7 Unique Hotels Around the World
7 Unique Hotels Around the World
Hotel Designs That Surprise and Delight
Forget the columned entryway, the stately pillars and the rooftop pool. These hotels are twisting and turning, curving and swerving everything we’ve come to expect from traditional architecture. The result? A series of mind-bending design experiences which promise to make your next trip a memorable one.
Magic Mountain Hotel, Chile
Thanks to its volcano-like shape and flora-covered exterior, the Magic Mountain Hotel is virtually camouflaged in Patagonia’s Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve, a 247,000 acre private nature retreat offering visitors adventurous outdoor activities and pristine wilderness in the Chilean Andes. The hotel’s distinctive fairytale feel continues indoors, where nine rooms are clad in blonde wood with beamed ceilings and rustic furnishings. Cozy up in an armchair next to the window and listen for the sound of rushing water; Magic Mountain has its own waterfall which spouts from the top of the building and cascades to the forest floor.
Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia
Shipwreck Lodge offers an intriguing architectural addition to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. These desolate, windswept beaches face notoriously difficult-to-navigate seas, which have historically led to more than 1,000 shipwrecks in the area. Today, that legacy has inspired a series of 20 luxury lodges, with whale-bone-like beams curving around each of the angled structures. Each cabin overlooks the rugged Atlantic coastline, while within, wood-burning stoves and plush bedding keep things cozy. The hotel is located within the Skeleton Coast National Park, where inland riverbeds attract lions, giraffes and black rhinoceros.
Juvet Landscape Hotel, Norway
Juvet Landscape Hotel lets Norway’s awe-inducing vistas take center stage. Situated in a remote village of Valdal, an hour from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Geirangerfjord, the hotel is designed to seamlessly integrate with its natural surroundings without imposing on them. In the award-winning cube-shaped Landscape Rooms, guests can soak up views of the valley and roaring river below via floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Each room, which hovers above the forest floor on stilts, is oriented slightly differently, offering a unique snapshot of the seasonally-evolving landscape along with complete privacy.
TheKRANE elevates the hotel experience to a new level of post-industrial cool. This former coal crane in Copenhagen’s booming North Harbour has been transformed into a one-room, charcoal-hued retreat, complete with ground floor reception area, glass-enclosed meeting room and top floor penthouse with wrap-around harbor views. There's even a spa offering on-theme charcoal facials, twin soaking tubs and floor-to-ceiling glass walls looking onto the sea.
Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Spain
Among the rolling hills and medieval villages of Spain’s Basque Country, the Hotel Marqués de Riscal looks as if it’s beamed in from another dimension. An attention-demanding metallic ribboned roof, slanted walls and cathedral-height ceilings bear the telltale stamp of the building’s designer, famed architect Frank Gehry, and create the impression you’re staying inside a giant art installation. Besides its inimitable design, the hotel is also renowned for being the oldest vineyard in the Rioja-making region of Spain, a legacy that lives on via a food and wine program overseen by Michelin-starred Chef Francis Paniego, vineyard tours and grape-themed treatments at the hotel’s SPA Vinothérapie®.
Kosmos, South Korea
Known for its spectacular scenery, South Korea’s Ulleungdo island boasts jagged mountains, untamed seas and dramatic cliffs — and is now home to a hotel worthy of its improbable topography. Kosmos hugs its cliffside perch with exaggerated curves, its stark white walls a contrast to its forest context. Architect Kim Chan Jung says he conceived the space as a “celestial tool that can contemplate and feel the natural phenomenon of the universe and the Earth.” It's from this magnificent location that former El Bulli chef Sunjin Hwang makes her culinary magic happen, with creations that include lots of local ingredients (cuttlefish, shrimp, beef) that are elevated El Bulli-style to works of art.
Situated in the tiny Swedish town of Harads, on the banks of the Lule River, the Treehotel aims to help guests destress and immerse themselves in nature. Eight unique “treerooms” designed by Scandinavia's leading architects are suspended 4-6 meters above the forest floor, each offering a different aesthetic experience and perspective of its natural surroundings. Pick from rooms including the Biosphere (which is covered in 350 bird boxes to support the local bird population), The Mirrorcube (a square structure with mirrored glass walls that blend into the trees), and the UFO (an unexpectedly conspicuous alien spacecraft with room for five guests).