Cover Book these boutique hotels once travel restrictions lift.

Travel is the ultimate source of inspiration and these boutique hotels will surely invigorate your mind, body and soul when travel restrictions ease

Travel isn't just for relaxation. For many of us, going somewhere new serves as a source of inspiration—a jolt of energy that fuels our creativity so much so we become more productive when we return to work. With travel-starved starting to plan their "vaxications", we asked Peter Cole, CEO of Design Hotels, to choose the best places to get a creative reboot. Here are five boutique hotels to have on your radar.

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1. Node Kyoto, Japan

I’m a huge fan of the way Node Kyoto has taken the idea of fluid, programmable places such as galleries and museums, and woven their approaches into its core. The hotel feels like a private home, but the team invites the world in through a series of collaborative exhibitions, pop-up shops and guest gallerists, which together form such a rich on-property programme. The name itself, “node”—an intersection—means the hotel acts as a cross-cultural meeting point between local residents and the city’s visitors.

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2. Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort, Switzerland

This hotel in Zermatt is a great example of making the most of the Covid-19 downtime to challenge the status quo. Already a forerunner when it comes to sustainable practices, it has undergone an extensive renovation since the summer of 2020 and now a new geothermal heat pump will generate 95 per cent of its heat and hot water requirements. Cervo will also focus on offering guests an element of regeneration in the form of meditation, coaching and yoga sessions. Sustainability for this hotel is not just a focus on the environment but also on the soul. 

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3. Timber Cove, USA

In 2017, Design Hotels launched Further, a travelling laboratory for experiential hospitality and collaborative culture, for which we invite artists, musicians and others from the creative industries to visit hotels and respond to their surroundings. When it came to Timber Cove, a former meditation lodge and 1960s-era artist colony in California’s Sonoma Coast, it felt like a homecoming for the Further event.

The property was created in the midst of the anti-war movement, spanning the civil rights, flower power and women’s liberation movements, which then culminated in the 1967 Summer of Love. Timber Cove’s unique story was truly inspiring to the musicians we invited to take part in artist residencies at the site.

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4. Sunyata Hotel Meili, China

This hotel is complete escapism. Far away from any trace of urban life, Sunyata Hotel Meili is nestled in the foothills of the Snow Meili Mountain, a sacred place for Tibetan Buddhists. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word for “emptiness” and makes me think of a more poetic way of life. In harmonious balance, the hotel is imbued with a proud sense of location and heritage, reflected in features such as the Tibetan-style fireplaces, Buddhist murals and reclaimed doors.

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5. Hotel Escondido, Mexico

Now more than ever, people are conscious of the human and social impact of what they choose to spend their money on. In hospitality, this means it is increasingly important to be overt about your hotel’s purpose within the overall concept. The team behind Hotel Escondido and 11 other properties in North and South America, Carlos Couturier & Moisés Micha, are hyper-aware of the fact that hotels not only have the power and responsibility to connect guests with the local surroundings but also have the ability to transform and push boundaries, which will provide us with endless opportunities.

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