Urban Retreat Palacio Nazarenas, Peru

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Palacio Nazarenas is an all-suite boutique hotel in Peru, this urban retreat and former 16th century convent in Cuzco, capital to the ancient Inca empire, has been one of Orient-Express’ most ambitious projects to date.

The luxury Peruvian hotel boasts state-of-the-art oxygenated rooms, Cuzco’s first outdoor infinity pool, and a gourmet restaurant overseen by one of Peru’s most exciting chefs, Virgilio Martinez.

Original Inca walls that were discovered have been carefully preserved beneath the glass floors of treatment rooms at the Hypnôze spa, and with a stream running over them, will create a soothing sight for guests having a massage. The murals and friezes on the walls of Palacio Nazarenas are real treasures, and are rare survivors among the artworks from Cuzco’s Spanish colonial heyday.

The luxury Peruvian hotel is punctuated with quirky touches, making it a truly authentic luxury Peruvian hotel. Guests can relax in their spacious bath tubs with a bath pillow filled with dried herbs from the hotel gardens that, when submerged in water, release an exotic yet calming aroma. Continuing to make the most of the fragrant flowers and Andean herbs that populate its gardens, Palacio Nazarenas has created its very own bespoke perfume that guests can take home to remind them of their stay. Using muna, a selection of rare herbs from Ollantaytambo, orchids, jasmine and eucalyptus, the perfume is calm and relaxing, and reflects the atmosphere of Cuzco itself.

Adding to guests’ hands-on experience, each suite is provided with a full cocktail making set, with instructions on everything from shaking to straining, and a recipe book giving advice on how to create exotic Andean tipples using local herbs and ingredients. And if guests are feeling lethargic, they can ask their personal butler to concoct their drinks for them, and then recline by the pool before dinner, the best vantage point to take in the setting sun over Cuzco.

All 55 rooms at the boutique Peru hotel are suites, with the deluxe Z-Collection suites standing out in particular. Each with their own defining characteristics, such as an original Colonial arch or original Inca niches, suites from the Z-Collection have incredible views of the Ausangate mountain in the Andes or the San Blas neighbourhood, one of Cuzco’s most picturesque districts.

For further information or to make a booking visit www.palacionazarenas.com.

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Brouwersgracht Apartment, Netherlands

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Dutch design studios CUBE and SOLUZ have designed the Brouwersgracht Apartment. Completed in 2008, this contemporary apartment can be found on the first floor of a warehouse in Brouwersgracht in the centre of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. According to the architects: ”

“This distinctive loft is located on the first floor of a historic warehouse and monument on the Brouwersgracht in the center of Amsterdam. The apartment is designed by Remco Wilcke of CUBE architecten and his partner Marloes van Heteren of SOLUZ.

When they found the monument it was still in use as a warehouse, as two separate long and dark rooms of 100m2 each. They bought the place and hoped the council would let them change the status to ‘dwelling’, which they did after all the plans were submitted. In 2008 the old warehouse has been completely transformed to a 200m2 luxury loft.

The wall between the two rooms has been opened up, and in the architecture a contrast has been sought between preserving the historic beams and floors, and minimalistic new additions. The new additions such as kitchen and bathroom would be clearly identifiable as such in terms of materiality and form.

In the deep and relatively low space is letting daylight in very important, therefore an open floor plan is chosen. The open floor plan also fits the idea of the autonomous designed additions to the ancient monument.

The bathroom is the central element in the house situated at the intersection of public and private. The rounded translucent bathroom-wall consists of nearly 1000 very special glass blocks and acts as a subtle light-object at night.”

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Art Meets Style Aspen Residence, Colorado

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New York City and Aspen-based design studio Stonefox Design has completed the interior design of a 1980s home.  The stylish property can be found in Aspen, Colorado, USA.

According to the architects: “A hip young couple commissioned Stonefox Design to create a home that expresses their passion for art and their style for living. This is not a fusty grouping of over-the-sofa watercolours, but a vibrant, sometimes controversial, always evolving collection that embraces young artists as well as famous names.

“Chris Stone and David Fox designed the contemporary Colorado property and selected the furnishings, about half of which are original Stonefox designs. The resulting light/dark palette is accented with rich, natural wood and cool gray stone. Large windows bring tremendous views of Colorado’s majestic Independence Pass and plenty of natural light.

The open spaces—even the see-through fireplace—allow glimpses of various pieces, including Damien Hirst’s ‘Beautiful, Lovely My Little Pony Stardust’ and Edward Ruscha’s ‘It’s Ridiculous’, from throughout the contemporary Colorado house. The central stair pivots around an 18-foot-tall column by Jenny Holzer, commissioned by the client in collaboration with Stonefox.

“The owners, both of whom serve on art museum boards internationally, wanted a house that expressed their tastes and their artistic passions. The art and architecture, together, set up a discourse on the international art scene that is intimate, challenging, cerebral, and, at times, humorous.”

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The Modern DLW House, Brazil

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Florianópolis-based design studio Westphal & Kosciuk Architects has completed the DLW House project. Completed in 2011, this contemporary property can be found in Florianópolis, Brazil.

According to the architects: “Situated on a steep terrain, the owners of the contemporary Brazilian house wanted to have a dwelling where the social and private zones were not isolated from one another. To assure sunlight, cross ventilation and views to the city and the sea, the solution was to lift the living block onto a white cantilever that floats above the driveway. The room is connected to a terrace that privileges the panoramic view. Also on this level are the kitchen, the service area and a workshop with access to the backyard. Upstairs, the master bedroom, guest bedroom and office are programmed.

“Two lower sectors keep the entrance hall, garage, warehouse and an indoor play quarter separate from this space. The grey colour of the base accentuates the independence between the two volumes. The entire structure of this contemporary Brazilian property is connected by a staircase and an lift.”

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Into The Wild With North Fork Residence, Washington

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Kirkland-based design studio Thielsen Architects has designed North Fork Residence. This contemporary property can be found in Snoqualmie, Washington, USA.

According to the architects: “Perched on the edge of a wooded cliff overlooking Tate Creek, the contemporary Washington property occupies a small shelf of land on the east face of a mountainous site.

“The house forms mirror the natural slope of the site; grounding the house and making it appear as a natural connection between the steep slopes above and below it. This effect is intensified by the underground garage built into the slope and the use of natural stone as an exterior finish material where the building meets the ground. In response to the harsh environment, the portions of the house not covered in stone are sheathed in metal, which will patina with the passage of time and exposure to the elements.

“The interior design of this contemporary Washington property is organised along a central circulation spine with spaces transitioning from public to private along its length. All primary interior and exterior living spaces face east, capturing panoramic views of the Cascade foothills and Mt. Si.

“A crucial component of the project was the owners’ desire to restore the portion of Tate Creek which flows through their property. After years of abuse and neglect the channelized creek banks were choked with blackberries and other invasive plants. The channel berms were removed and the stream banks cleared of invasive species and restored with native trees, shrubs and perennials. A large meadow east of the creek now provides natural habitat and flood storage capacity relieving pressure on downstream areas.”

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