Design: The Leading Hotels of the World

Explore iconic destinations with The Leading Hotels of the World in this celebration of exceptional hospitality through architecture and design


Phaidon, Monacelli, and The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) are pleased to announce Design: The Leading Hotels of the World, the first in a multi-volume series created in close collaboration with LHW and the New York-based media company The Slowdown. With this richly illustrated first volume, discover more than 70 of the world’s most sumptuously designed hotels, all carefully selected from LHW’s legendary portfolio.

Since 1928, LHW has pioneered exceptional luxury hospitality, encompassing more than 400 hotels across 80 countries. Design: The Leading Hotels of the World celebrates this unparalleled heritage, combining LHW’s incredible properties with contributions from today’s top travel, design, and culture journalists. The book opens with a foreword by Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger, situating the significance of design within a hotel’s aesthetic character. Spencer Bailey, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Slowdown, presents an introduction that highlights the exquisite range of the book’s featured hotels. Cynthia Rosenfeld, a long-time journalist and travel-trade veteran, serves as the project’s executive editor, curating destinations and travel tips that are on-point, compelling, and relevant. Interviews pairing Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm with fashion designer Gabriela Hearst, as well as architect Michel Rojkind with fashion designer Carla Fernández, are also included.

Each hotel in this lavish volume embodies LHW’s commitment to extraordinary design and architecture. Organized geographically, hotels receive multi-page spreads replete with stunning images, delving into the hotel’s architectural splendor, interior design, and location. Accompanying texts provide insight into how each hotel evokes a tactile, thoughtfully crafted experience. Whether journeying to Jean-Michel Gathy’s lush gardens and grand rooms at the Chedi Muscat in Oman; Eduardo Souto de Moura’s indulgent interiors at the Bairro Alto Hotel in Lisbon; or Axel Vervoordt’s Zen-inspired The Greenwich Hotel in New York City, these LHW properties inspire in their breadth and singularity. As Spencer Bailey writes in the introduction: “This book lays out an expansive, otherworldly view of hospitality design, one full of sumptuous surprises and alluring details at each turn.”

The book also offers more intimate and in-depth glimpses into LHW’s design philosophy through five feature stories with new photography commissioned specifically for the project. Ambiente A Landscape Hotel in Sedona, Arizona, harmoniously blends into its surrounding desert landscape, with architecture and experiences that emphasize its site specificity. Uniting a historical sensibility with a contemporary vision, Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp repurposes a medieval hospital into a true urban oasis. La Réserve Paris epitomizes French grandeur and classic ornamentation, complete with private views of the Eiffel Tower. Initially constructed in the 16th century, Portrait Milano radiates with local heritage, showcasing Milan’s vibrant past and present. The Okura Tokyo, a beacon of Japanese hospitality, celebrates heritage and craft, whether integrating traditional teahouse rooms or ikebana flower arrangements. No matter their location or aesthetic, these five hotels showcase the diversity, innovation, and allure of design across LHW’s collection.

“For nearly a century, LHW has inspired curious travelers with captivating tales of our remarkably uncommon properties and the outstanding individuals who bring them to life,” says Shannon Knapp, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Leading Hotels of the World. “From paper pamphlets in the early 1900s to in-room directories over the past decades, we’ve always been proud to share these narratives. Now, we are elevating the cherished tradition with a series of engaging books with Phaidon/Monacelli that resonate with LHW’s thematic pillars, starting with Design. These extraordinary volumes will reflect the remarkable quality and independent spirit of our 400-plus hotels worldwide.”

Packaged in a luxurious, patterned cover and designed by the award-winning firm Pentagram, Design: The Leading Hotels of the World offers compelling evidence that design critically informs a hotel’s essence. Gorgeously photographed, exquisitely arranged, and expertly edited, this breathtaking volume celebrates hotels that will astound and inspire for years to come.


Spencer Bailey is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Slowdown, co-host of the Time Sensitive podcast, and former editor-in-chief of Surface magazine. He is the author of In Memory Of: Designing Contemporary Memorials, published by Phaidon.

Paul Goldberger is an architecture critic, educator, and writer. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism at the New York Times and was previously the architecture critic for The New Yorker.


Writers: Spencer Bailey, Maria Cristina Didero, Mark Ellwood, Brooke Hodge, Emily Jiang, Hazen Mayo, Christina Ohly Evans, Warren Singh-Bartlett, Cynthia Rosenfeld, Janelle Zara

Expert Tips: Ini Archibong, Mariella Avino, Kate Berry, Adriana Bittencourt, Simone Bodmer-Turner, Julián Cabanillas, Soo Khian Chan, Gregory Day, André Fu, Romeo Gigli, Samy Ghachem, Stephanie Goto, Gulla Jonsdottir, Vasileios Koumpis, Marguita Kracht, Paola Lenti, James McBribe, Claudio Meli, Paola Navone, Dung Ngo, Beverly Nguyen, Rodman Primack, Whitney Robinson, Samuel Ross, Andrea Scherz, Russel Wong, Lucie Weill, Kulapat Yantrasast


Africa and the Middle East
The Chedi El Gouna, Red Sea
The Chedi Muscat
La Mamounia

Americas and the Caribbean
Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach
Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel
Casa Polanco
The Greenwich Hotel
The Hazelton Hotel
Hotel Las Majadas
Le Sereno Hotel, Villas & Spa
Nayara Bocas del Toro
Nayara Tented Camp
The Newbury Boston
Parker Palm Springs
Rock House
The Setai, Miami Beach
Silversands Grand Anse
The Singular Patagonia, Puerto Bories Hotel
Tivoli Mofarrej São Paulo
UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya

Asia, Australia, and the Indian Ocean
Capella Singapore
Halekulani Okinawa
Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
Lohkah Hotel & Spa
The Nai Harn
The Okura Tokyo
The PuXuan Hotel and Spa
The PuLi Hotel and Spa
Signiel Seoul
Soori Bali

Anantara The Marker Dublin Hotel
Avant Mar
Bairro Alto Hotel
Bayerischer Hof
Bill & Coo Mykonos
Botanic Sanctuary Antwerp
Capri Tiberio Palace
Casa Angelina
Casa Baglioni Milan
The Chedi Andermatt
The Dolder Grand
The Dylan Amsterdam
Falkensteiner Hotel Kronplatz
Falkensteiner Hotel Montafon
The Fontenay Hamburg
Gran Hotel Inglés
Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte
Grand Park Hotel Rovinj
Helvetia & Bristol Firenze - Starhotels Collezione
Hotel De Mar, a Gran Meliá Hotel
Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo
Il Sereno Lago di Como
J.K. Place Roma
Kulm Hotel St. Moritz
L’oscar London
La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa
La Réserve Ramatuelle – Hotel, Spa & Villas
Le K2 Chogori
Lido Palace
Lily of the Valley
Mezzatorre Hotel & Thermal Spa
Myconian Imperial Resort
Palacio Arriluce Hotel
Portrait Milano
Principe Forte dei Marmi
Ritz Paris
Square Nine Hotel Belgrade
Tschuggen Grand Hotel, Arosa
Villa Maïa
Villa Nai 3.3
Vinha Boutique Hotel
Widder Hotel


Design: The Leading Hotels of the World
Spencer Bailey, with a foreword by Paul Goldberger
Fall 2024

About The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. (LHW)
In 1928, 38 independent hoteliers came together to create LHW which now comprises more than 400 hotels in over 80 countries, making it the largest collection of independent luxury hotels. Since its inception, the Company has carefully curated a selection of distinctive hotels, resorts, inns, chalets, villas, and safari camps, from the snow-capped Alps of Europe to the African veldt, to share them with adventurous souls who seek the remarkably uncommon. The LHW community is made of exceptional individuals, united by a passion for the surprising discoveries and details that come with every travel experience. LHW hoteliers are artisans of hospitality whose expertise, commitment to excellence and individual flair allows them to create story-worthy moments for their guests. It is these authentic, individualized moments, combined with the warm high-touch service these hoteliers and their team provide, that keeps discerning travelers returning again and again. LHW’s collection covers the globe and promises a broad range of destinations and unique experiences, enhanced by LHW’s tiered guest loyalty program, Leaders Club. From converted former palaces and countryside retreats run by the same families for generations, to gleaming skyscrapers in dynamic urban centers, serene private island escapes, glamorous tented camps – and beyond – travelers are invited to explore, find inspiration, and experience unforgettable travel moments.

For more information visit:, Facebook at @LeadingHotels, Twitter at @LeadingHotels and Instagram @leadinghotelsoftheworld
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