The Shingle House
Why go: This contemporary take on a fisherman’s cottage sits on the shingle beach of the UK’s only desert. It’s a place to read, draw or beachcomb.
Back to basics: The all-white interior, modern Scandinavian furniture and state of the art appliances belie the fact that this is a place to disconnect. With no Wi-Fi, you can soak up the mesmerising views from the floor-to-ceiling windows across the lunar landscape instead.
When to go: At the height of the British summer when the shingle gleams. living-architecture.co.uk
Keep cool with cotton kaftans, leather sandals and a chic fedora.
A long-sleeved dress is great for the changeable British weather.
Relax on the empty beach in an ultra-simple bandeau bikini.
Hix Island House
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Why go: This is almost-camping for architecturally minded modernists, located near miles of wild, empty beaches.
Back to basics: Canadian architect John Hix has created a collection of Japanese wabi-sabi-inspired (a minimal design philosophy) houses with bright Marimekko textiles, but without windows or a fourth wall.
When to go: Visit during the darkest period of the new moon, when the bioluminescent bay glows brightest. Avoid June to November: it’s hurricane season. hixislandhouse.com
Quirimbas Archipelago of N. Mozambique, Africa
Why go: Imagine the Maldives, 15 minutes after it was discovered. This is a conservation-focused, gleaming white-sand gem adrift in the Indian Ocean, with some of the best diving in the world.
Back to basics: Don’t expect air-conditioning or televisions – instead, the 13 villas are open to the breeze and sounds of the island’s wildlife. Spa treatments include seaweed masks and sea-salt scrubs.
When to go: Come for the whale-watching season, July to September. vamizi.com
The Shingle House’s sleek black exterior
Hix Island House’s minimal dwellings
Vamizi’s open dining room