7 Community-Focused Maker Hotels Around the World

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
The maker movement has officially migrated into the hotel scene.

Boutique properties inspired by the communities they exist within are now collaborating directly with artisans to create truly unique experiences for their guests—one where it's likely you'll get your hands on a memorable souvenir to bring home. 

Play Design Hotel

Location: Datong District, Taipei, Taiwan 

The concept behind Play Design Hotel was to help independent Taiwanese designers tap into a larger international market. The hotel rooms are completely furnished with products from local designers. Guests can stay in curated rooms, or even have the option to design a room themselves. The hotel also acts as an incubator for designers to get feedback on their work. Each room comes with an explanation of everything in it—while guests are able to test out products before purchasing them from the hotel's boutique

Located in-between two eclectic neighborhoods, Play Design Hotel provides guests with a guide to all the local design hotspots. 

Located in-between two eclectic neighborhoods, Play Design Hotel provides guests with a guide to all the local design hotspots. 

The Surfjack

Location: Waikiki in Honolulu, Oahu

On Oahu’s South Shore, the Surfjack was created in collaboration with local artists and designers who live and breath the modern aloha lifestyle. The midcentury-inspired boutique hotel is now leading a movement to revive the authentic spirit of Waikiki. To foster this community, they regularly host poolside film screenings, workshops led by local businesses, talks, pilates classes, live music, and farm-to-table dining. Along with the hyper-local restaurant that sits on the property—Mahina & Sun’s—the public spaces were designed by Honolulu-based studio The Vanguard Theory, while the North Shore bungalow-inspired guest rooms were designed by Studio Collective. In addition to the space being filled with furnishings, lighting, and artwork by a range of local designers, every little detail was thoroughly thought out and branded to fit seamlessly with the Surfjack ethos. The Honolulu-based agency Wall-to-Wall was responsible for these elements—everything from the retro logos and postcards to the beach totes and towels that can be used throughout your stay.  

While checking in, you’re welcomed into an open-air space with a pitched wooden roof that has glossy surfboards hanging from them. You’ll also see custom Surfjack crates that were created by Retrospect Designs and a surfboard skeg installation designed by The Vanguard Theory.

While checking in, you’re welcomed into an open-air space with a pitched wooden roof that has glossy surfboards hanging from them. You’ll also see custom Surfjack crates that were created by Retrospect Designs and a surfboard skeg installation designed by The Vanguard Theory.

The aloha spirit runs deep in Mahina & Sun’s, where the walls are covered with a shaka wallpaper by Andrew Mau. The cushions on the banquette seats were made with archived prints by Tori Richard, which were also used to create the headboards in the guest rooms and the men’s uniforms.

The aloha spirit runs deep in Mahina & Sun’s, where the walls are covered with a shaka wallpaper by Andrew Mau. The cushions on the banquette seats were made with archived prints by Tori Richard, which were also used to create the headboards in the guest rooms and the men’s uniforms.

Self-taught graphic artist Matthew Tapia hand-painted the illustrated text on the bottom of the pool.

Self-taught graphic artist Matthew Tapia hand-painted the illustrated text on the bottom of the pool.

WIRED HOTEL

Location: Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan 

Created by the team behind the Wired Café chain, WIRED HOTEL opened just off Asakusa's Hisago-dori in April 2017. The in-house cafe/bar Zakbaran is open to the neighborhood and serves a selection of sweets and snacks made with soy milk and tofu. The team responsible for the branding of the Ace Hotel chain, OMFGCO, created the design and branding for the space—which they aimed to center around the unique artisan community in Asakusa, a traditional part of Tokyo. Products made by local craftsmen are displayed in each room and are available for purchase.

Rooms range from singles to luxurious penthouses.

Rooms range from singles to luxurious penthouses.

Coqui Coqui 

Locations: Valladolid, Izamal, Merida, Coba, and opening in Bora Bora in 2017 

Nicolas Malleville, a contemporary landscape architect and perfumer, was inspired by the exotic flora and scents of the Yucatan when he founded Coqui Coqui Perfumeria in 2003. Now with multiple locations throughout the Yucatan and one opening in Bora Bora in 2017, each Coqui Coqui Residence and Spa has its own personalized fragrance. They also sell unique locally-made products like the Hamacaswhich hang in select suites, as well as serving a curated selection of regional cuisine.

Located in a century-old belle époque building, the Merida local has a boutique selling high-end local handcrafts, alongside an urban spa.

Located in a century-old belle époque building, the Merida local has a boutique selling high-end local handcrafts, alongside an urban spa.

Katamama

Location: Bali, Indonesia

Located in Seminyak Beach on the tropical Indonesian island of Bali, Katamama offers guests a community-based experience while helping to preserve the traditions of Balinese craft communities. From the bricks to the bed throws, every detail of this bespoke hotel has been handmade or handpicked in collaboration with traditional artisans, as Katamama offers a modern interpretation of traditional Indonesian crafts. 

The bright and contemporary Katamama Suite overlooks the Indian Ocean and showcases custom-made artisanal furnishings and timeless midcentury pieces.

The bright and contemporary Katamama Suite overlooks the Indian Ocean and showcases custom-made artisanal furnishings and timeless midcentury pieces.

Graanmarkt 13

Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Occupying an entire townhouse that's set on a picturesque square in the center of Antwerp, Graanmarkt 13 houses a restaurant, shop, gallery, and a bed-and-breakfast "apartment." Noted Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen was hired by owners Tim & Ilse to work on the renovation of the property. While preserving the historic facade, he reworking the rest of the space to make room for the different levels to hold a restaurant in the cellar, a shop on the ground floor, gallery space on the first level, and the B&B on the top floors. Inspired by garden chambers and ateliers in Paris, it's surrounded by glass and a beautiful garden.

Described as "their best kept secret," the top floor apartment is available for short and extended stays. 

Described as "their best kept secret," the top floor apartment is available for short and extended stays. 

Parachute Venice

Location: Venice Beach, California

This special penthouse "hotel" located in the heart of Venice Beach is a unique way to experience the beachside community like a local. It's also a great way to test out Parachute Home's luxury bedding, bath, and linen collection before you buy. And if you do want to purchase anything you've used during your stay, the Venice beach-based Parachute conveniently has their showroom located right there on the ground floor. 

The penthouse apartment features Parachute bedding, towels, and linens. Guests receive a discount on purchases during their stay. 

The penthouse apartment features Parachute bedding, towels, and linens. Guests receive a discount on purchases during their stay.