Coming Soon: A Floating Hotel; Avani in Laos; More…

INTERNATIONAL REPORT—A hotel that freezes into the ice of a river in the winter and floats on top of the water in the summer is underway in Sweden; Avani Hotels & Resorts sets its sights on Laos; and more. Here’s a look at hotels coming soon:

Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa

Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa
Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa

The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, a floating hotel and spa, will make its debut in Harards on the Lule River in Sweden, in the fall. It will be opened by Off the Map Travel and the team behind the Treehotel in Sweden.

Guests’ experience will include a stay in the six-room hotel, plus an Arctic Bath inspired by the timber-floating era, reminiscent of how felled trees were transported for processing, according to the company. The hotel also sits in a prime location to see the Northern Lights.

“The circular shape of the spa and Arctic Bath creates a protected environment, sheltering guests and creating a haven to relax and soak up the local Arctic environment,” said Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel and Arctic travel expert. “You can experience the spa bath and stay overnight in a room that will float or be frozen into the ice, depending on the season. This will be a one-of-a-kind Arctic experience. Although all seven buildings will be securely anchored in place, they are freely floating in the water or frozen into ice.”

Specialist design architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, both of Sweden, translated the concept into design, utilizing their background of minimalist furniture and building design.

The open center of the Arctic Bath is designed for sunbathing, ice bathing and for those who wish to witness the Northern Lights. A dip in the bath itself is consistent with the Arctic tradition of a cold-water plunge with the water maintained at 39 degrees Fahrenheit, and is combined with the warmth of a sauna and spa. A special technique has been developed to keep the center of the bath open during winter.

Avani Luang Prabang

Avani Hotels & Resorts will be opening its first hotel in the historic town of Luang Prabang in Laos.

Avani Luang Prabang
Avani Luang Prabang

The 53-room hotel is located on a narrow peninsula at the joining of the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. Currently known as the Azerai Hotel, the rebrand will be completed in March.

The French neoclassical architectural design resembles the style of the grand villas found in Luang Prabang. The guestrooms will offer an open-plan living experience with French-styled louvered wooden doors that open out to a balcony overlooking either the pool or a private courtyard.

The bistro will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, available indoors or outdoors. The menu includes classic dishes and Lao cuisine, and the upstairs bar has a street-side veranda.

The AvaniSpa offers two single and two double treatment rooms with a communal relaxation area. AvaniFit focuses on lifestyle elements that promote a healthy body and healthy mind, and the hotel’s gym will offer a range of cardiovascular and strength equipment. Daily yoga classes will also be offered. There is a 275-ft. swimming pool and pool bar, which will serve smoothies, juices and shared platters.

Taipei Sky Tower

Commune A7, located next to Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan’s Xinyi District, an urban community space designed as a food market and event space, will soon be transformed into a new development, Taipei Sky Tower.

Riant Capital Ltd., the developer of the project, has teamed with Hyatt International luxury brands, Park Hyatt and Andaz, to include the two brands within one tower. Scheduled to complete by 2020, the tower will be designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners (ACPV).

This will be the first time a Park Hyatt and Andaz will be developed within one tower. Symbolizing a bamboo shoot and Roman column, the 54-level landmark architecture juxtaposes Eastern and Western elements with a pleated facade that will be accentuated in green. Aside from being the architect of the building, ACPV will lead interior design for the Park Hyatt, and Neri & Hu will lead interior design for the Andaz Taipei, respectively.