Best of Est 2018: Design Hotels

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    We journey both close to home and further afar to put together an exclusive itinerary featuring five of our favourite design hotels. From the island of Mykonos to the Queensland coastline, we guarantee that you’ll never want to leave these first-class, vacation destinations.

    There are some moments in life that deserve a little extravagance. When it comes to choosing a destination to commemorate that special occasion – whether it’s a honeymoon, romantic trip for two or a dream-come-true adventure, there are few hotels that offer a truly memorable experience, feature discerning design and an unforgettable location.

    In the hope of inspiring your next memorable holiday, we’ve put together our favourite collection of design accommodation. From Casa Tiny‘s Brutalist shelter in Mexico’s Puerto Escondido to the unpretentious Australian luxury of Rae’s on Wategos in Byron Bay, these individual hotels offer something utterly unique – as well as some serious wanderlust. It’s time to get your bucket list at the ready.

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    Scorpios Mykonos | Annabell Kutucu | Travel & Hotel Design | est living

    Located on the sun-soaked southern tip of Mykonos, the exclusive Scorpios Mykonos overlooks a natural reserve and is flanked by lagoons on either side. Offering visitors uninterrupted views across the Aegean sea, this sprawling 6,000-sqm beach property was designed in collaboration with K-Studio Architects’ creative director Michael Schickinger and one of est’s favourite interior designers; Annabell Kutucu.

    One minute this resort is a quiet retreat for silence and stillness and the next a mecca for entertainment. This shape-shifting quality has been expertly channelled through Kutucu’s clever design. A resort that is all about the natural environment; wood, rattan, hemp, cotton and stone create a space that is laid back and warm with an aesthetic style firmly set in contemporary minimalism. Nothing is trying too hard at Scorpios Mykonos and that, of course, is precisely the point.

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    If you’ve been Byron Bay bound in the past few years, chances are Raes on Wategos has been on your must-visit list. Located on Australia’s most easterly point, the hotel was originally built in the 1960s and has undergone a number of iterations. However, the most recent reinvention of its seven apartments, restaurant and spa is by far the best yet.

    The updated interior by Tamsin Johnson not only demonstrates a refreshed aesthetic combining an elegant eclecticism, it exudes more personality and charm than ever before. A boutique retreat with personalised service, this beachfront hotel is a space that makes for an easy, breezy, stylish setting for both locals and visitors alike.

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    Rae's on Watergos | Travel & Hotel Design | est living
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    A stone’s throw from the lapping waves of Puerto Escondido on Mexico’s Oaxacan coast, Casa Tiny is about as unstereotypical a beach house as you could muster. A solid and secure concrete abode with just enough room for two, Casa Tiny is a very particular sort of retreat, providing guests with all that they need while challenging the excess comforts they are used to wanting.

    As one of the first building’s architect Aranza de Ariño has constructed, Casa Tiny’s design was inspired by American author Henry David Thoreau’s 19th-century novel, Walden. The novel follows Thoreau’s experience of living in an isolated self-built cabin in the woods over a two year period. Just like Thoreau’s stint of self-sufficient solitude, de Ariño built Casa Tiny as a way to get back to the romantic ideal of simple living in natural surroundings.

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    Casa Tiny | Travel & Hotel Design | est living
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    It seems designers Annabell Kutucu and Michael Schickinger of k-studio know a thing or two about designing exclusive Greek hotels. Casa Cook Kos highlights how to blend luxury with a rustic, bohemian aesthetic. The laid-back ambience of this resort is perfectly fitting given its location on the small Dodecanese island of Kos in the southeastern Aegean Sea.

    Modelled on traditional Greek island architecture, the one and two-storey houses of the hotel are cubist, contemporary and minimalist – a style mirrored in the interior’s clean-lined furniture. A lived-in feel is created through the use of textural, Moroccan overtones and its rough, natural materials and earthy hues only add to the overall sense of relaxation. Finally, a nod to mid-century design keeps the property well within the realm of contemporary.

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    Casa Cook Kos by Annabell Kutucu | est living
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    Located at laid-back Cabarita Beach in northern New South Wales, Halcyon House has evolved from its beachside motel past to a bonafide jewel of the region. Anna Spiro’s playful yet sophisticated interior design style pairs vibrant wallpaper with padded headboards, curated artworks and handmade tiles to evoke a setting that could be described as the guest bedroom of someone with impeccable taste. From its famed Paper Daisy restaurant, guest bicycles, onsite day spa and striped lounges poolside there really is something for everyone.

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    An Insider's Guide to Halcyon House | est living
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