Casa de La Flora is a modern beachfront resort designed by VaSLab Architecture, located along a palm tree lined beach in Khao Lak, Phangnga, Thailand. The latest member of Design Hotel in Thailand, the resort was commissioned in 2008 by one of Thailand’s leading businessmen Sompong Dowpiset. There are 36 cube-shaped villas aimed to serve as a new high profile yet humble destination hotel in this beautiful town of southern Thailand.
The brief given to the architect is a unique resort that consists of a series of pool villas with maximum ocean views. Facilities such as a reception lounge, swimming pool, pool bar, beachfront restaurant, spa, fitness, and library are the must-have programs in this hotel. The owner challenged the architect to create a a bold look of architecture but one that yields to warmth and nature after its implied name, “flora.”
VaSLab’s metaphorical design takes on the act of “arising flora,” where each concrete versus wood villa reflects as a flora form, emerges from the ground, and blooms to reach the daylight. Deviated walls and tilted roofs are characterized throughout the series of 36 cubic-form villas, where these tapered elements do not only recall the act of arising flora but widen the rooms’ perspective frames when looking outward to the sea.
The continuity of these lines can also be seen in the interior space and interior elements such as built-in beds, coffee tables, and built-in cabinets. Custom-made furniture designed by Anon Pairot Design Studio carries this thematic design, as some of them represent the organic form of a flora. The same concept is carried throughout the landscape and hardscape work from talented designer T.R.O.P., who extends the lines of architecture into a set of charming pathways, pavement blocks, and green walls as they act like the architecture’s root, stem, and branches. APLD, the lighting designer, abstractly sets the resort’s lighting to provoke the main architectural elements; deviated walls and tilted roofs, as if the villa cubes are arising above the ground.
Its glass-fronted villas have clean interiors featuring concrete surfaces, natural stone walls, and wooden floors/ ceilings. Ten units stand directly to the beach, with maximum sea views, and all come with private pools, 24-hour butler service, and the latest in-room entertainment. Eco-friendly credentials come in the form of an ozone (low-chemical) purification system for the swimming pools and wastewater and rainwater recycling.
Photos: Courtesy of VaSLab Architecture
With a crisp, modern aesthetic and stunning seaside location, Golden Rays Villa is a luxury resort situated in the town of Primošten, in Croatia. Golden Rays Villa 3 offers a spacious interior comprised of 3,595 square feet of living space with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. This high-end, Croatian retreat offers beautiful Adriatic vistas, luxurious amenities and sleek decor designed to complement the rugged Mediterranean landscape.
While drifting along the Adriatic shoreline, one can immediately identify the angular, yet harmonious, villas of Golden Rays. The distinctive resort boasts rectangular holiday homes and terraces and unparalleled views of the sparkling bay. These unique, architectural features also ensure each guest has ample access to the salty air and sunshine – not to mention peace and privacy.
These exclusive 370 square meters (3,983 square foot) villas are ideal for romantic escapes and refined getaways. Each private unit spans three levels that tumble gracefully down the hillside, and offers a spacious, sun-soaked open floor plan. Both three and four bedroom options are available, and all villas include partially-sheltered pools.
The resort’s modern, fully equipped kitchens cater well to traveling gourmets, while the comfortable and stylish dining areas are excellent for hosting intimate gatherings and celebrations. Additionally, guests can indulge and relax in the steamy private sauna, or work up a sweat their very own open air fitness area. In the evenings, Golden Rays’ picturesque terraces are a perfect place to enjoy an inspiring Mediterranean sunset and a glass of the renowned – and locally produced – Babic wine.
Aesthetically, Golden Rays is a welcome respite from the many uninspired hotels and resorts that dot the Croatian coastline. Rather than overpower the cliffside and detract from the area’s distinct natural beauty, architects opted for environmental harmony and hand selected design elements.
Each of the seven villas features a green roof and lush atrium garden, which allows the spacious, multi-tiered retreat to blend more seamlessly into the local flora. The villas are also partially constructed into the hillside and designers were careful to ensure each unit’s two-car garage became an interesting design element, rather than the typical aesthetic dead space.
The villas’ expansive picture windows also help diminish the separation between nature and living space, and allow the rugged and rocky landscape to become part of the greater decor. Even the furnishings are reminiscent of Golden Rays’ surroundings. Rich designer pieces in natural fabrics and textures emulate the outdoor environment, while the classic, earthy tones, crisp white walls and natural wood floors contrast beautifully against the seascape. Additionally, the floating staircases, engaging art pieces and interesting architectural accents come together to create a fashionable, yet relaxing, Croatian retreat.
Golden Rays may cater to a chic and design-savvy clientele, but the top shelf treatment doesn’t stop at stunning views and sleek decor. Thanks to a well-trained and dedicated staff, guests rarely lift a finger. Butlers and private chefs are available, and all villas are maintained by a discreet cleaning staff. Qualified local guides are also on call for various excursions and adventures. Plus, thanks to a lovely seaside walkway, guests can access the sand and surf in moments.
To better experience nearby villages such as Primosten and Kemik Marina, guests can continue down the scenic walkway or hire a car. These colorful Mediterranean hamlets offer charming shops, delicious local dining, tourism offices and many historical points of interest. The area is also well known for its myriad diving spots and wide variety of watersports.
From the gorgeous surroundings to expertly designed interiors, Golden Rays is truly a stunning destination. Boasting peaceful, sun-filled escapes to design-centric adventures, this exclusive Croatian resort is sure to leave guests dreaming of blue skies, blue seas and world class luxury.
Golden Rays provides the perfect luxury base while you explore the best of Primosten and the Croatian coast.
The Retreat Selous is an all-suite tented lodge, an enchanting refuge situated in wild bush on the banks of the Ruaha River, Tanzania. Your suite is one of just twelve in this remote haven in the Northern Selous. As the largest protected wildlife sanctuary in Africa, The Selous Game Reserve is often described as a place where one will find the most pristine wilderness – one of the “secrets of Africa” indeed. The Retreat Selous has been built into pristine land, untouched for centuries far away from anybody else. A mystical and historical spot where the journey to experience the power of the African nature and undisturbed behavior of wildlife roaming freely around you is getting a new dimension.
The main house, ‘The Fort’ is perfectly positioned on the site of a former military observation point from World War 1 and provides guests with a direct 360 degree panoramic view over the Ruaha river and untouched plains. The beautiful tented suites are mounted on raised teak wood platforms and each comes with its own private deck and outdoor bath and chill out area allowing you to savour your own experience of the surrounding wilderness. The canvas interiors are handmade to reflect the stars of the African sky and are complimented with African antiques and local handcrafted materials.
To stay at this incredible retreat, nightly rates start from $695, from here.
The Retreat offers four different styles of accommodation. Twelve spaciously 100–220 square meters, more than six meter high tented suites under palm thatched roofs with expansive distance between each suite have been constructed in three independent units to correspond with the surrounding habitat, whilst guaranteeing privacy and romance.
Each suite has its own private outdoor deck with a stunning signature outdoor antique copper, brass or silver bathtub. Ethnic elements, bespoke furnishings, African antiques, natural materials and precious stones have been blended to create a unique sense of comfort and natural luxury using principles of Feng Shui and the Five Elements in materials and interior design.
Guests have a choice of Eagle Hill Suites with breathtaking views, the River Suites which are situated beside the river bank and come complete with their own private plunge pool or the Lion River Suite which is larger with an additional tent and ideal for families or honeymooners.
Guests at the lodge can enjoy a refreshing cocktail at the river bar while watching the sun set then dine by the breathtaking infinity pool or on one of the towers overlooking the Selous.
Leobo Private Reserve ultra-cool luxury villa surrounded by 12,000 acres of pristine African wilderness in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. Unlike any other game lodge, the villa is only available on an exclusive use basis, totally private and yours to enjoy. The main house is simply stunning. Designed by award winning architects Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, this private house is state of the art and even has a fully automated research-grade observatory tower to view the night sky in world class conditions.
There is a full team of staff to make your stay one of complete luxury and relaxation, including butlers and a talented private chef. The house will take your breath away, but the real star of the show is the 12,000 acre private game reserve / playground on your doorstep. The Leobo Private Reserve is fantastically well equipped for fun – there are quad bikes, dirt buggies, horses, mountain bikes, motor bikes, helicopters, clay shooting, fishing and more, all to use at your leisure, with no rules or time constraints.
See the abundance of wild game on horseback, quad or from the comfort of a Land Cruiser, all with the commentary of an expert. The experienced bush guides can take you animal tracking and show you the wonders of nature on the reserve. Forget timetabled game-drives. Here it’s just you and the bush (with of course the team of experienced staff) so you can do what you like, when you like.
Sleeping six, rates at Leobo Private Reserve range from $28,803 to $70,078, from here.
Four Floors consists of four couture apartments dispersed over four floors of an historic 19th century stone Galata building that was immaculately restored in Istanbul, Turkey. The contemporary renovation was carried out by it’s owner and designer Sema Topaloğlu, one of Istanbul’s most original designers, and her team of furniture designers and craftsmen. Inspiration for this small and sleek boutique hotel came from the historic culture of Istanbul and the deep-rooted Istanbul traditions of handcraft. The spacious interiors of the 4 Floors contains furniture from Topaloğlu’s own unique collections and other leading contemporary designers such as Marc Newson, Ingo Maurer and Marcel Wanders. These stylish interiors feature sweeping views of Istanbul, combining the new and old to dramatic affect that represents the new contemporary culture of Istanbul.
Features includes a peaceful environment within the busy city is created by the personalized service of Murat Topaloğlu. Spacious rooms with high ceilings and panoramic views of the famous skyline and Bosphorus, unique design and furniture by Sema Topaloğlu Studio, contemporary amenities including fully outfitted kitchens, music players, high-speed internet, in-room coffee makers and selected international and Istanbul magazines. The top floor Penthouse features executive accommodation provides striking views across the Sea of Marmara framing the old Istanbul from atop the living loft and terrace.
Photos: Courtesy of Four Floors Istanbul
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.
Ufogel is the ultimate vacation getaway, a comfortably appointed compact house made almost entirely of larch wood in the village of Nußdorf in the East Tyrolean region of Austria. The structure takes its name from its form which sometimes bears resemblance to a prehistoric bird and sometimes to an extraterrestrial home, but is always something special. It’s certainly not a standard, off-the-peg house but more of a sculpture to live in, which reveals itself to be a “spatial wonder” the minute you walk through the door. The home is comprised of 484 square feet (45 square meters) of multi- functional living space, comfortably appointed with a kitchen unit, bathroom and designer shower.
Large panorama windows bring nature indoors to you, while the curved timber structure covered with traditional shingles creates a feeling of warmth and security. Whether you sit, lie, shower or share a meal, two things are always present in an Ufogel: wood and the heavens. The Ufogel offers both openness and a sense of security. The large panorama windows bring the landscape indoors giving you the feeling you are still outside while the round shell conveys a cozy, woody feeling of security. This makes the Ufogel a refuge full of warmth and rustic character where you will sleep soundly with the feeling you have returned to the origins of the home.
Want to take a vacation getaway to this unique home? Rates start at $161 for two people, per night, from here.
Photos: Courtesy of Ufogel
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
Chalet Pearl has an enviable combination where fantastic location meets jaw-dropping views across the Dent du Villard in the exclusive Nogentil area above central Courchevel 1850, France. This chalet sets the benchmark for service and style with glamorous interiors, exceptionally experienced staff and a private spa that wouldn’t look out of place in a top caliber hotel. After undergoing a €1,000,000 renovation, the chalet offers some 8,611 square feet (800 square meters), built without compromise, every detail is of the highest standard. Constructed from reclaimed old timber and local stone, with beautifully crafted wooden detailing, Chalet Pearl oozes charm. The interiors feature contemporary pieces with traditional Alpine style.
The top floor is dedicated to the living area with a spacious lounge, dining area and bar, perfect for entertaining large groups. There is a fully equipped kitchen where your private chef will prepare breakfast each morning and a mouth-watering dinner in the evenings. The beautiful chalet has 7 en suite bedrooms sleeping up to 14 guests in extreme luxury and includes a large master bedroom suite with jacuzzi tub. Chalet Pearl’s party piece is perhaps its spectacular indoor swimming pool and spa area downstairs. Complete with waterfall and loungers, this is a perfect place to stretch tired limbs and recuperate mind, body and spirit. The chalet also has its own massage therapist and treatment expert who can work wonders, so you can treat yourself to pre-ski, deep tissue or relaxing massages or aroma therapy treatments when the mood takes.
When you feel like kicking back and taking it easy you won’t be short of options. The top of the range chalet is equipped with the latest state of the art technology : BOSE music system, LCD screens and DVD players in each bedroom as well as the main living area. In addition, Chalet Pearl boasts its own bar, a dedicated games room and a state-of-the-art cinema comfortably seating 15 people for movie nights in front of the big screen.
To stay at this exceptional chalet, prices are start at $143,595 per week, from here.
In the living room the huge comfy sofas in front of the stone open fireplace offer sumptuous sanctuary after a long day on the mountain.
Salt House Inn is a fresh and contemporary bed and breakfast situated in the historic Cape Cod Village of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Each of the fifteen guestrooms has been individually designed to evoke the feeling of a breezy beach cottage and capture the history and charm of this seaside destination located at the tip of Cape Cod. Located in a charming 19th century building, which once was comprised of cottages for salt mine workers and then grew into a guesthouse that most recently operated as Dexter’s Inn, the B & B has been completely overhauled by two big names in the hotel world — C.O.O. of André Balazs Properties David Bowd and Starwood Hotels interior designer Kevin O’Shea.
The pair had been vacationing in Provincetown for several years and noticed that there was a void for stylish, yet affordable accommodations. “It is with this mindset that we created Salt House Inn; a property that bridges its historic setting with modern amenities and chic decor,” said David Bowd, Co-Owner, Salt House Inn. With their own personal travel experiences used as a guide, they focused on what amenities travelers value, custom mattresses, luxurious bedding, amazing showers. Service was combined with intimate surrounding, creating a unique concept, eliminating traditional hotel rules, such as set check-in times.
The focal point of the mainly white guest rooms are the signature “wall of curiosities” that feature curated collections of vintage art and found objects reflecting the flavor and heritage of the region. All rooms offer spacious bathrooms with spa-like elements such as walk-in showers and rain showerheads, as well as natural bath products from C.O. Bigelow and the LA-based, all natural and sustainable Further brand. For those wanting the ultimate in secluded luxury, the generously-sized Loft Suite with soaring vaulted ceilings, offers a relaxed sitting area and a claw foot tub at the foot of the plush king bed. The newly landscaped grounds offer al fresco dining, an outdoor lounge, and a large second floor sun terrace.
Breakfast, included in the reasonable room rate, offers homemade granola as well as muffins and pastries baked on the premises, rates starting at $150, from here.
Photos: Courtesy of Salt House Inn