1. THE WATER DISCUS HOTEL, KUREDHIVARU, MALDIVES
Ok this hotel hasn’t actually been built yet, hence the animated images, but they’re in the process of putting it up in stunning island of Kuredhivaru in the Maldive Islands. The concept revolves around a donut-shaped building which sits on the ocean floor, divided into 21 bedrooms with incredible coral-reef views. Other hotels have flirted with the idea of underwater experiences, but no hotel has ever attempted to marry it with luxury in such a way.
The underwater compartment will be accessed by futuristic disc platforms housing lounges, restaurants, a rooftop swimming pool and even a helicopter pad. You can also dive straight into the sea thanks to a cleverly designed airlock compartment, complete with decompression chamber. It looks so good that the UAE have reportedly ordered their own version of the $50 million resort.
2. DOG BARK PARK INN, IDAHO, USA
This may be more low-brow, but as far as we’re concerned it looks double the fun. Yes, in the barren social wilderness that is Cottonwood, Idaho there lies the world’s biggest beagle. A married couple of self-taught chainsaw artists were having a ball creating wooden sculptures of dogs when in 1997 they realised they could make a hollow one and get people to sleep in it! Our favourite features include the entrance (at the rear), the reading nook (in the nose) and the lack of TV and telephone (dog themed board games are provided). Also reviews seem to suggest that their home made granola is incredible.
3. HOTEL SILKEN PUERTA AMERICAN, MADRID, SPAIN
There are many hotels in the world where the rooms are themed or designed by artists, and most of them seem to be in Berlin. However one of our favourites is this architecturally intellectual building in Madrid. Every single floor is designed by a different person, including this room by Zaha Hadid, who was responsible for the glorious London Olympics Aquatics Centre. Architects of every nationality have put their stamp on this hotel, whether it’s the futuristic sparsity of Australian Mark Newson or the warm retro appeal of the ’70s from Italian duo Victorio & Lucchino.
4. GIRAFFE MANOR, NAIROBI, KENYA
Waking up in the morning would not be something to shy away from at Giraffe Manor. You’d be jumping out of bed as soon as breakfast was served so that you could feed a huge piece of mango to an equally large mammal. The outward-facing rooms of this charming 1930′s hotel always have their windows open so that the frequently visiting herd of giraffes can pop their heads through them and interact with the guests. When they’re not roaming in the 140 acre National Park, these sky-high sweeties love a bit of attention or a cheeky ear-scratch from an endlessly loving supply of tourists.
5. JADE MOUNTAIN, ST. LUCIA
Pure, unadulterated paradise. This hotel is a feat in seamless luxury. Each of the apartments includes an infinity pool overlooking the incredible natural beauty of Anse Chastanet, and the accompanying twin mountains. Without the distractions of television or telephone, you can wile away the hours in harmony with your surroundings, by enjoying the open-air living space, or one of their golden sand private beaches. A soul-soothing sanctuary that will serve you the best vacation of your life.