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From World Cup to contemporary tourist destination: part two
Group E. Denmark: CPH Living, Copenhagen.
Copenhagen is full of very expensive classic modernist hotels, but the simple clean lines of CPH Living, a boat hotel located near the Langebro bridge in Christianshavn, provide a better-priced sleep. Rooms face the canal, which twinkles toward sundown, showing off Copenhagen at its modern best. There's a sunroof as well. Doubles from DKK 1000 ($166).
Group F. Italy: Hotel Signum, Malfa, Salina.
While there's a rich tradition of contemporary design in Italy, it is a more old-fashioned Italian aesthetic most beloved among visitors to the country. On the Aeolian island of Salina is the very special Hotel Signum, a small charmer that epitomizes simple luxury in a manner that showcases an Italian antique spirit in a clean, even modern manner. Salina, which has a few thousand inhabitants, is a quiet and restful place great for honeymooners and mature visitors. Double rooms from €130.
Group G. Portugal: Fontana Park Hotel, Lisbon.
The verve of this very contemporary hotel might first seem out of place against Lisbon's delightfully antiquated core; in the context of Portuguese modernism, however, the Fontana Park's rooms match up well. The Fontana Park, in the neighborhood of Estefãnia, is undeniably hip, and the hotel goes to fun lengths (sushi workshop, anyone?) to attract guests. Double rooms from €90. The hotel is currently running a two-night City Break special with tons of bells and whistles for €315 for two.
Group H. Switzerland: Therme Vals, Vals.
In 1996, Peter Zumthor built the extraordinary Therme Vals, a sharp spa and hotel in the town of Vals (see above) in the canton of Graubünden. Owned by the municipality itself, Therme Vals was built with stunningly beautiful local quartzite. Therme Vals has more or less redefined the contemporary Alpine spa genre. Doubles from CHF107 ($96).
(Image: Flickr/Jeremy Burgin)