Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Really Weird Places to Stay - Some say, just "plane" odd...



REALLY WEIRD PLACES TO STAY


Dear Readers,


 


Somewhat inspired by our research for our Spiritual Retreats series, we have decided to stay on the weird theme.  Today we’re looking at the Travel Trend of odd and strange places to stay.  You never know, you might get inspired to book one of them.


 


Have you ever stayed anywhere just plain odd?  If you check out our backpacking posts you will see that your Hapless Blogger certainly has…It is a fabulous experience, and mainly because you didn’t actually expect to find such weird places it makes it all the more memorable, perhaps.  However this time we have gone looking for them and, boy, have we found some odd ones:


 


Firstly we are off to Sweden, to the Treehotel (www.treehotel.se) and it looks WICKED!  A little bit like our Eco series, the Treehotel is all about blending into the surroundings and making the most of nature.  The plan is that you live high up in the tall trees of a pine forest in Northern Sweden and what really sold it to me, dear Readers, is the fact that you can see the Northern Lights!  You have 7 options of rooms and this is where it gets REALLY COOL:

 Image result for treehouse hotel sweden


The Mirror Cube:  this is an actual cube 4x4x4m and is made of mirrors so you can barely see it in the trees.  Inside it’s actually made of plywood and has a double bed, loo and sitting area with windows on all sides and a little balcony which you can go out on but you can’t be seen…it’s the most fabulous optical illusion ever!


 Image result for treehouse hotel sweden


The Bird’s Nest:  it really is!  Up in the trees!  No one can see in!  You get into it via a ladder and a hatch in the floor!  They warn you that you will have to leave large suitcases in the main building as you can’t carry them up the steps.  The room can sleep up to 4 people and has curved walls with little portholes for windows.  £774 for 2 nights in Nov.


 Image result for treehouse hotel sweden


The Cabin:  this is a romantic room with an amazing view and a beautiful balcony where a lot of people have proposed!  There is a double bed, a seating area and a loo.  It hangs slightly skew-wiff to maximise the space…£858 for 2 nights in Nov.


 Image result for treehouse hotel sweden


The 7th Room:  designed to give you different “experience levels” the floor is covered with a photo of the tops of the pine trees to make you think you’re floating above them.  There are panoramic windows allowing you a stunning view and also allowing you to see the Northern Lights.  There is a terrace in the centre of the room with a pine growing through it covered with a net so you don’t fall through but you can see right below.  There is also a fireplace which lights itself if the temperature falls below a certain level.  There are 2 bedrooms, sitting area and loo.  £1,236 for 2 nights Nov.


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The UFO:  the idea with this one is that it is the least thing you’d expect to see in a forest…and as it is suspended on wires and beams, it moves with the forest…£774 for 2 nights in Nov.

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The Dragonfly:  this can also be used for small conferences if you want!  It has 2 rooms and 4 beds and a small patio.  There are panoramic windows everywhere giving you the feeling you can touch the forest.  £1,271 for 2 nights in Nov.


 Image result for treehouse hotel sweden blue cone


The Blue Cone:  This is accessible for those with a disability, and built to maximise the view.  £807 for 2 nights in Nov.


 


I think you’ll agree, Readers, that these are very, very cool.  There are all sorts of things you can do there too, or just relax, but these have to be the most unusual rooms we have seen so far…


 


Next, we don’t go far, actually, and staying with the theme of the Northern Lights, we go to Hotel Kakslauttanen in Finland.  I am already sold to be honest:  “The Resort with a million stars in the Arctic Wilderness”.  Glass igloos, Northern Lights, Midnight Sun…I don’t know about you, but I’m there!  It actually claims that it is the best place in the World for watching the Northern Lights.  You have a choice of log cabins, glass igloos, Kelo-Glass igloos (which are half and half) and a turf chamber…To give you an idea on prices, in November for one night you have the option of the following:


 Image result for kakslauttanen arctic resort


The iconic glass igloos which house 2 people with an extra bed and loo, but showers and sauna are in the main building cost 589 euros for a small one or 631 euros for a big one.  The “romantic” turf chamber complete with sauna, king-size bed, super bathroom etc is 662 euros.  The Kelo-Glass igloo/chalets are 813 euros, and all these include half-board or you could go all out and have the Luxury Kelo and Glass igloo with 3 log chalet bedrooms and 3 glass bedrooms complete with kitchenette and living area for 3015 euros a night…


 Image result for kakslauttanen arctic resort


They do all sorts of packages for meeting Father Christmas etc with huskies and snow trips, fair play it looks magical.  Not cheap, but in my opinion, if you want to do something like this, billed as an “Arctic Vacation” it’s going to be a sort of bucket-list once-in-a-lifetime sort of affair, so you should really do it properly…


 


Next, dear Readers, we are leaving the cold behind, we are throwing off our snowsuits and putting on our sunscreen, because we are off to Africa.  Kenya to be precise, and this time we are visiting the Loisaba Wilderness (www.loisaba.com).  This is NEXT LEVEL.  Set in 57,000 acres of wildlife conservancy in Northern Laikipia, Kenya, community development, wildlife research and ecotourism is promoted, allowing guests a unique experience.  Sitting on the Western edge of one of Kenya’s biggest elephant movement corridors, it is home to 260 bird and 50 mammal species.  You’ll find 800 elephants, herds of buffalo, zebra, giraffe and the great kudu.  There are 3 lion prides, leopards, cheetahs and the African wild dog which until recently was thought to have been extinct.


 Image result for loisaba wilderness


Readers, if you’re going to do Kenya, and have a wildlife safari experience, then you have to do this one.  Wow is all I can say.  Have a look at the website, but honestly the accommodation is out of this world.  You have the choice of the lodge with 8 luxury rooms, each having their own dedicated Elewana Guest Ambassador to cater to your every whim, its own safari jeep and a guide to go with it.  You have gorgeous terraces, pool etc.  Or you can opt for the tented camp situated high above a watering hole.  Here there are 12 luxury tents, all ensuite and a main area with infinity pool and dining area.  But what you really want to go for are the Loisaba Star Beds.  These are the stars of the show:  four-poster beds on wheels which, at night, are rolled out onto raised platforms allowing guests to sleep under the mind-blowing African sky…protected by a team of traditional Samburu and Laikipia Maasi Warriors…


 Image result for loisaba wilderness


There are various activities such as game drives, bush walks, horse riding, camel riding, cultural visits, mountain biking, fishing or spend a day with their specially trained dogs to stop poachers.  This has to be one of the most immersive experiences we have come across.  For a game package which includes all sorts of activities it starts from £414 per person per night full-board in low season to £569 in high season.  If you didn’t want the activities it is between £308 and £462.


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Or how about this for mad:  try Costa Verde in Costa Rica (www.costverde.com).  Billed as a tropical island adventure, with 3 pools, rooms, studios and bungalows perched right on a cliff, you will find the jungle behind you with monkeys, sloths and toucans, you will also find their 727 Fuselage Home.  Straight out of Jurassic Park II, it is now a jumbo hotel suite!  Perched on a 50-foot pedestal, it allows you scenic jungle and ocean views.  Inside you find hand-crafted teak furniture, 2 bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchenette, a dining area and an ocean view terrace complete with wooden chandelier.  It goes from £288 per night in the low season to £631 per night at Christmas…strange, but cool.


 Image result for costa verde plane hotel


Right, who loves Lord of the Rings?  Well, you can go to the LOTR mecca, New Zealand, and stay at Woodlyn Park (www.woodlynpark.co.nz), about 2 hours’ drive from Auckland.  Here you find the Hobbit Motel…along with the Waitanic Ship, the Bristol Freight Plane and the Waitanic Express Train…bizarre with a capital arre…In fairness they do warn you on the website that due to the nature of the ship, the plane and the train having been used and seen action, they may smell a bit sort of, authentic, when you stay in them…as do the Hobbit houses…have a look…It’ll cost £149 per couple per night…


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 Image result for woodlyn park new zealand



Image result for woodlyn park new zealand


Let’s get really cold now, and head to the famous Hotel de Glace, Canada.  You’ve probably heard of this one as it has been the subject of many a documentary as they have to rebuild it every year.  It’s an amazing piece of engineering:  a hotel made entirely of ice.  Have a look at www.valcartier.com and you’ll see it has 42 rooms and theme suites.  As everything is made of ice, clearly the beds as well, you sleep in arctic sleeping bags in your ice room.  In reality here’s how it works:  you also get a room the same night in the Hotel Valcartier where you leave your luggage, have a shower etc etc (and presumably retreat to if it all gets too cold for you).  Once in the ice hotel, you have a welcome cocktail served to you in a glass made of ice, there is a communal area with hot tubs and a sauna under the stars and an ice-skating path.  Prices start from £295, or a theme suite with made structures for £399, a theme suite with a fireplace for £456 or the top suite which has private hot tub and sauna for £616…useful to have a sauna in case you had to sleep in it, I suppose…


Image result for hotel de glace
 Image result for hotel de glace


For our final unusual, weird, plain strange place to stay we are heading to the Marmara Antalya Hotel in Turkey (www.themarmarahotels.com).  In short, this is the only rotating building in the world.  Quite a claim!  It gives you 360 panoramic view of the mountains and the sea, at £217 a night at the moment.  It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as our other finds, but I suppose if you are inside it, it doesn’t really matter…


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It’s an interesting thing, because in our discoveries of these travel trends, we learn a lot I think, and often one topic overlaps another.  Such as the ecotourism so important to the culture and ethos of the Loisaba Wilderness and the Treehotel.  The very immersive, all-encompassing nature of the Kakslautanen Artic Resort, the Wilderness and the Treehotel…


 


So there, some pretty wild ones, wouldn’t you agree, dear Readers?  Which was your favourite?  It’s hard to choose, but I think mine would have to be in terms of room the Treehotel but in terms of experience, perhaps the Loisaba Wilderness…

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