An international marriage of nature and luxury.

33bThe era of sacrificing comfort for ecological mindfulness is in its twilight. Internationally- recognized as “what the people want,” developers are eagerly pursuing this pairing of luxury with “green” accommodations. Some of the structures are purposefully built into existing natural features — trees, hillsides, desert plateaus; all celebrate the beauty of their unique settings. These properties are designed for indoor comfort while you watch the northern lights, or the ocean glittering beneath your bed. Fireplaces, wine cellars, hot tubs carved from local wood — luxuries now enjoyed responsibly.

The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, long known to Finnish Laplanders and international travelers, is becoming the country’s worst-kept secret! Host of Ralph Lauren’s Fall Collection photo shoot and famed for its iconic snow igloos, this world-class resort has kicked it up a notch, recently introducing 16 Kelo-Glass igloos. Kakslauttanen has married the astonishing views of its snow igloos with a new level of comfort (Fireplace? Check. Sauna? Check. Kitchenette? Check.) As if the Lapland wilderness weren’t stunning enough, winter brings along the aurora borealis to light the frigid white landscape. What better place to behold nature’s spectacular laser show than your own private (warm!) hideaway?

35A small village in rural Norway is home to Juvet Landscape Hotel, the first of its kind in Europe. Set on a steep levee surrounded by native trees, the Juvet is a
perfect marriage of modern architecture and old-world craftsmanship. Each of its “Seven First” landscape rooms is sited separately, not only blending-in with the natural environment, but offering unique views of the hotel’s beautiful property. These stand-alone abodes are “cubes on stilts,” with glass walls providing vistas of the river, valley or gorge just outside.
While no two are alike, the rooms all have dark wood interiors, designed to draw the eye outward to the rugged beauty outdoors. Meals are served communally in the property’s old barn.

Well before your seaplane has landed on the Maldivian island of Kihavah Huravalhi, you can see why this spectacular archipelago is
“the” place to be for royalty and commoners alike. Long an exclusive destination for the rich and famous, the Maldives chain is naturally stunning — nowhere more so than the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas. Poised over the turquoise water with sweeping ocean views, the villas combine 5-star amenities with the backdrop of pristine coral reefs. These reefs, protected within a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, are home to abundant undersea life and just a snorkel-dive away. Complementing the over-water villas (each with private pool), is an award-winning underwater restaurant and wine cellar, one of several one-of-a- kind over- and under-water dining options. Your villa’s glass- bottomed bathtub ensures an unobstructed view of the Indian Ocean’s vibrant sea life.

Considered the most versatile and economical building designs in the world, Earthship Rentals are unique, full-furnished homes offering
completely-sustainable off-grid living. Located in the Greater World Earthship Community in Taos, New Mexico, Earthship rentals include private luxury homes, small efficiency units and specialty properties, all with modern amenities. Named one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Eco-Stays in the World, Earthships provide guests the opportunity to “live” in a modern (WiFi Internet) yet sustainable (growing food on premises) home. This ultimate green building design reflects the six principles of Earthship’s Biotecture: thermal heating/cooling, solar/wind power, contained sewage treatment, natural and recyclable building materials, water harvesting and food production.

The City Lodge at Propeller Island is a habitable installation of art in the heart of Berlin. German artist Lars Stroschen has designed each room individually to reflect the Lodge’s guiding principles of unlimited diversity, repeating nothing and copying nothing. The rooms are referred to by number and description, like #18, the “Therapy Room,” decorated in all-white, and #28, the “Padded Cell,” completely furnished in green leather. This hotel is a magnet for creative guests around the world, attracting lodgers from Beatniks to celebrities.

37Sweden’s Treehotel was designed to provide guests with a unique housing experience among the treetops. With a goal of offering high-end accommodations in the middle of nature, on nature’s terms, the Treehotel combines ecological values, comfort and modern design. “Treerooms” are suspended 20 feet above ground, each built and situated with a minimum of eco disturbance. The rooms are constructed on live trees, with electricity supplied locally from green hydro- electric power. One room, the easily-identifiable “Bird’s Nest,” was designed to blend-in with its surrounding network of tree branches, and is accessed by a retractable staircase. And while a room that looks like a UFO may seem an unlikely design for an eco-friendly resort, it is cast in durable composite material for a futuristic yet eco-sustainable dwelling.

37dSouthern Chile may seem like an odd location for a 4-star hotel, but there sits the Magic Mountain Hotel. Located in the heart of the Huilo Huilo Nature Reserve, the hotel’s architecture, amidst a forest setting, does seem magical.

Designed in an unusual pyramid shape, a waterfall gushes down the hotel’s sides. Rooms vary in size depending on their location — larger rooms on the lower level serve as the base of the pyramid; guest rooms are accessed by a central curved staircase. Magic Mountain has incorporated natural elements throughout the property, with furniture — even the hot tubs — carved from local rough-hewn logs. The nature reserve also boasts year-round backcountry skiing, for super-experienced adventure-seekers.

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