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Luxe Lavs / Pop Culture Travel

Luxe Lavs: Mad for May

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This month, Luxe Lavs contributors Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno are Mad for May. To celebrate their wild and whimsical side, they discovered luxury bathrooms with a sense of humor. From explosions of style and color to plays on words, these hotels don’t shy away from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. They invite the guests to join.

The Camby Hotel

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The Camby Hotel in Phoenix is making a splash with its sophistication-mixed-with-wacky sense of humor. Every nuance has flavor, and guests are immediately invited to join the vibe. We went mad for the you-have-to-look-twice moments peppered throughout the hotel. This indie luxury lifestyle hotel in the heart of the distinctive Biltmore District winks at guests from the start. Two huge topiary camel heads sharing one hump welcome you at the entrance. A “Be a Revel” illuminated sign teases in a lounge room. Confused? We were too.

The whimsy continues into the bathroom. A cute and fuzzy giant shark graphic adorns the bathroom wall flying through the air on a clothespin. Other fun bathroom shenanigans include the hairdryer presented in a bag that reads “A Hair Raising Experience” and a bath mat at the toilet that reads “Brainstorm Room.” The lighting is set into the mirror that makes all the quirky touches stand out even more. This place is perfect for a group treasure hunt of oddities.

Hotel El Ganzo

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The Hotel El Ganzo is one of originality. Located at the Puerto Los Cabos Marina, with the backdrop of the Sea of Cortez, the hotel’s wooden doors transport you to a place of sustainability, creativity, and artistry. The hotel is a magnet for recording artists, visual artists, and discerning travelers alike. With an artist-in-residence program, the artists use the hotel’s white walls as their canvas to design works of art. The hotel also offers musicians a special place to create and record music with an underground recording studio, literally accessible by a trap door in the lobby.

The décor is modern with a rustic twist of natural materials and wood throughout, and many of the furnishings were custom created. Bathtubs are in the middle of most of the 69 cement-floored rooms. There is a separate walk-in rain head shower and toilet room. Tubs come with a wooden bowl of bath salts, and the slippers have their signature embroidered Goose logo. The shampoo, conditioner, and soap are handmade rosemary products. The only thing missing is bath lotion.

The Inn of the Five Graces

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The Inn of the Five Graces is a renovated cultural experience that brings together art and first class service. With many Afghan and Tibetan artifacts displayed throughout the hotel, the name refers to this Eastern slant. The Five Graces are sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste, and guests are enveloped in these senses at all times during their stay. A Relais and Chateaux property, The Inn of the Five Graces is in one of Santa Fe’s most historic neighborhoods, just blocks from the Plaza where all the action is, and yet it is in a world unto itself. Designers Ira and Sylvia Seret transformed a group of adobe buildings into a wildly decorated hotel. As importers of exotic antiques, rugs, and more it isn’t surprising.

It can be difficult to describe the colorful bathrooms, with their explosion of hues, mosaics, vintage furniture, and hand-carved wood accents, but that’s why the camera was invented. Woven rugs that could be in museums are next to the bathtub, which is surrounded by tile, woodwork, and hanging drapery. The sinks are blue marble, and even the mirror has flowers in tilework dancing around it. The mixture of Middle Eastern flair with New Mexican architecture makes this a perfect Mad for May Luxe Lav. It’s even difficult to know where to look when entering the bathroom—at the winged birds flying overhead, the floral and textile carvings, or the patterns everywhere.

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

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The Hard Rock Hotels continue to celebrate rock culture at all their destinations, but the 3,900 square-foot Rock Star Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is a standout. Celebrating Bret Michaels, the suite was designed with individual touches, memorabilia, and personal experiences from the icon himself by Kim Daust and Dezirae Klaizner. Starting with the entrance to the suite, guests walk into a sea of purple and blue lighting with a display case featuring Bret’s taxicab motorcycle and Rose guitar. The dining room table is made from the front doors of Bret’s house, and the pool table is set into a classic muscle car similar to the Camaro Bret once owned.

Set behind the façade of a tour bus is a master bedroom complete with LED-lit stage steps at the bed with a mirrored ceiling over the sleeping area, a tour bus lounge area, and a desk area complete with a chair made of Harley parts. A hot tub sits in the middle of the room, while the “headboard” shower separates the two spaces with its triangular glass shower enclosure and large graphical vanity area. The second bedroom is backstage green room inspired, with a smaller version of the headboard shower. The Suite continues onto the 4,210-square-foot terrace, where there’s a DJ booth and bar, summer kitchen and dining areas, and a huge hot tub and fire pit. Did we mention there’s also a photo booth?

Want to discover more Luxe Lavs around the world? Check out:

By Angela Fairhurst and Natalie Compagno for PeterGreenberg.com

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