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
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.
Segera Retreat is the new Wilderness Safari’s property set in a wildlife sanctuary on the Laikipia Plateau, Kenya, East Africa. The retreat consists of eight villas, five of which are raised on wooden decks comprising one bedroom with en-suite bathroom and have an outside deck. Beneath each Villa lies an outside lounge and comfortable swing-bed. As the name suggests, the property is a place to relax and unwind; there is a gym here, wellness center and a theater. There is also the largest private collection of African art in the world.
Six timber and thatch villas are raised above a carpet of botanical life in the Segera “Oasis” with its sculpture garden. Each has an elevated wooden platform, which looks out onto the surrounding savannah and swing beds below providing the perfect shaded place for some midday relaxation as well as for a night out under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of Africa. The gracious Segera House and perfectly positioned Villa Segera boast similarly spectacular views and even greater privacy and luxury. They run on solar energy and water is sustainably harvested and recycled. The villas gaze out over the Laikipia Plateau towards the spectacular Mount Kenya.
Within the privacy of the villas, a large bedroom and en-suite bathroom fill the upstairs space under timber trusses. A private sun deck in the garden offers comfortable sun loungers for soaking up the African sun, while a Jacuzzi bath, sunk into the deck outside the bedroom, offers a unique vantage point. Each villa includes in its décor original, individually selected paintings and other art from a range of Africa’s most inspiring artists.
Photos: Courtesy of Segera
Kilindi Zanzibar is a romantic hideaway surrounded by lush tropical gardens, enjoying a gorgeous secluded setting on the northern tip of Zanzibar, in East Africa. Designed by Neil Rocher in conjunction with some long-serving Tanzanian specialists, the luxurious open-plan design allows cool sea breezes to flow through the spacious summerhouse-style pavilions. Each stunning villa boasts an intimate domed bedchamber with stained glass skylight, two plunge pools linked by patio areas and a waterfall, and an excellent all-day butler service.
Each of the pavilions has been designed with careful thought, crafted to maximize the light and space, drawing the eye towards the impeccable views, rather than the knick-knacks inside. The domes have been designed to collect rainwater, the sleeping areas straddle its storage, and the pools circulate it. The retreat also uses solar power, a state-of-the-art water treatment plant that recycles waste water for re-use in the toilets and gardens. The resort also uses fresh locally grown produce and operates a profit share initiative with local community partners.
Rates from $585 per night, from here.
Relax on the quiet sandy beach or beside the infinity swimming pool and enjoy breathtaking views of Tumbatu Island and traditional wooden dhows bobbing in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Diving, snorkelling and dolphin-spotting trips can be arranged, as can excursions to the national parks and to Stonetown, around an hour’s drive away.
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.
Singita Boulders Lodge overlooks South Africa’s shallow Sand River in the middle of a 33,000 acre territory that boasts the highest concentration of wildlife in all of Kruger National Park. The luxury lodge offers twelve sumptuous, authentic and refined suites offer stunning views of the banks of the river Sand. Each boasts its own pool and private terrace, guaranteeing you total harmony with nature. You will quickly find that midday hours are best reserved for relaxing by the pool to beat the heat.
The Singita Sabi Sand Game Reserve is home to high concentrations of lions, rhino, buffalo, elephant, and leopard. You’ll get the chance to track them with knowledgeable guides in the mornings and evenings, when they’re most active. When you get back from your safari, you will find a delicious African inspired gourmet meal waiting for you to enjoy in the shade of centuries-old trees. The lodge also boasts Africa’s finest bush cellar where you can enjoy an exclusive wine tasting. The lodge even offers a fully equipped gym (with a full view of the savanna) and a diverse menu of spa treatments, including traditional African treatments and hot stone massages.
Nightly rates for this exclusive luxury lodge starting from USD $2,867, from here.