Architecture and travel have always been intertwined. A tourist may spend years saving just to travel to experience a single structure in person. Why not expand the notion of architectural travel to include your accommodations? This guide will help you find architecturally significant accommodations as you travel. Take a closer look at our seven tips to finding hotels with an interesting design or architectural significance.
1. Check City Guides
Many cities that welcome tourists publish city guides or even develop apps for travelers to help them plan a trip. These often tout the best attractions, local restaurants, shops, and hotels. Even better, these guides can provide you with insights into the history of the city, often drilling down into the development of each neighborhood. This is a great way to find historic hotels. At the other end of the spectrum, you can also use city guides to learn about more recently developed hotels. This is useful to you if you prefer more modern architecture.
Even if you cannot find interesting hotels listed in your city guide, it’s still a very valuable resource. You can use the guide to learn about various neighborhoods that might be architecturally interesting to you, then find hotels in those spots.
2. Read List Articles
This tip can be a hit or miss. Still, it’s free, and you could find some very helpful recommendations. If you search for ‘hotels with great architecture’ or ‘interesting hotel design’, you’re going to return a lot of list posts or ‘listicles’ that feature hotels.
There are some downsides here. Some hotels pay to be featured on these lists. The lists can also be quite subjective. If you find a hotel that has a design that interests you, do a bit more research to find a more objective take before you make a reservation.
3. Follow Local Architectural Blogs
Architects and architectural buffs will always have the low down on interesting architecture for travelers. They’ll know about recently completed buildings, and locally meaningful buildings as well. Before you travel to a city, look for architectural blogs. You should be able to search through those blogs for tags including ‘hotels’ and ‘accommodations’ until you find information on hotels that are interesting to you.
If you have your own blog or participate in travel or architecture user communities, reach out to other community members. People love to share information about places they’ve stayed, especially when they share your passion for architecture. You can even write a blog asking for reader feedback on the best hotels at your destination. Use these tools to create an engaging post that earns helpful responses:
- Whitesmoke: For editing and proofreading.
- Studicus: For professional writing assistance.
- WowGrade: Another great writing tool
- Canva: To add visuals
- Survey Monkey: To poll your audience.
4. Think Beyond Hotels
If you’re interested in architectural design that is unique and meaningful, hotels are just one thing to consider. Depending on the area in which you were staying, you might also look into motels, resorts, lodges, inns, hostels, bed and breakfasts, and other accommodations. You might even find a well-designed Airbnb that is worth a second book.
There are even micro and mini-hotels that are designed to provide guests with smaller than usual accommodations. These are quite interesting as they are designed to maximize space, and often provide guests with very high tech experience. You might also be able to find a tiny home rental while you travel. This is another great way to experience a space-saving design.
5. Make a List of Your Specific Interests
Jake Abernathy handles corporate travel for Grab My Essay and is also a frequent traveler himself. He says, ”Rather than following generic travel recommendations, start with a list of things you want to see and experience. What you want to experience in a hotel is going to be different if you are interested in Gothic architecture versus if you are interested in seeing sustainable practices applied to architectural projects today.”
6. Let Your Travel Agent Know
If you have an interest in architecture and design, you might consider making your travel plans with a professional travel agent. There are agencies that specialize in arranging travel and tours for people, like you, who are interested in this. These agents will be very likely to know which hotels and other accommodations are most likely to be of interest to you. By relying on your recommendations, you will be able to find what you are looking for without too much legwork on your part.
7. Follow Major Hotel Brands
It isn’t just the small independent hotel operators who run hotels that are compelling to fans of design and architecture. Major hotel brands have gotten in on this trend as well. For example, Holiday Inn has introduced its new H4 design concept that’s created a flexible in-room experience that changes according to the guest’s needs.
In addition to this, Design Hotels is a global company that works with boutique and luxury hotels, many known for their unique and interesting design and architecture. The company has partnered with Marriott Bonvoy to make finding and booking hotels and related experiences easier.
These are just two examples. It is likely that other global hotel brands own similarly interesting properties. It may be worthwhile to contact them directly with your request.
As you research hotel design, architecture, and strategies for finding meaningful hotels in which to stay, a few things will become clear. The first is that there are plenty of resources that advise you on what to see, and where to stay. The second is that there isn’t much information on doing that research yourself. Hopefully, the tips above will help you create your own strategy for finding hotels that are architecturally meaningful.