As published in aluxurytravelblog on 01.07.2014
Hotels can no longer be defined only by the amenities they provide, it has become essential to have a theme,or a place with character which defines it. Business and casual travelers alike would prefer staying at a place with history, a back story or even something as simple as furniture which defines the place. With that in mind, here are the 10 of the most unique hotels in the world.
1. Tree Hotel, Harads, Sweden
Nestled within the forest on the banks of the river Lule, this hotel lends a very different twist to Eco hotels. The hotel consists of tree rooms, cabins and cubes all suspended 4-6m from the ground and made from Eco outdoor wood and glass and uses LED’s and water efficient sinks to promote sustainability. When you check-in you are taken to the Britta’s Pensionat which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in an authentic 1930-1950’s setting and also doubles up as a reception. Sustainable tourism was never this modern and this chic.
2. Kakslauttanen Igloo Village, Finland
There are two types of accommodation available for guests who brave the cold to come here; Igloos of snow and of glass. The snow igloos give you a novel experience of sleeping in the snow, some guests leave saying that it is the most peaceful sleep they’ve slept. The glass igloos offer unparalleled sights of the northern lights and countless stars on the pristine skies from the warmth of your room. Surrounded by Lapland’s exotic and stunning scenery, there’s never enough time to soak in all that this paradise has to offer. And there are always snow fights if you’re bored enough.
3. Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya
The claim to fame of this peculiar hotel lies not with its rooms or its past guests (Who were quite esteemed) but its permanent residents, the Rothschild giraffes. There can never be a dull moment during your stay with the giraffes always vying for your attention. Some might poke their long necks inside the window for a treat while some might be just curious and pop in from the front door for a brief hello. It might be the only establishment which encourages the guests to become more familiar with the giraffes and if you’re not satisfied you can always head to the Giraffe centre to learn more.
4. Kolarbyn Eco Lodge, Sweden
This might be the most primitive hotel in Sweden if not the world. With no electricity, no running water, one might wonder why anyone would go there at all. In fact they expect you to cut your own wood, fetch your own water and got berry picking for snacks, the only thing that they offer thankfully, are the meals which happen in a candle lit room which is actually fairly romantic. If you are cold, heat up the floating sauna (which is in the middle of the lake behind the lodges) and feel like a real man or woman of the woods!
5. Propeller Island, Berlin, Germany
Every room in this hotel is different and a destination unto itself. The rooms are all themed and provided amenities you never knew you needed. Some have patterns, some have coffins but the most popular of them all is a room which might seem totally normal, when viewed upside down. All the furniture in the said room is suspended upside down. Of course the useable furniture can be made to pop up from carefully hidden compartments in the floor when required. Go if you’re in the mood to take back a quirky story not just of the city sights but also of your stay.
6. Poseidon, somewhere below the sea, Fiji
If you register in time you might be lucky enough to be invited to stay at this “out of the world” hotel. Imagine a huge glass fish tank and put all the plush interiors you would expect from a 5 star rated hotel and then put the tank inside the sea in one of the most marine rich waters of the world and you have the concept of this hotel. Of course imagining yourself inside the room is another things altogether. Except for the vague discomfort of being on display for the fishes 24/7 it’s a bucket list item for sure.
7. Magic Mountain Hotel, Huilo Huilo Reserve, Chile
There is a fairy tale of a mountain that has magical powers and grants wishes. I have read of it and forgotten it but the owners of the hotel went one step further and built a hotel based on it. A mountain with a waterfall cascading down its sides and a hotel within it, stuff made of dreams I say. As you’d expect from staying somewhere this magical, your senses become tuned to the vibrant ecosystem of the forest. Though it is in the middle of the Chilean Patagonian Rainforest, with Condors and eagles in the air and pumas on the ground you can never feel starved of company.
8. Adrere Amellal, Siwa Oasis, Egypt
With the setting of what probably one of the last remaining pristine oases of the world, a hill (popularly called White Mountain), the lake Siwa and ruins of an era bygone, the hotel has a lot going for it even before stepping inside. The earth buildings blend naturally with the surroundings and the furniture does justice to its theme of Eco sustainability while supporting local artisans. The peaceful silence coupled with spectacular lunches beneath the palms and sunset with the dunes offers a tempo which is its own. It has no air-con, marble or electricity but it forces us to revise our definition of luxury. Home to the Oracle whom Alexander consulted, this place is divine indeed.
9. Cappadocia Cave Suites, Turkey
Located in the city of Göremewith the world famous fairy chimneys to give company, the hotel offers stone and cave homes of hollowed out soft volcanic rocks for enterprising guests who wish to immerse themselves into the experience. Except for the shape of walls and the odd jutting out pieces of rocks and perhaps the not so arched archways of the doors, the rooms embody the very modern concept of luxury, a sharp contrast to the cave dwellers of the past. All in all if you are in the mood for tracing out the cave man or woman in you, you can’t go wrong with this.
10. Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi, Arctic Circle
This is more a work of art than a hotel. Artists from around the world, apply to build this temporary hotel, which is in existence only for the winter months, with building materials (snow and ice) harvested from the nearby Torne River. The rooms can be as elaborate as palaces and as bare boned as a shepherds lodge depending upon the artists imagination, but the experience on staying there remains the same. There are however different options for the more picky, with different levels of warm furniture included going all the way up to warm accommodations for those who cannot brave the cold. These are however not made of ice or snow but of warmer, more traditional building materials like wood. For those wondering how to brave the minus temperatures while sleeping, guests get survival course each night as an introduction on how to sleep in these extreme climates. Pretty slick!