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Category: Hotel reviews

Pippa Jameson styling for: The Hotel Inspector

On February 6th, 2014 by .

So, the time has finally come! The first series of The Hotel Inspector airs tonight (Thursday 6th February) and I can guarantee that it’s going to make fantastic Television. The hotelier is Patrick, who certainly had his own ideas of how things needed to be.  Alex desperately tries to get him to change his ways and create a business that actually works.  We have arguments, tantrums, tears (!) and finally a dramatic makeover, created by me!  It was one of the most challenging spaces I have ever  had to redesign, not only due to the budget and scale of the project, but also the constant battles with the hotelier to try to make him see our vision.  We were thrilled with the end result and I am very proud of what we achieved. Thank you again to my amazing assistant Eleanor and to all the contributors. Now watch the trailer and be sure to tune in tonight, Channel 5 at 9pm!!

Hotel Review - La Maison Pujol

On November 3rd, 2011 by .

Nestled in the South of France between the Canal du Midi and Minervois vineyards, you will find boutique hotel gem, La Maison Pujol. Housing just four guest-rooms the petite yet perfectly formed B&B is built in the heart of a restored old provinicial winery with a modern twist.

La Maison Pujol offers a rustic ambience merged seamlessly with contemporary, cool design to a very high standard. All of the renovations and transformations were completed by owner and architect/designer Philippe Phi. It’s very clear that during the restoration it was of paramount importance to create an environment that both embraced the history and original features of the old winery with new modern design. Every detail has been carefully thought through so that the opposing ideals sit happily alongside each other and the end result is effortlessly chic. One of the clearest ways of seeing this is through the use of texture – a representation of both the history and future of the hotel. It’s original, uneven pebbled flooring, animal hides and wood – vs – modern smoothed concrete, industrial metal and pure white walls.

The four guest-rooms are flooded with light and kept simple with minimal furniture, striking artwork and vintage accessories. Whilst Philippe Phi was designing La Maison Pujol he was largely inspired by 1960s-1980s design which can be seen in the choice of vintage furniture from Van der Rohe, Eames and Jacobsen. Much of the other bric-a-brac and decorative wooden antiques are from Africa, adding a needed sense of warmth. There is also a strong theme of graphic typography as vintage industrial lettering is scattered throughout the interior and exterior of the property. The colour palette is also very neutral with the occasional splash of bright earthy oranges and reds.

Prices start from 80€ per night on low seasons, please check La Maison Pujol website for further details.

Hotel Review: UXUA Casa Hotel, Brazil

On August 5th, 2011 by .

Nestled in the colourful fishing village of Trancoso on Brazil’s idyllic Bahian coast is the one of a kind, UXUA Casa Hotel {pronounced ooo-SHOO-ahh}.  The creator of UXUA – Dutch fashion designer Wilbert Das, first arrived in Trancoso whilst traveling in 2004, instantly falling in love with it’s beauty and pristine natural spirit, sense of preservation and tradition roots of the community.  Wilbert felt at home and after 10 days left with the typical Brazilian ‘saudade’ – a Portuguese word meaning a nostalgic longing for something. Within a year of leaving, he returned and started searching for a property to buy and build a home which would later become UXUA Casa Hotel.

“The colours and energy of this town really offer something magical and as much
as I have traveled, I think Trancoso is one of the most visually stimulating and relaxing
places one can imagine; a true harmony of human habitation and nature, and a place with
a wonderful warm native population with deep and extremely diverse cultural and ethnic ties’

– Wilbert Das


On Trancoso’s historic ‘Quadrado'; a grassy cliff top square, Wilbert purchased the first UXUA casa named ‘gulab mahal’ which was built and restored to an Indian-style pousada. From there Wilbert set out to create a property of houses {ten in total}, each completely different but combining the rustic elements native to the village.  The casas range from authentically restored one to three bedroom fisherman houses; self catering or fully serviced, to sleekly opulent, but ecologically-conscious treehouses hidden amongst the lush tropical gardens. Trancoso’s rich 500 years of history adds to the design of UXUA, taking inspiration from it’s Portuguese founders in the 1500’s, Jesuit missionaries, Indian tribes, African slaves, and Brazilian hippies of the 1970s. Resulting in an amalgamation of architecture, showcasing southern Bahian and Indian influences alongside a rustic modernism that nods towards Wilbert’s work in contemporary fashion and furniture design.  Wilbert collaborated with local artisans, using traditional building methods, reclaimed and organic materials and Brazilian antiques and art. The fusion between interior and exterior runs throughout the property seamlessly and this can be seen in the choice of colours. The rich, earthy tones and floral brights reflecting the nature that surrounds UXUA.

The eco vibe runs throughout the properties, even the kitchen utensils are recycled coconut shells carved by Bahian cowboys. Shower-heads are carved from the trunks of eucalyptus trees, & sofas are upholstered using canvas taken from the backs of old transport trucks. Further up-cycling can be seen in the beach lounge that is built entirely from old local fishing boats. Wilberts creative use of up-cycling and re-cyling is not only intelligent but inspiring. His keen eye for detail shows up in my favourite feature at UXUA… the lake-like pool. The stunning pool is created entirely from 40,000 specimens of unique green aventurine quartz, a native Bahian stone considered by many to have powerful healing qualities as a therapeutic mineral.  The traditional technique used to build the quartz pool walls is called ‘pau a pique’ – creating a stunning finish, especially when lit at night.

Prices start from R$1710 (around £455) per night. For further information on booking the UXUA Casa Hotel please click here.