Travel

The 19 Coolest Hotels in the World

Our guide to the coolest hotels on the planet is back – and it’s grown a massive beard, moved to Clapton and started banging on about small-batch gin. Yep, THAT cool. It’s a law unto itself…

Hotel Unique, São Paulo, Brazil:
It’s known locally as the ‘Watermelon’, but we’d say it looks more like a massive boat. At least that’s what Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake was hoping for when he designed this São Paulo hotel to look like the hull of a ship (with porthole windows, because squares are for, well, squares). Rooms are as sleek as you’d expect for a design-led hotel, and if you want to speak to your roommate while they’re in the bathroom (you don’t do that?), you can do so via a garage-style door. São Paulo’s a hip, sprawling concrete jungle, so the nearby greenery of the Ibirapuera Park is welcome. If you can drag yourself from the rooftop bar that is – hello caipirinhas with a skyline view. All in all, a pretty ship-shape experience…

Ion Hotel, Iceland:
A Brutalist slab of concrete may not sound like a geographer’s dream, but drop it at the foot of a volcano belt in Iceland and you’re on to a winning combination. It’s not just one for geology geeks, either: the uniquely designed property goes big on industrial chic on the exterior, while other parts of the hotel are much softer (the spa helps, with the outdoor, geothermal hot tub overlooking lava fields, and treatments concocted with wild Icelandic flowers and volcanic ash from that darn volcano). Read more…

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