – the same neighbourhood as HAY Berlin – and occupies a striking piece of architecture with a bit of a chequered past. The Grade II listed building was originally a department store before its Jewish owners were pushed out by shareholders when the National Socialist Party came to power and it was sold to the Riech Youth Leadership – it became their headquarters during the Second World War. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, descendants of the original owners succeeded in having the building returned to them under the reparations act. It lay empty for ten years after this, but today it’s a swanky vision of decadent glamour all mid century furniture, super-cool lighting, a rooftop bar to go with the pool and vast bedrooms furnished with art deco beds, roll top baths and gorgeous Beni Ouarain rugs. In other words, it’s a classic Soho House.
Ahhhhh, is it possible to do anything other than relax even just looking at this holiday apartment in Antwerp? Designed by the local, internationally celebrated architect Vincent Van Duysen, Graanmarkt 13 is a townhouse in the centre of the city with a gorgeous concept gallery, restaurant and shop on the ground floor. This duplex apartment occupies the top floors and it embodies that classic pared back style that involves intelligent detailing of the sort that’s basically invisible.
Its owners Tim Van Geloven and Ilse Cornelissens originally planned a B&B here, but were suitably smitten with the space mid-project to make it one large beautiful home instead. We’re delighted they did. If you can tear yourself away from the serene interiors as well as the terraces overlooking the city – HAY Antwerp is a few short streets away – this is the sort of home-from-home that’s a delight to return to after a day of sightseeing.
Nestled in The Nine Streets district of Amsterdam is a bijou three storey townhouse owned by former fashion and interiors stylist Ulrika Lundgren. The top two floors of the building have been converted into a guesthouse – Maison Rika – with a bedroom on each floor, both of which boast views of the historic Herengracht canal.
Ulrika, whose fashion collections are available world wide and have won her fans such as Julienne Moore and Helene Christensen, uses her signature black and cream to form the palette of her guesthouse. It makes a striking base for each of the curated rooms, full as they are with art, furniture and oddities picked up locally and from her travels over the years.
We especially love the black floorboards used throughout and the rusty orange accents used in The View bedroom (below). Try our Yastik cushions for a similar effect.
HAY Amsterdam can be found on the border of this neighbourhood and the main shopping street, Kalverstraat.
sp34 hotel, copenhagen
Much like the other cities feared here, Copenhagen, home to the handsome flagship HAY house, is worthy of a travel post of its own – watch this space.
But today we’ve selected the delightful boutique hotel SP34 for its gorgeous, friendly and comforting interiors. The Danes are masters at pairing streamlined contemporary furniture and urban concrete walls with softening textiles in soothing, warming tones – for instance caramel leather and animal skins. And we love the on-trend grid tiling in the hotel bathrooms (see above).