Two abandoned 1960s buildings in the middle of a desert become a chic eco retreat

May 1, 2019 by  
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London-based practice Anarchitect has breathed new life into two stone buildings from the 1960s that had laid vacant in the United Arab Emirates’ Sharjah desert for years. Using the crimson landscape as inspiration, the firm converted the abandoned buildings into the Al Faya Lodge , a light-filled eco retreat that was built with a variety of resilient materials to withstand the remote area’s extreme temperature fluctuations. Set into the foothills of Mount Alvaah and surrounded by miles of desert, the boutique hotel  required a very strategic design that would enable the structures to be resilient against the harsh climate. According to Anarchitect founder Jonathan Ashmore, the location was challenging to say the least. “Desert conditions present extreme heat in summer with intense and prolonged sun exposure,” Ashmore said. “It is important to consider these factors when first designing the form and mass of the building and secondly the selection of suitable and robust materials, which go hand-in-hand.” Related: Off-grid eco-retreats reconnect you to serene nature in Brazil Using the existing frames of the old buildings (formerly a grocery store and cafe) as a guide for the layout, the architects selected a number of robust materials to create a resilient design that would stand up to the elements for years to come. Locally-sourced stone and concrete were chosen to create a heavy thermal mass, which would help keep the interior spaces at a comfortable temperature year-round. Additionally, using concrete and stone also protects the building from the harsh weather that often sees driving rain, sand storms and freezing overnight temperatures. In addition to these materials, the hotel was clad in a vibrant mixture of weathered steel and teak hardwood to add a refined industrial aesthetic to the design. Large floor-to-ceiling panels let in optimal natural light throughout the interior and provide a strong connection with the amazing setting found outdoors. While guests to the lodge can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and desertscape from the hotel’s dining area, reception room and outdoor fire pit, the rooftop terrace is the place to be at sunrise and sunset. All of the five guest rooms feature large skylights for stargazing. When looking for a little downtime from exploring the area, guests can also take in a luxurious soak in the open-air saltwater pool. + Anarchitect + Al Faya Lodge Via Archdaily Photography by Fernando Guerra via Anarchitect

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Two abandoned 1960s buildings in the middle of a desert become a chic eco retreat

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in these bamboo huts built on a remote Vietnamese beach

March 20, 2019 by  
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When it comes to completely disconnecting from the stresses of everyday life, sometimes it’s worth the while to really go off-the-beaten-path. Thanks to Vietnamese architecture firm, VTN Architects , now you can find a little slice of serenity in a very remote area of Vietnam. Located about 2 hours from the nearest port and only accessible by boat, the Castaway Island Resort is comprised of five bamboo guest huts , covered in thatched roofs and engulfed on one side by a verdant mountain range and on the other by a private white sand beach. The Ho Chi Minh City-based firm designed the resort to offer the ultimate in lodging for those who want to reconnect with nature. Located on a tiny island that’s part of the Cat Ba Archipelago, the idyllic area is a well-known tourist destination. Tucked into a soaring mountain range on one side and a private beach on the other, guests at the eco-retreat can enjoy breathtaking views from anywhere inside the bamboo huts and outside the property. Related: Top 6 Must-See Summer Eco Resorts Around the World! Using the natural landscape for inspiration, the architects used environment-friendly bamboo to craft the huts that make up the guests rooms, as well as the restaurant and multi-use pavilion. The huts were built using thin bamboo rods that were treated in a traditional Vietnamese technique that involves soaking the bamboo in mud first and then smoking it afterwards. Once properly treated, the bamboo frames were assembled by bamboo dowel nails and re-enforced by rope. Covered with thatched roofs, the huts not only offer an authentic Vietnamese cultural experience, but also reduce the building’s impact on the existing landscape. Using bamboo as the primary building material meant adding durability to the design, as well as the option to be easily removed without leaving a footprint on the beautiful landscape. Guests will enjoy staying in the spacious guest rooms, but can also enjoy spending time in the restaurant and onsite pavilion. Built in the same style as the bamboo huts , the restaurant is built in a hyperbolic-parabolic shell volume. This shape allows the communal area to be covered, but open on all sides so that guests can take in unobstructed views while they enjoy local fare served by the restaurant. + VTN Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Hiroyuki Oki, via VTN Architects

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Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life in these bamboo huts built on a remote Vietnamese beach

These sustainable tiny cabins offer a serene escape in nature just 2 hours from NYC

March 12, 2019 by  
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For anyone looking to find some serenity surrounded by incredible nature, Gather Greene is waiting for you. Located just two hours outside of NYC in beautiful Hudson Valley, Gather Greene is a glamping retreat featuring 17 minimalist cabins. Designed by Lushna , the tiny cabins with gabled roofs and large glazed “picture walls” were designed to let guests immerse themselves in the idyllic surroundings. The distinctive wooden eco-cabins are part of Lushna’s Petite Reflect collection. Located deep in a serene forestscape, the triangular tiny cabins are spaced far apart to provide ultimate privacy. To make the most out of the nature-based escape, the glamping structures feature a gabled roof with a large front wall that is entirely glazed from top to bottom. The glass wall behind the bed was a strategic part of the design, enabling guests to enjoy their natural surroundings from the moment they wake up until they shut their eyes at night. Additionally, a mirror is mounted on the foot end of the bed, so that guests don’t have to strain their necks to enjoy the amazing views. Related: Gorgeous “glamping” eco-cabins help you reconnect with nature in luxury Although quite compact, the glamping cabins are equipped with all of the basic amenities to create a luxurious stay in nature. The cabins feature a space-saving interior design that provides maximum functionality with minimal space. For example, the interior includes a “smart box concept” that features a dinette, kitchenette and closet, all of which can be concealed into the walls. The tiny cabins , which sleep up to two guests, have fully-equipped bathrooms with stand-up showers. To completely immerse yourself into the location, the structures also have open-air decks that offer the perfect spot for dining al fresco or stargazing at night. + Lushna Via DesignMilk Photography by Kelsey Ann Rose via Lushna Glamping

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These sustainable tiny cabins offer a serene escape in nature just 2 hours from NYC

Quirky glamping park on South Korean island includes modern ‘pyramids’ and renovated Airstreams

February 22, 2019 by  
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Visitors to the remote South Korean island of Jeju may want to book a stay at the vibrant glamping location  Around Follie . Designed by Seoul-based firm  Z_Lab , the campsite, which is located on large lot of land adjacent to a defunct volcano, is made up of seven modern huts, three restored Airstreams and a number of camping sites for those who travel with their own tents. According to the architects, they wanted the glamping site to be a place where guests can fully immerse themselves in Jeju’s incredible landscape. With a wide walking path connecting the guest rooms, the layout was meant to provide visitors with the strong feeling of community. The individual huts are all spaced strategically to give guests privacy while still fostering the idea of people coming together to enjoy the outdoor experiences. Related: Go glamping Wild West-style in these Conestoga covered wagons The main lodging on site is comprised of seven individual huts in shapes reminiscent of modernized pyramids. The pyramid lodges come in four sizes: loft, twin, suite and pool villa. The interiors are bright and airy with minimal furnishings. Most of the cottages have a large wooden deck for dining al fresco or just taking in the fresh air. A fun feature is the open-air rooftop bathrooms, with a large tub to enjoy a bit of star gazing while enjoying a warm bubble bath. For those looking for more of a vintage atmosphere, there is also the option of staying in one of the three reformed Airstreams. The three RVs are each a different size and have been completely renovated into modern guestrooms . They have built-on wooden decks to enjoy the beautiful views that surround the campsite. The glamping site also offers a barbecue restaurant and café located in the large reception, which features a  green-covered rooftop  with an observation deck. Within Around Follie, there are plenty spaces for events and cultural programs year-round, another feature aimed at bringing the community together. + Around Follie + Z_Lab Via Archdaily Photography by Byung-geun Lee and video by hnh

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Quirky glamping park on South Korean island includes modern ‘pyramids’ and renovated Airstreams

Historic hotels in Spain switch to renewable energy in the new year

January 7, 2019 by  
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A state-owned chain of historic hotels in Spain is  going green in 2019  and setting an example for the rest of the country (and the world). The Paradores hotel brand — which includes grand hotels housed in ancient castles and monasteries — has announced that starting this year, all 97 of the chain’s properties will use electricity from renewable energy sources. “Paradores is a company that supports sustainable tourism in every sense of the word,” said company chair Óscar López Águeda. “What’s more, as a public company, we also want to set an example when it comes to investments that encourage energy saving and responsible consumption.” Related: Blue dye could be the next key to harnessing renewable energy The 90-year-old hotel chain signed a deal with Spanish utility giant Endesa to make sure that all electricity used in the hotels will come from green sources starting on January 1; however, the chain has no plans to stop using natural gas . Head of hotel communications Sonia Sánchez Plaza said that natural gas is less polluting compared to traditional sources the hotel has used in the past, but it is gradually eliminating its reliance on fuel oil. Sánchez Plaza added that the company has an ambitious plan to bring renewable energies like biomass, solar and geothermal into Paradores. Founded in 1928, Paradores has more than 10,000 rooms in its hotel chain, and it employs more than 4,000 staff members. Sánchez Plaza said that the company needs to protect the environment , because many properties are close to national parks and biosphere reserves. Environmental group Ecologists in Action has applauded Paradores’ decision and believes that others should follow in its footsteps. Group coordinator Paco Segura said that getting public bodies to switch to renewable sources of energy has a transformative effect. The Spanish government has a goal of switching the country’s entire electricity system to renewable sources by 2050, and it also wants to decarbonize the economy. Its draft climate change and energy transition law aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent from 1990 levels, and it also bans new licenses for fossil fuel drills, hydrocarbon exploitation and fracking wells. In October 2018, the government also struck a deal with the unions to shut down the majority of Spanish coal mines, and in return, the country will invest 250 million euros into mining regions over the next decade. Via The Guardian Image via Mr. Tickle and Paradores

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Historic hotels in Spain switch to renewable energy in the new year

A couple builds a fairytale-like rental cabin near a volcano for $30K

November 6, 2018 by  
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When Caroline and Julien traveled across South America in their Volkswagen Kombi, the couple noticed a dearth of quality accommodations and decided to fill that hospitality gap by building a beautifully crafted rental cabin in Chile . After 19 months of construction, the couple realized their dream on the slopes of the Calbuco Volcano in Ensenada. Designed and constructed for an approximate cost of $30,000, the cozy, handcrafted home — dubbed Casa Nido — has been listed on Airbnb starting at $116 a night . Designing and building Casa Nido was a big adventure for the couple, given that they didn’t know anything about construction before starting. Yet all parts of the cabin , from the design and interior finishes to the electrical wiring and water systems, were carried out by the duo without any outside help. “We are offering tourists and travelers high quality, fully handmade accommodation, somewhere to relax and contemplate far away from consumer society,” said Caroline and Julien. “It is also the ideal place to rethink one’s priorities and experiment, for a given time, what is ‘going back to the essential.’” Inspired by images of fairytale cottages , Casa Nido spans two floors, with a ground floor of 290 square feet and a smaller second level of 129 square feet. The curved roof beam is constructed from plywood, and all the other timber materials are locally sourced, native species. For instance, Patagonian Cypress was used for the windows, doors and furnishings while Manio was used for the outside siding, interior lining and flooring. In addition to a bedroom that sleeps two, the cabin comes with a living room overlooking Calbuco Volcano vistas, a fully equipped kitchen that frames views of Osorno Volcano, a ground floor terrace and a wood-fired hot tub. Related: Award-winning glass cabin is nestled inside an Australian rainforest The cabin is powered by a photovoltaic solar system that provides enough electricity to meet daily needs, while the water is sourced from a nearby natural spring higher up in the valley. Wastewater is treated with a photo-purification system. The couple also plans to build a homemade biodigester to replace the use of gas cylinders for the cabin’s gas system. To wake up to volcano views at Casa Nido, check out the listing on Airbnb . + Casa Nido

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A couple builds a fairytale-like rental cabin near a volcano for $30K

This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops

October 10, 2018 by  
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The world is full of cookie-cutter lodgings, but for those looking for a bit of character on their next vacation, The Bus Stop is now taking reservations. Located on a working farm in northeast Scotland, this old,  converted bus has been renovated to provide a peaceful retreat where guests can enjoy the beautiful, panoramic views of the rolling green hills for which the country is famous. There are two restored old buses tucked into the East Lothian countryside. Both have been renovated with everything needed for a glamping-style getaway . The interiors sleep up to four, with a king-size bed in the back as well as two bunk beds. The large bedroom has a glass skylight on the ceiling to allow guests to enjoy a bit of stargazing as they drift off to sleep. Related: Vintage red double decker bus is converted into a cool, retro hotel The living room is light and airy with a wood-burning stove to keep guests warm and toasty on chilly evenings. Natural light brightens the interior thanks to an abundance of windows. Guests can enjoy a fully-functional kitchen with a small refrigerator, a stovetop, a microwave and all of the essential utensils. The bathroom has a rainfall shower and is stocked with complimentary luxury toiletries. Of course, the best part of the bus hotel is its peaceful surroundings. Guests can enjoy the expansive views from open-air decks with ample seating for dining, socializing or simply taking in the landscape. The outdoor space is the heart of the hotel and comes complete with a charcoal barbecue and fire pit. As an extra bonus, there is also a wood-fired hot tub for relaxing with a nice glass of wine. When they are not soaking in the warm suds, guests can enjoy a stroll around the working farm, which is home to alpacas, horses, sheep and chickens. + The Bus Stop Via Tiny House Talk Images via The Bus Stop

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This gorgeous converted bus hotel in Scotland pulls out all the stops

Eco-resort in Tulum features luxury beach huts made of natural materials

October 5, 2018 by  
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Getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life is much easier thanks to gorgeous boutique hotels in stunning locations all over the world. For a Mexican getaway, Habitas Tulum offers guests a truly serene experience with thatched-roof luxury huts located just steps away from the Caribbean Sea. The eco-resort was built with locally-sourced traditional building materials such as wood, reeds and grass, and a modern glass tower was installed at the heart of the complex to house the resort’s lounge and dining areas. The hotel, which offers five ocean-front rooms and 27 jungle rooms, integrates its natural surroundings into the design and was built to be as eco-friendly as possible. The structures were ecologically built with indigenous materials such as palapa roofs made out of dried palm leaves. Many of the structures are raised on platforms to reduce the impact on the landscape. The design of the eco-hotel was inspired by the serene nature of its surroundings. The luxury suites are decorated with handmade furniture made from locally-sourced wood. In fact, local artisan traditions, craftsmanship and textiles are found throughout the property. Related: Mexico’s thatched-roof CocoCabañas Resort is powered entirely by solar energy Guest rooms come with private outdoor rain showers, along with plush robes and bathroom products made from all-natural ingredients. Private open-air decks with ample seating offer the perfect setting to enjoy the stunning scenery. For a bit of exploration, there are various winding paths that lead to the jungle-like surroundings of the complex. For pure relaxation, there is an outdoor swimming pool and a wellness center with spa services. At the center of the beautiful resort is a three-story glass tower framed in black steel, which serves as a hub for socializing. A Moorish-style restaurant serves delicious meals that guests can enjoy from a rooftop deck. The “yoga mezzanine” is scattered with seating areas, hammocks and colorful pillows. Multiple long tables made out of reclaimed wood are perfect for dining, card games or just reading a good book. + Habitas Tulum Via Dezeen Photography by Adrian Gaut via Habitas Tulum

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Eco-resort in Tulum features luxury beach huts made of natural materials

This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

October 5, 2018 by  
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The Ojai-based tiny home builders of  Humble Hand Craft  have unveiled a beautiful off-grid tiny home made almost entirely of reclaimed wood. The Shark Arch, also called Los Padres, is a wonderful example of a sustainable tiny house that exudes a charming, rustic design. Running completely on solar power, the eco-friendly home on wheels has a cozy cabin feel. The Shark Arch tiny home is 28-feet long, which is rather large for a tiny home on wheels . However, by fitting the home on a gooseneck trailer, a truck bed fits about 8 feet under the structure. Additionally, the team designed the home to be aerodynamic on the road. The front end has a V-nose shape that breaks the wind, and the roof has a “shark fin” that adds stability to the building when it is mobile. A welcoming wooden deck that leads to the entrance can be folded up when the residents are on the go. The strategic, sustainable design carries through the the interior of the tiny home. According to the designers, they do whatever they can to create eco-friendly homes using reclaimed materials. “Given the exploitation of resources in the world today, we are partaking in the new wave of conscious building and business practices,” the team said. “By salvaging reclaimed materials and harnessing solar energy, we minimize our carbon footprint while still providing artisan homes of the highest quality.” Related: These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect Accordingly, the Shark Arch is made with reclaimed wood inside and out. The exterior cladding and trim is made with western red cedar finished with an eco-friendly hemp shield. Walking through the double redwood door with dual pane glass, visitors are met with an all-wood interior that resembles the feel — and smell — of a cabin. The team used reclaimed redwood from old water tank staves to clad the walls. The western cedar boards on the ceiling were left untreated, giving off a woodsy cedar smell that connects the tiny home to nature. The compact living space is divided into a living room and adjacent kitchen, which is installed with electric appliances that run on solar power . The bathroom, which is actually quite large for a tiny home, was outfitted with a repurposed copper tub and composting toilet. Storage was placed wherever possible throughout the living space: under the sofa, behind the stairs and so on. Located just under the “shark fin,” a sleeping loft is surprisingly spacious and well lit by a large skylight. On the other side of the trailer, another loft is hidden above the kitchen and can be used as an office, a guest room or extra storage. + Humble Hand Craft Photography by Luke Williams via Humble Hand Craft

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This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

This itsy-bitsy treehouse in Norway offers the ultimate off-grid escape

September 28, 2018 by  
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For those looking to get away from it all, Glamping Hub offers a tiny treehouse perched high above the treetops in a remote area of Norway. The wooden cube with an all-glass front facade allows guests to disconnect completely while taking in some seriously breathtaking panoramic views of the majestic fjords. Located near Sandane, Norway, this minimalist treehouse offers the perfect retreat for those looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The cube-like structure is perched among the treetops and surrounded by lush greenery. The environment, as well as the tiny cabin, allows guests to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. Related: Stay in a dreamy treehouse inside an ancient English forest Guests visiting the treehouse will enjoy the chic, glamping style of the lodging. There is a double bed as well as a cozy floor mattress for lounging around. For quiet reading or napping time, a comfy hammock is the ideal spot for relaxation. The bathroom is compact but functional with a toilet and sink. Linens, towels and toiletries are provided. There is also a small kitchenette where guests can prepare their own meals. At the heart of the tiny cabin is a seating area with two comfy armchairs and a small table. Looking out through the floor-to-ceiling glazed facade, guests can spend hours soaking up the stunning views of the fjords. For those wanting to explore a bit, there are plenty of outdoor activities available year-round in the area: hiking, biking, canoeing, bird watching and much more. + Glamping Hub Via Apartment Therapy Images via Glamping Hub

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This itsy-bitsy treehouse in Norway offers the ultimate off-grid escape

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