Design showcase: Top five projects of 2021

by | 05 Jan 2022 | Design

Our much-anticipated top five projects of the year list is here!

Showcasing the finest examples of hotel design

This selection by TOPHOTELDESIGN features the best projects that opened their doors in 2021. They are diverse, but key characteristics were taken into consideration when selecting the winners.

We congratulate the designers for their work and for pouring their passion into these hotels.

Buckle Street Studios by Locke was chosen as a representative of the many Locke hotels that opened this year. We’re impressed by how clearly and flawlessly the identity of the multiple hotels shows through; the desaturated yet colourful palette, the rich textures, and the bold lines and curves all belong to the brand’s unmistakably pleasing aesthetic.

The Londoner, for the way it balances theatrical elements with fine sophistication. Guests will find themselves intrigued by the curious art pieces and unique scenographic surroundings.

Ulaman Eco Retreat, for the out-of-this-world level of craftsmanship and engineering on display in its curved bamboo structures. It searches the limits of the material itself and is a project that’ll influence many designers and architects in the future.

Aeon’s architecture and interiors are admirable too – at first sight, the split-colour scheme seems like the dominant element in the design, but really it’s so much more than that. The whole project represents the boundaries and dialogues between inside and outside, past and future, dream and reality. From the use of renewable materials to the façade, it merges with the horizon perfectly.

And W Osaka surprised us with the way it combines two seemingly contrasting identities and styles; traditional Japanese motifs with W Hotels’ personality. The cherry blossom-inspired hallway is the clearest example of this, reinventing the centuries-old image of the pink cherry trees with a modern twist.

Buckle Street Studios by Locke

by Grzywinski+Pons


The Londoner

by Yabu Pushelberg – New York

Imagery: © Henry Bourne


Ulaman Eco Retreat

by Inspiral Architecture and Design Studios

Imagery: © Mati Allendes



Renon, Italy
by noa*

Imagery: © Alex Filz


W Osaka

by Concrete
Supplied by Kaldewei

Imagery: © Miyuki Kaneko


Click here to find more inspiring hotel projects on TOPHOTELDESIGN.

Many TOPHOTELNEWS articles draw on exclusive information from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database. This subscription-based product includes details of thousands of hotel projects around the world, along with the key decision-makers behind them. Please note, our data may differ from records held by other organisations. Generally, the database focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale; tracks projects in either the vision, pre-planning, planning, under-construction, pre-opening or newly opened phase; and covers newbuilds, extensions, refurbishments and conversions.

Learn more

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