The Style Tour – unique places to stay

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Christopher Wilson-Elmes

Sawday's Expert

5 min read

From a brooding Welsh mansion to the glamour of a Parisian hotel, we love every place in our collection for their individuality. Take a tour through the brilliant diversity of styles in this small selection and see what catches your eye.

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The UK

Artist Residence Bristol

Charlie and Justin Salisbury manage something incredibly rare with their collection of Artist Residence hotels, currently in Oxford, Penzance, Brighton and the Bristol location pictured. They decorate each one with a unique flair and style while maintaining a through-line in the laid-back feeling that makes them all inspiring places to stay.

Tigharry Schoolhouse, Western Isles

Aruna uses her design background and the rooms as her canvas to play on the schoolhouse’s history and remote setting. With no light pollution and nobody else around, it’s a place to look far out and deep within.

Allt-y-bela, Monmouthshire

A medieval farmhouse that revels in the moodiness of its dark interiors and the brilliant contrast they provide to the gardens, which were designed by Arne Maynard, a Chelsea Gold Medal winner.

Brook House, Wiltshire

Mark and Cynthia Wilkinson moved to Brook House in 1999 and spent 11 years building and restoring the house as well as workshops and stable block. Mark has since passed away but their shared vision continues to wow guests with its blend of modernity and nods to the building’s heritage.

House for Essex, Wrabness

Designed by Grayson Perry with his customary boldness and flair for colour, the house celebrates the life (and death by motorbike) of an imaginary woman named Julie.


Masseria Serralta, Puglia

The Trulli are an iconic structure in Puglia. Once, they were storehouses or simple farmers’ dwellings and owner Marta has painted with a careful brush as she gently modernised them for guests.

Chiesa del Carmine, Perugia

A sensitive restoration of an 11th-century church, where it’s more about what’s not been done than what has. The setting, with sun warming ancient stonework, does rather speak for itself.

Regaleali Winery Estate, Sicily

Owner Rosemarie Tasca d’Almerita eschews the simple slate and terracotta colour palette that you’ll see in many Italian wineries in favour of a joyous chaos of colour. Her family have been here almost two centuries and it seems like none of them every threw anything away.

Ca’ Marcello de’ Leoni, Venice

In 2022, Architect Ilaria Di Carlo bought a crumbling apartment and transformed it into this chic take on the classic Italian countryside look, bringing stone and ironwork to life in an a novel, more urban way.

Agriturismo Moscatello Muliner, Brescia

Moving in the opposite direction is Giovanna Vischioni, who has taken contemporary city style out to her family’s farm, flipping the idea of an agriturismo on its head and ending up with something more like a self-sufficient fine dining restaurant.



Le Sémaphore de Lervily, Finistère

Owner Jean-Yves waited years for the lighthouse on the tip of Brittany to come onto the market. When it finally did, he gave it a great contemporary twist on a classic beachfront look.

L’Esprit du 8, Charente-Maritime

Pascal & Sandrine have brought their extensive collection of of Art Deco, industrial and vintage pieces to this elegant townhouse, leading to rooms that are bright, beautiful and full of delightful detail. Each one is named after famous female designers from the 20th century – Charlotte Perriand, Gae Aulenti, Florence Knoll, Eileen Gray and Ray Eames, with objects designed by their namesakes, along with books about them, photos and descriptifs.

Hôtel Eiffel Trocadéro, Paris

With the eponymous tower looming at you through the bedroom window, there’s no doubt which city you’ve woken up in, but the flamboyant style of this eco hotel is all its own.

Château de La Villedubois, Ille-et-Vilaine

A 16th-century chapel with a dovecote and a turret creates a certain expectation, but that is instantly confounded once you step inside. Owner Emilia, whose family have owned the house since 1647, has turned it into a place of astounding colour and vibrancy.

Maison 1643, Laudun-l’Ardoise

Owner Frédéric is a graphic designer who has taken this former silkworm farm and given it a rich depth of textures, tones and history.

Spain & Portugal

Hotel San Roque, Tenerife

The Carayon family have performed a fine balancing act here, preserving the history of the listed 17th-century building while giving each room its own style and embracing a broad but consistent colour palette.

La Dehesa Experiences, Córdoba

Rafael and Jorge have designed La Dehesa around one thing – nature. The styling is simple and open, inviting you to enjoy the peace of the countryside, but without feeling rustic or spartan.

Hotel Jardí d’Arta, Mallorca

There’s always a danger when leaning into something as distinctive as Moorish style that you can go overboard and make a place look tacky, which makes the subtlety of Jardi d’Arta impressive. Pattern and colour are used sparingly, to accent and highlight the place’s features and heritage.

Heritage Avenida Liberdade Hotel, Lisbon

Heritage Hotels, a group run by three Portuguese families, is dedicated to restoring historic buildings in Lisbon. This townhouse in the city centre, once an empty ruin, is now a gleaming place to stay that revels in its lavishness.

Torel Avantgarde, Porto

Torel Avantgarde is the inspired creation of four artists from Porto and two Portuguese designers, with all furniture coming from Portugal. The themes of art and design are omnipresent, and the Flower Room has quickly become an iconic signature space.

Estalagem da Ponta do Sol, Madeira

On an island more frequently associated with rustic wineries and simple holiday flats, something like this is always going to make a splash. The hotel achingly, artfully trendy and you have to admire the confidence to break the mould.

Browse all our places to stay >

Christopher Wilson-Elmes

Sawday's Expert

Chris is our in-house copywriter, with a flair for turning rough notes and travel tales into enticing articles. Raised in a tiny Wiltshire village, he was desperate to travel and has backpacked all over the world. Closer to home, he finds himself happiest in the most remote and rural places he can find, preferably with a host of animals to speak to, some waves to be smashed about in and the promise of a good pint somewhere in his future.
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