I’ve travelled far and wide and along my journeys I have come across the interiors of many hotels. To this day however, there is one style that makes me feel like royalty. I speak of the illustrious Art Deco style. That bold, aggressively modern aesthetic that flooded both art and architecture in the 1920’s-1940’s. Yet Art Deco lives on today, and in some of the most regal establishments.
New York, Chicago and Los Angeles (to name a few) still embrace Art Deco trends, however of these, amongst the world’s greatest examples would most definitely be the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. A stroll through this imposing building reveals marble pillars, sweeping staircases, gold and silver leaf, and murals by French artists, Louis Rigal.
In Europe, the glamorous Savoy in London claims a spot beside the Thames. First opening its doors in 1889, this hotel lay dormant for decades until a $340-million renovation (filled with tender loving care) transformed it into the striking monument it is today. The colours are rich, the furnishings lavish, and every room unique. My advice? Be sure to saunter through the Beaufort Bar, with its sumptuous black and gold interior, while sampling rare vintage wines from Louis Roederer.
Shanghai plays host to the magnificent Fairmont Peace Hotel, boasting 270 rooms, it is a grand landmark by the riverside that has stood since 1929. Like all good Art Deco buildings, most surfaces are gilded with gold and the ceilings are laden in geometric glass that cascade light onto the (perfectly Italian) marble floor. And of course, the chandeliers are gracefully dripping with crystal.
Art Deco pays homage to the industrial age with geometric designs, metallics and striking symmetrical lines. To revisit the roaring twenties in all its opulence, you must see Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby for all the flamboyant, dark timber, and billowing curtains one could ever dream of. Or simply walk past the St. Patrick’s Seminary in Manly, Sydney, where some exterior shots for the film were taken. Built in 1885 as a seminary for the Australian Catholic Church, it was draped in faux ivy for the film, with high turrets added digitally to transform it into Gatsby’s grand manor.