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Eye Candy

5 Hotels with Neon Lights
  • Hotel Encanto

    Hotel Encanto

  • Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel

    Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel

  • Reina Roja Hotel

    Reina Roja Hotel

  • Wanderlust

    Wanderlust

  • Hotel Saint Cecilia

    Hotel Saint Cecilia

August, 2013

We don’t care whether it’s a flickering “Vacancy” sign by the side of a lonely highway or the James Turrell installation at the Guggenheim in New York; there’s just something sweet about neon. These five hotels give the noblest of gases its proper due.

1.

Hotel Encanto
Acapulco, Mexico — Hearkening back to the decadent spirit of mid-century Acapulco, the bright swaths of neon light are the only decoration needed on Hotel Encanto’s bare walls. From inside, the rooms feel awash in ambient light and beds appear to float above the floor, while outside, the same rooms form a glowing grid of colored boxes.
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2.

Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel
Shanghai — Is it any surprise that when the world’s most over-the-top hospitality group arrived in Shanghai, they did something dramatic? Here, the hoteliers behind Dubai’s Burj Al Arab present a riotously colorful neon-lit cube atop the Himalayas Center, itself an insanely futuristic development that turned Pudong into a dead ringer for one of the sets from Blade Runner.
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3.

Reina Roja Hotel
Playa del Carmen, Mexico — Inspired by no less a dramatic figure than Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen, this Playa del Carmen pleasure palace is so thick with red neon that you feel like you’re swimming through the stuff. And their bar, lit to look like vice itself, even manages to make a Red Bull sign look cool — try finding another place that pulls that off.
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4.

Wanderlust
Singapore — With Wanderlust, hotelier Loh Lik Peng has gone off the rails in the best way, turning a run-down antique building into a bookable art installation in Singapore’s Little India neighborhood. There’s so much neon on the second floor, with its rainbow-colored corridor and candy-colored rooms, it makes the Vegas Strip look tame.
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5.

Hotel Saint Cecilia
Austin, Texas — Named after the patron saint of music, Hotel Saint Cecilia feels a bit like a South Congress bachelor pad for some design-minded rock star — not least at the pool, bathed in purple neon light from a sign that spells “soul.”
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