Design Hotels 2008

by Danielle Pergament


The scheme: Individuality

The scene: Winvian, Morris, Connecticut

In the world of design hotels, it's what you'd call a gimme: Get 15 name-brand architects to each create an ultimate cottage, spare no absurdity (helicopters, interior waterfalls) or expense ($1,450-a-night tabs), and you can pretty much count on an architectural hullabaloo. Alongside Hotel Puerta América in Madrid and Hotel Fox in Copenhagen, the Winvian joins the individuality trend that emerged as design hotels—originally a rebellion against cookie-cutter chains—became cookie-cutter themselves. At Winvian, there's Barry Svigal's glass and aluminum Greenhouse Cottage, which can be loaded with bushels of flowers for any occasion. There's John Martin's Camping Cottage, complete with an outdoor fireplace and screen porch for watching the creatures of the forest from a protected distance. Then there are the cottages with self-explanatory names, like the Library, Treehouse, Stone Cottage, Log Cabin, and Stable (think cozy hayloft). Most individual of all is a 1968 Sikorsky HH37 Sea King Pelican helicopter refashioned into a bar and entertainment center for the Helicopter Cottage (pictured). There's also a spa and a Ducasse-trained chef on the premises, but at its heart, Winvian is 113 acres (bordering a 4,000-acre forest) of glorious architectural idiosyncrasy.

Tel: 860 567 9600
Cottage for two, including meals and beverages, from $1,450

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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