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          Volume 10 |Issue 17 | May 06, 2011 |


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Priceless Extravaganzas

Jennifer Ashraf Kashmi

The hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, are supposedly ranked as the best, most enticing, luxurious and expensive hotels in the world. Being recognized as the “city that never sleeps”, it's not uncommon to find tourists blow their yearly savings for the joy of experiencing the grandeur of hotels like the Luxor or Wynn Las Vegas. Yet, are these hotels really the most unique ones in the world? The list below is a compilation of some of the most unique and extravagant hotels which can easily give Las Vegas a run for its money.

Ice Hotel (Jukkasjärvi), Sweden:
Stuck in the sweltering summer heat of Dhaka, one can only dream and wish to be completely surrounded in ice. With innovations in technology, this dream has been turned into reality in the form of massive Ice hotels, where tourists can stay overnight for a unique experience. Although the concept of Ice Hotels is quite popular worldwide, with establishments present in Sweden, Canada, Norway, Romania and Finland, it is the Ice Hotel at Jukkasjärvi, Sweden which can be classified as the most popular. The entire hotel structure, furniture, sculpture and even drinking glasses are constructed from solid blocks of ice from the frozen Torne river. Imagine sleeping on a bed made completely out of ice, while surrounded by ceilings, chandeliers and walls also constructed by ice – it's an experience worth paying for. A restful night's sleep on reindeer skin, fur or in the special sleeping bags provided is truly an experience to remember.

(Price Range from £200 - £275. For bookings and further information visit http://www.icehotel.com/)

Ice Hotel (Jukkasjärvi)
Magic Mountain Hotel

Magic Mountain Hotel, Chile:
Whilst magic fountains are abundant and popular, the Magic Mountain Hotel in Chile is one of a kind. Situated in the Huilo Huilo nature reserve in Southern Chile, with a cascading waterfall at the top of it and a cable bridge leading straight to its front entrance, there lingers the promise of hidden treasures within its walls. One can almost imagine that they have simply wandered into a fairy tale where anything is possible. Visitors can explore the gorgeous surroundings at their leisure, partake of the mouth-watering local Chilean cuisine, and then relax in hot tubs which have been carved out of huge tree trunks and filled with hot water. Aside from offering complete relaxation within its magical surroundings, the hotel would also appeal to the adventurous tourists because of its mini-golf range built upon a walkway 40 feet above the ground amongst hundred year old trees and the year-round skiing and snowboarding opportunities providing nearby.

(Price Range from £125 - £200. For bookings and further information visit http://www.allsouthernchile.com/seven-lakes-siete-lagos-huilo-huilo-chile/133/257-the-magic-mountain-hotel-in-the-huilo-huilo-reserve.html)

Cappadocia Cave Hotel, Turkey:
While tourists flock to Turkey for the history and the seaside, many are unaware of these hidden cave hotel gems nestling in Cappadocia, Turkey. Although the most extravagant of these cave hotels would probably be the Cappadocia Cave Resort and SPA, the hotels which would truly capture the true essence of life in a cave would be the Museum Hotel and the Gamirasu Cave Hotel, both located in stunning landscape of Cappadocia. Whilst a stay in both hotels will provide an unique experience and take one back in time when caves were natural dwellings for mankind, the Museum Hotel is more stylish and the Gamirasu Hotel will provide a more rustic and natural feel. The sense of tranquillity and authentic village atmosphere is intoxicating, and visitors will have to opportunity to explore the surrounding ruins at their leisure – a perfect destination for the history or architecture lovers, or for the thrill seekers.

(Price Range from £50 - £200. For bookings and further information visit http://www.gamirasu.com/)

Cappadocia Cave Hotel
Masseria Cervarolo

Verana – Bay of Banderas,Mexico:
We have all been familiar with the story of Tarzan during our childhood, but the opportunity to experience the exquisite tranquillity of nature in the forest combined with breath-taking views of the Bay of Banderas can probably be found solely in the Verana Hotel and Resort in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. This hotel boasts individual cottages which have been constructed with a semi open-plan structure in mind, which will allow you to watch the sunrise directly from your bed, and not through a window. The outdoor shower and opportunity to gaze at the night stars while blissfully soaking in the bath will truly make one feel completely relaxed and free of stress and inhibitions. The break from technology and its advances will truly add to the remote perception of the surroundings, and one can almost feel that the rest of the world no longer exists.

(Price Range from £200 - £275. For bookings and further information visit www.verana.com )

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives:
If isolated cabins in the forest are not your thing and you would rather fancy yourself lost in the middle of the ocean, then the Huvafen Fushi Spa and Resort in the Maldives will be the equivalent of a dream come true for you. Although bungalows are available on the island itself, one should aim to reside in the pavilions constructed over the water in the ocean, which face the sunsets. Dining experiences include dining under the stars whilst seated on the water itself, in one of restaurants own private cove. For seafood lovers it should be sheer bliss as almost all the restaurants offer freshly caught produce in different styles, whilst pizza is also available for those who are not very adventurous and prefer traditional comfort cuisine. The highlight of this resort would probably be the Spa which features two underwater rooms for treatment, whilst also including other traditional treatment rooms above water. The underwater rooms offer a feeling of tranquillity and serenity while you can truly experience what underwater living would feel like.

(Price Range from £275+. For bookings and further information visit
http://huvafenfushi.peraquum.com/ )

Masseria Cervarolo, Italy:
Given the opportunity, almost half the people in the world would undoubtedly engage in time travel. While modern amenities are useful and comforting, history is both intriguing and fascinating. Stepping into the Masseria Cervarolo hotel in Puglia, Italy, is like stepping back in time when bricks and mortar didn't exist. The six cone shaped 'trulli' in front of the hotel are testament to that – these are dwellings that were built in the 16th century without the use of bricks or mortar, built so that they could be torn down again in a hurry, should the need arise. These trulli have been renovated and have now been converted into rooms for guests residing at Masseria Cervarolo. “Masseria” means 'farmhouse', and since not much has changed, visitors can truly appreciate the essence of local life at a countryside farm as it may have existed in the 16th century.

(Price Range from £50 - £200. For bookings and further information visit http://www.masseriacervarolo.it/ )

Many hotels base their prices on extravagant luxuries such as Egyptian cotton sheets, champagne receptions and handmade chocolates. However the hotels mentioned here pride themselves on the different experiences they actually provide, experiences which may not be available elsewhere. Sometimes it pays to stray off the beaten path – you may be amazed by the surprises that await you!


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