From a portable luxury hotel to an “experimental micro-city”, the limits of hotel design are certainly not conservative. Whether you long for a luxurious retreat, an unusual environment or a home away from home, these pioneering hotels will make their mark.

1. The Arcade Hotel, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Gamers, prepare to geek out. Fittingly located in Amsterdam, guests at The Arcade can game until their heart’s content, with rooms complete with an Nvidia Shield TV box which uses GeForce Now and lets you stream high-end games. Bigger rooms come with two wall-mounted televisions, while all rooms are stocked with both a modern and retro console. It’s the perfect place to zone out after hitting up a coffee shop.

2. SiloStay, Little River, New Zealand

The humdrum of Little River may not be alluring, but SiloStay’s quirky accommodation is more than enough to steal you away for a couple days. At this hotel, your room comes in the form of a grain silo. The nine silo units available are made up of two floors; the first comprising of a bedroom, balcony, an exposed shower and a skylight, while the ground floor has a compact kitchen and dining area. Surrounded by silver tubular towers, the atmosphere here is more like a Hollywood set than a hotel.

3. Scandic To Go, Nordic Region

Everyone has come across a secluded beach or a hidden patch of greenery and thought “it would be really nice to just stay here forever.” Launched by Scandic Hotels in 2014, rooms leave visitors to relax in refined comfort at a spot of their choice across Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway. The portable hotel rooms comes with two beds, your own terrace, a bathroom with a shower, free WiFi, air conditioning and breakfast.

4. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Sustainability is the name of the game at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. There’s a plant in every room, bottled water is a no-go, over half of the building materials are recycled and it runs on wind power. Plus, its innovative design blends seamlessly into the surrounding parkland. With double-heighted spaces and few walls, outside greenery brings a sense of serenity and openness into the hotel’s interiors. Views of the Hudson River and Manhattan Island look like they’re plucked off the front of a postcard.

5. The Arctic Baths, Harads, Swedish Lapland

An eco-friendly floating oasis in the crisp cold Swedish Lapland, the sibling of Treehouse Hotel is a fire-like timber structure on the River Lule. Set to open at the end of 2018, the hotel’s six rooms free-float in summer and lock into the ice during winter. With an ice-cold bath at its centre, as well as four different saunas and a spa treatment room, it comes as no surprise that it’s earmarked to become one of the best wellness hotels in the country.

6. Magic Mountain Hotel, Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile

This 13-room hotel looks like it was plucked straight out of Peter Jackson’s head. In the middle of Patagonia’s wild Valdivian forest, appears a volcano-shaped structure coated with thick green moss and lush Chilean foliage. Closer inspection reveals a four-star hotel in the depths of the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, accessible only by a hanging wooden footbridge. Located near natural hot springs and with direct access to the Mocho Choshuenco volcano, this hotel offers Chilean natural beauty at its finest.

7. Inntel Amsterdam Zaandam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Upon arriving at the Inntel Hotel, you can’t help but think you’re tripping out somewhat. Its exterior appears as multiple houses stacked upon each other, some upside down. A safe way of getting psychedelic while staying stone-cold sober, the hotel is inspired by the architecture of the striking traditional houses of the Zaan region. While its exterior may appear slightly dishevelled, inside everything connects up in four-star hotel glory.

8. Arcosanti, Arizona, US

Founded in 1970, Arcosanti is an experimental micro-city which advocates for the reorganisation of the built environment by prioritising ecology and architecture. Born from the imagination of Italian architect, Paolo Soleri, this utopian eco-city welcomes artists in residence, travellers and whoever else wants to be part of its ecological agenda. Its modest 80 residents (its population swells in the spring and summer months) are of all ages and are part of a company town for the Cosanti Foundation. This unique habitation has roofless buildings open to see the starry desert sky, an amphitheatre, a café and greenhouses heated with solar energy.

9. Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada

The far-flung Fogo Island just off Newfoundland (Canada’s easternmost province) might not be the easiest place to get to but it’s certainly worth the effort. With its very own time zone, these remote, windswept shores make you feel like you’re in your own little world. An architectural marvel, Fogo Island Inn soars out of the water on stilts and holds up 29 suite rooms with impeccable panoramic views of the wistful North Atlantic ocean. On these rugged shores, watch giant glaciers drift past every spring – a stunning performance by mother nature that’ll leave you entranced.

10. Lola James Harper Hotel, Paris, France

The upcoming rock ‘n’ roll hotel by hip lifestyle brand Lola James Harper in collaboration with hotel chain, Accor, take lobby music to a whole different level with a choice of vinyls spinning on a turn table as you anticipate the outlandish exteriors of your hotel room. Although not a lot has been divulged by founder Rami Mekdachi ahead of their late 2018 opening, their pop-up shop in department store, Bon Marché, is indicative of their bold architectural tendencies and eccentric flair. Expect the unexpected.

11. Muji Hotel, Shenzhen, China

In the megacity of Shenzhen, the first ever Muji Hotel delights minimalist aficionados with its cosy but calculated aesthetic. The hotel opened in early 2018 to eager fans of the Japanese homeware brand and has 79 bedrooms, which are all dressed in the brand’s own furnishings. Described as “anti-gorgeous, anti-chic”, the hotel bypasses bold statements, placing its attention on the fine details with refined accents in wood-panelling and even textures of towels being attended to with as much detail as the restaurant’s menu.

12. Another Place, Lake District, UK

This chic boutique hotel is set within 18 acres and clings to the luscious shores of Ullswater. The definition of quintessential English countryside – it is all undulating green hills, a canvas of alder, beech and oak trees, impending puffy clouds and a cacophony of nature’s best harmonies. 18 acres marks the boundaries of this modern-yet-classic hotel. Inside this reinvented Georgian house are 40 bedrooms, two restaurants, a bar, a library and a swim club, which includes treatment rooms and a dreamy 20 metre lake-view swimming pool.

13. Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia

Located in Tbilisi, this hotel opened in summer 2018 in a Soviet-era publishing house and former cognac distillery and comes with its own chocolate factory. The aesthetic is all very industrial-luxe with the lobby’s exposed structural pillars stretching the full height of the building, as well as exposed brickwork and oversized windows which remain untouched from its publishing house days. All this is softened with plush, textured and patterned surfaces throughout the communal spaces, as well as in the 125 rooms and suites.

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