World's hautest stays: 14 designer-branded hotels
They're the darlings of architecture and design publications, to say nothing of fashion magazines and Tripadvisor reviews.
Although they remain relatively under the radar for luxury travelers (this may have to do with the fact that most aren't associated with loyalty programs even though they're run by the big hotel groups), fashion-branded hotels and suites are big business around the world.
Australia's Palazzo Versace Queensland was the world's first fashion-branded hotel. It opened in 2000.
Since then, other designers and fashion brands have followed suit on a smaller scale, with Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Dior and Diane von Furstenberg creating designer suites for large hotels.
This designer hotel trend appears to be no fad.
Now in its eighth year of construction, Palazzo Versace Dubai is one of the most anticipated hotel openings of 2014.
Here are some of the hautest of haute hotel designs you can check out and check into.
Armani Hotel Dubai
The Armani Hotel Dubai takes up 11 floors in the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest manmade structure. It has seven restaurants and a spa and eight different types of rooms and suites.
The hotel upholds Armani's reputation for commitment to detail. Touches include everything from signature-scented bathrooms to an en suite gym for Armani Dubai Suite guests.
A peek at Armani architecture plans reveals a perfect use of space -- both Armani hotels are housed in buildings shaped in an "A."
Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Dubai United Arab Emirates; +971 4888 3888; from 2,000 dirhams ($550) per night
Armani Hotel Milano
Armani’s Milan hotel is designed along the same clean, minimalist lines as its Dubai sister property.
Along with a stylish lounge, guests in the Presidential Suite have their own fully serviced cocktail bar. For those without personal bars, Armani/Bamboo Bar shows off double-volumed ceilings, louvered window walls and backlit onyx features.
The hotel extends its superior service outside the hotel. The Culture Journey "lifestyle team" can round up tickets for museums, city tours and exhibition.
At your request, they can also hunt down the best seats for the theater and opera, as well as prime tables at the hottest restaurants.
Journey prices start from €1,410 ($1,830).
Armani Hotel Milano, Via Manzoni 31, 20147 Milan Italy; +39 02 8883 8888; from €495 ($640) per night
Bulgari Resort Bali
Bulgari Resort Bali is a hedonist heaven. If you're not content with a private plunge pool (each villa has one), your personal butler can drive you to the infinity pool to mingle.
Art buffs won't have to go far for a sense of Balinese culture. The resort displays a collection of Balinese antiques and art pieces.
Furniture, decorative tableware and fabrics were designed and produced by local artists in collaboration with Bulgari architects.
Bulgari Resort Bali, Jalan Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Pecatu, Bali 80364 Indonesia; +62 361 847 1000; rooms from $1,000
Bulgari Hotel London
Bulgari Hotel London pays tribute to the brand's silversmith origins. The hotel balances sleek silver architecture with chiseled marble. Silver-patterned silk curtains take inspiration from an 1800s silver brooch by Sotirio Bulgari.
The rooms are no less stylish. Italian silks feature elaborate designs inspired by the Bulgari Chatelaine. The mini-bar is made to resemble a classic travel trunk.
The hotel claims that its rooms and suites are the most spacious in town. One thing that isn't in dispute: it certainly has a fashionable address, surrounded by Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
Bulgari Hotel & Residences, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW England; +44 0207 151 1010; from £510 ($780) per night
Bulgari Hotel Milan
To sculpt the best designs, Bulgari Milan imports stone from Vicenza and Afyon, which is complemented by black marble from Zimbabwe. The result is a juxtiposition of textures throughout the hotel.
A highlight of this urban hotel is the 4,000-square-meter private garden, an extension of the nearby Botanical Gardens.
Available for patio dining and drinks, the lounge is a perfect place to watch Milan's most fashionable crowd.
Bulgari Milano, Via Gabba Fratelli 7b, 20121 Milan Italy; +39 02 805 8051; from €610 ($790) per night
Dior Suite at St. Regis New York
The Dior Suite reflects Dior's avenue Montagne headquarters in Paris, with high ceilings, deeply carved crown moldings, wainscoting and ornate crystal chandelier.
Living room furniture with white carved-wood framing and gold leaf accents is inspired by Louis XVI style. A dramatic chainmail chandelier and expansive map of Paris adorn the dining room.
This is more than a just a pretty room. At guests' disposal: a personal butler and the St. Regis custom-designed Bentley. The city’s best shops and attractions are a short ride away.
The St. Regis New York, 2 East 55th Street, at Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY 10022; +1 212 753 4500; suite from $9,500
Grand Piano Suite by DVF at Claridge’s Mayfair, London
Iconic hotel meets iconic designer in London's fashion neighborhood.
“Claridge’s is the most glamorous hotel in the world,” said Diane von Furstenberg when she was called to design the suite.
The room displays photos taken by Diane von Furstenberg during her travels through Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
All glasswork is from Murano and boxes and trays are handcrafted from Bali.
Claridge's, Brook Street, London W1K 4HR England; +44 (0)20 7629 8860; suite from £6,500 ($9,960)
Grunewald by Karl Lagerfeld at Schlosshotel
Karl Lagerfeld originally designed Schlosshotel Im Grunewald’s interior in the 1990s. The hotel kept original pieces from his designs through renovations in 2006, but the hotel's Grunewald Suite is the only suite fully furnished by Lagerfeld.
“I love the idea of having a suite in Berlin that is totally furnished to my own personal taste,” said Lagerfeld when he was first commissioned.
The bathroom is the pièce de résistance. The romantic French-style bathroom is an artwork of handmade tiles and white marble floor.
Schlosshotel Im Grunewald, Brahmsstrasse 10 Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, 14193 Berlin Germany; +49 30 895840; suite from €2,000 ($2,600)
In an often-gloomy city, Missoni’s bright colors can be a cheerful change.
“We wanted the Edinburgh hotel to be unmistakably Missoni in its mixing of color, pattern and furniture,” said the brand's co-founder Rosita Missoni when the hotel opened.
Circular couches and deep soaking tubs mark Missoni's stylish-meets-ergonomic design.
Guest favorites include Missoni brand bathrobes and towels, as well as slippers and toiletries.
G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh, 1 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1AD Scotland; +44 0131 220 6666; from £90 ($140) per night
This is one of the few fashion-branded hotels that fits a lower budget.
The cheaper price tag doesn’t mean compromising quality though.
Recent guests have raved to us about how staff members remember names, where guests prefer to sit and their tea/coffee orders. Top-notch service also includes complimentary valet and airport pick-up.
Missoni brand indulgences -- bathrobes, towels, toiletries, slippers-- are at the ready near the Missoni striped swimming pool.
The hotel's gold, turquoise and mosaic stylings reflect Kuwait's desert and sea.
Symphony Style Hotel Kuwait, Symphony Centre Arabian Gulf Street, Kuwait City Kuwait; +965 2577 0000; from KWD 63 ($220) per night
Palazzo Versace Dubai
Palazzo Versace Dubai's 2014 opening will bring an oasis of old world tradition to the new world-class city.
Gold details will be featured through hotel ceilings, with an oversized chandelier lighting up the foyer. The designs merge classic European palace style with Arabic elements.
Motifs such as the Greek key and Medusa head are used throughout the furniture, flooring and fabrics.
A preview of Palazzo Dubai's showroom reveals a lighter color palette than is employed at its Versace Queensland counterpart. The 214 rooms will be styled with Donnatella Versace-designed furniture.
Guests can enjoy Rosenthal Versace tableware inside the suites with their room service.
Palazzo Versace Dubai, Culture Village, Dubai United Arab Emirates; +971 4 409 2900
Palazzo Versace Queensland
Palazzo Versace reflects the environment that inspired Gianni Versace when he founded the fashion house in 1978.
Hand-crafted mosaics feature iconic meander, Medusas, cornucopias and Greco-Roman decorative borders. An antique chandelier that once shone in the grand State Library of Milan winks at the gold hand details on vaulted ceilings.
To please fashionable guests, the world's first fashion-branded hotel recently launched Fashionista High Tea in the lobby bar. The set incorporates the trends, colors and designs inspired by Versace's latest collection.
The Couture Champagne upgrade features a glass of Dom Perignon with brightly glazed eclairs, macarons, white chocolate mouse clouds and Bakewell tarts (AU$110 ($124)).
Palazzo Versace, Sea World Dr. PO Box 137, Main Beach, Queensland 4217 Australia; +61 7 5509 8000; from AU$332 ($350) per night
Portrait Suites Rome
You want a Ferrari to cruise in, but don't know where to find one? The Portrait Suite's lifestyle team can plan a vacation as extravagant as your wallet will stretch.
The tribute hotel to Ferragamo adds wonderful touches of nostalgia. Receipts from Marilyn Monroe and golden-era celebs are displayed showing what they paid for their Ferragamo shoes.
Guests love the Honor Bar. No chance of losing your wallet after a few drinks here. Wine, spirits, liquor and straight-up booze are available for you to fix yourself a drink. The bills are added to room tabs after patrons honorably report what they've had to drink.
Portrait Roma, Via Bocca di Leone, 23, 00187 Rome Italy; +39 06 6938 0742; from €620 ($800) per night
More on CNN: World's 15 most expensive hotel suites
Tortuga Bay at Punta Cana Resort and Club by Oscar de la Renta
Tortuga Bay stands out amid Punta Cana's resorts and hotels for its high design.
Oscar de la Renta uses a palette of natural island colors with authentic combinations of wicker and wood furnishings and luxurious Frette linens.
It's far from stuck-up though.
The friendly staff are always happy to help, especially in finding ways to skip airport lines. Your villa manager is only a phone call away, the complimentary cell phone available should you need anything from transportation to nanny services.
Tortuga Bay Hotel Puntacana Resort & Club, Puntacana Resort & Club, Punta Cana 23000 Dominican Republic; +809 959 2262; from $820 per night