While most hotels simply provide accommodation and modern luxuries to their guests, there are some that believe in providing a complete experience. Although it becomes increasingly difficult to surprise visitors, whose expectations seem to keep growing, some hoteliers manage to achieve this feat. Here are 10 such unbelievable hotels, with sights and experiences that make them travel-worthy destinations in their own right.
1. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, in Finland offers its guest a variety of activities, including trips to a reindeer farm, sleigh rides with reindeer or huskies, horse-rides, driving a snowmobile, and lots more; but, what is most unique about this hotel is its luxury accommodation in domed igloos, with glass tops. This guarantees visitors an absolutely magical experience, as you are greeted with the sight of the enchanting Northern Lights. Anyone who has ever dreamed of sleeping beneath the clear skies of the Arctic should consider a stay at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
2. Hotel Arctic
Hotel Arctic’s claim to fame may be its unique position as the world’ northern most 4-star hotel, even boasting a 5 star conference center. While that may not impress you, there is little doubt that the views here will. The hotel is located just north of the small town of Ilulissat, in Greenland. The town also lends its name to the region’s famous fjord, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hotel Arctic sits just at the edge of the Ilulissat Icefjord and includes a main building that is 100 meters off the coast, as well as 5 modern igloos right along the shoreline. During the summer months, guests are treated breathtaking scenes of calving glaciers and icebergs. Visitors can relax and enjoy meals on the terrace while soaking in the spectacular show that nature puts on each year.
3. Laucala Island
Laucala Island is a luxurious private island resort just of the Fijian Mainland. This island, until recently, belonged to the late publishing magnate, Malcolm Forbes, before which it was a coconut plantation. Today it is a private island resort with 25 villas, its own airstrip and pier, catering to guests who can only arrive on chartered flights or yachts. While there’s plenty to explore on the sprawling 3,000 acre property, guests are in for an even bigger treat. Visitors to Laucala Island can look forward to experiencing the beauty of the ocean first-hand with, a ‘fish’s eye view’! The DeepFlight Super Falcon Mark II, an electricity-powered submarine gives guests an underwater tour that they will never forget.
4. Song Saa Private Island
Cambodia’s Song Saa Islands are situated in the Gulf of Thailand, just next to the popular tourist destination of Koh Rong, which is also the country’s second largest island. The twin islands that make up Song Saa were bought and transformed into a private island resort, with 27 eco-friendly villas. Song Saa Private Island, as it is called, is committed to sustainable tourism and works with the Song Saa Foundation in environmental conservation efforts. While all of this promises tourists a pretty unique stay, Song Saa redefines hotel experiences by allowing its guests to enjoy underwater meditation! Yes, at dusk, under the natural illumination of moonlight alone, participants are lead by an expert scuba diver for a session of meditation with special breathing equipment and waterproof MP3 players.
5. Hằng Nga Guesthouse
Described alternatively as bizarre by some, and a masterpiece by others, everything about Hằng Nga guesthouse, in Vietnam, is extraordinary. The hotel, which was built by Vietnamese architect Dang Viet Nga, is notable for its unconventional architecture. Nga was inspired by the surrealist art style and the works of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and artist Salvador Dalí. Her influences are rather obvious as the buildings of the hotel look like outlandish creations from an animation or fairy tale. The hotel has become a tourist attraction in itself today, but guests can enjoy an even more unusual experience when they stay here. It is not just the buildings that are themed on animals and various natural forms, but the rooms as well. A stay at Hằng Nga guesthouse, also known as Crazy House, is undoubtedly an experience in itself.
6. Jumby Bay
Rosewood Jumby Bay is a luxury hotel situated on a 300-acre private island, just off the coast of Antigua & Barbuda. Only accessible by boat, this Caribbean beach destination offers the seclusion and luxury that most can only dream of. The villas that form a part of the hotel are surrounded in lush tropical greenery. The natural beauty of the landscape isn’t all that will fascinate nature-enthusiasts, as Jumby Bay’s beaches are also a nesting site for turtles. Guests at the hotel can sign up for excursions to watch the wondrous journey of baby turtles making their way to sea for the first time. The hotel also makes arrangements for kids to participate in conservation efforts, with the release of hatchlings and adoption of endangered turtles.
7. Panda Inn
The Panda Inn, as the name suggests, is the perfect place for anyone who is fascinated with the amazing animals. At this Chinese hotel, the fascination does get a bit extreme however, with panda themes dominating every aspect of your stay. One thing you can be sure of is that nothing about this hotel is ordinary. All of the rooms are themed, with inspiration from popular movies and cartoons like Titanic or Pokemon, but all of them have one thing in common. The design is always adapted to be ‘panda compatible’ – yes, Jack and Rose, from Titanic appear as pandas. What’s even more bizarre is that you will never see the faces of any of the staff, be it the receptionist or the bellboy; they are all in panda costumes.
8. Bivacco Gervasutti
Bivacco Gervasutti is one of the most extraordinary dwelling places that you can possibly find. Strictly speaking this is a bivouac shelter, rather than a modern hotel, but it’s a must visit for any avid climber, who can make it up the treacherous slopes of the Alpine Mountains. Bivacco Gervasutti is perched on a small rocky outcropping from the Fréboudze glacier, on Mont Blanc, at 2835 m above sea level. A stay here promises to be an experience like no other, as you would be sleeping in a shelter that appears to be precariously balanced. As isolated as it may be, guests can count on modern comforts with solar power and internet access. Off course, the lodge is inaccessible to everyone who is not skilled at mountain climbing.
9. Hotel Costa Verde
It’s hard to tell which is the most bizarre hotel, but Hotel Costa Verde would certainly be a top contender. At first sight, one would think that they’ve stumbled upon surprisingly well-preserved aircraft wreckage perched up in the trees, but that is no wreck. The hotel is crafted out of a restored Boeing 727 that is fixed in place 50 feet above the ground, atop a tree. This unique hotel, on Costa Rica’s west coast actually boasts luxurious interiors and spectacular views of the surrounding rain forest and the Pacific Ocean. Perched amidst the treetops, you can expect a novel experience with uncommon neighbors like monkeys, sloths, and toucans!
10. Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives is a must-visit hotel for anyone with a love for life under the sea. Located at the southern region of Ari Atoll, in the Maldives, the natural beauty of the place would is enough to captivate guests. The hotel is enveloped by lush tropical forests, with white sandy beaches, and sparkling clear waters on one side. The waters here abound with aquatic life, supported by the beautiful coral reefs. What is so unique about Conrad Maldives, however, is not its location, but how it allows visitors to get up-close with the natural surroundings. Guests here can quite literally enjoy the experience of life underwater, as the hotel has a number of glass-domed rooms and restaurants underwater, offering unrestricted views of marine life.
From the architecture and décor of their premises, to the breathtaking views and activities that they offer, you can be sure that a stay at any of these hotels will be nothing short of amazing.