Designer destinations: architects’ favourite hotels

Arcosanti, Mayer, Arizona

Recommended by Dan Wood, Dan-Wood House

Arcosanti, an experimental town in the desert of Arizona, as favoured by architect Dan Wood.© Photograph: Luc Novovitch/Alamy Stock Photo Arcosanti, an experimental town in the desert of Arizona, as favoured by architect Dan Wood.

“Arcosanti is Paolo Soleri’s built prototype for his vision of the city of the future. Masterplanned as an eventual community of 5,000, it has housed acolytes who came to learn Soleri’s construction techniques and help make cast bells, which were sold to finance the project. It is a magical environment, ‘hippy modernism’ with domes and carvings and rooftops looking out on to the Sonoran desert just north of Phoenix.”

 

Benesse House, Kagawa, Japan

Jani Kristoffersen, Guise

“The small, remote island of Naoshima is the most sublime combination of art and nature. The island offers some of the world’s greatest art experiences, as well as impressive nature. Benesse House offers something truly original: to be alone with some of the greatest pieces of art one can find.”

Camino Real Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico

Carlos Jiménez, Carlos Jiménez Studio

“Although a prime business hotel, it is also a great, family-friendly place filled with space and light. Like a small city, it is crossed by colour-infused streets that look into gardens, fountains, trees and pools. It never disappoints.”

Thunderbird Hotel, Marfa, Texas

Grace Mortlock, Other Architects

“From its famous ‘Marfa Lights’ to the minimalist appeal of Donald Judd’s house and studio,Marfa is all about the atmosphere. It appears mirage-like on the roadside, after a long drive from Houston or San Antonio. The Thunderbird Hotel looks like a standard Americana motel, but has just enough sophisticated touches to make your stay comfortable and chic. For a one-horse town, there are an improbably large number of great bars and restaurants within walking distance.”

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Lombok, Indonesia

Achille Salvagni, Achille Salvagni Architetti

“Lombok, compared with Bali, remains relatively unspoiled, so this is a magnificent place in which to really unwind in the sun and eat fresh seafood and relax in the sun.”

Hotel Brosundet, Ålesund, Norway

Craig Dykers, Snøhetta

“Stay in Room 47 – the Molja Lighthouse. Downstairs is an elegant and amazingly compact bathroom, while upstairs is a circular bedroom with a custom-fitted bed. A lovely experience, especially for a family with children.”

Yök Casa + Cultura, Barcelona, Spain

Daniel Sundlin, Bjarke Ingels Group

“Refurbished traditional apartments with sustainable, locally produced furniture. Your water consumption is displayed in the corridor, which makes a great conversation piece.”

The Lautner, Desert Hot Springs, California

Eric Corey Freed, Organic Architect

“John Lautner designed this jewel box of four suites in the desert in 1947. It was recently renovated to full glory and is the most amazing place. If you’re in Palm Springs for the Coachella music festival, you can escape to this gorgeous geometric masterpiece.”

The American Colony Hotel, Jerusalem

Jack Diamond, Diamond Schmitt Architects

“I always try to get the bedroom of the second of the pasha’s four wives [the structure was built by Pasha Rabah Effendi el-Husseini in the mid 19th-century]. With its domed, dark blue and gold-starred ceiling and generosity of space to its situation in the internal court, it seemed to me that this must have been for a wife married for love, rather than one for dynastic or other practical reasons. The scale of the hotel is perfect – not too large, but big enough to offer fine cuisine, which you can eat either inside the restaurant or in the charming central courtyard. The building has authenticity, having not been built as a commercial enterprise, but for the satisfaction of the inhabitant.”

Warandale Cottages, Diani Beach, Kenya

Ene Cordt Andersen, Andersen & Sigurdsson Architects

“This was designed in the late 70s by the Danish architect Leif Damgaard as his own private summerhouse. Later, he moved there permanently and designed a series of cottages, as well as his own architect’s practice, in a cluster of buildings named Warandale. The cottages are made entirely of local materials – coral blocks, mangrove construction and palm leaf roofs – but have a Scandinavian touch in the design and interiors.”

Casa Na Bolom, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Salvador Reyes Ríos, Reyes Ríos + Larraín Arquitectos

“It has a no-frills, laidback feel, and its social and enviromental programmes seek to help the local community thrive.”

Hotel Ještěd, Liberec, Czech Republic

Simon Henley, Henley Halebrown

“This space age ‘rocket’ tower, was designed by Karel Hubáček, and was built between 1963 and 1968. It was once the future. You wake up above the clouds and look out of aeroplane windows.”

One World Foundation Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort, Ahungalla, Sri Lanka

Matthias Sauerbruch and Louisa Hutton, Sauerbruch Hutton

“This is a very inspiring place – we have already returned twice. Sustainability is taken seriously; all profits from this guesthouse go straight in to running a neighbouring non-profit school set up by the owners. The bungalows are dotted between palm trees that host squirrels, birds and monkeys. The swimming pool, delicious food and yoga and Ayurvedic treatments and and massages, as well as conversations with [founder] Katrin Messner, tempt us every year.”

Villa Flor, Graubünden, Switzerland

Norman Foster, Foster + Partners

“In the heart of the unspoiled village of S-chanf, this is a simple but sophisticated guest house. Its corridors host exhibitions by artists, many of whom are frequent guests. It is discreet and unpretentious, without any no signs to advertise its presence.”

Brewery Trautenberk, Malá Úpa, Czech Republic

Zsolt Gunther, 3h architecture

“A renovated traditional wooden building with loft rooms and bunk beds, it has a touch of contemporary architecture without being obtrusive. Everything is minimal, except for the drinks. The beers are definitely worth travelling for.”

Brasília Palace Hotel, Brasília, Brazil

Daniel Mangabeira, BLOCO Arquitetos

a large green field in front of a building: The Brasilia Palace Hotel. Photograph: Richard Sowersby/Alamy© Provided by The Guardian The Brasilia Palace Hotel. Photograph: Richard Sowersby/Alamy

“This was one of the first hotels to be built in Brasília, but recently renovated. It was designed by Oscar Niemeyer and displays beautiful murals designed by his artist friend and longtime collaborator Athos Bulcão. Its location is beautiful: it faces the artificial Paranoá Lake and is close to the Alvorada Palace, the official home of the Brazilian presidents and another one of Niemeyer’s masterpieces.”

Penduka Village, Goreangab Reservoir, NamibiaSatyendra Pakhalé, Satyendra Pakhalé Associates

“Penduka is a living village where you can take part in different activities organised by Harmonature [a sustainability programme]. Traditional architecture is combined with refreshing new design elements. You can engage with people from the townships around Namibia.”

Babbity Bowster, Glasgow, Scotland

Biba Dow, Dow Jones Architects

“Small and comfortable rooms, and a rollicking pub downstairs for good food and a friendly atmosphere.”

La Forge de Montolieu, Occitanie, France

Yu-lin Chen, MAYU Architects+

“Enormous and extremely beautiful grounds, including a river, lake and forest. Hosts are friendly and knowledgeable.”

Hotel Xaluca Dades, Boumalne Dades, Morocco

Richard England, Richard England Architects

“Wonderful Abdeslam Faraoui and Patrice de Mazières 70s architecture blending marvellously with the surrounding desert.”

Hotel Palazzo delle Stelline, Milan, Italy

Thomas Leeser, Leeser Architecture

“A former monastery across the street from Michelangelo’s Last Supper.”

Babylonstoren, Western Cape, South Africa

John Pawson

“We stayed in cottages converted from old workers’ homes. Babylonstoren has stunning views from the farm. But the best thing is its collection of very valuable cycads which is amazing.”

From the book Where Architects Sleep by Sarah Miller (Phaidon, £16.95). To order a copy for £14.92 go to guardianbookshop.com or call 020 3176 3837. Free UK p&p over £15, online only. Phone orders min. p&p of £1.99.

Source: Theguardian.com

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