La Sultana- Marrakech, Morocco


La Sultana Marrakech is a prized sanctuary in the heart of the royal Kasbah.

As our private car pulled right to the carpet-lined walkway of the hotel, we were welcomed by a beaming bellman standing by to help us with our luggage. The other side of the hotel’s main door is a modest lobby, which did not give us any hint of the splendor that waits behind another set of doors.


Mohamed, the concierge, led us to the rooftop terrace for breakfast even before checking us in. Since we got to their hotel at around 10am, he figured we haven’t had a chance to eat breakfast yet; and he was right. The rooftop was breathtaking! On one side, you can see the snow-capped peak of the Atlas Mountains and on another side; you can see the Tombs of Saadian Kings.



Mohamed checked us in after breakfast and gave us a tour of this luxurious 28-room boutique hotel. It turned out that La Sultana is made up of five riads (Riad Saadia, Riad Bahia, Riad Shahrazad, Riad Sabah and Riad Almohad), each intricately and richly decorated to match a certain theme.

As we walked deeper into the web of Riads, the noise from the bustling street outside disappeared into serene silence. It seemed as if we were transported into a different place – an oasis. We were no longer in Marrakech, with streets full of honking motorcycles, group of tourists walking by, and vendors peddling their goods.

The lobby and the adjacent hallway that lead up to this palm-fringed pool are all part of the Riad Almohad. The elaborate Mudejar brickwork in earthy tones and ornamental metals adorning its walls and ceilings provide wonderful sense of texture and warmth.


Horseshoe arches, a staple of the Islam architecture from which the Mudejar style was derived from, are also prominent in this Riad especially in the pool area where you can see them side by side supported by symmetrical white columns.


These intricately designed Moroccan lamps make this Riad even more dramatic when lit due to the shadows they cast.


Several more steps and we found ourselves in Riad Saadia. Painted in warm colors, this Riad boasts cedar wood columns and balustrades contrasted by the bright-hued mosaic-tiled floor.



This tile work style consisting of geometrical patterns is known as Zellij and is one of the characteristics of Moroccan architecture. You can see more of this type of tile work next door from the hotel in the Tombs of the Saadian Kings.


Riad Bahia is noticeably different from the previous Riads we’ve just been. Its center patio is full of white polished plaster surfaces from its floor through its columns and walls filigreed by stuccowork with accents of hand carved wooden windows, ceiling and balustrades.



For me, these accents give the Riad an even more interesting aesthetic. Although the details may not be as rich as that of Riad Almohad and Riad Saadia, this Riad is still as stunning.


I wasn’t able to observe enough in Riad Sabah. In fact the photos I have below are those that I think belonged in this Riad. They looked different from the other Riads’ design and décor. Green couches, green walls and a distinctive chandelier. What do you think this Riad’s theme is?


The last Riad in the hotel is called Riad Shéhérazade. In my opinion, this is absolutely the most beautiful one out of all the five. It made it seem like I was in a museum exhibition with individually handpicked antique and one-of-a-kind pieces that proudly presents African design.



The Riad had a large sitting area on the first floor with plants in the middle that make you feel like you’re in the jungle.


Its walls are embellished with paintings of beautiful African ladies. Also, you can tell that its furniture is made from exceptional craftsmanship.



Their bespoke lounge sets are voluptuous and smooth with strong angular edges that reminded me of animal tusks.


It’s walls and columns are ornamented with Zellij tiles and its arches bejeweled with stuccowork.



In every direction I looked, there was one word that could describe this place – exotic!







Our room, named Koudou, is within Riad Shéhérazade. It is tucked in a secluded patio in one of the wings of this Riad.




It offers a luxurious King Bed with silky linen that will make it hard for you to get out of the bed.


There’s also a fireplace in the room, which we never used as the temperature in late May / early June was perfect for us. The sitting area was a little small but it’s still full of personality with its striking African rug and delicious Moroccan sweets waiting on our coffee table whenever we return to our room from a long day of sightseeing.


On our last day though, we had an even lovelier surprise waiting for us on the sofa chair - a jar of body scrub, a bottle of argan oil and a cardholder made of leather.


To sum it up, this hotel is all about its calming Riads, pleasing aesthetics, exceptional attention to details, and warmhearted service.




Nimb- Copenhagen, Denmark


If you’re planning a trip to Copenhagen, don’t forget to include Tivoli in your itinerary. It is the place where kids and kids-at-heart come to enjoy the rides, take in the scenery or just to simply to stroll around. Regardless of what you decide to do in the park, it would be hard to miss Nimb Hotel with it’s gleaming white marble façade. Its many spires despite their Moorish influence, fit in well in Copenhagen also known as the “City of Spires.”

Originally built in 1909, it was renovated and re-opened in 2008 to guests as a five-star small luxury hotel. The hotel made it to Conde Nast’s Hot List in 2009 and Gold List in 2011.

Our trip landed us in the beginning of the Christmas season. The hotel’s contemporary and sleek lobby juxtaposes the rustic winter décor and the smell of freshly cut pine. This is a cornerstone of Nordic design; simple, functional with an awareness of location.



If Disneyland has the Cinderella Palace, Tivoli has the Nimb Hotel, that you can actually stay in and be treated like royalty. The hotel staff’s attention to its guests was unparalleled. We were immediately shown to our room several hours earlier than our check-in time.

With only 17 rooms, you feel a certain sense of exclusiveness and intimacy with the hotel and Tivoli garden. Our footsteps filled the quiet hallway as we were being shown to our room. Each individually inspired room is decorated with Danish bespoke interiors. According to Rene Jasper Thomsen, Nimb’s creative designer, “At Nimb, most design elements are bespoke and therefore completely unique, which suffuses Nimb with a special kind of magic,”


Room #2 is a deluxe guestroom. It features this charming four-post bed. A Geismer duvet, covered by intricately embroidered fabric, keeps you cozy in the chilly Copenhagen evening. Or if you wish to stay up later in the evening, an antique study table is at your service.


Rounding things out, were a sizable bathroom warmed by a heated floor and a spacious sitting area with bird’s-eye views of Tivoli Garden.






Nimb’s hotel bar, Baren, serves a wide array of drinks from cocktails to grappa to hot cider. The pine-floored ballroom is uniquely embellished with pastel-colored doors and delicately adorned Christmas trees and wreaths. Guaranteed to spark a conversation are the avant-garde sketches on the walls, the beautiful embossed ceilings and the magnificent crystal chandeliers. After a couple drinks, it is nice to listen to the soothing sounds of the grand piano in one of the plush armchairs and sofas. The bar atmosphere is warm and friendly; wonderful for socializing or unwinding after a long day in the city.








A smaller yet another beautiful common area within the hotel is the Rotunda. Its metallic silver wallpaper elegantly gilded by illustrations of tree branches seem to have come straight out of a fairytale book. It’s no surprise that this captivating element of the room has continuously drawn the crowd’s attention.


It's okay to break out into spontaneous Christmas caroling when walking around the hotel. Everything is so festive and harkens back to simpler candle lit times. I remember actually wanting a rocking horse when I was a kid; we can only imagine what kind of 3-D printed contraptions our own children will be wishing for!




Like when we were kids, we couldn’t sleep either. Because just down the stairs and outside, a wintery wonderland beckoned. After bundling up like Ralphie and Randy Parker we were ready to see Tivoli’s Christmas Market!




Katikies- Santorini, Greece


Katikies is the crown jewel in the cluster of bleached white resorts and mansions that line the caldera of Santorini. Located in the most photogenic and relaxed area of Santorini, the hotel provides you with a getaway from the getaway in Oia. A favorite of romantics and honeymooners Katikies' abundance of inifinity pools and outside areas will make you feel like you are the only ones enjoying this secluded paradise. The friendly staff are always there but are never obtrusive and make every guest feel like they are the most important guest staying on the property.






From the Junior Suite's private patio enjoy an unobstructed view of the caledera and it's cinematic palette of white, blue and emerald. The hotel's attentive and agile staff will expertly navigate the rooftops and walls to deliver a delicious meal while you enjoy the view.


All the rooms are clean, crisp and contemporary. Minimally decorated but elegantly appointed. A Junior Suite or higher will often have a seperate loft and the high ceilings give an impression of airyness making you feel like you are in the clouds.





A Honeymoon Suite will give you total privacy with your own deck and personal tanning bed. Not to mention your own spa.




More spacious and offering views from the wealth of windows, this suite is the ultimate hideout. Be prepared to be pampered and luxuriate to the point that you will not want to go home ever again.








The islands Mediterranean climate provide the perfect weather to day-dream at night with warm balmy wind. You can find shelter in the hotel's cave pool.


Staying in and Όνειρα γλυκά seem to be appropriate in this blissful haven that is Katikies.



Lydmar Hotel- Stockholm, Sweden


Swedish style is clean, easy-going, practical but also filled with personality at the same time. Which explains why so much great music, art and design come out of its capital Stockholm. In the Norrmalm area of Stockholm, Lydmar Hotel personifies these sensibilities and elements.

Lydmar Hotel is cool, classic and contemporary. In a very Swedish way, the hotel pulls it off looking like it's not even trying. Assorted details in the hotel combine in a cohesive and functional way. Think of the way the books on a bookshelf all come together despite the different titles, fonts, bindings, sizes, colors and stories they each have. Then it makes sense how Lydmar Hotel can fuse so many elements in such an appealing way.

On the outside across from the water the hotel’s unassuming character keeps the hotel low key. It actually looks like part of the Nationalmuseum right across the garden.


The downstairs lobby has a gallery of art and photographs that changes regularly along with the hotel’s events managed by its own curator and staff.


During our check-in, Norwegian photographer Margaret De Lange’s Daughters were on display.




On the main floor upstairs you can find the concierge/check-in desk and also the hotel’s restaurant/bar. All spaces are separated by wall-sized bookshelves. The hotel is not only a patron of the arts, it is also very well read. You will find volumes of books in the shelves and on the tables through out the hotel. But it’s not all academics here because there’s a fun selection of board games mixed in.



The breakfast bar moonlights as the drink bar in the evenings.


The restaurant is hard at work all day from breakfast to late in the evenings where it becomes a hip meeting place for locals and savvy visitors staying in the rooms upstairs.


Room 516 is one of the Lydmar’s 46 individually designed rooms. No room is the same and each has it’s own personality, art and décor making it feel more like a home than a hotel.





This room has clear views of Gamla Stan and Katarina-Sofia across the water.

The sun sets from 21:00-22:00 depending on the time of summer you visit Stockholm. Don’t be surprised if you take a late siesta and wake up to bright sunlight.


It’s great to go out again to explore and immerse yourself in the city’s culture in the extra sunlight or chill in one of the lobbies with friends old and new.



You might even witness the hotel metamorphosing for the next event.





But at the end of the extra long day, we understand if you just want to sleep... even if it’s still light out.



Lydmar Hotel

Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2

103 24 Stockholm, Sweden

+46 8 22 31 60


Canal House- Amsterdam, Netherlands


Canal House is the perfect place to enjoy life in Amsterdam like a local. The boutique hotel's buildings are located in the laid back and artsy Jordaan district; where Rembrandt retired and home to the Anne Frank House. Along Kiezergracht canal since the 17th century, Canal House started its life as a residence and also a place to conduct business for merchants and was so until the 1950's when it was turned into a hotel.


Canal House 3

The hotel has chosen a dark pallete with flourishes of color especially a deep and royal purple.

Canal House 41

Since the hotel occupies multiple buildings it has a triple wide garden that is one of the largest private gardens in all of Amsterdam. It keeps the theme of black furniture and bright contrasts, provided this time from the garden itself. It is very nice place to relax.

Canal House 30

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Canal House 43

The hotel's twenty-three rooms maintain the stylish modern feel of the hotel and include elements from traditional Dutch culture like washbowls and Dutch art. A Good Room like this uses the limited space well with in-room bathrooms and modern amenities like a flat-screen tv. These rooms on the top floor boast the best views of the garden and neighboring properties.

Canal House 21

Canal House

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Canal House 9

Canal House 5

Canal House 40


The Grand Room is the ideal area to entertain guests. You can also relax and read a book or magazine alone. Eclectic and sometimes eccentric lighting fixtures brighten up the atmosphere. The space is made more open with views of the garden and a collection of mirrors. Next to the Grand Room is the uniquely open kitchen but it's not necessary to get the milk yourself, the staff will help you with that.

Canal House 16

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Canal House 8

Canal House 14

The hotel's warm staff will make you feel at home here in Amsterdam in the cold weather and the forecast of rain is a good excuse to stay in.

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Canal House

Keizergracht 148

1015 CX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

+31 0 20 622 51 82



Saint James Paris- Paris, France


Saint James Paris, part of the exclusive Saint James Club, is a château turned luxury boutique hotel located in the nicely residential 16th arrondissement. The château is steps away from the metro. In either direction, a 20-minute walk will get you to the Trocadéro or Arc de Triomphe. But, there are enough interesting details to keep you here your whole stay.


The interiors have been decorated by Bambi Sloan. Known to be the "dream maker", she's taken queues from the château's history that includes Napoleon III furniture, animal print, and classic black and white contrasts. All of these apparent as you walk in its grand lobby with the 14-meter high chandelier that she calls "Chaos of Lights."


Even if the dining room is darkly painted it is brightly lit by the huge portrait windows looking out at the hot air balloon in the garden.


In contrast, the library is dimly lit. A bar has been added to the original library that still has over 12,000 books. Leather chairs on leopard-print carpet are nestled in the volumes of leather-bound books. After you've had your night cap here, it's time to get some rest in one of its 48 suites.


Room 201 is a Junior Suite. On the first floor you will find a spacious sitting room and study both luxuriously decorated in modern materials with an old world spin. The carpet looks like wood parquet flooring and pillows covered with portraits of nobility adorn the sofa.




Up the spiral stair case is a soft and fluffy bed in a room wall-papered in fabric with ancient Greek scenes to provide inspiration for you adventurous dreamers.


Dreaming or strolling, a rainy night in Paris is good for either.


Saint James Paris

43 Avenue Bugeaud

75116 Paris, France

+33 1 44 05 81 81