Five marvellous micro-hotels
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A high-style bolthole outside Amsterdam
The boutique Dutch developer Aedes is behind a handful of Amsterdam’s coolest hotels, among them Soho House (arguably the best-looking in the global members’ club’s European stable) and The Hoxton. When it came to opening its first managed hospitality project, however, it took the remit back to the chicest basics – and left town (kind of). The 14 rooms and suites at De Durgerdam are spread across a 17th-century house and its adjoining guest house in a fishing village on the dyke of the Ijmeer, several miles east of Amsterdam proper.
Not a destination of any note, until now. The restaurant, De Mark, is already generating buzz (its culinary consultants are also behind Amsterdam hotspot 212). The rooms bring all the style and gezelligheid you want from your Dutch holiday: wide timber-plank floors, exposed oak rafters – all decorated in the thoughtful, textural style and rich natural palette you’d expect from former students of Ilse Crawford. The bathrooms alone, with their glazed tiles and tin bathtub, are reason enough to book. dedurgerdam.com, from €305 a night
Holm comforts in south Somerset
Somerset’s Holm has made a name for itself as a dining destination that privileges low-mileage cuisine – produce, meat and poultry sourced sustainably in England’s abundant south-west – served in a restored former bank in the golden-stone town of South Petherton. Enough fans of its sister restaurants in south London (Salon, Levan and Larry’s) have been making the pilgrimage that its owners have decided to create a hostelry. Following a year-long renovation of its upstairs floors, Holm will this summer open seven ensuite bedrooms. The vibe is much the same as in the dining room, with the building’s late-Georgian joinery and pretty sash windows revealed, and handcrafted furniture mixed with midcentury finds.
Local craft is highlighted: ceramics by Mary Temperley, textiles and bed throws by Gather and more. Angle for one of the roll-top tubs, or, for maximum romance, the four-poster bed suite. Then rise with a coffee and a spot of Pilates in the communal studio-lounge. Closer to London, another dining destination will soon bring more pretty accommodations online: Tom Kerridge, of the two-Michelin-starred The Hand and Flowers, is renovating yet another townhouse in Marlow, which will bring the total rooms he oversees – alongside one of Britain’s favourite gastropubs – to 19. holmsomerset.co.uk, from £140 a night; thehandandflowers.co.uk, from £295 a night
Copenhagen’s little Darling
Since opening in Copenhagen in October 2020, The Darling has been one of the standouts in a noteworthy trend in the micro-hotel world: single-residence properties, impeccably kitted out, where every piece of furniture, art, design, even wallpaper, is for sale (there’s also a roster of five-star services on call, from drivers to private chefs, should such need arise).
Now the owners have opened a second mini-residence next door. The Classic is smaller than the original (now known as The Grand; together the two form The Darling) but with all the same creative nous, showcasing Danish heritage design by all-stars along the lines of Børge Mogensen, Arne Jacobsen and Poul Kjærholm, among others. A genuine home-from-home that ticks all the Scandi fantasy boxes. thedarling.dk, from €950 a night
In Tuscany, Vignamaggio’s big revamp
If you saw Kenneth Branagh’s rollicking film production of Much Ado About Nothing back in the day, you know Vignamaggio, the cinematic villa and estate just outside Greve in Chianti where it was filmed. For decades run as a charming but not luxurious B&B, it has been acquired by Patrice Taravella, the French landscape and garden designer best known for his stunning restoration of the gardens at Babylonstoren in South Africa’s Western Cape (and, latterly, of those of The Newt in Somerset).
Taravella’s grand vision for Vignamaggio will eventually comprise events venues, a reboot of the winery, a couple of restaurants and a full restoration of the main villa. Just in time for summer, however, he’s made ready three of its farmhouses. They’re vast, sleeping between 18 and 22 people (multi-generation families and party people, book soon), and manifest a clean, modern style that contrasts nicely with the buildings’ rustic bones. Guests have the run of Vignamaggio’s vines, and it’s a 20-minute drive from Florence on the Chiantigiana, which has to be one of the prettiest roads in Europe – not quite the galloping-giggling arrival of Branagh’s film, but it’ll do. vignamaggio.com, farmhouses from €12,000 a week