Five relaxing resorts offer next-level hospitality.
1. Macau Roosevelt by Gulla Jónsdóttir Architecture + Design
Gulla Jónsdóttir Architecture + Design's first ground-up hotel evokes Hollywood glamour at the Macau property. Jónsdóttir nods to the island's Portuguese colonial history, traditional Chinese art, and elements of nature throughout the resort and its 368 guest rooms and suites.
2. Villas de Finolhu by Meriem Hall Designs and Yuji Yamazaki Architecture
The five-star resort, on a 12-acre private island in North Malé Atoll, sets a new paradigm for luxury and, as architect Yuji Yamazaki said, “radical sustainability.” A covered jetty-breezeway runs between the rows of 52 guest villas along the water. Other buildings including a spa, gym, and restaurant all feel vaguely vernacular yet completely contemporary. The villas offer beds set on platforms, giving it a Japanese feel, while designer Meriem Hall aimed to stay local for the bar; its canoe-shape makes seated guests feel like they are floating in the Indian Ocean.
3. Yamu Resort by Paola Navone
Paola Navone's ground-up hotel for the COMO Group in Phuket features 79 rooms and 27 villas, a Sham-bala wellness retreat, and two world-class restaurants. Navone sourced everything locally, like the wooden furniture which was crafted by local artisans in the north of Thailand.
4. Hotel Escondido by Federico Rivera Río Arquitectura
This laid-back town of San Pedro Mixtepec is known as a popular surf spot, which Federico Rivera Río used as inspiration at Hotel Escondido. Río's style mixes crisp modernism and the rustic vernacular of the surf town, which he describes as "combining ancestral forms and customs with geometric rigor." Public amenities center on a double-height palapa, its typical woven palm thatch sheltering reception and a restaurant—where mid-century furniture elevates the architecture’s rusticity, and the occasional surfboard completes the upscale but retro beach-shack vibe. The 16 guest bungalows offer verandas that overlook private pools.
5. Alpina Gstaad by HBA and Jaggi & Partner
HBA and Jaggi & Partner worked together to create a luxury chalet in the Swiss village of Gstaad. The Alpina Gstaad, a six-story and 56-key hotel, was designed to fit the local luxurious aesthetic of the ski town. "You basically build a chalet or. . .a chalet," HBA partner Nathan Hutchins jokes. An enormous tree root from a valley nearby sits as the reception desk beneath a cascading chandelier, its glass shades etched with snippets of Swiss poetry.