So you think you're a dab hand a building sandcastles? These two newly constructed hotels in the Netherlands put even the grandest and greatest bucket and spade creations to shame, taking the concept of a beach holiday to a whole new level in the process. Inspired by the Ice Hotels in Sweden and Finland, the SandHotels are claimed to be the first in the world to be built entirely out of sand.
A new reactive LED façade
has been installed at the Hotel WZ Jardins in São Paulo, Brazil. The
façade responds to sounds, air quality and people's interaction with a
smartphone app. It is part of a project that explores the "Hacked City"
and how technology can bring positive change to cities.
A new hotel that is staffed with robots has opened in Japan. The Henn-na
Hotel (which translates as "Strange Hotel"), is part of the Huis Ten
Bosch theme park complex in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. Guests can also
access their rooms via face-recognition, and are able to control room
amenities via tablets.
If you're in need of a good case of vertigo, just Google the term "rock
climbing bivy." Essentially, it's a narrow cot that a mountain climber
fastens to a cliff face, where they proceed to precariously spend the
night dangling above oblivion. Although you might not want to push
things quite that far, you can now get the same sort of thrill – but in a safer, more comfortable fashion – by staying in one of Natura Vive's three Skylodge Adventure Suites.
A hotel in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, shows just what can be achieved in spite of location, planning and environmental restrictions. Sandibe Okavango is an eco-lodge built in a UNESCO World Heritage site designed to be sustainable. Despite this, it provides 24 beds of luxury accommodation.
Host to millions of Muslim pilgrims each year, the holy city of Mecca is a lucrative location for hoteliers. Architecture conglomerate Dar Al-Handasah aims to capitalize on this by building the world's largest hotel in the city. Dubbed Abraj Kudai, it's reportedly due to open its doors in 2017.
When we're looking for somewhere to stay, sometimes it needs to cater for both leisure and work. The Zoku Loft does just this. The rentable 25 sq m (269 sq ft) micro-apartment is a home-office hybrid that uses clever design to squeeze a host of features into its limited space, including a small kitchen, a recessed working area and slide in/out stairs to a screened loft.
When we visited Australia's Blue Mountains earlier this year to feature this extraordinary clifftop cave, we had no idea that the cave itself might not be the most amazing piece of architecture on the property. Almost as an afterthought, Wollemi Cabins owner and master builder Lionel Buckett invited us down to yet another secluded pocket of the gigantic wilderness area to discover another gem: his treehouse cabin. Built around a turpentine tree and fireproofed against the harsh Australian bushfire season, it's a magical space with profoundly stunning views.
The winner of a tender for a major new hotel development in Amsterdam was announced last week. It will be based at the Amsterdam RAI exhibition and conference center. Designed by architects OMA, the Nhow Amsterdam RAI hotel is designed to be an attraction in itself and will have a striking twisted design.