Hotel planners usually place the best suites at the very top, where the view is best. But “at the top” can also be interpreted geographically, like in the form of igloos at the North Pole. This hotel concept consists of ten heated, mobile igloos made of glass, which, depending on the weather, are set up at safe locations on the Arctic ice. With a bit of luck, you can observe the northern lights through the glass roof from the comfort of a cozy bed. Directly at the North Pole, however, the concept only works for one month out of the year. According to the Finnish hotel operator, safe arrival is only possible in April.
Off Pemba Island: Sleeping under water with manta rays
Travelers with a penchant for the unusual might also be happy a little further south, for example in the Finnish capital Helsinki: The imposing entrance to the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka leads through brick walls that are actually prison walls. That’s right: The planners transformed a former prison into a four star hotel. Inside, several historic elements have been preserved, such as the cross-shaped floor plan and iron staircases. The single and double rooms consist of merged prison cells. Couples can get married in the former prison church.
The small island of Pemba north of Zanzibar is a classic jewel: Palm trees rustling in the wind, fragrant clove trees, moon-white sandy beaches, and turquoise waters. Secluded on a dreamy stretch of beach, the Manta Resort is an insider tip for water sports and diving fans – or people who are willing to spend a lot of money for a very special view: More precisely for the only underwater room in Africa, according to the hotel operator. With its glass front, the double bedroom offers spectacular views of East Africa’s underwater world, which is full of fish and home to numerous manta rays.
The Ryugyŏng Hotel in Pyongyang has been under construction for over 30 years
A skyscraper consisting of three wings, which rise at an angle of 75 degrees and merge after 105 floors at a height of 330 meters to form the top of a hotel project with a rather bizarre genesis: We are talking about the Ryugyŏng Hotel in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. Originally, the hostel was scheduled to open for the 13th World Youth and Student Festival in the summer of 1989. Yet completion was postponed again and again due to material shortages. The opening that was rescheduled for 2012 – the 100th birthday of state founder Kim Il-sung – also failed. The facade has been in place since 2011, followed seven years later by LED lighting. But a new opening date has still not been set.
Switching locations to the Down Town Motel in Müggelheim near Berlin. Here, people stay in lovingly furnished rooms that bear names like “Route 66” and are furnished with all kinds of US souvenirs. Of course, the hotel would not be complete without the “American Diner & Restaurant”. A few American cars are usually parked in the themed hotel’s parking lot because the hotel operators repair and sell vehicles ranging from hot rods to Cadillacs in the workshop.
“Eh’häusl”: The smallest hotel in the world is found in Bavarian Amberg
Speaking of the US: According to the planning office in charge, the country’s first climate positive hotel, the Populus Hotel Denver, will open towards the end of the year. By planting trees on an area of over 5,000 hectares, the office wants to compensate for more CO2 than emitted by construction and operation. They say that the use of low carbon concrete mixes and materials with high recycled content will also contribute to a positive carbon footprint. Furthermore, the green roof terrace with a view of the Rocky Mountains is included in the price.
The view is also a special characteristic of the Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore. Its three hotel towers are connected by a 1.2 hectare “Sky Park” with a 1.4 million liter infinity pool as a spectacular highlight. Visitors can experience the metropolis from the unique perspective of the 146 meter long pool at a height of 190 meters. But only guests of the hotel have access. The First World Hotel in the Genting Highlands in neighboring Malaysia also consists of interconnected towers. The 7,251 rooms award it the world record for the largest hotel. The counterpart, in form of the world’s smallest hotel, is the Hotel Brunner Amberg in northern Bavaria. Known as the “Eh’häusl”, or “Little Matrimonial House”, the hotel consists of just one room that is 2.5 meters wide.
Giraffe Manor: Long-necked morning greetings through the window
How would you like to be woken up by giraffes in the morning? If you spend the night at Giraffe Manor on the outskirts of Nairobi (Kenya), you will be greeted every morning by giraffes moving freely in the garden. Before they retreat back into the surrounding woods, they stick their necks through the windows to snag some breakfast treats. Even without the giraffes, the hotel in the old mansion is worth a visit. Built in 1930, the facade, interior, and terrace are reminiscent of the days of the first East African safaris.
Iguazú, Argentina, also offers special views, for example from the upper floors of the Amérian Portal del Iguazú. The hotel is located directly at the border triangle of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina – a good 100 meters from the Rio Paraná and Iguazú River, which meet here at right angles. With a passport from the European Union, it is easy to move back and forth between the three countries. For example, over the Bridge of Friendship, which connects Ciutad del Este in Paraguay with Foz do Iguazú in Brazil.