Forget the columned entryway, the stately pillars, and the rooftop pool. The latest destinations are twisting and turning, curving and swerving everything we’ve come to expect from traditional hotel design. The result? A series of architectural adventures guaranteed to jolt the senses into a new dimension.
By Alexandria Abramian
Costa Rica: TREETOP DOWNWARD DOG
Downward dog perched high above the treetops? That’s the concept at Origins, an ultra-boutique wellness lodge nestled within the high valley jungle of Costa Rica’s northern rainforest. A circular outdoor room built under a majestic Mano Platano tree creates a sacred space for yoga, meditation, and reflection. Like all of the resort, the studio appears to be suspended above a flourishing forest below. With a focus on sustainable materials and as much immersion into its natural setting as possible, Origins features six spacious bungalows that curve with the jungle’s topography, a forest-to-table focus on dining, as well as a series of exceptional adventures into one of the world’s lesser-
Mexico: COASTAL CONNECTING
Founded in the late 1960s by Italian banker Gian Franco Brignone, Careyes has been a quiet draw for the world’s jet set for nearly half a century. Today this secluded resort with vibrantly-hued villas dotting the craggy coastline continues to offer a mix of architecturally daring structures: Whether they’re hovering high above the ocean or boast a moat-style pool with water lapping right up to your bedroom, villas and bungalows interact with the topography of this 20,000-acre destination in different ways. Stairs connect soft-sand beaches to sprawling villas above, while bridges link ocean islands. Palapa roofs offer enough protection from the elements, while most homes are missing a fourth wall entirely, the better to embrace jaw-dropping ocean views, breeze, and almost year-round sun. Located approximately 100 miles south of Puerta Vallarta, Careyes proves to be impervious to the crush of new resort developments. Its quiet rhythm, captivating architecture, and pristine natural environment cast a one-of-a-kind magic unlike any other in Mexico.
South Africa: UP, UP & AWAY
Located on the unfenced border of Kruger National Park, South Africa’s most famous wilderness area, the recently completed andBeyond Ngala Treehouse offers what may be the planet’s ultimate perch for total wildlife immersion. Elevated 39 feet in the air, the four-story, solar-powered treehouse includes indoor and outdoor bedrooms, a full bathroom with outdoor shower, and a rooftop deck with lounge.
Memphis: A NEW HOME BASE FOR MUSIC LOVERS
After a stunning, $23.2 million, “adaptive reuse” of Memphis’ 1914 depot, the station remains while Central Station Hotel unfolds within it like a musical shrine. Each of the 123 guestrooms have handcrafted EgglestonWorks speakers, made in Memphis and pumping Memphis-oriented songs. A mammoth portrait of Isaac Hayes from his Black Moses album gazes over the lobby, where a double-height wall is made of hi-fi speakers. Most impressive is the 8 & Sand Bar where designers transformed the former train concourse into a step-down lounge with thousands of vinyl records, hundreds of music books, and at least two DJs per night. —Jack Skelley