The art deco style first appeared in France in the early 20th century, becoming more popular during the 1920s and 1930s. The style consists of geometric shapes, nature motifs and angular designs.
There are hotels all over the world that are built in the art deco style, some of which were built during the art deco era, others that were built in the style some years later.
Art deco hotels from the 1920s and 1930s
The Burgh Island Hotel in Devon was built in 1929, and has attracted famous guests including Agatha Christie and Noel Coward. From the outside, Burgh Island Hotel is a large, white, imposing building. Inside, guests will find furniture and appliances from the era, as well as archive photographs. Guests can enjoy Jazz-age themed dances at the hotel.
Claridges, a luxury 5 star hotel in London is another good example of an art deco style hotel. It was built during the 19th century, but redesigned in the late 1920s. Basil Lonides was asked to carry this out, and his designs can still be seen in the hotel restaurant. An art deco extension was added to the hotel in the 1930s, which consists of several reception rooms and guestrooms. Further work was carried out in 1996, when the foyer was redecorated in the art deco style. Features of particular interest are the engraved glass screens in the restaurant and the chandelier in the foyer.
Hotel Martinez in Cannes was built in the 1920s, opening its doors in 1929. Located by the Mediterranean, the hotel is in a very desirable area, making it a popular choice for stars during the Cannes Film Festival. The hotel is a very large, striking building in the art deco style, with the rooms still decorated with 1920s and 1930s pieces.
An earlier example of an art deco hotel is the Art Deco Imperial Hotel in Prague. This was completed in 1914, with an exterior in the geometric style. The inside of the hotel is also impressive, with features including an art-nouveau mosaic. The art and architecture at the hotel is considered to be of great historical importance, resulting in the building being classed as a listed monument.
Later interpretations of art deco
In general, the art deco era is considered to have taken place during the 1920s and 1930s, but there are some later examples of art deco architecture.
The Raleigh Hotel in Miami was commissioned to be built in 1940, in an area known as the Art Deco District. The white exterior of the building is very typical of the art deco style, and inside there is a suite named the Art Deco Suite, which measures nearly 600 square feet. One of the highlights of the hotel is the swimming pool which was also built in the art deco style. Considered to be one of the most beautiful hotel pools in the world, it has a cascading waterfall and is surrounded by tropical foliage.
Hotel Britania in Lisbon is another fine example of a 1940s art deco hotel. This is a small hotel, designed by Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco. Highlights include a marble entrance hall and a spectacular staircase. An interesting feature of this hotel is the barbershop, which has been on the site since the hotel was built.
The art deco design is a style which stands the test of time. Art deco hotels have a classic, vintage look, which somehow manages to look modern at the same time. The eclectic style of art deco means that it is very versatile and can be used in a variety of ways.
Graham is a travel blogger who has a particular interest in design and architecture.