Saffire Freycinet, Australia
Perched on Coles Bay overlooking the heart-achingly beautiful Freycinet Peninsula on Tasmania’s east coast, Saffire Freycinet rightly takes its design cues from the surrounding sea. Hobart based Circa Morris Nunn Architects took the jaw-dropping natural landscapes and channeled them into the resort’s construction, referencing sea creatures, sand dunes, and ocean waves in various architectural forms, most successfully in the wave-like roof of the main building crafted from curved Tasmanian wood beams. Inside, the 20 suites and private pavilions, day spa, restaurant and lounge are designed to maximize the views of the ocean and The Hazards, a spectacular rock formation which rises dramatically over the bay, saffire-freycinet.com.au.
The Singular Patagonia, Chile
With a nod to its century-old history and a glance toward modern luxury, The Singular Patagonia in Puerto Natales is a blend of minimalist chic and classic European style. Built in 1915 as a cold-storage plant to service Chile’s sheep farming industry, the old industrial structure was cleverly transformed into a cool, cutting-edge luxe hotel by Chilean architect Pedro Kovacic. Today, The Singular has 54 guest rooms and three suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the fjords and snowcapped peaks of Patagonia. The former tannery is now the dining room and bar, while the reception area is in the old engine room, thesingular.com.
Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
One of only four luxury resorts in the exquisite Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is as secluded and exclusive as you can get. The vision of Singapore based SCDA Architects, the design is modern and minimalist with extensive use of natural and organic materials such as coconut and local hardwoods. The imposing and eye-catching dhoni-style lounge took four months to build and is an icon of the resort. An hour by air from the capital Malé, Park Hyatt Maldives offers 50 luxurious villas, including 14 Park Water Villas perched above the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, two gourmet restaurants, and the excellent Vidhun Spa, maldives.hadahaa.park.hyatt.com.
Casa De La Flora, Thailand
A visually striking yet understated beachfront resort, Casa de la Flora is perched on the shores of the Andaman Sea in Khao Lak, about 500 miles south of Bangkok. Architects Vasu Virajsilp and Boonlert Deeyuen, founders of VaSLab Architects, wanted to construct their vision of “Brutalism”—a concept from the modernist architectural movement—fusing concrete and other raw building materials with the natural tropical setting and blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. One of Thailand’s on-trend Design Hotels, the resort has 36 pod-like suites, all with private pools and patios or balconies, along with an infinity-edge pool, Spa La Casa, and La Aranya restaurant, designhotels.com.
SLS Hotel South Beach, Miami
Miami’s South Beach scene is a dizzying array of sexy, design-driven hotels, but the new SLS Hotel South Beach sets itself apart from the rest. An Art Deco inspired sanctuary of sophistication and playfulness, this 140-room boutique hotel on Collins Avenue takes guests on a fabulous journey through Miami, Latin America, the Mediterranean, and Asia with its eclectic interior design aesthetic. The vision of creative titans Sam Nazarian, Philippe Starck, and Lenny Kravitz, the hotel’s highlights include 10 poolside bungalow suites and Hyde Beach, a red-hot beach, pool and cocktails space, slshotels.com/southbeach.
Chewton Glen, England
A quintessential country house hotel and spa in Hampshire’s leafy New Forest, a stone’s throw from the English Channel, the lovely Chewton Glen has, quite literally, taken to the trees. Six spectacular new Tree Houses, positioned a short distance from the main house, offer lofty, secluded perches in a total of 12 suites. Crafted by top British interior designer Martin Hulbert, the tree houses sit above the ground on reinforced stilts and are eye-level with the tops of sycamores, beech, oak, and other native trees. Inside, guests are treated to nature views through floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as wood-burning stoves, and private balconies with hot tubs, chewtonglen.com.