EKIES ALL SENSES RESORT – HALKIDIKI, GREECE
Kick off your shoes, wiggle your toes in the sand, and slip into the languid pace of Ekies All Senses Resort, a pared-down retreat that takes a barefoot approach to holiday relaxation. Celebrating its Greek roots and stunning natural location, the simple design lets the pristine surroundings shine and embraces the notion that luxury should be measured by one’s ecological footprint. On an unspoiled beach in Vourvourou on the east side of Sithonia—one of three peninsulas in Halkidiki on the translucent waters of the Aegean Sea—the resort is surrounded by rocky islands, caves, crystal waters, sandy beaches, and pine tree forests. The design blends with this idyllic landscape through the use of natural, unrefined materials, such as solid wood and Greek grey marble. The 69 rooms and suites weave Greek tradition with distinctive designs, while organic forms, sustainability, and an ethos of minimal waste complete the resort’s eco-philosophy.
SHANTI MAURICE – A NIRA RESORT – CHEMIN GRENIER, MAURITIUS
Set on a pristine coral sand cove on the southern coast of Mauritius, Shanti Maurice – A Nira Resort is luxuriously spread over 36 acres of tropical gardens, and is surrounded by sugarcane fields, lush hills, and the turquoise Indian Ocean. Here, one finds the world-class 75,000-square-foot Nira Spa and succulent eateries dedicated to capturing the essence of traditional Mauritian cuisine. Shanti Maurice’s 44 spacious suites and 17 villas are all ocean-facing and among the most generously sized in the region. Each is set directly on one of the best beaches in Mauritius and offers outdoor rain showers and dining pavilions or “Salas,” with the villas also offering private pools. The resort aims to create a memorable and authentic local experience with a vivid and easy-going ambience through the use of locally sourced products, food, and materials. This is high-styled luxury in one of the world’s most exotic and embracing settings.
PIET BOON BONAIRE – KRALENDIJK, BONAIRE
Few Caribbean islands are as inviting as Bonaire, a sand-fringed escape in the former Dutch Antilles. Just 30 miles from the island of Curaçao, 50 miles from Venezuela, and set along the waterfront in Kralendijk, the island’s tiny capital, Piet Boon Bonaire is a collection of eight individually styled villas. Five of these are right on the beachfront, with ultra-spacious and expertly crafted living spaces leading out onto private terraces, which have cool pools and easy access to the sea. Three additional villas sit further back from the shore but just like the beachfront properties, they are unmistakably the work of Dutch design icon Piet Boon.
THE SURIN – PHUKET, THAILAND
Amidst coconut palms and gently rolling slopes, The Surin Phuket elegantly punctuates the tropical landscape along the white sand beach at Pansea Bay. Paris-based architect and designer Ed Tuttle rejuvenated 103 cottages and suites set within a beachfront coconut grove. Jungle walkways link the lobby-level Superior Cottages, which offer guests unobstructed views of the ocean, as well as the idyllic Beach Deluxe Suites and Studios, which offer direct walk-on access to the beach. Guests can linger over delectable Thai specialties at the Beach Restaurant or witness spectacular sunsets while imbibing aperitif at the Beach Bar. Created with thoughtful intention, one can attain inner-harmony at the peaceful spa or, should the mood for more active diversion strike, utilise the dramatic black-tiled pool, fitness centre, tennis courts, or one of the three nearby golf courses.
PAPAYA PLAYA PROJECT – TULUM, MEXICO
Together with Emilio Heredia, owner of the existing Papaya Playa Beach Resort, Design Hotels™ has created a destination in paradise along the Caribbean coast of Tulum, Mexico. Dotted along the beach and nestled in the jungle, the simplicity of the 100 rooms is what lends them their special charm. The resort’s restaurant overlooks the azure waters, where diners can enjoy locally sourced specialties; along the beach, drinks and snacks are served from late morning until late evening at the resort’s Beach Club. In addition to massages and beauty treatments, guests can also enjoy yoga, tai chi and meditation to complete the holistic circle. Being linked to the best DJs in the world, Papaya Playa makes music a key component of the experience. All communal areas encourage creative collaboration – there’s even an amphitheater on the beach, where guests can come together to perform, present or communicate in their chosen fashion with music, readings, inspiring lectures and more. Papaya Playa Project is a destination for those looking to merge nature, relaxation, and spirituality.
MYKONOS THEOXENIA – MYKONOS, GREECE
Revamped in 2004, the 52-room property harmoniously melds with Mykonos’s radiant seascape. At Theoxenia, privacy and tranquility are of utmost importance. During the day, sun-worshippers can soak up golden rays on white Moroso beach chairs or luxuriate within curtained four-poster beds facing out to the Aegean. Later, they can chill out among the cool stone details and crisp turquoise, citrus and white decor by designer Angelos Angelopoulos. His novel use of energetic colors renders the design experience as exciting and joyful as a bowl of ripe fruit. The rest of any guest’s experience is in the expert hands of the service staff that understand the importance of discreet personal service. From the voluptuous curves of the deep-blue Fjord bar stools to the organic sensibility of stone pillars, oozes the relaxed elegance of mod-era jet-setter luxury. It’s something the Mykonos Theoxenia evoked in its first incarnation – and it’s doing it once again.
LUNA2 STUDIOTEL – SEMINYAK, INDONESIA
With a design that blends great modernism of the past and innovation of the future, this ‘studiotel’ offers travellers to Bali a refreshing alternative to the ubiquitous ‘modern Bali’ style. Located in Seminyak, the island’s most fashionable destination for shopping, dining, and relaxation, Luna2 studiotel is just a short stroll to the beach. From the 1960’s inspired façade covered in circular forms, to the wall-mounted installation in the lobby recalling the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian, iconic art references are present throughout. Bright primary colours pop from the stark white walls, while geometrical patterns, bright furnishings and accessories, and walnut detailing create welcoming, vibrant spaces. Each of the 14 studios features one of four accent colours—yellow, red, green, and blue—and offer modular open-plan lounges, equipped with the latest technologies.
BOHEMIA SUITES & SPA – PLAYA DEL INGLES, SPAIN
Bohemia Suites & Spa is a sophisticated lifestyle oasis for adults set amidst the volcanic beauty of Gran Canaria. It is a secluded, luxurious place for guests to be coddled in total peace and privacy. By transforming what was once a run-down building into a modern oceanfront hotel, the Bohemia Suites & Spa has become a place where friends can meet, share ideas, and belong. At the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, a generous indoor/outdoor space, guests mingle while soaking up panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the softly undulating dunes of Maspalomas. Bohemia’s 67 rooms and suites are fully integrated living spaces, where balconies and bedrooms merge seamlessly into one, rooting guests firmly in the heart of this sun-scorched volcanic island.
ALMYRA – PAPHOS, CYPRUS
Situated amidst eight acres of gardens in the coastal city of Paphos, Almyra’s enviable location is only the beginning of its story. Under the direction of Thanos Michaelides, the hotel has been family-run and -operated since 1974. The focus here is on what Michaelides refers to as “modern hospitality,” with equal consideration paid to the needs of those traveling with young families and those without. Almyra’s generous guest rooms and suites provide ample space for groups and families—who will most certainly also appreciate the Almyra’s two freshwater pools, both built with Italian slate. Views of Paphos Castle from Helios Lounge Bar compete with the beachfront Ouzeri, one of four restaurants, where diners are served traditional Greek fare accompanied by sunsets and the sound of crashing waves.
All the above hotels are brought to you by the Design Hotels Group.. Images supplied by the Design Hotels Group.