A former airport terminal, a disused quarry, a railway building and more unusual locales now serve as soulful settings for these stylish hotels

1 / 5

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, Songjiang

The InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is an engineering feat and a project that’s over a decade in the making; a major part of the hotel is integrated into the surrounding cliffs and located below ground level to maximise the micro-climate of the quarry and the visual impact of its subterranean depths. 

Located in a disused quarry in Songjiang, a suburban district southwest of Shanghai, the property is designed by the London and Shanghai-based practice Jade + QA and led by architect and founder Martin Jochman. The firm worked closely with Chinese developer Shimao and local firm ECADI (East China Architectural Design & Research Institute) to realise the project.

2 / 5

TWA Hotel, New York

Designed by celebrated Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, this former terminal at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York has now been transformed into a 512-room hotel, slated to open in May 2019. First constructed in 1962, the airport was formerly the Trans World Airlines (TWA) flight centre and was closed for 16 years as it lacked the infrastructure to house modern aircraft.

Known for its wing-like exterior architecture, the landmark building overlooks the runways and now houses the lobby and amenities of the first hotel found at the JFK airport; the rooms are located in two new wings built behind the original terminal.

Paying tribute to the building’s groundbreaking design and aviation heritage, the hotel features retro-style interiors and is furnished with iconic pieces from the period produced by Knoll, such as the Womb chair designed by Saarinen. Other notable features include a sunken lounge area, the 10,000sqft rooftop observation deck and pool area, an original split-flap display and a museum that discusses its history and the Mid-Century Modern design movement.

3 / 5

Amerikalinjen, Oslo

There is no shortage of boutique hotels in Scandinavia, particularly in Copenhagen and Stockholm. This year, Oslo is officially upping its game with the opening of Amerikalinjen. The headquarters of the Norwegian America line, this iconic building was the starting point for plenty of hopeful Norwegians making their journey to America. Exactly a century later, the storied space has been transformed into a hotel said to be “designed for the modern explorer”.

The common areas feature a luscious palette of jewel tones matched with rich parquet flooring, a look that is also reflected in the rooms. A standout space would be the Haven—a verdant covered courtyard clad with the building’s original yellow tiles.

The theme of travel also permeates the interiors especially at Gustav, a club inspired by the New York’s jazz scene, and Pier 42, a cocktail bar named after the first place passengers disembark at in the Big Apple.

At Amerikalinjen, the global nomads are well-placed to discover Oslo’s landmarks including The Opera, the retail haven of Kvadraturen and entertainment district of Youngstorget—all a few steps away from the hotel, which is a member of the Lifestyle Collection from Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

4 / 5

Ace Hotel, Kyoto

Twenty years after entering the scene, Ace Hotel has finally landed in the destination of their dreams—Japan. A favourite of creative nomads the world over, Ace has revolutionised the hospitality industry by democratising design, championing local brands, as well as crafting multipurpose spaces such as the now ubiquitous café-co-working spaces we see in hotel lobbies.

In August, Ace is bringing its brand of cool to the historic city of Kyoto. A partnership with NTT Urban Development Corporation, the hotel will be housed in the former Kyoto Central Telephone Office built in the 1920s by Tetsuro Yoshida.

Renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is also behind the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium, is tasked to meld the old and the new in this landmark conversion project. Ace Hotel Kyoto makes up only one part of the redevelopment of ShinPuhKan, so there will be lots to discover to delight the culturally curious local and foreign visitors.

5 / 5

The Hoxton, Los Angeles

A high thread count and large square footage used to be the measure of a standout hotel. Today, distinctive interiors and a strong point of view matter much more. This is what British hospitality brand The Hoxton trades in, and their “individual, open-house hotels” are as much as a hit stateside as they are in Europe.

The Hoxton, Downtown LA is their fourth hotel in the US, and they’ve again found a soulful building and creative neighbourhood to stake their claim. Housed in a 10-storey Broadway building that was formerly the headquarters of the LA Railway Authority, each of the 174 rooms has been transformed by Ennismore Design Studio, and now features chevron timber floors, on-trend metallic accents, and details inspired by the building's Beaux Arts architecture. 

This story was adapted from Singapore Tatler Homes April-May 2019