We all need a vacation once in awhile, whether it’s a quick weekend getaway to the coast or gallivanting across the Great Wall of China, there’s nothing like getting away.
But while tourist attractions can promise all manner of fun, many of us venture to certain destinations around the world just for the hotels themselves – many of which offer grandeur beyond our wildest dreams. If you’re looking for somewhere extra special to go and treat yourself, check out these incredible hotels from discernible destinations all over the world.
Palacio Nazarenas, Peru
Rated as the best luxury hotel in the world, the Palacio Nazarenas has received glowing reviews from 900,000 guests – and it’s no wonder with its gorgeous Machi Picchu location. The five-star hotel features 55 suites which it claims are “enriched with oxygen” for the pleasure of its guests, while tourist attractions are just a stone’s throw away, such as the Nazarenas Square, and the Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuaman fortresses.
The Venetian, Las Vegas
Few hotels in the world can boast their very own canal within their four walls – but the Venetian on the Las Vegas strip offers just that. Part of the largest five-diamond hotel and resort complex in the world, it features more than 4,000 suites and hotel rooms, all decorated with an opulent Italian theme. Of course, it wouldn’t be Las Vegas without mentioning its 120,000 square foot casino. Indeed, nowadays people may be more tempted to play at online alternatives like Jackpotcity, but with such an array of different games on offer, the Venetian really does it like no other.
Jumby Bay, Antigua
For those who are looking for privacy, nothing says isolated luxury quite like Jumby Bay. Situated on the Caribbean isle of Antigua, the Jumby Bay is reachable only by boat, and is surrounded by white powdered beaches with bicycle paths in an excluded, paradisical part of the world. Be sure to take a visit to the Lazy Lizard villa, which features an 18,000 square feet beach estate and a moated entrance.
Cordevalle, San Martin, California
Golfing fans can enjoy grandeur like no other in the Cordevalle Golf Resort in California, which offers unrivalled hospitality set amongst a backdrop of rolling Californian hills. Home to the US Women’s Open, the golf course is just one of the many facets of this stunning resort, which also features its own vineyard, gourmet dining and health spa.
Mara Kempinski, Kenya
Get in touch with nature in Kenya’s stunning Mara Kempinski resort. Visitors can gaze out of the bedroom windows and enjoy views of wildlife in the Masai Mara, featuring 35,000 acres of prime grassland, riverine forests and acacia woodlands.
Corte San Pietro Hotel is an abandoned structure that was beautifully restored into a luxury hotel by architect Daniela Amoroso, located in Matera, Italy. Matera is one of the most ancient cities in the world and its territory contains the evidence of human settlements as from the Palaeolithic times.
The Sassi districts, World Heritage site, are the original urban core of the city and, based on natural caves, they have been further extended over the millenniums to be turned into even more complex structures.An intricate network of streets, alleyways, inner courtyards and neighborhoods overlooked by habitations of all sizes, ancient defensive walls, towers, warehouses, wine cellars and cisterns. A never-ending excavated and built system.
In the very heart of the Sassi district, an abandoned structure in disuse dating back to the XVII. C and which surrounds an internal courtyard has been restored and reinvented to be turned into new spaces of a 5,381 square foot (500 square meters) hotel.
Useless architectural contaminations and superfluous layers of pavement have been removed, uncovering the original tufa stonework topped with vaults: the historical structure has been laid bare, as an architectural evidence to confront and dialogue with. In this search for essence, authentic, pure space free from excess, we can recognize the Wabi spirit conceived by the Belgian Axel Vervoordt.
The historical places, full of an attractive identity, harmoniously and precisely combine to the comfort and to the refined and elegant design.
Turned into refined hotel rooms, the former habitations at the ground floor overlook an internal courtyard which, thanks to long and accurate restoration works, is characterized by an original stone pavement called “a chiancarelle”.
Enlightened with candle lights in the evening, the courtyard becomes very cozy and intimate, giving a sense of protection.
The rooms located all around the courtyard are rigorously monochromatic, characterized by chestnut brown shades, from the beige of the stone to the brown of the wood and the weathering steel. Soil, stone pavement and the natural colour of the stone become wall, ceiling and sitting.
The constant search for a connection between the various inner rooms and the landscape is the very base of this combination of local stone, wood and iron in each single room with different proportions according to a linear and essential design. Poor elements usually combined to a country style become light and modern.
The linen curtains of the entrance doors skillfully made by hand let a bright light reach the first area of each room dedicated to sitting/living area and relax whereas the following private areas carved out from the rock face, are enlightened through skylights from the vaults. These small windows, from above, allow beams of light to alternate with large dark intimate areas.
Tufa arches introduce to bathrooms, intimate and cozy spaces featured by niches and cavities now containing large stone bathtubs or showers.
The interior design is based on restored vintage furnishings and typical tools. Nature and timeworn objects perfectly suit each single room through various furnishing elements: old benches in century-old chestnut tree become either doors, shelves or tables, old wooden chairs frames become towel holders, tree logs become stools or bedside tables.
The whole hotel develop horizontally all around an area, the courtyard, characterized by slight differences of level and surrounded by five rooms, the reception hall and the breakfast room, in an ancient typical system which features the whole structure.
Under the hotel, below ground, are located eight bell-shaped cisterns, evidence of the former system for the collection of the rainwaters and excellent example of sustainability. Rainwaters were forwarded through gutters, drainpipes and channelings down to the cisterns connected to the habitations. Cisterns are visitable through narrow inner passages. Going through the changeable silence of a cave and adapting ourselves to these dark environments means to be immersed into another dimension, where it is possible to seize the deepest and ancestral meaning of these places, of this land. It is a place where to feed our souls and feel a strong well-being.
From the entrance in Via B. Buozzi, visitors are greeted as in a private house in the graceful and cozy reception, elegantly furnished, through which it is possible to access the private courtyard.
Photos: PierMario Ruggeri
La Suite Sans Cravate is an historical house that has been converted by Véronique Bogaert into a luxury guesthouse with four guestrooms, located in Bruges, Belgium. The success of the owner’s restaurant was the inspiration for the guesthouse, and with an expanding family, there was not enough room for them to continue taking up residence above their restaurant. Have a look below for the owner’s inspiring story of how the project transpired into what was once just a visionary dream.
We (Veronique 37 years and Henk 34 years) have a restaurant (1 Michelin star) in Bruges since 10 years. We’ve lived above the restaurant until now; it became too small with our 2 kids (6 & 7 years). We were looking for a private house but didn’t find anything which was close the restaurant and enough space. Suddenly a great opportunity came along, the historical house in front of our restaurant came free and we take the shot… Result it was too big for us, so we aid to each other “why don’t we make some guestrooms in the building?”
We ourselves had enough ideas how to separates the places in that big house. We of course needed an architect to draw for us. There was one big rule!! We wanted to have absolutely a private house were our guests couldn’t come, let’s say a red line for them not to cross. Therefor we provided 2 very high luxury rooms and 2 suites. The house is separated is 2 parts, one for the guests and one for us. We’ve put an extra stair especially for us. It’s a very ancient house; we have information that leads until 1450! A house with a soul and character!
The whole decoration we did ourselves, till the smallest detail. We didn’t use the help of any interior architect or someone of that kind. We ourselves are creative minded people the name of our guesthouse is called “La Suite”, for us it has several meanings, first, it means if you translate it, the following, it is the following step of our lives, it also means like a kitchen name, that reply’s in the kitchen that the next dish can follow. Like the people who are in our restaurant, they can go to their rooms for the next step of their evening.
Why a French name? That’s because our restaurant is called “Sans Cravate”, now we’ve changed our logo to La Suite Sans Cravate, it match very well together. We have a very personal style in our kitchen and interior of the restaurant, now we have that also in our new guesthouse. The rooms have the name of wine grapes, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Syrah and Pinot Noir. Each guest receives when they arrive a glass of bubbles with a personalized macaroon biscuit with the flavors of their room that they booked.
The renovation took three years in total but the result is magic, we are of course very proud that we realized something like that. With only one month open and already nominated for “Best design hotel”.
Photos: Courtesy of La Suite Sans Cravate
POD Boutique Hotel is a luxurious hotel subtly promoting discretion and elegance, completed in 2009 by Greg Wright Architects, located in Cape Town, South Africa. POD is more than a luxury boutique hotel. It’s a declaration of love for fine living, fine design, and unforgettable experiences. Conceived of as a discreet and super-stylish location and getaway on the Camps Bay strip, this project is set to become the destination of choice for those “in the know”.
A unique palette of granite, slate, African timber and glass has been brought together in elegant simplicity in an attempt to make rooms and relaxation spaces desirable to those who appreciate stylish accommodation backed up by discreet, luxurious service.Add to that the fact that all that makes Camps Bay the international destination of choice, this project is set to redefine the boutique accommodation business in Cape Town and set the benchmark for those going forward.
15 bedrooms and suites provide ultimate comfort and privacy, evoking a feeling of sanctuary and serene relaxation.
The architecture studio A-cero has recently completed the design of the interiors of a villa and the restaurant for the unique and exclusive hotel Iniala Beach House, situated in Phuket, Thailand. Located in the bucolic coast area of Natai Beach in Phuket, this place is characterized by its calm, the vast sands and the turquoise blue waters. This little luxury hotel resort was conceived to enjoy your stay surrounded by good design. The complex has 10 villas designed by different well-known international architects firms.
The project developer entrusted to A-cero the Interior Design of two rooms of one of the villas, concretely the Villa Bianca. Moreover, A-cero developed the design of the restaurant of the hotel, Aziamendi (with 3 Michelin Stars) as well as the exterior chill out area where you can enjoy the amazing views. A-cero have designed absolutely everything, even the furniture.
Both rooms designed by A-cero are on the seafront. Two shell shape bungalows sharing an exterior swimming pool. Both elements play with each other and we tried to achieve the opposite interior design between them. In the first room, the vertical lines flow introducing into the sight of the visitor. In the second room the curved lines move horizontally embracing the space around. It is a game of vertical and horizontal lines that wrap the space. Looking for the “ying & yang” and different sensations for each other.
The furniture of the rooms is born in each of the curved lines that create the rooms. The natural local wood is used for the floors and the walls of the rooms, looking for a natural environment according to the exuberant surroundings. In each of these rooms we have changed the disposition of the elements to make them different. The first room has light wood horizontal sense floor and dark wood ceiling. The second room is the opposite, with dark wood vertical sense floor and light wood ceiling.
The exclusive A-cero design furniture for this hotel is made with high quality polycarbonate in order not to see any joint. The white color is used to make easier the introduction of the light inside. The curved lines described previously conform each unique furniture piece, obtaining a head bed sculpturally joined with the ceiling. Moreover some of the lights for the room are included in the bed head.
The head bed becomes an exclusive A-cero design dressing table, characterized by its forms, which are similar to the rest of the room. This dressing table is also very versatile, it has different removable modules like mirror, drawers, magazine rack, lockbox, fridge, coffee machine, speakers to connect different devices and several compartments that are deployed to use them and collected to keep everything tidy. This dresser is a large area in connection with the other bathroom departments: shower, bathtub, washbasin and toilet.
The luxury concept of this hotel includes important art pictures proposed by the owner and displayed around the complex with the chance to buy them.
The wide windows fill practically all the main facade of the room and the guest overlooks to the outdoor landscape –the beach– through the porch and the own swimming pool. The wood pavement is continued to the porch. This area is also equipped with A-cero design furniture, the “Rest” collection for Vondom.
The exterior chill out designed by A-cero complements the restaurant and the guests can enjoy an appetiser next to the sea. With sliding doors and A-cero design furniture you can enjoy the ocean views and the smell of the sea. The tables have the same modular design of the restaurant, with Platner design high seats upholstered with waterproof leather.
The project developer and the owner of the hotel trust again in Spanish professionals. For the restaurant they contacted with the recognized three Michelin stars chef Eneko Atxa, who has his local restaurant Azurmendi in Vizcaya, Spain. Once the proposal was accepted, the chef got involve with the project to implement the kitchen and the menu of Aziamendi, the name of his restaurant in Iniala.
A-cero has designed this restaurant for the guests of the hotel. The restaurant with capacity for 70 diners also includes a bar and an area with big size tables. The restaurant installations are thought taking into account the kitchen requirements and the needs given by the Spanish chef Eneko Atxa.
The design of a restaurant has created a welcoming place. In continuation with the style of the rooms, the restaurant has been designed with curved lines and natural materials. The fact that the restaurant is a glass box, allows the guests to view the surrounding landscape. The wood is used for the ceiling and the main walls. In this case we have designed different wood panels for the ceiling to simulate the movement of the waves. With the intention to maximize the form of each wood panel, the floor has been designed with light wood and the ceiling with dark wood.
The tables of the restaurant have been designed exclusively by A-cero. The curved lines and the natural wood give identity to the space. The tables have been designed for two guests, but thanks to its modular design, we can easily obtain the size requested for the tables. The Platner chairs from Knoll, designed by Warren Platner in 1966 are the perfect complement. These chairs have been upholstered with light green velvet to integrate them with the local vegetation.
Photos: Kurt Alan Heck
Macalister Mansion is a luxury hotel housed in a beautiful 100 year old historic mansion that has been conserved and adapted by Singapore-based Ministry of Design in Penang, Malaysia. Each of the six different food and beverage and hotel entities can be enjoyed as part of the overall Macalister Mansion experience but are branded as distinct rooms or spaces that are typically found in a mansion — the dining room, the den, the living room, the lawn and eight rooms, spread out over 51,667 square feet (4,800 square meters). The name Macalister Mansion honors Penang’s British Governor Colonel Norman Macalister and you will find numerous references to this historic figure captured in the host of specially commissioned installation art pieces throughout the grounds and spaces.
With eight rooms to chose from, rates for double rooms start at $215.92, from here.
Relais Masseria Capasa is a sumptuous hotel with stone walls surrounded by beautiful olive trees in Martano, Italy and designed by Paolo Fracasso. The hotel is immersed in the colors and smells of the countryside, with the name ” Capasa ” used because of the location in which it was born, once mainly used to store wine and oil. The historical building dates back to 1746 and the architect restored the property back to its original grandeur. The design embodies a double movement: to accept the daily life and harmonize the perception of environmental space. It communicates with the tradition and the places where the use of an extremely natural stone, with its color and appearance, manages to create figures that evoke softness. It creates comfortable environments to evoke a feeling of “home” and welcomes you with a new light that blends mingling with the stone and creating color and shape so that they live for themselves, thrilling what surrounds them.
Photos: Pecchio Adriano
The Olive Exclusive is an intimate boutique hotel in a tranquil corner of Windhoek, Namibia, embodying the very essence of chic comfort. This ultra-luxurious sanctuary is cool, contemporary and stylish but with a warm heart and authentic African soul. Its sleek, modern lines are complemented by organic textures, natural furnishings, an eco-friendly approach and dedicated personal service. Simple elegance is key, from the organic rough-hewn wooden benches and side tables, through the sculpted chunk of granite that serves as a coffee table in the guest lounge, to walls clad in abstract Namibian landscapes by well-known South African designer and photographer Micky Hoyle.
The seven suites are individually decorated so each reflects a different region in Namibia, and each has its own lounge area with fireplace and dining room, for private dining. Wide glass doors open onto spacious decks where you can relax on a shady daybed, enjoy al fresco lunches or, if yours is a premium suite, take a dip in your own private plunge pool. The Olive Exclusive boasts a quality restaurant featuring a seasonal menu, with inventive signature dishes. The fully stocked bar also features a classic selection of fine whisky.
To stay at this incredible retreat, rates range from $200 – $311, from here.
Casa Zinc has been designed by Antique dealer Aaron Hojman, nestled on Uruguay’s coastal village of La Barra, which is at the head of stretches of golden beaches and low headlands. The six-room, two-storey hotel is a “posada bohemia” with five-meters high factory gates and a facade clad in vintage railway bricks, reclaimed windows and corrugated zinc siding. Like staying at a private home of someone with exquisite design taste, Casa Zinc has a welcoming, lived-in ambiance with its shabby-chic interiors and eclectic mix of vintage furniture.
Hojman has designed the interiors with bookshelves stacked with apothecary jars, valve radios and soda bottles, framed windows with wood lifted from a long-shuttered Montevideo railway station, and scattered distressed leather-and-wood sofas in the dining room and sitting room. The bedrooms have been named for the objects that lay within, Esudio Arquitecto, Estudio Diseno, Mirador, Back to School, Biblioteca and Patio. Hojman has a penchant for the unadorned and untreated, so prevalent that mortise joints still bear the carpenter’s penciled notations. Bathrooms offers porcelain sinks, long-levered taps and free-standing tubs that give the austerity of a glammed-up hospice.
To stay at Casa Zinc, rates range from $140 – $740, from here.
Restored with ultimate respect to local tradition, Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, situated in the Sassi area of Matera, a town in Southern Italy is a 9,000-year-old Italian cave dwelling. Literally cut into the volcanic tufa of the Matera hillside, the caves of Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita were originally a stronghold for Italian peasants. Forcibly removed in the 1950s, many of the peasants came back against the government’s wishes. Today, the area has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is attracting curious travelers to its snaking rooftop streets, craggy hillside drop offs, and stone cathedrals.
At Sextantio Le Grotte Della Civita, great care was put into restoring the 18-room hotel. They were very clever in keeping the integrity of the caves intact by using the original architectural materials from the area, disguising the use of modern technology and maintaining the new design to a minimum. The decor of the rooms is very basic using plain furniture built out of recycled materials, yet keeping the rural historic tradition through colors, textures, scents and even candles identified with the area. Where elements needed to be added to bring in modern amenities, like freestanding Stark baths, were chosen based on their unobtrusive design. Their philosophy was not to betray the ‘soul’ of the building, but to preserve the caves’ rural heritage. Stunning perspectives, original hand-hewn church building blocks, and some dramatic illumination make for magical moments at this extraordinary hotel.
To stay at this sensational boutique hotel, rates start at $131 per night, from here.
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