Viewfinders / Global
Travel & hotels
At a beachside sanctuary in Mexico, artsy estate in Sweden and harbour hotel in South Africa, make sure you grab a window seat.
In the past decade the waters of Tulum have lapped against some unsightly hotel developments that blemished rather than embellished the pretty town. Habitas Tulum, however, is a welcome addition. The hotel’s 32 tent-style rooms boast Tzalam wood furniture, plush textiles and bespoke coconut, avocado and honey-based cosmetics. Beyond the rooms’ comfortable threshold are a private beach, roof terrace and chef Federico Cappi’s restaurant Moro, where guests enjoy Spanish fare with Moorish flair at candlelit communal tables made from reclaimed wood.
Matthias Birkholz and Stephanie Hundertmark are lawyers, art collectors and owners of two for-rent holiday homes by the Baltic Sea. Their two timber houses in the dunes – aptly named Haus Pine and Haus Sand – accommodate six to eight guests each and are artfully furnished.
Amenia, New York State
Rustic getaways don’t come much finer than Troutbeck, a charming 250-year-old stone-clad property two hours upstate of New York. Once a home, it then became an inn that was frequented by the likes of Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway. Recently refurbished by interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud, the 36-room space retains its original character, while the bedrooms are light-filled and comfortable with enough mod-cons to stop it getting too rustic. Don’t forget to explore the pristine swimming pool, lounge in a hammock and visit the 1916 walled garden on the vast lot.
Estate of the art
Wanås Restaurant Hotel
The medieval estate of Wanås in southern Sweden has long attracted art lovers thanks to its sculpture park featuring A-list artists. Now two 18th-century buildings have been converted into a hotel with 11 guestrooms and an organic farm, making it possible to enjoy a leisurely stay to see art, dine and wander in the rural expanse.
The Silo Hotel
Set atop the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (which is housed in a former grain silo), The Silo claims a magnificent view of Cape Town’s Table Mountain and waterfront. The façade, designed by London-based Heatherwick Studio, is all pillowed-glass windows and raw cement pillars, and sits in delightful contrast to the hotel’s colourful patterned interior.
Of Austria’s eight provinces, Tyrol is the one most outsiders might recognise. The region is a storybook landscape of soaring peaks (more than 500 exceed altitudes of 3,000 metres), mountain meadows and spectacular skiing, dotted by picturesque villages that look like they’re of another era. And many are: the old-fashioned charm of centuries-old timber houses and grazing cows lure 40 million visitors a year. But parts of Tyrol are also remarkably cutting-edge – as evidenced in, say, Innsbruck’s art and architecture scenes, where a stunning ski jump by the late Zaha Hadid looms over a city centre that combines savvy urbanism with a reverence to tradition.
A mix of contemporary and classic finishes in three restaurants – and a well-stocked vinothek.
Wirtshaus zum Rehkitz
A 17th-century mountainside farmhouse combines blond-wood country charm with seemly Austrian fodder. Sample the best Kaiserschmarrn (a pancakey Austrian dessert) in the region.
This family-owned firm creates ski jackets mixing hi-tech materials with more traditional ones such as Loden wool.
St Anton am Arlberg
Find excellent spa facilities and scrumptious food at this elegant stopover built in the 1920s.
A small castle with easy access to the slopes.
Alber Sport and Fashion
Rent your ski boots and gear from this shop, which first opened as a cobbler in the 1940s.
Restaurant Simon Taxacher
Tucked into the elegant Rosengarten hotel, this smart restaurant serves innovative but unfussy tasting menus and regional wine pairings in a muted dining room.
Grand Hotel Europa Founded in 1869, this historic 108-suite hotel is located steps away from ski slopes, the Imperial Palace and the city’s landmark Goldenes Dachl (golden roof).
This popular venue (now in Linz too) goes beyond excellent stone-oven pizza: it’s also an event space for beer-tastings and more.
Expect an eclectic mix of English and Italian togs at this branch of Roy Dantendorfer’s Austrian fashion empire.