From Namibia to Malibu, St. Moritz to Botswana, London and more, here are hotels around the globe with eclectic and innovative designs.
Designed to mimic the 20th century eerie shipwrecks that dot the Namibia’s Skeleton Coast National Park, Natural Selection’s Shipwreck Lodge is one of the most dramatic and architecturally interesting lodges in Africa. In fact, the architecture and design of this lodge was inspired by the remains of real shipwrecks that line the coast within the national park. The property is located within Skelton Coast National Park and sits on a raw and rugged slice of African wilderness, where the towering sand dunes and wind-swept plains roll up and down the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The otherworldly geography of the Skeleton Coast stays relatively cool throughout the year due to the fog from the ocean and creates a setting that is both mysterious and haunting. As such, Shipwreck Lodge was designed to provide respite from the climate conditions outside with interiors that are soulful, calming and extremely cozy for guests. The guest cabins are a sumptuous retreat from the harsh environment, complete with thick, faux fur blankets, hot water bottles and wood-burning stoves to ward off the morning and evening chill from the Atlantic.
Natural Selection’s SkyBeds are three story-raised platforms that resemble stand-alone tree houses overlooking the wild, located deep within the Khwai Private Reserve in Botswana. They are rustic, chic, simple and truly a one-of-a-kind travel experience. In SkyBeds, sleeping at night is directly beneath the twinkling skies blanketed with stars. And during a full moon, it can be almost as bright as daylight.The top (third) story of the SkyBed is where the bed is located, either under open skies or a mosquito net. The second story/midlevel of the structure is an enclosed bathroom with a flush toilet and a hand basin - so guests do not need to go to the ground level where wildlife wanders. While the design of the SkyBeds are rustic and stylish, the true luxury is within the unique experience of staying here.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge
Singita Kwitonda Lodge, named after a legendary silverback gorilla known for his humility and gentle nature, is made up of a collection of small buildings laid out along the natural contours of the ground. The design and construction of the lodge and villa followed Singita’s stringent sustainability principles which informed everything from site design and materials used to energy and water systems and interior design. The design team worked tirelessly with the local community to source most building materials in the immediate Musanze district, and a majority of the elements selected by interior designers, Cécile & Boyd and Hesse Kleinloog (HK) Studio, are made in Africa. Conceptualized by GAPP Architects in collaboration with the interior design teams, the design takes its cue from Rwanda’s cultural heritage and the enormous responsibility of protecting the strong, yet vulnerable gorillas. Bold, striking interiors, which are simultaneously nurturing, reflect the duality of the gorillas’ nature; and this is also seen in the interplay of surprisingly strong art and furniture with pared-back modernity.
Designed to highlight the dramatic views the Kalahari’s dramatic and expansive views, the luxurious residences at Tswalu provide exclusivity, privacy, and unfettered access to one ofsouthern Africa’s last true wildernesses. Constructed from all organic materials the nine houses at Motse and the private residence at Tarkuni offer guests world-class luxury. The interior spaces blend seamlessly into the exquisite natural environment and are designed to maximize panoramic views. Design elements are thoughtful to the last detail, like “mapped” canopies and netted headboards. The luxurious suites offer close-to-nature sleep-out experiences for guests who seek a more complete immersion in the environment.
The Academy Hotel
YTL Hotels’ The Academy Hotel, designed by New York-based Champalimaud, is a collectionof five Georgian townhouses combined into one charming hotel. Taking inspiration fromthe Bloomsbury Set, the remodeled interior was designed to reflect the casual exuberanceand style of the influential group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists in the early 20th century. The Academy’s stunning Bloomsbury suites blend traditional, timeless glamour with a modern, city style twist. The suites’ elegant interiors and luxurious amenities feature a marble en-suite shower room, bespoke furniture, and a generous seating area with a sofa bed.
THIRDHOME “Malibu Wing House”
Available to rent through luxury travel club THIRDHOME, Rehwald’s famous “Malibu Wing House” has won numerous awards for its unique and innovative design.The eco-friendly home is made almost entirely out of the recycled parts of a 747 Boeing plane- the aluminum airplane wings make up the roof and ceiling, while the other 4.7 million parts were repurposed for the rest of the house. The entire 747 was used to construct the residence, with the materials coming from 100% post-consumer waste. Additionally, solar power, radiant heating and natural ventilation are incorporated throughout, as well as high performance heat mirror glazing. Both wings are held up by four large mounts, which allows the outside walls of the building to be made of highly efficient self-supporting glass instead of wood, which in turn maximizes solar gain for heating and allows the entire building to be opened to the outside. This helps keep the home cool in the summers and minimizes the need for artificial light.
Carlton Hotel St. Moritz
The Carlton Hotel St. Moritz is an all suite hotel featuring 60 lake-facing suites and a 4,155 square foot Carlton Penthouse. Situated in St. Moritz, one of the most well known ski resorts in the world, the Carlton Hotel is a classic example of the destination’s renowned elegance and exclusivity. Rumored to once be the summer home of a Russian Tsar, the 103-year-old property suggests truth to the rumors as a collection of traditional Russian fabrics were found in the attic during the hotel’s 2007 refurbishment and served as the inspiration behind each individual suite, making no two suites the same.
When redesigning the interior, Swiss designer Carlo Rampazzi kept the prestige and privacy of St. Moritz in mind as the winding hallways are specifically designed so no two guests in the same hallway are able to see one another. From shattered china to table legs, Carlo made it a point to salvage as much as he could when redesigning this ornate property, as well as add opulent details such as Berluti leather doors, Murano glass mirrors, and Parisian subway tiles and billboard frames.