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10 of the Most Exotic Hotels in the World

05/14/2015 10:35 am ET | Updated May 14, 2016

By Alyssa Bird for Architectural Digest.

These recently opened hotels and resorts offer a sense of privacy, captivating design, and unforgettable views.

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MAALIFUSHI BY COMO, THE MALDIVES
The idyllic white-sand beaches and turquoise lagoons of the Maldives are among the world's most alluring, and following the success of its Cocoa Island resort, the COMO hotel group has opened a second property in the remote chain of Indian Ocean islands. Maalifushi's 66 suites and villas, a mix of overwater and garden lodgings, are sprinkled throughout a 20-acre private island in the archipelago's Thaa atoll (a 50-minute seaplane jaunt from Male). From $650/night; comohotels.com/maalifushi.

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ANANTARA PHUKET LAYAN RESORT & SPA, THAILAND
The serene Bang Tao Bay, on Phuket, Thailand's west coast, is home to Anantara's newest property, which occupies a tranquil stretch of secluded Layan Beach. More than half of the 77 accommodations are spacious villas with private pools. From $230/night; phuket-layan.anantara.com.

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(photo: Stevie Mann)

CHINZOMBO, ZAMBIA
Chinzombo is a new sustainable bush camp from Norman Carr Safaris that sits on 60 riverfront acres bordering South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. The camp comprises six steel-framed villas with private pools as well as a dining, lounge, and library structure--all of the buildings can be easily relocated without leaving a footprint should the need ever arise. Grass thatching, fallen Mopani trees, natural canvas, composite-timber flooring, and locally produced leather are among the recycled or recyclable materials that were used. From $595/night per person; normancarrsafaris.com.

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SOFITEL BALI NUSA DUA BEACH RESORT, INDONESIA
Located on a beautiful stretch of beach on the eastern shore of Bali's Bukit Peninsula, the Indonesian resort encourages easy yet refined island living. The French hotel brand called on Wilson Assoc. to design the 415 rooms, which include 17 villas--ranging from one to three bedrooms--that are perfect for couples and families alike. From $190/night; sofitel.com.

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(photo: Nelson Garrido)

CABANAS NO RIO, PORTUGAL
Despite it being just an hour south of Lisbon in the seaside village of Comporta, Portugal, Cabanas no Rio is a remote place for travelers to unwind and recharge. Architect Manuel Aires Mateus reimagined what were once two timber fishermen's huts to construct a high-style haven that accommodates just two people at any given time.

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NAYARA SPRINGS, COSTA RICA
From its mountaintop perch outside the Costa Rican town of La Fortuna, two and a half hours north of San Jose, the Nayara Springs resort boasts views of a lush ravine in the Arenal Volcano National Park. All 16 villas come with private gardens, outdoor showers, butler service, and plunge pools that are fed by the surrounding mineral hot springs. From $590/night; nayarasprings.com.

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VANA, MALSI ESTATE, INDIA
The location of the Vana, Malsi Estate wellness retreat in northern India, amid 21 acres of mango and lychee orchards and surrounded by forest, means that guests can really focus on themselves. A team of fitness experts, nutritionists, yoga practitioners, spa therapists, and doctors trained in traditional Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese medicines help build programs tailored to each guest's health and wellness goals. From $534/night per person (minimum three-night stay); vanaretreats.com.

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(photo: Undine Prohl)

HOTEL ESCONDIDO, MEXICO
With the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range in the distance, Hotel Escondido, the latest retreat from the hip hotel collection Grupo Habita, sits on almost 700 feet of prime Pacific coastline north of Puerto Escondido--a popular surf destination and fishing village whose name translates to "hidden port"--in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. From $385/night; hotelescondido.com.

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(photo: A. Keohane)

ROYAL PALM MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
Mauritian architect Jean-François Adam put an updated spin on Moorish-style architecture for his design of the Royal Palm Marrakech, the latest resort from Beachcomber Hotels. The retreat is set among an olive grove just outside of Marrakech, making it both conveniently located and secluded. From $530/night; royalpalm-marrakech.com.

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GREAT HOUSE AT NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Located on Necker Island, a 74-acre isle owned by Sir Richard Branson in the British Virgin Islands, the Great House reopened last fall after a fire destroyed the building in 2011. The new structure was modeled after the original with a few modifications, among them a larger top-floor master suite. There are nine handsome guest rooms with balconies overlooking the Caribbean as well as a bunk room that sleeps six children. From $27,475/week per room on select weeks, $62,000/night for exclusive use of the island; neckerisland.virgin.com.

(photos: courtesy of resorts)

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