Thanks to the ubiquity of comparison websites, we’ve never had a greater choice when it comes to choosing where we stay on our vacation. But instead of something cookie cutter, how about staying in one of the strange hotels that’s really going to give you a memorable experience?
While some of us search in the hope of finding affordable luxury, others are quite happy to put up with the basics in return for a place to put their head down for the night.bThis level of competition is forcing the hotel industry to come up with more inventive ways than ever to attract tourists through their doors.
Now you can surf around in your pajamas and find a place to stay that will completely blow your mind, booking it right then and there. Here are four of the strangest hotels currently available in different markets. Even though they might not be the definition of comfort, stopping in any one of these will certainly add a sense of adventure to any trip.
The Icehotel in Scandinavia
Cost Per Night: $162 – $950
There are a few ice hotels around the world, but this one is in an area that’s truly icy. Located some 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, the world-famous Icehotel is like a clear designer cathedral of frozen water. Each year talented designers and ice sculptors have fun with the design and mix it up for a new season. Check out the 365 Art Suite pics at Icehotel.com.
Guests willing to make the voyage and then part with their hard-earned cash can expect to enjoy an igloo room with cozy indoor temperatures ranging from -5 to -7 C (20 to 23 F), along with a bed frame made entirely out of ice (with furry animal skin blankets.) The armchairs are carved out of ice as well.
Unfortunately, ice sculptors haven’t quite mastered the art of making a working toilet or shower just yet, so if you do wish to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you’ll have to make a mad dash out to the main hotel lobby.
On the plus side, the hotel is surrounded by snow-capped pine forests, making it the ideal playground for adventurists that want to try their hand at snowmobiling and dog sleighing. Just don’t forget to pack lots of thermal layers!
The Palacio de Sal
Cost Per Night: $142
If you thought a hotel made of ice was a little on the bonkers side, the Palacio de Sal – “the Palace of Salt” – might just take the cake.
Situated just a stone’s throw away from the spectacular salt flats known as the Salar de Uyuni, the palace makes full use of its natural surroundings.
It may not really feel like a palace and some other materials join the salt now and then, but animals could treat most of this hotel like a salt lick. You’ll see walls, furniture, and columns made from salt. It wouldn’t be hard to pick a little seasoning to your evening dinner, though be advised that what’s harvested from the great Uyuni Salt Flat of Bolivia is mostly used for industrial purposes, not fine dining.
This place has slowly evolved from a backpacker haunt to an upscale lodge, complete with a few suites. Due to the low exchange rate of the Bolivian boliviano compared to the dollar and other major currencies though, the cost of staying at the world’s first salt hotel is still a good value, often around $142 a night.
Skylodge Adventure Suites
Where? Sacred Valley, Peru
Cost Per Night: $860 double incl. 2 meals, transportation from Cusco, and guide/equipment for the approach.
You’ll have to really work to get to these pod rooms suspended on the side of a sheer cliff in the Sacred Valley of Peru, near Urubamba. Your choice is to get there by rock climbing 400 meters, or through a series of ziplines and via ferrata walkways in the sky. This is clearly not a hotel for those with any bit of vertigo: you are 1,200 feet from the ground, with a 300-degree view of the valley below.
There are three pods for sleeping quarters, then a larger one with a little deck space for dining with a view. Sleeping quarters are 24 feet long and 8 feet high, with the exit on the top. There’s an “eco toilet” inside so you don’t have to go rock climbing at night, but don’t look down when you leave!
Where? Wherever you like!
Cost Per Night: $225,000
At nearly a quarter of a million dollars per night, Lovers Deep is, without a doubt, one of the most expensive hotels in the world. You might be wondering then, how it can possibly justify such a ludicrous price tag in the first place? Well, it’s not just a room you’re paying for: he hotel is actually your own fully functioning submarine.
Because your “hotel” is mobile, you have the option of choosing where in the world it’s moored. Whether it be amongst the coral in St. Lucia or alongside a sunken battleship in the Red Sea, guests get to enjoy underwater ocean views from the privacy of their own luxurious bedroom.
Included in the price is a small crew, including a captain, butler, and chef, which are all on hand to help make your stay as enjoyable (and safe!) as possible.
While you may not be able to stay in all of these strange hotels, keep your eye out because there’s probably one just as odd wherever you’re heading next.