When it comes to travel, picking the best hotel possible is arguably one of the most important things on the checklist. Even if you don’t intend to spend much time in the hotel room, you want a nice hotel that has comfortable rooms and is located close to all of the action. Oh, and a badass swimming pool is also a major need for many of us. Because of this, many hotels have gone out of their way to make our stays as comfortable and opulent as possible. Even the “cheaper” hotels have jumped on board and upped their thread count.
However, with so many competing chains, it can be difficult to stand out. So how do you attract the attention of potential guests? Offering a delicious restaurant, comfortable bedding, and a sparkling pool used to be enough; but now, especially with Airbnb being so prevalent, hotels have had to up their game. For the hotels on our list, they meet our regular accommodation needs but take it a step further by giving guests a truly one of a kind stay.
What do we mean by that exactly? Read on and you just might plan your future vacation around these hotels.
1. Azulik Resort (Tulum, Mexico)
Azulik is easily one of the most stunning hotels we’ve ever come across and to be completely honest, it was hard picking through the images. There are so many beautiful and unique shots of the different areas of the hotel so we highly encourage you to open a separate tab and check them out!
This eco-hotel will have you reconnecting with mother nature in no time. The architecture is truly eccentric and doesn’t detract from the jungle area that it’s located in. In fact, it blends right into the scenery and you’ll feel as if you’re a part of the jungle. All of the rooms are light free as well (you won’t find any light switches or lamps) in your room. So how do you maneuver in the near dark? The hotel is actually very well lit during the day and at night candles are used.
2. Lebua Hotel (Bangkok, Thailand)
If being in the heart of the city, having 360 panoramic views, and a wild nightlife are important to you then you seriously need to book a flight to Thailand and stay at the Lebua Hotel.
The hotel is home to The Dome (pictured above). The Dome is 800 square foot and is located at the rooftop of the hotel. It’s also the world’s tallest open-air cocktail bars and you can find a variety of tasty drinks to toast to the night with. Local DJs spin the latest tracks and you can spend the night dancing to the beats while enjoying the scenery of the city. Oh, you can also get married here too! The beautiful courtyards, lush greenery, and thick stonework make the perfect backdrops for your wedding photos.
Feeling hungry? Check into the Mezzaluna, which is one of two Michelin star restaurants in Bangkok for a truly memorable meal.
3. Giraffe Manor (Kenya, Africa)
Have you ever wanted to eat your meal while a curious giraffe sticks his head in the window and is close enough to pet? If so, then this hotel is definitely the one for you. Here, the Rothschild giraffes are as much of a brunch fixture as the kitschy tables designed to make you feel like you’re lounging at a safari lodge.
The giraffes frequently stop by for morning and evening meals and there’s always a bunch that flock to the large, open windows so you’re sure to see them. If you’d rather admire them for afar, you can opt for room service or an interior dining area where you don’t have to share your food with these friendly giants. And since they roam the grounds, you can see them on your own terms.
Unfortunately, the hotel only has 12 rooms (which are actually luxurious suites) so if you’re looking to stay, you’ll need to book early. You’ll also enjoy the sounds of the forest since you’re surrounded by 140 acres of dense trees.
4. Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort (East Village, Finland)
While you might have a difficult time pronouncing this hotel, you’ll have an even more difficult time checking out. This is one of those incredibly cool (pun intended) hotels that you’ll never want to leave once you get settled in.
Not only will you get to sleep in comfort under the gorgeous stars, falling snow, and amidst the wilderness of the Arctic Circle, but you’ll also be privy to the Northern Lights. That means that you can lay under some warm blankets in your personal snow globe watching the lights dance above you.
There are a number of glass igloos available to stay in and they come in a number of sizes and shapes designed to fit your needs. So whether it’s you and your loved one looking to spend some time together under the romantic blanket of stars or you’re looking to take your family on an unforgettable getaway, you’ll find it here.
5. IceHotel (Jukkasjarvi, Sweden)
Sticking with the frozen them, our next spot on the list is the IceHotel in Sweden. If you read one of our previous articles about unique restaurants, then you already know that places constructed of ice are insanely popular. However, a hotel (and yes, the bedrooms are constructed of ice too) probably sounds too weird to be true.
The Swedish IceHotel is open year round but is closed for some time in the winter when they rebuild it using water from the Torne River that’s located nearby. Every year, you can expect something different from the rooms. The rooms are never the same as they are constructed and designed by different artists each year. So this means that your stay will never be the exact same as last!
However, if sleeping on a black of ice with a mattress and some fur blankets doesn’t sound like your thing, the hotel offers plenty of “normal” accommodations where you can sleep in warmth and the comfort of a traditional hotel room. However according to numerous guest reviews, the ice rooms are quite comfortable aside from trying to go barefoot in the room. They said the fur blankets provided plenty of warmth.
6. Burj Al Arab Hotel (Jumeirah, Dubai)
This stunning hotel looks like it’s straight out of the future. It’s one of the world’s few 7-star hotels and is definitely one of the most luxurious hotels you’ll ever stay at. Since it’s located in the heart of Dubai, you’ll always be close to the action but since it’s on its own little island, you’ll also enjoy the peace and quiet of private beach life.
The hotel has its own underwater aquarium restaurant where you can dine with the fish, an opulent royal suite that will run you a shocking $23,000 a night, and a Skyview bar that offers 360 panoramic views of the clear waters and vibrant city.
7. Hotel Costa Verde (Costa Rica)
While there were seriously a ton of beautiful images of this hotel (just take a look at Google and be prepared to be blown away), we couldn’t resist showing you the hotel’s biggest attraction: the Boeing 727.
Now if you’re like us, you’re probably all abuzz wondering if you can stay inside of the refurbished plane and the answer is: yes! The Boeing 727 is a two-bedroom suite that rests atop a 50-foot pedestal. Inside you’ll find two plush queen-sized beds (each with their own private bathroom), a dining area, a kitchenette, and an ocean-view terrace.
Since the Boeing suite books fast, you probably won’t get a chance to stay in the room. However, other parts of the hotel, like the open-air bar, are constructed around the fuselage so you’ll be able to enjoy some drinks while admiring the hotel’s biggest draw.
8. The Muraka (Maldives)
Do you remember the Pearl from our restaurant article? If so, then you’ll quickly understand the concept behind this hotel. And like the restaurant, you’re constantly surrounded by a wide variety of color tropical fish.
The hotel recently opened in November 2018 at the gorgeous Rangali Island located in the Maldives. The two-level hotel dips down under the water of the Indian Ocean and everywhere you venture on the first floor is surrounded by crystal clear water and fish. This means that your suite’s bedroom, living area, and even bathroom are nestled 5 meters below the water’s surface offering unbridled views of coral, fish, and other underwater wildlife.
So if it’s always been your dream to quite literally “sleep with the fishes”, then head over to the hotel’s website and book your stay.
9. Palacio de Sal (Potosi, Bolivia)
Chances are by now you’ve heard all about the benefits of salt. While it’s not necessarily the best for your body on the inside, salt has been found to offer many wonderful benefits for your skin and even your sinuses. With this in mind, Palacio de Sal, the world’s first salt hotel, was born.
The hotel is compromised of pure salt blocks that are held together by wood and decorated with salty furnishings. Inside the hotel, you can find plenty of areas to relax in surrounded by the salt. There’s a room with hammocks and large open windows that allow for natural sunlight to bathe over you while you relax in comfort.
There is also a saltwater pool (pictured above). While the green color might deter you at first, it’s actually the pools natural minerals that give it that lime green shade. In other words, it’s not like swamp water; it’s actually really good for your skin and hair.
10. TreeHotel (Harads, Sweden)
Admittedly, this is one strange looking hotel. In fact to us, it looks more like a glass deer stand than it does a hotel suite. However, we can assure you that inside those mirror walls are pure comfort and everything you’d expect from a luxury hotel room.
The suites are suspended anywhere from 13-20 feet above the ground and are accessible via bridge, stairs, or ramp depending on the style of the structure. While many of the suites look like the one picture above, there are actually a number of different styles that you can choose from. The one above is our favorite simply because it’s two way glass; meaning you can see outside and enjoy all of nature’s splendors without anyone seeing inside.
If the glass isn’t your thing, you can pretend to be from a different planet inside a UFO styled suite or blend right into nature with a bird’s nest style room that looks as if it’s been
11. V8 Hotel (Boblingen, Germany)
Car lovers rejoice because this hotel was designed especially for you!
The rooms, like the one featured above, all incorporate automotives and architecture to create a one of a kind stay. You’ll even find Mercedes cars that have been up cycled into trendy beds that every car lover around the world has dreamed of. You’ll also have your choice of 34 rooms that all featured a number of different car designs as well as car pieces to complete the look. So if you’ve had your eye on a certain car for a while, there’s probably a room devoted to it.
You can also enjoy museum tours, indoor parks, golfing, and all things car related at the hotel too so there’s no chance of getting bored. That is, if you can manage to drag yourself out of your super cool car suite!
12. Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur, India)
Have you ever dreamed of living or staying at the Taj Mahal and living like a true princess or prince? Well, now you can achieve your goals!
Taj Lake Palace is located in the center of Lake Pichola, which is located on the island of Jag Niwas. Because of its location, you can expect total privacy as well as peace and quiet. Of course there are other guests that you’ll share the space with, but the grounds tend to be very calm and serene. However, you will need to hop aboard a speedboat if you want to get to the hotel!
While the hotel features a beautiful swimming pool, guests are welcome to slip into the waters of Lake Pichola for a refreshing dip. Those that don’t want to get wet can soak up the sun on plush loungers underneath stunning architecture.
13. Sheraton Huzhou Hot Springs Resort (China)
This looks more like something off of a sci-fi film set than a hotel or like an artist’s rendition of what hotels in the year 2500 will look like. However, we assure you that it’s very much real.
Given its shape, it should come as no surprise that the hotel is nicknamed the “Horseshoe Hotel”. There are 27 stories to this architectural wonder, so there’s plenty of room to stay (281 rooms to be exact). Swarovski crystals decorate the ceilings, perfectly complimenting the windows that stretch from floor to ceiling. These windows also offer unbridled views of Lake Taihu.
And the rooms are just as decadent! Plush queen and king sized beds line the bedrooms and many have living spaces and separate bed areas to easily accommodate multiple guests. Oh and if you’re curious about the “hot springs” aspect of the hotel, be sure to check out their decadent Shine Spa underneath the building in the underwater link that connects the two towers.
14. The Caves Hotel (Negril, Jamaica)
If your first thought when you read “Caves Hotel” are bats, poor lighting, stagnant smells, and less than comfortable accommodations, then be prepared to have your mind blown because this hotel is anything but an usual cave despite the fact that’s carved into the shape of one.
The Caves Hotel sits along a cliff, just above some truly remarkable sea caves and like the scenery, the hotel is designed to look like a cave. The architecture and structure blend seamlessly into the surroundings and you’ll feel just as much a part of the sea caves and scenery. The rooms and the bar offer some world-class views of the breathtaking scenery around you. So you can enjoy a delicious cocktail at their exclusive rum bar, or enjoy some local cuisine underneath the stone outcropping.
15. El Cosmico (Marfa, Texas)
El Cosmico brings a whole new meaning to the term “glamping.” Despite the fact that El Cosmico looks more like an elaborate camping grounds rather than a hotel, we can assure you that it classifies itself as a hotel and that the “rooms” you see above are permanent fixtures.
You’ll have choice of a variety of areas to stay out on the grounds ranging from retro trailers to tepees and safari tents or even the Brite Building (if you’re looking for a more traditional hotel room). Regardless of what you choose, you’re sure to enjoy your stay. And because of the set up, it’ll feel as if you’re camping in total luxury. So you can relax to the sounds of the animals outside of your camping area without worrying about bugs creeping into your sleeping bags or tossing and turning on the hard ground.
Which one caught your eye?
With so many cool places on the list to stay, it can be difficult to narrow it done! However, we’d love to know which of the hotels above appealed to you the most and why. Let us know in the comment section below! We’d love to hear your thoughts.