12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
If you can't get enough of historic architecture, then consider one of these heritage hotels that have been modernized in all the right places for your next vacation or business trip.

From a state treasury building to an 18th-century nursing home, the past lives on at these 12 historic hotels that have beautifully updated interiors.

Villa Terminus in Bergen, Norway

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 1 of 24 - Built by Bergen merchant and philanthropist Alexander Kaae around 1760 to be a restful retreat for the downtrodden, Villa Terminus was refurbished by Swedish architecture and design firm Claesson Koivisto Rune. They transformed it into an 18-room boutique hotel with timeless midcentury-inspired and contemporary interiors.

Built by Bergen merchant and philanthropist Alexander Kaae around 1760 to be a restful retreat for the downtrodden, Villa Terminus was refurbished by Swedish architecture and design firm Claesson Koivisto Rune. They transformed it into an 18-room boutique hotel with timeless midcentury-inspired and contemporary interiors.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 2 of 24 - The interiors of Villa Terminus in Bergen, Norway

The interiors of Villa Terminus in Bergen, Norway

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 3 of 24 - One of the most recognizable landmarks in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area of Chicago is North Tower, a 12-story Art Deco-style building that was built in 1929 by Chicago-based firm Perkins, Chatten, and Hammond. Today, it’s home to The Robey, a 69-room hotel designed by Belgian design firms Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merckx Interiors. They created rooms that recall old-school detective novels with a modern twist.

One of the most recognizable landmarks in the Wicker Park/Bucktown area of Chicago is North Tower, a 12-story Art Deco-style building that was built in 1929 by Chicago-based firm Perkins, Chatten, and Hammond. Today, it’s home to The Robey, a 69-room hotel designed by Belgian design firms Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merckx Interiors. They created rooms that recall old-school detective novels with a modern twist.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 4 of 24 - The interiors of The Robey in Chicago, Illinois

The interiors of The Robey in Chicago, Illinois

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 5 of 24 - Set within 25 17th- and 18th-century traditional canal houses in Amsterdam, the recently renovated Pulitzer has a selection of unique themed suite rooms.

Set within 25 17th- and 18th-century traditional canal houses in Amsterdam, the recently renovated Pulitzer has a selection of unique themed suite rooms.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 6 of 24 - The interiors of The Pulitzer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The interiors of The Pulitzer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 7 of 24 - Les Bains in Paris’ Le Marais district has an epic cultural history—to say the least. In 1885, Les Bains Douches became Paris’ first and most popular bathhouse and was known to host Marcel Proust on a regular basis. In 1978, it was turned into a nightclub that became the ultimate scene where every influential star made appearances—from Prince and Mick Jagger to David Bowie, Karl Lagerfeld, and Andy Warhol. After it closed down for five years, it was reincarnated in 2015 as a 39-room hotel that hosts an Artists’ Residency program that's curated by Magda Danysz.

Les Bains in Paris’ Le Marais district has an epic cultural history—to say the least. In 1885, Les Bains Douches became Paris’ first and most popular bathhouse and was known to host Marcel Proust on a regular basis. In 1978, it was turned into a nightclub that became the ultimate scene where every influential star made appearances—from Prince and Mick Jagger to David Bowie, Karl Lagerfeld, and Andy Warhol. After it closed down for five years, it was reincarnated in 2015 as a 39-room hotel that hosts an Artists’ Residency program that's curated by Magda Danysz.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 8 of 24 - The interiors of Les Bains in Paris, France

The interiors of Les Bains in Paris, France

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 9 of 24 - The two heritage-listed buildings that were previously owned by Carlton United Brewery were revamped and unveiled by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects in 2015 as The Old Clare hotel.

The two heritage-listed buildings that were previously owned by Carlton United Brewery were revamped and unveiled by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects in 2015 as The Old Clare hotel.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 10 of 24 - The interiors of The Old Clare in Sydney, Australia

The interiors of The Old Clare in Sydney, Australia

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 11 of 24 - Housed within an old warehouse that was used during the Japanese occupation of China, this minimalist, riverside boutique hotel has white-and-blonde wood walls and clean-lined furniture that give the guest rooms a Scandinavian, loft-like feel.  

Housed within an old warehouse that was used during the Japanese occupation of China, this minimalist, riverside boutique hotel has white-and-blonde wood walls and clean-lined furniture that give the guest rooms a Scandinavian, loft-like feel.  

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 12 of 24 - The interiors at Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai, China

The interiors at Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai, China

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 13 of 24 - This almost 100-year-old landmark colonial mansion in the UNESCO heritage city of Georgetown in Penang was given new life as a hotel by its Malaysian owners who worked with the Singapore architects at Ministry of Design to create eight dreamy guest rooms with hints of colonial splendor.

This almost 100-year-old landmark colonial mansion in the UNESCO heritage city of Georgetown in Penang was given new life as a hotel by its Malaysian owners who worked with the Singapore architects at Ministry of Design to create eight dreamy guest rooms with hints of colonial splendor.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 14 of 24 - The interiors at Macalister Mansion in Penang, Malaysia

The interiors at Macalister Mansion in Penang, Malaysia

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 15 of 24 - Housed in a restored 140-year-old state treasury building in the downtown area of Perth, Australia, Como The Treasury’s 48 rooms and suites have high ceilings, cornicing, and balconies.

Housed in a restored 140-year-old state treasury building in the downtown area of Perth, Australia, Como The Treasury’s 48 rooms and suites have high ceilings, cornicing, and balconies.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 16 of 24 - The interiors of Como The Treasury in Perth, Australia

The interiors of Como The Treasury in Perth, Australia

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 17 of 24 - Vaulted ceilings, high window arches, and stone staircases are retained in the guest rooms and public spaces of this gothic-style city archive building, which is now a a stylish hotel that's furnished with 20th-century furniture designed by Walter Gropius, Charles and Ray Eames, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Vaulted ceilings, high window arches, and stone staircases are retained in the guest rooms and public spaces of this gothic-style city archive building, which is now a a stylish hotel that's furnished with 20th-century furniture designed by Walter Gropius, Charles and Ray Eames, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 18 of 24 - The interiors of The QVEST in Cologne, Germany

The interiors of The QVEST in Cologne, Germany

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 19 of 24 - This renovated 15th-century monastery of the "Crutched Friars" is now the 60-room Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, a luxurious and contemporary hotel where guests can check in or dine at a site that used to be the monastery’s old church.

This renovated 15th-century monastery of the "Crutched Friars" is now the 60-room Kruisherenhotel Maastricht, a luxurious and contemporary hotel where guests can check in or dine at a site that used to be the monastery’s old church.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 20 of 24 - The interiors of Kruisherenhotel in Maastricht, the Netherlands

The interiors of Kruisherenhotel in Maastricht, the Netherlands

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 21 of 24 - This dockside warehouse from 1895 was converted into a hotel with voluminous rooms, high ceilings, concrete walls, and exposed beams that are complemented by elegant furniture with sleek metallic details.

This dockside warehouse from 1895 was converted into a hotel with voluminous rooms, high ceilings, concrete walls, and exposed beams that are complemented by elegant furniture with sleek metallic details.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 22 of 24 - The interiors of The Warehouse Hotel in Robertson Quay, Singapore

The interiors of The Warehouse Hotel in Robertson Quay, Singapore

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 23 of 24 - This boutique hotel sits in a former 19th-century water purification faction. Its sleek glass panels and modern furnishings exist in symbiosis with the old factory walls, stone columns, and aqueducts.

This boutique hotel sits in a former 19th-century water purification faction. Its sleek glass panels and modern furnishings exist in symbiosis with the old factory walls, stone columns, and aqueducts.

12 Modern Hotels in Historic Buildings Around the World - Photo 24 of 24 - The interiors of La Purificadora in Puebla, Mexico

The interiors of La Purificadora in Puebla, Mexico