8 Futuristic Hotels
We haven't quite made it to space yet, but some forward thinking architects have imagined a Jetsons-worthy future for hotel stays. From a gem stone–inspired retreat on a Chinese island to underwater pods in Fiji, Rachel Beard rounds up futuristic hotel concepts around the globe
The Amethyst Hotel, China
Even the design team behind this project has called it “slightly insane.” Dutch studio NL Architects proposed an ambitious structure modeled on an amethyst crystal, with guestrooms positioned behind violet faceted glass. The first in a chain of gem-inspired hotels, this purple palace has been earmarked for a man-made island off the coast of southern China. Sleep safe at this not-so-hidden gem: Amethyst crystals are said to prevent nightmares, and the ancient Greeks believed they could protect against drunkenness. Cheers to that.
Krystall Hotel, Norway
The best way to view the Northern Lights? From your bed at a floating hotel shaped like a giant snowflake, of course. Rumored to be opening off the Norwegian coast near Tromso by the end of 2016, the Krystall is based on plans drawn up by Dutch Docklands that feature 86 guestrooms with glass roofs, a luxe spa, and cool wintery interiors including a cozy fireplace set in ice cube–style blocks. Reachable only by boat, the structure will be built on a concrete base tethered to the fjords, but it will “float” between six and 10 feet from its epicenter.
City of Dreams Hotel Tower, Macau
In true Zaha Hadid style, this 40-story structure by the Iraqi-Brit architect, in Macau’s City of Dreams entertainment district, is more like a sculpture than a hotel. Think of it as a cutting-edge reworking of the Arc de Triomphe, with interconnecting bridges, designer boutiques and a rooftop pool, all wrapped up in a spider web–like metal frame. This striking addition to Macau’s already futuristic skyline is set to open in 2017.
The Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji
If good things come to those who wait, guests at Fiji’s Poseidon Undersea Resort are in for a treat. This submerged sleep has been 14 years in the making, and the opening date is yet to be announced to the 150,000 would-be guests currently on the wait list, all of whom are eager to voyage to the bottom of the sea to sleep in one of the resort’s 25 Jetsons-style pods. Made from transparent acrylic (and reinforced with steel), the suites will be accessed by an elevator from a 225-acre private island and feature underpod lights, push-button fish feeders and, of course, eye-popping views of the multicolor marine life from 40 feet below the water’s surface.
Azerbaijan may not be on every traveler’s radar, but Baku is definitely its hottest city, not least for its dazzling skyline, which is punctuated by three flame-shaped skyscrapers covered in 10,000 LEDs that flicker at night. In a break from tradition, the Fairmont brand, which is usually associated with stately sleeps rather than avant-garde architecture, swooped in to occupy 36 floors in 2013. The luxe guestrooms overlook the Caspian Sea and feature spa-like bathrooms with deep soaking tubs; the eight dining options run the gamut from a French bistro to a posh steakhouse.
Hotel Unbalance, Peru
This quirky proposal from Spanish architecture firm Ooiio is designed to frame views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Andes from a cliff edge just outside the Peruvian capital. The hunt is on for a perfect location for this “Leaning Tower of Lima,” so there’s no official opening date, but the plans include 125 guestrooms, a rooftop restaurant and interiors that feature hanging gardens.
The Diamond Ring Hotel, Abu Dhabi
And finally. Where better to erect a giant, sparkly, ring-shaped hotel than in one of the richest cities on earth? It’s still just a concept, so little has been written about this jewel of a hotel, but it’s clear from the artist impressions that it’s a perfect fit for a city that celebrates sun, sand and superlative structures. Cue proposal packages aplenty.
Ark Hotel, China
It may look like a giant slinky, but the Ark was designed for more than fun and games. Created by Russian architects Remistudio, the floating hotel is made of wooden arches, steel cables, and a plastic exterior that can withstand extreme floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters. The interior has a green, self-sustaining environment full of a natural light so that if all hell breaks loose on earth, you could happily live out the rest of your life inside. Let's hope the Ark isn't taking reservations anytime soon.
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