A spectacular hotel is what truly makes a travel destination worthwhile, and may even serve as a destination in and of itself. Whether it be it’s location or design, each of these unique hotels offers some of the most incredible and adventurous travel experiences in the world. While some cost a fortune, and others are more affordable, you are guaranteed to feel like royalty while staying in any of these incredibly cool hotels.
Giraffe Manor (Narobi, Kenya)
This all inclusive hotel is located less than 10 miles outside of the hectic city of Nairobi, yet is a place of pure serenity and peace. This vine covered brick mansion was built in 1932, and truly came to life in 1974 when it was bought over by preservationists. The property expanded 140 acres, and homes a herd of resident Rothschild giraffes, adding a 6th wildlife animal to Kenya’s repertoire. The Giraffe Manor offers 10 luxurious rooms, with a spectacular sunset view overlooking the Ngong Hills. The experience does not end here, as the windows are opened every day to enjoy the company of Giraffes during meal times! The average cost is $1000 a night.
Hotel Kakslauttanen (Finland)
This one of a kind nature resort, surrounded by forest is located right off the highway to the Arctic Sea. Its guest rooms are either cozy log cabins, or pine-built igloos, which include fireplaces and saunas. Some even have a kitchen set up and free-standing bathtubs. A Lapland house, snow igloos and igloos with glass ceilings are also offered at this spectacular hotel. The room price includes breakfast, and the hotel hosts 2 Lappish restaurants, including an igloo bar and smoke saunas. If you decide to leave your room, enjoy some in resort swimming, sleigh rides and reindeer safaris.
The Conrad Hilton (Rangila, Maldives)
The Maldives is home to a myriad of incredible hotels, however the Conrad Hilton, located on Rangali Island takes the lagoon experience a step further. It’s hut villas offer see-through glass floors, rotating beds adjusted to follow the sunset, and private fresh water pools. You can even have the hotel’s Itha’s restaurant specially turned into a underwater room, although their other 11 sunset view restaurants will surely not disappoint. If you’re into wine and cheese, their underwater wine cellar holding 20,000 bottles and 101 of the world’s best cheeses should do the trick. And if you’re looking for a little more adventure, feel free to dive with manta rays, snorkel with sharks, and explore the beaches. Rates start at $900 per night.
The Glass Floor Udang House (Bali, Indonesia)
The Glass Floor Udang House overlooks the Ayung River, and is made from restored antique Javanese bridal homes. Each teak wood house is individually decorated, varying ins styles, from chic to rustic, including unique decor such as Moroccan rugs, Burmese lacquerware and Ethiopian woodwork. The room includes breakfast and afternoon tea, and also hosts a Balinese restaurants, a natural swimming pond and a spa. It also offers a traditional Minang house for morning yoga.
Anantara Golden Triangle (Sop Ruak, Thailand):
This breathtaking resort is located 90 minutes North of Chiang Rai, right at the center of the Golden Triangle where the countries of Thailand, Mayamar and Loas meet. It is filled with history, dating back to the times of opium trade. The viewpoints looking out onto neighbouring countries, jungle paths, and temples make for an incredibly romantic and zen spot. If you’re looking for even more serenity, have an elephant and mahout trainer take you on a trek for a private picnic. Average cost per night, $900.
Floating Hotel (Zanzibar, Tanzania)
This hotel is partially submerged, offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to sleep beneath the surface of the ocean. It is located 250 metres off the coast of Pemba Island, and the underwater room is part of the Manta Resort – a three storey structure which floats in the middle of the ocean, with the lowest level at four metres beneath the water. A boat escorts guests to their room, who then are to take a staircase descending to the underwater bedroom, in which the windows provide a 360 degree view of the coral reef and sea life. This unique room has a timber-clad section above the water, including a lounge, bathroom, and roof deck for tanning and stargazing.
Ashford Castle (Ireland)
Rather than merely visiting a Medieval European castle, the Ashford enables visitors to actually have the royal experience and spend the night in the castle. It is also unique in it’s massive size, and that it’s first mansion dates all the way back to 1228. In 1589 protective fortifications were built, and in 1715 the Ashford name was obtained when a French-style wing was added. The Guinness family purchased the castle in 1852, and expanded it to 26,000 acres, completely rebuilding the west wing of the estate. In 1990, the biggest change occurred when it doubled in size and became a 5 star hotel. The luxurious castle offers horse riding, falconry, lake cruising, fishing, clay shooting, archery, golf as well as an extensive spa.
Ascher Guesthouse (Switzerland)
The Ascher Guesthouse is located next to the Wildkirchli caves and below the Ebenalp cliff, the most northern summit of the Appenzell Alps in Switzerland. This guesthouse was meticulously built into the side of mountain in the 19th century. It is considered a Mountain-Guesthouse by the swiss, and it’s rooms are dormitory style, with several rooms with mattresses that are meant for sleeping bags. It is no royal castle, however the view is like no other. The guesthouse also has a restaurant.
Dhara Dhevi Resort (Chiang Mai, Thailand)
This incredible resort will take you back into time to the peak of the Lanna Empire. It appears more a palace than a resort. It’s 118 suites surround a old world farm and rice field, a reminder of the times when palaces sustained themselves. Each suite looks out onto the rice paddy or the lush tropical gardens of the resort. It even hosts 5 separate, out of this world residences for long visits by very important guests. The spa is designed in representation of an ancient Mandalay palace, and has a 7 tiered carved teakwood lobby. If relaxing is not your style, try taking a ride of the back of a water buffalo, learning to cook with masters chefs, or watch on of their live shows. The resort also has it’s own on-site craft village. Rooms range from $700-1500 a night.
Fairy Chimney, Turkey
This family run guest house is held in a refined building carved out of Cappadocia tufa rock. Every piece of it contains history as it was created from Volcanic eruptions. It features traditional decor, and offers a cozy feel, with individually designed rooms built within caves. The hotel itself is rather simple however the scenic view is incomparable. It offers a free buffet breakfast, as well as cooking classes for an additional charge.
Londolozi Tree Camp (South Africa)
The Londolozi Tree Camp was established in 1926, the same year that the Kruger National Park was established, and both have been very active in wildlife preservation in Africa. At the start, the camp was the primary bush camp used mainly for hosting special guests, however by the 1970’s they changed their focus more to conservation and changed their name to Londolozi, meaning to protect. Throughout the years, Londolozi has became known as one of Africa’s finest game lodges, clearly well deserved as visitors can watch elephant herds go by while bathing, followed by a safari to see rare leopards and cats and then hang out in some insane tree houses and lodges with incredible furnishing.
Montana Magica Lodge, Chile
This unique volcano shaped ecolodge is located in the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve in the Patagonian Rainforest. Although it does not appear so, it was man made by using local lumber and stone. The furniture, including the hot tubs, is made from tree trunks, and the rooms are cozy and rustic. The lodge serves breakfast and a has a cafe with floor-to-ceiling windows. The reserve also hosts several restaurants, a children’s play area, as well as spa. For those seeking more thrill, they offer golfing, hiking, rafting and ziplining on South America’s longest zipline! It is a true Middle-Earth feeling.
De Glase Ice Hotel (Quebec, Canada)
Since 2001, a snow and ice hotel has been re-built to create a winter wonderland. The Ice Hotel in Quebec city is open from January through March, and is built by talented sculptors during a few weeks process. Incredible attention to detail in all of the snow art is seen throughout the hotel, including it’s 44 rooms, the ice bar and the super slide. And believe it or not, you won’t freeze! Each room has a warm mattress as well as blankets over the ice, and the arctic down is 35 degrees colder than hotel itself. They also have a warming center with fully heated bathrooms. This Quebec ice hotel is the easiest to get to, as well as the most affordable. And the park nearby has over 2 miles of trails for hiking and snowshoeing.
Mirrorcube Tree House Hotel (Sweden)
These modern tree cabins are located in the forest of the Lule River valley. Each ‘’tree room’’ cabin is individually designed by the most professional Scandinavian Architects, and holds 1 to 5 people. They are suspended 4 to 6 meters off of ground level, and have radiant floors. A breakfast buffet is served at a nearby guesthouse, and meals can also be delivered. Enjoy some hiking, kayaking and ice fishing too.
Tree House Sphere (Vancouver, Canada)
Located in the west coast rainforest of Vancouver Island, Canada, stands three spherical tree-houses (Eve, Eryn and Melody) intended to be a place of meditation and commune with nature and reconnect, whilst taking the human marking to almost non existent. The connection between the 3 is like a yacht with brass trim, with wood and cane doors. They use biomimicry to create human habitation to live in the forest. The sphere itself can take rough impacts and attaches to strong points. It’s flexibility allows for the sphere and trees to move freely, creating a feeling of floating whilst in the air. Each sphere has built in speakers, to truly experience the deep sounds.
Jade Mountain Resort (Santa Lucia)
The Jade Mountain Resort offers one of the most magnificent views in the world. The property lies high up on a cliff side with a maze of delicate bridges, connecting each suite to the common areas, somewhat of a man made jungle. The suite has only 3 walls, ensuring that a view is always present, and has 15 foot high ceilings, with insane private infinity pools. The main resort is about 90 minutes from the airport, but visitors can also arrive by helicopter. In the area there is a the Soufriere Volcano, as well as the Rainforest Canopy cable car near by.
Amsterdam Zaandam Inntel Hotel (Netherlands)
The Amsterdam Zaandam Inntel Hotel is a quirky and eclectic addition to the Zaandam skyline, located right along the canal. With 12 stories and 70 stacked houses composing its structure, you might think your mind is playing tricks on you! Each chic room is designed with a different local theme, including designer furniture and artwork. Their trendy restaurant has a terrace looking over the canal, and they also have a bar, spa, indoor pool and gym.
Art Maison Hotel (Santorini, Greece)
There are a wide selection of incredible hotels in the beautiful island of Santorini, however the Art Maison Hotel claims number one. It’s attached to the ocean-side of a former volcano’s caldera, and truly allows guests to experience the best possible view of the white village. Watch the sunset from your private infinity pool, uniquely built as private grottoes. After dark the water illuminates the cave in blue ambient light. This combined with the village lights makes for a scene romantic beyond words. Starting rates are $900 a night.
Attrap Reves Hotel, France
This seasonal lodging, bubble-shaped structure is surrounded by pine trees, nearby to the ornate gardens of the Palais Longchamp and the Old Port of Marseille. The rooms are see-through, enabling a unique opportunity to stargaze while being inside and covered, and fear not – if you’d like some privacy, the windows can be tinted to your discretion. The bubble rooms include futon-style, king-size beds, reading lamps, tables and chairs. Although it may feel like you’re camping, rooms in fact have electricity and running water.
Udaivilas Palace (Udaipur, India)
Udaivilas Place on the shores of India’s Lake Pichola provides guests with a true royal experience. King Udai Singh the Second built this palace in 1567 after becoming the 53rd ruler of the Mewar Dynasty. The 150 years following, the palace became a massive royal estate, even entering the palace’s gate is jaw dropping. The villas have private pools and cascading terraces. The palace is most beautiful seen from a distance in it’s entirety which can be done by taking a soothing boat ride on the water.
The Southern Ocean Lodge (Kangaroo Island, Australia)
This high-end lodge overlooks the Southern Ocean and screams zen and solitude, with not a sound or soul in close proximity. It’s floor-to-ceiling windows offers unbeatable ocean views. The unique rooms also comes with terraces, sunken lounges, fireplaces, rainfall shower heads and whirlpool baths. The lodge is an all inclusive, for an ultimate worry-free vacation. The lodge has a spa as well. For those looking to explore, it’s in close proximity to Kelly Hill Conservation Park and Flinders Chase National Park where you’ll find kangaroos and seals.