We live in a world where travelers are in search of bright-eyed wonder, as exemplified through the “Age of Awe”, one of six key themes defined in our first-ever trend report, the Further Forecast 2024. To inspire such a sense of wonderment, Design Hotels selected a list of destinations for travelers to dream about, with a crop of new hotels that create the ideal environs for such dreams to become realities in the year to come.
Boca de Agua, Bacalar, Mexico
While travelers would be hard pressed to pick wrong in Mexico’s majestic Yucatán region, Bacalar remains an under-the-radar destination that serves as a template for responsible tourism in the country. Located just north of the Belize border, in the state of Quintana Roo, Bacalar has a strong local community that is fiercely protective of its magnificent natural wonders, including a 26-mile-long lagoon. As a result, development in the area has been spearheaded by eco-conscious hoteliers, such as Mexico City-based Rodrigo Juárez, who commissioned starchitect Frida Escobedo to design the recently opened Boca de Agua. Constructed primarily with locally sourced materials, the resort centers around a family of treehouses immersed in foliage and lifted on pillars to reduce the environmental impact on the soil; 90% of the resort’s 82 acres of land remains untouched. Beyond the 22 rooms, the hotel also features two restaurants (one with a stargazing platform), a lagoon deck, a cenote pool, and a spa cocooned by four red Chaka trees. “We believe the traditional model for tourism in emerging destinations must change,” Juárez says. “Regenerative hospitality does not have to be uncomfortable or ugly. Regenerative hospitality is valued by travelers, and therefore, projects like ours can become self-sustaining ventures.”
21 Carpenter, Singapore
Singapore has long held the advertence of the rest of Asia as a city-state that’s consistently pushed the envelope of innovative modern architecture while also embracing the tropical island’s penchant for green. Its role as a gastronomic powerhouse is tied to a unique culinary scene embracing its multiethnic heritage and the new and inventive. Acting as an extension of the Lion City’s resilience and constant strides toward innovation is 21 Carpenter, set to open in January 2024. To create the hotel, the talented and unconventional local architects at WOHA transformed a 1936 former remittance house into a masterpiece abundant with storied materials, emblems, and inscriptions reclaimed from the original structure. Situated at the crossing of the historic Chinatown and the bustling Clarke Quay area – a hotspot for imaginative eateries – the hotel contributes to the vibrancy of the scene with its own neo-bistro and bar, debuting a new culinary concept by chef Andrew Walsh, whose restaurant Cure has a Michelin star.
Nobis Palma, Mallorca, Spain
Among the Gothic churches and scenic squares of Palma’s Old Town, one of the city’s oldest buildings now breathes with new life as Nobis Hotel Palma. At the recently opened hotel, contemporary luxury is steeped in 1,000 years of history, reimagined by the award-winning team at Swedish firm Wingårdhs, who oversaw the interiors, and the Spanish studios Jordi Herrero Arquitectos and Eduardo Garcia Acuna Arquitectos, who managed the architectural concept . An ancient fountain has been carefully repurposed into a small dipping pool. A medieval escape-route tunnel houses the Nobis Hotel Spa. Rooms feature original ceramic flooring and wood ceilings juxtaposed by Nordic, Spanish, and Italian design pieces as well as handcrafted ceramic vessels by Mallorcan artist Miquel Segura. Offering sharp contrasts between the old and the new, the property strikes a stunning balance between the rough and the smooth, the raw and the refined.
Hotel Borsari & The Home, Switzerland
At the foot of the Great Saint Bernard Pass, Martigny is a fairytale Swiss town with gorges that rank among the top ten in Europe, thermal water springs, stunning mountain trails, and terraced vineyards in the southwest. While nature is a big draw here, the town attracts art and history lovers year-round: Martigny is also home to several Gallo-Roman ruins, including thermal baths and an amphitheater that once seated up to 5,000 people. Opening Spring next year, Hotel Borsari will offer guests and locals the opportunity to experience such historic and extraordinary underground baths; those at the hotel were constructed in former wine tanks and date to the 19th century. The essence and heritage of Martigny are further celebrated through a specially commissioned series of photographs by artist Rob Ball that will adorn the walls of the property and its onsite restaurant 180, which will source all its produce from within a 180-kilometer radius.
In Zurich, a city where the past constantly intersects with the present, The Home marks the latest venture of brothers Günter and Manfred Weilguni, who are also the Originals behind Spedition Thun and Hide Hotel Flims. Scheduled to open in early 2024, the hotel features an interior design prioritizing sustainable practices by the award-winning studio Stylt Trampoli. An abundance of dark, natural materials, such as wood, stone, and ceramic tiles, have been sourced from local suppliers, and bath amenities are provided by the Zurich-based company Soeder. Art and culture stand at the fore of the hotel’s commitment to community: rotating curated exhibitions, performances, and talks are to be hosted in partnership with the renowned LUMA Foundation.
The article New openings for Design Hotels in 2024, from Singapore to Mexico to Switzerland first appeared in TravelDailyNews International.