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Whether you've been hoarding your summer vacation days for an end-of-August blowout or you've deliberately spaced them out over several long weekends, we can all agree here that a summer get away—from the planning to the actual trip—is something to savor.
And in that spirit, we've searched far and wide to find you 14 of the most lavish, extravagant hotels either owned or decorated by your favorite designers. If you can afford to stay in one, congratulations. We hope you have a great time. If you can't, join us after the jump, where we'll be fantasizing about swimming with Bvlgari's dolphins in Bali, snoozing under the watchful eye's of Moschino's three-dimensional wolf in Milan, and trying on Judy Garland's shoes at Salvatore Ferragamo's little nest in Florence.
Alberta Ferretti: Palazzo Viviani in Montegridolfo, Italy.
In 1994, the Italian designer rescued an abandoned palace in the tiny medieval village, just nine miles away from her hometown of Cattolica on the Adriatic coast, and transformed it into a majestic hotel. According to an Travel+Leisure, each of the eight guest bedrooms have a unique look, but all showcase the "delicate, romantic, luxury-is-in-the-details image of her fashions." Her favorite room (she named it "Heloise") has its own entrance hall, a sky-lighted bathroom, and blue-and-white antique apothecary jars. Take note of your surroundings upon exit: she went on to restore the rest of the town as well.
Giorgio Armani: Armani Hotel Dubai in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The sleek, cosmopolitan Armani Hotel in Dubai boasts 160 rooms, seven restaurants (Mediterranean, Italian, Indian, Japanese, and one humble deli), plus a state-of-the-art spa. Armani knows his people; that's why he installed three retail shops in the building—one for souvenirs, a second for flowers, and the last for clothing and accessories from the Armani/Privé collection. At sunset, catch a sparkling glimpse of the Dubai Fountain from the lobby.
BVLGARI: BVLGARI Hotels & Resorts in Bali, Indonesia.
BVLGARI's hotel is an exotic jewel on the island of Bali, mixing local flavor with Italian style. Each of the 59 villas contains a private living room, garden, and pool (of course). Every morning, wake up to spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, coconut-thatched rooftops, and lush greenery of the tropics. It's not time to salivate yet. The resort also features a BVLGARI boutique, a cultural arts and crafts store, three restaurants, and an elevator that takes you to a coral-reef protected beach where dolphins play. Okay, nowwww go ahead.
Christian Lacroix; Hotel le Bellechasse in Paris, France.
Why, of course, French couturier Christian Lacroix chose to decorate a hotel in the heart of Paris. The Hotel le Bellechasse in the Saint Germain stands out in the historic neighborhood with whimsical, surrealist collages of butterflies, lobsters, and regal figures bedecking the walls of its 33 rooms. What's more for you artsy types—it's just a short stroll away from Musée d'Orsay.
Diane von Furstenberg; Claridge's in London, England.
In June 2010, Diane von Furstenberg fêted her first interior design project with a series of rooms and suites for the famed London hotel. Whether you are staying in the Deluxe King room, the Studio by DVF, or the third-floor "Piano Suite," you will be swathed in DVF's bright colors and signature prints, from curtain to pillow case. Awesome.
Karl Lagerfeld: Hotel Métropole in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Karl Lagerfeld's collobaration with Hotel Métropole to re-design its outdoor premises including a pool, terrace, gardens and a new Joel Robuchon restaurant was set to be ready this summer. Unfortunately, as most construction projects go, the release date has been pushed back. Start making plans for a trip later in the year and preview his set of frescos depicting Ulysses' journey for the hotel here, thanks to the UK Telegraph.
Louis Vuitton. Cheval Blanc in Courchevel, France.
St. Moritz is so over-exposed these days, don't you think? Owned by Bernard Arnault of LVMH, this ski-in/ski-out lodge is perfect for those who prefer winter getaways of the athletic variety. Wool, fur, velvet, and leather constitute the design aesthetic of the lodge's 33 rooms. When not hitting the slopes, feel free to pick up a trinket or two at the in-house Dior and Louis Vuitton boutiques.
Missoni: Hotel Missoni in Salmiya, Kuwait.
Hotel Missoni is designed with the same punch of color and zig-zag patterns as the brand's luxe knitwear. All 18 floors capture the soothing hues of the desert and the sea, with rooms equipped with the brand's linens, bathrobes, and other products. Be sure to indulge in their spa's Arabic-inspired treatments, visit their chocolate café, and best of all—take a dip in their Missoni-striped swimming pool.
Moschino: Maison Moschino in Milan, Italy.
Hop into a storybook at Moschino's 65-room hotel based in an old railway station. Its fairy tale theme is eerily realistic: the Little Red Riding Hood room features a 3-D wolf on the bedspread, Alice's Room contains teacup-shaped tables à la Alice in Wonderland, and The Forest room includes naked trees as a bedpost.
Philip Treacy: the g Hotel in Galway, Ireland.
The fantastical hat-maker to the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, and half the royal family designed the five-star hotel on the coastline of Galway Bay in western Ireland. From the Pink Lounge on the ground floor to the guest bedrooms adorned with the milliner's designs and artwork, the interiors of the space deliver every ounce of glamour that they promise.
Ralph Lauren: Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Perhaps, you're feeling irie. Round Hill's Pineapple House is comprised of oceanfront villas designed by Ralph Lauren. Classic and clean, the white decor is true to his taste. The designer keeps a house on the island and they love him so much there, the country actually issued a stamp with his face on it. True story.
Salvatore Ferragamo: Hotel Lungarno in Florence, Italy.
Hotel Lungarno is just one of the designer's Lungarno collection of hotels in Florence and Rome with son Leonardo Ferragamo as president. This premier location stands mere steps away from Ponte Vecchio on the River Arno, with an impressive art collection of over 400 works from the likes of Picasso and Cocteau. Here's the catch: guests will receive a complimentary visit to the Salvatore Ferragamo museum and a 10% discount at the Ferragamo Creations boutique where his historic styles created for Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, and Audrey Hepburn are up for grabs.
Todd Oldham; The Hotel of South Beach in Miami, Florida:
Remember Todd Oldham from original House of Style back in the '90s? Well, the fruits of his heyday are still alive and well at The Hotel, which was formerly The Tiffany, which got the Oldham treatment back in 1998. This spot contains 53 rooms, a rooftop pool, and a bar behind the original Tiffany pinnacle. In 2010, a new addition above the famous News Cafe on Ocean Drive was completed with 20 additional rooms, all encompassing the colors of the Miami sunset.
Versace: Palazzo Versace in Gold Coast (Queensland), Australia.
Marketing itself as "Australia's Only Fashion Branded Hotel," Palazza Versace is decorated with marble, mosaic, and gilded ceilings in opulent Italian style. Its amenities include all the regulars (restaurants, gym, spa) as well as some very special extras: a florist, a brow/lash bar, and a private marina. You know.