December 14, 2017
By Noelani Piters
REAL TRAVELS: 5 DREAMY GETAWAYS FOR THE DESIGN-OBSESSED
Have you ever jetted off to paradise and realized you never wanted to leave? Especially if you’ve just fallen in love with everything from the local culture to your hotel room’s almost-too-good-to-be-true decor? #Relatable. This time, however, we think we’ve come up with a pretty great solution so you don’t have to sacrifice the dream (or feel eternally homesick elsewhere).
Once your getaway has ended, get inspired by each hotel’s on-point architecture and enchanting design and nail the look at home with our picks. Read on for our guide to five aesthetically-pleasing vacation destinations and the pieces that will help you keep the getaway going just a bit longer.
The Opposite House | Beijing, China
Enter a world of modern Chinese elegance at The Opposite House. Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and named for a guest house which sits opposite a traditional courtyard-style home, The Opposite House is a place of contrasts. Kuma married customary Chinese and minimalist design elements to create a wholly original space that harnesses a vibrant yet subdued energy. Reflective walls and sky-high ceilings evoke a feeling of seamless tranquility. The hotel’s transcendent atrium also serves as a gallery, with a sculpture collection featuring ten contemporary Chinese artists and art installations that are updated regularly.
From the clean, Mondrian-esque lines to the sweeping city views to the rooms’ deep-soaking oak bathtubs, there’s little about The Opposite House that doesn’t embody luxury. After checking in, make your way to 798 Art Zone in the Dashanzi district, where an array of studios, boutiques, galleries, restaurants and more comprise a bustling artistic community. Looking for a taste of the traditional? Brave the culinary-obsessed crowds and dine at Chuan Ban for an authentic selection of spicy Sichuan dishes.
Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum | Tulum, Mexico
Nestled in the lush jungles of Mexico lies Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum, an ideal hideaway for those longing to travel back in time. The boutique hotel’s design is a fusion of mid-century modern and Miami Beach goodness. Vibrant teal and rich wood accents draw upon the Yucatán Peninsula’s coastal grandeur, complementing the architecture’s sleek Art Deco lines and the decor’s organic shapes. Each room is furnished with its own hammock for lounging, tiled floors in patterns of all kinds and a private terrace or balcony to soak up the surrounding natural beauty.
Whether you’re entranced by the ’50s-style aesthetic or its proximity to the ancient Mayan ruins overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Hotel Tiki Tiki Tulum is a perfect place to retreat to after adventuring throughout the area’s rich historical sites and exploring the local culture. Once you’ve toured the archaeological wonders, refresh mind, body and soul with a yoga class at Sanará, bum at the beach for an afternoon and venture outside of town to lunch at Chamicos for unparalleled ceviche.
Eden Locke | Edinburgh, Scotland
Pastels reminiscent of rainbow sherbet take center stage at Eden Locke, a former townhouse-turned-aparthotel located a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle. New York firm Grzywinski+Pons fused the building’s Georgian architecture with a luxe, minimal design scheme, creating an Instagram-worthy home away from home for the aesthetically-inclined. From the radiant touches of warm gold and poppy light fixtures to the quirky animal figurines and leafy potted plants, Eden Locke seems to have been created with a millennial eye in mind.
Prefer to stay close for the majority of your trip? Start your morning off right or wind down for the evening at Hyde & Son, the in-house café-by-day and bar-by-night featuring a selection of locally-made pastries and beers. And if the accommodations still aren’t enough to stimulate your creative side, stroll over to the post-modern Scottish Parliament Building and indulge in the arts at the National Galleries of Scotland.
Naka Phuket | Phuket, Thailand
At The Naka Phuket, nature is everything. In a green, ancient valley on Phuket’s west coast, outcroppings of stone and glass villas emerge from the hillside like natural phenomena. Architect Duangrit Bunnag worked to preserve the landscape as much as possible, designing around mature trees so that each unit remains secluded by both foliage and privacy walls. The hotel’s open-air pavilions and restaurants continue the unique panoramic experience, allowing visitors to recharge while contemplating the Andaman Sea.
Home to twenty-nine Buddhist temples (or wats), Phuket affords architectural enthusiasts numerous sight-seeing opportunities. Venture to Wat Chalong, the largest of Phuket’s temples, and marvel at the Grand Pagoda’s intricate wall paintings and gilded touches. And make sure to travel south to Nakkerd Hills, where the forty-five-foot Big Buddha statue overlooks the island. The colorful façades of Sino-Portuguese shophouses on Soi Romanee — a short street in a former red-light district — are worth a trip to Phuket Old Town, and once you’re there stick around for spicy prawns, caramelized pork belly and crabmeat curry with rice vermicelli at Raya Restaurant.
The Warehouse Hotel | Robertson Quay, Singapore
Built in 1895 on the banks of the Singapore River, The Warehouse Hotel is a heritage building that bridges the gap between old and new. Design firm Asylum restored the 19th-century godown by envisioning a streamlined neoclassical exterior. Inside, a wheel-and-pulley-accented light fixture illuminates a spacious lobby and pays tribute to its former role as an industrial structure. Warm copper accents, dynamic textures and the building’s triple-pitched roof make each room exceptional in its own way.
Though the area was once host to a slew of secret societies and illicit establishments, The Warehouse Hotel now occupies a popular nightlife district. Dine in at Pó, a stylish and refined restaurant that offers a selection of updated Singaporean classics, or cross the river for a romantic evening of oysters and wine at Verre. If you’re into something a little stronger, La Maison Du Whisky offers craft cocktails and a cozy, inviting atmosphere. And before you depart, engage in more spiritual pursuits at the Hong San See, a Chinese temple dedicated to the God of Fortune.