Despite what we can all agree has been a “disruptive” year for tourism across the board (among other things), there’s still some cause for celebration in the world of international accommodation. Here are 24 selected winners from the inaugural Architectural Digest Hotel Awards – honouring the very best in hotel design from new openings this past year.
Ace Hotel Kyoto
For its Japanese debut, Ace assembled a veritable dream team, tapping starchitect Kengo Kuma and the AD100 firm Commune Design to help transform what was once a telephone-company office into a temple to local craft.
Part restoration, part reinvention— AD100 designer Vincent Van Duysen’s first hotel project masterfully transformed a former Augustinian convent into a spare yet cerebral sanctuary of guest rooms, gardens, spa facilities, and more.
St. Barth Isle De France
As part of a total refresh to this hot spot, AD100 Hall of Famer Jacques Grange devised impeccably textured, tonal rooms—a wonderfully patterned bar, too—while AD100 landscape designer Madison Cox sculpted the tropical grounds.
Hôtel Le Coucou
AD100 star Pierre Yovanovitch picks up where Charlotte Perriand left off, injecting high design into this scenic swath of the French Alps. The hotel’s suites, chalets, spa, and restaurants all put a delightful twist on Alpine style.
Uyuni Salt Flat, Bolivia
Situated amid otherworldly terrain, this remote getaway is a meditation on land and sky. Geodesic domes erected atop simple timber platforms reveal haute-hippie interiors by Swiss duo Marina Cardis and Marine Luginbuehl.
Maison de la Luz
New Orleans, US
Five-star luxury meets bed-and-breakfast charm at this soigné guesthouse, designed by the AD100’s Studio Shamshiri in partnership with Atelier Ace. Layered, intimate rooms break hospitality rules for a totally residential feel.
After taking over this Big Island icon, Auberge Resorts tapped the celebrated design firm Meyer Davis to oversee a property-wide renovation. Nuanced hues, natural materials, and good mana now abound.
Set on andBeyond’s Ngala private game reserve, bordering Kruger National Park, this villa by architect Jack Alexander and Fox Browne Creative is a solar-powered world unto itself, with a roof terrace nearly 40 feet up for surveying the bush.
Potato Head Studios
This beachfront project from the Rem Koolhaas–helmed architecture firm OMA boldly rethinks resort typologies, orienting itself toward the greater community. Ground-level and rooftop public spaces offer a stage for music festivals, art exhibitions, and more.
Rosewood Little Dix Bay
British Virgin Islands
To revive the legendary resort after Hurricane Irma, design firm Meyer Davis stayed true to hotel founder Laurance Rockefeller’s vision, recreating hexagonal cottages and tree houses while preparing all structures for future storms.
Vipp Chimney House
Built in 1902 as a water-pumping station, this brick beauty—distinguished by its chimney tower— was converted into a two-bedroom guest house by Danish architect David Thulstrup, who added terrazzo floors and a statement steel stair, among other refined touches.
Zannier Hotels Sonop
Erected atop a mass of boulders within a desert nature reserve, this tented camp takes inspiration from British expeditions of the 1920s, its luxury accommodations (including an immaculate spa) outfitted with campaign-style furnishings.
Read the original Architectural Digest Hotel Awards 2020 announcement over at architecturaldigest.com.