As Hotel Designs begins to shine the spotlight on ‘hotel concepts’ this month, the editorial team have pulled together a handful of the most striking hotels from around the world…
The hotel design industry is overflowing with innovative drawings and exceptional design concepts that year after year complete to unveil buildings that further challenge conventional overnight accommodation. Whether it be in the lobby, the guestroom, the F&B areas or whole exterior shell of the property, leading designers get a thrill out of unveiling something that no guest – or architect – has ever seen, nor experienced, before. To kick-start this month’s Spotlight On feature on ‘hotel concepts’, Hotel Designs has scoured the globe to find the most eye-catching hotel designs.
Every year, when Sweden’s Torne River turns to ice, a new ICEHOTEL is created in the small village of Jukkasjärvi. The ice of the river transforms to design and sculpt the ICEHOTEL, an art project and the world’s first, and largest hotel built of snow and ice.
ICEHOTEL 365 is the latest concept to evolve. It’s a specially designed 2,100 square-metre ice art hall that is open 365 days of the year and run on solar power from the midnight sun. Working with Swedish architect and sustainability designer Hans Eek, ICEHOTEL 365 combines state-of-the-art architecture and sustainable energy with the ice art that draws winter visitors from more than 80 countries every year. This part of the hotel is a permanent construction and accommodates nice Deluxe Suites with private sauna (yes, a sauna in an ice hut), bathroom and relax, 11 Art Suites, an ice gallery and ICEBAR Jukkasjärvi; all hand carved by select artists from around the globe.
Taking an eco-friendly approach to design, Pisud Design Company utilised the natural surroundings when creating Keemala, Phuket. The result is a totally different hotel accommodation type for Phuket, Thailand and in fact the world. “The project has been designed to keep the original contour of the land as much as possible,” said designer Pisit Aongskultong, Design Director at Pisud Design Company. “We took inspiration from rocks, straw, clay and wood and didn’t feel it would be appropriate to build large buildings.”
Victoria Falls is known in local Zimbabwean Tonga as “The Smoke that Thunders”. It is a magnificent UNESCO world heritage site that is classified as the largest waterfall in the world.
44 km east, set on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river, is Matetsi Victoria Falls – a new luxury retreat that bravely pushes design boundaries in all aspects of its creation. At the heart of the property, the hotel’s villa and suites are canopied in the shade of large riverside trees. Matetsi River Lodge and Matetsi River House together aim to redefine luxury accommodation. Here, raw textures marry to chic interior design. Throughout the property, the theme of bringing the outdoors inside is a constant reference to the uniquely beautiful landscape that surrounds.
THE MURAKA is the first of its kind. More than just a luxury retreat with stunning rooms, it features the only hotel guestroom where guests can look out through a single window into an unobstructed, 180-degree panoramic view of coral and marine life, in natural surroundings. Mike Murphy was the engineer behind the largely ambitious project of creating the ultra-luxurious two-level residence that comprises of an above-sea residence and an undersea level, which is completely immersed in the ocean.
7) Four Seasons Bora Bora
Overwater bungalows and underwater adventures welcome guests at the sand-fringed idyll in the shadow of Bora Bora’s Mount Otemanu. Guests can toast sunsets from their private plunge pool, marvel at the Tahitian night sky, or simply lose themselves in the resort’s lagoon, where the waters teem with exotic reef fish and colourful corals.
The 727 Fuselage Home is said to be the most exclusive hotel suite in Costa Rica. Hotel Costa Verde has refurbished a vintage 1965 Boeing 727 airframe, which, in its prior life, shuttled globetrotters on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines (Colombia). This fully outfitted, meticulously detailed, two bedroom, Boeing 727 fuselage suite jets out from the jungle canopy, taking suite life to new heights. Why not?
Inspired by everyone’s favoutite British secret agent with a licence to kill, the James Bond Suite in Hotel Seven Paris in France offers all the class of 007, complete with a dome-like seating area lit with dramatic spotlights and wallpaper that reflects the iconic silhouette seen in each of the film’s opening sequence.
Main image credit: Natural Selection