Because sometimes it’s just better in black and white…
#1 Hotel Mono
What: Taking the black and white theme all the way to the bank and back, Hotel Mono is just that (with a little grey thrown in for some kicks). Modern, minimalist and stylish, this 46-room boutique occupies 6 converted shophouses and just screams for a colour-blocked photoshoot. The rooms aren’t exactly spacious, but they are super stylish — a perfect home base for those who want to spend the majority of their time exploring the Lion City.
#2 Distrito Capital
What: Set within the Sante Fe business district of Mexico City, Distrito Capital mixes an early-60’s Mad Men vibe with an updated monochromatic palette set against rich wood accents. Head to the roof terrace/bar to enjoy a view from one of the highest points in the city and take a dip in the 43-foot long pool which turns into a bar in the evening. For those who like their early modernist references and might need to do some business in the city, it can’t be beat.
Where: Mexico City
#3 The Siam
What: It’s no secret that we’re big fans of The Siam. Since opening its doors in 2012 the Chao Phraya riverfront property has managed to (arguably) hang onto the top-spot as one of the most effortlessly stylish places to stay; and that does take some effort. The monochromatic theme is found throughout the property yet accented with dark woods, brickwork and tropical foliage. Even those not staying at the property should grab a drink at The Deco Bar & Bistro or a session in the Opium Spa to satiate those #BnW cravings.
#4 Senato Milano
What: The converted home of the Ranza family for over a century, Senato Milano is now a 43-room boutique hotel decked out in blacks, greys, marbles, wood and brass. The backdrop for many a Milan Fashion Week editorial or installation locale for Milan Design Week, the hotel has become a fave of the art/design community. With every inch of the space (including the furniture) designed by architect Alessandro Bianchi, expect exquisite Italian craftsmanship (like an entire wall of brass lamps cast in the form of the gingko biloba leaf) and some luxe only-in-Italy materials staying true to a monochromatic palette.
#5 Shinta Mani
What: At the Bill Bensley designed Shinta Mani in Siem Reap, black, white and grey dominate the spaces and provide a stark contrast to the tropical foliage and Buddhist crimsons that many other resorts try to emphasize. You can’t get a more luxe combo of spirituality, pampering, and style while visiting Angkor Wat, while the hotel also leads the way in philanthropic community support. Stay tuned nomads, as there are two more Bensley designed, Shinta Mani properties opening soon…
Where: Siem Reap
#6 ME Hotel London
What: It’s posh, it’s in Covent Gardens, and it’s just what a modern stay in London should be. The Sir Norman Foster and Partners designed hotel aims to take the Melia brand up a notch, and they do. ME is definitely for the design-savvy, and if the reception doesn’t blow you away (which it will) a dinner at New York’s outpost of STK or drinks at the swanky Radio roof-top bar with sweeping views of the London skyline will.
#7 Hotel Ekta
What: This chic boutiquer just off the Champs Elysée and near the Arc de Triomphe adds a little pop of yellow to an otherwise monochromatic design. It’s also heavy handed on the 60’s pop nostalgia and Parisian groovy fashions of the era. If Twiggy and Bridgette Bardot were to bump into each other in a lobby, it would be here.
#8 Bedarra Island Villa
What: Set within 2-acres of lush foliage and having private beach frontage, the Bedarra Island Villa is actually 2 villas: a 2-bedroom über-luxe main villa with an additional artists studio built by famed early 20th-century artist Noel Wood. Robert Davidov has re-styled the entire property (keeping many of Wood’s sculptural additions in place) and gone black and white with a few (read: many) cowhides thrown in for some contrast. If you’re looking to keep it Aussie but want to go beyond Sydney or Melbourne, look no further.