For many vacations, it’s more about where you’re staying, not what hotel you’re staying at. But just as a new city opens up new experiences, a new, unique type of lodging could introduce you to a one-of-a kind experience. Here’s a list of 10 bizarre hotels around the world.
1. You’re as Cold as ICE
In the little Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi there’s a hotel that revolves around one essential ingredient of life, H2O. When you’re situated well north of the Arctic Circle it’s more commonly referred to as ice, the medium that various architects and artists mold into a beautiful work-of-art/ tourist destination known as ICEHOTEL. This winter will be the hotel’s twenty-first year as an innovative ever-evolving accommodation that gives its guests an experience they will never forget. There’s even a church made of ice to host a subzero fairytale wedding and a bar to look cool and stay cool. So, yeah, this isn’t just an igloo with a bed; in its many years ICEHOTEL has grown to roughly 5500 square meters from its humble beginnings at around 60 square meters. For climatic reasons, this hotel only operates for a few months in the winter, melting back into the Torne River it was born of, one of the transient artistic properties that define this luxurious lodge.
2. Under the Sea
Believe it or not, there isn’t just one underwater hotel. The first one lays 40 feet underwater in a 5,000 acre lagoon off a private island in Fiji. Reservations are super exclusive and the hotel has to fly guests in from an airport in Fiji, unless, of course, they choose the private yacht option. But one opening in Istanbul, Turkey this year is attempting to top that. Seven stories deep to match the theme of a SEVEN-star hotel, this stay promises to indulge the senses and provide an unmatched vacation experience.
3. Got to Get Away
What if you happen to be interested in getting away from it all? Really, really away. Namibia Wildlife Resorts offers a variety of options in isolated and desolate, yet beautiful locations to escape the mundane, drink up the beautiful countryside, and catch glimpses of some of Africa’s most impressive wildlife. Whether it’s rugged desert or vast swaths of jungle expect astounding scenery from a variety of lodgings that have all the offerings of any traditional resort. Each location offers its own unique landscape and amazing experiences from balloon bound safaris to cruises along the Namibian coast.
4. Lavish Lakehouse
Only reachable by boat, this next one may also help you really get away from it all; not to mention it has loads of history. Known as Lake Palace or Jag Niwas, this destination was originally built in the 1600s by Indian royalty on a tiny rock island in Lake Pichola, Udaipur, India. In its storied history it has functioned as a royal palace, as a place of refuge for Europeans during rebellion on the mainland, and finally as a luxury hotel that can include among its guests Queen Elizabeth and Jackie O. The conversion into a hotel began in the 1960s as the only viable way to save the by then deteriorating palace and by the 1970s it was managed by a reliable Indian company that has carried it into its present day status as a world-class destination.
5. Spooky Spots
And what if you want an experience that transcends this world? You can always dabble into haunted destinations. Some destinations even embrace the spooky specifics. At Jerome Grand Hotel in the small mining town of Jerome, Ariz. guests are treated to ghost hunting tours complete with an EMT meter, IR thermometer and digital camera… whatever that does.
6. Ramblin’ Man
If you just can’t stop moving then there’s a German company, Rotel Tours, that’s built a rolling hotel. Now, before you brighten up with visions of cruising down the highway in your king size bed and whirlpool bathtub, dash those thoughts and understand that this vessel is more function than fashion. Although there is a bathroom and kitchen, it lacks a shower. Oh, and your sleeping quarters are six feet long and three feet high; don’t spring up and awake too suddenly or you may just end up asleep again.
This next option is not for the sleepwalking type: Tree house hotels. They exist at a number of exotic spots around the world, Costa Rica, India, Sweden and Hawaii to name a few. All of them are marked by clever and unique architecture and usually necessarily scant accommodations; room service and running utilities are not a guarantee.
If you’re looking for a stay that’s designed to keep you there in more ways than one then you can be locked down in the jailhotel Lowengraben in Lucerne, Switzerland. Originally built as a jail in the mid 1800s and continuing to function until the late 1990s, this historical building now provides access to the local sights of Lucerne that its previous residents didn’t have the privilege of visiting.
9. All Work and No Play…
Remember that creepy hotel from The Shining? What if you wanted to stay there? Well, too bad; it’s an imaginary hotel shot at several different locations. But truthfully the hotel that inspired the book does exist in Estes Park, Colorado. In addition to long-standing rumors of haunting, the Stanley Hotel is where Stephen King assembled the ideas for this diabolical gem.
10. Is There an Echo in Here?
For all those spelunkers who just can’t get enough dark, musty rock, there’s the Gamirasu Cave Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey. Beautiful décor and traditional Turkish food will delight any guest staying in this mineral marvel whose history of inhabitance stretches back over 2000 years. While equipped with modern amenities and utilities the striking stone walls and ceiling will serve as a constant reminder that you’re staying in an actual cave.
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