Five Stylish Destinations to Inspire a Home Makeover
Interior design lovers constantly seek inspiration, from social media to renovation TV shows, but nothing beats a real-life experience to get the ideas flowing. Ask any creative where they draw their inspiration from, and the chances are that travel is high on the list. Whether discovering new architecture or simply taking in the sights, sounds and colors of a new city, exploring the unknown is a surefire way to awaken the senses. As such, we have selected five stylish destinations and culturally design-led stays that are sure to evoke major interior inspiration. From trendy Scandi vibes in Stockholm to contemporary and traditional clashes in Tokyo, travelers will return home from vacation raring to revamp their homes.
The Scandinavian style has long been a firm favorite for the interior-savvy, due to its modern, simple yet functional concept. A trip to Sweden’s capital city will immerse travelers in this cool Scandi style with every shop, café and restaurant impeccably designed. Visitors can embed themselves in the local cultural heritage thanks to the city’s world-class museums and galleries, filled with glittering historic treasures that are sure to spark inspiration. A Guided Art and Culture Tour gives travelers the opportunity to stroll through this city’s charming streets, admire its unique street art and learn about local artists, museums and galleries. With cobblestone alleys, gabled buildings and a royal palace, Stockholm’s oldest district will transport travelers to a former time – it truly is an enchanting historic destination that will inspire creativity in everyone.
Where to stay: For travelers who want Scandi style but are searching for something more unique, the At Six Hotel is an inspiring, modern design hotel centrally located in Stockholm. This building was once a bank and has since been transformed into a contemporary hotel, finished with a Scandinavian interior of subtle tones of gray, natural leathers, tactile fabrics and marble credenzas – all fused with art deco. The hotel is a Booking.com Travel Sustainable property, using 100% renewable energy and showcasing its eco-conscious design with a fabulous rooftop garden for guests seeking some oasis in nature.
Famed for its sparkling white walls, contrasting crisp blue waters and bright pops of color through painted wooden accents, Greece’s color palette is a design-lover's dream. Mykonos is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea and features breathtaking landscapes and Cycladic architecture including its simple whitewashed adobe structures. With these traditional cubic houses with flat roofs and wooden colored doors and windows, Mykonos has a unique atmosphere that reflects this now globally popular style – and a Greek escape will be sure to inspire travelers to adopt similar styles and colors in their homes. Take in the charming streets on a Guided Island Tour, exploring the chapels and beaches. Travelers will also wander through Ano Mera, the island’s second main village, before stopping at the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani, a 16th century church with stunning architectural features.
Where to stay: The AC Village Christoulis emulates classic sleek Greek design with clean whitewashed walls and accents of bright blue peppered through its furnishings. The spacious rooms at this chic stay open onto a furnished terrace and the aparthotel features a fantastic swimming pool, poolside bar and hot tub, with breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Super Paradise Beach is a short stroll away, whilst popular landmarks including Mykonos Windmills and the romantic neighborhood of Little Venice are just a short drive away. All these stunning sights are perfect for the 57%* of global travelers who want to travel to instagrammable locales – and snap photos to take home for inspiration.
Following its dynamic history, Tokyo’s cityscape is well known for its urban landscape and contemporary architecture. But it’s also home to a rich history of unique styles and design traits, meaning visitors will find great options for home inspiration. Travelers can immerse themselves on a Guided History and Culture Walking Tour to discover the capital city’s rich heritage and modern technology while wandering around historical neighborhoods, famous sites and hidden gems. Whether strolling down Omotesandō, an ultra-modern street designed by an award-winning architect, or visiting the traditional Nezu Museum by architect Kengo Kuma and finding inspiration amongst the bamboo and rocks in its peaceful gardens, travelers will find both old and new styles of architecture. With 50% of travelers wanting to experience culture shock while traveling in 2023,* Tokyo is an incredible destination that will allow travelers to immerse themselves in its unique and astonishing style, with nature often enhanced through its design features.
Where to stay: Travelers seeking an authentic and unique experience can bed down at a ryokan, a Japanese inn that features rooms with woven-straw flooring and futon mats, communal spaces where guests can relax and public baths. Cyashitsu Ryokan Asakusa is a modern ryokan with wooden screens and a courtyard garden, great for those travelers seeking sleek yet minimalist design. This Booking.com Travel Sustainable stay provides guests with information regarding local ecosystems, heritage and culture, as well as visitor etiquette. The ryokan is ideally located, just a short walk from the Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center for those on the hunt for equally chic souvenirs to take home.
Morocco’s design has resulted from an amalgamation of styles from Mediterranean, African, Persian and Islamic cultures. Its unique architectural structures include hammâns, riads and souks, making it the perfect destination for a future design-focused trip. The northern inland city of Fez, in particular, is considered the cultural and spiritual center of Morocco, with its architecture helping secure its World Heritage list status in 1981. Fez is a city of two halves, with a traditional Arabic-Islamic city center and the more modern La Nouvelle Ville region; a great choice for couples or groups with differing design tastes! If unsure where to start exploring, book a Medina of Fez Guided Tour to visit ancient monuments and sites and take in amazing wooden carved details and beautiful arabesque and Islamic geometric patterns.
Where to stay: Stemming from the Arabian term for garden, a riad is a type of traditional Moroccan house or palace built around an interior courtyard. These palatial stays offer beauty in their architectural and floral design, and Hotel & Spa Dar Bensouda is no exception. Located in the heart of the medina, just a short walk from Batha Square, this 16th-century riad with its majestic doors, ornate carved wooden ceilings and mosaic floors offers two exquisite courtyards and a swimming pool. It also holds a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge thanks to its efforts to support the local community and provide an environmentally friendly stay.
Those looking to emulate an Italian countryside-style villa will be truly captivated by the rolling hills of Bibbona. Situated in the province of Livorno in Tuscany, this commune or municipality is nestled amongst active vineyards and wineries. Those interested in older architecture or design can visit the Castle of Bolgheri, a stunning pastel pink grand building built in the 8th century that belonged to the family of the Counts della Gherardesca. The castle is now home to a famous winery which visitors can enjoy, or a Tuscan Countryside Wine Tasting will allow travelers to discover the region's flavorsome wines at a family-owned winery set in a rustic, stone building with traditional charm. The town itself boasts a picturesque historical center, with the old town formed around the church of Sant'Ilario. Its unique layout is a series of concentric circles connected by narrow streets and steps; a labyrinth of medieval design inspiration waiting to be explored by future travelers.
Where to stay: The quaint Locanda dell'Aioncino is the ideal Italian getaway for a design-minded traveler with a love for rural, traditional Italian decor. Located in Bibbona in a historical farmhouse framed by charming Tuscan vineyards and rolling green hills, this stay will inspire guests to adopt rustic minimalism in their interior design choices back home. From wooden beamed ceilings to calming stone walls and warming lamps, guests will feel the comfort of this informal yet beautiful look. This charming inn even serves local specialties to give guests a true taste of Tuscany from pappardelle ragu to fresh gnocchi.
*Travel Predictions 2023 research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,179 respondents across 32 countries and territories were polled (including 1014 from Argentina, 1006 from Australia, 505 from Austria, 504 from Belgium, 1009 from Brazil, 503 from Canada, 1009 from China, 1010 from Colombia, 505 from Croatia, 505 from Denmark, 1010 from France, 1001 from Germany, 500 from Hong Kong, 1005 from India, 504 from Ireland, 504 from Israel, 1008 from Italy, 1003 from Japan, 504 from Mexico, 502 from The Netherlands, 1007 from New Zealand, 1009 from Portugal, 507 from Singapore, 1008 from South Korea, 1001 from Spain, 505 from Sweden, 508 from Switzerland, 500 from Taiwan, 504 from Thailand, 1006 from the UK, 1009 from the US and 504 from Vietnam). Respondents completed an online survey in August 2022.