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.
Day Residence is a beautiful rustic lake house retreat with a wood slat exterior and red accents designed by Dungan Nequette Architects, located in Birmingham, Alabama. Dark woods and pops of color are all over this house on the water in total seclusion and privacy. A little compound of rooflines reminds me of a camp house arrangement of kitchen/ dining and bunk houses. It seemed very appropriate for a lake retreat on Lake Tadpole. Each “building” is rotated and angled to soak in the best views and creates a village of sorts. Cypress and cedar on a bed of stone and a splash of red brings on and almost Adirondak cabin feel.
Photos: Courtesy of Dungan Nequette Architects
This fabulous beach house retreat was designed by Johnson + McLeod Design Consultants, located on Pender Island, near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Pender Island is about a 1½-hour ferry ride or 15-minute seaplane ride from Vancouver. The project encompassed the renovation of a 1968 home, which is comprised of 2,800 square feet (260 square meters) of living space with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The designers respected the original home’s spirit while honoring the beautiful natural environment that surrounds it — “it’s a fresh Pacific Northwest take on midcentury modern.” The clients wanted the home to function as a place for escape and entertaining.
The renovation was all about transparency and long sight lines through the space to the spectacular views beyond. Creating a sense of continuity was paramount. All the floors are tiled in 30-inch by 6-inch Italian porcelain planks that resemble wood. The flooring is unbroken through all of the rooms and hallways, has no thresholds and is heated from underneath. It even continues up this high media wall, warming up the space.
The vaulted ceiling was painted white to lighten things up and cover inconsistencies left behind by old walls, since removed. In keeping with the home’s proportions, the designer designed windows that are 10 feet high, as opposed to their previous standard sliding door height of about 6 feet, 8 inches — all the more chances to see the eagles, whales and deer beyond the glass.
The designers mixed splurges like authentic Eames lounge chairs and a custom coffee table with less expensive pieces from popular retailers. The chevron poufs are from West Elm.
The designers replaced the steps with an updated metal and teak version and added a glass railing, but the spirit of the sunken living room remains. To create a unified look, the designers believe in repeating elements. In addition to the unbroken floor planks, the same sofa style, fabrics and paint colors were used on both levels to keep things pleasingly cohesive.
The designers knocked out the walls between the public areas, making it one big room. A new dining area is a part of the wide-open space. A jazzy group of pendants creates a funky rhythm overhead. The couple invested in authentic Eames dining chairs, but the dining table was relatively inexpensive from Crate & Barrel.
The biggest feature of the kitchen is this amazing 14-foot-long picture window that spans the counter length. The cabinets have all been custom designed in horizontal grained teak.
The long drawer pulls and block over the window emphasize the horizontal as well. The refrigerator and freezer are housed on the left side of the window; the pantry and a broom closet are to the right of it.
The bedrooms were kept simple to emphasize the views outside and create a restful vibe. Behind the headboard in the master bedroom is a textured Phillip Jefferies wall covering called Granite.
A wall-mounted velvet headboard allows for some versatility. It extends 14 feet so that the twin beds can be separated with a table between them or shoved together for a couple.
A big view from the bathroom shows how the lichen-covered rocks inspired the interiors. In keeping with the consistent flow throughout the house, all three bathrooms are more or less the same. They have the same porcelain wood-like planks on the floor; the vanities are crafted of teak, with long, sleek pulls and deep gray Caesarstone counters; and large-format gray tiles cover the walls.
The owners are able to telecommute from the island and stay in their recreation home as much as possible, no matter the weather.
The home sits on a hunk of rock jutting out into Swanson Channel. The designers were inspired by the lichen-covered rocks around the property, which include the occasional burst of orange, and the local fauna.
Photos: John Sinal Photography
This classic alpine home was designed as a getaway for a Florida couple and their family by Worth Interiors, located at Beaver Creek, in Avon, Colorado. The home is situated so perfectly that the couple can stand on their terrace and watch the skiers come down the slopes of the Beaver Creek Resort. In addition to their stellar views, they also enjoy the generous proportions of the rambling house that was previously remodeled by architect Eric Johnson. The house had a lot of dark wood, so in the brief the clients requested a design scheme that was lighter and brighter and more in keeping with who they are. They wanted to push the envelope and go as contemporary as they could within the building envelope. The designer employed unexpected materials such as grass cloth in the bathroom to embroidered vinyl in the guest room and a silver metallic sheen in the living room.
Also unexpected is the repeated use of cowhide the designer deftly employed with a modern twist. The living room is grounded with a patchwork cowhide rug, alder panels in the master suite’s sitting area were stained dark and fitted with brown cowhide inlays, and the bed is backed with white paneling filled with ivory cowhide. “When you go contemporary, you still have to be respectful of the location and the architecture,” states the designer of his innovative use of the iconic western material. “It also helps to have clients who are brave enough to try layers of dark and light woods, plaster, grass cloth and cowhide.”
“We salvaged a lot of the original building’s structural materials, popped it up and out in every direction and nearly doubled the square footage,” says Johnson, who also added more than 2,000 square feet of outdoor living areas. And according to builder Robert Kehr, those commodious rooms and outdoor spaces made a dramatic difference. “The house has three large suites all with spa bathrooms, and the master has a personal deck with a privacy fence and hot tub,” he says.
In the spacious living room of a Vail Valley home, the designer chose tactile materials that complement the wall’s stone detailing. A cowhide rug from Stark grounds a sitting area where a leather-covered Dunne daybed by Troscan Design Furnishings pairs with a custom tufted ottoman.
The designer gave the kitchen a contemporary feel by painting the island cabinetry black to play off the existing granite countertop and redid the perimeter counters in honed black granite. The Guy Chaddock hand-forged iron chandelier, which features natural burlap and leather lacing, was procured through Town.
Clean lines define the Ted Boerner dining table, purchased through Town, and Jiun Ho chairs, which are covered with durable Joseph Noble Great Fake leather. A Roll & Hill chandelier composed of 12 ceramic antlers lends a whimsical western accent.
The master suite’s sitting area is outfitted with a Kennedy sectional sofa by Edward Ferrell Lewis Mittman and a sturdy coffee table from Taracea. The Stark ikat rug, from Town, lends a punch of color and pattern to the space.
In the master bedroom, the headboard is upholstered with Joseph Noble fabric and stands against a wall custom paneled with hide, chrome and lacquer. The custom table is by Altura Furniture, and the Antoine Proulx chair combines a wood-and-copper frame with a metallic from Edelman Leather.
A lamp from Ralph Pucci International lights the Milo Baughman chairs and ottoman from Thayer Coggin that flank the master bedroom’s antique limestone fireplace. The linen drapes feature the same Romo fabric in two colors.
In the second master bath, an alder vanity topped with dark marble is paired with a chair from Arteriors Home. Crystal sconces by Barbara Barry for Kallista illuminate the Phillip Jeffries grass-cloth wallcovering.
In the game room, tufted patent- leather vinyl wraps around a bar, which is crowned with a glowing Caesarstone top from the Concetto Collection. Benches and bar stools from Four Hands offer comfortable seating.
Photos: Kimberly Gavin
Lake Tahoe Residence was designed by Chelsea Sachs Design for a couple living in San Francisco wishing to create an idyllic vacation retreat in the woods near Lake Tahoe, California. After years of looking for the perfect home, they decided that what they really wanted was to start from scratch and to find the perfect land, then to build on it. One day, they finally found it in a plot that backed up to a nature preserve and a beautiful, winding stream. The land was within walking distance to the lake and was nestled in a grove of beautiful pine trees. Designing this house from the ground up, my clients and I got to create and then to build the perfect vacation home for their family’s needs, and as a designer, I have never been more inspired or thrilled with the process and the result.
Elements: I believe that the most important material part of interior design is the floor — it is the base that supports the rest of the elements in the room. My clients felt strongly about having a dark floor and we sourced wide and beautiful oak planks from Restoration Timber in San Francisco. Next I came across a complementary stone called “Montana Moss Rock,” and once we had these two elements locked down, the rest of our design scheme came to life.
Approach: My clients wanted a modern home, but they also wanted a comfortable and warm mountain retreat. The intentional and edited application of barn wood paneling throughout the interior of the house achieved this affect. The wood came from dismantled barns in Indiana, and it made the home feel weathered and warm. We used it on the fireplace column, on a few ceilings, on the accent walls, and on the entire exterior of the house. We had a very rich palette already with the dark oak floors and wood panelling, so we designed our built ins throughout the house in a walnut that was only slightly stained to reveal the true nature of the wood. The result was a palette that was layered and rich but not overwhelming.
Materials: I then moved on to the tile selections which ranged from a soft and beautifully veined limestone in the kitchen, to a metallic ceramic in the foyer. I had Blue Slide Art Tile make a gorgeous clay tile for the kids’ bath. The master bath was designed as a wet room and has no shower enclosure. We used a beautiful ceramic recycled content tile in a large format from floor to ceiling on most of the walls. In the rest of the home, the drywall finish, wallpaper selections, concrete fireplace, floating staircase details, hardware, custom cabinetry, beam treatments and window valences were all painstakingly selected.
Details: My absolute favorite element of this job was the lighting selection. We used Mizu glass pendants by Terzani in the foyer to mimic the rippling water found in the creek behind the house. I then paired them with two Saggina chrome chandeliers over the dining room table which mimicked the tree branches outside.
Inspiration: Nothing inspired this work more than the natural beauty of the Lake Tahoe area and the land that we built upon. My clients wanted their home to look as if had organically grown up from the land. We found rock that looked like it had been quarried right out their front door, wood that appeared to have been split off the bark in the surrounding trees, and concrete that matched the rock boulders surrounding the lake.
Journey: Building on raw land takes patience and it provides you with a great education. What began as drawings and inspiration boards came to life over the course of two years. When I first set foot on this property, I walked with one of my clients down to the stream and we picked up rocks and bark and leaves that I then brought home with me and kept on my desk throughout the entire design phase to remind me of what mattered most: a design scheme that was in harmony with the natural environment.
Photos: Peter Medilek
Chalet Bolton-Est is a stunning two story contemporary vacation home project designed by Atelier BOOM TOWN, located in East Bolton, Quebec, Canada. The clients vision for the design of the home was abundant light, open space, a fluid inside-outside relationship, views, framing and integration of the pavilion into the landscape. All expressed in a simple means and forms. This young couple with two young boys had just purchased a beautiful property in the East Bolton area. The home consists of 1,600 square feet of living space with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, mud room, living room, kitchen, dining room. In the basement: a bedroom, a shower room, a game room (multi-function), and mechanical room.
Undergrowth inviting to walk, two small cabins cedar shingles, relics of the previous occupation, slightly sloping topography offering Western frank perspective on a nearby hill characterized the site. It remained to design the cottage for the family follower of outdoor activities in general and especially winter sports, cherished by many ski resorts nearby. Under these conditions, the “mud room” quickly became one of the architectural program elements around which the spaces are deployed to. Central, accessible through the main entrance as the service entrance, it is integrated into the flow of the cottage.
In our approach the cabin, the view against-diving offered the path to the building, the deployment of the two large roof that characterize the project. The large terrace bordering the south and west facades participates in its integration into the landscape. Large openings allow easy switching living spaces in open area (living room, dining room, kitchen) to the terrace.
A huge garden door 16 inches wide by over 9 feet high, allows free opening 8 feet overlooking the terrace and views of the hill to the west. When the season allows, the terrace becomes an extension of the chalet, an enlargement of the same stay in the scenery! The projection of the roof to control the south and west facades intake of sun in summer and, in turn, provides shelter against the elements in the climatic situations less lenient.
Upstairs genuine observation post on the landscape, is the master bedroom with a private bathroom and an adjacent workspace. This space reserved for parents is also designed in open area. A large balcony on the west facade provides a complete view of the field and observe the pond there, the two small huts, trails and undergrowth.
Photos: Courtesy of Atelier BOOM TOWN
Chalet Lac Champlain is a stunning cottage retreat designed by Atelier BOOM TOWN, located on the shores of Lake Champlain, a few meters from the US border, in the heart of Phillipsburg Bird Sanctuary, Quebec, Canada. The land consists of two plates separated by a steep cliff of more than 10 meters and a gently sloping lake access, a rare privilege in this sector. It offers a magnificent view to the west on this huge lake.
The three-storey cottage is part of the landscape in the manner of an observation post of the surrounding nature. Vertical circulation in the cottage overlooks both the cliff on which the building is almost lean, and on the lake, thinly veiled by trees with long trunks lining the shore. These parts are widely fenestrated.
Two large terraces on the upper levels of the south side, allowing occupants to inhabit the landscape and continue its contemplation. These terraces are fragmented volumes of the chalet already separated by slight shifts between the southern, northern and central (where the staircase is located). These sets of volume are also underlined by variations in color or set of wooden facade cladding.
Photos: Angus McRitchie
The Flight House is a modern interpretation of a mountain home designed by Sage Architecture, set in the Martis Camp development in the high Sierras of Truckee, California. The clients were long‐time lovers of modern architecture, with a particular affinity for mid-century modern design. This home was meant to be a place to get away from the city life, get back to nature, and “play together” as a family. The architects named the home, “Flight House” to reflect the concept of escape but also because of the curving roof lines.
This is not your typical log cabin. Nor is it your typical square edged box‐like modern house or “A” frame. Instead, the home is graced by two large arching wing‐shaped roofs to shelter the main living space and bedroom areas. The two wings of the home offer very different experiences with the surrounding environment. In the main living space, the great room is slab‐on‐grade with a polished concrete floor that extends to the outside and feels “grounded”.
The bedroom wing “takes flight” off the land – as the terrain gently slopes down, the building gradually steps up, culminating in a floating 3‐sided glass box in the master suite for a tree house experience. The entry to the home is defined by a third smaller curved roof structure, sheltering visitors and creating a softly defined separation between the outdoor courtyard space situated on the front, sunny exposure side of the home and the street beyond.
All the roof structures are created with huge curved glu‐lam beams. Because we place a large emphasis on passive solar design in our homes, the exterior gathering space wanted to be on the front side of the house to gain the best southern exposure. A deep overhang at the main gathering space creates a second protected outdoor gathering space, while shielding the home from the hotter summer sun.
In the winter, when the sun dips lower in the sky, the sun penetrates into the inner spaces and with the polished concrete floor acting as a heat sink, absorbs this natural heat to warm the space. Overall, the home is heated with energy efficient radiant flooring. And there is no air conditioning. Instead, windows are strategically placed to allow cross ventilation through spaces for natural breezes.
Inside the home, spaces are left clean and unadorned to emphasize the sweeping curve of the roof when possible. As visitors travel down the gallery hall to the main living space, a series of cedar‐clad boxes sit within the larger space where the glu‐lam beams rise above. In terms of materials, the exterior is clad in stained cedar siding and Corten steel.
An emphasis was placed on low maintenance materials. The roof is a combination of standing seamed metal roofing where visible, but the majority of the home’s roof is actually a single ply membrane “cool roof” for better energy efficiency in the warmer summer months.
We selected a muted natural palette for the interior spaces, using woods in their natural colorations with no tinting or stains. The floors in the elevated wing of the house are sustainably harvested teak. Walls and ceilings are clad in cedar. And all cabinetry throughout is walnut. Other wall surfaces were painted a crisp white to function as gallery space for our clients’ art collection.
Light fixtures and tile products were all selected and placed to emphasize the long horizontal lines of the building and to pick up the mid-century modern vibe our clients loved.
This home puts a modern twist on what a mountain home should be. We were fortunate to work with clients who could see the sculptural beauty in the design and wanted to create a piece of art in the forest. Flight House was the result of marrying modern design with a mountain environment, with a little drama thrown in for good measure.
Photos: Vance Fox Photography
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