National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Architects can really flex their muscles when creating hotels. These properties are palaces of precision and detail, full of daring aesthetics and extraordinary design PARADERO TODOS SANTOS, MEXICO
The sun-blushed desert of Baja California might not be the most obvious place for brutalist-inspired architecture, but Mexico-based Yektajo Valdez Architects has seamlessly combined the two worlds with a stretch of low-rise concrete buildings enveloped by farms and flanked by Mojave yucca, agave and cactus. The beauty of this retreat is anchored in the surrounding landscapes, which always come front and centre thanks to the hotel’s considered layout. Some of the 35 suites come with rooftop access, while others feature locally made hammocks and outdoor soaking tubs. The Living Room is a homely space decked out with woven rugs, jute cushions and billowing curtains, while the half-moonshaped sunbathing spot, with its constellation of loungers arranged around a 130ft infinity pool, is ideal for fans of photogenic minimalism. From $550 (£400), B&B.
KRUGER SHALATI, SOUTH AFRICA
Parked on the disused Sabie railway bridge in Skukuza, this is a brilliantly original boutique safari lodge. The deft conversion of both train and bridge includes two modern rooms in each carriage, as well as a pool deck hanging over the Sabie River. From 7,950 rand (£390), full board, including local airport transfers. krugershalati.com
SHIROIYA HOTEL, JAPAN
Two hours northwest of Tokyo in Maebashi, a 1970s high-rise has been merged with a Teletubbies- esque grassy knoll. Of the 25 rooms, four were specially designed by a roster of international creatives. There’s topnotch food at the cafe and restaurant, an art tour and also a Finnish sauna. From £425, full board.