Dreamy Hotel Getaways

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From a hotel shaped like an arc and perched like a penny, to an eco-friendly resort located on a coral island, here are some hotels that cast a striking silhouette with their unique designs and promise an unforgettable stay.

Hotel Unique, Sao Paolo, Brazil

The artistic exterior of this hotel lends itself to many interpretations-is it a whimsical caricature of a smile, a geometrical arc, a boat, a penny cut in half and balanced on its rim, or a slice of watermelon? Whichever interpretation you’d like to go with, one thing is clear, this structure is true to its name- unique. Opened in 2003, this distinct building took four years to create. It is the masterpiece of Ruy Ohtake, one of Brazil’s premier architects, who believes, “Architecture should always be contemporary. So, when I designed the hotel I wanted to create something innovative, something exciting.” Ohtake succeeded because 11 years after its opening, Hotel Unique still surprises
patrons and onlookers alike. Ohtake elaborates, “Along with innovation, I also seek functionality.”

His astute design has managed to skirt the 85-metre height restriction, with most of the guest rooms on the top floor offering sweeping views of the vibrant city. Made of copper, the exterior is shaped like a ship. Much like a vessel, there are portholes for windows. Throughout the hotel, there is a sense of fluidity with the soft curves of the design, felt most dramatically at the outer edges. The curvature works with natural light creating a spectacular effect in the windowed corridors. Ohtake’s flair for the dramatic is visible on the outside, and is perfectly juxtaposed with interior designer, Joao Armentano’s conservative style. The theatrical exterior opens to understated, relaxed interiors. Together, they evoke a range of emotions. And as Ohtake envisioned, every corner you turn, within this hip boutique hotel, promises a pleasant surprise.

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Bird Island Lodge, Bird Island, Seychelles

When it comes to accommodation at Bird Island, there is only one place to stay at, on the 70 sq. km island. There are no other people on the island, except for the staff and visitors to the lodge. A private nature reserve, this is a space for nature to run wild, while human carbon footprint is strictly controlled. Bird Island is the northernmost archipelago of Seychelles and lies just 60 miles from the capital, Mahe. A short 30-minute flight affords you spectacular views of the island and the waters beyond, before landing on this piece of paradise. Soft sands, turquoise waters, and an abundance of flora and fauna greet visitors. As the name suggests, bird watching is a major activity. At any given time of the year, there are as many as 20 different species of birds-migratory birds from Alaska and Siberia cooing from the thicket, nesting birds protecting their young, turtle doves hiding in the greens, or a kettle of different species circling the air. The Bird Island Lodge was built to protect the natural inhabitants of the island, while allowing humans to explore its beauty.

Owned and run by the husband-wife duo of Nick and Jo Savy, the lodge consists of 24 ecofriendly chalets that are as unpretentious as its surroundings. The chalets come with no television, telephone, fridge, air conditioning, and internet. Natural ventilation methods were used in designing the villas, and solar panels are used for hot water supply, while rain water is also harvested. Outdoor lighting is kept to a minimum and guests are encouraged to use solarpowered torches when stepping out after sundown. Far removed from modern amenities, a few days here will transport you back to simpler times and allow you to experience life the way Mother Nature fashioned it: bird island

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Florida, USA

Located within the vicinity of Disney World’s oldest theme park, Magic Kingdom, this lodge comes with a theme of its own. And the theme has little to do with princesses in pink, or their knights in shining armour. The Disney Wilderness Lodge was built to recreate the rustic splendour of the national parks of the early 1900s, typical of
America’s great northwest. Add to this, a traditional premise paying tribute to the rich Native American heritage. Designed by the Urban Design Group of Denver, Colorado, the lodge instantly transports you to the rural outdoors. Architect Peter Dominick, Jr., of the Urban Design Group made use of the elements of wood, water and stone to create this 5,40,000 sq. ft. building. A total of 85 whooping truckloads of pine-logs from Oregon and Montana went into the making of this resort. You will have to crane your neck to look at the top of the reinforced log columns, which span seven storeys high, and essentially hold up the resort. The soaring wood bundles ‘aim for the heavens’, according to Native American tales.

Turn your glance to the floor and you’ll notice that you’re walking on four different types of wood-Brazilian Cherry, White Oak, Bird’s Eye Maple, and Burl Walnut. This wood patchwork is symbolic of the relationship among the changing seasons, wildlife, man and the heavens. The towering fireplace, in the lobby, stands at 82 ft. tall, and recreates in stone as many as 1.6 billion years of the Grand Canyon’s strata. Geological consultant Robert Reid, asserts that the fossil life replicated here dates back to the dinosaur era. The furnishings are inspired by the American arts and crafts movement of the early 1900s, when fine workmanship was placed over mechanisation. Two gigantic 55 ft. totem poles in the lobby come with hand-engraved figures of animals, humans and mythical creatures. Read from bottom up, they speak of ative American legends, which culminate in the power of nature over life itself:usa

Hotel Spa Dr Irena Eris Wzgórza Dylewskie, Ostróda, Poland

Located at the highest altitude of the Dylewskie Wzgórza or the Dylewo Hills, Hotel Spa enjoys a remote location and yet is just about a three-hour drive from Warsaw. The proprietor, after whom Hotel Spa is named, is a successful female entrepreneur of a cosmetic brand in Poland. The brand’s image is synonymous with outer beauty and inner well-being; a concept that seamlessly translates to a spa hotel. Built in seclusion, this hotel is far removed from hectic city life. With a property spanning acres, you can enjoy exploring the sprawling hotel grounds through different nature trails-walk on a bed of fallen leaves but beware the squishy snails, catch a glimpse of colourful birds, spot a speedy chipmunk, and make sure not to lose your way in these woods!

As expected, the hotel is also designed ergonomically-a subdued, soothing colour palette; minimalist furnishing to aid spiritual de-cluttering; mattress and pillows that work with the spine’s curvature; and a complete lack of any timepieces in the rooms to allow you to tune into your very own body clock. Nature is the elixir at this spa hotel and a few days spent in its serene surrounding will renew your tired body, mind and spirit:poland

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