The Coolest Design Hotels Have One Detail in Common
A new kind of cover story.
Published Dec 21, 2019 12:00 AM
Remember when every luxury hotel competed in thread count? With kitten-soft sheets being the norm these days, a handful of hospitality creatives are upping the ante on bedding trends. Front and center, the humble hotel coverlet gets a much-needed update: Now it’s all about bespoke and often handmade. Paying homage to traditional techniques and materials native to their areas, these design-centric hotels champion local talent—from longtime quilters in remote Canada to a fiber artist who worked with an old mill to weave a coverlet worthy of its Homeric origins. Below, five custom covers to check out after you check in.
Detroit’s Art Deco–influenced Siren Hotel tapped two talented (former) grad students from the fiber department at the renowned Cranbrook Academy of Art, Marina Contro and Rhonda Kalifeh, to design a coverlet, giving them free rein on everything from the concept to the manufacturing. In a nod to the origins of the building as an organ and music company, the pink-and-cream stunner—woven on a jacquard loom at Maine Heritage Weavers—features the mythological siren luring people to bed with her call.
Captain Whidbey Inn
The owners of the recently revamped Captain Whidbey Inn on Washington’s Whidbey Island went straight to textile artist Hannah Ruth Levi, who grew up there taking creative cues from her glassblowing father and quilting mom. Levi wove the blankets on a floor loom, using a mix of wool and cotton and pulling together the colors of the Pacific Northwest: the deep, inky blue of the surrounding Puget Sound; pine green; lots of storm-cloud gray; and the occasional hit of sunshine yellow. Each blanket takes her about a week to weave and is beautifully unique, with different color sequencing and varying stripe width.
Ace Hotel, Downtown Los Angeles
Every Ace Hotel across the country features a different custom blanket in its rooms. But the one in the downtown Los Angeles location is particularly covetable, thanks to a superstar collaboration. Designed by L.A.-based Commune and made at one of America’s favorite heritage companies, Oregon’s Pendleton Woolen Mills, the property’s Mondrian-esque blankets–blocks of jade, cobalt, and fiery orange—warm up the neutral-on-neutral, industrial-cool guest rooms, which boast poured-concrete floors and unpainted soundboard walls.
Fogo Island Inn
At Canada’s ultra-remote Fogo Island Inn in northern Newfoundland, the island’s centuries-old tradition of quilting is honored with vibrant patchwork designs. While often created by quilting mismatched scraps of old clothing together (spontaneous patchwork or “crazy quilting”), the pieces for the inn reflect the more studied side of the craft, incorporating clean-lined, heritage patterns like stripes, log cabins, and herringbone. And while the color palette is as bright and lively as ever, the quilts feel like works of art in the strikingly spare, modern guest rooms. The blankets on each bed change with the seasons and feature the sweetest signature: the name of the local quilter who made it sewn directly into the fabric.
This bank-turned-hotel in North Carolina is a mid-century standout in a sea of Colonial-Revival architecture. Its Commune-designed interiors, which channel the craft-centric, graphic aesthetic of artists Ani and Josef Albers (who taught at the now-closed Black Mountain College in nearby Asheville), are period-perfect down to the denim coverlets. The local jeanswear brand Raleigh Denim Workshop riffed on traditional patchwork quilts, using a range of denim washes to create bold, geometric patterns that echo the hotel’s bright, color-blocked carpets and artwork.