WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT
From the BOHO project in Bora Bora to recycled bridge pile houses in Amsterdam, from a mountain hut in Tennessee to a cattle farm in northern Queensland, 2021 combines an ecological trend with modern design. However, among the myriad of hotels, it is difficult to choose something really special. For those who wish to surprise themselves, we have prepared a selection of the 10 best places to stay.
- LEKKERWATER BEACH LODGE, SOUTH AFRICA
While mountain zebras and giant antelopes wander the stunning fynbos-covered hills of the De Hoop Nature Reserve, it’s the wonders offshore that make this new lodge so appealing. Its seven freestanding rooms, with floor-to-ceiling windows, are located along 6km of private beach and offer front-row seats to some of the world’s best land-based whale watching.
From July to late November the waters off the reserve become filled with migrating southern right whales.
- CANNÚA, COLOMBIA
Set into a steep slope within 11 hectares of protected Colombian forest is this new 18-room ecolodge. With complete sustainability as a goal, Cannúa is constructed from local bamboo and handmade compressed earth bricks. Guests can sit back and soak up the views of the valley below and the fragrances from the flower-filled garden, or strike out on indigenous trails from centuries past.
Cannúa is just 20 minutes’ drive from the town of Marinilla and 45 minutes from José María Córdova International Airport.
- JUNGLE BAY, DOMINICA
Rebuilt following the devastating hurricanes of 2017, Jungle Bay overlooks the marine sanctuary of Scotts Head and Soufriere. The property has been guided by the principles set by the International Ecotourism Society and National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations. Involvement with the local community is a founding principle, as are environmental conservation and construction of its eco-villas using sustainable resources.
Dominica’s capital of Roseau is only a 20-minute drive away, while Douglas Charles Airport is 80 or so minutes away by road.
- BLACKBERRY MOUNTAIN, USA
From the family behind the famed Blackberry Farm, this remarkable option resides on 2100 hectares of private parkland within the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Aimed to be both immersive and transformative, it offers guests the chance to embrace its pristine environment with scenic settings for meditation, mountain biking, bouldering, hiking and yoga. As they say: «One mountain, many paths».
Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport, which is linked to 25 other cities, is about half an hour’s drive north.
- MOUNT MULLIGAN LODGE, AUSTRALIA
Embrace the Australian outback and Mt Mulligan (Ngarrabullgan), an 18km-long flat-topped monolith, at this lodge in the northern reaches of Queensland. Built on a working cattle station by the Morris family, Mount Mulligan Lodge has used the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a framework and also endeavours to protect and restore the surrounding environment.
The rates for the four pavilions include all meals, Australian wines and beers, daily activities and use of a personal ATV.
- SWEETS HOTEL, NETHERLANDS
Breathing new life into 28 old bridge-operator cabins, some of which date back to the 17th century, the Sweets Hotel offers a truly novel way to experience Amsterdam. While there are no hotel-like services (think Airbnb apartment), these independent suites – each unique in design, furnishings and layout – are all found in scenic, watery locales throughout the captivating Dutch city. All 28 cabins are one-bedroom suites designed for a maximum of two guests.
No guests under the age of 21 are permitted.
- ACE KYOTO, JAPAN
A short stroll from Nijō Castle, Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto Art Center and Nishiki Market, Ace Kyoto has been designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the man responsible for the new V&A Dundee in Scotland, The Opposite House hotel in Beijing and Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic stadium. Laced with light and natural materials, the hotel revolves around open areas to generate both interaction and comfort. The cherry-blossom (late March to early April) and autumn foliage (November) periods are inspiring times to visit.
The quieter months of May and October are also rewarding.
- KEX PORTLAND, USA
Reykjavík hostel Kex made its name for its compelling interior and social spaces hewn from an old biscuit factory and decorated with salvaged industrial materials (reusing is more efficient than recycling). The group behind that gem have made an equally inspired transformation to the historic Vivian Apartments in Portland, Oregon. The hostel hosts a gastropub, live music venue, kitchen and sauna.
Kex Portland is located in the Central Eastside neighbourhood near the Burnside Bridge. The airport is 19km northeast of the city centre.
- SOUL & SURF, PORTUGAL
The latest brainchild of surfing veterans Sofie and Ed Templeton, Soul & Surf in the Algarve aims to unite guests in an all-together, chilled way. Create bonds while being taught how to ride perfect waves, practising yoga under the sun or when dining communally on incredibly healthy fare. As a bonus, a percentage of its gross income supports a global environmental charity.
The chic farmhouse base of Soul & Surf is less than an hour’s drive from Faro International Airport via the A22 toll road.
- COQUI COQUI BORA BORA, FRENCH POLYNESIA
Matira Beach is the sublime setting for Coqui Coqui Bora Bora, the newest boho hotel offering from perfumer Francesca Bonato and her husband Nicolas Malleville. Elegantly styled with rattan and wood finishes, each room is filled with flowing fabrics, fresh air and light.
If possible, try to coordinate your trip with the Heiva i Bora Bora in July or the Hawaiki Nui canoe race in November.