With the recent announcement that award-winning African architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré, is behind this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, we have been inspired to curated an edit of our favourite, most architecturally impressive hotels from across the globe.
From showcasing the breathtaking natural landscape of New Zealand to reaching new heights and carving a South African skyline – look no further than these striking designs.
The Retreat, Iceland
Seemingly afloat in Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon, The Retreat will be the first luxury hotel of its kind to open in this incredible 800-year-old setting. The angular, futuristic design is set amongst volcanic lava fields and geothermal water in the pure heart of the Icelandic landscape. The Retreat is set to open in Autumn 2017. bluelagoon.com
The Temple House, Chengdu
The Temple House is a vision of traditional Chinese design seen through a contemporary lens. Part of the Swire Hotels collection, The Temple House joins The Opposite House in Beijing and The Upper House in Hong Kong as mavericks of Asian architectural splendour. With a Qing Dynasty courtyard house centrally incorporated into the design, bronze detailing is woven into the brickwork, emulating Chengdu’s renowned Shu brocade and embroidery. The Temple House plays on the senses of sight and sound to provide an urban experience like no other. thetemplehousehotel.com
The Silo, Cape Town
A much anticipated opening in the heart of Cape Town, Thomas Heatherwick’s bold design delivers a unique perspective on one of our favourite cities. The Silo is a wholly-transformed historic grain silo set in the V&A Waterfront, whose unconventional design breathes out over the city. The natural wonders of Cape Town are laid before you in this towering, illuminated structure which will also soon be home to Zeitz MOCAA – the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art. Within, once again master hotelier Liz Biden has waved her wand on magical South Africa. theroyalportfolio.com
Amanyara, Turks & Caicos Islands
Caribbean islands are famed for their beautiful beaches, calm waters and laid back vibes; but set on a hidden corner of the island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos lies a serene retreat like no other. Adding to Amanyara's superb setting in an unspoilt nature reserve, the cleverly positioned pavilions and private villas – designed by renowned architect Jean-Michel Gathy – makes this one of the most peaceful places in both name and nature. aman.com
Alan Faena proclaimed, "It is the future. A unique utopian city for the mind that thinks in 360 degrees". He wasn't wrong. Featuring an almighty Damien Hirst gilded woolly mammoth skeleton, Faena’s cube-like white artifice is topped with a glazed eye set into its domed ceiling. With plenty of flair from the eccentric director, Baz Luhrmann, and costume designer, Catherine Martin, a stay at the Faena is akin to stepping into a film set. Think outlandish lashings of colour with Juan Gatti’s exotic murals adorning the walls – every detail is dramatically pronounced. faena.com
The Beaumont, London
The Beaumont itself is a site of art-deco inspiration, however, award-winning British sculptor Antony Gormley has managed to take things one step further with his creation, "Room". Guests in this unique suite find themselves inside a monumental sculpture that emerges from The Beaumont’s facade in Central London. Within, Gormley has used the "chiaroscuro" technique – the contrast of light and shadow – to achieve a surreal effect. The bedroom which is led to by white marble steps reveals a dark, fumed-oak room furnished only with a king-size bed. Gormley set out to "sculpt darkness" and here his interaction with the intangible curates an intriguing, dream-like experience, hidden away from the buzzing city below. thebeaumont.com
Annandale's Seascape Villa, New Zealand
Tucked away in a secret South Island cove, only accessible by off-road vehicle or helicopter, the Seascape Villa is the crown in the jewel of Annandale's private estate. Set beside the bay Seascape is the perfect luxury retreat – a place to escape from it all and feel immersed in an unspoilt landscape. Here, nature is the ultimate backdrop; panoramic views of the Rocky Spires and a private beach are complimented by the minimalist geometry of Seascape. annandale.com
Amangiri or “peaceful mountain” is a complete world away for its guests. Emerging from the vast desert backdrop of southern Utah, the central pavilion is designed to showcase dramatic views of the surreal rock formations by which you are surrounded. Designed to blend into the landscape with natural hues and textures, Amangiri is testament to the genius of its architects: Marwan Al-Sayed, Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy. Although the resort is equally as impressive as its natural surrounds, Amangiri also offers an intimate setting to be awe-inspired by the wild North American landscape.
The Serpentine Gallery, London
Drawing on inspiration from the central meeting point around a tree in his home town of Gando, Burkina Faso, Francis Kéré's design also embraces the British climate meaning there is a central oculus to funnel out rainfall and create a spectacular waterfall effect. Here, nature and human design embrace each other to produce a sense of togetherness through the tropes of light and life. The Serpentine Pavilion will be in situ on the lawns of Kensington Gardens from 23 June to 8 October 2017. serpentinegalleries.org
Get up close and personal with star-chitect Jean-Michel Gathy for his take on daring design and hippos surfing in Gabon in The Telegraph's Living the Dream.