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Dezeen’s Top 10 Hotels of 2021



With the year drawing to a close, some of us are already thinking about where to holiday in 2022. As part of our review of 2021, Dezeen rounds up 10 impressive new hotels, including Pharrell Williams‘ Goodtime Hotel, a 17th-century monastery conversion and clifftop villas on the Jurassic Coast.

Grotto Retreat Xiyaotou, China, by Studio Avoid

Located in the village of Xiyaotou in the Zhangjiakou prefecture, Studio Avoid designed Grotto Retreat Xiyaotou to reference a collection of traditional cave dwellings in the area.

The cave-like pods take shape as a number of interconnected, brick-clad, vertical volumes each 0f which is topped with large skylights. A winding wooden walkway on stilts weaves between the pods connecting to entrances on the first-floor level.

Find out more about Grotto Retreat Xiyaotou >

Casona Sforza, Mexico, by Alberto Kalach

Alberto Kalach designed this hotel in the coastal town of Puerto Escondido, Mexico with a series of vaulted, brick arches overlooking a large circular swimming pool.

The hotel, which is named Casona Sforza, consists of arched volumes of varying heights arranged asymmetrically. Its design aims to integrate with the landscape and offer guests restful spaces for reflection.

Find out more about Casona Sforza >

Monastero Arx Vivendi, Italy, by Network of Architecture

Network of Architecture transformed a former Italian monastery into the Monastero Arx Vivendi hotel by preserving and updating the interiors.

Located in Arco, near Lake Garda, the 17th-century complex was renovated with a number of common rooms, 40 guest suites and a purpose-built wellness area. The designers sought to conserve and retain as many of the original features as possible, including a seven-metre-tall perimeter wall.

Find out more about Monastero Arx Vivendi >

Goodtime Hotel, US, by Ken Fulk and Morris Adjmi

With architecture by Morris Adjmi and interiors by American designer Ken Fulk, music producer Pharrell Williams’ and entrepreneur David Grutman’s Goodtime Hotel in Miami boasts a playful, clashing scheme that aims to reflect the area’s famed art deco buildings.

The hotel comprises 266 rooms plus 100,000 square feet of public space including restaurant and pool club Strawberry Moon as well as shops, a gym and a bar, all decorated with pastel hues and bold prints.

Find out more about Goodtime Hotel >

The Seeds, China, by ZJJZ Atelier

Ellipsoidal shingle-covered pods nestled in a woodland area in Jiangxi, China form part of The Seeds hotel by Tree Wow hoteliers.

ZJJZ Atelier referenced nature in its design, using natural forms that would compliment the scenic surroundings. Pine shingles line the exterior of the pods around circular windows, while the underside of the pods was clad in shiny aluminium tiles.

Find out more about The Seeds >

Paradero Hotel, Mexico, by Ruben Valdez and Yashar Yektajo

Set on a 5.5-acre (2.2-hectare) plot in Todos Santos, a coastal town in southwest Mexico, Paradero Hotel was designed by architects Ruben Valdez and Yashar Yektajo. The complex was arranged around a low-water garden taking cues from historic California missions.

It is comprised of a series of beige-hued concrete structures intended to blend in with the landscape. Each volume contains guest rooms with sweeping walls, stairwells and corridors, while the interiors were overseen by Guadalajara studio B Huber.

Find out more about Paradero Hotel >

The Clifftops, England, by Morrow + Lorraine

The Clifftops is a collection of five seaside holiday homes in Dorset, England that were designed by London-based studio Morrow + Lorraine.

The development, which is located on the Jurassic Coast, was set within large, exposed walls that mimic the rocky clifftop terrain. Each lodge has a stone and wood interior with views out to the English Channel.

Find out more about The Clifftops >

Casa Octavia, Mexico, by PPAA

Mexican practice PPAA designed Casa Octavia, a boutique hotel in Mexico City based around fashion label Octavia, with the interiors imagined as an extension of the brand’s clothes.

PPAA covered the facade of the hotel in a wooden lattice that shades the interior and creates a delicate pattern of light. Soft and neutral tones were used across the interior offering guests a serene environment in which to relax.

Find out more about Casa Octavia >

Signature Villas, Portugal, by RCR Arquitectes

Californian studio RCR Arquitectes designed eight luxury, red concrete villas for the Palmares Ocean Living & Golf resort in the Algarve, Portugal.

Designed as part of a wider luxury development, the villas take the form of overlapping volumes with overhanging roofs and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Find out more about Signature Villas >

El Perdido Hotel, Mexico, by Estudio ALA

Located outside a small agricultural town named El Pescadero, this hotel was designed by Mexican architectural studio Estudio ALA. It has rammed earth walls and timber-hewn roofs covered in thatch, showcasing traditional construction techniques while also referencing the surrounding vegetable farmlands.

Suites are housed within individual structures that are organised across the site around communal areas containing the hotel’s lobby and restaurant.

Find out more about El Perdido Hotel >


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Home & Kitchen

Grzywinski+Pons Combines Hotel and Co-working in Buckle Street Studios



New York-based Grzywinski+Pons has completed a hotel in east London for the Locke group, featuring glass block walls and a mezzanine for co-working.

Buckle Street Studios is a 13-storey building in Aldgate East, featuring 103 rooms, a dedicated co-working space for guests, a coffee shop, meeting rooms and a shop.

Grzywinski+Pons designed the building, the interior and many of the furniture pieces.

The aim was to follow the design-led ethos as Locke’s other hotels, many of which were also designed by Grzywinski+Pons.

While the other Locke hotels are planned with long stays in mind, Buckle Street Studios mainly caters to short-stay guests. Co-working is also a key part of the offer, with separate spaces for working and relaxing provided for guests.

Design details both inside and outside the building respond to the architectural history of the area.

“Being able to design the exterior and interior simultaneously afforded us a great opportunity to capitalise on architectural advantages we created, and curate a truly integrated experience,” said architect Matthew Grzywinski.

While the exterior is more serious in its aesthetic, combining soft grey brickwork with nickel-coated metal panels, there are some playful touches.

The rounded quoins, cornices and window details of neighbouring buildings are subtly referenced in the hotel’s radiused corners, while a section of glass blocks at the very top of the building creates the effect of a lantern.

“We employed dramatic but ordered material shifts throughout the building’s strata to define a pediment and crown,” said Grzywinski.

“This tiered approach allows the building to become more light and transparent as it rises.”

More curves can be found inside the building, where a parabolic arch is used to frame the layout of public spaces on the ground floor and the co-working mezzanine above.

True to the Locke brand identity, the interiors combine soft colours and textural materials to create a cosy but contemporary environment, intended to feel welcoming to those wandering in from the street.

Grzywinski + Pons tailors Leman Locke hotel to make nomadic workers feel at home

In the public ground floor spaces, colourful curtains and joinery details create a living room feel, while tiled flooring and clay plaster offer a more industrial edge.

Rhombic glass vitrines – filled with items for sale – and curved banquettes echo the curves of the structure.

“The space, like the contents of the vitrines, lies at the crossroads of art and commerce,” said Grzywinski.

“Equal parts gallery, lounge, coffee shop, retail concept and living room, the space beckons to the street,” he continued.

“It is our hope that passers-by will feel compelled to come inside to further discern what, exactly, it is, and then feel free to get comfortable and stay a while.”

The rooms include a mix of traditional hotel rooms, micro studios and studio apartments.

The clay plaster walls and wooden floors are contrasted by furnishings and textiles in shades of sage green, grey-blue and pale pink.

Shallow shelves, hanging trays and tiered tables create opportunities for occupants to display their own belongings, to make spaces feel their own.

Rooms are the top of the building benefit from the glass-block walls, while rooms in the corners are shaped by the building’s curved corners.

“We were able to design this room types to accommodate – even celebrate – those curves,” Grzywinski told Dezeen.

“We custom designed most of the furniture, so in those rooms we designed sofas that fit into the corner with a matched radius.”

Locke’s other hotels in London include Leman Locke, which is located across the street from Buckle Street Studios, Locke at Broken Wharf and Bermonds Locke, which was designed emerging studio Holloway Li.

Photography is by Nicholas Worley.

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Home & Kitchen

Easy Homemade Goulash



This easy American Goulash recipe is full of hearty ingredients that will warm you from the inside out.

Simple ingredients like ground beef (hamburger meat), canned tomatoes, elbow macaroni, and onions are all cooked in one pot for an easy hearty meal.

It’s packed with zesty flavor and the perfect way to feed a crowd on a budget! Serve it alongside some cornbread or homemade biscuits for sopping up the sauce in the bottom of the bowl!

American Goulash is not the same thing as goulash in other parts of the world. Like many dishes that have the same name (like dumplings for example) the ingredients and preparation are different.

GROUND BEEF: Ground beef (or hamburger meat) gives this dish its base and adds lots of flavors, Italian sausage can be substituted for the beef for extra flavor.

ELBOW MACARONI: Use whatever pasta is on hand! Elbow, small shells, bowties, or ditalini all work well.

SAUCE: Goulash has a rich zesty tomato sauce! Use your favorite jarred pasta or marinara sauce combined with a can of tomatoes (and juice!). We add water to cook the pasta but you can use beef broth in place.

The sauce is seasoned with tomato paste and Italian Seasoning for an extra boost of flavor.

It’s literally as easy as 1,2,3.

Keep leftover American goulash in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove before serving. Freeze chilled portions in zippered bags with the date labeled on the outside for up to 4 weeks. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Did your family love this American Goulash? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Goulash is a simple skillet dinner with tomatoes, beef, and macaroni noodles in a zesty tomato sauce. It’s a perfect comfort food on a budget!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups marinara or tomato-based pasta sauce approx. ½ of a 26 oz jar
1 ¾ cups beef broth or water or as needed
14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juices
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 green bell pepper diced, optional
1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 bay leaves 2 if they are small
salt & black pepper to taste
1 ¼ cup elbow macaroni noodles uncooked
½ cup cheddar or mozzarella cheese, shredded, optional

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.

Add water, pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, green peppers (if using), seasonings, & bay leaves. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Add in the elbow macaroni and continue to simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender (about 20 minutes).

Remove & discard bay leaves. Top with cheese if using and replace the lid. Let rest about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd (serving sizes can be adjusted in the print screen). For heartier appetites, the meal can be stretched with additional pasta (and water/broth), canned beans or chopped vegetables. (diced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, corn, or additional bell peppers). Any ground meat can be substituted for beef.  Start with the amount of broth/water as listed and add extra if needed (depending on pasta shape). The goulash will thicken as it cools and rests. Depending on the size and shape of your pan, you may need to add a little bit more liquid. Keep an eye on the dish as it cooks and add more liquid as needed. The mixture will thicken slightly as it cools. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Serving: 2cups, Calories: 217, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 562mg, Potassium: 812mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 587IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 4mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

© Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.

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Home & Kitchen

Luke McClelland Gives Georgian Apartment in Leith a Modern Update



Scottish architect Luke McClelland has transformed a dark and ill-conceived apartment in Edinburgh‘s port area of Leith into a bright and contemporary home.

The ground floor flat, which dates back to the early 19th century, had been rented out for more than a decade before being purchased by its current owner.

The Leith apartment is defined by its use of timber (top image) and terrazzo (above)

As a result, its interiors suffered from a convoluted layout, considerable wear and tear, outdated facilities and several level changes in the floor, which sprung up as the basement of the Georgian building was converted for residential use.

“There was a lack of connectivity between the primary living spaces and a lack of light in the poorly planned kitchen,” McClelland explained. “The property also needed to be fully rewired and re-plumbed.”

The kitchen leads into a dining room with white walls and oak parquet flooring

Despite a restricted budget, McClelland found ways to brighten the apartment and improve how its living spaces are linked together.

Significant alterations were made in the kitchen, where the architect replaced the old cupboards with sleek off-the-shelf cabinets from IKEA.

A portrait by a local artist is centred between two alcoves in the lounge

The muted sage-green hue of the cabinet fronts was chosen to complement the grey terrazzo splashback, which features black, white and reddish flecks.

Natural light floods in through a reinstated window that was previously obstructed by the kitchen counter.

Oak panelling runs underneath the windows and along the chimney breast

A new doorway lined with oak offcuts from the kitchen worktops now leads into the dining area.

Like the rest of the apartment, this space is finished with white-painted walls and oak parquet flooring laid in a chevron pattern.


Architect couple turns Edinburgh apartment into modern living space

In the living room, McClelland installed oak-batten panelling beneath the window sills and across the chimney breast to replace the original surrounds, which a former tenant had torn down across the entire apartment save for the bedroom.

The lounge also accommodates a charcoal grey sofa alongside a geometric floor lamp and a few prints, including a striking portrait piece by a local artist.

The apartment’s original panelling is retained in the bedroom

The bathroom was reconfigured so that its curved wall becomes more of a focal point.

Before the renovation works, the wall was partially blocked off by a storage unit, which has now been removed.

A curved wall takes prominence in the bathroom

The walls are covered in a mixture of terracotta-coloured tiles and the same terrazzo that appears in the kitchen.

A tall mirror above the sink emphasises the loftiness of the bathroom, which is the only space in the apartment that went unaffected by the basement conversion.

Surfaces are clad with terrazzo and terracotta-coloured tiles

Elsewhere in Edinburgh, Luke McClelland has previously revamped his own home in the Comely Bank neighbourhood.

As part of the project, the architect carried out a number of changes to the floor plan, converting a disused pantry into a shower room and splitting the former living area into two bedrooms.

The photography is by ZAC and ZAC

The post Luke McClelland gives Georgian apartment in Leith a modern update appeared first on Dezeen.

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