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Weird and Wonderful Places to Stay Across the Globe


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“Half of the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness,” wrote the author of The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury, and his words refer to more than physical lostness. Travel broadens the mind precisely because it enables us to encounter new cultures, foods, experiences, and—for those with a penchant for off the beaten track travel—new accommodation types. From ice hotels in the Arctic to treehouses in the jungle, these are just a few places that those after something new and exciting may opt to call home during their travels.

Ice Hotels

From Canada to Sweden, Norway to Finland, there is a select list of ice hotels that will make it more appealing than ever to sleep in the midst of a winter wonderland. Many of these hotels are rebuilt every year and they boast features such as ice bars, glass roofs (so you can view the northern lights), and ice art exhibitions. You will be surprisingly comfortable when you sleep since beds are separated from the surface of ice by mattresses and blankets. 

Magnificent Tree Houses in Costa Rica

Imagine sleeping in your very own treehouse in the middle of a lush jungle! Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations that offer this type of accommodation, with just a few top choices including Hidden Canopy Treehouses, the Tree Houses Hotel Costa Rica, and Tree House Lodge. These are located in beautiful locations like Santa Juana, Manuel Antonio, and the Punta Uva or Pacuare Rivers. From your casita, you can view colorful toucans and other tropical birds and nearby, cute animals such as sloths, howler monkeys, and scarlet macaws await.

Dome Accommodations

Sustainable geodesic dome hotels, made from interconnecting straight lines instead of curved surfaces, are growing fast in popularity among architecture and design lovers. Despite their stability, they require fewer materials than traditional buildings, since no internal columns and load-bearing walls are required. They are lightweight, easy to build, and moveable. They are usually built (often temporarily) in natural areas for use as yoga retreats, spiritual temples, and hotel rooms. Just a few domes you may wish to check out are in the Skeena Heliskiing Base Camp in Canada, Harriniva Hotels & Safaris in Finland, and East Crinnis Holiday Park in the UK.

Underwater Hotels

For lovers of sea life and marine animals, few things could beat sleeping underwater while watching these beautiful natural creatures swim by. Some of the most famous underwater accommodations are located in luxury destinations such as Zanzibar, Dubai, St. Lucia, and the Maldives. In these places, hotels boast features such as floor-to-ceiling windows, external fish feeders, and over-water top decks for sunbathing and lounging. One interesting and far more affordable accommodation is Utter Inn Hotel in Sweden. It looks like a tiny floating house but the magic lies beneath, in the underwater room that invites guests to feel like they are sleeping inside their own private aquarium.

If you are after an experience that is off-the-beaten-path, why not stay at a hotel or resort that challenges traditional ideas of comfort? From a chilly yet cozy night at an ice hotel to a night in the lush jungles of Costa Rica, there are a host of accommodations that are just as exciting as the destinations themselves. Some make ideal escapes for those who see natural wonders as the ultimate highlight of travel.

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