Some hotels are grand; others are grotty. There are hotels so average, guests wonder why they bothered going on holiday in the first place, and then there are hotels that are weird and wonderful destinations – in their own right.
A few of those offer guests the opportunity to sleep under the sea, while others surround them with salt. These are some of the most interesting holiday destinations the world has to offer.
Lovers Deep, the Caribbean
Arguably one of the world’s most interesting and exclusive underwater hotels, the Caribbean-based Lovers Deep is nothing less than a submarine kitted out for the ultimate luxury holiday beneath the waves.
The £175,000 nightly rate gets you the services of the captain, butler and chef, as well as transfers by speedboat to and from islands such as St Lucia. The menu includes such delights as champagne and fresh oysters, and to offer guests peace and privacy, the crew withdraw to sound-proof rooms at one end of the submarine.
Utter Inn, Sweden
The brainchild of Mikael Genberg, the Utter Inn brings together the ultra-modernity of an underwater hotel and the best of Swedish living. The hotel floats on Lake Malaren, and boasts twin-bed accommodation 3 metres under water, with large windows that offer a view previously limited to fish and divers.
Above water, there are boats at the ready, so guests can head off to the various islands in the lake. There is a deck for soaking up the sun too.
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Atlantis the Palm, Dubai
Dubai’s Atlantis the Palm hotel, while not strictly underwater, boasts suits that offer guests the illusion of being underwater. The suites are right next to a large aquarium, which is home to some of the underwater life of the Persian Gulf.
The suite itself is luxurious, but best of all are the window-walls that offer an amazing view into the aquarium.
Palacio de Sal, Bolivia
The Palacio de Sal in Bolivia is the opposite extreme to the world’s most sought-after underwater hotels. Rather than being under the waves, it is in the desert, and was built using salt brought from the Salar de Uyuni salt flats.
Salt was used extensively to build the hotel. Salt was used to make furniture such as chairs and bed stands. Salt was used to make desirable dishes such as Salt Chicken. The flooring, however, is made from wood, and the bathrooms are tiled, so guests singing in the shower do not need to worry about the walls dissolving around them. The hotel’s open-roofed common areas offer incredible views of the stars at night.
Santos Express, South Africa
Located in the coastal town of Mossel Bay, the Santos Express is an early 20th century passenger train that has been given a new lease on life, even if that life confines it to one of South Africa’s premier Blue Flag beaches.
Four 5-berth passenger cars with double beds comprise the more private accommodation options, while the fifth passenger car offers 16 bunks for low-cost and group accommodation. Other accommodation options include Royal Suite cars perfect for couples and families, and a Honeymoon Caboose for the honeymoon of a lifetime.
From exclusive underwater hotels to beachfront hotels that once travelled across southern Africa, holidaymakers have a wealth of unusual destinations from which to choose. Even one night in such hotels would be a worthy goal to want to achieve.
Have you ever stayed in an unusual hotel?