Every holidaymaker dreams of the ultimate escape to a hotel or resort which is out of the ordinary and offers a unique, one-of-a-kind experience. Here are 5 unusual hotels around the world which offer their guests extraordinary experiences in remarkable spaces.
The ultimate chill-out: The Ice Hotel, Swedish Lapland
Located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in the village of Jukkasjarvi in Sweden, the Ice Hotel is constructed from 2000 tonnes of ice and 30,000 tonnes of a mixture of snow and ice taken from a nearby river. Each year it is reconstructed by more than 100 artists who create not only a structure but also a work of art out of the ice, giving it a new form each time it’s recreated. The hotel is open only from December until mid-April, after which it slowly melts away back into the river. Guests turn in for the night on a block of ice covered with mattresses and reindeer hides. Thermal underwear is strongly recommended!
Sweet pipe dreams: Dasparkhotel, Austria
Hotel rooms made out of giant sewage pipes? This wacky idea was no pipe dream for Austrian architect and designer Andreas Strauss. Only two metres wide, the rooms at Das Park Hotel in Ottensheim, Austria must be the smallest hotel rooms in the world. With no windows – only a circular skylight and air holes – there is no view from this room, but just outside the custom-made doors is the scenic Austrian countryside and the Danube river. This innovative idea must be a success because Strauss recently opened a second sewage pipe hotel near Essen, Germany.
Doing time at The Old Mount Gambier Gaol, South Australia
A stay in this converted historical building in Mount Gambier, South Australia, is sure to be a ‘captivating’ experience. Run by a family team, this former jail has been transformed into a hostel popular with travellers from around the world. From the common room, guests are taken past the locked gate into the cells beyond which have been converted into double, twin and dorm rooms. Those who are faint-hearted can opt to stay in the guest rooms which once housed the warden’s office. The only one guarding the guests here is the family’s resident ginger cat Finnegan!
All aboard: The Old Railway Station, UK
At The Old Railway Station, guests spend the night on a train which never leaves the station. Dating back to 1892, Petworth Railway Station in West Sussex, South England, was taken out of service in 1966. Today the station building as well as four Pullman railway carriages house an unusual and meticulously converted hotel. Guests check in at the old ticket office before being led along the platform to their rooms which are located inside the impeccably restored wooden railway carriages, complete with spacious bathrooms. Afternoon tea is served each afternoon in the station’s waiting room.
On top of the world: Ariau Amazon Towers, Brazil
Who hasn’t dreamed of living in a treehouse? The Ariau Amazon Towers resort near Manuas in Northern Brazil, is perched 50 metres above the ground among the treetops of the Amazon rain forest, with stunning panoramic views of the forest and the Rio Negro below. The tree houses housing the guest rooms and the tree-top amenity buildings are linked by 6.5 km of wooden walkways high up in the trees. The mischievous monkeys, adorable sloths, and colourful macaws are this treetop resort’s permanent guests.