By Victoria Harrison
Different, challenging, luxurious. These hotel destinations need to be on your bucket list! These are the most extraordinary luxury hotels in the world:
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort – Saariselkä, Finland
Ever wanted to experience sleeping in an igloo? This is the hotel for you. The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Saariselkä, Finland, offers accommodations ranging from igloos to traditional Lapland houses. While the igloos are only open for guests during the winter months when the amazing Northern Lights often appear, summer accommodation is possible in the Gold Diggers and Log Chalets. Staying at this resort means you can take advantage of the artic activities in this particularly beautiful area, like skiing or an adventure with dog sledding! Don’t forget to relax at the hotel’s top facility: the world’s biggest smoke sauna. The spectacular natural setting makes this resort a fabulous winter getaway, or summer adventure hotel.
Giraffe Manor – Nairobi, Kenya
Return to the elegance of the 1930’s in a scene reminiscent of “Out of Africa”, with a night in the incredible Giraffe Manor. The hotel is located in the Lang’ata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. Named for the resident herd of Rothschild giraffes, this old world home turned hotel gives you an opportunity to interact with them in the 12 acres of private land. Each unique bedroom will make you feel as if you have been transported to the past. Offering full board, it is not unusual at this property to have your meal interrupted by a visiting giraffe looking for a treat! Hear a knock on your window in the morning? The hungry giraffes love peeking true your bedroom windows looking for snacks… Take advantage of the included vehicle available for excursions to the nearby Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. A place for animal lovers, families, couples and groups alike, this amazing hotel is surely a bucket list item.
Icehotel – Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
The Icehotel is located 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. This could be your “go to” spot for winters to come, as this hotel is reborn each year in a different design! This hotel melds artistic works of more than 40 different artists each year and is created purely from the ice of the Torne River. Each of the rooms is kept at a temperature of approximately -5 to -8 Celcius. Reindeer hides adorn the beds, creating a layer of warmth and are a great base for the comfortable thermal sleeping bag that will keep you cozy all night long. A wonderful breakfast is included in your stay, but dinner is absolutely worth a reservation, although not everyone will enjoy the locally sourced delicacies like reindeer or moose after seeing their beautiful appearance in the area. If you are not a winter traveller, you can still enjoy the permanent IceHotel 365, which offers luxury suites and amenities year-round. No matter if you choose winter or summer, staying a night here is a surreal experience.
Amangiri – Utah, North America
A hotel experience that starts with a stunning drive, Amangiri is a luxury resort almost hidden in the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, on the border of Arizona and Utah. This destination hotel offers much more than the scenery, as you can enjoy the many adventure activities or learn about the traditional Navajo life in the area. It’s also a great place to enjoy wellness activities which reflect the healing traditions of the Navajo. The accommodation itself is outstanding in its luminance, blending perfectly with the desert surroundings, and offering private terraces with fireplaces to enjoy the evenings in Southwestern style elegance. A vacation destination all on its own, this resort is the only place you need to visit for a taste of both outdoor adventure and total relaxation.
Crane Hotel – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Neither for the faint of heart nor for those with a fear of heights. The eccentric Faralda Crane Hotel is a “must stay” for those with an adventurous spirit. This hotel is part of one of the most eclectic cities in the world. The hotel is located in Amsterdam Noord and built out of a renovated shipbuilding crane. The three suites are located from 30 to 50 meters above the ground, and if that is not high enough, guests can relax in the open-air Jacuzzi located at the top. Guests will enjoy the opulence of the suites, each uncommon in its style, while still providing all the services they require. You are guaranteed a view from the large windows no matter which suite you stay in as the crane moves with the wind! To top off your experience here, choose to bungee jump off the top!
Treehotel – Harads, Sweden
A night in the treetops at the Treehotel in Harads – Sweden – will revive your childhood. You will sleep 4 to 6 meters above the ground and enjoy views from the large windows of each room. From the Birds Nest to the UFO room, each treehouse is designed and maintained using ecologically based ideas with minimum impact on the environment. Rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi and toilets; showers and a sauna are located just a short walk away. A buffet breakfast is served in the nearby historic Treehotel Guesthouse, which offers a restaurant, bar, TV room, and relaxation area. For the ultimate luxury experience, the 7th room is your pick. You will find the 7th room spacious, luxurious and amazingly designed… This hotel offers activities for all outdoor lovers, all year long.
Hotel Marques de Riscal – Elciego, Spain
In the middle of rolling hills, the Hotel Marques de Riscal is a destination all on its own. The work of architect Frank Gehry. The splash of titanium and steel ribbons stand out against the surrounding vineyards, creating an avant-garde building in the middle of the medieval countryside. Located in Elciego, in the heart of Spain’s Rioja wine-growing region, this hotel offers amazing wine, culinary, and spa services, designed to pamper your every moment. The haute-cuisine Marques de Riscal Restaurant, the more casual 1860 Tradicion restaurant, the relaxing Wine Bar, and the inspiring top floor Library incorporate culinary and wine aspects. Guests can enjoy the expansive vineyard with a tour, or the beautiful countryside on one of the hotels complimentary bicycles. Top notch service and unique accommodations, set in an area of natural beauty, makes this hotel the perfect holiday destination.
Poseidon Mystery Island Undersea Resort – Fiji
While Fiji boasts some of the most beautiful beaches, waters, and hotels in the world, the Poseidon Mystery Island Undersea Resort takes you straight into the pages of an adventure novel. An escape to this private island can include a stay in an Undersea Suite! While the Island Villas boast such luxuries as lanais with sunset views, and private splash pools; the Undersea Suites offer unique services like underwater lights, push button fish feeders and views of private coral gardens. With marine-focused spa treatments, scuba diving in pristine waters, and opportunities to maneuver a submarine through the lagoon or explore the ocean as a passenger of a 1,000-foot luxury submersible, this resort offers experiences that are unforgettable. Make sure you book as soon as possible… As you can imagine this hotel has few vacancies! The resort is already more than 13 years in the making with an estimated 150,000 potential guests on its waiting list. Unfortunately, it is unknown when or if the resort will open its doors… If it does, business is sure to be booming.