With over 11 million visitors annually, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited U.S. National Park. While there is no lack of things to…
While you can get a great night’s sleep at a chainstore economy hotel, there is so much you would be missing. Expand your horizons and think outside your standard accommodations and check out these amazing specialty hotels around the world. Most of these fall under the category of luxury hotels, but some of these destinations are also affordably priced. Also of note is that many of these specialty hotels are best as Couples Vacation Destinations and are not necessarily family friendly. In part 1 of this blog, we talked about unique lodgings at a California Resort cliff hotel, a beautiful garden hotel in Warrenton, Virginia, as well as a rustic farm getaway in the Great Smoky Mountains, and fun treehouse hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Those are just a few of the unique places to stay on your vacation, check out these equally cool and exciting spots.
Capsule hotels -aka ‘pod’ hotels were developed in Japan as a way for budget travellers, and those travelling solo, to have somewhere safe and affordable to sleep. Over the years capsule hotels have remained popular but the experience of staying in one has dramatically changed, with pod hoteliers competing to provide guests with the most stylish and luxurious experience. While there are some great pod hotel options stateside and outside its design origin, Japan is still the best place for the capsule hotel experience. We recommend The Prime Pod Kyoto in Kyoto, Japan. Amenities include free Wi-Fi in public areas, luggage storage, and a bar/lounge area. While the bathrooms are shared, they do offer showers and free toiletries. Additionally, there are laundry facilities on site. Your stay at this Central Kyoto hotel places you within 2 miles of Nijo Castle and Kyoto Imperial Palace. Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine are also within 2 miles . You can expect nightly rates from $115/night.
Ice Hotel– With colder weather upon us, outdoor and adventure enthusiasts may be interested staying in a luxury ice hotel. While it may sound like an oxymoron- luxury ice hotel- do not be deceived. Ice Hotel: Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada will cost you roughly $372/night. The standout feature of Montreal’s Hotel de Glace is its Jägermeister ice bar. It describes itself as a ‘unique hotel experience, a gastronomic adventure and a source of family entertainment and urban culture and sports’, but whatever, it’s got a Jägermeister ice bar and an outdoor spa, a 60-seat restaurant, a convention center and a maze. The hotel is made of 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice and the walls are up to four feet thick. With 42 themed rooms, you are sure to find something eclectic and unique. You will after all be sleeping on an ice bed lined with fur and polar sleeping bags. Finding Cheap Flights and book your stay today because this hotel is only open seasonally through the winter from January through April.
Igloo Hotel-If you like the idea of an ice hotel, but aren’t quite so sold on the idea of actually sleeping on a bed of ice, and igloo hotel might be better suited for you. At the Arctic Resort Kakslauttanen in Finland, Norway you can stay in a (warmish) igloo with a glass roof so you watch the Aurora from your bed. Kakslauttanen is about 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle, which might seem a bit out of the way, but it’s only 30 minutes from Ivalo airport. If sleeping in a glass igloo kept at a crisp temperature of 21-27 degrees Fahrenheit, you can also choose to stay in a charming log cabin as the resort has over 170 accommodations. Beyond the luxury rooms and views, the resort has five smoke saunas, two restaurants and access to ice fishing, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in one of Finland’s largest national parks, Urho Kekkonen. Room rates start at $370 per night. The best time to see the Auroras are October through March.
Overwater Hotel– Just northwest of Tahiti lies another island that’s part of French Polynesia, and despite how utterly stunning it is, chances are you’ve never heard of it.- Moorea
Surrounded by a bright blue lagoon, the volcanically formed island of Moorea was rated as the third-best island in the world by the Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards. Getting to the hidden paradise is a process. Besides having to get to Papa’ete in Tahiti, travelers then travel by high-speed ferry to reach Moorea, which sits 12 miles away. Once here, our pick is Manava Beach Resort and Spa. This traditional and contemporary Polynesian style resort offers 90 rooms and bungalows, as well as one restaurant, two friendly bars, an infinity edge pool, an on-site spa, a meeting room, a boutique and an on-site diving center.
As part of Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea commitment for the protection of the environment, a coral nursery called To’a Nui has been installed. This park allows a colony of corals to regenerate in perfect ecological conditions. Rates range from about $272-$515 per night.
Underwater Hotel– If you weren’t excited about lounging above crystal blue waters, how about going under the sea instead? The Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel opened in November 2018. Over 10 years in building, this hotel is an architectural masterpiece. The five star luxury hotel in the town of Songjiang, approximately 35 km from the city of Shanghai, has been built into the side of a disused water-filled quarry that is the size of five football fields. With 16 of its 18 floors underground, it has been called a wonder of modern engineering. The futuristic hotel features over 350 bedrooms, underwater public areas, underwater hotel guest rooms and conference facilities for up to 1,000 people, and also include sport and leisure centers.Two underwater levels house a restaurant and guest rooms facing a ten-meter-deep aquarium. The lowest level of the hotel will contain a leisure complex with a swimming pool and water-based sports. While standard rooms start at about $519 per night, an underwater suite starts at approximately $1,600 per night and can run more than $11,000 per night.
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