Hoshino Resorts KAI PorotoJapan
The forests and lakes of southern Hokkaido are an evocative setting for this ryokan-style spa resort, but it’s the island’s indigenous Ainu culture that’s the main inspiration behind the 2022 opening, located at the outside the city of Shiraoi. The Ainu have long lived in harmony with nature, and so the outdoors features heavily inside the 42-room resort, with each room overlooking tranquil Poroto Lake and incorporating lots of silver birch and cool stone hues. The most distinctive feature, however, is the remarkable cone-shaped bathhouse (sankaku-no-yu) inspired by the architectural principles of the ketunni (houses of the Ainu people). With the sun’s rays streaming through the openings in the roofs, you can bask in the dark, healing thermal waters of the lake. It’s not the only spa facility either: the maru-no-yu bath is set under a domed ceiling with a central oculus that creates an almost spiritual space, somewhere between the ancient temple and the underground cave. . From JPY 31,000 (£190), B&B.
Chisa Busanga campZambia
While utterly eco-conscious, Green Safaris also has a quirky, playful side, and their latest off-grid wilderness camp, Chisa Busanga in Kafue National Park proves it. Its jagged-edged, ball-shaped, treehouse-style rooms are inspired by the nests of weaver birds that happily dangle from trees and reeds across Africa. Inside, you will be comfortably installed like a baby bird and you will wake up with the view of the plains of Busanga. Low-carbon adventures await: there are guided bush walks, e-bikes and the option to take trips in Green Safaris’ solar-charged electric safari vehicles. One bedroom also has better accessibility, thanks to an electric lift. From US$700 (£570) full board including activities. Open from June to mid-November.
Claridge’s long-awaited Côte d’Azur cousin is a godsend for aesthetes. Designed by luminaries such as André Fu and Bryan O’Sullivan, interiors are playful and unpretentious: Cheerful cobalt-blue plush armchairs envelop diners in Riviera Restaurant; while poolside lounge chairs evoke the colors of an Aperol spritz. Other design delights are scattered throughout, including the hotel’s museum-worthy art collection, which includes pieces by Louise Bourgeois. Yet nothing beats the view. Cloudless days mean the terraces face the impossibly blue Mediterranean, with dazzling superyachts lining the sky and sea. From €750 (£630), room only.
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