Published on March 22nd, 2016 | by Guest Contributor
10 of the World’s Most Unique Hotels.
I don’t know about you but I often feel a longing for a place I’ve never been. Like some magical location of my dreams is just around the corner and if I can just find it, I will be home. It’s weird but I suspect (hope) it’s not totally uncommon and imagine this tug is one of the allures of travel. It’s something I feel when I look at some of these magical locations around the world, hotels so cool they’re almost dreamlike in quality.
Whether you’re looking for isolation in the wilderness or deep underwater, or to commune with some unlikely giraffe friends over breakfast, these are some of the most amazing places on Earth – and all of them welcome visitors.
Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
This wilderness lodge is located 250 km north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, and features a variety of sleeping options, including log cabins, snow igloos, and glass igloos that offer a view of the northern lights. Visitors can go on husky safaris and reindeer safaris in winter and horse safaris and hikes in summer (among other things). And if you’re looking for Santa’s house it’s here also. Because of course it is.
This super fancy hotel on Rangali Island was named the Best Luxury Resort Worldwide 2015 at the Hotel of the Year Awards. Sleeping options include beach villas and water villas, and one of the standout features of the resort is the undersea Ithaa restaurant.
Free Spirit Spheres, British Columbia
Set among the coastal rainforest of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Free Spirit Spheres is a collection of spheres suspended in trees. This quirky hotel offers “an exquisite combination of back-to-nature experience with the trendy phenomenon of ‘glamping’.” The spheres sleep one to three people and offer electric heating, purified water, groovy decor – and did I mention they’re spheres suspended in trees?
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi
Giraffe Manor is set on 12 acres within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. But the most amazing thing about this place is the herd of resident Rothschild giraffes; they wander the grounds and stick their faces into the dining room looking for snacks. Other things you can do during your stay (besides handing out munchies to giraffes) include learning about giraffes, feeding (and even adopting) baby elephants and sightseeing.
Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, Sweden
This primitive lodge located two hours outside of Stockholm, Sweden, has no electricity or showers and even boasts on its website that the beds aren’t comfortable. You can just enjoy the quiet of being off the beaten path or take part in free outdoor activities and go looking for wildlife. You also must cook all your own meals over an open fire.
A “bubble hotel” that allows you to sleep under the stars, the Attrap’Rêves hotel in Allauch, France, boasts bubbles that each have their own identity and decor, depending on your preferred ambiance: Zen, Love Nature, Glamour, 1001 Nights or Chic & Design. Each has its own private shower and toilets, and the hotel provides you with a telescope and star chart so you can study the Milky Way from your personal bubble.
Tongabezi lodge is a hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi River just upstream of Victoria Falls featuring a selection of houses and cottages such as the Nut House and the Tree House. Activities include kayaking, canoeing, elephant walks, bush walks and bungee jumping (the resort recently received an “adrenaline junkie” award) – but if, like me, you’re not at all into the idea of bungee jumping, activities also include lying around and eating.
Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel), Quebec
There are a few ice hotels around the world but the only one in Canada is located in Charlesbourg, Quebec. Open for three months out of the year and featuring 44 theme rooms made of made snow and ice, the architecture and design can change with each new rebuild. Only the bathrooms are heated, but amenities include hot tubs.
Tree houses are getting a lot of appreciation lately. Treehotel, located in Harads, Sweden, near the Lule river, puts a twist on the concept by offering tree houses with contemporary design in the middle of the woods. Among the tree rooms are the Bird’s Nest, the Blue Cone, the Cabin, the Mirror Cube and the UFO. Each is constructed by one of Scandinavia’s leading architects and offers a view of the Lule River and river valley and miles of forest.
Fairy Chimney Inn
The Fairy Chimney Inn is located at the upper southwest end of Goreme, a village in the heart of Cappadocia, in central Turkey. More than 1,000 years ago the inn – large parts of which are carved out of tufa rock cones, locally called peri bahcasi or “fairy chimneys” – was part of an old Byzantine monastery. Nowadays, the cave rooms are equipped with under-floor radiation heating and unique hammam-like bathrooms, and offer wonderful views of the area through peepholes. There’s also a nomad tent, if you prefer.
Ready to discover unique accommodations? CAA Travel Consultants are ready to help you plan your next vacation. Visit your local CAA Store, call us a 1-800-922-8143or book an appointment online with an in-store CAA Travel Consultant.
By Elizabeth Bromstein
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