By Randee Dawn
Let’s face it: Even some of the nicest hotel rooms are a little … dull. That’s by design, since hotels do their best to keep things as generically pleasant to as wide an audience as possible. But what about those times you’re feeling a little more adventuresome on your vacation?
Well, have we got some rooms for you! Check out some of these amazing (though often pricey) highly unusual hotel rooms, and see if you’ll ever be OK with going back to beige carpet and framed prints of lilies!
Under the Sea
A room that’s either partially or wholly submerged (yet totally dry) is increasingly a popular choice for visitors. Most of us can’t hold our breath for more than a minute, so the idea of waking up to the sight of beautiful reef fish (or even the occasional shark) holds a lot of appeal. Atlantis The Palm in Dubai, UAE is one of the most heart-stopping spots for such sightings, with two suites (appropriately named Poseidon and Neptune) fully underwater in the Ambassador Lagoon, through which swims over 65,000 marine animals. Beware, though, the cost could put you underwater in a different sense: It’s around $7,400 per night. A less expensive option (i.e., free via contest) was also made available briefly in Paris via Air B&B, where lucky couples were able to spend the night in a submerged tank surrounded by sharks. Meanwhile, for those who are interested – but only for the length of a meal, the resort features a submerged restaurant with 180-degree views of reef and marine life. (For special occasions, the dining room can be turned into a private suite.)
There are two kinds of grown-up kids: Those who had treehouses when they were little, and those who really, really wanted them. Well, now grown-ups can stay in a treehouse overnight – and these are far more swanky accommodations than any kid ever had. Winvian has several unique cottages on its 113-acre property in Morris, Connecticut, one of which is a 780 sq. ft. treehouse suspended 35 feet over the forest floor. Here’s how you know it’s for grown-ups: There’s a Jacuzzi and a bar, plus a gas fireplace inside. (Winvian has other amazing cottages, too, in various themes that are worth checking out – including a “secret society” structure.
Meanwhile, the Tree House Hotel in Harads, Sweden provides “tree room” accommodations that are also themed, and often wacky: how about staying in a UFO or a bird’s nest? Talk about flying high!
There’s no shortage of themed hotels and rooms around the country, and we could go on forever trying to list them all. Suffice it to say that if you’ve got an interest, there’s probably a hotel room out there ready to cater to your needs, if you dig deeply enough. Over at the Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake City, Utah, multiple rooms come in themes as varied as the Mysteries of Egypt (which really looks like you’re in a pyramid’s tomb) and The Wild West (where you can sleep in a covered wagon). Meanwhile, Crosby, Minnesota offers a chance to get a little barbaric … in the Viking Inn, which has rooms like Odin’s loft– where you can sleep in a long ship alongside classic armor and weapons. (No pillaging, however.)
As fun as well-designed rooms can be, some of our favorites are still the ones that keep visitors at one with the natural world – even if the world is underground. At the Sala Silvermine in Sweden, you can sleep 500 feet underground in a rock-walled cave as part of its Mine Suite, and you’ll get a guided tour of what used to be Sweden’s prime silver-producing location. Those with claustrophobia need not apply. And if above ground is more your style, how about sleeping without walls at the Loisaba Wilderness ranch in Kenya? The “Mukokoteni” bedsteads sit on raised platforms – and traditional Maasai warriors are always nearby in case of, well, unwanted furry visitors. That’s about as close to nature as you can get!