Now more than ever before travelers are seeking out natural, outdoor-oriented destinations for their calming and restorative effects. As such, using intentional architecture and interior design to bring the outdoors inside is a trend that is gaining momentum in the travel space.
Andaz Bali, Indonesia
Opened in April 2021, the resort’s overall concept reflects the locale and is inspired by the surrounding villages, from its intimate scale with buildings nestled amid the lush greenery to the use of the distinctive red brick, a traditional construction material in Sanur. The center is the Village Square where the open, barrier-free design invites guests and local residents to come together. Set in low-rise clusters, the guest accommodations and facilities are spread across a lush tropical landscape following the cardinal directions, which play a significant role in the Balinese Hindu religion. The rooms, suites and villas are designed in contemporary Balinese style, using locally sourced materials such as bamboo, andesite stone, marble and teakwood.
The Lake House on Canandaigua, Finger Lakes, New York
Cate Mills, Vice President of Design for Long Weekend, says, “I designed the Willowbrook Spa with full intent for the light and airy colors, textures and atmosphere to feel cohesive with that of The Lake House on Canandaigua. I brought specific plants directly from the property grounds inside as well as herb sprigs to flavor chilled water or place them in bud vases for their scent and greenery. I used locally sourced white oak wall paneling and hand carved Beech slab for the fireplace mantle, both native to the region. It was important for me to evoke a sense of the region in this space since there are so many wonderful plants, herbs and flowers that grow naturally in the Finger Lakes.”
The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, Los Cabos, Mexico
Perched just above the famed white sands of Los Cabos and designed by architect Javier Sanchez, The Cape, a Thompson Hotel blends modern architecture with an open-air layout and integration of its natural Baja surroundings for a contemporary-meets-organic feel. Two pools and a duo of outdoor spa cabanas seemingly spring from the natural rock formations. All suites feature picturesque ocean views and many come with binoculars for whale watching, people watching, or just dreaming the day away.
The Sylvan, Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is nicknamed “the city in a forest” for its abundance of trees. As a nod to this moniker, the city’s newest hotel is The Sylvan, from the Latin word Sylva, which means ‘wood’ or ‘forest.’ Led by Goodrich and Kimpton’s Design Team, the very space within the hotel is visually connected to greenery both inside and outside, with elements of the surrounding nature placed throughout; rich greens, warm wood tones, hand-crafted ceramic details and live plants. Willow Bar, a natural wine garden bar, is a garden escape in the heart of the city, with a towering willow oak tree looming overhead, cafe lights strung throughout, a climbing vine wall and plenty of lush greenery, creating an enchanting outdoor garden atmosphere and further emphasizing the hotel’s intent to honor and preserve nature within the city.
The Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, Japan
When designing the Presidential Suite in The Mandarin Oriental, DESIGNWILKES was inspired by the Garden of Bonsai and brought that green color scheme and natural, organic feel to the space. The goal of the architects was to give the illusion of looking up at the sky through trees when designing the bedroom ceiling and the carpet design evokes the world of Origami. Guests staying in the Presidential Suite should feel a sense of calm when entering the room with its naturalistic design drawing on the Japanese landscape and culture.
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