Reflecting pools and 'naughty bathrooms': the designer tricks behind some of the world's most beautiful hotels

The Jean-Michel Gathy-designed golden pool at St. Regis Lhasa

The name Jean-Michel Gathy may not feature in the panoply of today’s stellar architects, but no one has had so far-reaching an influence on what constitutes a 21st-century hotel of the first rank. Since the opening in 1993 of Aman Resorts’ Amanwana on the Indonesian island of Moyo, the first of his designs to be built, he has created hotels across the world from the Viceroy in Snowmass, Colorado, to the Hotel Bora Bora in French Polynesia, operated by most of the leading top-tier hospitality brands, Banyan Tree, GHM, Jumeirah, Park Hyatt and Shangri-La among them.

This year should see the opening of his first collaborations with Mandarin Oriental (in Bali) and One&Only (in Montenegro), as well as an Andaz on the Chinese holiday island of Hainan. And it was recently announced that he will be designing the forthcoming Aman New York, an 83-room hotel and 20-condominium development (with a five-storey...

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