Tired of staying at posh Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton hotels? Looking for accommodations that are wonderful but slightly wacky?
You're in luck, whether you're visiting New England, Paris or the wilds of Costa Rica or Turkey: Each has an over-the-top hotel offering accommodations that will no doubt exceed your wildest dreams.
Settings range from the bucolic to the exotic: Among the former are the Pitcher Inn and Winvian, luxury hotels in Vermont and Connecticut developed by the same Merrill Lynch executive; guest rooms in each are unique, such as a cottage at Winvian built around a 56-foot-long decommissioned Coast Guard helicopter.
Unusual hotels in more exotic destinations include the Ngong House, outside of Nairobi, Kenya; this overlooks the Ngong Hills in the outskirts of the city, and offers accommodations in luxuriously-furnished treehouses. Then there's the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, built 45 minutes outside of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, in a 225-square-kilometer desert conservation reserve inhabited by rheem gazelle, scimitar-horned and Arabian oryx, and Arabian fox.
Those who prefer vacationing in the mountains will no doubt enjoy the Anatolian Houses, a suite hotel built in five adjoining volcanic caves in Turkey's Cappadocia region.
top10oddhotels01dOther hotels have an aquatic theme: Jules' Undersea Lodge - named after Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and located in Key Largo, Fla. - is an underwater hotel in a lagoon that is accessible only by scuba-diving. The ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland is newly constructed each winter from 30,000 tons of snow and 10,000 tons of crystal-clear ice from the Torne River.
You'll also find ice at Paris' Kube Hotel in the city's 18th arrondissement. Its reception desk occupies a large, transparent cube - reminiscent not only of ice, but also of I.M. Pei's pyramids at the Louvre - in the courtyard of a 19th century building. The hotel also houses France's first ice bar, made up of 22 tons of ice and sponsored by Grey Goose vodka. Water is also important at Baron Island, one of four volcanic islands off the southern Spanish Mediterranean coast; this is a 220-acre nature reserve whose accommodations include a 1950's watchtower designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
If beachfront accommodations are your thing, you might enjoy the Tree House Lodge on Punta Uva beach on the Caribbean Sea, in Costa Rica's Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. The tree house has two guest rooms and a bathroom with a shower built around a 100-year-old, living sangrillo tree.
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