Feng shui hotels


Three of a kind:Feng shui hotels

Palais Namaskar, Morocco

Route de Bab Atlas, Province Syba, Marrakech Morocco,

tel: 00212-5242 99800, palaisnamaskar.com

Water is a key element in this luxury hotel – a palais, no less – planted in its own scented gardens filled with waterfalls, lakes and pools public and private. Feng means wind and shui means water, and that is all here in this resort set between the Atlas Mountains and the Djebilet Hills which can be explored on camel, horse, hot-air balloon or something more standard, or contemplated from the hotel’s rooftop bar.

The hotel was designed along feng shui principles by former Phillipe Stark associate Imaad Rahmouni to give guests “a magical and unique setting in which to disconnect from the world and experience their perfect moment”.

There’s a world of architecture here with Oriental, Moorish and Andalusian influences in the building and a Bali-inspired garden.

It is part of the Oetker collection of hotels, an enterprise that began when German pharmacist Dr August Oetker invented baking powder in a room at the back of his shop, in 1891.

The company expanded into food and drink, sea transport and hotels, which include Hotel Le Bristol, Paris that featured in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

Rooms: there are 41, including suites that overlook private pools and Jacuzzis, secluded pool villas with enclosed private gardens and heated pools, and three or four-bedroom “palaces”. Doubles start at €390.

myhotel Essentials, England

17 Jubilee Street, Brighton, East Sussex, England,

tel: +44 1273-900 300, myhotels.com

Founder of myhotels Andy Thrasyvoulou has practised feng shui for many years and drew on his knowledge to design his three hotels, in Chelsea and Bloomsbury, London, and Brighton. Feng shui – which had a trend moment in the west in the 1990s – is a huge area but boils down to how we can harness the energy in the universe for our benefit, while warding off dark influences. Naturally, if we are to reap rewards from our environment, we need to channel the chi – or energy – to flow in positive waves towards and within us. Thrasyvoulou, who has studied under expert William Spear, has sought to create hotel environments that make guests happy, cosy, spiritual and creative.

myhotel Brighton, in the buzzing North Laine area of the town, has been designed to engender “positive energy and heightened spirituality” and staff are also chosen for their harmonious qualities, with the idea of getting a good synergy between people. No “more-than-my-job’s-worth” attitude then.

The caressing bar wall colludes “to convey a feeling of cosiness, warmth and effortless comfort”. Whatever the reality about feng shui, surely an intention to behave well and look after people is a really good start.

Rooms: there are 80 rooms with circulatory surfaces for “spiralling energy” while the “spaces are soft, curved conceptual and engage technology, visuals, textures, colours, and all the desires that are intrinsic to traveling”. Some suites have been designed by local artists, such as Alex Macarthur, Martin Thomas and Lucien Hewetson. The penthouse contains a 300-year-old carousel horse (pictured above). Doubles from £59 (€74).

Aqua Dome , Austria

Oberlängenfeld 140, Längenfeld, Tirol, Austria, tel: +43 5253-6400, aqua-dome.at

The feel-good factor is high at the Aqua Dome resort near Solden in the Austrian Tirol where thermal waters, saunas and steam rooms play an active role in warming clients’ souls while the building’s design – along feng shui lines (or curves) – plays a supporting role. Symbolism is strong – the bowls of water you swim in designed to create a feeling of weightlessness.

The resort, which has been so successful since its launch in 2004 that it is being expanded, is in the local (Otztal valley) style of contemporary meets traditional farmhouse, with its clean lines, timber, leather, glass, open fireplaces and large candles. Natural materials have been positioned to contribute to “wellbeing, health, vitality and lust for living”. You don’t even have to fight mountainous winter chills to get to the spa: a heated tunnel guides you there. There’s also a feng shui garden and 90 per cent of the food is local: you can literally ingest the environment.

Rooms: there are 141 rooms featuring much wood and stone, arranged to be soothing and elegant, beneath the guidance of a feng shui expert. Balconies allow you peak viewing of stone and wood out in its natural Alpine setting. Doubles from €318 half board (week-long packages are cheaper per night).