Got a case of wanderlust? From tree houses to caves, check out 10 of the most fascinating hotels in the world.
Step aside, food porn. We’ve got the most drool-worthy hotels. These rooms are so fabulous they’re worth traveling across the world just for the pleasure of resting your heads in their beds for a night. We’re taking you everywhere from Chile to Chicago, from rooms made out of ice to suites made in a cave. All it takes is a little inspiration and some cash, and you could be on your way to satisfying your wanderlust in the most incredible hotels on earth.
1. The Nomad Hotel (New York City, New York, USA)
Bibliophiles flock to this edgy New York hotel because it’s one of the only ones that’s got two levels of floor-to-ceiling bookcases (and we all know how much real estate costs in the Big Apple). It’s an intimate space in a big city that feels like a sophisticated library — with a liquor license. Hotel guests get first dibs on the seats after 4 p.m., so make sure to flaunt your hotel card when you stay there. But the library isn’t the only cool thing the Nomad’s got. This hotel went high end all the way. It was designed by the French architect Jacques Garcia (who also designs for the Sultan of Brunei and other international hotel renovations), has hand-made vintage Heriz rugs in every room and has a 200-year-old fireplace imported from France. The hotel is just north of Madison Square Park, so it’s close to Shake Shack and Eataly… Let’s just say you won’t have a hard time finding a bite to eat.
2. Cappadocia Cave Suites (Nevsehir, Turkey)
We could start and end by simply saying you’re dwelling within a cave. But we’ll also say these suites are within the city of Goreme in the Cappadocia region. The 36 rooms were built out of ancient caves carved more than 1,000 years ago. Each has a window to the outside, so you won’t feel claustrophobic — and no two rooms are alike. Many have 200-year-old wooden ceilings, and one has original 8th-century painted frescoes. The rooms have their modern elements too: most have Jacuzzis.
3. Chicago Athletic Association (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
This building was established in 1893 as a private members’ club until 2007. It then underwent a total restoration and was reopened to the public for the first time. Now anyone with a case of wanderlust can check in to this hotel sans membership. During the renovation, they were very careful to protect and restore the history of the building. It has a full bocce court, a shuffleboard court, a ballroom that looks exactly like it did in the 1800s and a restaurant that still serves some of the same dishes offered back in the day. Come here to feel like you’re part of Chicago history. Bonus: It’s right in the center of downtown Chicago.
4. Hotel de Glace (Quebec, Canada)
You’ll be in a room made of ice, so this is literally the coolest hotel. The room, bed, glasses — everything — is made of ice, so you will be cold. Be prepared to cuddle in your sleeping bag. The temperature of the room itself is lower than freezing (or else it would melt), but you can do little tricks to stay warm. There are outdoor hot tubs that you can pop into before going to sleep to get your core temperature up, and hot beverages are available all night. You’re essentially in a very high-end igloo, glamping. If you can’t bear to spend the night, you can book a day tour.
5. Hacienda Hotel Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile)
This all-inclusive high-end boutique hotel was created in a mystic forest next to a natural lagoon along the shore of the Liucura River. It’s a fully working cheese and dairy farm that’s surrounded by 60 acres of native parklands. The farm provides the food for the guests, and the menu changes daily and includes wild boar (humanely raised and slaughtered) and wheat that was grown, milled and baked on the farm. Nothing the farm produces is sold off the farm: it’s all reserved for the guests. A short hike will get you into the primeval forests, to the lakes and to the mountains — which also means there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.
6. Setouchi Aonagi (Matsuyama, Japan)
Designed by world-renowned architect Tadao Ando, every suite is nestled on top of a mountain, so obviously the view is incredible. The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the ocean and the sky. When you sit in the outdoor lap pool, it appears as though you could swim off into the ocean from the mountain. It’s an experience you could have only there.
7. Giraffe Manor (Nairobi, Kenya)
It’s got an entire herd of resident giraffes who visit the hotel in the mornings and evenings. They poke their heads into the manor to try to get a treat or just to say hello. The manor itself is like a giant bed and breakfast with, of course, the addition of these special guests. Visitors are invited to pet the giraffes, feed them and play with them. The rooms are huge and luxurious, and it’ll feel like you’re in another world.
8. Green Rooms (London, England)
This is an arts-led social enterprise hotel. Translation: they give preferential rates for practicing artists and those coming to London to work in creative industries. These can be anyone from painters to writers and designer or anyone in the arts world. It’s an Art Deco building that was restored with a mixture of vintage and contemporary British craft furniture, including a number of pieces from cult British fashion label Folk.
9. Costa Rica Treehouse Lodge (Limon, Costa Rica)
It’s the tree house you never had when you were a kid. These are a set of tree houses made entirely out of bamboo. They’re massive tree houses with rooms, kitchens, sitting areas and even bathrooms. There are Jacuzzis in the tree houses and all the modern appliances you’ll need. It’s the best way to get an outdoor Costa Rica experience without actually camping outside.
10. Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa (Camino Pukara, Chile)
You might not really notice this all-inclusive boutique hotel at first. It’s enveloped by the valley of the Salt Mountain Range, and it blends into the environment. So you’re in a desert oasis in the middle of nowhere. You’ll be able to experience dancing stars right outside your room, and telescopes are available in case you want a closer look. There are hot springs to tour, plenty of pools to soak in so you can continue to lavish your privacy, and geysers to see.
If money were no object, where would you go first to satisfy your wanderlust?