Sala Phuket Resort and Spa, Thailand

A haven for those wishing to get away from it all, this five star private villa resort breaks away from the ‘typical’ Thai luxury design model.

Hip and Happening in Surfers Paradise: welcome to QT Gold Coast, Australia

For visitors and locals alike, the Gold Coast near Australia’s Brisbane is an entertainment centre and a mass-tourism destination: the Surfers Paradise. Yet its newest and most exciting hotel intends to inspire conversation and arrest the senses, catering to a clientele that demands something beyond the stock nautical kitsch. At QT nostalgic surfer chic meets Miami catwalk cool.

Hôtel de Nell, Paris, France

Graced with design that has depth and texture often lost at hotels embracing minimalism, Hôtel de Nell’s tranquil, understated interiors are typically “parisian”—but with added sophistication of a contemporary boutique hotel.

Earthly pleasures at The Elysian in Bali, Indonesia

The days when Bali was innocently viewed as an undiscovered paradise are long since gone. These days travelers can expect something a little more worldly, and peace and quiet are increasingly hard to come by. Hence the appeal of a place like the Elysian.

10 things to do on Lamu Island, Kenya

Kenya’s unique coastal culture is a product of a long and rich history. Arab and Portuguese forts, medieval towns and the overgrown, deserted ruins of Swahili outposts bear witness to centuries of trade between Africa, Middle East and Europe. The island of Lamu epitomizes this heritage.

W London Leicester Square, United Kingdom

Designed by award-winning architects Jestico+Whiles, the glamorous Starwood Hotel’s W London brings hip and fun to the very heart of London’s vibrant West End.

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

To say Maldives is “like a dream” is to venture dangerously close to the realm of travel clichés. Yet the sight of the emerald sea with white patches of sand topped by tall palms is such a picture-perfect sight that we are letting ourselves go. And since we found Huvafen Fushi to be an exemplary Maldivian resort, we will do it again: it is… like a paradise. Sue us.

Finding equilibrium at the Balancing Barn in Suffolk, United Kingdom

Clad in reflective silver tiles and cantilevered over a ridge, this unusual lodge is where elegance and drama find each other and create a place as inventive as it is playful. Deliberately experimental, it’s a bold take on everyday architecture and a praiseworthy attempt of rehabilitating Modernism. And it all comes from a philosopher.

The Naka Island, Phuket, Thailand

Located just off the eastern coast of Phuket, this exclusive, all-villa island hideaway nestles among stunning beaches and lush coconut groves, enjoying idyllic views of the emerald-green Phang Nga Bay.

The African playground at Observatory, Leobo Private Reserve, South Africa

There may be no Big Five here but nor there are any visitors: this beautifully designed, ultra-cool luxury lodge in the African bush is available on an exclusive use basis only—and it comes with amazing 360° views, opulent safari style villas and 12,000 acres of pristine African wilderness.

Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur, India

Frankly it’s astonishing that there aren’t more hotels like the Devi Garh by Lebua, Udaipur. Not because 18th-century palace hotels are a dime a dozen in India, certainly they aren’t, but because the contrast between the faded majesty of the exterior and the sparkling modernity of the interiors is so striking.

Red Pepper House, Lamu, Kenya

Fusing an open-air layout and coziness of private luxury, in beautiful surroundings of Suahili art, The Red Pepper House ensures personal—and personalized—experience. With only five guest rooms this is the most exclusive hotel on Lamu island.

Gorki Apartments, Berlin, Germany

Pseudonym instead of a room number, a doorbell and mailbox for every apartment—these are just the first small details that set the Gorki Apartments apart from the crowd of hip hotels popping up in Berlin.

Katikies, Santorini, Greece

On Santorini, the view’s the thing, and there may be none better than that from the pool deck at Katikies, looking out over the island’s submerged volcanic caldera and the sea beyond.

25hours Hotel at MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, Austria

For many centuries, Vienna’s had a reputation as a creative centre, and one entirely deserved. There is, however, some issue as to the volume of respect that’s paid to figures, styles and movements of the past. Which is why the mere existence of a hotel like 25hours is a welcome relief.

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