10 of the world's coolest hotels
Cozy up in a hotel made of glass, up in a tree or under the sea.
If you're going to spend your hard-earned money flying to exotic locations to relax, you probably want to do it in a hotel that's cooler than your typical Howard Johnson's. We've found 10 of the coolest hotels in the world (a few of which are, literally, probably the "coolest" hotels in the world). So grab a drink, kick up your feet, and check in to one of these awesome locations.
Hotêl de Glace, Quebéc, Canada
Located in chilly Quebéc, Canada, Hotêl de Glace is probably the "coolest" of all the hotels on our list. And when we say "cool" what we really mean is freezing cold. Not only is the hotel made entirely of ice and snow, but the entire place actually changes every single year, as the previous year's layout melts away. Each year's hotel has a specific theme, which the Hotêl de Glace team uses to create the redesign of the hotel. It's a modern marvel that offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but does so at a pretty affordable price.
The King David, Jerusalem, Israel
The King David Hotel in Jerusalem has been standing since the 1920s, but that doesn't mean the elegant, beautiful tourist destination is old-fashioned. Along with being in a prime location for sightseeing, the hotel offers all the modern amenities you'd expect from one of the world's coolest hotels. Perhaps the most interesting thing about The King David, however, is the fact that it's been a mainstay for celebrities, dignitaries, world leaders and artists from all over the globe for decades, including King George V, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth Taylor and even Madonna.
Tranquil Resort, Wayanad, Kerala, India
You might not think that a 400-acre coffee and spices plantation would make the list of the coolest hotels in the world, but if you're looking to spend a few days up in the trees, there's no better hotel on the planet. Tranquil Resort only has eight rooms, but two of them are luxury tree houses (with actual flowering trees growing right up through them). Surrounded by Wayanad's lush rainforest, Tranquil's luxury Tree House sits atop three trees, 35 feet in the air and, surprisingly, includes a TV, DVD player, and satellite receiver. But why would you need a TV when you can just look out the window at acres of lush rainforest below?
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Saariselkä, Finland
Finland's Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort is easily one of the most beautiful hotels in the entire world. Not only does the resort have your typical log cabins and suites, but it also features amazing glass igloo and snow igloo room options. With the room's glass roof, you'll be able to lay back on your bed and enjoy the northern lights, take in a little stargazing, and snuggle up with your loved one. Those rooms will keep you warm, but if you're looking to spend some time in the cold, you can opt for one of the hotel's snow igloos, which stay between -3 and -6 degrees Celsius (around 21-26 degrees Fahrenheit). Hope you packed your long johns!
Jules' Undersea Lodge, Key Largo, Florida
Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida, might not be the most luxurious or the most beautiful hotel on our list, but it's definitely one of the coolest. Remember back when Poseidon Undersea Resorts seemed like it might actually happen? Yeah, that was a long time ago and we're still waiting. In the meantime, you can get a truly underwater hotel experience right in sunny Florida. Jules' Undersea Lodge began as La Chalupa research laboratory, but it now serves a fun (if somewhat cramped) way to spend a few days. Not only do you have to SCUBA dive to get to your room, but staff is even available 24 hours to bring you whatever you might need during your stay. They'll even SCUBA dive down with a piping hot pizza delivery for you!
Herods Boutique Hotel, North Shore, Eilat, Israel
Herods Boutique Eilat Hotel along the North Shore in Israel is absolutely stunning to look at. With features inspired by various Middle Eastern elements, the hotel includes artwork, sculptures, and tons of other design choices that range from historical to mythical and everywhere in between. Gorgeous architecture, fantastic modern service, and a reputation as one of the country's best hotels is enough of an appeal, but the enormous eye-catching pool is the icing on the proverbial cake.
The Marmara, Antayla, Turkey
The Marmara in Antayla, Turkey is another stunningly beautiful structure, but it has one feature that none of the other hotels on this list can boast: It rotates. Yes, rotates. If you're lucky enough to book one of the 24 rooms in the hotel's Revolving Loft, you will have the opportunity to go to look out the window at one view, go to sleep, and wake up to see a completely different view. It's a truly 360-degree experience as the Revolving Loft slowly rotates to provide a different view of the Mediterranean and the Bey Mountain range every hour of the day. And, trust us, it's slow enough that you won't need your Dramamine.
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya
Want to share your plate of pancakes with an actual giraffe when you wake up? Well, there's only one hotel in the world that offers that exact experience: Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya. The hotel, located alongside 140 acres of Rothchild giraffe sanctuary, has 10 rooms, and it's actually quite common for the beloved giraffes to stick their heads through the hotel room windows to see if you might offer them a quick bite to eat. Giraffe Manor was originally built as a family home until, in 1974, world-renowned conservationists Jock and Betty Leslie Melville purchased the home and helped turn it into the majestic destination it is today.
Magic Mountain Hotel, Panguipulli, Chile
Chile's Montaña Mágica Lodge sits amid the 300,000 acre Huilo-Huilo Private Nature Reserve and often looks like something you might find in The Hobbit rather than in the middle of Panguipulli. The 13-room hotel is only accessible by foot and visitors must traverse a shaky rope bridge to make it to Magic Mountain's entrance. With windows all around its volcano-like shape, the hotel can often be found covered in moss and grass, and there's an ever-present waterfall cascading down its side during the warm seasons. It looks like a massive snow cone in the winter. There are, however, modern amenities, hot tubs (made out of trees), and plenty to do around the area. You might even see the world's smallest deer (the 13-inch Pudú) grazing right out your window.
Beckham Creek Cave Lodge, Parthenon, Arkansas
Ever wanted to sleep inside a cave? If so, Beckham Creek Cave Lodge in Parthenon, Arkansas has you covered (literally). Built inside an Ozark cave, Beckham Creek's Great Hall is even large enough to host a wedding or other event, but the real treat here are the rooms that fit snugly into the natural cave walls. And this is no man-made creation; the lodge is inside a living, breathing cave. The rooms, however, come with modern amenities like satellite TV. There are 5 bedrooms, so Beckham Creek sleeps ten, but they rent the entire cave as a whole, so gather up a group of friends for a little spelunking weekend.
MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:
Related Topics: Lists