See what happened when the Missoni brand took on designing a hotel, in Kuwait City...

Missoni room and doorman's Missoni dishdasha. Photos My Bathroom Wall

The multi-coloured stripes like those on my bathroom face cloth scream Missoni - and I met Rosita Missoni at the opening of her then new hotel in Kuwait City back in 2011.

The Italian fashion house and family business is famous for putting vibrant stripes into women's wear from the 1960s onwards, and have now branched out into homeware too.

The Kuwait City hotel was a blast of colour in the middle of a sandstone coloured town. And as you can see from the photos, the stripe theme was lavished on every aspect of the property, from the pool to the room furnishings, and even the specially designed dishdasha's with a difference worn by the doormen.

The 187m tall Kuwait Towers, symbol of Kuwait, built in 1979 as a series of water towers. Photos My Bathroom Wall

In truth Kuwait City is quite a challenging destination, not least because of the scorching desert summers, when temperatures regularly hover in the high 40s, but also - quite an important this one for me - the entire country is dry with alcohol completely forbidden.

But the hotel did its best to overcome such matters with its stripy decor, extensive list of superb mocktails, excellently attentive staff, and airport transfers in Maserati's - which included what the General Manager called their 'Maserati moment' when the driver would warn the newly arrived guest and then shove the accelerator to the floor for about as big an adrenaline rush as there is in Kuwait.

Those with an aversion to stripes, need not book. Even the base of the pool is stripy. Photos My Bathroom Wall

That said, the people are wonderfully gracious and hospitable, and apart from the iconic water towers that you can catch the lift up, there are some good art galleries, fine Bedouin style restaurants, a wonderful handicraft shop called Sadu House, the grisly House of National Works Museum that uses dioramas to illustrate Kuwait's suffering during the first Gulf war (1990-91) weirdest museum to a war I have ever seen, and a quite bonkers private home called the House of Mirrors. A visit to the later involves an ultra personal tour of all the rooms from the house owner Lidia, including one where the lights are switched off and you and your host throw luminous plastic boomerangs at a Velcro black cloth wall. 

Mirror mirror on the wall..and on the door and on the ceiling. Photos My Bathroom Wall


Further information: The Missoni Hotel has many of the original features and decor, but is now the Symphony Style HotelSee Visit Kuwait 


Getting there: Kuwait International Airport is 15 kilometres south of Kuwait City and handled 11 million passengers in 2015. Kuwait Airways destinations include Bangkok, Doha, Dubai, London Heathrow, Manila, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Rome and Tehran. Kuwait-based low cost carrier Jazeera Airways  flies to Alexandria, Beirut, Cairo, Dubai, Istanbul, Luxor, Sharm el Sheikh and others. Other useful routes include Athens with Aegean Airlines, London Heathrow with British Airways, Dubai with FlyDubai, and Istanbul with Pegasus Airlines. 



Always check your government's travel advice before booking, and ensure that your travel insurance is valid in this part of the country. See the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice.

One more thing...

Actually Missoni's first hotel venture was opening a hotel in Edinburgh in 2009. It featured all the trademark multi coloured decor, and stripy kilts for the doormen. Unfortunately both the Kuwait and the Edinburgh ventures no longer have the participation of the Missoni brand, so those two cities have - in my opinion - just grown ever so slightly less colourful.

The Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh, with distinctive kilts for the doormen and bold colours throughout