For the average traveller, a hotel room is a merely a place to rest one’s weary head (with the real adventure starting once you leave its comfort). But in these weird and wonderful hotels, from sea critters to freezing temperatures, trekkers don’t have to look beyond their enclosed walls for top thrills and incredible sights.
Made of snow and sculpted ice blocks, the Icehotel Sweden is reincarnated every winter in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi. Boasting 16 suites, the sub-zero ice structure is home to a chapel for weddings and bar where you can drink from ice glasses.
Balancing Barn, England
The Balancing Barn stands on the edge of a tranquil nature reserve, near the historic towns of Walberswick and Aldeburgh. Boasting elegant silver tiles, the house cantilevers over the landscape, providing views from its huge panoramic windows over woods and ponds. Designed by Dutch firm MVRDV, the Balancing Barn sleeps eight.
Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, Huzhou, China
The magnet-shaped hotel, Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, was conceived by architect Ma Tansong who is responsible for the rippling Absolute Towers in Mississauga, Canada. 27 floors above water, and two below to create a complete oval, the hotel features luxury trimmings, including a lobby paved from White Jade and Tiger’s Eye Stone.
Hotel Marqués De Riscal, Spain
The Marqués de Riscal is architect Frank Gehry’s first and only hotel project, located in the heart of Spain’s Rioja wine-growing region. Similarly to his other projects, such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the structure is avant-garde in its approach, using huge titanium ribbons which stand out from the surrounding vineyard.
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland
The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort has igloo-like rooms that bring you up close and personal to your arctic surrounding. With the Northern Lights show directly above you as your cosy up in the comfort of your non-conventional hotel room, each glass dome has a toilet and two beds (with showers and saunas located nearby).
Magic Mountain Hotel, Chile
The hotel, named after the owner’s favourite book, is all odd-angles and awe-inspiring. With a fairytale-like waterfall cascading from the pinnacle of the roof and animals soaring overhead or scurrying down below, Magic Mountain is full of magical moments.