• The Shingle House

    Dungeness, UK

    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

    MUST PACK

    Keep cool with cotton kaftans, leather sandals and a chic fedora.

    MUST PACK

    A long-sleeved dress is great for the changeable British weather.

    MUST PACK

    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

    Vamizi

    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

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