When you’re used to 5 star luxury you should seek out a boutique break
Time Out Dubai staff
Antumalal, Pucón, Chile: In 1945 Czech immigrants Guillermo and Catalina Pollack commissioned renowned Chilean architect Jorge Elton to build them a hotel between Lago Villarrica and the eponymous volcano. Elton was a fan of Bauhaus, and his creation, Antumalal – ‘corral of the sun’ in the native Mapuche tongue – is a perfect illustration of the harmony of form, natural environment and function. The 22-room hotel is in the heart of the Chilean lake district (and therefore popular with travellers looking to hike, undertake treks on horseback or ski) and behind the cool exterior are the essentials of a log cabin: each of the bedrooms is panelled in wood and stone and is made cosy by an open fire. Floorto- ceiling windows overlook the lake and the hotel’s well-kempt lawns. Guests have included Queen Elizabeth II and Neil Armstrong.
+56 45 441011/ www.antumalal.com
Paxmontana, Obwalden, Switzerland: If the functional simplicity of 20th-century modernism leaves you cold, warm up in a classic example of art nouveau. The six-storey wood-framed Paxmontana was built in 1896 and from the outside looks like a Swiss version of the terrifying Overlook Hotel from The Shining, all imposing grandeur plonked in the middle of central Switzerland’s majestic scenery. But a 2008 refurbishment that followed the hotel’s original designs has resulted in an interior whose rich fittings and warm colours capture the spirit of the belle époque perfectly.
+41 41 660 22 33/ www.paxmontana.ch
Barceló Formentor, Mallorca, Spain: Going on for 80 but maintaining its effortless good looks and chic appeal, the Formentor’s traditional Spanish style has attracted a number of stylish luminaries over the decades, among them Winston Churchill, Charles Chaplin and Laurence Olivier. They presumably came for the stunning beauty of the peninsula (near Pollença, on the northern coast), but the hotel itself is pretty impressive too. A lovely, understated example of classic Iberian architecture, the hotel is in total harmony with the park surrounding it.
+34 971 899 100/
Parco dei Principi, Sorrento, Italy: Italian modernist Gio Ponti’s stunning 1960s creation is set in a suitably dramatic location, overlooking the Neopolitan riviera cliffs in Sorrento. Making the most of the natural backdrop, Ponti set the hotel right on the cliff’s edge, necessitating a sci-fi-style lift descent through cliffs to get to the hotel’s tiny private beach. But it’s the interiors that really stand out, from the lobbies with glass-and-tile mosaics through to the 170-odd rooms, all decorated with their own unique blue-and-white mosaic tiled floor, classic modernist furniture and a private balcony that gives you stirring sea views.
+39 081 8784644/ www.grandhotelparcodeiprincipi.net
Hotel Le Corbusier, Marseilles, France: Le Corbusier’s grand paean to communal living, the Unité D’Habitations, or Cité Radieuse, is a glorious example of the way the architect’s stark, sleek lines could work with colour. The building is out of bounds to tourists (though occasional free guided tours of the public areas and an apartment are organised by the tourist office), but staying in the third-floor hotel enables you to explore to your heart’s content, from rooftop gym and crèche down through the bar and canteen to the colour-flooded foyer. Definitely the one to stay in when you head for Marseilles in 2013 for the Capital of Culture jamboree.
+33 4 91 16 78 00/
Biltmore, Coral Gables, Florida, USA: A resort bearing classic Italian, Moorish and Spanish architectural influences in the middle of Florida? Amazingly, it works so well that the Biltmore, opened in 1926, has achieved National Historic Landmark status. Architect Leonard Schultze and contractor/developer S Fullerton Weaver had already collaborated on a number of prestigious projects – most notably Miami’s Freedom Tower – but in this hotel they created a building that remains an extraordinary example of Mediterranean architecture, despite numerous refurbs.
+1 305 445 8066/ www.biltmorehotel.com
SAS Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark: If it’s Danish, it must be Jacobsen. The work of the great modernist designer lives on through countless classic furniture designs, but the SAS Royal is the only Jacobsen-designed hotel. He designed the hotel and everything in it in 1960, but refurbishments over the years buried much of his work. Room 606, however, has been restored to what Jacobsen’s original would have looked like, down to custom-designed carpets and wengewood chairs reupholstered in an exact facsimile of Jacobsen’s original fabrics. If you get to stay in it you receive a unique large-scale postcard of the room. If you don’t, you can enjoy the soaring Jacobsen foyer and hopefully sneak a peak into the room when it’s being cleaned.
+45 38 15 65 00/ www.radissonsas.com
Burgh Island Hotel, Devon, UK: Britain doesn’t do adventurous architecture very well, so you need to head back to the 1930s for something special. Burgh Island is a fanciful but gorgeous example of art deco, located on its own tidal island (meaning you can’t get off it once it’s high tide, so choose who you want to spend a weekend here with carefully). It has maintained its quality and appeal by regularly refurbishing to keep standards in the 21st century, without compromising on any of the period detail. Simply sumptuous.
01548 810514/ www.burghisland.com
La Posada, Arizona, USA: Until Zaha Hadid designs an entire hotel (instead of just a floor, as at Madrid’s Hotel Puerta America), we have to make do with just one woman architect on our list. Mary Colter designed La Posada for the Santa Fe Railway in 1929 as one of the great railway hotels, filling the public spaces and private rooms with warm, local arts, crafts and materials. A sad 40-year closure came to an end a decade ago when it was rescued by Colter fans Allan Affeldt and his artist wife Tina Mion, who are restoring the hotel to its former glory. Arrive by plane into Winslow and you get to see the airport designed by US aviator and inventor Charles Lindbergh as an added bonus.
+1 928 289 4366/ www.laposada.org
Atlanta Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand: Something of an institution, this idiosyncratic hotel – ‘a small resort for sleaze-free and wholesome tourism’, proclaims the quirky website – contains Thailand’s oldest swimming pool, constructed in 1954 and little changed, as well as a wondrous foyer that’s often used for film sets. This detail would surely have pleased its designer, Berliner Dr Max Henn, whose influences included Central European theatre architecture and set designs of the 1920s and ’30s.
+66 2 252 6069/ www.theatlantahotelbangkok.com