1. Burj Al Arab
Most have heard of the bending curves of this ultra-lavish hotel on the Arabian Gulf, but it’s only fair to mention it here again as it is one of the most eccentric forms of hotel architecture to date.
The Burj Al Arab is 321 meters of luxury and exclusive service. British architect Tom Wright conceived the billowing hotel in 1993.
Where: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
What: Luxury hotel with helipad on the Gulf
Designed by: Tom Wright
2. Hotel Marqués de Riscal
This is a smart fusion of award-winning wine and avant-garde architecture. Spain’s Rioja vino is a favorite for many, and a visit to the region makes for an interesting trip in rural Spain, especially if staying at Hotel Maqués de Riscal.
The hotel’s flamboyant style is signature Gehry, who has left his artistic imprint on other parts of the country as well.
Where: Spain’s Rioja wine country
What: Luxury hotel and vineyard
Designed by: Frank O. Gehry
3. Park Hyatt Tokyo
This upscale hotel has 178 rooms and a mere 23 suites with views of Yoyogi Park. Designed by Kenzo Tange, who has made many contributions to Tokyo’s skyline, this hotel made a famous appearance in the film Lost in Translation.
Where: Tokyo, Japan
What: Luxury hotel with interior design by John Morford
Designed by: Kenzo Tange
4. Wynn Hotel
From the outside Wynn is a striped giant, new and sleek in a town that’s the definition of over-the-top. As the Wynn PR reps are quick to mention, the hotel holds five stars, five diamonds, and the Michelin seal of approval.
True, it’s not an easy task to obtain all these bells and whistles, and most would agree that Wynn is the cream of the crop when it comes to staying in Las Vegas.
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada baby!
What: Luxury hotel and casino
Designed by: DeRuyter O. Butler
5. Phinda Homestead
Unlike most of the hotels listed here, the Phinda Getty is a lodge which architect Nick Plewman attempted to blend into the surrounding environment. The building is set on a private game reserve in South Africa, overlooking grassy landscapes and volcanoes in the distance.
Where: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
What: Luxury lodge and reserve
Designed by: Nick Plewman
6. Inn at Price Tower
Built in 1956, the Price Tower is famous because it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright building. Only recently did interior architect Wendy Evans Joseph turn eight floors of the tower into a 21-room hotel.
The tower is owned by the nonprofit group Price Tower Arts Center.
Where: Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA
What: Hotel of historical significance
Designed by: Frank Lloyd Wright
7. The Four Seasons, NYC
New York has some of the best hotels around, and the Four Seasons’ Manhattan Hotel is one of the best in the city. Pritzker prize-winning architect I.M. Pei is the talent behind this top-of-the-line hotel, which is located on 57th Street in the Manhattan’s shopping and financial district.
Where: New York, New York, USA
What: Metropolitan luxury hotel
Designed by: I.M. Pei
8. Hongta Hotel
Bustling Shanghai has reinvented itself and continues to build as the world looks to China. K. Jeffries Sydness’ Hongta Hotel is a fine example of just how chic Shanghai has become.
The hotel’s silvery towers jump up like an exclamation mark, as if to say we’re it…and then some!
Where: Shanghai, China
What: Metropolitan luxury hotel
Designed by: K. Jeffries Sydness
9. Le Meridien Lingotto
Once a Fiat car factory, this hotel is an example of a popular blend of architecture in Europe which mixes the old with the new. A competition was held to see which architect would bring the old factory into the 21st century, and the winner was Renzo Piano, who took on the 800,000 sq.ft. factory and transformed it into the successful hotel you see today.
Where: Turin, Italy
What: Design hotel; old meets new
Designed by: Renzo Piano
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Regina WB is a writer living in Barcelona. She works mostly on non-fiction and travel pieces with a focus on Latin America and Europe.