Cover Juvet Landscape Hotel from the inside (Photo: Medium)

Make the most out of your vacation or staycation! Feast on the beauty of nature combined with top-notch architectural wonders at these picturesque hotels

For the most part, we spend staycations lounging on our hotel beds or lazing about in the dining area where we await full-course meals that make us wish we stayed in the gym a little bit longer. One of the fantastic things about travel is the fact that we are able to stay in breathtakingly beautiful hotels, some so captivating that we'd rather not explore outdoors.

Some hotels around the globe are doing their best to provide extra appealing experiences to entice guests to enjoy their properties. InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, for example, launched the world's first underground hotel with 18 floors underground and two floors underwater; we also have Wyndham Grand in UK where visitors get a five per cent off if they're willing (and brave enough!) to "reconnect" with nature and spend days without the aid of their handy-dandy smart phones. 

While these activities are exciting, there are stand-out hotels that don't need to think of any engaging schemes. Their jaw-dropping interiors paired with staggering views are enough to make draw us in, take our cameras out, and fall in love with the ambience, architecture, interiors and vistas.

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In this article, Tatler lists some of the world's most picturesque lodges:

1. Soneva Kiri Thailand

Take your photography skills to another level as Soneva Kiri in Thailand showcases its lush tropical rainforest nestled on an unspoilt island. This magnificent hideaway is comprised of 34 expansive one-to-six bedroom pool luxury villas that seamlessly blend with nature's beauty.

You and your peers can also have fun at the camera-friendly sunset ocean view pool reserve perched atop cliffs—and if that's not enough, this place also provides treepod dining in the tropical foliage of Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest. 

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Tatler Asia
Your personal waiter will deliver your meals through zipline
Above Your personal waiter will deliver your meals through zipline

How does treepod dining work? 

The treepod dining experience takes guests to new heights (quite literally!). Here, bamboo pods where you are seated will gently be raised high up into the tropical forest trees of Koh Kohd. Gourmet delights and booze will then be delivered by your personal waiter via zip-line.

2. The Peninsula, Shanghai, China

Who says that the only tourist spots worthy of a visit in Shanghai, China are the likes of Oriental Pearl Tower, Nanjing Road, and the basilica of Sheshan? Tucked in this ever-busy place is The Peninsula hotel where you can find world-class facilities that highlight Chinese tradition, heritage, and innovation.

Capture the stunning Art Deco-inspired interiors of the hotel as you and your loved ones dine in its critically-acclaimed, Michelin star-rated restaurants. Consider yourself lucky if you land a suite that offers views of the historic Wai Bai Du iron bridge across Suzhou Creek.

Tatler Trivia: In 2021, the Peninsula Shanghai was included in Forbes' Travel Guide Five-Star hotel. This is its 10th consecutive year on the prestigious list.

3. Six Senses Douro Valley, Samodaes, Portugal

If you and your friends find yourselves wandering in Portugal, consider staying in Six Senses Douro Valley in Samodaes. Your photo library will be filled with the delightful and equally stunning New York-based Clodagh Design composed of blue and white azulejo tiles, granite floors, and cork ceilings. The hotel is brimming with an extraordinarily relaxing atmosphere with its abundant orchard and vegetable gardens. 

Tatler Trivia: Azulejo is a form of Portuguese and Spanish painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework.

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4. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India

Most visitors in Agra are only there for one reason: to marvel at Taj Mahal, an ivory-white marble mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. If you're one of these tourists, then you must consider staying in the comforts of Amarvilas where every suite has a spectacular view of the iconic monument. The three-story hotel is filled with gold and cobalt blue ceilings and rooms that feature meticulous craftmanship.

5. Blackberry farm, Tennessee

Sunrise over the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains is a view you should never miss. In Blackberry Farm, a Relais & Châteaux resort in Walland, Tennessee, you see this and more. The 4,200-acre property has been a mountain haven and tranquil escape for family, friends, and guests for more than 80 years. 

In this place, both your eyes and the lenses of your camera can capture the breathtaking sceneries of the mountain and the cosy interiors of every cabin.

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6. Juvet Landscape Hotel

Remember the science fiction movie, Ex Machina, that was released in 2014? Well, you can relive that experience here at the Juvet Landscape Hotel in Norway. The critically-acclaimed film starring Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Sonoya Mizuno was shot in this very same hotel.

Sit back and enjoy the sweeping views of nature while basking in the sun! The lodging site offers tall and transparent windows that gently lights up your space. 

(Below are short Ex Machina scenes shot inside Juvet Landscape Hotel.)

7. Amangiri, Colorado Plateau, U.S.

The breathtaking Colorado Plateau is a common sight to see for fans of the Wild West, thanks to countless Spaghetti Western movies that featured this vast landscape. The good news is that you can see this majestic view for yourself here at Amangiri, Colorado Plateau, U.S.

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8. Dimora delle Balze, Sicily, Italy

Delicious food, tranquil atmosphere, exceptional customer service—all of these are within reach at Dimora delle Balze, Sicily, Italy. Here, you can wake up on your comfortable and cosy bed, prepare some tasty breakfast, skinny dip by the pool, and explore the beauty of Sicily, Italy, all in just one magical morning.

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9. Bastide de Gordes, Provence, France

There are days when you just want to feel like you're in a James Bond movie. One place where you can make this happen is in Las Bastide de Gordes, a luxurious hotel that shows you Provence, France in all its glory.

Fun activities that you and your friends can enjoy in the place include stargazing, horse riding, canoeing, and electric biking in Luberon.

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10. Hacienda San Antonio, Mexico

If you're a big fan of 19th Century interior and architecture, then the Hacienda San Antonio, Mexico might just be the place for you. The lodging site offers 25 rooms that graciously lie on a 470-acre expanse within a 5,000-acre working ranch, organic farm, and organic coffee plantation. 

You will never leave with an empty camera roll for the place's interiors are exquisitely decorated with the best of Mexican arts and crafts. 

11. Shinta Mani Wild, Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia

In Cambodia, expect thrilling adventures while exploring the country's luscious outdoors and wilderness. But if you want the option to chill and capture impressive photos after a long day of trekking, then Shinta Mani Wild is the place to be.

12. Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco

Royal Mansour has got to be the gold standard of all luxury hotels nestled in Marrakech. The hotel is brimming with world-class services and facilities designed by King Mohammed VI; it also features the works of over 1500 of Morocco's artisans who all worked tirelessly to produce the acres of refined zellij (geometric mosaic), intricate stuccowork, and carved cedar wood.

To top everything off, each room in this place is layered in opulent marbles, thick silk carpets, crystal do-dads and chandeliers. The place, which is situated in Hivernage, is truly a sight nobody must miss.

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