Most Unique Hotels in the World
PC - Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Lapland, Finland
An adventurous traveler is someone who is constantly on the lookout for unique experiences everywhere. However, hotels can be monotonous, soulless, and unimaginative. They all have similar amenities, layouts, breakfasts, and so on. Some are better than others, but most hotels just serve as a base from which to explore the region.
But wait – some hotels are bucket-list worthy. These unique hotels are awesome destinations on their own. If you stay at one of these iconic resorts, you won’t have to leave the premises to have an unforgettable experience. I’ve compiled a list of hotels where you must vacation at least once in your lifetime. You decide whether you want decadent luxury, stunning locations, jaw-dropping architecture, or surreal experiences. These unusual resorts will burn a big hole in your pocket, but they are worth it. You will have a one-of-a-kind experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
1. Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
Most travelers already have this ‘million-star hotel’ on their wish list. Hotel Kakslauttanen is located in Saariselka, Finland, 150 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The rooms are shaped like Igloos and made of glass. From the warmth of your cabin, you can have an unobstructed view of the stars and even the Northern Lights (if you are lucky). The city of Saariselka is one of the best places to watch the northern lights. The spectacular natural light show is visible from late August to early April. After you’ve had your fill of stargazing, you can take a husky and reindeer safari through the Arctic wilderness, drive through the snow on a snowmobile, go cross-country skiing, or visit Santa’s house nearby.
The glass Igloos come in different sizes and shapes – small igloos, large igloos, Kelo igloos, and luxury Kelo igloos. Though they are very expensive, don’t expect super luxury. The small igloos only have a small toilet and have to use communal shower facilities. The larger ones can accommodate a family of four with private bathrooms and shower facilities. Besides the Glass igloos, you have the option to stay at Chalets and Snow Igloos. The resort has 6 onsite restaurants, a gym, and airport transfers (on charge).
Price per Night – From $500 per room
2. Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya
Giraffe Manor, an exclusive boutique hotel on the outskirts of Nairobi, is another unique hotel to add to your bucket list. The 1930s-era elegant resort, with its manicured gardens, timeless interiors, and stately facade, is a sought-after property in its own right. What distinguishes it is a herd of endangered Rothschild giraffes that roam freely on the resort grounds. The resident giraffes visit the dining areas and poke their long necks through the windows in search of treats from the visitors. Each room is stocked with food for the long-necked giants.
The 12-acre iconic property is one of the most Instagrammed properties in the world. The Manor has 12 luxury suites which are named after historical figures or giraffes associated with the manor. Each room is beautifully decorated with antiques, canopied beds, and classic Baroque furniture. Giraffe Manor is closed for one month each year in April-May. The resort is undoubtedly expensive, but you will have one of the most unique and incredible experiences of your life. The kids will adore it.
Prices per night – From $1500 per room all-inclusive
3. Ashford Castle, Ireland
This is an excellent opportunity to live out all your fantasies of living in a castle. Ashford Castle is a medieval and Victorian castle that has been converted into a five-star luxury hotel near Cong in Ireland. The castle is part of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and has played host to dignitaries like President Ronald Reagan and King George V.
Constructed over several centuries, the expansive 13th-century Ashford Castle was first used as a luxury resort in 1939. The 350-acre castle has undergone extensive renovations in recent times, restoring it to its former splendor and finesse. There are 83 opulent guestrooms and suites, a full-service spa, a library, a 32-seat movie theatre, and an array of dining options. Not only will you enjoy access to magnificent antique grandeur, but you will also receive excellent service and friendly Irish hospitality. The afternoon tea will undoubtedly transport you to a bygone era.
On-site activities at Ashford Castle include falconry, hiking, zip-lining, horseback riding, golf, and a lot more. There is a gallery showcasing celebrities who have stayed at the castle. The stay at Castle is perfect for romantic weekends and family vacations.
Cost per night – From $500 per room
4. The Manta Resort, Pemba Island, Tanzania
Secluded and idyllic, the Manta Resort is situated on Tanzania’s tropical island of Pamba. The five-star resort caters to those seeking seclusion and isolation. The Underwater Sea Room, from which you can observe the exotic marine life gliding past your window, is what distinguishes the resort. The floating luxury suite is anchored on the ocean floor and has three levels: a landing deck with a lounge and a bathroom, a top deck with unbelievable stargazing views, and a submerged bedroom four meters beneath crystal clear waters. Guests have the option of sleeping under the stars or underwater, with the sound of the gently lapping ocean lulling them to sleep.
The rooms offer a large, private open-plan layout with contemporary comforts, created with a blend of traditional Pemban decor and local materials. The resort is perched on the edge of a primitive forest and overlooks azure seas, untouched coral reefs, and an inviting beach. The unique experience of sleeping under the waves cannot come cheap. So be prepared to pay a premium for a stay at The Manta Resort’s Underwater Room.
Price per night – From $1100 per person
5. Skylodge Adventure Suites, Peru
If you are an adventure freak, Skylodge Adventure Suites has to be on your bucket list. The Skylodge Adventure Suites is a unique lodging experience found in the Sacred Valley of Peru. It allows guests to sleep in transparent luxury capsules suspended from the top of a mountain, with a 300-degree view of the majestic Sacred Valley. The luxury capsules clinging to the steep cliffside are located 1200 ft up on the mountains. You will have to climb 400 meters up a Peruvian mountain via Ferrata or hike through zip lines to reach the 24-ft-long suspended capsule. There are curtains if you need some privacy from the passing birds
The hand-crafted suit is made of aerospace aluminum and is weather-resistant. The Nature Vive Skylodge has three capsule pods – each having four beds, an ensuite bathroom, and a dining area. The experience includes breakfast, a gourmet dinner with wine, transportation from Cusco, and professional bilingual guides. The Skylodge Adventure Suites is innovative and adventurous, but it is not for the faint-hearted due to the high elevation and steep climb.
Price per night – From $450 per person all-inclusive
6. Icehotel, Sweden
If you have dreamt of living like an Eskimo, this is your chance. Icehotel located in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden is the first ice and snow hotel in the world. Built in 1989, the hotel takes a new shape every winter and is rebuilt using snow and ice from the neighboring Torne River. The hotel maintains a temperature of -5 to -8 degrees Celsius. The ‘Cold rooms’ are decorated with hand-carved ice sculptures and ice decor carved by new artists every year. The rooms have a bed sculpted out of ice covered with fur blankets and a thermal sleeping bag. In addition to the ice rooms, the hotel also offers ‘Warm rooms’ that are available year-round. are also available.
Situated 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, the Icehotel only runs from December to April. It is a unique experience where guests are brought to the property in snowmobiles or dog sleds. The hotel has an Ice gallery, ice chapel, ice bar, heated restaurants, and wilderness camps. In the winter, visitors can engage in activities like dog sledding, horseback riding, snowmobiling, and Northern Lights tours. Summer activities include river rafting, hiking, fishing, and midnight sun tours. An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 visitors visit the Ice Hotel each year.
Price per night (Cold Rooms) – From $800 per room
7. Viceroy Los Cabos, Mexico
The stunning architectural wonder designed by Miguel Angel Aragones will mesmerize you with its modern, minimalist design. Located on the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Viceroy Los Cabos is a dramatic and futuristic marvel with reflecting pools, looming white buildings, polished glass, and an abundance of natural light. The waterfront landmark has 192 guest rooms connected by elevated walkways that run across the gleaming water. The stylish rooms are decorated in shades of white, cream, and aqua and have floor-to-ceiling windows so that you can enjoy spectacular views of the sea.
The Sushi restaurant ‘Nido’ shaped like an inverted bird’s nest is the perfect centerpiece for the stylish resort. There are four dining options, a roof-top bar, a must-visit spa, multiple pools, and a movie theatre. The resort is located near San José del Cabo’s historic Colonial streets, offering guests chances to explore outdoor adventure on both land and sea. November is a good time to visit Mexico.
Price per night – From $500 per room
8. Treehotel, Sweden
Who would pass up the opportunity to live among towering pine trees while soaking in the breathtaking views of mysterious forests and the roaring Lule River? Treehotel in Sweden is the perfect place to fulfill this childhood dream. The hotel offers a distinctive experience among the forests of Harads, fusing modern architecture and design with comfy amenities like free WiFi and tea/coffee makers. A bridge, electric staircase, or ramp can be used to access the tree rooms, which are suspended 4–10 meters above the ground. The hotel blends in with the surroundings, allowing you to fully embrace the tranquility and beauty of nature.
Treehotel has seven tree rooms, each with a uniquely designed exterior – The Bird’s Nest, The UFO, The Mirrorcube, and The 7th room are popular. The suspended tree-top accommodations have underfloor heating, electricity, air conditioning, refrigerators, incinerating toilets, and other facilities. Meals are served in Treehotel Guesthouse restaurant. Snowmobile safari, Northern Light hunt, white water rapids, ice skating, and ski trail are some activities offered at this special hotel.
Price per night – From $400 per room
9. Lakepalace, India
In the middle of serene Lake Pichola in Udaipur, floats the ravishing Lake Palace hotel. Formerly known as Jag Niwas, the white marble palace was built in 1746 for Prince Jagat Singh II. It was converted into a luxury hotel in the 1960s and the rest, as they say, is history. The majestic exterior, open-air courtyards, manicured gardens, pillared terraces, lotus ponds, and dancing peacocks give a very romantic feel to this iconic architectural marvel. The fact that you can reach the property only by boat, adds to the charm of the palace. The grandeur and the traditional hospitality will provide you with a glimpse of how the Indian royalty lived.
Lake Palace has 66 rooms and 17 suites which have retained their original splendor and offer breathtaking views of Lake Pichola, charming Udaipur city, and the surrounding Aravali Hills. The hotel has specialty restaurants, elegant bars, and a fully equipped spa. The popular hotel has been the site for the shooting of the James Bond film, Octopussy. Many eminent personalities like Queen Elizabeth, and Jacqueline Kennedy have stayed at this legendary hotel in India.
Price per night – From $400 per room
10. Palacio de Sal, Bolivia
Located on the edge of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the Palacio de Sal Hotel is the first hotel that is made entirely of salt. The hotel, built in 1998 under the vision of Juan Quesada Valda, must be on your bucket list because of its recuperative benefits. The walls, ceiling, sculptures, floor, and the majority of the furniture are made of salt. The hotel with its chalk-white huts is in perfect harmony with its dramatic surroundings.
The 16 salt rooms are elegant and traditional with a contemporary touch. The sodium-themed hotel has a golf course, saltwater baths, a spa, saltwater beds, restaurants, and a bar. There is a strict rule – no licking the salt walls. The hotel is perfectly situated to explore Salar de Uyuni – the largest salt flat in the world.
Price per night – From $300 per night
So which one of these unique hotels interests you? Comment below!!