licks picks7 min read

Suite dreams: 10 of the world’s most glamorous Art Deco hotels

Art deco hotel

WordsMegan Lambert


According to the famed playwright, George Bernard Shaw; “the great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life”. We love our homes more than the next person, but we’ve got to concede: he’s got a point. Over the course of the 2020s, we spent more time at home than anyone could have imagined. So, we think we speak for most of us when we say, we’re ready to let loose, travel, and party like it’s the 1920s. These grande dame hotels showcase the very best in Art Deco design and channel the spirit of the roaring twenties. From Shanghai to the South of France, these are 10 of the world’s most glamorous Art Deco hotels.

Claridges, London

Location: Davies St, London W1K 4HR

The late Hollywood legend, Spencer Tracy, famously declared “Not that I intend to die, but when I do, I don’t want to go to heaven—I want to go to Claridge’s”. Does his ghost wander its marble-floored halls today? No comment. But we can confirm that a visit to Claridges is pretty heavenly. London’s grand dame of Art Deco decor, it was designed by C W Stephens, the architect behind Harrods, and with interiors by 1920s icon Basil Ionides, you won’t find a more Mayfair experience than a trip to Claridges. So, for the ultimate Art Deco interiors take afternoon tea in its jazz moderne mirrored foyer beneath an enormous, century-old chandelier. Expensive, but worth it.

Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur 

Location: Circuit House Rd, Cantt Area, Jodhpur, Rajasthan 342006, India

A princely palace fit for a very modern Maharaja, Umaid Bhawan is not only one of Jodhpur’s top attractions but also one of India’s most extraordinary heritage hotels. A primary example of Indo-Saracenic Art Deco architecture, the reigning Maharajah Umaid Singh commissioned Henry Vaughan Lanchester (whose architectural works stretch from Westminster to Zanzibar) to build what would at the time be the largest private residence in the world. A museum to Art Deco design and Jodhpur’s royal family, each of its 347 rooms is packed full of period furnishings, black-and-white photographs, and curios from a bygone age. Another hotel where the room rate reflects its flamboyant heritage, head to The Trophy Bar for some no less sophisticated sundowners.

The Waldorf Astoria, New York 

Location: 301 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022, United States

Occupying an entire block of Manhattan real estate, The Waldorf Astoria wins the award for the world’s largest Art Deco building. The preferred crash pad of stars like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, today it is known as a champion of Art Deco design and old-world service. Among its notable Art Deco features include Nina Saemundsson’s Spirit of Achievement statue and Louis Rigal’s The Wheel of Life mosaic in the foyer. But it’s the aptly named Peacock Alley Bar that’s the place to see and be seen.